The serendipity of it all

After setting aside lunchtime to write a blog post, I’ve spent the last half an hour doing anything and everything except write a blog post. This is pretty typical behaviour. I’m amazed the distraction only went on for half an hour to be honest – in recent months my hands haven’t filled the keyboard with thoughts much before 1am.

Urgh. Where to start?

Life just seems to be such a trudge at the moment. Each day starts with vague thoughts of “what crap’s going to happen today?”. I’ve started writing down even the most mundane tasks in my old bullet journal as part of the “working day” – purely because ticking something off feels like I’ve achieved something. Achieved anything, really.

I’ve stepped sideways from much of the “social internet” in recent months. I still look in now and again – but quickly grow tired of the typically toxic advertorial highlight reel that many post. Yes, I get it – you like eating out – do you really think that’s what people want to know about though? Or is it just me that finds a continual torrent of “look where we are”, “look what we bought”, or “look how fantastic our perfect life is” gets really, really tiring.

I often remind myself that the internet is not everybody. I’m also fully aware of my paradoxical relationship with it – given I am posting these forgettable thoughts into the torrents of idiocy.

It comes back to the Norah Ephron quote, doesn’t it – this blogging escapade – that a blog post doesn’t have to say anything. Hello. I’m here. And by the way. On the other hand. Never the less. Did you see?

She called blogging an exhale. I’ve always liked that thought. An exhale that somebody, somewhere might take notice of. Before they know it they’re reading your most recent few posts, reaching out, and a friendship happens. Then months on you know more about each other than most friends or family – and yet you’ve never met.

I think perhaps that’s what I like most about the internet – about blogging – is the serendipity of it all. You never know when you fire up the computer what words you might share, what words you might read, who you might cross paths with, or how important they might become in your life.


If you can’t beat them

After a year wandering through the internet wilderness, I’ve returned to WordPress, paid for an account, sat down heavily in the corner, and let out a huge sigh.

I’m done trying.

I’m settling for the easiest way out, and the most trustworthy place to just write, post, and not have to think about anything else.

Along the way I’ve tried out both Medium and Substack. Medium is full of people mansplaining how to make money on Medium (a story that gets old really quickly), and Substack is full of journalists hoping to monetise. I had hoped it might be more.

As you may have read yesterday, Tumblr deleted my account. I’m not sad about losing content – more the friendships and connections I have no way of recovering. I sent out a few private messages on Facebook this morning, but they were a small part of a once huge community.


I’ve paid for WordPress – for the next year at least. I’ve transferred my domain name back. They’re busy wiring up certificates and whatever else while I’m writing this – it could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. If you’re reading this, it’s already happened.

In other news, I had something of a nothing day today. I spent the morning doing chores before everybody else got up, the afternoon helping my youngest daughter find her bedroom floor, then cooked dinner, washed up after dinner, and am now up to my eyeballs in this blog re-engineering idiocy.

There’s a bottle of prosecco in the fridge with my name on it, but it’s already too late to open it. Fizzy wine should be accompanied by friends, stories, and laughter.

Right. I’m going to sign off for the night. If you receive this in an email, you’re already subscribed – not need to worry (not that you were worrying, but still…)

I’ll shut up now. I’m tired.


Taking a sanity break

I planned to write a blog post yesterday. I don’t know why I plan anything any more – suffice to say, the blog post didn’t happen.

I’m trying to juggle too many things at the moment. I think perhaps the word to take notice of is “trying”. I shouldn’t try to do as much. Invariably I end up chasing my own tail in pursuit of other people’s expectations – which nobody will ever thank you for.

It’s interesting how we judge ourselves based on the presumed expectations of others, isn’t it.

I worked from a café this morning – the one where my eldest daughter worked, and where my middle daughter now works. She threw in her job at the pub – fed up with being taken advantage of by everybody around her, and walked straight into the new job.

It took two attempts to leave for the café. The first attempt took three times longer than I thought, on account of the growing OCD within me that cannot leave the house in a ramshackle state. Then after walking perhaps 100 yards towards the cafe, I realised I had forgotten my wallet. Yes, my phone can do payments – but it’s sod’s law that the day I don’t have my wallet, my phone will stop cooperating. I’m pretty sure they’re designed that way.

I got there in the end.

You don’t realise how loud the ambient noise is in a café until you try to join a conference call. I need to get some noise cancelling headphones. Also – best not turn your laptop around to show the café to everyone on the call – everybody in the café then looks at the faces peering from your laptop, wondering what the hell you’re doing. You don’t need to know why I know that – it’s not important.

Given the effort required in transporting myself to somewhere else for a few hours, I’m not entirely sure it’s worth it unless meeting up with somebody. All I really achieved was adding more hassle to an already chaotic day.


