Only Connect

There are several reasons why I love blogging.

1. Self-expression. I can express myself with words and with photographs. Photography delivers a double hit of satisfaction as it can be a thing of beauty in itself as well as a way of recording something lovely that you have made.

2. Instant gratification. Obviously you have to spend time writing a post, taking photos, finding links, sometimes doing a little research but once you have finished you hit publish and there it is, out there waiting to be read, or ignored, but there for you to admire even if no one else does.

3. Being in charge. I love this. I like being able to choose how my blog looks, what I write about and how often I post. Who wants to be a clone of another blog? The Coffee Lady has written an excellent post about blogging your own way here (and do read the comments too).

4. it is a record of my life. I love looking back at old posts and seeing what I was up to, what was flowering in the garden, what the children were saying or what I was cooking.

The fifth reason why I love blogging is the best reason.

5. Making connections.When I began blogging I knew no one who was interested in the same things as I was, no one who crafted, read the books I read, or cooked from scratch. The other mums at the school gates would look at me in astonishment when I mentioned any of these deviant activities. When I started blogging I realised I was not a freak after all, that there were women out there with whom I could connect.

 I never imagined when I began this blog that I would actually meet some of those marvellous, creative and funny women, nor that they would become real friends (the 'sock group ladies' as Curvywitch calls us). But I have and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Then there are those bloggers who I haven't met but who feel like friends just the same because of the connection with their blogs. Bloggers like Annie, Lynn,  Megan, Lucille and Mrs Bean (who likes the same books as me) and many more.

And then there all those readers who don't have blogs but who regularly comment or email me, you feel like friends too. Toffeeapple, Pati, Kari, Faye, Bonnie in PA and Barb in GA and many more I appreciate your comments enormously.

Comments
I believe that a blogger who doesn't allow comments is missing the point. It is after all how we make those connections and although people may read your blog if you don't allow them to respond how will you connect?
 Having said that I no longer allow anonymous comments. I am not particularly happy about having to make this decision but it seems to be the only way of stopping the unmanageable amount of spam that was getting through even on my most recent posts. The spam ranged from infuriating nonsensical garbage to graphic descriptions of sex toys. I had had enough so I made the decision to only allow comments from people with an internet identity.

I had a couple of emails from readers about my decision. Both readers were under the impression that they would no longer be able to comment. As I explained in my replies this is not the case. You do not have to have a blog in order to comment. If  being able to comment really matters to you then you will have to set up a google account or an OpenID but it is free and easy. Many, many regular commenters have done it and I think it is preferable to having word verification (hateful for commenters) or moderation (I'd still have to read the spam).

Remember that you are more than welcome to email me instead. I always respond to emails, even unpleasant ones.

Favourite Blogs
On my link bar under my blog title there is a page with a list of some of my favourite blogs. I have recently given it a shake up and added some new ones so do take a look and maybe visit some new places and make those connections.

The photos today are entirely random and for decorative purposes only.


Still loving the yellow forsythia against the Bristol blue.


Winter bites back.


Nutella breakfast


Quince buds!






Comments

  1. I've seen that look of astonishment on neighbors (and sadly, family members) faces all too often. I'm very much the freak here, as well. But you feel like a kindred spirit, and I'm so pleased to have "met" you!

    Barb_in_GA

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  2. Yes- the joy of connecting with new friends who share common interests is fabulous.
    I agree too about being 'in charge' and keeping a record of my life. So much more fun than just a diary.My photography skills have certainly improved in the last 5 years. But I am still in awe of your fabulous pictures.
    And also I have learned so much.

    Thank you for your lovely blog- blessings xxx

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  3. I agree with pretty much all of that Sue. So glad you haven't put in comment moderation as it drives me crazy. There are some blogs on your list I don't know so will have a look later. Making new friends is great when they are like minded bloggers - see you in the summer! x

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  4. Gorgeous pictures Sue and I whole heartedly agree with all you have written. Blogging is a truly wonderful way to reach out, connect and meet lovely like minded folks.

