Why are we all here?

The world of blogging is a funny old place. You write stuff and people, somehow or other, come across it. They read it, and then what? Some people hit the ‘Like’ button, some people leave a comment, some people wander off to another part of the internet never to return and some people sign up to follow you. Some people become regular commenters/likers.

Here at The Snail of Happiness I do my best to respond to all of the comments. I don’t always manage it and occasionally I return to a previous post and notice some comments without responses, in which case I generally respond there and then, however old the post. I think that because I engage with you, my readers,Β you feel welcome and maybe that encourages you to return. I know this is the case for blogs that I follow – getting a response to my comments makes me feel valued and part of the community associated with that particular blog. In fact this sort of interaction does lead to genuine friendships away from the blog, via Skype, letters, emails or even meetings in person. However, those sorts of things only happen with the minority of readers and I’m intrigued about everyone else.

IMGP7129

don’t be shy…

I’ve been blogging quite a lot recently and simultaneously getting quite a lot more followers. I’m really not sure whether the two are linked – and whether, if they are,Β the increase in traffic is to do with the number of posts or the subject matter.

 

So, I’m wondering whether you’d be willing to tell me why you are here? Why do you visit this blog? And how did you arrive in the first place? Please don’t be shy… I’d love to know, no matter whether you are a regular contributor, have just arrived or have been lurking in the background in silence for ages. You don’t have to have a WordPress blog to be able to comment… just write something and click on the button…

Go on… you’ve been reading my words, I’d love to read some of yours! And then maybe I’ll tell you why I’m here…

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89 Comments

  1. shellssells

     /  June 13, 2017

    I don’t know how I got here originally. Probably came for the fiber arts, stayed for the limery. I agree about comments, and on that note, I am TERRIBLE about responding to mine. As a quiet person, I often think “Does that need to be said?” Meaning, I read the comments on my blog, go to respond, and then somehow believe that the person who took time to comment on my blog doesn’t want to hear my response. I know it’s flawed thinking, but that’s what happens!

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    • I love that you came for the yarn and stayed for the limery… I wish you could visit to see them both in person!!
      Sometimes I simply end up writing ‘thank you’ or putting a smiley in response to comments, but I have found that it really is lovely to start a bit of a dialogue. Anyway, if people have taken the time to read your posts, I know they would be delighted to read your responses too.

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  2. Alfred Chow

     /  June 13, 2017

    I read your blogs because you always have something nice, positive, and sensible to say about things. Also because you care about your readers and those you mention in your blog.
    However, it is also because we found each other on Twitter and have become friends in the real world.

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    • Thank you, Alfred. I do sometimes wonder whether I dedicate too much time to social media, but I have made such lovely friends this way – you and Sue being prime examples!
      I know that you are tentative about your own new blog, but I’m really looking forward to seeing your projects. The record that you keep there will be so much easier to browse than Twitter… and you’ll be able to be a bit more verbose! Just don’t tell Ratvaark about it, or he’ll want one of his own.

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  3. Good morning, dear Snail, I follow you because I find myself in agreement with your opinions on many subjects, and like you, I dearly love a comment to respond to and to receive responses to mine. It’s been so long that I’ve been following that I quite forget where I came across your blog, but I strongly suspect it had something to do with either The Kitchens Garden or the Belmont Rooster. I think there has been a rash of new followings on WP; I’ve had 10 new followers myself in the last week, despite rather infrequent posting. Most of them are obscure and it’s a mystery to me why they’ve chosen to follow me, unless it’s in the hope that I’ll reciprocate. With you, I continue to follow with interest because there’s always something fascinating each time you post, but I do tend to be rather picky about what I follow so that my Reader doesn’t get clogged up with stuff that’s not so relevant.

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  4. I don’t remember how I first came to your blog…if I had to guess, I’d say I was lured in by all of the yummy yarn porn. πŸ˜‰ I’m still here because you inspire me! I love seeing how much you do to be kind to the planet and all of us bumbly humans on it. πŸ˜€ (Of course, the fact that you’re funny, quirky, intelligent, and practical keeps me here, too.) I don’t comment as much anymore because life is big and busy…and while that is pleasing, it doesn’t leave much time for being social in a virtual way…also I’m an introverted lurker by nature. πŸ˜‰

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    • Likewise, I have no idea how I first got to your site, although it was probably because you are a scientist who knits! Anyway, thank you for staying with me and thank you for always responding to my comments on your blog.