The afternoon has been… non-stop. I’m stopping for a few minutes to empty these words into the keyboard to maintain some sort of sanity really. Everything seems to be non-stop at the moment, and yet I know it’s really not. A lot of the non-stop stuff is of my own doing. My own idiocy. My own attempts to be everybody, do everything, and be everywhere. I’m not good at it.

I need to slow down, and reach out to a few friends now and again.

I just need to get these bits and pieces done first though…


Brave New World

It turns out I can sit on my hands for roughly 48 hours. That’s how long it took the thought of building a better blogging castle to ferment, and grow into a crusade of sorts. Probably more escapade than crusade, but crusade sounds more lofty, noble, and suitably eccentric.

This isn’t my first rodeo. And that’s not my first questionable idiom either.

While the rest of the world were watching forgettable television shows earlier I was racing through old blog posts, choosing stock images to brighten them up. I’m pretty sure a robot with little or no artificial intelligence could make better choices, but there’s something about starting over.

One of my co-workers maintains that the building, installing, and configuring is the fun bit – once a “thing” is built, interest in it falls away. I tend to agree with him. You see it all the time among the productivity lunatic brigade – re-arranging their cheese between Notion, Obsidian, Remnote and Logseq while writing breathlessly and endlessly about the latest, greatest way to build a “second brain”.

My “second brain” lives in a paper bullet-journal that lives on my desk throughout the day. I often forget to write things in it, which defeats it’s purpose – but it remembers the things I do write down – and that helps more than me forgetting.

It seems each person finds their own way to use a Bullet Journal. If you drink the Ryder Carroll kool-aid your entire life might be filled with neat lists of things to do, appointments, meetings, tasks, and so on. I just record what I’m hoping to do at the beginning of each day, and what actually happened at the end of the day – primarily so I can falsify my timesheets somewhat accurately.

Anyway. Enough navel gazing.

Welcome to the new blog. Or new, old blog. As I wrote – I’ve been here before. I’ll be here again. For now, this will do.

p.s. if you’ve not subscribed yet, I really think you should. You’ll like it. Promise.


Sitting on my hands

Over the last few years I’ve walked away from one blogging platform after another – leaving WordPress, Medium, Tumblr, and Blogger along the way.

Somehow or other I ended up at Substack, which did less to annoy me than any of the other platforms. I’m still not happy though. There is a huge temptation to self-host.

Don’t get me wrong – Substack are doing a lot of things right – it’s quite amusing to find yourself rubbing virtual shoulders with Chuck Palahniuk and Margaret Atwood – but Substack seem to be busy building a walled garden in exactly the same way that every other platform had done over the years. It annoys the hell out of me.

Yes, I could host a blog myself, on my own domain name. But it would cost money, and I would have to look after it. Perhaps putting up with a few annoyances is worth it in order to maintain the laziness of being able to post when I like without maintaining anything. The email notifications are nice too.

I don’t know. I really don’t know.

I need to sit on my hands for a while.

One thing is certain – my road out of Twitter is now assured – I didn’t realise they had removed their misinformation rules. Anybody in a position of influence can spout any harmful lies they want now with no recourse. While some will of course take up literary arms to fight the onslaught of idiocy, a greater number will walk away. I’m walking away.

In the moments I might have perused Twitter in the past I have been exploring Mastodon – but even that is not not immune from growing pains. A growing number of people are mandating what people should think, say, and do – instructing rather than shining lights. It’s not a huge leap from there to the toxic cancel culture caused by various activists that has ruined many other social platforms.

Maybe it makes sense to return to independent blogs, rather than any kind of platform. Twenty years ago we posted our words, shared links to other writers in the form of “blogrolls”, and invited passers by to leave a few words in guestbooks. No platforms sold added abilities, or paywalled functionality available only to inhabitants.

Who knows.

Maybe I’ll get a beret for Christmas, and start some sort of revolutionary campaign. The internet equivalent of a nutter on the street corner handing out insanity filled manifestos.



A very short post this Friday afternoon that will mean very little to very few. My blog posts originate from an account at Substack, and are cross-posted automagically into Tumblr and WordPress by the cloud magicians at Zapier. Thus far the account name at Substack has been “jonathanwrotethis”, and it has always annoyed me a bit, because it’s not the same as my Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook account names.

No more!

I changed the substack domain name to match the others, before some other person wanders along with the same name. I know it isn’t really that important, but it satisfies the OCD scratch that was getting increasingly itchy.


It’s Friday afternoon, and work is winding down for the week. I’m looking forward to a weekend visiting friends, eating pizza, and drinking cider. I’m easily pleased.

