Monday, 15 August 2016

Estivation, 2016

I know, I know, this summer - as with so many summers - has not been my finest hour. I have spent hours staring into space, wondering if I still have any idea how to earn my living (no). I have reached level 20 on Pokemon Go and lost any respect for myself in the process. I have watched hours of crap TV and earned the sum total of, I think, £300 in the last 6 weeks (outgoings approx a million euro, due to constant child blandishments, alcohol and consolatory cakes). I WIN AT SUMMER 2016. However the good news is that I am going on holiday in literally TWO HOURS. As a result, I thought in a shoddy, better late than never gesture, I would use this time that should doubtless be spent remembering dog passports and finding keys and shower gel to do a brief, picture heavy update.

Here are some pictures of my summer:

Idiot, waiting at station for child to return from "X-treme Adventure" (sic) camp, which was a great success, despite its unpromising name and spartan style of sink or swim fun. Child has been on antibiotics for a fortnight due to infected foot incurred X-treme Adventuring, but thinks back on it fondly.


Watch the birdie.


I love that he is carefully eating from the "perruche" section, rather than going off-piste with rabbit food, etc even though that was actual self-service and he wouldn't have had to wait for spillages.


I spent a long time at the vet's waiting for Oscar's "going to England" appointment and learnt vast amounts about the auricular hygiene of cats, which may stand me in good stead in some parallel life. I mean, I don't think I would have dared approach a cat with a cotton bud anyway, but it's useful to know it's "fortement déconseillé".




Also, this guy is totally a Pokemon vet.



Why yes sir, you are.




Tortoise bathtime is the best bathtime




Tortoise stroking time is also the best stroking time



Dutch never fails. Eeltknobbels!


(Ed's note: I do NOT have eeltknobbels. I took this picture in the shop, whilst shopping for NORMAL blister plasters).


It hasn't all been domestic drudgery (well, it mainly has). This weekend I drank a cocktail which came with its own pot plant and layer of smoke, which was ridiculous but also tasty:



We also went for a walk in the deepest Ardennes. This stream features its own trout staircase ('un premier mondial') said the signpost, proudly. There were also trout rest areas, presumably for trout picnics.


I liked the crowd at the friterie last night, a good Belgian mix:


I will be back after the holidays, I absolutely promise. I can already feel my synapses starting to lurch into life again as the days get shorter and the supermarket aisles fill with STATIONERY OH GOD ALL THE STATIONERY.

I am also here to ask for your help, because I am a dick like that. I am in the process of writing something on old school personal blogging, the kind with no sponsored posts or theme or giveaways, about how it seems to be fading away and about why (and about why I love it and miss The Fallen, particularly Antonia and Miss Underscore).

So I wanted to ask: did any of you previously blog and stop (I know you did, some of you *points wildly into the ether*)? Why? If so, do you miss it? If you're one of those of us who keeps slogging on, what makes you do it? I don't really have an answer for myself (though I think it's something to do with living outside of my mother tongue so much of the time), so I am hoping you will supply me with one, or indeed several.

If you're a reader rather than a writer, I wonder what makes you read personal blogs and what you get from it (in the case of this one: shit photographs of number plates, apparently). Are there fewer, or is it just my impression, because my generation/community of bloggers is getting old and tired and busy?

Any thoughts you may have on this or related subjects very gratefully received and repaid in RENEWED BLOGGING FERVOUR on my return, I promise.

Percentages:

50% Out of office;
10% Unfortunate fridge emptying lunch regret (so much puff pastry! So many old tomatoes! Perfect for a 12 hour ferry across the North Sea!);
10% IQ of a pigeon, still, despite synapse claims above;
10% Debating when to give the dog his dogxanax for the boat. I also want dogxanax, but mine would be for the journey during which (i) we usually realise we have forgotten something essential precisely halfway between home and destination; (ii) spouse becomes INSANELY uptight about traffic despite the fact we are 7 hours early (iii) I annoy everyone by complaining about all possible music choices (iv) We all realise we hate each other, before finally reaching the boat and its sweet cargo of gin and Walkers Crisps and being reconciled;
10% Should I clean the fridge?
10% Nah.

