Not a bad day, really

Wednesday July 5, 2006

Eight years ago today I sat down to write my first online journal entry. I don’t think the words ‘weblog’ or ‘blog’ had been coined them; if they had, they’d not reached public attention. Back then there was a close-ish community of a thousand or so online diarists and so far as I remember one of the most widely debated issues among us was about what we should be called.

Some thought we should be called ‘journalists’. That was rejected because of the newspaper connections. Others thought it ought to be ‘diarists’; this one was rejected too, for all kinds of reasons. The winner was ‘journallers’, though the debate fizzled out for lack of agreement on the spelling— one -l or two?

It turned out the debate was inconclusive which is just as well because we’re all bloggers now and there are millions of us, and billions of words. Some media pundits describe us collectively as ‘citizen journalists’, which demonstrates the ultimate irony waiting upon the deliberations of the overly self-conscious diarist.

I’m sure that, somewhere, there is at least one authorative history of the movement and its development. No use looking to me for any accurate accounting—I slipped away from the community and trod my own path long, long ago.

Where this gets me I’m not sure. I’m here. I write an online journal, blog, column, call it what you will. I do it on an almost daily basis, in fact I’ve been complimented on my ‘dailyness’. I’ve collected a few compliments on my way, all gratefully received, but somehow this is the one that means most to me when I think about what I’m doing here. For me, a journal needs to be a record of the day, of its events, and its thoughts. When nothing of note has happened in either arena I do my best to provide an accounting of how and why that nothingness has come about.

I enjoy doing this, and have no plans to stop.

Most days are of course a sequence of disjointed events. Some of them may be directed at an organized plan or project. The majority of them are however no more than random happenstances, amusing, interesting, or strange. The first event of my day today could be filed under any or all of those categories.

It happened as I slouched out of the bedroom door into the kitchen first thing. There was Dolly, paying undue attention to her water bowl. She leaned over it, reached out a giant paw… splash! Then she pulled back to view the results of her efforts and repeated the action… splash!

“Oh, lawks, Dolly, what are you up to now?”

“… ” Splash!

I bent down to push her away, and saw the object of her interest. A small glitter-backed beetle had found its way into the bowl, become trapped, and its endless swimming round and round had attracted Dolly’s attention. And interest. She seemed to be taking great delight in batting the poor creature under the surface of the water and observing the effect. An anthropomorphist would doubtless fall into the trap of accusing her of attempting to drown the little thing but I know better than that.

Now, I don’t generally interfere with Dolly and her catches. If a mouse is foolish enough to walk in front of my clumsy feline giantess I reckon he deserves what he gets. I’m not a fan of rodents. Beetles, though, beetles are different. I have an affinity for beetles.

So I picked up the bowl, carried it to the door, and emptied it carefully into one of the pot plants outside, hoping the poor creature would swiftly recover and find its way to a safer haven.

Dolly, of course, was not amused. She huffed at me and stalked off for a good long sulk. Which was probably for the best since I’m not much of a conversationalist first thing, and I’m a failure as a cat keeper in that I don’t do cat breakfast before I’ve absorbed my first caffiene jolt. Nor, often as not, before I’ve finished the second.

When, eventually, I rattled the tuna dish she came out and gave it a decent seeing to, having first inspected the scrubbed and refilled water bowl, and not long after, she snuggled up next to me on the seat by the table where I was tapping out my writing for the day. I was forgiven, or the beetle was forgotten. It’d take an anthropomorphist of considerable discernment to tell the difference.

Not a bad start to a much cooler day, that, and it’s really all that remains vivid in my memory of the other events, including my visit to Sally our solicitor to deliver the transfer document, and my call into the Minehead Tesco supermarket for our daily provisioning.

So. Today I rescued a nice little beetle and grossly offended a horrid cat. Not a bad day, really.



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