The strange world of blogging… and why I’m here

The portal to the blogoshpere

My portal to the blogosphere

I started writing this blog about a year and a half ago as a way to harvest my thoughts and research about sustainability and living a more sustainable life. I wanted to share my ideas and tell other people what I had found out. I wanted to show that we can make relatively small changes in our lives that can have a big impact, especially if we all work together. I also thought that it might be a good way to publicise the courses I teach and the crafts I make. I chose to blog with WordPress quite at random – I had seen someone else’s site, liked it and didn’t have much desire to spend too much time researching the options.

So, I chose a theme (quite an unusual one it turns out… don’t see many other bloggers using it… it’s called ‘Comet’ in case you are interested) and set to with the writing. I soon decided that I wanted to steer away from the very personal style of blogging… I didn’t want to share my inner feelings, whinge about the bus driver or get therapy from my blog readers. I wanted to share ideas and information about practical aspects of my life and making it more sustainable… and that’s the sort of blog I like to read too. That’s not to say that blogging doesn’t feel like therapy sometimes and it certainly helps me to get ideas straight in my head simply by writing them down and receiving feedback.

There have been some unexpected yields… I never expected to form friendships via my blog and to feel such strong connections to people all over the world, most of whom I will never meet. I never expected that my readers would engage so enthusiastically about some of my posts. Who’d have thought that a post on bartering would generate so much interest or one on how to deal with human remains? I also didn’t expect so many people who I know personally to read my blog and to feel that it was a good way to know what I’m up to. Perhaps the strangest thing is to go to events and have people exclaim “so you’re The Snail of Happiness” (my real name is Jan, by-the-way, for those of you who don’t know).

The Leibster award

The Leibster award

This is my 20th month of blogging and I’m celebrating it by participating in NaBloPoMo – a month of blogging every day. Here we are then, on day 11 and since this is a blog post about blogging it doesn’t feel too out of place to mention that I have received a blogging award from my fellow blogger The Belmont Rooster. They are funny old things, blogging awards… really a bit like a chain letter – you get an award and you get to pass it on to some other bloggers. So I have been nominated by Mr Rooster and I get to nominate some other folks. I don’t usually participate in this sort of thing, but I decided to make an exception this time; first because Mr Rooster asked me so nicely (thank you so much), second because it gives me an excuse to direct you, my readers, to a few blogs that am really enjoying at the moment and that you might enjoy too (they are my nominees below) and third because NaBloPoMo is making me completely blog-obsessed at the moment!

So, here are my nominations and recommendations for some good reading:

free food for rats is written by the lovely Anja, She describes delicious seasonal cooking as well as activities with her young family.

Permapeach: One person’s urban permaculture story documents Rachel’s permaculture adventures in an urban setting, with descriptions of community gardening, her allotment and her business, all based around permaculture ethics and principles.

westywrites may be my favourite blog right now as she describes her attempts to eliminate single-use plastics from her life.

gettin’ fresh is (and I quote) ‘not only about gardening but also about getting all that delicious produce to the table in a form that will tempt even the pickiest of eaters’.

and finally

Ecology is not a dirty word has some thought-provoking pieces and is written by another ecologist… always worth a read.

Hopefully these five bloggers will make their own recommendations and lead us all on to new discoveries. Meanwhile, for me that’s another blog post written in November and I’ve manage to accept my blogging award in a slightly unconventional way*.


* There was a set of questions to answer, most of which I have in the text of this article… you can find them here if you are interested.

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  1. You may have started your blog to write about sustainability and connect with others who share the same interest. Your blog became so much more and though you think you didn’t share your inner feelings, whinge about the bus driver etc like some of us do, you have shared places you’ve been, happiness at certain successes and some disappointments too. We tend to get a picture of the people whose blog posts we read regularly and certainly feel an affinity for the person if not always the subject.
    Your blog has been interesting and has taught me much I didn’t realise I wanted to know until I read it.I may not write as you do or on the same subjects but that hasn’t stopped my enjoyment.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  2. Blogging is pretty amazing. Some of my best friends have been made through blogging and I can’t believe the relationships I would be missing out on if I hadn’t started my own blog!

  3. Why thank you Jan! How sweet of you to remember me. Blogging certainly is fun and very addictive, sometimes i feel I am talking just to myself bit like a diary but that can be fun too! Good luck with all the writing you have planned 🙂

  4. “NaBloPoMo is making me completely blog-obsessed at the moment!”…I’m right there with ya LOL!!! Also, when I got to your blog my first thought was, “hmm, what is THIS theme?”…seriously, say thanks for having the answer so handy. Good post and now you have me checking out your pages.

  5. Well done, a very nicely integrated response to the nomination. Mine’s a whole lot less cohesive, more a series of tasks to be completed and boxes ticked. Still trying to get my head around who to nominate myself… It’s all too new. 2 months in, and I’m still feeling my way, but enjoying the process hugely. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Kate… your blog is lovely. I don’t like doing the nominations so I just chose five that I have enjoyed recently. and that are related to the subjects I write about.. I could have listed so many more that I enjoy for all sorts of reasons.

  6. The world of blogging is a strange and interesting one that’s for sure. 🙂 It is amazing to have people around the world who are now part of our little lives, it’s a bit like the pen pals we had as children! It is far more interesting to read their posts and get message replies rather than wait for the mail to crawl its way around the world though.

    Now I’m off to have a look at those blogs you mentioned in your post. 🙂

    • Oh, far more interesting than most pen pals, I had a dopey French one who was only interested in me sending her David Soul records, but I did have a great one in Papua New Guinea, who I loved hearing from.
      I do think that by getting to know people around the world we come to care much more for this planet and everyone on it.

  7. blogging is amazing. I started my blog to publicize my craft classes and ravelry patterns and, like you, have met so many interesting, creative people that have encouraged me to try new things. Nice to meet you Jan. 🙂

  8. Thanks for the links to some blogs that sound excellent.

  9. Congradulations! I somehow missed commenting on your post earlier! You are well deserving of all the awards you are nominated for. You have an AWESOME blog and are definitely an AWESOME blogger! Keep up the good work!

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