It’s been a while, I know. You could put it down to laziness, maybe writers block or even a lack of material but the end result is the same. I’ve neglected you, and I’m sorry. Way back when I started blogging in 2006 I used it as a way to keep in contact with friends and family while I was travelling around the world. Rather than just writing online letters with a few pictures thrown in I started to experiment with reviews and anecdotes for all the places I’d been. When you’re travelling to places many readers have never been, it’s easy to find things to write about that people will find interesting. Every day is an adventure, or a potential disaster, and both make great reading material (with the latter actually always offering more laughs). Likewise when I was living in Japan, there was simply no end to the amount of material available, I mean, seriously! Train men that randomly point at things for no apparent reason? Builders that dance together in the morning and then wave mini-lightsabers at passing cars? Old ladies on bikes? Raw eggs? Chicken testicles on sticks?! That place is a blogger’s treasure trove!
England though. I love the place, really I do, but it’s totally and utterly normal. All two of my readers live here already according to my little map statistics (alright, maybe one or two in America as well) and the discovery of cultural insights that people don’t already know about is tough and, well, basically the domain of professional stand-up comedians, and I certainly don’t purport to be as witty or clever as the likes of Ross Noble.
What does one write about then? Politics? Dry. TV? Never watch it (unless you count the 72,000 episodes of the latest series of Masterchef: The Professionals or the continual onslaught of Grand Designs and Man V. Food repeats). TV is just something you have on the background while you’re eating so you can avoid having one of those “conversation” thingies and besides, Charlie Brooker’s got that locked down already.
At the beginning of this year I played with the idea of doing a different challenge every month and actually, January 2012 was probably the most productive month of my whole life; I learned 500 kanji, a couple of hundred Japanese words, drank so much green tea that I anti-oxidised the air around me wherever I walked and got back into weight training after my broken hand had finally healed. As with so many New Year’s Resolutions though, the idea was dead by February. You don’t realise how difficult it is to do the same thing every day until you do it, and then you feel like it’s the only thing you ever do, even if it’s only an hour or two every day. It also serves to show how much time we waste sitting idly around watching TV or surfing the Internet.
That pretty much takes me right back to where I started – travel – and with my fateful trip to Italy earlier this year, a recent trip to Poland and a bout of flu preventing me from doing much besides lying in bed reading, heating up some Heinz Cream of Chicken soup or staring at a computer screen, you can probably expect another entry or two in the next couple of days.