How did you get here?

This morning, enroute to work, TFL were carrying out another of their surveys for travellers.  They do this about twice a year, wanting to know where you got on the piece of public transport you are currently on, whether you walked to it, took a spaceship, hailed a hackney coach etc, where you were headed, and what for.  I am explaining this to those of you who don’t know London transport, and for those who are allergic to all forms of public transportation, like my brother.   TFL says it’s to streamline bus routes and services, though I’d be astonished if they changed the bus routes simply because Doris from Finchley once wrote down that it took her three buses to get to Brent Cross and could they alter this please?  TFL need to get if not inside our heads, then inside our routines.  Who works where and from where do they travel?  What is your demographic?  Tick the boxes, put your postcode in and hand it in to the polite chap on the door of the bus who is handing out free plastic pens to travellers, and a little bit of cityworkers’ identity gets logged and allocated and filed and forgotten.

Everyone is very well-behaved and does what they are told.  But it gets you thinking where we all travel from.  Yes, we are on a bus, but we are on an awful lot of other things too.  Rather than travelling from Route 460 onto Route 13 we were actually travelling on 300 feet of ground fish and plankton bones which ground down to form chalk.  And what we now know as “London Clay” is actually the detritus of gravel, sand and a tropical sea that were the only features of the London rush hour a million years ago.   Roman London was about twelve feet below modern London.  There is a river that flows down South Molton Street (part of the old “Tyburn Brook”, one of the many tributaries that used to run towards the Thames, and a small river that edged the Grosvenor Estate) which was simply covered up and turned into a sewer.  If it hadn’t been, it could have been another Little Venice, except one edged by shoe sales and temp offices.

There are all sorts of strangenesses buried here, and I don’t attempt to list them all in a blog, becuase that would mean I was mad, but I have been enjoying reading about a severely edited, and fictionalised version in Edward Rutherfurd’s “London”.  I first read this book about 11 years ago.  Rutherford hit on a formula of historical fiction that worked (charting the progress and development of cities through descendants of a cluster of families) and seems to be repeating it for every world city.  “Dublin”, “The Forest”, “Russka” and “New York”.  They are not good literature.  But they are a right good read.

“What are you reading Edward Rutherfurd for?!”  I remember my brother exclaiming, dropping his polenta on the floor whilst ruminating on the state school offerings in middle class West London. “Haha!”  I was supposed to be learned and reading other writers and stuff.  But I loved Edward Rutherfurd’s “London”.  He takes pseudo-Dickensian names like Ducker (rude limerick anyone?) and Dogberry and watches them evolve throughout centuries of yer London history.  Dogberry the medieval coin-cleaner, or peasant slave, evolves to become a saturnine Elizabethan schoolmaster (“Clean your ruff, Davis!”) or a Victorian pimp.  Okay, not pimp, but certainly street Arab (“Cor Blimey gov’nor!  Top ‘ole corpses to be faund dahn by Lahndahn Wall.  Yer ‘umble servant sir – oh – it’s a jolly ‘oliday with Marrryy!  Mary makes yer heart so light!  Oh, sorry, wrong musical”.)  That street Arab fulfils Victorian fears about the poor having lots and lots of children and taking over the middle classes by producing a man called Bill in 1920, who grows up to become an Air Raid warden in 1940.  (“They’ll be bluuuueebirds over, the white cliffs….whad’ya say?  Evacuation?  Nah, you’re all right.  I ‘ad one before I come out, I did.”  GAAH!! BOMB!!”) And so on, and so on.  It’s quite impossible, as London’s success has been its rapid intake of immigrants or foreigners in the last 2,000 years  (even the Romans were Italian, you know.  That’s why they were so short and useless and built straight roads to race their Italian sports cars down).  However, Rutherford is keen to create a London where everyone is descended from a Saxon peasant.  Or, for the rakish characters, a bit of Viking blood.    If this was still the case, and the indigenous population of this island was truly indigenous we would still be living culturally as pre-Roman Britons:

1.  Enforced country dancing created by English feudal lords.  As there would have been no jazz, no rock and roll, no jiving, no Viennese waltzing, no Argentinian tangoing.  Why?  Because it’s foreign MUCK, that’s why.  Get your morris bells on.  This leads to….

2. Strictly Come Morris Dancing is BBC1’s top-rated show.

3. At restaurants all you could eat would be sheep, liver, onions, blackberries, strawberries and more sheep.  Breakfast would be sheep on toast.