You?

58 comments:

Laura Knott said...

I'm pretty new at following your blog, but what I love about it is that you're so good at expressing the nuanced ups and downs of daily life and in a way that makes me laugh out loud and SHARE with my friends. We need someone like you. There are far too many bloggers who are jetting about here and there with their glamorous friends in expensive clothes, eating small food and not enough who just have a regular life. Reading your blog helps me feel OK with my life!

Debbie said...

I have been a blog reader for well over 10 years, but rarely comment (confirmed lurker). The things that draw me in are the quality of the writing, topics that are down to earth and funny, and the odd photos that make me go hmmm. When someone else sees the absurd in the everyday, it is very satisfying! I get great ideas from you talented bloggers on food, books, TV and travel. And I also get drawn into the details of your life, just like the real-life people that I chatter with on a daily basis. Sometimes the topics are hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking, but always captivating and I certainly miss a blogger once they decide to move on. You have always drawn me into your world and I appreciate every post!

mimi smartypants said...

Slogging on mostly because otherwise (I know from experience) I end up sending friends long digressive ridiculous emails full of the things I would otherwise be blogging about. No one deserves to be singled out like that, so the internet it is!

Daphne said...

I used to blog and I loved it. I had a blog for several years, maybe six or seven. I stopped because of a rather traumatic breakup (no longer wanted or felt able to share personal stuff online about the breakup, and didn't feel authentic to ignore it), and then I just... fell out of the habit, I guess, although I really enjoyed it. I wrote about books, life, recipes, whatever I felt like. I enjoy reading others' personal blogs because it gives me a window into other people's lives and helps me get some perspective on life in general. Also other people (like you) are very talented and it's just a joy to read their writing, even if just on ordinary life things. I hope you keep it up!

Crazy Mom! said...

OMG SHE LIVES!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a joy to read because it is witty, well-written and entertaining. I think I get a particular kick out of it because I am a fellow long-stay Brussels resident bringing up a family here and so much of what you write strikes a chord with me. Please do keep going!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the middle of some terrible post-holiday work blues and have several hours to go yet today before I can rest but I'm so happy to see a new post on your blog! I'm going to save it up to read when I'm finished.
I think you'd really enjoy a book I read last week. I was literally blown away by it and am recommending it to everyone since: The Outrun, by Amy Liptrot
Here's an extract: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/17/amy-liptrot-i-am-a-lone-figure-in-waterproofs-the-outrun-extract
and an article about it:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jan/17/amy-liptrot-outrun-i-swam-in-the-cold-ocean-orkney-alcoholism

Seren said...

It feels as if at a certain point blogging stopped being about writing and started being about creating a big, shiny, pretty brand.

I blog because I like to write. I'm not interested in being an active presence on every single social media platform. I'm not interested in taking beautiful photographs. I just want to write. But I'm assuming that anyone who writes a blog also wants to be read, else why stick it up on the Internet in the first place? And new readers are hard to come by in a crowded marketplace full of aforesaid big, shiny, pretty things.

I'll be really interested to read your take on this because I really miss bloggers like Miss Underscore where the style of the prose was more important than the layout. Perhaps I'm just old and grumpy though.

Sparkling Red said...

I have a personal blog that I update weekly, mainly because I enjoy having pen-pal style friendships with people I wouldn't ordinarily meet. I used to love corresponding with friends by snail mail; now it can be done electronically, and it's so efficient to be able to write one update for everyone instead of a dozen fairly similar letters. It also allows me to indulge my introversion while not being completely anti-social. I.e. I am involved in these friendships, but I can control when and how much I want to be involved, and there's not much chance that any of my blogland friends will show up at my door needing favours which it would be awkward to refuse. For example, if my neighbour's clothes washing machine breaks down, I might feel obliged to offer them the use of mine, but I wouldn't honestly be happy about it. Therefore I have more geographically distant blog friends than I have neighbour friends, and if my own washer breaks down I am definitely going to have to go to a coin laundry or do everything by hand in the bathtub. I am more than happy to pay that price to be mostly left in peace.

blackbird said...