    Forsythia....I am not jealous at all - well maybe just a little bit. I think mine is at least a good few weeks off flowering.

    Nina x

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  5. These are great reasons for loving blogging. Used well, I really think blogging enhances and enriches and widens ones horizons. I have used yours and its (should there be an apostrophe here?) contents many a time as a point of reference, and yet you remain comfortably not up your own arse. Which is nice.
    Ta for popping me in your fave blogs. I feel as if I've arrived. My sister in law would tell me I am rubbing shoulders with blog royalty. She would be right.

    lol.



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    1. Glad not to be up my own arse. Not sure about being blog royalty though!

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    2. Just realised that might read like disagreement with the first bit. Eek!! Blog royalty, that's the bit I'm agreeing with! Sorry Ma'am ;)

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  6. So, so glad that you don't have word verification thingy: drives me mad and often puts me off commenting on other blogs, though comments these days few and far between (sort of 2/5 diet in internet terms, restraining myself).

    I am currently in throes of love/hate relationship with my blog, especially now as I am trying to restore balance elsewhere, so it's timely to be reminded of the positives -especially the connections that one makes, whether they are just exchanges of information and inspiration or fully-fledged friendships.

    Nutella on toast in this house too - ten minutes ago for cold children just back from school.

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  7. Thank you for your interesting thoughts on blogging. People have always kept diaries as a way of recording what they did, but blogging, has the big advantage as you rightly say of enabling us to instantly connect with others, even if they are thousands of miles away. Amazing!

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  8. I love reading your blog, and am trying to get into the habit of updating mine, without it becoming all consuming! But I think it is a good way to record my daily life, and an opportunity to share the photos I take, and the cards I make and crochet I do, and hopefully connect with other like minded people. x

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  9. I do enjoy your blog and I like the way we (bloggers and readers) form our small communities around kindred spirits. Your blog is one of a small number of blogs I check daily to see if there's anything new and I also have another group I check at the weekend. I enjoy your recipes, your reading posts, and I sometimes go back and look at your crochet posts for colour inspiration. thanks for all your work and sharing.

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    1. One day Sally there may even be more crochet posts but don't hold your breath! Thank you for reading and taking the trouble comment.

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  10. Hi Sue, both this and The coffee lady's posts are very interesting indeed (and what a lovely quilt she's making, isn't she clever?).
    The reason why I created a google account was to be able to comment on some of my favourite blogs. I was coming to a point that I wasn't able to do that in many of them and it is one of the best things about blogland. Whilst I don't have a blog, it is interesting to participate in the community and whilst I don't comment in all the blogs I read, some I find too interesting not to. Google accounts are very easy to create and to be honest much less hassle for me to do it (in a few minutes) than for you to spend ages deleting all the spam. So it was an easy option and benefits everyone!
    Keep up with this great blog, it's been a pleasure to "meet" you in blogland!!
    Pati x

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    1. Pati it is so good to hear that you as a non-blogger still feel part of the blogging community. Thank you for your many comments.

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  11. Thank you for mentioning me and putting my weird and random blog on your list. I am truly touched. Ax

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    1. I love your weird and random blog.

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  12. I have had the same experience with other moms myself. It's the main reason I started a blog, actually. It was happening on Facebook too. I'd post photos of some project I was working on and mostly got incredulous or derisive commentary in return, about how I ever find the time, and how they were just happy to keep their kids alive, let alone do anything creative. Well, I think that's annoying and kind of mean. I love the blogging community because I feel like most of us see the very real value in creation, the pride in such and the value of sharing it too. I'm so glad I found your blog and have followed you, reading your posts since last summer. I have found a lot of inspiration here, I just thought you should know.

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    1. Thank you Jennifer, and yes I think it's annoying and mean too.

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  13. I agree wholeheartedly with Pati from London and often see her comments on blogs that I read.