4.  Our hobbies would be limited to beheading, boar-slapping, war-starting and mass burials – with a bit of animal husbandry thrown in.

5.  No roads, because we wouldn’t let the Romans come in and be Emperors coz they were foreign.  Just forests randomly spotted with man-eating wolves.

6.  We would have to work on the land (BORING) ploughing fields with the arsebone of giraffes and eating mice for supper.

7.  Television.  Now this was invented by a Scot, so we might just sneak this fellow in.  But what’s on it?  Eastenders, where everyone is living in huts and using animal fat for Saxon candles?  And 72 garden shows showing you the best way to roast a marrow for your thane (Saxon lord).

Of course, Edward Rutherfurd isn’t a nincompoop, and his books aren’t silly.  He does allow vagrant European randoms to seep in.   I was just amusing myself, Mr Rutherfurd.   He is actually very readable and I strongly recommend “London” for an enjoyable, fictionalised, potted history of this ‘ere great city.  But do not purchase on Kindle.  On Kindle you do not get the family tree which goes through 2,000 years, and you won’t know who’s who without it.  You don’t want to get your Roman batty boys mixed up with your Georgian candle lighters, because then where would history be then? It’s a minefield, my friends.

Meanwhile, for those who require an update on M E Braddon, and who commented on my entry about Lady Audley’s Secret ( https://thelondonbluebird.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/chick-lit-1860s-style/)   , I am still working my way through the 61 titles of Mrs Braddons, 58 of which are now out of print.  “Wyllard’s Weird” is a genius bit of railway murder mystery but it’s out of print.   “Dead Love Has Chains” is genius – but – it’s out of print.  I’m compiling summaries of these books because I haven’t got a life and will update you with them forthwith.   For anyone who feels passionately about re-publishing obselete works from the 1860s featuring ladies going hysterical in Bayswater drawing rooms because their dipsomaniac husbands have set alight to their ancestral home in Wiltshire using nothing more than a packet of lucifers and a copy of Punch from April 1868, do hassle the Sensation Press at http://www.sensationpress.com/mainindex.htm.

Please return to The London Bluebird if you enjoyed this.  This blog is updated every Thursday.

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So, what do you do all day?

What do you do all day?

Several years ago, washed up on the shores of (occasionally selective) unemployment, I didn’t work.  Much.  Sometimes I went into offices and answered telephones.  Sometimes I didn’t.  Sometimes I lined up with blowsy actresses and sang “Annie Get Your Gun” songs in front of audition panels.  Then, unkempt and annoyed, I shuffled back to my lovely flat hoping secretly I wouldn’t have to go to Bolton for £250 a week.   I realised early on that getting paid to do something was an erroneous fallacy; that it was a deception to tell young people that the journey to adult self-reckoning starts with ungainful employ.  I got the taste for liberty and I liked it.  I learnt the art of using it.

They call it ‘head space’.  I sat happy in that eerie silence that you feel in blocks of residential flats at 11.30am on Tuesdays.  Occasionally I worried that I really ought to have more concern for establishing financial security, but I always came round to thinking things always work out in the end.  No one would ring; everyone was out chasing a different kind of life.  My friends were robustly going about establishing their careers.  They bought flats, shopped in Jigsaw, moved, had splendid cars, enjoyed extravagances I never thought of – and moved again.  Back in my head space, the North London streets were nearly as peaceful in the middle of the working day as they are in the middle of the night.  The air freed up and allowed you to think, and it was wonderful to think that the world and its hassles had temporarily forgotten me.  I was very very fortunate;  I lived rent-free in a flat 15 minutes from Central London.  I had to pay for bills and living costs only, so I worked enough to get by (having found signing on demoralizing, so stopped doing it after two months although I liked the money) and the rest of the time I enjoyed myself.   Not only did I morally feel unobligated to do anything else, but I felt there was a moral imperative to the freedom I had serendipitously acquired. 

“So, what do you do all day?”

The question came in lulls, after coffee.  It came from the bilious, the inquisitive and the sulky.  It was underscored with worldweary incredulity and sometimes it sounded a little bit cross. 