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  5. I’m not sure how I found your blog. Usually I find new blogs by checking out bloggers whose comments on other blogs I’ve found interesting. I’ve stayed because I think your approach to saving the planet is spot on and I’ve learned a few things along the way. And I’ll continue following because I expect you have more to teach. Carry on, Ms. Snail!

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    • Thank you! It’s always lovely to read your comments… although for some reason I always have to approve them – all my other regular commentators only ever needed to be approved once. It’s very strange, but obviously WordPress considers you a special reader.

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  6. I think it was Helen (aka “Monster Maker”) who told me about your blog. To be honest, I come back because I appreciate that if I take the time to comment, you respond (too many bloggers don’t and it irks me to no end). I love seeing your creations, getting a bit jealous over your garden successes, and reading the words of a like-minded individual. Keep it up!!!

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    • I probably followed your beastie to get to you originally! I’ll let you into a secret about the garden – I often don’t confess to the failures and I try not to photograph the messy bits. Oh no, I might have Instagramitis!!

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      • That’s alright. I’m sort of the same…I don’t blog about the many hours I spend being completed frustrated with my work and try to focus on the good points. Although maybe throwing in a dead plant or two would make us realize you are human, not som magic gardener with a stockpile of green thumbs πŸ˜‹πŸŒΊπŸ‘

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        • I have some expired bean plants right now – high winds just after they were planted out did for them. Fortunately a friend who has a market garden had some spares and has given those to me as replacements.

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  7. Annie

     /  June 13, 2017

    I follow you ’cause you are lovely. πŸ™‚
    And because your blogs are fun and up lifting. Just what the world needs. XXXX

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  8. I don’t always read your blog …it’s a dyslexia issue. You I think, found me in a yarn shop way and now I know who you are I think I like you. Please keep writing things I like to read, you inspire people!

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    • Thank you… I’m planning to come to Knit Night on Thursday… I just have to find something portable to bring that I can actually work on whilst talking… it may have to be a sock πŸ™‚

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  9. Helenintgarden

     /  June 13, 2017

    I’m not much of a commenter on blogs… More likely to respond on twitter… Absolutely no idea who retweeted you to make me find you… Possibly quite a few people… I follow you because you always have something positive to say, and I like crochet, plants & food too… & I copied you with #ThreeThings Thursday… πŸ˜‰

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  10. Barbara

     /  June 13, 2017

    I found you through 60 Million Trebles and a certain bag purchase πŸ˜‰, I stay because your posts are interesting although I don’t often comment, I’m more of a ‘lurker’ ! xx

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    • Oh, I don’t mind lurkers, but it’s lovely that you’ve said hello now. I am absolutely in love with the bag – it went to Manchester with me a couple of weeks ago and was perfect for storing all the bits and pieces I need for the crafting event… I was able to find everything so easily with all those useful pockets.

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  11. Hi Jan,

    This post has got me thinking and agreeing with you. I blog about our family and homeschooling journey and have a small group of friends some in real life and some inner via the internet that comment. I have just been given the job of writing content for a Christian website and managing their social media accounts. I have likes and share via face ache and twitter and supportive comments via the mail chimp newsletter but no actual comments on the blog! I do wonder if blogging has been usurped by vlogging and youtube? Or is it a case that folk read and run? I must admit there have been times I have read here and not commented :-(. Or I have liked or shared on face ache. Your post just before the election was just what I needed :-). Deep down I know that a two way interaction is important so I will do my best to join in the conversation. Your place is one of my hopeful places on the internet! I might not be able to do all that I would like but reading your posts are a great encouragement. Thank you for sharing love San xxx

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    • I certainly don’t always comment on posts that I read, but I try to like them, just to let the author know that I visited… having said that, I don’t always remember or sometimes the subject matter isn’t something that I wish to record my approval for.
      I’m glad that you find hopefulness here – that makes me smile – as does the fact that certain posts speak to you.
      I’ve made a bit of a rod for my own back with this post, haven’t I? Having said that I appreciate comments and always try to respond, I’d better make sure everybody gets an answer! In fact I love it – it’s so good to hear from so many people… including a few who have never commented before or who rarely do. Thank you for taking the time today.

