Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Blogo ergo sum

Today is the anniversary of my first post on this blog, and it is an opportunity for me to reflect on blogging.

To begin with here is what I wrote on this day last year:

Oh no, not another blog...

Well that may be your reaction to discovering this site, but nevertheless I am going to see if I can get this running. I may well flatter myself that I have anything to say or add to current debates, but I think it is worth trying.
I have thought of setting this up for a while, and one or two friends have suggested that I should do so. They have even promised to read it if I do set it up. Another friend has helped with the initial site creation. I expect it will take me some time to get used to even the basic techniques required - please be patient. I used to think e-mail a ridiculous fad, and then I finally gave in and signed up to it. Now I have the obsessive glint in my eye upon seeing a computer of the man who has not checked his e-mail for fifteen minutes. Mobile phone? I did n't need one, until, that is, I eventually got one. This may well be the same kind of compulsion. What, you may ask, are you going to find here? I think the list of other blogs and websites I read will give you some indication of my interests and enthusiasms, but there is no harm in giving you an idea. It is Catholic - I have a fair dose of the zeal of the convert, Traditionalist - in the proper senses of that word - I believe in the positive value of a living, historic tradition, Monarchist - a subject upon which I can be militant, fascinated by History - I have been since my earliest days and memories, Medieval - that is my real love as a historian, but I am by no means exclusively interested in the middle ages - and who says we are out of them? You may well get reports on my work on Bishop Fleming, or talks I have delivered, or places I have visited, or books I have read or am reading. At times it may well end up reading like one of the late, great, Michael Wharton "Peter Simple'''s "thoughtful leaders" from The Feudal Times and Reactionary Herald.

Regular readers can reflect on whether or not I have lived up to what I wrote then - I think I have stayed very much within the parameters I indicated.

I have gained some technical skills, and enjoy hunting down images on the internet to illustrate my posts. It is a pleasure to find other blogs and websites that might be of interest and point them out to potential readers.

Adding the sitemeter last summer meant that I am now able to see how widely I am being read.

This Year's Visits by Month

It may not be good for my humility, but it is rather good to realise my efforts are being read worldwide, and I am grateful for that. I appear to have been read in nearly every European country, across the English speaking world and also Latin America and parts of Asia and the Far East It is rather surprising to find where I have regular readers of whom I have no other knowledge. I realise, of course, that many of the national 1% 's are old friends and I appreciate their continuing interest in both me and the blog. I have also made new contacts through writing the blog and received on occasion fan-mail. Once again thank you.

I will put up another post about the redesign that was carried out some weeks ago, but I am very pleased with what that has achieved.

There are times when I get withdrawal symptoms when I cannot get near acomputer to write my latest thoughts or to revise a draft - so that fear I had last year was amply justified. However it is a good mental stimulus, and helps me hone my thoughts. In some ways blogging is a modern version of the common place books or scrap books of past generations, and it is a way of keeping images and ideas together as a reference point for myself.

So, to all my readers, thank you, and please, carry on reading!


Stephanie A. Mann said...

Thank you for all the effort you expend on this blog; I have really enjoyed it and have linked to it several times. Congratulations!

Noelle the dreamer said...

"...However it is a good mental stimulus, and helps me hone my thoughts. In some ways blogging is a modern version of the common place books or scrap books of past generations, and it is a way of keeping images and ideas together as a reference point for myself."
Well said and much obliged for all your efforts!
Reading your posts have been a pleasure and a wonderful opportunity to learn much!