Well a truly interesting day. I picked up a message this morning from WordPress, the platform providers for my blog site, that it’s exactly 8 years since I started writing and ranting as Pasta Paulie, when we moved to Italy. Blimey. Around 845 separate posts, something over a million words and almost 280,000 visits later I’m still doing it and a few people still check by – thank you so much for your perseverance folks. I’m now writing for a living as many will know – you’d have thought I’d have run out of opinions by now. No chance. Continue reading
This is just a short piece to celebrate two things really; firstly it’s my 800th posting as Pasta Paulie. I never thought it would continue for so long when I started it to keep folks updated following our move to Italy. I certainly never imagined it would attract nearly 275,000 visits. Thanks to everyone who’s come by and those who continue to do so. It’s very much appreciated. Not least because today it’s one year since I had surgery to remove the cancer I hadn’t planned on getting. It’s been an eventful 12 months, probably the longest in my life but all seems well for the moment. I’m deeply grateful to all my family and friends who have been incredibly supportive and who helped and encouraged me through this. So double thanks folks. I hope there’ll be a lot more amusing, compelling, ranting postings to come! Well any would be nice.
Well it’s an interesting number, 750. It’d be one hell of an innings at cricket and almost a world record total at scrabble. It’s the weight in tons of a giant A380 aircraft and the awesome age of the oldest sequoia trees. It’s a big amount in anybody’s language. And It just happens to be the number of postings I’ve written on Pasta Paulie with this one. In terms of total wordage it’s about 250,000 more than in War and Peace. Blimey, that’s a lot of uninformed opinion. Perhaps I should have called the blog Wordsa Paulie.
Maybe I should make that Folk! because after so much time without a posting I’d be lucky to have one reader left. But thinking about it ‘folk’ cannot mean one person. So I’d better re-introduce myself more appropriately. Perhaps ‘hi me’ would be closer to the truth. So be it.
Fact is this is is my first posting in over a year. Why the gap? Well it’s been a difficult period, at least for the first 6 months. My mum, who’s already battling all sorts of stuff, had a massive stroke and we nearly lost her. My dad, bless him, elected to be her primary carer and he’s become exhausted through the process and became hospitalised as a result. In the middle of this we embarked on the process of working with our local authority to prepare our eldest daughter R for independent living. Against our better judgement we sided with the ‘experts’ who suggested we allow her to live with a so-called carer family as a stepping stone arrangement. There’s a whole book to be written on what happened but we almost lost our daughter in a ghastly experience. R’s over it now, as are we, but calling it traumatic would be an understatement. Put all that stuff together and I kinda lost my writing mojo. It’s hard to be light and amusing when almost everything that matters to you is dark and so very unfunny. But thankfully things are a whole lot better in many, many respects but I’ve still been missing my muse. Then here I was tonight faced with watching Sex and the City the movie on TV with my wife and I thought…. you know what, it’s time to do a new posting.
So here we are. I’ve no real idea what the topic is going to be. I’ve missed all the Olympic stuff (and for someone involved in the Bid process that’s something) and the rest of the glorious summer of sport. Then my wife C had a major knee operation in the summer which I’ve failed to cover off, and there was all the Jimmy Saville/BBC stuff which was aching for me to rant about (I’m sure I must have told you about Saville’s pleas not to cut him off from the VIP list of mobile phone loanees in return for which he promised access to the friendlier nurses at Stoke Mandeville – it’s true). Plus a few weeks ago I received my TfL freedom pass which means I’m of a really, really significant age. And I never wrote about it. I’ve missed Strictly, XF and IACGMOOH. We’ve moved to a new apartment overlooking the fabulous Bushy Park and also collected two olive crops since the last posting which gave me loads of rich content and it’s all poured through my typing fingers like the delicious oil we pressed.
So the point of this renaissance posting I’ve decided, is to remind myself how lucky I am. Not financially, or career-wise or anything like that but just personally. I’ve emerged from a black hole and know that my family, to whom I’m devoted, are all doing OK and that I have some truly great friends. Life is never perfect and lovely for very long but right now I feel a very lucky guy. OK this is a bit reflective but it’s been a long time. The next posting will be back to my ranty best I promise.
Well I’ve been trying to keep up with regular postings of late but have got a bit side-tracked over the last few days what with work stuff and a week-end visit up to the People’s Republic of Yorkshire to the christening of our great friends L&S’s grand-daughter Molly Rose. Lovely name, beautiful baby, great do and a welcome chance to catch up with all our family too. My super grandsons seem half a year older each time I see them. Sigh, I’m ageing at twice the rate of a 30 year old and it’s becoming more rapid I sense. Anyway I’m off to Italy with R for a couple of weeks to oversee some landscaping/building work at our MdF home. Two days drive ahead but hopefully a lot of sun on the back as I mix concrete, lay gravel, stain wood, decorate some rooms and refresh some pine furniture. If I get chance to write a few postings too it’ll be a miracle but I’m sure I’ll be blogging with aching back and heart as I miss the end of the Premiership season and the General Election. Will it be a a red or blue success in either case? We’ll see eh. Until then, ciao amici.
Not a word that most folks in the know would associate with me I suspect. Overly-assertive, opinionated and critical are just three of my wife’s favourite descriptors. And she loves me, so you can imagine my detractors’ personal descriptions. But today this sad little grumpy old man’s rant site achieved another milestone – its 150,000th visitor. How many? Just the ….
You can see why humble is not a word which naturally attracts itself to my description. But then again I am a bloody appreciative blogger – or blagger for short.
And I’m pretty sure this amazing total’s not down to my wife’s visits, who thinks I’m bloody boring and full of waffle. At least that’s what I pretend to think she said. Ah well I guess C gets the rambling verbal version of most of this stuff before you guys get the oh-so-crisp edited editions. Anyway I’m very grateful to all the readers who come by and simply look and read, and especially grateful to those who actually comment on the postings – particularly those members of my extended family who seem to be my most assertive, opinionated and critical commentators. I wonder if there’s something in the blood-line?
Thank you one and all – I’m grateful for every single visit. Truly.
Do you want to know which postings have driven the most visits since I started this blog? Thought not but here they are anyway:
|syrups, it’s a pity!||2,775|
|dress sense…or not||1,665|
|great grass, man||1,661|
|it’s the little things that are so annoy||1,135|
Would you have figured that? Nor me. Though it does suggest a lot of people check out the home page and decide to go no further. Oh come on folks; it’s only some opinion. I don’t really bite.
Anyway I seem to be full of the writing muse (not quite C’s words) at the moment so please keep checking in and I’ll try and write something worthy of your effort and interest. And if not it’ll be the same old, same old rants and ravings and ….rubbish.
Thanks a 6.7th of a million folks
Well this is the first posting in a while. We’ve been so busy over the last few weeks – moving house within London, getting a new car sorted out, heading back to Italy to get the olive crop picked and any number of business issues tidied up and trying to make progress on my projects with existing and new clients. I’ve also tucked in a flying visit up north to see a client and catch up with my folks and we had a lovely week-end down in Cornwall with old friends Cindy and Keith plus spending any spare time with our grandkids and daughters and son-in-laws. I’ve got so much to write about I hardly know where to start but I think I’ll start with a rant (and some praise too conversely) about customer service standards. Not very sexy or stimulating I guess but a subject that’s really got me going recently. More in the next posting but in the meantime it’s good to be back in blogland again.