I've been slogging away at it for years. And I read you religiously because you are brilliant.
I don't know why I keep doing it. I suppose I feel I'm recording a time in our lives.

Mrs Jones said...

I had a personal blog that I wrote in for several years but it's now withered on the vine because, frankly, I just can't be arsed anymore. In a nutshell I got sick of the sound of my own voice. Because it was there, I felt like I had to update it even when I didn't have anything much to write about, and I just didn't have the ability nor the desire to craft something sparkling from the mundane just to fulfill some spurious requirement. So the gaps between postings got longer and longer, and, to be honest, no-one left any comments wondering where I was so I just don't bother any more, and I don't think anyone will notice.

All my favourite blogs have seemingly, or definitely, closed down. Just this week, Steerpike over at The Age of Uncertainty stopped blogging, which is a shame, but he has family commitments and also found he'd run out of things to say. I too miss Miss Underscore at Parma Violet Tea as I adored her blighted love story with love-rat Rochester, and Antonia closing down Whoopee was an absolute crying shame, so please don't tell me you're closing yours as well!!

I like reading blogs because they take me into another person's life, and if the blogger is a good writer then it feels like a personal conversation between the two of you - writer and reader. In some cases this connection can be taken over into meatspace and a genuine friendship occurs, especially if you find someone whose thoughts and opinions mirror your own, as has happened with me and the estimable Katyboo who I would never have met if I hadn't come across her blog one day several years ago. So while I may have stopped writing my own blog, I can genuinely say that my life has been improved by the world of blogging and it's sad to see it fading away.

Anonymous said...

I am a reader of blogs. I love personal blogs that chat about day to day life with humour and share ideas and insight, along with a few photos. I do notice that many blogs are shutting down (one of my favs Age of Uncertainty just this week!). Others have withered down to a few posts a year. I am curious why people blog - kind of a journal? I live a rather isolated life, so it's a connection for me. As each one shuts down, it's another voice lost.

CJ said...

Also wildly in love with stationery and always experience a surge in everything when the September stocks of new notebooks and files and pens are in. Old style everything here. I often question why I blog. Maybe just to leave a little record of things. I don't know how long blogs will survive, but imagine if our great grandmothers had left such things for us to read. Of course, I may yet delete it... Wishing you a good holiday with plenty of gin and salty snacks. All anyone needs. CJ xx

mountainear said...

I blogged for maybe 5 or 6 years and have now lapsed, with some regrets. On starting, blogging was new, we were in a new place and experiencing new things and chronicling them was both creative and a practical way of keeping in touch with family and friends. After a while the 'new' became stale repetitive, and when my blogs were discovered by local folk I felt some of my observations were curbed too. Although I would never have written anything deliberately unkind I felt stifled. So it petered out and I write a monthly page for the village newsletter instead. Sigh. Just how many ways are there to describe a hedgerow or village fete politely?

I've met some wonderful people through blogging - doing what we always told our kids not to do 'meeting strangers off the t'internet' - making what have turned into friendships - something which the terse exchanges of Facebook and Twitter are unlikely to do.

I now follow few blogs - yours is one - I suppose still enjoying experiencing a wider world through the words and pictures of others.

junebug said...

Yours is the only blog I read anymore. I've never blogged. Because boring.
When I think about it the main catch you used a long time ago was percentages. You've gotten back to it lately.
The Weepette, such a mournful dog!
You are so self deprecating. It took a pretty long time to discover how talented you are.
I've "watched" those boys grow up and all the disastrous birthday cakes made for them.
You are a foreigner. My DNA says I'm mostly English, but you are still a foreigner to me.
I love to hear about your vacations to your dad's, even if it's several weeks later.
I love to read about your mundane life. Even though I know it is not at
all mundane. Let's face it, you see things that others don't see.
Did this sense of humor come from your mother or dad? I'm sure a little from progrock also.
And lastly, owls.
Junebug

MJ said...