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      • Forget to mention, I found you through my interest in permaculture!! I think I was reading another permie blog and they had a link to others who had completed a design course or who were still in the throes. I often read read some of your older posts pertaining to that category, a cause dear to my heart. And yes, maybe you have made a rod for your own back, the conversations are positively buzzing πŸ˜€β€οΈ

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        • Oh yes, I’ve had a lot of people come via the permaculture route… I think the blog is even still listed as a diploma blog on the Facebook group! And I still go to permaculture events and hear “oh, so you’re The Snail of Happiness!.

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  12. sarahfoto

     /  June 13, 2017

    I found your blog through the interesting title if I remember correctly. I haven’t had much time for blogs lately but always go back to my β€œold friends”, blogs that I follow, once in a while. I enjoy reading about all your creative projects and also ways to improve the world. Myself I started blogging to keep a journal but then people started liking and commenting and suddenly it was so much fun. Keep blogging Snail of happiness!

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    • The more I write, the less I read on other blogs, but I do love seeing your photographs and hearing about your hens, your studio and I shiver at your tales of swimming in the sea! I really like the picture that you give of living in a very different place and community than mine and then finding things in common… which is what reading blogs from around the world is all about.

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  13. I found you through crochet and stayed for the Wombles! You manage to tell us something about your way of life without being over-personal. You remind me of things that I like about myself and had forgotten, and inspire me to go back and re-find them.

    I agree that it is strange blogging into a vacuum, and I wish that more ‘lurkers’ would leave even the briefest of comments. I think it is because of knowing what it is like to be the blogger, that I make an effort to make comments.

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    • What a lovely comment! I’m really going to get my act together soon and think about plans for next year… I’ve started to have some ideas and I’ll be in touch soon, I promise!

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  14. Who can remember? I can’t but I am glad I found you and followed you:)

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  15. When I read the title of this post I thought oh my goodness Dr Snail has gone all existential on me!! πŸ˜€ But thems such good questions you ask! I’ve been wondering the same things lately. My following has jumped 100 people in the last three months or so and a tiny fraction of those actually interact. I don’t follow everyone who follows me – most of them I never hear from so I don’t consider it a relationship and my blog is all about the comments section really. I don’t remember at all how we first ‘met’. But you are with me every day via Arthur and the Dangler of IH and the hedgies. Your creative presence is prominent in my house. I think I’m now recalling we may have met through Narf77 of ‘The Road to Serendipity’. You were creating the blanket and had posted about it and I was intrigued…… something like that. It must have been back in the early days of blogging because you have been a constant presence in my blogging life! I stay because I learn stuff from you and am inspired by your green footprint and feel we have a friendship, though our emails have long ceased….. πŸ™‚ So why are you here? xo

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    • We did indeed meet through Fran… who I miss, although she does crop up on Facebook occasionally.
      I’m not sure why we don’t email these days… time I guess… I must rectify that, or perhaps send you a letter (much more fun).
      The why I’m here probably deserves a whole post, but briefly I started as a way of sharing my permaculture diploma work, got distracted, discovered lovely people and then got hooked on recording what I was up to and spreading some positivity in the world. If I didn’t get the interaction I wouldn’t do it… I really don’t understand bloggers who have the comments turned off!

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  16. Murtagh's Meadow

     /  June 13, 2017

    I can’t remember why or how either, but probably because of your gardening posts; or maybe through wilddaffodil. I enjoy all your posts and admire your crafts particular what you were recently doing in Manchester. Also enjoy how you try to cut out plastic etc., all so worthwhile and inspiring. Keep up the good work.

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  17. Like everyone else, I can’t really remember, but enjoyed it so much I stayed! Your name is certainly a drawcard ~ and I love how we can call you Ms Snail! Why do I make sure that I read your blog? I know that I am going to read about your gentle views on the world, and how you are going about making the changes that you can. I am in awe of your dedication to removing plastics from your life, and it has inspired me to do my little bit too. But maybe I really read you in the hope you have an aardvark photo!!

