far and near

One of the most notable things about the current crisis is how easy it has become to use words such as crisis, pandemic, unprecedented… And another is how easy it is to speak of thousands of deaths as if each one of those statistics didn’t refer to a unique and cherished individual.

For me, another of the most notable aspects of the last few months is how much contact I’ve had with people all through this “social distancing” time.
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just hanging around

Levis 501s faded jeans hanging on  washing line

Just hanging around, posting fairly regular updates but making no particular effort to get noticed, I find I now have 501 blog followers.

Thank you, not only to those who follow, but also to those who just drop by occasionally to read, comment or enjoy the view.

saturday morning

desk detail
I’m currently staying with my sister**, who I suspect is frustrated by my inevitable late arrival at the breakfast table on weekends. She knows I’m awake; she hears me call “I’ll be down in a minute!”; but the clock ticks on and the minute turns into an hour.

I think what we’ve both failed to appreciate is my desperate need for validation.

It’s the weekend. I write my blog. If I’m lucky, someone clicks the “like” button. If I wait a bit, maybe someone else does. A bit longer, and maybe someone else…

How can I possibly leave my computer to go and have breakfast when there’s the chance that there are people out there in the world beyond my screen who are liking me? It would be rude to abandon them.
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modern manners

I’ve been to several poetry readings in the last couple of weeks, including an anthology launch where I was among the readers, and one by the elderly New Zealand poet C.K. Stead.

eagle owl head shot
The launch lunch for The Apple Anthology (published by Nine Arches Press) was a fairly casual event, with a number of readers, and a varied audience eager to sample the cider, sandwiches – and inevitable apples.

The other events, though, were more formal and I was disconcerted to see people in the audience tapping away at their smart phones and laptop keyboards when I thought they should be listening. (That’s why I chose the photo of the owl, an eminently educated bird, with those marvellously disapproving eyebrows I can never hope to match however much I frown on modern youth.)
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flying visits

This isn’t the busiest blog in the world, and I don’t suppose it will ever have a huge audience, but WordPress send me notifications of new followers and likes, and it’s always nice to think that a post has appealed to readers, even if it’s impossible to know exactly why.

I check the stats page to see if I can find out a little more about who is reading and clicking, but this often poses more questions than it answers. I happened to look just after midnight the other night, just after the numbers had been reset, and this is what I found:

blog visits & views stats
Dear visitor, whoever you are, can you tell me how you managed to travel half way round the world in a matter of minutes and why you read six pages of my blog from three different countries?

red blues

Social media networks – “the mean redes”

shades of red

I read somewhere years ago that feng shui experts recommend using red folders for projects as it’s an auspicious colour and increases the likelihood of success.
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