In less than a day I’ll be flying back to Canada. I can’t wait! After a few days’ work I’ll be re-connecting with friends and family I haven’t seen for 20 years or more, many of whom I’ve lost touch with for so long, the person they see might be vastly different from the one they remember.
So before I set off for memory lane trips through Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal – and even Sherbrooke, Quebec - I’ve been trying to come up with ways to break it to old friends and family that among the many things I’ve done since the last time we spoke in 1993, I’ve become a blogger.
I know it’s not as if I’ve grown a second head or have one of those dumb-looking disks dangling from my earlobes, but still I hesitated before telling them. I was thinking: will they receive the news like the people did at a grill party last summer in Canada?
Last summer in Canada wife K and I are visiting an old friend of mine at his summer place on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. It’s so warm, we’ve been swimming naked at midnight and lounging away the afternoons with cool drinks and conversation. Invited one afternoon to a barbecue at his friends’ place across the road, we arrive and settle into get-to-know-ya chit-chat.
Sooner or later the subject comes around to online life and I reveal that I’ve been blogging the past couple of years and quite enjoy it. The lady of the house, a woman in her early 60s, looks across the table at me as if I’ve just let loose a loud, wet fart at her only son’s funeral. Her husband snorts and gapes at me as if my sulphur-laden winds have been aimed directly at him.
“I’ll never understand how or why anyone would want to put personal details of their lives out there on the Internet for all to see,” the woman says in a withering tone. “What’s the point of it?”
Because she’d been going on about golf and how she’s SO disappointed that a back injury has been forcing her to stay away from her beloved greens, I feel like shooting back at her that I’ve never on earth understood how anyone who considers herself a sentient being could find any point in paying a hundred bucks in a hundred-degree heat ticking off whacks at a white ball, but I hold off.
Instead, I try to assure them I’m aware that the secret to being a complete bore is to tell all, that nobody cares what I had for lunch unless it’s in a detailed restaurant review, that my most personal details will remain offline, and that the goal of blogging for me is to try to describe aspects of my life and things that happen to me in a way that other people can find relevant to their own.
They’re not in the least bit convinced, but I know it’s pointless to keep trying.
So back to telling people.
I know it’s irrational to be hesitant. Everybody is online, right? There are tens of millions of bloggers, nearly a half-billion baring all on Farcebook, and for the past couple of years already the cool kids have all shunted over to Twitter. But in a lot of minds there remains this aura of dilettantism around blogging, that it’s mere teenage scribbling, that sooner or later they’ll put down their toys to do something more serious.
The truth is, beyond making the entry easier by pointing out stuff on this blog I’ve been most happy with, I have no other way to go about telling them. None of it needs any justification, rationalisation or explanation. It is what it is.
So yeah, I’ve been blogging, but I’m still OK.
If you want to start anywhere here, you could look at a few travel posts which have received a lot of feedback.
Speaking of skating, this past winter it felt like I was living back in Montreal. It was so cold, the lake in central Hamburg froze well enough to support thousands of skaters, strollers, golfers…
I don’t blog about work, but if I do on rare occasions, I make sure to reveal no details.
I don’t blog about the two ladies in my life unless it’s really special, or pertains to an issue others can relate to, such as asking the question: are we raising our kids to be wimps?
I’ve been doing a lot of travel posts lately, because the places we’ve been going to the past year mean a lot to me. Turkey and Egpyt were two stops on a backpacking trip 30 years ago, and there was a lot to catch up on. I think between the two of them you’ll find 20 posts and dozens of photos.
Funny how the posts I’ve linked to so far aren’t the most popular in terms of the number of hits received. This one – a scam email re-write - is still the top one. The comment count is now at 112.
If that’s not enough to get you started, let me know.