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    • I think I started following your blog because of the botanical illustrations – I am in awe of anyone who can draw, but being able to reproduce plants accurately is just magic to me… plus I know what a wonderful tool such illustrations are for botanists – my favourite floras all have watercolours rather than photographs.
      I think I’m going to have to allow the vaarks to start sneaking into my photos, just so that their admirers get a regular fix. Perhaps I should run a ‘spot the vaark’ competition!

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  18. Nikki

     /  June 14, 2017

    I stumbled upon your blog, happily, by accident, when researching minimalist & ethical living blogs…the aardvarks were just too cute to ignore, and your philosophy (small steps to a kinder world) perfectly chimed with mine. I am not a crafter or knitter but I do admire & value the work & craftivism of all you wonderful creatives!

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    • I do wonder sometimes if I’m slightly too diverse. Do people arrive for the ethical living and get bored by the crochet? The trouble is, that ever since I completed my PhD, I’ve had a short attention span, so I like to flit from one thing to another and back again!! Anyway, I’m glad you enjoy my small steps… not forgetting the ‘vaarks πŸ™‚

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  19. I can’t quite remember but I think I first followed you because of your beautiful crochet and then I discovered all the other things you do and I just had to keep on coming back πŸ™‚ I just love hearing about your cheese making, your craftivism and your limery. And all the rest as well! Thanks for being so inspiring 😘

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    • I’m so glad that you find inspiration here. I was hoping to have made more progress with my cheese recently, but other things have got in the way rather. Better get back on track with my plans in that direction.

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  20. I think I came to you from a comment you left on someone’s blog. I liked the snail and came over curious to find stuff on permaculture and gardening and knitting and I liked that you were after changing what you could change yourself. Then there was the limery! It’s nice to hear people’s thoughts on life, cooking, crafts, gardening and other things that matter.

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    • I suspect we encountered each other via Pauline… quite a few of the blogs I follow are because of her. Again, I think this is because her blog is very open to comments and she always replies, thus creating that special sense of community.

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  21. Hello,
    Just a little note to tell you that I’ve nominated you and your lovely blog for a Liebster Award.
    You can read more about this here: https://thecobweboriumemporium.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/liebster-award-nomination/

    You don’t have to accept the award if your blog is award free.
    I’ve placed a link to your blog on my own blog, so that people can come and check you out.
    Congratulations on being worthy of nomination. ~ Cobs. πŸ™‚

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  22. Laurie Graves

     /  June 14, 2017

    I came across your blog via another blog—Wild Daffodil, I think. I read your blog because I like the quality of your writing and your creativity. Also, I’m with Lisa when she writes, “It’s nice to hear people’s thoughts on life, cooking, crafts, gardening and other things that matter.” So glad I came across your blog!

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    • I know that I follow your blog because of your comments here. I just adore your flower pictures – they always make me smile… and your descriptions of Maine really make me want to come and visit your beautiful state again… one day I will!

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      • Laurie Graves

         /  June 17, 2017

        A mutual admiration society! Hope you do come to Maine sometime soon!

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  23. I found the blog after meeting you in person on an Intro to Permaculture course, and I stayed because I find it quite inspiring. I live in a bit of a bubble of rather consumerist folk, and its nice to read a worldview a bit closer to me own- and to see photos of real, actionable examples!

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    • Quite a few people are here because of meeting me in person, which is fun. It’s so nice to know some people in the physical world. I’ve stopped teaching permaculture for the time being, so it’s good to have a place to share ideas about being a bit more sustainable… and to know that I’m still reaching out to the world.

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  24. I can’t remember either but it may have been from doing a search on “craft” or “handmade.” When I was starting out, I did that a lot, to find like-minded people. I do remember you were just finishing your big project, and I felt bad I hadn’t contributed to it.

