Wednesday August 3, 2005

Yesterday, I’m afraid, I wasn’t on my best form. Today the weather changed, turning cooler and much fresher, though still sunny for the most part. Much more to my liking, and I changed with it, reverting to a far more positive feeling of general well-being.

Even so, I put all my main projects on hold, instead playing with a new blog, tentatively entitled “Notes of a writing man”. I’m not at all sure where I’m going with it, nor the totality of my motives for spending a little time on it. They are manifold.

First, I want to see if a blog would be a suitable replacement for or useful adjunct to my daily note book pages. I don’t think so, not at first sight, anyway. My notebook is a mix of personal, private, business, writing, ideas… a mess, in other words. I find even the minor formality of posting an entry to be a bit of a strait-jacket and suspect I’ll reach for paper and pen or pencil, or brush, pretty quick. Pen and paper is so much more immediate than any digital alternative, at least, it is for me.

Second, I’m anticipating a period between houses when my computer will likely be in storage and even if not, will not be connected to the Internet. A blog would be a much more acceptable way of keeping the online journal ticking over during that period than the email letters I sent out last time. However, during the day a rather more acceptable solution presented itself, so this may be a dead end.

Finally, and this is a much more hazy motive, I’m coming to realize that as the technology advances, my old hand-coded approach to keeping a journal online is becoming more and more ponderous, and requiring more and more development into things like commenting, RSS feeds, trackbacks, pings… and I’m likely to find it difficult to keep up. Not that it’s rocket science, more that it takes time I simply don’t want to spend learning new things that, frankly, don’t overly interest me. Sooner or later I’m going to have to switch to some kind of automated content management system and leave the technology to those who enjoy it. It’s not an age thing. Not entirely, anyway, though it’s an observable fact that as I get older I’m coming to want to focus my time on the things that interest me most. I like to do the content. The management, I’m coming to realize, is losing its charm for me.

Hey ho. I’ll give it a bit more thought and then, like as not, delete the whole thing and leave the idea on the back-burner until I’ve thought it through. It’s very likely, though, that somewhere around daffodil time next year I shall switch over to a content management system to carry me through my old age. I shall keep the domain going, just have it point to something that’ll be easier to handle as I lose my marbles.

Other than that the day was spent vicariously enjoying Graham’s first day off since he started his new job. He took a taxi to Williton, and a ‘bus from there to Taunton, where he enjoyed a spell or two in the Starbucks we used to habituate, and a tour of the shops. Poor thing, it was his first break from flat-out work, and the first time he’d had to himself. And he felt rather lost, saying that it was strange, perhaps surreal, even, to be there in our old haunts but on his own. Without me. Day-off outings are things we’ve done together for so many years that solo ventures don’t seem right, somehow, not for either of us.

I don’t think he’s actually homesick in any serious way but I do sympathise with the feeling, having endured it a number of times myself. Tomorrow he’ll throw himself back at the job again. He’s doing awfully well with it, and settling down to a manageable pace. Learning to delegate, too, which is not an easy thing to master.

We are thinking hard of ways to shorten our separation. Sadly, the people who came to view the house the other day seem to have decided against proceeding. I’m not overly surprised. Too much talk. It’s the silent ones who lead to the most satisfactory deals in my experience.

So, pillows are to be consulted. One in Somerset, the other here in Lincolnshire. I suspect the outcome will be a greater determination to soldier it through and wait for this place to find a buyer. Now would be a frightfully good time to win the Lottery.



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