An explanation for the quietness

Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting took the baton from me and listed his top 10 blogs (although unlike me, he concentrated just on Scottish political blogs). In the process, he accused this place of having “a scarcity of posts of late”.

Guilty as charged. A number of elements have conspired against me when it comes to updating this blog.

First of all, I set up a separate F1 blog — immediately robbing this place of around half its content! Then there was the fact that I was in my final year at university. I didn’t want to mess it up as the dissertation deadline passed, then essay deadlines, then the exams came along.

Even since the exams have finished, though, it hasn’t quite worked out. I always find the transition from busy (!) student to lazy summertime bum difficult for some reason that I can’t put my finger on. Blogging always takes a back seat for a week or two as I grab some rest and get those summer jobs dealt with. I have been — gasp — reading books for leisure (which I never get the time to do during term time). I have been listening to that pile of unlistened-to CDs that has built up since last summer. The pile is now down to six which is very exciting. I have also tidied my room from top to bottom, sorting through stuff to work out if I should chuck them out or not.

Then there is the small matter of finding a job. Or, more accurately, working out what my career is going to be. Now that university is over for good (and I doubt I will be darkening the doors of academia again), I can now — belatedly — devote more of my brain power towards researching careers. I have not got very far forward. Every time I seem to get closer to finding a path that I find acceptable, something comes along to put me off. For this and various other reasons, I still find myself running around Edinburgh from time to time.

Also, for the past seven or eight months I have routinely been taking daily walks round the park and suchlike. This was partly to get me out of the house and into the sun. It is also with one eye on my slowly-but-surely expanding belly. A good side-effect is that I spend the walks listening to podcasts that I would never otherwise manage to listen to. However, it’s possibly fair to assume that this time may otherwise have been spent blogging which is why things have been a lot quieter here over the past year or so.

Then, just when I was ready to get back into the swing of things, all of my websites were knocked out by that exploding transformer. Then a different issue put my websites out of action on Tuesday as well! All-in-all, I lost about three days of possible blogging activity.

And then I got some good news. I’ve got a degree, and it’s a 2:1. It was such a relief — I was genuinely worried that I was headed for a 2:2 which would have been seriously demoralising. I would really have kicked myself for a few things if that happened, but somehow I have escaped.

I still don’t know the marks for all of my courses yet, which is quite frustrating. Of the scores that I know, I was on course for a 2:2. And I am sure I muffed up one of the exams that I haven’t had back yet. I’d love to think it was my dissertation that pulled the whole lot up. Anyway, I shouldn’t worry about that now. What matters is that I’ll be doing the silly dressing up thing with the stupid hats and scroll things later this month. (Incidentally, does anyone know where the hell you get a white bow tie in this area? That is the rubbish I am being asked to wear for this thing.)

All of this is just a really long-winded way of saying: yes, I know, it’s quiet round here. Jeff said that the scarcity posts is made up for with thorough detail. That is really a side-effect of the fact that it takes me so bloody long to get round to writing anything. By the time I’ve reached this little screen my head has collected so many thoughts on the issue that I end up writing a bloomin’ essay. Even this post is probably about 2,000 words long now.

The thing is, just because I’m not posting much on this blog doesn’t mean I’m not posting much at all. There are four other major outlets of mine. Twitter is the main one where I post anything that will fit into the 140 character limit. Then there is Delicious where I post interesting links, often along with a pithy comment. Then there are the two other blogs, Scottish Roundup and vee8.

These all have a presence on the sidebar here, but I thought it would be good to have an area where all of these various updates are gathered on one page. I started with a lifestream (launched a few weeks ago, though I kept it quiet). But I wanted something a bit different so I spent a bit of time in Yahoo! Pipes to create what I have modestly called the “megafeed“. For the time being I’ve placed it just above the lifestream on… the lifestream page.

Neither of them is exactly perfect. The lifestream just contains the headlines of each item. It incorporates as well, but it’s pretty rough and ready really. Meanwhile, the megafeed just looks like a big list of stuff. There’s no way to tell whether it’s a Twitter update, a blog post or what. I tried to make it more obvious, but either there isn’t a way to do it in Yahoo! Pipes or I am too much of a n00b to work out how to do it. Just thought I’d mention it since I spent a bit of time on it. Think of it as a stalking opportunity.

Now that I have sorted that out, it is time to post not just in the four other places but here as well. Now I have drawn up a little list of posts I want to write. My calendar for this week looks fairly empty. I should probably be looking for a job but I will try to get some stuff up here too.