My philosophy was built not on the accrual of money but on a reward system where I earned leisure.  If I earned £50 a day in an office, I told myself, I paid myself for two days of leisure.  One week on; one week off.  I earned, and decided to spend that money on time.  I did time, like a prisoner in an office, and then I was rewarded time.  Whilst there is nothing noble in idleness, it still doesn’t mean that is something noble in doingness – not if you don’t believe in what you are doing.  Time, like money, means nothing if you do nothing with it.  And what did I do with that time – what, to paraphase the bitter, did I “do all day?”

I woke up, had breakfast and smoked a Silk Cut King Size.  I read history books, sometimes one in two days, whizzed through a vast selection of fiction works, started a short story and then took my washing to the launderette.  Then, came back, had a cheese sandwich and basically did the same thing all over again – biographies, history of Hollywood, obscure tales of London – or if I wasn’t reading, I was learning Italian, or singing through all the Ella Fitzgerald songbooks so often (maybe Monday Harold Arlen’s, Tuesday Rogers & Hart) that in about five months I had 150 songs memorized which I haven’t ever forgotten.  I would wrestle with Debussy at the piano for 45 minutes or so until supper.  Sometimes the neighbours would applaud my singing and playing, but mostly they would shout out of their windows “Can you turn it DOWN?!”  I wrote poetry (badly but at least it wasn’t as risible as the short story I started that morning), had a bath and put some Dizzy Gillespie on.   I never thought of TV until the evening, and had no internet to distract me either.  I hardly drank, never went to the hairdressers, and rarely went shopping.  I didn’t have a holiday for a couple of years.   It was splendid.   I read more books than I read during my entire Masters course a decade later.   What I understood was how to be still in my own space; how I worked, when I should work, and what I ought to do with my life.  More importantly, I learned how to accommodate, be the master of and enjoy, time.  None of what I was doing felt like labour; it was all just me being me and doing what came naturally, anyway.  Unbeknownst to me, I was shoring up intellectual resources by banking everything I was learning which meant I was able to withdraw much of it for a MA ten years in the future.

As the years have rolled by, and automony and financial necessity have caught up with me, I now find the world turned upside down.  I am working like a Trojan.  All the people who were strongly advancing their careers and sacrificing their liberty ten years ago are now at home all day, agitated and confused victims of le crunch de credite.  It is the first recession of our major adult lives, and one of every two of my friends is blinking into the sunlight and coping with NGE (no gainful employ) in the near future.  They panic, of course.  It is ten years later and liberty doesn’t pay.  Their financial commitments are those of the 35 year old, not the 25 year old, but once some peace of mind is gained on the finance situation (the biggest battle of them all) they don’t know what to do with their time.  They don’t know what to be with their time.  They feel odd.  Bit by bit – and then suddenly all at once –  they get it. 

They get the glorious liberty of peace at 11.30am on a Tuesday morning in a residential street.  They feel the value of it and understand it is meaningful.  They get the quality of life without obligation, except that to yourself.  They wear what they want.   They get that to give a corporation anything other than your time (loyalty, devotion, conscience) is unwise.  They wander if life is made up of a different kind of stuff than the stuff they have been busy with for ten years.  Silently, rapidly, space clears in their heads.  Many have taken up baking or crafts – in particular work that uses manual skills – and most have started to read or learned a language.  They feel the worth of peace and find they don’t need the things they used to spend money on anyway.  They stop buying new clothes and it never bothers them.  (The greatest shame is that I am the only person who has managed not to lose their job during the recession so I can’t join them for lunch.  Dammit!) Most of these people find jobs again, some in the same sector, but some in vastly different areas.  One has pledged never to work again, although is unsure how to manage this unless she takes up prostitution.  Everyone is – at the end of the process – happier.  Time has landed on their doorsteps, whether they liked it or not, and it’s visit has been ultimately rewarding.

And (I like to think) everyone gets me a little bit more.  Or if not, the person I was, and what I was doing when they were all out developing careers;  that they fathom what it’s all about.  I never ask “So, what do you do all day?” as people used to do to me.  If anything, I get over-excited if someone gets paid off for getting laid off and think its marvellous. “Great!  Think of all the things you can do?!  Would you like to go on a day tip to Bath?”  This over-excitement isn’t always appreciated, to be honest.  People are anxious, exhausted and poorer than they were two years ago.  The only thing they are rich in is time.   Although I have to work now (and will, no doubt be buried with a computer attached to me so that I can do some emails for my boss from beyond the grave) I had my time, did my freedom and mined the various spaces in my head.  Looking back, it is singular that it never bothered me what those who asked “So, what do you do all day?” thought or felt.   I just kept on doing my thing.  Funds are low at the moment, but the liberty I banked in the past granted me perspective, made me stop a first, false career and sharpened new ambitions.  And you can’t put a price on that.