    Thank you too, for including me in the 'friends' - I have enjoyed reading your writing and learned quite a bit from you as well. I hope that you keep on with it.

    I am now going to see who I have yet to come across in my blog hopping from your list.

    Thank you again.

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    1. And thank you again Toffeeapple, I like bumping into you in various parts of blogland.

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  14. I agree with the funny looks when one mentions blogging - very few of my friends seem to know what I'm talking about when I say I'd love my own blog - I've even been called very derisively - a silver surfer.

    I find the whole blogging thing instructive, funny, interesting, compelling - whatever good things you want to say about it.

    To all those bloggers - keep up the good work!

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  15. Yours is a particularly generous and good-hearted blog and has been part of my early morning routine for a very long time now. Just today I saw one of your old comments saying you wished you had some blue glass and now we both have the same Bristol blue vase, so I think of you when I put some flowers in it.

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    1. And I always think of you Lucille when the light shines through it making my wall blue.

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  16. A wonderful post, that is exactly why I love blogging! I am new to your blog and enjoy reading your posts and like the everyday pictures you take. Ann

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  17. Enjoyed your post very much Sue. I bought some quince paste the other day. The only reason was because of your blog! I also thought that anything you talked about would be delicious!

    I am trying to get better at commenting every time I read.

    Ruthanne (in Seattle)

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  18. I very much agree, Sue, and I also love how blogging simplifies and beautifies - a few lovely photos and chosen thoughts and moments can distill the worth from a ragged day and preserve it online, letting the surrounding fray of mundane reality recede.

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    1. Ah thank you Mise. If only I had such a way with words as you do. I miss your posts.

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  19. I agree Sue, the connecting part is incredibly rewarding. I still get a kick out of "meeting" someone who lives on the other side of the world but who is a kindred spirit. It warms the heart!

    I am new to your blog but enjoy it enormously.

    Gillian x

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  20. I love your blog Sue - I am so glad you write it. I'm going to enjoy looking through your new blog list.

    I was just posting the other day about why I blog. I love the way blogging helps you to appreciate the little things in life and record things that otherwise would be forgotten. I'm new-ish to blogging, and hence to the social/connecting side, but I love the fact that reading other people's blogs makes me realise that other people besides me get excited about yarn, or a new recipe, a good book, a beautiful flower - I'm not completely mad after all.

    Nikki x

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    1. You sound completely sane to me Nikki.

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  21. Such a thoughtful and sensible post and the reason, aside from all the others, why it is always a pleasure to read your posts.

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  22. Great blog post, Sue, and I agree with your sentiments; also hopped across to Coffee Lady and totally jelled with what she was saying. I shall be keeping my blogroll because it is interesting for other readers to check out some blogs which may be fresh to them.

    I love comments and have removed the word verification nonsense - with very little ill-effect. I reply to every comment, and love the sense of dialogue this promotes. I have no truck with SEO, I'm not interested in 'growing my blog' in the sense they mean, and I don't want to be faffing about making sure my post titles meet a search engine criteria - how boring! I also hate finding a blog where the adverts obscure the content - I am rapidly off and away from these sites.

    No, I shall continue to enjoy your entertaining words, Sue, and be glad you are of similar mind. To hell with Blogland Hierarchies!

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  23. Everything you say is so true.

    It was at our get-together at Tracy's that I realized how much I missed being an active part of our blogging community. I'm so happy to be writing again and renewing those bonds.

    I also see now how much I valued the blog as a document of our lives--there now seems to be a year-long hole in our family story!

    And thank you for including me in your list of favorite blogs--I admire your blog so much and feel truly honored.

    K x

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  24. I pretty much agree with everything that you have said. The comment about the connecting particularly rings true. I have often wondered if I am in some way peculiar as it seemed no one shared my interests and tastes and I was looked upon as some kind of eccentric oddity. Since blogging I have realised that whilst I may be in a minority there are many many others who do like and enjoy the same things I do. Hooray for blogging!

