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"Random thoughts"

All the “10 ways to write a blog” articles tell you that if you want your blog to be read, you have to update it regularly, ideally everyday. I’ve never been that fussed about whether or not anyone reads this – it started off as an online notepad of stuff I wanted to record, and has sort of turned into a public diary. My plan is to be able to look back at this in 20 years time and go “I can’t believe I fancied Sophia Myles” or whatever it happens to be. Not that I do fancy Sophia Myles particularly (but she is quite pleasing on the eye). Probably my only major regret in life is I don’t have a diary for between the ages of about 10 and 21. I’ve got a pretty good record of important events and people from around 18 onwards, and a spiritual journal that I started when I was 23 – but I’d love to know what I felt and thought about stuff as a teenager. I really wish I’d kept copies of the letters I wrote when I was at school.. While I know I’d die of embarrassment now (for instance, my nickname at school was “Fat Horse”, and I was known to sign letters with this moniker!!!), that was who I was then.

Anyway, my original point was that I’d never particularly held with the “10 ways to have a award-winning blog” nonsense – but I have noticed that my readership, as far as I’m aware of it, has increased infinitely since I started doing my Boston blog everyday. Actually that infinite statistic hinges on whether or not you count me as a reader – if you do then my known readership only doubled. Possibly tripled, depending on whether or not a “Happy Birthday” e-mail was in response to Friday’s efforts. It is, however, slightly disconcerting thinking someone might be reading this. I used to do radio shows when I was an undergraduate in London, and it was always highly off-putting when someone phoned it. It’s a bit like discovering a student is actually listening in a lecture: goes against the natural order, somehow. In a way I’m glad it’s a non-anonymous blog, as that’s an extra safe-guard to me writing things that I wouldn’t want to come back and bite me. I have to confess my whole approach to this blog changed when I thought I was about to become a vicar – but in retrospect I think that’s possibly one of things I was getting wrong about becoming a vicar. Trying to live by other people’s expectations, and – if I’m honest – taking myself far too seriously.

It was, of course, very easy to do an entry everyday when I actually had something to talk about (i.e. going to America, especially in such an eventful fashion). My life isn’t normally interesting enough to generate material, and because this site is non-anonymous I can’t say the usual anecdotes about friends, family, and co-workers.

Actually I did have some shocking revelation yesterday that I’m still reeling from. You ready?

Jess the cat is a HE!

Postman Pat’s black and white cat, Jess, is a bloke. Jess, a male?!?! JESS – it’s a girls name, not a boy’s name. I really can’t think of any contraction of a boy’s name that ends up as Jess. I suppose if it’s a cat, it called be called Jessop (which might be quite an amusing nod at photography, with the whole black and white thing, I suppose), but I always thought he was a she. We were harmlessly watching an episode when Julian (Pat’s son) says “Oh Jess! Mum, look what he’s done!”. I was sure I’d misheard, but no, several other people said “he” or “him” when talking about Jess.

The other thing that wound me up this week? Tony Blair’s comments as reported in the Metro on Friday:

“I don’t think anybody foresaw a situation [in Iraq] where there was this degree of violence”

I’m not a political animal, but this comment made (and still makes) my blood boil. Of course we !%%$^^% foresaw that the war on Iraq would to nothing but bloodshed and a protracted period of violence exactly like what we’re seeing. Where Bush and Blair really naive enough to believe they could waltz in with all their superior firepower and technology, and be in and out in a few months? Well apparently so. I’m not at all sad Tony Blair is going. I think a lot of good things have happened in this country under the present government, but I think our Tony has lost sight of what’s actually important, and the mandate under which he was elected.

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