I don't write a blog but I like reading blogs. And, although I do read some blogs that have themes my favourite blogs are like yours. You're funny and insightful. You write well and thoughtfully about life and I find that significant portions of it resonate with me. So, that's why I read your blog and other personal narrative blogs. And also to procrastinate making any meaningful decisions about my own life.

Patsy said...

I love your blog BW because it always cheers me up in an irreverent self-deprecating way that only the English (even those abroad) can do. I've blogged for many years but no one reads it as far as I can tell, but that's OK. It's an outlet for expression and way of keeping track of my musings. Blogging is nothing like other social media, so much more depth and honesty, at least in the ones I like reading. Catching up on my blog feed is like reading a saturday paper lifestyle liftout without the wanky recipes or eye wateringly expensive fashion accessories.

Claire said...

I still read lots of personal blogs, in fact I was so bereft when Google Reader shut down that I pay for an Old Reader account so I can stay up to date. I much prefer personal blogs to any others because they are more entertaining, have more personality and because you actual get to know the person writing and what's going on in their lives. If the blogger is also funny and writes beautifully, as you do, that's the icing on the cake.

So many other blogs have become more and more corporate and as soon as they become 'glossy' and feature tons of sponsored posts, they seem to become much more impersonal - and much less trustworthy. I'm way less likely to listen to the opinion of a 'corporate' blogger because even if they say they're sharing their own views, it seems to be enormously coincidental that they never have anything bad to say about the thing they're reviewing. If you tell me something is great, delicious or interesting, I believe you.

Smiler said...

Just a blog follower of so many outstanding blogs like yours Waffle, but oh how I miss Miss Underscore.

Miss Underscore should run for President, or Prime Minister, and would make an excellent Foreign Secretary.

Enjoy your holiday Gin(s).

Jane of Flora Fauna Dinner said...

I keep hoping Miss Underscore is going to suddenly drop a book/screenplay and we'll all be: 'Ah! That's where she was!'

MargotLeadbetter said...

I slog on, only for myself, because I enjoy writing it and it'll make my memoirs easier when I've completely addled my brain with drink. I don't think anyone else reads it. I love reading my old entries. One should always have something sensational to read etc.

The huge thing about reading blogs for me was the funny women. It was a revelation. I knew women were funny but you didn't get a lot of it in public places. Though I am generalising, blogging seems to suit women's type of humour so much better than telly etc., where they tend to be overshadowed by louder and more confident people (men). I still read a few. I also like reading fashion blogs though usually I think they are awful (in an enjoyable way).

Jennifer Peters said...

I wish I knew of more blogs like yours, I love the humourous take on life and sometimes very serious topics (see http://bitchesgottaeat.blogspot.ca).

Life is hard and it's good to laugh about it.

Those sponsored, fake-glam blogs are just plain uninteresting.

Devonbabe said...

I came across your blog through a recommendation from Esther Walker's blog which I really enjoyed. I love reading about other people's lives and when my own life seems at times to be spinning out of control with an ageing and now dementia-ridden mother, my own grown-up children, grown-up step-children, small step-grandchildren, all of whom need loads of attention, it's such a relief to find that other people's lives are not all as rosy as they look they might be, and actually you just have to laugh at times and eat cake.
Your 'Always have Paris' book is fabulous, I so enjoyed reading it.
I have written a blog in the past, but not touched it for over a year. Maybe this will spur me on to go back to it.
I shall now have to go and see if I can find this Miss Underscore!
PS Love the photo of the tortoises in the bath, it reminds me of one of those lovely Eloise drawings of her tortoise (Skipperdee, I think it was) in the Plaza Hotel!

Robin said...

I read blogs because I love the type of life narration that is not so short-form that it is twitterized and pinteresty and Facebookified, but can delve into of-the-moment thoughts and the details of daily life in a way that a memoir can't. I love reading people who write well, who I both admire and make me feel better about my own struggles. Honesty, I think, seems to be at the base of it. And funny! Funny is good. Not that I expect everything going on in someone's life to be represented (for a long time I didn't even realize you were married! another woman I read has three small children like mine and they seem to never fight but I refuse to believe this is real). But in some way there's an honesty about experience and the muck of real life that I really appreciate and find deeply consoling. I also read blogs that are more like makeup/fashion/kid tips or info, like Whoorl or Cup of Jo but those aren't really what I think of when I think of good old fashioned blogs.

