Wednesday, January 11, 2012

25,000 Hits!

I have now been keeping a blog for just over 6 years. What started out as a way to inform other scoliotic people that it was ok and normal to be confused and upset and painful to live in a twisted body has turned into so much more. It is a window to the world and mostly I keep the curtains only open a crack, as I'm actually quite a private person - believe it or not!
Anyway, I know I now have 21 followers - special "Hi!" to you all and thanks for following...but I was astonished when I last checked my hit counter and released that I have now had over 25,000 hits on my blog. I can't believe it - 25,000 times someone has opened the page and read something I've written. Well, maybe they haven't all read something come to think of it. There must be a proportion who open it up looking for warped personalities and realise its not what they're looking for and equally another set of people who suddenly realise that warped woman is not related to Star Trek and warp factor*1 anything. There will be others too who open it up and go "Eek! Purple!" before swiftly clicking onwards. Some more are probably from Outer Mongolia and have probably clicked the 'next blog' button and are wondering what all this stuff in a foreign language with no pictures is all about... The rest though, well, that's you! I hope I can entertain you to the 50,000 mark sometime in the next few years...
*1 Ha ha - bet you Trekkies didn't expect me when you started looking for Captain Picard on Google!



Gosh, blogger how much do I love you....

I've been with Blogger quite a long time now, in fact I think it's a very long time, when I come to think of it, in computer lifetimes anyway. You all know what computer lifetimes are - they are those short snips of time where the hardware you bought 3 weeks ago, whether it's a computer, camera, phone or fridge, is suddenly way out of date and you just must have the latest thing now!*1 

I own up to it, I'm actually a bit of a shocker when it comes to all the new stuff too - I'm not exactly what you'd call a geek, and I'm not rich enough to be an early adopter, but I love all that technology stuff. I do admit to having bought an iPad (on which I am typing at right this moment) on the day that they were released, but to be fair, I had been saving for months to do so. It took me a massive Ebay offload - selling clothes, old equipment and various other stuff (I was restrained from actually putting up a post to sell my mother!) to raise the funds but I love it. I guess I use it every day - and not just as a tea tray...and buying it on release day, was just luck that the shop I went in to had it in stock. 

 Getting back to Blogger, as someone who's used it for years, I rarely even look at my design page any longer. I have a design, I like it, why would I change it? It was a bit of a shock to me then recently when I was digging around thinking I needed to do something complicated and found that Blogger had made it easy. I'm not even sure what it was any more - it was that easy; I didn't have to scrape the bottom of the Internet for a solution - not like the olden days... Back in the (good?) old days, changing something on the design of your page involved 3 weeks head scratching and lots of lateral thinking in your choice of words for Google searches. No wonder that almost everyone used one of 3 or 4 basic templates which were fixed in style and colour. I was a renegade, using a template I had snaffled from somewhere and then had monkeyed around with, by learning teeny tiny bits of HTML (mostly from PTV) and then uploading them just to see what the effect would be. Sometimes I'd end up with the background in front of the text (not very readable) and other times with borders so wide that they'd cover the whole page - sometimes it just crashed and I couldn't figure out why. Easy it wasn't, but I certainly learnt a lot. 

 I like to write too, I use writing to get my thoughts in order and I love to tell stories. Blogger is just great for that - and even though many of my posts are quite long, it's not really like trying to get a book (or series of books - M!) out there - hats off to those who do, but blogging is just a bit more bite sized for me. Over the years as well, knowing I have some regular readers, I feel a connection to those people - in some cases, even though I've never met them. I have shared my surgery and struggles and my hysterical moments too (both good and bad). Blogger does all that for me...So, in a nutshell, I love blogger - not just because I have an outlet for my writing, have met new friends (hi WCD!) and can relay all my friends' funny stories to a wider audience for them, but because it made me learn stuff. It forced me (by being so awkward) to learn enough HTML that I'm writing this with HTML tags (because it's quicker in the package I'm using) and enough that I'm happy getting my hands dirty with website design. 

Now, back to all that stuff being easier...had it been so when I started, I wouldn't know as much as I do....I shall leave it up to you to decide whether that's a good thing or not - cos I can't decide! 

*1Well, maybe not the fridge, but you get my drift!

Monday, January 02, 2012

2012 ....already???

I just realised that I didn't send you all a happy Christmas message for 2011 yet and it's 2012 already! How remiss is that? In fact, there's not been a huge amount of blogging at all going on lately, but that's partly due to a bit of winding down at the end of the year and partly the fact that the year really was a difficult one for us.

They say that things happen in threes (I'm not sure who 'they' are!) and thinking back, that was the story of our 2011. Early in the year we lost my MIL. It was a real shock at the time, as even though she had breast cancer, it wasn't aggressive and she actually succumbed to pneumonia which caught hold within a couple of days. We then had another shock in April, when my BIL found my FIL collapsed from a stroke. He was severely affected and was in hospital from April all the way through to the end of September, never really managing to improve too much and often not knowing where he was, or who we were. In the end, he was transferred to a nursing home and passed away from a chest infection in November. In the middle of the year, hubby injured his leg. He had an infection, a haematoma, a pair of crutches and a pair of walking sticks (stolen from me and lengthened somewhat) and this resulted in twice weekly hospital visits for dressings right the way through the autumn and up to Christmas. This morning, finally, the last scab came off and for the first time in months, he is dressing free and looking forward to a bath. I'm not suggesting he hasn't at least had a shower in the intervening time, (seriously, he doesn't pong!) but he hasn't been able to have a good soak for months. The year was fraught with other small things too, I had a shoulder problem and my brother was trying to sell his house in a rotten housing market....all in all, sounds like a rough year, doesn't it?

But, to be perfectly honest with you all, the year had its high points too and mostly the people that I love were happy and healthy. There are always tough things in our lives and then there are the high points that go along with them. We had a great trip away with PTV & HLW and I went away with a bunch of really successful friends in the summer which was memorable. I made new friends and rediscovered old ones and my brother moved into his new house in the street behind mine, so I can see him often.*1 I even managed to get Christmas organised - albeit right at the last minute!

So, now we are looking forward to 2012. It's going to be a great year, I can just feel it. I can see some amazing stuff heading our way. In Britain this year, we have the Olympic and Paralympic Games being held in London and all in a year when the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee. Big things like that will touch us all in some way and I am looking forward to it all. I hope that you too are also looking forward to 2012 with hope, optimism and desire and that all your dreams come true this year. 

Here's to a happy, healthy and successful year to you all!

*1 - He didn't buy the house just because I lived nearby ;-)