A couple of months ago, whilst looking at my Blogger Dashboard, I decided to add up all the posts to my various blogs (Blogger does it for individual blogs so it was just a matter of adding the totals together) and I noticed that I was approaching a notable anniversary. I remembered to check again this morning, just in time : this is my 2,000nth blog post. I realise that this is probably the modern equivalent of being skillful at billiards ("the sign of a misspent youth", my father always used to say), but everybody needs a purpose in life. Looking back at my first ever post (back in November 2006) it describes how blogging was a bit of a therapeutic experiment. The short post concludes with the lines : "Perhaps it will become an established part of my life. Perhaps not. Let's just see what happens". 2,000 posts on, I think it has now become an established part of my life.
The digital age is truly wonderful and I still find its' ability to broadcast my rather aimless thoughts to people around the world somewhat breathtaking. But I do worry about the transitory nature of the medium. My 2,000 posts might not be earth-shattering, nor are they likely to shine a Pepysian searchlight on the nature of early twenty-first century civilisation, but they mean something to me and I would like to think of any grandchild of mine browsing through my posts in 50 years time. The worry is, of course, that Blogger will be long gone and all those carefully crafted literary gems will have vanished down some cyber culvert heading for obscurity. Paper and print is expensive, inconvenient, and wasteful : but it has a good track record in the survival stakes. That is why I like to gather my posts together every so often and get them published. In doing this, I don't intend to sell copies to anyone else, nor become a publishing sensation. Unless there are people with more money than sense out there, I will only ever sell one copy : the one I buy and add to my bookshelf. There are a number of self-publishing services you can use for this. I have used Lulu for many years now and have always been delighted with their service. The 180 page volume of my 2010 News from Nowhere posts - called "The Circuitous Route" - was completed last night and cost nothing to prepare. I have bought the one copy I need and it cost me less than £30. It is not a Booker Prize contender, but it is a present for the grandchild that one day I hope to have.
Let me finish with a little update. My brother, Roger, has been in touch with some information about the picture - The Speed Boys - I featured the other day. His e-mail says : "The other "Speed Boy" is Colin Fox. He lived just across the road at the bottom of Southmere Drive. On the left, just out the photo, was a fruit and veg shop. Owner was an amateur photographer. The photo was originally displayed in his shop window. He took the photo and wrote the caption on the original. As I remember, Gladys (our mother) bought a print and I suspect copied his title". Rog, along with several other people, have given me advice about curling the ends of my moustache and I am pleased to say that I have now ordered a supply of moustache wax from the internet. I will provide an updated photograph once my ends begin to curl. Which seems like a suitable promise to finish with as I head towards my 3,000nth post.