Please return to The London Bluebird if you enjoyed this.  This blog is updated every Thursday.

Local Misgovernance

Occasionally, when at a supper, or a shabby winefest deep in the bowels of Holborn, or polishing off a delightful pudding at a theatrical soiree, I fill a hole in the chatter by saying I used to work in local government.  It never fails.  People spit out bits of meringue.  “You!”  they point a spoon in my direction. “You’re the person who didn’t open the front door to the council tax people for a year and a half in case they worked out you lived in your house.”  “But it is true,” I protest, blinking first at the brandy, then at the coffee, and then again at the brandy.  “I was at the sharp end, loves.  Typing and everything.  It was like being in an episode of GBH.”  I reach for the Bendicks Bittermints.  “Permanently.”

“But you?”  they squeak. “You come from a line of self-employed tax dodgers who, when they used to receive cash payment long ago, would sign for tax in the names of minor Shakespearean characters.  You’re a non-civically caring hussy.  Pass the brandy.”

Alas, it is true.  Once I shared corridors with funny looking mayors who wore those freaky masonic necklaces whilst marching to the Council Chamber.  These things are necessary.  As I keep reminding the youngsters who irresponsible parents occasionally leave in my charge; books, pretty stationery and a never-ending supply of Clinique lip gloss costs something, and sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get a job.  Once there they do things like pay you for the stuff you actually do in your spare time (make tea, check Facebook, read news, check Facebook again).   I have had any number of these.  In fact, so many that they have blurred into one ten year long mesh of post files and dictation tapes.  Soon they reveal themselves to be undistinguishable from each other and merge into one.  But one of my jobs has never managed to merge into the others because it inhabited such a zone of lunatic tomfoolery that it defies connection to any other job.  Or any other part of my life.  Or anything that is normal.  It was the only job that made me want to go home and cry in the shower (and I include performing in pantomime where a fourteen year old child kept hollering “Lezzer!” at the stage every time I sang).

And, no, I don’t know how entirely it happened.  One minute I was paper shuffling and not working very hard at all in a finance division of the social services area with people wearing tracksuits putting through invoices for payment, and the next I was at the Town Hall where the people with suits are, and making tea for the Chief Executive who had had a humour bypass.  On my first day, I was instructed how long to leave her teabag in her tea before serving it, which should give you some indication of the Council’s priorities.  This was back in the day when New Labour were still relatively new, when the phrase “credit crunch” seemed unimaginable, and when you would frequently get home from work to find that some 12 year old who worked in the credit division for Mastercard was offering you a new little flexible friend with £1,000,000 credit on it.  Result.

Part of this lunatic expenditure was to book temporary staff via agencies to do many admin roles.  This meant that a job worth £25,000 could cost the Council as little as £50,000, once agency commission had been taken into account.  Marvellous.  I rocked up to the Town Hall and got a good salary for a job that involved cutting the hot cross buns for Council meetings.  I got told off when I did this and the buns were sent back.  I was supposed to cut them in half downwards instead of sideways.  Who does that?  Perverts who work in local government, that’s who.  Sometimes we had meetings about whether or not to have meetings.  Most of the time I dealt with irate callers who wanted to know why their car was clamped or who threatened to kill someone if their parking penalty wasn’t cancelled.  Some of them asked me my name but, strangely, when I told them, everyone thought I was lying.  I was always getting told off by the Chief Exec’s co-hussy person, mainly because the bizarre jobs they told me to do took longer than they thought they should.   I was frequently told that I wasn’t doing things right, although everyone else was doing things wrong.  I didn’t understand why all the Lib Dem councillors had to have lesbian trouser suits on (even the men) and was forced to adhere to a complicated “post-it” sticking procedure on the Chief Executive’s invitations, which would arrive by the thousand through the mail.  Meetings would go on for three hours.  Sometimes I would look at the papers for these meetings, and they were all in gobbeldegook.  Most of them contained phrases that weren’t English like “Process to be implemented to initiate middle management strata for organisation and execution of domestic refuse sub-laws” which translates in English to “bin collection”.     I had never seen sentences with so many verbs in them.  I thought, “This has to be a cover for something else – something concrete – something useful.”  But as usual, my hopes that I was working for humans were dashed.