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  25. I found you though comments you left on many other blogs I follow. I liked what you stand for and how you communicate. That’s why I blog, to start a conversation and create community. At one time I responded to everyone who followed my blog until I realized most had never even read it. Of the 500+ followers, only 50 or so actually read it and fewer comment. It’s to those that engage in the conversation that I write. On occasion I click “like” without leaving a comment if my brain is not fully engaged enough to leave an intelligent comment but if I have clicked the like button, I have read the blog. I find most of the blogs I follow that way. It’s like meeting friends of friends. πŸ™‚ All good people.

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    • You are so right about conversations – they make blogging really come to life for me. I have a strict policy of only following blogs that I am actually interested in – no reciprocal follows just for the sake of it. There are times, however, when I discover that I’m not following a blog that I thought I was or when I realise that I am no longer interested in a particular blogger’s posts… and then I do follow/unfollow as appropriate.

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      • I’ve un-followed quite a few as well. Like you, I only follow what I intend to read and if they post everyday, I may get one or two a week but not each one. My life is full for an old woman. It’s why I try to keep mine around 500 words every other week so I won’t bore you to tears. I know you have all got better things to do as well. I love to stop by and see all your are doing. It keeps me inspired.

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  26. Surely none of us can prove the past ever existed and like some of us (me included) just cannot remember a lot of it (and therefore I cannot recall how I found and followed your blog posts). So how I got here, actually here sitting up in bed, drinking my coffee hubby made me before leaving for work, looking at stuff online before my very busy day begins can be replied with a simple French phrase “Je ne sais pas” which means “I don’t know”. And in any case, it’is not my business, as that is the story of the universe. My business is to be. To be whatever I wake up as and to do being as kindly as possible. Today I perceive there to be lots of jobs, from sorting clothes for washing, planting out some courgette plants, clearing the table full of junk, to bringing the washing back from off the line all dried nicely and naturally. That seems to be my responsibility for this bonny day.
    As for being online on a blog, well the reader of this comment will have to look at my blog and the [ Info ] page, my current ❀ ~ BLOG POSTS ~ ❀ and my [ Author ] page to attempt to work that one out.
    It's all here: https://bexybexybexy.wordpress.com/
    Enjoy, find something useful or just use the details about Bexy for insomnia.

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    • Well, however you arrived, I’m very glad that you did. Your day sounds rather like mine, although I planted beans out rather than courgettes!

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      • I woke up, so that means I am still here or maybe that should read: I’m here (on the notion again that I cannot really prove that I was here previously). Oh the joys of deep thought mixed with what some people call the mundane (what I prefer to see as the enjoyable connections with this physical life). I have a whole batch of quinoa to plant out (some say to plant direct, but I don’t like to feed my slugs and snails, no puppy dogs tails, but that we have enough boys in our family.

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  27. Wooooah, you’ve your work cut out for you replying to all these comments, so I’ll be try to be quick with mine! I found you because you found me, very soon after I started my own blogging adventures. Would you believe that’s nearly 4 YEARS AGO?! Your blog is one of the ones I’ve made an effort to keep up with though – I think your sustainable living posts and the ones about your garden are the ones that keep me coming back, I always feel like I learn something from those! I like your writing voice, and your general outlook on life, and you’ve inspired me to try all kinds of things. Today, for instance, I will be making biscuits instead of buying them! Keep up the good work πŸ˜€

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  28. Yours was one of the first blogs I discovered when I very first started my blog almost 6 months ago. I’m sure it was something crochet or yarn related because that is what I set the WordPress reader to look for. I’ve returned to your blog for I think every post since the first one I read. I really enjoy your outlook, attitude and philosophy on life, conservation and kindness. You seem like a lovely person that I could probably learn a few things from. πŸ˜€

