How do you mark important events in your family’s life if you blog?

You could take the approach of ‘Little Jocasta, bless her, has just completed her PHD in time for her 11th birthday, now dances for the Ballet Rambert and is looking forward to her England hockey debut. She has lots of aaamazing friends, rides her own pony. By the way we live in a massive house, have lots of money and everything is so successful and shiny.’

I have read posts that are a bit like that with polish up life to an unnecessarily bright sheen.  They used to depress me in that I did not live in the sunlit uplands that they seemed to inhabit. Now I mostly feel sorry that the posters are so insecure.

My youngest son is 14 today. The first time I marked his birthday on this blog, he was 5. I could say he is ‘amazing’ , ‘fantastic’ and a whole host of other adjectives. Of course he is: if you are a parent, there is something seriously wrong if you don’t believe this- it comes with the territory. There is also something seriously wrong when you pretend that your family life is a bed of roses.

I can’t say too much about him: whereas younger kids don’t have a great problem with their images posted on line or their personalities talked up, teenage boys do. I guess I could wish for him success, health and happiness, but I’m more drawn to this song/prayer: I don’t want him to be an alpha male who crushes those weaker than him on his way to whatever his future is, to be cruel to be kind, to do unto others before they do it unto him or to look after number 1:-


Happy Birthday, Ben!

Like Vinyl

Image result for vinyl records

A month or so ago, I was having a brief twitter conversation with a reasonably well known writer (I guess that is one way of unsubtly boasting about the people I converse with). I had put a comment next to a tweet he had posted about the idea of starting a weekly blog. I tweeted back about an idea that I had that blogging could become the ‘new vinyl’: a form abandoned by many, but which could make a niche comeback of sorts.

I let it go: twitter conversations are like confetti- colourful, of the moment, but soon to fade away and be forgotten (often mercifully so). However, this conversation stayed with me: I used to blog daily on this site and did so for over 8 years, but then I let it go- some things that once gave life, no longer do so.

Blogging gave me life and a voice; I began to realise that others thought like me: I was not alone. It helped me deal with some of the existential angst that I felt and the practice of writing almost became like a supplication. I carried on in this vein for a long time and then my life began to change: I gave up (at least partly) a vocation and the angst began to seep away and the grit I needed to form pearls became smoother. I paused for a while and the while (apart from a handful of posts) became over a year.

I think I am ready to start again: not at the same volume or frequency as before, but certainly more regularly.

Maybe it will be like vinyl: an anachronistic throwback, slightly scratchy, but yet with the possibility of some richness and depth.

We’ll see….