Australia, Gardening, Random Rambles
Comments 16

Freshly Impressed!

Friday was a remarkable day in my little corner of the blogiverse…

I'm the guy you always see lying on my belly, camera aimed at some mollusc...

Stumbling typically early from my bed, ragged and bleary-eyed like one of those film noir detectives after a long night on the hard stuff, my fingers located the phone I keep switched on in case of a call offering relief teaching.

No call, but I’ve been sleeping so badly and so briefly for so long, I know it’s pointless to try to force a sleep-in…

Fading blooms, or decaying molars -- I can't decide.

But what’s this? Emails — lots of emails. 20 or 30 of them, all notifications. The words likedsubscribed and commented.

Huh? These are words I’m not accustomed to seeing in such astronomical quantities. Suddenly I was wide awake. I put the kettle on, reached for a bag of Twinings, and resumed my standard position in front of the Macbook…

Stranded jellyfish detail: like armour plates of air bubbles

It was incredible. My latest post had received hundreds of hits — and the hits just kept on coming. WordPress had featured it on their Freshly Pressed page, and suddenly my little blog was in the spotlight…

My favourite (dead) tree, deposited in the January floods

All day the figures kept skyrocketing upward. It was fantastic. Dozens of people enjoying the post enough to click Like. New subscribers rolling in like breakers on a windswept beach. And so many positive comments I almost suspected it was some kind of hoax…

My camera only has a x4 zoom, necessitating careful stalking for wildlife shots

I went to work that afternoon — covering an absent teacher, my new gig post-redundancy — with a smile on my face. This was most disconcerting for my night-shift colleagues; they seemed to think I was up to something. “You look so relaxed,” one observed.

And it’s true: I’ve been enjoying my unemployment, the extra walking and catching-up-on-everything time, exploring some new places with my camera, strolling around town in shorts, caffeinated and free…

The great majority of the visitors have their own blogs, so they’ll understand how reaffirming it is to get some feedback and know that there are people out there actually reading.

Blogging is a weird activity sometimes. You can spend all morning putting a post together, click Publish, and the little baby you spent five or six hours creating is out there in the big, bad world.

An utterly indifferent world, it sometimes seems…

Camera-shy, my quarry -- a cormorant -- dodges the paparazzi

So feedback like this is sincerely welcomed, and it’s a great motivator to keep going and keep the quality as high as possible. I write and take pictures to keep sane-ish, and because it’s fun. But sharing these stories and images is why I started TGTW…

That's more like it

Getting feedback occasionally is all the reward, surely, that most bloggers want…

It's from either a whimbrel or a godwit

I want to thank the people at WordPress for the spotlight, and the ever-improving platform from which I launched my modest little site in January…

Cuttlefish-bone armada

But mostly I want to offer my sincere gratitude for all the comments and subscriptions. So many people from all around the world — the U.S., England, the Middle East, India, Canada, the Netherlands, Serbia, to name a handful — made such positive comments that I was genuinely touched.

There were even a couple of commenters from my own neighbourhood!

Perhaps there are better ways of spending a Saturday afternoon. Nah...

Let’s face it, making these kinds of connections with virtual (in more ways than one) strangers all over the globe is the main pay-off for the weirdly solitary experience of running a blog…

I got home late on Friday and spent a couple of hours reading and responding to comments. I’d had over 1,200 hits, where some days I’m lucky to get a hundredth of that.

What’s more, I’d been introduced to this whole community of bloggers I was only half-aware of before. I’m excited about exploring all these new (for me) blogs over the next few days…

Stranded bluebottle, capable of a nasty sting when alive and tentacled

Yesterday the numbers were saner but still amazing; my dashboard bar graph was sprouting skyscrapers on the new, hip end of town.

Another hour or so reading and responding, then I had to escape the screen and my hard, medieval chair, and do the thing this blog was set up to document…

There's a racetrack nearby & horses are often trained here

I closed the lid on Heidi (my lovely Macbook Pro), clicked on Walkmeter on Gretchen (my iPhone), and slipped a fresh battery into Brigitte (my hardworking little Cybershot camera).

My shoulder muscles and buttocks seemed to groan in relief as I returned to ambulatory mode and grabbed my daypack…

The same cormorant? Rocks near the Redcliffe bridge

Up at the waterfront, the tide was out, a broad, freshly wave-raked frontier of sand to walk. I spent a couple of hours out there, till the tide turned again, before heading for land to lay down under a favourite casuarina tree.

I finished my Orwell novel, and had a blissful afternoon nap, waking up covered in casuarina needles.

This is what it’s all about…

Buoys mark the rocks where kite-surfers often frolic

Thanks again!

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

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16 Comments

  1. Good blogs deserve lots of readers! There’s a lot more adventures for you to take and I’m sure I’m not the only one eager to read of your upcoming travels 🙂

    • Cheers, Fidgit. I don’t feel very adventuresome or clever right now — I went back to bed after finishing that post, and now it’s 2:43 on a Sunday afternoon! So I’d better redeem myself with a stroll towards somewhere that sells coffee. Thanks as always for reading and the encouragement.

    • Haha! Dominic, it’s not here yet but I looked it up and loved the “usually as a result of some surprising and undeserved luck”! Spot on! It was lucky alright and made for a really fun day, but my stats are plummeting as we speak — as long as some of them hang around, that’d be great. And it was a sweet ride while it lasted…

    • Thanks, Samantha! The flood is rapidly subsiding to a far more sensible trickle, but my brush with blogging fame was lots of fun while it lasted. Actually it was hard work too — all those comments to respond to!

      But I really appreciate your feedback, and reading your blog keeps me entertained too.

  2. I imagine the crash must be a disappointment…
    I know I feel low when I get days with almost no hits.
    Hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes of notoriety, and hope you get plenty more 15 minute brackets!

    • Nah, I knew it was an aberration, but a very enjoyable one. A sensible, loyal crew of readers is what we all want, of course, and I think some of the surprise visitors will stick around. It did make for a surreal day though!

  3. Robert says

    Its great to see the interest, especially so soon after we were discussing that very issue over coffee. Your’s is an engaging blog – as I read it in my office in the city the lure of freedom on the shores of Moreton Bay is tantalising…

    • Thanks, Robert! Yeah, a nice coincidence after Frank & I were sitting there with you a week ago going “Damn, it’s hard to build up the number of readers!” Enter Time and Luck, stage left…

      Well, I know what people want now: nice flowers! And here I am in the botanic gardens after spending a few lovely hours crawling around under the freeway, exploring the river bank, homeless encampments and photographing mangroves!

      Call me a slow learner…

      But getting all those readers, even if some of them were only temporary, was a nice buzz.

  4. pilgrimpace says

    Thanks – a very honest post about why we blog! And good to see that you are currently in a pattern of life that leads to some flourishing

    Andy

    • Thanks, Andy! Very nice of you to say that. It’s a weird existence at times, true, but one of the big bonuses is getting to know some cool people.

  5. And well you deserve the recognition! As Andy Warhol said, we all have our 15 minutes of fame ..! Those up for a long-term relationship and those after a brief love affair will sort themselves out, no doubt, in the natural scheme of things…

    • SW, it was one hell of a 15 minutes. As I remarked to a friend, I felt like I went to bed as the hopeless drunk at the karaoke session round the corner, and woke up as Justin bloody Bieber. I know I’ll never enjoy such transitory notoriety again so I did savour it. It was FUN!

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