Somewhere along the way last weekend, the tenth birthday of this blog passed by unnoticed. Oops.
I’ve actually been blogging for almost 12 years – that’s a quarter of my life – but this site launched on 6th October 2008.
Looking back at my initial posts, it was clearly quite an eventful month. In addition to our first holiday following Isaac’s birth and his naming ceremony, this was also the month when Sachs-gate cost Russell Brand his job at the BBC, when Big Brother star Jade Goody revealed she had cervical cancer and when Sarah Palin was, well, being Sarah Palin. Those were the days, eh?
So what better way to celebrate a decade of blogging than to look back at some of my favourite posts from my archive? In no particular order …
1. The one about the brother I never grew up with
What might have been. I had a brother who died before I even had the chance to form memories of him. We never talk about him but I occasionally wonder about the hole in my life that he would have occupied.
2. The one about social media people
A half-funny/half-serious post outlining some of the many weird and wonderful types of people you meet on social media. If you spot any of these, run a mile and make liberal use of the ‘block’ function.
3. The one about accepting my own mediocrity
It’s one of the hardest things to accept that maybe – just maybe – you’re not destined to be one of the superstars of the blogging world. Equally difficult is accepting that, as disappointing as that may be, it’s okay to be mediocre.
4. The one about writing to my former self
I remember being filled with anxiety about becoming a dad. If I’d been able to write to myself from the future with a few reassuring words, this is what I’d have said.
5. The one about the under-qualified politician
Eight years before Donald Trump, there was Sarah Palin. The Alaskan governor. The Republican candidate for Vice-President. The one who believed that Russian planes flying over her state counted as foreign policy experience. We laughed at her ineptitude then. But we had no idea what was to come.
6. The one about parents’ evenings
For us, it is parents’ evening already this week. Over the years, we have learned to translate the subtle things that teachers say into what they really mean. This is a handy guide for anyone about to do their first one.
7. The one about the English language
A look at some of the new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary in March 2011, including FYI, OMG and wassup. (Yes, really.)
8. The one about Brexit
I wrote this piece the morning after the Brexit vote, vocalising my desire for unity and hope. 2½ years on, sadly the divisions remain as deep as ever. I’m still searching for unity and hope. And Nigel Farage is still an idiot.
9. The one about the Pixar film
As much as I loved Incredibles 2, it was the short film Bao that preceded it that really left its mark on me. It’s a touching little story that talked right to the core of my relationship with my mother.
10. The one about being a blogger
Sometimes I wonder whether I really am a blogger in the modern sense of the word. Or am I just a (wannabe) writer who happens to have a blog?
So that’s a representative sample of the nearly 1,300 posts I have published on this blog over the past ten years. Some are better written than others. Some have been more popular than others. But it’s a fair cross-section of my experiences and thoughts stretching back a full decade. Here’s to the next ten years.