I used to keep a blog, and stopped. I stopped writing at the time of my mother's first cancer treatments, in part because it was too big to write about at the time, and in part because I was traveling back and forth between the US and here and life got to be too much. And then we had a couple more kids, and my mother passed, and it seemed overwhelming to go back to blogging. Plus, I started keeping a five-year diary, which filled one itch, and I joined Facebook, which solved the faraway family wanting pictures/updates issue. Plus, my blog always had a bit of an identity crisis--was it about language and poetry? about living abroad? about my kids? I think about starting up again, especially when I have a tidy observation about life or a quotidian scene I want to remember. Maybe I will, someday.

frau antje said...

When the world is a dystopian hellscape full of delusional idiots who think everyone's in love with them (dystopian because everyone 'is' in love with them), I for one will miss the thoughtful content of blogs. Also the complaining. And will probably have to walk around wearing a scold's bridle.

Emily said...

I love your blog. I have zero interest in product placement/freebies for bloggers etc though I totally understand that they may choose to go that way. However I just want to read good writing so am pretty much reduced to you and Backwards in High Heels now. Please don't stop! Have a lovely hol.

Lydia said...

As you know, I once had a public pseudo-anonymous blog that I switched to password-protected. Now that I have a grown-up job, and a child who is also grown up quickly, I felt too self-conscious to continue with a public diary. I miss it greatly.

Esme Weatherwax said...

For me it started with David Thorne. I laughed so hard I nearly asphyxiated whilst reading it out to long suffering husband.

That led to The Gravel Farm, the sublime Gweenbrick, Steam Me Up Kid (who I miss very lots) and Hyperbole and a half. So amazing to find all these funny, creative people out there doing brilliant things. Somehow I found you (maybe by googling "best blogs"!) and you took me to Katyboo who took me to Backwards in High Heels and you three are my last check in before bed.

I absolutely love reading you three because you make me think and laugh and give me permission to be a bit crap, but most of all you inspire me to be the best I can be. Honestly you do!

I'd love to blog, just as a record (job says no) but I think I love to read much more. Like many people with different lives, sharing on here is simply beautiful and feels like A GOOD THING.

Much love to you and to your many lovely commenters who I enjoy too.

Esme Weatherwax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

Somebody asked me recenty why I keep slogging on - I'm one of the idiots that's been writing a personal blog since the beginning - I have posts back to 2003, but I had a blog before that too - long ago lost.

Answer - I don't really know why. It's kind of a mania I guess - a form of mental illness (albiet a pretty harmless one, except that time I mentioned my in-laws and the sky nearly fell on my head and I had to pretend to stop for a month).

redfox said...

I left off because I got busier with work and also got a bit shyer when I got my current professorial job. Also because it seemed not very many people were reading, and I didn't like the resulting feeling of pining to be more popular--it was easier and featured more instantly gratifying back-and-forth feedback to take up other more conversational forms of online activity. As it was it felt a little too much like shouting ineptly into a well.

Anonymous said...

I am a long-time reader of you, Antonia and Miss Underscore, and I am so sad that I am now down to 1 out of 3 of my favorite blogs. Thank you for still writing! Gutted that Antonia looks to be gone forever. Such a funny, talented woman, and a great mom! I'm still crossing my fingers for Ms. Underscore.

I don't have a blog of my own because I am a teacher, and kids (and administrators!) are just too crafty about finding people on the Internet these days (who are we kidding, my third graders probably know more about technology than I do).

I can tell you that what drew me to you and Antonia were your insights on parenting, and it made me feel comforted to know that I'm not the only one who sometimes feels like an absolute shit parent, like I am doing everything wrong. (None of us are, not by a long shot, we're probably better than most because we recognize this in ourselves, but we all have our days!) I guess I just really enjoyed those brief glimpses into your lives. Facebook just doesn't cut it, I need paragraphs!

connie kennedy said...

