A good stout stick

Friday July 4, 2008

So then.  This is it for ‘journal of a writing man’.  After ten years I still think it was a pretty good title, but I confess that the combined weight of 3,408 posts is a bit of a burden.  The new journal–‘and no cheese‘–is sitting there all empty, drawing breath and getting ready to sing.

When I close this entry I shall close this volume of the journal.  Tomorrow I shall start filling the pages of the new one.  The old archives will, of course, stay here where they are, spinning away merrily and available for anyone to browse.  The notification will, for the time being, go out under the old name.  Sometime soon I shall start a new notification list and close the old one. Plenty of time.

It’s an apposite point that–‘plenty of time’. When you sit at your desk writing in a huge old volume the years feel heavy under your hands.  Give it the kind of frustrated thump that comes from a momentary block and clouds of dust fly out, full of fidgetted time.

I’d thought of aiming for a completely different style.  The style of this volume has changed over the years, let’s face it, starting out with literary ambition (an old friend told me “you are making a thing of real literary worth here” a few weeks after I’d started) and ending on a more human, every day note (“It’s the ordinary that makes up our lives, anyway” said another friend a couple of days back).  Now I’m closer to it, though, I am content just to meander over to the new volume and wander off into its lovely clean and empty pages, just for the fun of it, just to see where it takes me.

I don’t ask for a less well-trodden path.  Nor even for a new one.  I’m happy if the going is reasonably easy, there are wild flowers on either side now and again, and night walking is safe.  Given a good stout stick, of course.


28 responses to “A good stout stick

  1. I’ll certainly miss your old moniker, but no matter what the name of the new blog, it will still be the same interesting and wonderful John Bailey, and that’s what matters.

  2. Never given it a thought that the sheer amount of entries over the years could make sort of a burden. But actually that’s quite normal I suppose and a fresh shart is always a wonderful, exciting thing! So all the best for the new blog! And we all will be with you, no matter old or new! 🙂

  3. Just as Brigitte says, we will be with you. I hopped over to the new site and bookmarked it. If I ever get to Wales, I’ll give you fair warning of my intention to visit.

    Lots of good energy from the far side,
    ~ Sil

  4. This site is the first thing I check when I turn on my computer.I will just have to get used to the other site .Out with the old and in with the new!

  5. I’ve already got your new site bookmarked and I’ve been checking it occasionally in case you’ve been putting sneaky posts on! I’ll move it up nearer the top after today.

  6. I’ve already added you to my blogroll. Gone to the top of course, since it’s in alphabetical order!

  7. Edward McCain

    So long John, and thanks for all the fish.

  8. See you on the flip side!

  9. Shirley, in PA

    I also bookmarked your new site. I really enjoy starting my day with you.

  10. “John Bailey ended his first online journal, Old Grey Poet, the same day my sixth notary commission expired. I’m sure one could make some sort of connection there, given enough sufficient mental convolutions, but I’d rather just have coffee.”

  11. Must be off to bookmark the new page. 🙂

  12. right, well, the rest of you can be polite about it, but I don’t like change, so I’m going to stomp my little foot for a moment.


    However, I am intrigued to see what the new one will bring, and am particularly looking forward to seeing what new header you come up with, when you’re ready of course.

    So to sum up: stomp, and good luck! 😀

  13. Any time the old and familiar changes, even if only a little, it causes a twinge, and I’m twinging resoundingly right now. It’s been such a wonderful journey so far, John, sitting at your elbow, so rest assured I’ll still be here enjoying the days with you, and please, indeed, a few wild flowers along the way. Everybody needs that. So grab that good stout stick and let’s go!

  14. well then, a new path!

  15. Congratulations John on ten years of “Journal of a Writing Man”. I’ve been an avid fan (though a lax correspondent) for eight of those years. You are a feature of my daily life here in small city Canada. When I started reading your blogI lived in rural east Leicestershire so loved your Lincolnshire period. Will move on with you to the new blog – wouldn’t miss it and am keeping my fingers crossed for success with your house sale. I’m eager to hear how the new “Wales” adventure unfolds.

