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Dr John Hawkins

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I'm going to stop writing this blog

Posted on 2009/08/14 18:05:26 (August 2009).

[Tuesday 11th August]
Well as noted the other day, I've just gone over my 2000th entry, which corresponds to more than five years with a blog entry for every single day.

As I may have also mentioned recently, of late I've found this blog increasingly less rewarding to write. Part of the reason for that is that I've had very close to no feedback whatsoever: only one person has added a comment in the last month (thanks Sheri!), and that has been a pretty typical rate over the last year.

So I get the impression either no-one is reading it any more, or the few people that are reading it don't find it interesting at all.

As a result I think I'm probably going to stop writing it.

Comment 1

Hi John - I read all your blog entries and enjoy them. Living as I do in a small half-horse Greek backwater, it is interesting to read about your and Chie's life in London and your trips to Wales, the West Country and, recently, to the South of France. I for one would be sorry if you did stop writing your blog. :-(

Posted by Bryan at 2009/08/15 10:10:25.

Comment 2

Thanks Bryan - very kind of you! I've set up a Twitter feed to monitor comments now, will see how it goes...

Posted by John at 2009/08/15 12:37:50.

Comment 3

Hi John,

Me also .. I would really really miss your blog .....
Hidden away as I am in my rural backwater ..... your daily blog is my contact with the 'real world' out there .. always informative and fascinating insights ..particularly about my favourite subject And of course it is always good to know what you are up to !

Posted by RevNick at 2009/08/15 18:50:37.

Comment 4

Well you see I had to connect from AQABA to write this post... I do not think that you should stop, I guess that writing a blog is something that is done also for your own pleasure, not just to get feedback from the readers. What should I say? I hardly get any comments on my posts, but still.. :P I hope you continue, maybe not on the everyday post rate, but it's always great to see what you are up to...

Posted by Lox at 2009/08/16 10:02:17.

Comment 5

You know that your mother reads them! I try to refrain from commenting though.

Posted by John's Mum at 2009/08/17 09:29:10.

Comment 6

Well I've been reading everything you've written but that's not really the point, is it?

The point is that the daily hum drum of live isn't interesting and it is quite difficult to make it so. How many times can you write about a rather nice salad, after all? How can I comment on that? Not without either being ridiculous or offensive.

It's the problem with comfort. When everything is comfortable, then life is just nice. Just nice. There is nothing big going on. The odd family event is fun but there isn't anything huge happening. So don't blog about that. Don't blog about the hum drum.

Blog about some other passion. If it is comments you want then you need to spur response by starting a topic or theme of discussion. I don't think that's really the problem. You're not doing anything new, not derailing yourself to do new things so there is nothing new to talk about.

You don't blog, I hear you cry! I do. I write when big things come up and on Chom Isis - my long term game (which is nearly ready to play). I blog when life takes a turn. It's not very often because my life hasn't taken any big turns recently. At the moment, it's doing a U-ey. You might not be able to see all my blog posts because some are on the private section of the site. You're welcome to an account. I also blog weekly about Free RPGs. I review new ones, start competitions and gee-up those who are creating something for nothing. They are passions and I find it easy to write about and as I don't blog daily, I can leave out the hum drum. If I get bored, I'll move on. It's not likely to happen because I've never let it get that far.

Do write it, don't write it but do either for the right reason. Do it because you want a record of your life. MDS is too old, ugly and knackered to draw people in, so it's only going to be the odd nutter across the net and your friends. Do something big. Create a new community (like lack-of). Resign old blogging to the archive and move on with something, bigger, brighter and more interesting to you.

[I use Google Reader (paragraph breaks don't work on the RSS btw)]

Posted by Rob Lang at 2009/08/17 10:10:53.

Comment 7

I don't know you, but I have enjoyed reading your enjoy reading your blog every week for years and find it very interesting. I don't leave comments because a lot of the time I don't feel one is neccessary/beneficial

Posted by Squirly at 2009/08/17 11:54:04.

Comment 8

Hi John - I too enjoy reading your blog. Sometimes it's a quick scan and other times we all sit down together and go through your photos.

I have never commented as I am not part of the Radstock group, the reason the site was originally set up.

As a family that's spread around the country we don't pick up the phone all that much. That's why I like reading what you've been up to.

I also like reading about Lox and Sheri, and enjoy reading the board. What happened to Mad Mumsie - why doesn't she post anymore?

I hope you continue your blog in one way or another.