Hi there Emma - my favourite blogs are (were) Antonia, katyboo, age of uncertainty, inch of gray, croft garden, ben pentreath, reluctant memsahib, ngorobob hill house, backwards in high heels and of course Belgian Waffling. I love reading the blogs not only for the writers'views on their day to day lives but also for their writing. Unfortunatley, I can no longer access Antonia's blog, age of uncertainty has brought his to a close, reluctant memsahib blogs only occasionally, and ngorobob hasn't blogged for a long time - this doesn't stop me checking though - her writing is magical. Is there a lot of difference between reading autobiographies with a beginning and an end and blogs which has no end in sight? I think too for the writer, there is something about putting one's thoughts down on (paper), especially if family and friends like to know what you are up to. I have two blogs. The first was through Typepad and the second through Blogspot. I moved to Blogspot as there was no cost involved. I like the fact that unlike Facebook, I can find things easily and the layout has a permanent page/diary feel. Just noticed Anonymous above, "Facebook just doesn't cut it, I need paragraphs!"

Esme Weatherwax said...

Thank you everybody..spent a huge portion of the night reading Miss Underscore backwards chronologically. She is absolutely WONDERFUL.

However, looking at it with doc eyes not reader eyes makes for disquiet. Does anyone know if she's okay?

Sabine said...

Hello, I started following you a short while ago. It sounds creepy "following" but it's just one of many terms to become comfortable with in this blogging universe.

I started blogging when my world seemed to collapse around me after a shitty medical diagnosis that hit me out of the blue. I never thought much about people out there, it felt like a way to stay in this world without inwardly exploding.
While it was/is also a way to explode (sort of) without forcing my family to pick up the pieces - again and again.

Blogging helps me to figure out and report about how I continue my fabulous life despite all sorts of restrictions and innovations, let's call it that.

Imagine my amazement when I discovered other personal blogs! Wow. At first, I felt like an outsider, a lurker looking in from behind the blinds, but now I leave my comments like an act of courage.

I freaked out when I got my first comments and almost deleted the lot.
My family thinks I am slightly off the rocker but that blogging probably saves them from spending money on therapy. No, seriously, they are just bored with it.

I enjoy personal blogs, it's a new way of sharing. In a distant way it reminds me of my communal living days, feminist mum school coffee mornings, but it's also a bit like the way you hear someone telling a story at the next table in a crowded motorway restaurant and then realising that you are getting interested and before you know it, you get involved shaking your head about how meaningful and witty and human and together this whole shebang is all of a sudden.

Blogging is also writing and I adore so many bloggers simply for their skill in expressing whatever it is. You are one of them.

Have a great holiday.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle,
I suppose I'm drawn to reading personal blogs because of the human connection they enable, however one-sided it is in the case of an anonymous reader like me. It makes me feel that I'm not as alone as it feels like I am sometimes, that there are other people out there in the ether that go through similar stuff, people whose company I could conceivably enjoy if we were ever to meet in the flesh. I spend a lot of hours on the computer every day and I think being able to dip into other people's lives in between meeting deadlines has definitely helped me keep up the pace of work without succumbing to burnout from the sheer tedium of so many hours alone sitting in front of the screen. Like other commenters have mentioned, I also like to read other people's comments for the chance to see things from other people's perspectives and as reassurance that the world is in fact full of lovely people that generally go about their days getting through them as best they can. I know that reading your blog posts has very often been the highlight of my days and coasted me through some very challenging times, making me laugh out loud when humour seemed utterly impossible.

Mrs Mason said...

What Crazy Mom said!

I blogged twice. Once for myself and then once because we moved overseas and I did it to keep the family updated and to save me having to send the same emails again and again. When we moved back I had the overseas blog printed as a book and it remains a great reminder of our tour of duty. I stopped altogether when I got a new job which has a high public profile and thought it best to keep the two separate.

