Tuesday, April 28, 2009


No, it's all right - we didn't let her swallow the wool. She enjoyed playing with it, though!

The very second that I pressed “Publish” for my last masterpiece, I got an email from Blogger saying that my blog was suspected of being spam and had now been locked. So I was unable to go back in and add the image I’d forgotten, which was our own cherry blossom, above.
I was to email Blogger and ask them to check my blog otherwise it would be deleted in 20 days. Ow! So I did, and now I assume they’ve scrutinised it and have decided that I’m not trying to persuade you to order cherry saplings from my black-market nursery.

Just imagine if I’d been away on a three-week holiday or in hospital with some lengthy disease. What a loss to the world that would have been. My little bloglet would have been obliterated. Well, maybe the world would have kept turning but it would have been a loss to me because it’s a record of the last three years of my life, or at least a part of it.

Occasionally I think to myself that if I want to have access to my posts, then there’s no use relying on Blogger. I have no real conception of what Blogger is, to be honest. A website? A server? (Could I define these in any precise way?) And I certainly don’t know why it kindly hosts my blog and millions of others. There doesn’t seem to be enough advertising to pay the salaries of those friendly and literate chaps who send us little messages about outages and improvements. I’m always amazed when people rail at Blogger when it’s so handy, so easy, so – free.

Anyway, from time to time I save and then print out a few posts, but it’s a boring job and I have a huge backlog. Though in fact if I ever do catch up and then regularly print them out, they’ll just be a burden on the children when I die. (“What’s this folder? Oh, it’s Mum’s blog. We can’t throw that away.” Yes, you can, darling offspring. Go on. Bin it.)

What do you do with your blog posts, people? Are you content to trust to the continuation of Blogger or whatever you use? Do you have leather-bound volumes of your blog on your study bookshelves? Would you care if your blog host (is that the word?) suddenly stopped operating and your words and pictures suddenly dematerialised like Doctor Who aliens, burst like soap bubbles on a windy day, vanished like a dream on waking?

Our son was to come home yesterday for a week but on Friday evening we heard noises in the hall and when I went intrepidly to investigate, it was him! (Or he, to be pedantic.) He’d come home early to surprise us. So we’ve had him all weekend. Lovely! Here he is just working up the strength to deconstruct the washing whirligig.

Some cat time, with the remains of a chocolate Easter bunny.
Oh, I've been so busy and haven’t had time to comment on blogs, though I’ve kept an eye on some of you from work. However, I have half an hour now so here I come…


  1. I'm not quite sure anybody would notice if my blog suddenly disappeared. How sad. But I'd miss you if you were no longer in blogland. I never gave a thought to keeping my posts. Hmmm... now you've got me thinking I should go out and buy a great big binder in which to save them. A legacy for my daughter? Ha!

  2. Ahem -- have you been knitting? Is that where Cassie found your wool??? ;-)

    "I" (Say that very boldly) would be bereft if your blog suddenly disappeared -- I'm so glad you weren't on a lengthy vacation.

    I can't imagine printing out my blog -- like you said, it would be so tedious. I've been thinking about having one of those books made -- I think it's pretty easy -- just upload your blog to their software and viola. I keep putting it off though, thinking that I should go through old posts first for typos. I mean, we wouldn't want to have typos on the printed page, would we? And I know they're in there.

    I hope you're having a wonderful time with DearSon home -- I know you must be in heaven.

    Oh, and tell RachelJane that I would notice if she disappeared! ;-)

  3. Anything I want to keep, like the fiction, I have on files on my own computer. I used to do all posts like that, but stopped when it got a bit silly.

    After this short time, I'd certainly miss you.

    Love to see a guy and a cat snuggle down. Something about cats and wool, too.

  4. There is a service that will print out your blog but I am at well over 800 posts so it would be a bit expensive, not to mention quite a thick book that would daunt any possible readers. I do worry about losing it all though.

  5. I've just been trying (and failing) to work out WHY they thought your last post was spam.

    I have no actual back-up for my blog but I have a vague dream of "slurping" it (the technical term apparently) into a leather-bound volume, one for each calendar year. This is one of the reasons why I would like a secretary. He/she would also be required to sort all my old photos out of the cardboard box and into albums. Then they can start on the digital photos.

  6. I have such an inquisitive mind - I'm the queen of Google! Anyway I checked out backing up your blog - just go into Blogger, then Settings, then Basic and click on Download Blog. You can then save the file to your hard drive. It's in XML format so you lose all the pretty pictures but you get all the content and all the comments - although all the comments are bunched together after all the posts. But I guess you could fairly easily cut and paste each post into a prettier format in Word. But it's very painless - I just did mine in about 30 seconds. Z xx

  7. I back all mine (and I have several blogs) up on my hard drive. Of course if anything happened to my hard drive...

  8. I originally started with another site and it went AWOL forever so all was lost. It could happen again but at this stage I'm quite content with blogger as it is - Although me being me would probably like our kids to read what I've written - well some of it anyway!