Oh – I almost forgot – I had a dream about being haunted last night. And the night before that had a dream about a great white chasing me in a small boat with an outboard motor. I wonder what it all means?

Just before shutting up for the day, I want to thank all those that read my words. I know I don’t always write the most exciting words, but they’re my words, they’re (usually) the truth, and hopefully they don’t do any harm.

I’m not sure what I might do if I wasn’t allowed to have this little corner of the internet to broadcast nonsense from. Probably start talking to plants or something.


A few words

It’s been a few days since I last polluted the internet with any thoughts. I think the biggest surprise to me is that I haven’t really missed writing. I thought I would.

Life continues to be quiet.

Saying that, we have been invited out to visit neighbours for dinner this evening – a reunion of sorts of school parents – our children progressed through junior school together. It’s going to be fun.

While sitting out on the green with neighbours a few of weeks ago – an excuse we all used to use to grab a drink with each other – the conversation turned to what we had all been doing over the past year or so. Guilty admission followed guilty admission. Nobody had really done anything. Nothing has become the new normal.

I kept quiet about descending into my own Abed Nadir world of pretend aeroplanes (Community reference – we’ve been binge-watching it at home recently).

Actually – while mentioning Community – perhaps you can clear this up for me. In the middle of the LEGO Movie, Emmet names a number of cats that cross his path. The final cat has a deep voice, and is introduced as “Jeff”. I’m pretty sure it’s Joel McHale, “Jeff Winger” from Community. I wonder if anybody has ever jumped down the internet rabbit hole to find that one out?

Anyway. We need to go soon, so I should stop writing. Maybe I’ll just pause here, and write more when I get home…

(and entire evening passes)

It’s now 11am on Sunday morning. I’ve already cut the lawn.

Last night was fun. It’s easy to become stuck in an insular world of work, chores, errands and so on – before you know it, you haven’t seen friends for months or even years.

The evening whistled by. We laughed, told stories, reminisced about the past, and looked forward to the future together. Our children are all growing up. While we are of course apprehensive for them, we’re also adjusting to a new normal of our own – our lives are changing too.

We got home just before our daughters, who returned from the pub where Miss 18 had worked until closing time.

In other news, I’ve begun stripping away the results of recent tinkering – reducing the blog to it’s core at WordPress. Given my sphere of work there is always going to be a temptation to delve into the machinery of the internet, and lose sight of the reason I am here in the first place. While I might not agree with walled gardens, platforms, and “the man”, there are benefits to “just writing”, and taking advantage of platforms I don’t have to look after.


The remains of Sunday are stretched out ahead of me. Perhaps a cup of coffee might be a good first step.



Somebody take the keyboard away from me – I obviously cannot be trusted. While taking a break from research and development on a work project this afternoon I lifted my personal blog in the air, threw it into what can only be described as a cloud-powered infinite improbability drive, and have rather miraculously ended up with a new blog.

Perhaps the term “miraculously” is a little disingenuous. This afternoon’s escapade was made possible only by standing on the shoulders of far more industrious developers that did exactly what developers tend to do – when faced with building something, they don’t just build something – they build the thing that builds the something.

Of course if you’re reading this at WordPress or Tumblr, you’re only seeing a pale imitation of the results of my idiocy. Your words were brought to you by a daemon in the cloud called “Zapier” that watches what I’m up to all day.


The work day has just finished (hence having time to pollute the internet with these words), and my cooking, washing up, and tidying up services are probably required elsewhere in the house.

I promise to return to less tinker-filled programming tomorrow.



Today was the first of my “staycation”. Nine days away from work. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to fill those days with, given that we can’t really afford to go anywhere or do anything, but I’m sure the universe will figure out something that needs doing each day, and results in returning to work without really feeling like I’ve had a break.

It’s funny how that happens.

Everything feels so detached at the moment. I find myself rarely setting foot in Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. “Social” feels like such a lie. I suppose if I’m honest, I’m really not a very “social” animal at all. I used to think I was. I would share thoughts about things as they occurred to me. Share photos. Words. These days I find myself hesitating over anything and everything.

Having an opinion has become poisonous. Any firmly held view can be demonised by a vocal minority, and suddenly you’re fire fighting perceived judgements that haven’t happened.

I can’t help feeling it’s easier to keep quiet than volunteer much of anything to anybody any more.

I sometimes wonder if I’m the only person that has realised the truth behind the various influencers and mouthpieces that dominate online discourse – that their deliberately mansplained lectures are designed more to cause reaction than to evoke empathy, or understanding.

Perhaps I should try harder to remember that the vocal self-proclaimed majority of the social internet are not only a small minority of the largely silent online whole, but an almost immeasurably small fraction of the wider world.