I love your blog so please, do carry on! Some blogs not so much especially those that pedal some sort of fake life. I prefer the real life blogs, to the extent that any life on a blog is real of course.

Bonne vacances!

Elliesee said...

I never blogged, but I thought of you as Belgium just won ''Worse weather in the world''. Nice to hear when you're from Montreal:)

Murphy said...

I love your blog, and read several others as well: some are fashion blogs like That's Not My Age or The Vivienne Files, and some are more wide-reaching such as yours or Materfamilias Writes. I particularly like to read blogs written by people who live in Europe (I'm from the US) since I have a tendency to idealize life in Europe even though I am way older than you and should know better. But it is reassuring to read that everyday life there is not so different from life here, although you probably do have better bakeries!

connika said...

PS The other thing I love a about your blog Emma, is the booklist. I pass it on to everyone I meet - "You've got to read....Belgain Waffling recommended it..."

clea said...

I'm a long time reader (and lurker - I'm a very passive blog reader sorry) of you and numerous other blogs - I started off mostly looking for women writing about parenting in the irreverent, self deprecating way that appealed to me - and stayed cos you're funny and engaging - a good bit of English humour (I live in NZ and miss it). I too miss Antonia and Miss Underscore and others that have hung up their blogging hats, but I accept they don't owe us anything

Patience_Crabstick said...

Slogging on. My blog has very few readers and I'm resigned to the fact that it will never be one of the popular blogs. I just love to write, which is why I keep at it.

I like to read blogs because people are fascinating and I love the glimpses you get of real people and their lives. For the same reason, I like instagram because for some people, it's a visual blogging platform.

Le blog de Letilor said...

I have 2 blogs. My first blog is a lifestyle blog, I post 4 or 5 or more times per week. My second blog is about tourism in belgium , I post sometimes but I would like post 1x/week. I use also a lot social medias, I like animate my (2) facebook page .It's a big big big work but I like that so I found the time to do. I don't know if I can say that I read blogs, I follow blogs on my rss readers (more that 2000) and I speak with bloggers on social medias, but I have not really time to read others blogs. I think my favorite thing in blogging is social medias, found content, share, ask and reply, the contact with others people (readers or followers or bloggers). I like that, I like to work a lot for my blogs and my community.

BDM said...

Have a lovely relaxing holiday, please. And forgive me for this non-sequitur but it was screaming "Emma" at me: http://www.goodshomedesign.com/keep-your-chickens-happy-with-this-chicken-swing/
- Brenda

Anonymous said...

I read your blog AND blackbird's (I felt something profound the day blackbird linked to you) and ganching's (ganching.typepad.com) and directrice (http://thedirectrice.com) everyday (or every new post) as a counterpoint to my very ordinary life. As with many other things I read and find delightful, I love you all (redfox, blackbird, mrstrefusis, ganching, miss underscore and bw via instagram too) as writers and photographers who capture the daily wonderful and absurd details of life and whose language seems familiar and "like me" in some ways but whose lives and world views open up my life because of their perception and the many ways they differ from mine.

Jane said...

I am a blog reader, and mainly read your blog, and then your book, and then my husband read your book as he too spent some time in France at *that age*, and it is now with my 17 year old daughter.
I have read your blog for a long time as you are a hugely entertaining writer, we have a lot in common and I like to check in with what you are saying when I break for lunch after long and irritating morning.
I also love your book list and admire how much you read - it spurs me on.

I only don't like it when you beat yourself up for not blogging, you have your reasons, and anything at all is gratefully received.

Have a good break x

Anonymous said...

I think others have said it better than I, but some blogs have become brands. Corporate. I am suspicious that what they are trying to do is sell me things. They aren't writing for the joy of it, or because they wish to vent or to record, but because they wish to sell.

I want to glimpse other people's lives and feelings (and wit). Blogging is not as edited and curated as published bios and autobios. It is your view, right now.

It saddens me that many bloggers are now moving on, but seemingly without equivalent replacement. I am not done with reading blogs!

I read your blog because you are none of the things above, and I love your blogging voice.*

*text? prose??? and I was doing so well.....