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  25. I'm a very big fan, Sue. I can't begin to tell you what I've gained from your blog--fantastic recipes for a start, especially that pineapple pudding my son loves. Your down to earth common sense and humour remind me of the non-nonsense integrity of my New England roots. I don't have a blog and comment infrequently, but I'm here every day. If ever you're around Richmond/Kew Gardens, give me a shout! x

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    1. Oh it's ages since we had pineapple pud -thanks for reminding me Deb and thanks for reading.

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  26. Sue, that brilliant forsythia against the blue just sings of springtime happiness!

    Visiting here is a continuing joy. I will always be grateful to you for bringing kale back into my life. Truly. xo

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  27. Sue,

    What a fab blog post. I am very late to the blogging party having only started a blog in December. But I was inspired to start just so that I could become part of this fantastic community who inspire me on a daily basis, who make me laugh on a daily basis and who share their thoughts, patterns and recipes on a daily basis. Thank you for being my inspiration.

    SmallP x

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    1. And thank you for reading.

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  28. The connections are really quite extraordinary sometimes - I wouldn't blog otherwise, I don't think. I'm so glad I live in a world where I am able to.

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  29. Great post, Sue. It's as though you snuck inside my head and deciphered all my own thoughts about blogging and why I do it.
    I'm a little behind on reading all my favourites at the moment. That's what happens when you have become part of such a wide circle of fabulous people - there is so much to take in, digest and then respond to. I'm not complaining, I love it!

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  30. Oops, I came by last night, got sucked into the blogs you linked to, and never got back here.

    I too count you among the many friends I've made through blogging :D Connection is all for me, it's first and foremost why I blog.

    I do worry though that because we are unaware of those non-bloggers who read but generally don't comment it's easy to forget that they may feel as connected to us as we bloggers feel to each other. That's why I've been resisting disallowing anonymous comments, but I get so few legitimate ones relative to the mountain of spam that I may yet have to follow your lead. And as you say, commenters only need an Open ID thereafter and many will already have that.

    Janice's comment ... I wouldn't have put it quite like that, but you are my favourite bullshit meter ;)

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  31. Hi Sue - firstly, thank you for adding me to your 'favourite blog' list. I feel very honoured, especially being an amateur who is regularly plagued by self-doubt!
    And even though I'm quite new on the blogging scene it really is lovely to hear from people via their comments. I also love the fact that we all share common interests regardless of where we live or what our personal circumstances are.
    Visiting and exploring new blogs is becoming quite a hobby and it's a welcome alternative to watching TV of an evening! I'm quite overwhelmed by the warmth of others and friendliness I've encountered so far.
    Sarah.

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    1. We are all amateurs, that's what makes the whole blogging thing so fun.

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  32. the connections are what make it so much more than words and pictures on a page. which is great, as I've been pretty rubbish at both lately....

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  33. A really interesting read - I don't have a blog (yet - still procrastinating on this)but when I fist discovered blogs, I was delighted to find that I was not weird ie: I craft, cook, garden and read and I guess spend a bit of time on the computer now. So many people these days have forgotten how to do these activities and it is so nice to be part of a community that can. I live in New Zealand and enjoy seeing what is happening on the other side of the world.

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  34. I can only add to the above comments. I do not blog, but peak in now and again and find yours and other blogs most enjoyable, funny, light and above all honest. Thank you for taking the time to share

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  35. So sorry you got such hideous spam. I love, love, love the food pictures in your last post!
    I too love reading (and writing) blogs for all the reasons you list.

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  36. Oh I so enjoyed this very lovely informative post. I am fairly new to blogging ( Feb 2, 2013) and truly loving it. So nice to read, enjoy and learn from all the info you posted. Thank you

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  37. Loved your post - packed full of information. It is so nice to be able to interact with your blog even though not a blogger myself. Another blog I love to read seems to have gone over to no comments (only email) which is a shame as it's great to read what everyone else thinks too. Keep up the good work.

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