Posted by Sis in law at 2009/08/17 13:30:45.

Comment 9

I have to agree with most of the replies here, John. I too have been following your blog for at least 4 years, and although I don't know you personally (which is also why I only occasionally comment), I'd like to think that if my wife and I ever come to London, we'd be able to hook up with you and Chie for a pint or a curry. I almost got to met up with Lox in Thessaloniki last year, but that didn't work out, sadly. Please keep the blog going...

Posted by Bryan at 2009/08/17 14:22:07.

Comment 10

Hi John,
I would be very sorry if your blog finished.
I have been 'looking in' every week for several years after finding your excellent pictures of the Isle of Eigg. (A place I really want to visit some day!)

Your blog and archive is just so good on so many different levels;
Travel, pubs, whisky, good food, technology, family…
Also looking at yours (and Chie’s) pictures, I think it’s the warmth and well… love (am I allowed to say that? :-) that makes them so special.

I guess one could say there is something rather voyeuristic about strangers looking in on other peoples lives, which is possibly why you may not have had all the feedback you deserve.
Many may be too shy to comment, feeling it's intrusive or something, but your willingness to document your life on line is admirable.
There are not many people who have the commitment and dedication to keep it going through thick and thin over years and it is a credit to you John.

All I can say is that I love reading your blog, and seeing what you’re up to, and if you welcome comments from one and all, I would be happy to throw my twopen’oth in from time to time (Laphroaig quarter cask is my favorite whisky ;-)
Real people’s lives and opinions are so much more interesting than some of the pap that’s out there!
Regards, Martin, Nottingham UK

Posted by Martin at 2009/08/18 01:31:52.

Comment 11

Guilty as charged, Mi Lud!! :-D

I think the comments so far here have been spot-on. And (for example) Rob's got that dangerous energy I often wish I had, to start something new and dynamic, to motivate others. Recently my own daily existence is like a lot of other people's in that I just seem to work and bring up my kids. Motivating myself can be hard, never mind geeing-up others! Right now I write a lot and that's hard to post anything about because it's just bashing keys! But I can try! (Should try even).

I haven't posted to my own blog recently, but I will if it helps MDS, mainly because I've been using Blogger for the occasional article and a couple of photo-sharing sites (Flickr, Ipernity) for distant family to check my own slow progress! (I can offer links) Oh and of course Twitter too now!

What mustn't be forgotten, I think, is that MDS is an intensely personal thing for the Radstock crowd and Tom. I've been lucky enough to be included in recent years. And the main driving force here has been you John. It's your baby.

Lox's very valid notion makes the Maison more open and democratic (probably the wrong word, but you get the idea) and is certainly one way for it to go. However I think what shouldn't be forgotten is all the positive feedback which precedes my own - people do enjoy the Maison and your posts, even if they don't comment as often as you'd like, so perhaps Lox's vision might reinvigourate it?

If your own energy is being directed elsewhere, then fair enough, that happens to us all. But the Maison is unique.

Posted by Nigel at 2009/08/18 08:56:05.

Comment 12

I do also read and enjoy this blog quite often when I get the chance. Also I agree with Rob, I think there is little point in having to put an entry on every day because some of them end up being hum-drum, and as Rob says, you can't write a comment without saying something silly or offensive. Also, on interesting posts, it is often hard to think of something to respond with which isn't the awfully bland 'Oh that looks cool', or 'that must have been interesting'. But this page and its blogs have often been my anti boredom stalwart. Keep it up John (when there's something to report!!). You're my best!!

Posted by Simon W at 2009/08/19 16:57:17.

Comment 13

Don't worry, folks. John's simply going though an early "middle age crisis". John: time to buy a Porshe!

Posted by Sheri at 2009/08/20 07:27:42.

Comment 14

I commented quite recently on your hiccup with Chie's oyster card and agreed with you about the service in UK.. I'll be very disappotned if you discontinue writing this blog.. It was partly down to reading them that re-kindled my love for Japan and consequential moving out here and my marriage to my wife Miyuki..
Jerry Groome, Hyogo ken, Japan

Posted by Jerry at 2009/08/21 03:15:21.

Comment 15


Posted by Jerry at 2009/08/21 03:22:56.

Comment 16

Thanks all for your comments!

Well I think for the time being I'm just going to write a short entry now and again - probably just for days when I've taken some pictures, which usually more or less correspond to days when I've actually done something!

Posted by John at 2009/08/24 22:11:46.

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