Anonymous said...

I read a lot of blogs like some people watch netflix - marathon. I read blogs about knitting, cooking, home design/decoration, biking. Some blog I like referenced your blog so I am reading along trying to figure it out. I tend to keep reading when I the writer talks about their own lives.

Anonymous said...

Hi Waffle, I love your blog and endorse all encouraging remarks made above.
BUT I have to exclaim - that parrot is a New Zealand endangered species - Red-crowned Parakeet also known as "Karariki". How does a pet shop in Belgium get to have one roaming free-range? A legal import I hope, but I don't know how. Maybe I should send my friend from the zoo to retrieve and repatriate him. He's done it before with smuggled geckos! Here's a link with more info; http://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/red-crowned-parakeet
This may call for undercover investigation by you - time for a fedora or fake moustache maybe? :)
Awaiting developments with bated breath....
Heather (in NZ)

Anonymous said...

OK on further reading the parakeets are kept in captivity in NZ and overseas so probably legit at the pet shop, however I know they're fairly uncommon, and some success has been had here when introducing them to "Mainland Islands" aka fully predator-proof fenced sanctuaries like this one down the road from my home; https://www.visitzealandia.com/About

I love that you notice all kinds of birds and enjoy their charms!
Cheers, Heather (NZ)

H W Gray said...

Is no one else addicted to Pokemon Go? I am too, Level 20, gosh, I'm only at 10. I started ostensibly to amuse my ten year old but truth be told I am far more obsessed with it than he is. I am so embarrassed of myself (50 this year) in public that I cultivate a deliberately "why, how amusing this novel thing is!" expression when swiping etc in a pathetic junkie attempt to hide the depths of my squalid addiction. On the plus side, I am walking a lot more, so there's that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle, I hope you're having a most excellent holiday!
Just came across this and thought you might like it, the book sounds promising as well:
http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2016/07/18/the-mind-in-solitude-an-interview-with-claire-louise-bennett/
And also this: https://storify.com/Frank_Sartor/brexit-haikus
Disclaimer: both links found on the excellent Daily Dose of Jess website:
http://jessicastanley.com.au/

Claire said...

I hope you've had a brilliant holiday!

I've been blogging for a good long while now (as in, were my blog a child it would be starting 'big school' this autumn), and I think it's all about seasons. Sometimes I can't stop writing, at others it's a slow drip-drip-drip of ideas. Both modes are okay, right?

What keeps me coming back to personal blogs is personality, authenticity, and humour. All of which you have in spades.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle,
I hope you are worshipping the same Rentrée gods as I am today. A quiet, uninterrupted morning at long last, after the months of cacophonous noise and constant demands! I literally didn't know what to do with myself!
Long may the school routine continue, is what I say!

Waffle said...

Anon - I AM I AM I AM it's the first time I've had a day entirely to myself for MONTHS, am working like a bastard but in DELICIOUS PEACE xxx

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle
I first read your prose in the Crabzilla article in 2012. It made me laugh to the point of crying as it had only happened when reading David Sedaris' Me talk pretty... (Easter bunny, personal favourite). Since then I've regularly been visiting your blog. I like its humour, (in my impression) melancholy, and, as many others mentioned, the fact you're not trying to sell anything. Being a recent French expat in Brussels, I like to read about your experience here.

glasgowmango said...

Came here via you article on The Pool. Really interesting article on blogging made me think about my blogging experience. I started on Blogspot but Wordpress seemed a better fit for me. I like that you don't have to comment but you can like a post. I write for pleasure but not often enough it's easier to post images. I've taken part in blogging events which have been great fun, increased my interaction with other bloggers and improved my writing skills.
Its personal blog but not in the sense that I am writing about my life in any great detail. When I looked into blogging for the first time I was relieved to find that not everyone one blogged in the typical way blogging is portrayed on TV or Film. I didn't have to write an online diary . Which I think is still what people think when I mention I blog (not often) I think I am as private online as I am in real life(Although it's probably revealing aspects of my character that I blind to see at the moment). Blogging enables me to curate the things that interest me.

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