I was in trouble.  It was manic, and it took half an hour every morning to check the supplies of sweets (the leader of the council had to be given sweets when he visited).  My fellow accomplice (PA) tried to book a holiday.  She set up the entire thing, only to find at the last minute that the person who had agreed to cover for her had decided to commit suicide instead.  Which meant that I had to cover.  For the top PA.  In a suit and everything.  It was quite possibly the most unpleasant week of my life.  I inadvertently destroyed a bunch of papers that the Chief Executive was supposed to take on a train the next morning to Liverpool.  I was too busy trying to look through the envelope with her payslip inside it to see how much she was paid, and suppose I just sort of mislaid the papers.  This meant a crazed half an hour at 5.30pm trying to locate the in-house lawyer who picked his nose and who had the original paperwork in his office.  Eventually, papers located, Chief Exec got on her train and all was okay.  The following week I got the push for “standing up too quickly when people entered the room and offering them tea”, which was perplexing.  The suggestion was made that I didn’t really suit being a PA, although I had been one for ten years, and that perhaps I would suit something more arty.  I could have a meeting about ordering the wrong kind of biscuits, but essentially, it was “bog off as soon as this week’s timesheet is signed”.

On my last day, things were sinister.  I got a signed card from my disapproving fellow PA with odd phrases in it, like : “As you spread your wings and fly away to a new chapter…”  All right, take it easy – I was only there for 6 weeks.  I had to go through the humiliating rigmarole of “leaving drinks” which the Chief Executive actually turned up to and we glared smilingly at each other for half an hour over dry white wine.   She was decidedly jolly about getting rid of me but nothing had disarmed me more than these six weeks at Town Hall.  At least in social services everyone was normal, if congenitally lazy.  The oddest thing that happened to me in social services was that I think someone asked me on a wife swapping evening (but am not sure) but at the higher echelons I spent my days standing with trays full of mugs of tea, waiting to be signed by a regal wave of the hand to present them to the Council table, as if I was serving Marie Antoinette in pre-revolutionary France.

The monarchistic regalia had been replaced by the oddest kind of bureaucratic madness.  This was back in the early years of the noughties; that time when Alistair Campbell conjured up his own image of absolutist rule when he blithely commented that only seven people in the country mattered and “…all of them are in Millbank Tower”.  The power of our palaces may have diminished over the years, but there are always callow puppet princes to take their place.  The extent of waste was hugely shocking and seemed to go on for about five years after I last filled the council biscuit tin.  I can only hope someone gets value for money these days; and that all those people who owed parking penalties frequently drove into the Town Hall.  Never before or since has my working life been more futile or depressing.  I hope this was a symptom of only the New Labour years but I fear it isn’t the case.  As for yours truly?  “Well,” I say, as I put the brandy bottle back and everyone has stopped laughing.  “I deigned to have nothing more to do with the public sector ever again.”  Which I didn’t.   After all, the only bonus was you were the first in line for the annual flu jab, and if avoiding disease is the best thing about your job then, frankly, you’re better off in private enterprise.

The Cold Light Of Day

Happy New Year, dearest readers, and welcome back to y’all after a three week hiatus!  May 2011 be gracious, kind, a little bit saucy and very splendid to you. Slowly, we are emerging from the fuggy-headed richness of Christmas and facing the New Year with the usual resolve to be better, to be kinder, thinner, less toxic, more sober, less extravagant, more financially conscientious.  Everybody, bar none, was sneezing on the bus this morning.  There was a man who had two hearing aids in and one of them shot out across the aisle when he sneezed at Swiss Cottage.   All of this grisly, early morning nastiness was conducted to the usual January pale turquoise skies that looked thoroughly fed up and belched rain.

