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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2010. That’s about 11 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 10 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 120 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb.

The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 195 views. The most popular post that day was Freemasonry: the world needs a villain.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for extinct words, political map of united kingdom, ufos, the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland, and political map united kingdom.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Freemasonry: the world needs a villain November 2009


England or Britain? A guide for Americans and too many English people September 2008


Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One” video is “masonic”. Oh give me a break. January 2010


Ten words soon to be extinct in British English November 2007


Who is this man? April 2007


Work. Moi?

Well, I’m working.

I’ve secured a three month contract as a PC Support Anlayst at a Gloucester company. It’s second line support: fixing software, setting up new PC’s, etc. within a very structured helpdesk system. Not very intellectually challenging or varied but I’m not complaining.

My day now starts at about 6.40 am when I am woken either by my alarm or Amelie shouting “Woof!”, “Baa” or other favoured animal noise. A kiss for a still slumbering K., then a breakfast of Allbran with a handful of almonds then a drive through the damp darkness of three counties: Monmouthshire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire for 45 minutes until I reach the “Park and Ride” in Gloucester. There, I park the car and get a free bus trip into the centre of the city. By the time I arrive at work, the sun has risen, but it’s rare that we see it at the moment, thanks to the blanket of cloud. I have yet to perfect lunch, but am likely to settle on a quick dash past the cathedral to M&S for a pack of sushi, thence to the only big bookshop for a browse and a return to eat my sushi at the desk.

The drive back is unremarkably similar, even to the extent that, like the outbound leg, the return is in darkness too.

Little A. had her hearing tested at the hospital in Abergavenny today and it was pronounced in fine working order. We had always thought as much, but it’s good to have the reassurance of a professional.

Reading The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg at the moment. Recommended if you want to know how the English language evolved. I’m surprisd at the extent to which the language was nearly snuffed out by the Scandinavian and Norman invasions. Had it been, we might be speaking a variant of Danish today. Did you know that the words “they”, “their” and “them” are 8th century Danish? Nor did I.

Gridlock, free dental care and wigs

We made the mistake of attempting to drive to London on a Friday evening.

As we were cruising through the sylvan splendour of the Wye Valley towards the Severn Bridge at Chepstow, heading for the M4 motorway towards London, we heard on the radio that there had been not one, but two crashes on the M4. The first would have caused a half hour delay. The second, involving a coach, had entirely blocked the London-bound side of the motorway at Reading.

As we plotted lengthy detours involving Swindon and Oxford, I took decisive action to preserve our sanity by aborting the trip and turned back to Monmouth. There was no particular reason that we had to be in London tonight, so we avoided the hassle. I bought a bottle of Romanian wine – surprisingly quaffable – and tempers have been soothed.

K and I got cards from the NHS today entitling us to free dental care, prescriptions and wigs because we are claiming Child Tax Credits. On Monday I’m going straight to the doctor to demand Viagra and a brunette mullet toupee, while K is having her teeth fixed up on your taxes.


Thus begins my online journal, or blog, to those of you more au fait with online English. Now, I hate mission statements that don’t actually own up to what an organisation is really for. I mean, it’s just not true that a company simply wants “to be the best supplier of x product/service in y country”. They want to make lots of money for their stakeholders and, in doing so, provide a service.

Anyway, where was I?

Ah yes: mission statements. The aims of this particular blog are, in descending order of priority:

– to keep in touch with friends and family who I don’t see very often because they are far away
– to achieve a higher state of self awareness (not quite Nirvana, though) by keeping a journal
– to take the promise of the “democratisation of publishing” that the Net affords and speak my mind. If one or two people take note or are entertained/informed, that’s good enough to soothe my ego 😉
– to recommend sundry books/films/causes/websites/ideas etc., that I think deserve recommendation
– to practise creative writing.

This may be a moving target and will probably change weekly, so there. That’s enough. I’ll update as and when I can and have something worth writing. I don’t want to bore anyone.

Stay tuned!