  16. Seems I must have “happened” across your blog at the very beginning, since I have been a visitor first thing everyday, for the past ten years.

    I have laughed, wondered, salivated, cried
    ( when our dear Harry Cat left us ),
    and been transported back to my homeland, everyday.
    I am forever grateful to you for sharing your talent of writing, and delivering a little pleasure into our daily lives.
    So John, onwards and upwards, and I will see you at the next level……how exciting.

  17. Well, I’m one of those who are flustered by change too, but congratulations to you on such a good long run, and here’s wishing you lots of those wild flowers in the new adventure. Of course, I’ll be right there along with you as usual.
    Wouldn’t miss it.

  18. I’ll be over shortly.

  19. Even though I don’t comment often, I start my day with you, so please take me with you to the new site. I brought you with me to my new “Digs” when I moved four years ago, and I don’t want to lose you.

  20. John. I have a suggestion for you for a WordPress Template. The one you have been using is Chris Pearson’s Cut-Line. He has a wonderful new design called ‘Thesis’ that I think you might like. The only drawback is that it costs around $87.00 but the bells and whistles are well worth the money. It runs smooth as butter! I just got it myself the other day for my new blog. Did I mention that with every page refresh the picture changes? Check it out at: http://diythemes.com/thesis/ or pop over to my site and take a look first. It’s crisp and clean looking. Perfect for a ‘Writing Man’. 😉

  21. I’ve been reading you for years and even though I rarely comment, I want you to know that my quick trip each day to your world is something I greatly look forward to.

    New beginnings are marvelous.

    Cheers John

  22. Well – I echo the group that starts each day with you. I turn on the computer, paddle out to make my tea and return to sit and see what’s going to happen today. (unless you don’t post till the afternoon. ha!)

    I too am a bit shy of change. I do get used to it, but I’ll give a little ‘stomp’ and ‘twinge’ along with a couple of other readers. 😉

    See ya on the other side, John. It’s been great.

  23. Have been sharing the journey with you for many years. Will be following as you fold up your tent and move onwards.

  24. Change is very good. So here we all go trailing you off on you new adventure, blog wise and Wales bound. Happy trails. Skob

  25. Like everyone above, I too am an Old Grey Poet-a-holic…and will never leave you as long as I have the power. We’ll follow you anywhere, John, Graham, and Dolly, to the ends of the earth if needs be.

  26. Ahhhh. Has it really been that long that I’ve been relying on my (nearly) daily John Bailey Fix? Never has there been a better, healthier addiction and I can only pray it will continue with the new volume of the Book of Bailey. Cheers, John, and forward!

  27. Oh, well I must make a last comment to the old name. I think change is good though. I’ve so enjoyed reading your words John. You are so special to me. (((big hugs))) I’ll shall be as regular in my visits to the new journal.

  28. John, it is I, formerly of the Writers list and still of Norfolk, happenchancing by your blog on the off-chance of picking up some news. I am doing a bit of avoidance of the job I really need to get on with, but happy to be parked in this reassuring lay-by off the information superhighway, with my imaginary flask and sandwiches and the window wound down. What’s this? I discover you folk are about to move once more! To Wales again, is it? I will probably wade back into the deeper waters of your blog to check, but I’m pretty sure that it is a return for you to what, in my childhood, we knew as The Land of Song. I love the place, especially the Gower. Also, I am looking forward to your fromage-free blog to see what you have in mind. Your influence on my writing has been just this — you have halped me, too, value the quotidien. These days, I eschew those (all too often pride-driven) lofty literary heights. So much writing is over-worked. We do better to say it simply. I’m always blessed by your observations, John; I still appreciate your little photos too, as I valued the illustrations in Little Grey Rabbit. Whilst others strive after the perfect word or a spectacular image, you deliver your quietly assured quality in the quotidien. All good wishes to you both, and the small furries.

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