This week I received a surprise greeting from WordPress, reminding me that the beginning of January marks the anniversary of the launch of my blog, The Holly Tree Tales. As has happened similarly in the previous two years, the reminder came with a little message saying:
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com three years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.”
It is difficult to read the little message, but here it is:
I don’t know whether other writers and bloggers find this sort of thing meaningful or significant, but for me receiving the encouragement means a lot more than I imagine the designers of the WordPress platform even realise. It is a lovely gesture, although no doubt it is an automated message. I notice these little things, landmarks along a path of life which is a thoroughly meaningful journey, a journey and a course within in the “University of Life”.
For those who are surrounded by tech wizards and all things modern, I imagine creating and maintaining a website / blog is fairly straightforward, especially if you were born after 1990, but it has been a three year expedition with a lot of potholes in it for me and there have been all sorts of challenges that I have found next-to impossible to overcome. The communications and blogging adventures continue, influenced and affected by a very slow internet speed and an aging computer … which coughed, sneezed, hiccuped and then collapsed in spectacular fashion yesterday, apparently in the midst of doing a routine (?) Windows update.
Nearly proving fatal in ‘our’ case – the collapse highlighted the urgent need to back up everything that is stored on the hard drive, just in case this ever happens again. Easier said than done, but now urgent. Thankfully, once an engineer had (almost miraculously) appeared, the old Whizz of Communication Excellency only needed a strong touch of ‘smelling salts’ to revive it, but the visual unconsciousness of my much-relied-upon vehicle of internet travel gave me a very big fright indeed!
Most of the writing that is available to read on The Holly Tree Tales has been painstaking pinked out in a location far from most other people, company, places and stimulating things and it was truly exceptionally fortunate that an engineer could be called out at all. There are a range of reasons for that, which I shan’t go into, but suffice to say that where I currently live and work from is fairly remote and isolated … it is a very rural environment, fairly self-sufficient ie with only certain mod cons. At times any achievements beyond the purely domestic or relating to environmental management seem fairly miraculous.
Having someone come out and fix the computer I rely on for so much was an excellent bridging of space, vitality and communication gaps. It was an immense relief when the talented, kind and efficient professional arrived to save my communications beast from permanent death … and thankfully was achieved in under two hours. I was also thrilled to be able to discuss various other internet jargon, systems and equipment with him, and to discover that it is not necessary for me, given the internet speed and all sorts of other factors, to also learn how to upload data and my vast bank of photographs to a cloud. A relief. That adventure can wait for another time. Perhaps once I’ve learnt to pilot a rocket.
The adventures of blogging, in the way that I have approached them, have been diverse and not without a huge amount of sitting back and staring at a screen, wondering what on earth I see before mine eyes and how to find the secret doors. Thus, dear Readers, whatever you see and read here has been part beginner’s luck (yes, even after three years), part absolute determination, part abseiling, part bungee jumping, part imprisonment, part banging at the gates, part freewheeling, part sailing in the right wind in fits and starts, and parts of much more. Basically, it does sometimes seem quite miraculous that there is any blog at all.
Last week I discovered that not only are there at least 150 (one hundred and fifty) articles / blogposts on the blogscroll, but that now I can clean up the Categories and Tags too, by finding my way to the Dashboard. First things first. The Dashboard sits, immovable, in front of your nose in a car, but hides away at the bottom of one of the screens of the WordPress ‘control board’. Quite mysterious, really, until you find that you have learnt to drive it as efficiently as riding a bicycle, and then some of the moments become bliss and you really are finally freewheeling downhill … freedom, as sweet as a sip of iced water in a drought … I’ve had those, few and far between, but they come in the most gorgeous waves.
For those who have been with me on the blogging journey since The Holly Tree Tales went live in January 2015, you might notice little improvements here and there … one rather grand achievement this week is that I have managed to reduce the (somehow extraordinarily generous) list of seventy seven Categories, down to a list of less than forty. This is a work in progress, and has meant that I can now re-reveal the list as a visible one (having cleverly hidden it away as a ‘drop down’ option, somehow, several months ago). I now have to tackle the close-to six hundred tags, and reduce them to something logical and easy to skate around. Please bear with me on this … efficiency is the name of my personal game, in normal life, and I am determined to conquer this tech / publishing challenge next. Sans a PA. I need a PA, yes. And an efficient office from which to conduct a range of other things … these will come.
There have been a range of ‘Achievements’ that I am very grateful for and proud of, which have been conducted in the midst of dealing with some rather strenuous and unusual life challenges out ‘in the bush’. The Holly Tree Tales, its creation, management, and the writing of articles that I have personally penned are one of those ‘Achievements’, not yet something that I am finding easy to accomplish or to manage, but that makes it all the more glorious when it goes well.
Thank you, WordPress, for enabling this freedom of thought and penmanship to grow and to flow and to go beyond the confines of a remote location. I look forward to seeing what 2018 will hold and how much more, in a range of ‘Achievements’, will be championed and overcome, collected as meaningful little trophies along the way.
Onwards in hope!
A special note …
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© Holly M Maxwell Boydell www.TheHollyTreeTales.com All rights reserved.