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  29. I first heard about your blog after you mentioned it in the break-time of a course you were running (that we were attending) -I think we were asking you about your permaculture diploma and that was how it came up. I looked it up as soon as I got home and have not looked back. I am quite fussy with blogs I follow due to time constraints but I have stayed with your blog due to your gentle, sensible, practical, humorous and kind approach to a complex topic that very much aligns with my interests. I find your 17 for 2017 posts really inspiring (I have started making my own biscuits -no more palm oil and soya!) and I love your food, gardening, making/mending and crafting/craftivism posts. I adore your (and your friends) Vaarks – they are the sole reason I am on twitter – I love seeing their antics – they make me laugh so much! πŸ™‚ During difficult or disappointing events (terrorism/elections/etc) your words of kindness and sense make your blog a haven and spreader-of-inner-peace. I feel it is quite an achievement to be able to write kindly and sensibly at these times so I really appreciate this. The internet can tend to become a storm of fearful and unbalanced accusations and your blog feels like an island of sense in a scary sea at these times.
    I am usually more of a quiet lurker on social media. This is in part due to dyslexia (it takes me ages to write anything!) and partly from the questioning of whether something really “needs to be said” and of feeling that I am causing the blogger to “have to” respond…I think I sometimes forget that writing is not always as much hard “work” for other people as for me πŸ™‚ I love reading your blog, I read every post. I often want to comment but decide against it due to the reasons above, but I think I may try comment more going forward πŸ™‚

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    • I’m always touched by anyone commenting who has dyslexia, so thank you very much for writing this long and thoughtful answer to my questions. I do always try to respond to comments, even if it’s only with a smiley, and it really isn’t a chore for me (although I have to confess that answering everybody on this particular post has taken more time than usual… but I’ve really enjoyed doing so).
      I am so glad that you find comfort in my posts at times when the world feels like a very frightening place. I find solace in the writing, so it’s good to know that other find solace in the reading.
      There has been quite a lot of mention of vaarks… I’d better allow them a bit more space on here in that case!

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  30. Like many others I have no idea how I first found your blog. After a few comments you asked why my blog was blank and we got chatting. Then I suggested that since we live relatively close to each other we should meet up and we had a lovely lunch in Aberaeron and have been friends ever since. Like you I do a lot of knitting/crochet/sewing, a lot of gardening and am interessted in all things ‘green’ so I love hearing what you are up to. You have saved me loads of time by finding things you need just before I need them too – you do all the research and I just buy what you did!

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    • I’m always glad to share research – it takes so long, that it feels like a much better investment if it’s getting used by more people than me. I love that we are now also ‘real-world’ friends… on-line is good, but sharing lunch is better!

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  31. I think it was the crochet but more now for the self sufficiency aspect. I always leave your blog posts feeling inspired and that what you do is achievable. Thank you. I’ve been questioning my own reasons for having an online presence lately. I think of amazing people like my grandmothers and wonder what they would make of the time I spend on the internet in general.

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    • I find this on-line community amazingly supportive. Because I work from home, I don’t have colleagues to chat with, so this quite often serves that purpose and stops me feeling isolated. Because I make the effort to meet on-line friends in person too, it has hugely expanded my social circle.

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  32. So all of this rather begs the questions – How did you get into blogging and what keeps you here? Or is that another blog post all of its own?

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    • I think that is another blog post on its own! At the moment my time is being taken up by responding to all the lovely comments, so I think the answer is going to have to wait a day or two.

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  33. What a fun post, Jan. I’m pretty sure I followed you from Pauline’s blog. I was intrigued by your crochet. I stick with bloggers who touch me in some way. It’s hard to describe, but I know it when it’s there. Does that make sense? I follow a wide variety of blogs, but when I look at them as a whole they have two things in common: an element of creativity written by a good soul, like you. Alys

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  34. I was introduced to your blog by a mutual non-blogging friend as she thought we would have things in common – she was right. The crafts, the garden, permaculture, random acts of kindness, valuing everyday activities and connections, wanting to be part of the solution ……
    Your blog is endlessly inspiring and you are able to express things I am thinking when I did not know i was thinking them! Enriching – that is what your blog is to me.

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  35. I can’t remember how I found your blog, actually, but I keep coming back because it’s a friendly, welcoming place to spend a little time. Whenever I read one of your posts I kind of feel like I’ve had a visit with a friend – even though we’ve never met! πŸ™‚

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  36. Hello Mrs. Snail, here is Claire from Switzerland. I’ve been reading your blog for a few years already, I came by it when you were featured in the Guardian. I get inspiration from your creativity and kindness, and find myself dreaming of a new home with a garden and chicken! thank you for sharing your world with us.

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