Of course, my nutty madness for Christmas has meant that I am fumbling through January with a few shekels in my pocket, wondering what nutritious lunch can be purchased for 35p.  The feverish hell of the sales is not an option, so it’s quite a relaxing time.  There is no question of resisting a purchase when there is very little to purchase it with.  I mean, I am a persuasive character, but even I can’t persuade the manager of Steinways to part with a white grand piano on the strength of a Bluebird smile and a promise to “pay in 10,000 weekly instalments of £2.50 per week please?”   Every year it’s the same, although every year we tell ourselves it will be different but it isn’t.  I so enjoyed shopping for others during Christmas that I insisted on shopping for myself at the same time.  This means that things.  Get.  Out.  Of.  Hand.  I tell myself it’s only money that will be spent at other times, and yes, actually, I DO need a fourth pair of black suede shoes, and suddenly I can’t stop and I’m buying coats and festive bottles of fizz and glamorous chocolates from Selfridges and I don’t know how.

This explains why I today, like many of you I suspect, am at the end of the first week of ground-breaking parsimonious penury, that my dinners have been jacket potatoes with salad (and very tasty they are too) and my working lunch has been packed in advance the night before, with homemade soups and apples and nice crisps so that I don’t go Away In A Pret a Manger.   It won’t last, as by January 23rd I’ll be justifying buying wild salmon and caviar again, ordering singing telegram boys and bathing in Arabian ewe’s milk.  But heigh ho, I’m trying, and it’s a great way of cleansing the soul in the New Year.  And it gives you something to do when you’re avoiding ringing your bank to find out what your balance actually is.   During the long, white stretch between New Year’s Day and Pay Day we have to find richness in other things than money.  I have deviated from my usual route to work for the last two days and got off the bus one stop later.  This means that instead of hopping off at Oxford Street and trudging down past the street cleaners and those mysterious, luminous-jacketed men who stand outside Selfridges daily at 7.45am, presumably waiting for a sale on luminous yellow clothes comprised entirely of nylon,  I hop off at Park Lane.  Once there, I loom into a different London.

Strolling down Park Street and Green Street, the extravagant heart of Mayfair, I may as well be a world away from the shopping face of the West End.  This is still a largely residential district.  It’s the twelfth night tonight, and discreet Christmas trees still glitter politely in marble halls.  Well-to-do poshies are putting their kettles on.  Very tidy bins with lids that actually fit, hide the remainders of terrines and empty gin bottles.  Copies of Mayfair Resident are strewn on doorsteps so clean you’d have thought the Christmas elves had been cleaning them all night.  Intensely manicured plants sit outside the pied a terres of tenth generation Harrovians and Middle East oil barons.   The roads are silent and gracious.  Dropping round in Grosvenor Square, the queue for US visas already loops past the Eisenhower statue at 8am.  This morning the person at the front of the queue was holding an umbrella with the national flag of Canada on it.  Probably not the best move for the ol’ yankee doodle dandies.  Maybe they were at the wrong embassy.   In Brook Street, the Claridges bar is shuttered and curiously walled in by a pretty wrought iron gate.  This was a shame as the current weather is driving me to drink.  “NOOOO!  I must have one of your delish Stolichnaya with shaved ginger and lime drinkies, you Claridges lovely people!” I hollered, beating my head against the railings and shouting “Why God, WHY?”  If there was ever a justification needed for consumption of hard spirits in the morning, it’s my job.  The Claridges barman would drop his crystal cocktail shaker if he heard about the asinine tomfoolery that goes on in the office every day.

And then it all went wrong, because, as I carried on walking, I found myself at the site of former mentioned employ.  This was very annoying, as I had hoped to continue my reverie.  Alas.   Even those ginger and lime drinks cost something, and Pay Day is still too far away in the deeper trenches of January.   It was restorative, however, to take a morning stroll through a beautiful district admiring the views.  I don’t drool at the doorsteps of the rich (not since they caught me and I got tagged) but I do appreciate the prettiness of them.  It made my day pleasanter.  My job may involve instructing a grown person on how to redeem an I-Tunes voucher code, but at least I can see Mayfair from here.  And that costs nothing.

Please return to The London Bluebird if you enjoyed this.  This blog is updated every Thursday.

2010 – the view from here…

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com 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 Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 49 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 120 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 29th with 346 views. The most popular post that day was A night in Albania.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were pub29.bravenet.com, facebook.com, lovelees.com, blogs.thestage.co.uk, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for nick clegg, the beatles help, gene kelly, henry vii, and eleanor bron.

Attractions in 2010

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

1

A night in Albania June 2010
26 comments

2

I thought she was a sandwich… July 2010

3

The Tale of Two Musicals June 2010
7 comments

4

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Cleggaron, it’s a coalition! May 2010

5

88 miles per hour?! March 2010
1 comment