05 May, 2006

Halfway house

This blog is now precisely six months old. The temptation to look back is irresistible, but also instructive.

I can see how this site has changed and evolved far away from my initial plan of campaign, and how the tone and personality has similarly shifted - in both counts, perhaps not for the better. In retrospect the blog started out with a lightness of touch and healthy cynicism that was born of difficult times and a stoical outlook. Updates ranged across a purposefully broad canvas. A lot of them didn't include mentions of myself or my own life at all. I placed a strong emphasis on links to other places and other people's work. I even used entries to plug particular books, poems and pieces of music.

All that now seems desperately long ago. Since I moved to London these entries have become fiercely personal and relentlessly introspective. Many of them, I see now, are also despairingly gloomy. I have always tried to write about aspects of life that are occupying my thoughts, but previously these would lead into discussions about other people, places, ideas and objects. Now they invariably lead back to my own predicament, and this must make for somewhat repetitive and lumpen reading.

It's difficult to know what to do about this. If I don't feel like using this space to record thoughts on, say, life's rich pageant or the wonders of the arts, why should I force myself to do otherwise and end up producing something that is blatantly contrived and transparently false?

Yet why am I even writing this blog if not to be read? Of those who do look in from time to time, I can probably predict which kind of entry you prefer to peruse, and also how you undoubtedly react when you stumble upon another update beginning "I did" or "I wonder" or, worse of all, "I hate". Alternatively I'm not asking for this stuff to be read (no, only desperately wishing) or, heavens above, commented upon. It's not a syndicated column, it's not paying the bills, it's not my day job, not even my main hobby.

What it is, I can state quite categorically, is 26 weeks worth of history captured (hopefully) for all time, one that began with a shameless reference to an old Doctor Who adventure and which is passing its half year birthday on the night before the transmission of another of the titular time-traveller's present ones. Much has happened. I've changed jobs and homes, I've discovered I miss many more things than I thought, I've realised I take just as many things for granted, and I'm dying to see a decent spot of rain.

Time is about progress, and progress is by extension a positive quality. If moving forwards were only about notching up more grey hairs, I'd be tempted to pack it in now. Instead there's the compulsion to keep going, if only to find out where you're going to end up. Perhaps, come 5th November, I might have a clue. You never know, I might have already got there.


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