  9. Thank goodness Blogger is working hard to protect us from cherry sapling spam! But seriously, that's scary that your blog would have been deleted in 20 days. I think I would be devastated if that happened, but at the same time, there might be a slight sense of freedom that I can't quite explain.

    I love Blogger, but I do wish they would figure out how to let us upload pictures faster. Some days it takes a couple hours to complete one blog post. But I'm not complaining as it is free and my blog has brought me tremendous and unexpected joy. So thanks, Blogger!

    Hope you enjoy your visit with your son (he is handsome!). As always I love the way you write.

  10. Yikes. I'm sorry to hear about the blog brouhaha.

    I would be saddened if the blog hosts my blog friends use quit operating. Many people prefer to write under a pseudonym, perhaps for reasons of discretion or privacy. Thus, if their blogs suddenly disappear, one has no way of knowing whether they're okay or not. This has happened a couple of times, and it's worrisome. Over time one starts to care about people and their lives, then one day - poof! - they're gone.

    As for my content, the text of the posts is generally on a file on my computer. The real loss with having online posts blown away would be losing others' comments. I keep meaning to do a "print to PDF" of some of the posts, so that the comments will be preserved for posterity, but I never quite get around to it.

    I do think blogs can be an interesting resource for one's family. (Although hopefully not in the way of the father of an acquaintance, an extremely wealthy man who has not only written his memoirs, but has posted them online, complete with records of sexual conquests. Bleah!)

    Often people recount bits of history or anecdotes which may be interesting down the road. Perhaps the flavor of a day or memory of a holiday/vacation is conveyed. Definitely the character of the writer is captured. Although we don't necessarily write with that in mind, I feel sure that your children and future grandchildren will find those things of value someday. I certainly wish I had such records from my grandparents and those who preceded them! The things they found most mundane are doubtless the things I would find fascinating.

  11. I like Warty's comments. Not only do I have three years worth of blogs I'd like to print out someday, I also have scrapbooks, journals, archives of our family's annual Christmas letter, vacation journals--hopefully it will mean something to somebody when I'm long dead and long gone.

  12. Hmmm, I sometimes sort of idly think that I must back up my blog. And then I realise I have no idea how to go about backing up anything, least of all my blog which lives in the great Google cloud in the sky, powered by rainbows and unicorns.

    And I didn't know about your black market nursery - can I have some of those cherry saplings?

  13. How lovely for you, to have bonus time with your son!

    As to saving the blog... I keep meaning to save it to discs, but then, I forget about doing it.

    I too hope Blogger doesn't suddenly up & go. I would miss all my friends!

  14. You have obviously tuned in to what most of us feel about our blogs, Isabelle! I have had a number of penpals around the world since I was 10 years old, and I kept all their letters in a box until recently. I would spend hours reading those old letters, and wondered if I should keep them for posterity the way people kept letters during the wars. But then I thought no, this is a waste of space and nobody would be interested in the tripe we used to write as teenagers! So I turfed the whole lot into the recycle bin last year. I've since been told I should NEVER have done that - I've just thrown out 50 years of social history! Does that mean our blogs are a form of social history? I guess so, since our government (or somebody in high places) was recently asking people to send their old emails in to a government site for posterity.
    Hmm..the mind boggles.

  15. I am awfully glad they didn't delete you as spam!

    No, it did not even occur to me your comment could be sarcastic, I am now worried about you slaving away over a hot ironing board at this time of night and worrying about worrying me... get thee to bed woman!

  16. I'm with Loth. Occasionally i worry that the unicorns are working too hard but then that passes too.

  17. Anonymous7:07 pm

    Gosh, that is a bit scary.

    I download mine regularly (like a previous commenter said) and I also have a duplicate copy on another url. But I don't ever print anything out.

    but your readers could help you out if it disappeared - or you could help yourself. Anyone who subscribes to your blog via Google Reader would have all your old posts and you could reload them from that.

  18. As soon as I press that button and it has zoomed off, so do I into the next second of the next minute. It''s therapeutic job done. Other peoples stories are so much more interesting anyway I find!

  19. Well, I've only just found you, and you've created blog-loss anxiety in me already! I hadn't thought of what to do with it, although I loathe printing, and suspect my ruthless son wouldn't thank me for yet another bit of bequeathed dross from my extensive collection.

    I just thought (if dimly) that Blogger would look after it for ever....

    Interesting who reads and who doesn't though. My sister forgets about it for months then is too busy to catch up, my friends are snooty about it, and think I'm a saddo for blogging, so don't read it on principle, but some of the few comments I receive are from the loveliest, most interesting people, and that makes it all the more worthwhile.

    Lovely, lovely cats, by the way.