10 years old

My little blog is 10 years old today. Blimey.

That’s a total of 728,396 words, over 3,502 posts. Plus 6,828 comments, and over 35k words sitting in unpublished drafts.

‘Wonga’ wasn’t really a popular word when this site started. Now it has connotations, and I sometimes worry new people must think it’s all about me spending money, or something. I even got a confused email about this once. In reality it was just a funny sounding word, and I liked it.

This site’s seen me leave home, start and shutter my own business, get into my long-term interests of Humanism and dancing, study for a part-time degree, have a few spectacular crushes and one terrible break-up, first-draft two novels, get seriously into photography to the extent that I was photographing weddings and holding my own photography exhibitions, move to London, transition from angry-atheist to what I’d previously have called an accommodationist, and start work at the BHA. Quite a bit.

I look back on the early posts with some pride, and the occasional cringe. I was probably too open. Definitely too emotional. I’m certainly never going to be able to run for public office. Not that I intend to, but, you know. The passive aggressive martyr posts of my early twenties are a particular highlight. As are the many opinions that obviously came straight from other people. And the angry-atheist stuff just isn’t me any more.

But there’s plenty I’m proud of, too. My post on an attempted phone scam got me onto BBC Breakfast, and hopefully helped some people. The Derren Brown post became a chatroom in a ‘little corner of the web’, with hundreds of comments. And I’ve made really good friends; the old Bloggers4Labour group was the first time I’d really socialised in the real-world with new people, and I doubt they realise quite how much of a difference this made to my life (thanks particularly to Mr Skuds for encouraging me). And I had a lot of discussions about religion, and free speech, and morality. I had fun.

But by far the most searches to the site still come from ‘strictly come dancing tickets’, due mainly to a seriously effusive post about my trip to see Strictly in 2006 (the second sentence of which is definitely going to come back to haunt me).

Obviously I don’t write as much as I used to. For a few years it was multiple posts per day (self-employment rocks), but then Twitter quickly became the medium of choice for quick thoughts, and at a certain point I stopped finding my own long-form opinions that original or useful. But I still like writing up interesting things I’ve done, both as a diary and for friends and family. And I still love writing. When I can’t dance, and all the humanist goals have been achieved, I’ll use one of my lifetimes to finish those novels.

Thank you to everyone who has read, or commented. I like to think I still pop up in a few people’s feedreaders. It’s very nice of you.