Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Lately, it has been in the back of my mind that I started this blog sometime last March. I was vaguely aware that soon would come the banner day of ONE WHOLE YEAR of blogging. This morning, I was wandering about the internet, when I thought I might just check the March archive, and there it was, the very first post, on March 3rd 2009.
It is The First Birthday.
There should surely be:
And a salute from:
And a nice telegram from:
(Gor bless you, ma'am.)
Amazingly, the world seems to keep on turning calmly, quite without remarking on this momentous event. There is no popping of champagne corks or singing of hosannas. There is only a tiny huzzah in the echo chamber of my own mind.
I do feel oddly proud.
This last year has been a curious one, a stop start of secret projects that did not quite come to fruition, and endless pitches that did not quite hit the mark. After the small success of Backwards, I had naively assumed that Sarah and I would just suggest something else and everyone would fall on the floor and say Yes, Yes, Please. Instead, as the entire capitalist system crumbled about our ears, I entertained the horrid thought that no one might publish a book ever again, and certainly not ours. I started furtively to brush up on my animal husbandry, just in case I should need something to fall back on. In the end, after a lot of work and angst and false dawns, a deal did materialise, but the hunt for it left me bruised and thinner-skinned than I should be, after all this time. (Butch up, I kept telling myself, and keep buggering on.)
Curiously, the one constant has been this tiny endeavour. I am daily amazed by the generous readers who take the time to read and comment on my random thoughts. I am keenly appreciative of your patience as I roam off on tangents, indulge in rants, put up far too many dog pictures, and generally appear to have not much idea what I am doing. I am particularly grateful to the other bloggers who have been so astonishingly supportive. (Oh my God, this is turning into an Oscar speech, and I have not even won anything. I must Gather, as Miss Kate Winslet once told herself, in an entirely dissimilar situation.) I have said it before, and I shall say it again: the thing that delights and surprises me most about the blogosphere is the kindness. It is the thing I remember when people say the world is going to The Dogs.
I hate to single anyone out, when so many of you have been so lovely, but there are a few stalwarts who were there right at the beginning, when I had no readers, hardly knew what a blog was, and found myself setting out on a journey without so much as a map. They gave advice, encouragement, and an unstinting welcome to a strange new world. They are Miss Whistle, Cassandra Castle, Mrs Trefusis, Charlie Circus, and LibertyLondonGirl. I knew none of them before, but somehow miraculously encountered them in this novel universe, and they adopted me and kept me going. I send them my absolute thanks, because without them I would almost certainly would not be here at all.
And since I am doing a bit of an unBritish gush, I really must thank my dear old mum, who overcomes her slight alarm at new technology to read this every day. ('I did like your blog today,' she says, rolling her tongue around the unfamiliar neologism.) You have to bear in mind that she was brought up in a world where people sent telegrams, jiggled the telephone and said 'Speedwell 3478' when making calls, and still rode about in a pony and trap. So it is a bit of a miracle that she now surfs the web. ('I'm buffering,' she says, when I ask if she can see the latest dog picture.)
Although I am convinced that everyone else out there knows exactly what they are doing, and I am constantly amazed by the polished and professional nature of so many of the blogs I follow, one of the themes I notice in the blogosphere is that of evolution. People start off intending to do one thing, and find themselves doing quite another. They revamp and rejig and regroup. This blog started off as an adjunct to the book Sarah Vine and I published last year, and was intended to address any subject that might in any way concern The Women. (When we wrote Backwards, The Women were our chosen audience, although, to our delight, it turned out that quite a lot of The Men read it too, some more quizzically than others.) Because Sarah has two jobs, two children, one husband and one dog, she found she did not have the time or the appetite for blogging. At the end of her day, she needs to sit very still in a room. So it has turned, really, into my own personal blog, which was not quite what I meant it to be. I am still contemplating whether this is a Good or a Bad thing (sometimes it seems an act of rash arrogance).
However it evolves from here, I love doing it. And I absolutely love that you spend your precious time coming to read it. In the next year, I shall invoke the ghost of Sydney Carton (after whom my old dad once named a horse) and attempt to make it a far, far better thing.
Today's picture is, in honour of tradition, a shot of how I started the day, watching my two old ladies lounging languorously on the unmade bed. As you can see, the thin end of the wedge was firmly inserted some time ago: