Here I Am

My one great regret about writing this blog is that I no longer seem to be able to keep up with reading all that my blogging peers have written recently.

People I have shared flats with will testify that it used to be the case that once I got home from work, the first thing I would do would be to fire up my laptop (or PC as it was at the time), and check in on all my favourite folk, see what they’ve been up to and what they’ve been listening to.

But for the last couple of years, this routine has fallen by the wayside. Instead, every month or so – and often, not even that frequently – I’ll swoop by all those that I know, or who have commented here, or who contributed to The Chain back in the day, to catch up with what’s being going on with them. And hopefully pick up a few tips about tunes I don’t know about.

Over the last week, I’ve tried to rectify that, and found that many of my blogging buddies have been going through some hard times of late, and I feel terrible that until now I’ve not provided the same kind of support as they did to me, when I was taken ill last year, and then when I lost my best friend earlier this year.

Back before I started blogging, I didn’t realise the importance of leaving Comments on blogs I read, so I never left one. Not one.

But having been through some hard times myself and received such kind messages, I can tell you how much it means to know there are people out there – that I’ve never met and probably never will – who are decent, respectful and supportive. As one of my greatest allys has found recently, it’s so easy to forget in this world of online existence, where trolling and unpleasantness is often the norm, that there are far more nice, honourable people out there than there is the opposite.

This isn’t a pathetic plea for more comments here, this is an apology to all those who have commented and to whom I’ve not reciprocated until recently, when it’s way too late.

I wish I knew how to end this post. I’d love it to be something inspiring and uplifting, but I fear whatever I do will just come across as glib.

So I figured I’d embrace that. So here, by way of a truly shonky bit of clippage recorded so long ago that Tim Lovejoy still had hair (but was still an irritating twonk), is Alan Shearer doing what he does best: singing Labi Siffrie songs:

Hopefully ths won’t come across as pompous or self-important, but maybe it’s better way to sign off with a tune:

Adam Green & Binki Shapiro – Here I Am

More soon.

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17 thoughts on “Here I Am”

  1. It’s difficult enough keeping in touch when things are going well. As soon as the boat starts to capsize, it’s damned near impossible. But it’s good to know there are so many good people out there willing to spare a supportive word or thought, particularly when the media would have us all believe the world is populated solely by twats. I take a great deal of consolation in that.

  2. Sir,
    Your blog isn’t somewhere I have frequented much in the past, though I have read and listened from time to time. I am just trying to resurface into the blogging universe after a very long hiatus and like what I see here very much. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to keep up and feeling bad when you feel you’ve missed a chance to offer something positive when a blog pal is having a hard time. Yes, we all can benefit from the the pick-me-up that is to be found in a supportive comment but all we can do is do our best and know that in the world of friendly bloggers kind words are always appreciated.

      1. By which I mean, thank you, hello (some beautiful pics on your blog, by the way – I’ll add a link at some point) and you’re most welcome here.

  3. I think I’ve told you this before but not long after I started blogging I was searching for someone else who had written about the song Galveston and I discovered your blog (via your Gavescon anecdote) – Right from the start I found it hugely entertaining and funny (don’t get bigheaded!) and when I plucked up the courage to join in with all The Chain malarkey, I discovered lots of other blogs written by like-minded individuals.

    It has been a real joy over the last few years following all the blogs in our little circle and getting to know the people behind them. One of the best things that happened to me this year (in an otherwise shitty one) is to have got the chance to meet up with C, from Sun Dried Sparrows, in real life. Because, like yourself, I don’t hold back when it comes to sharing personal stories in my blog, as soon as we met it felt like touching base with an old friend. (We did consider asking you if you wanted to join us for a drink when in That London, but time-pressed – Maybe next time?)

    As for leaving comments, no-one minds if a long spell goes without hearing from people on our blogs but always nice to have a visitor if they have the time. There is always a lot of support from our blogging pals if we are ever having a tough time and it really helps to know that they are thinking of us. It’s the anonymity I think that makes us share things here that we might not necessarily share with people in the real world, that and the fact to have hung around for any length of time we must have a lot in common in how we think.

    Last but not least there is of course the music – We all have different likes and dislikes but that is respected and can lead to a fair bit of jovial teasing. A great anchor to go on an write about other things which is what I try to do and is what you do really well.

    As I wrote in my blog last week, we are living through strange and uncertain times where life has become a lot more ugly, divisive and cruel than it was even four years ago when I started my blogging career. Lovely still to have this place therefore to dip into for a bit of respite from it all. I once likened it to that bar in Boston “where everybody knows your name, and is always glad you came”. Long may it continue – I hope to be an octogenarion blogger!

    1. Though The Chain is definitely on the backburner for now (watch this space though, but not too hard…) I was immensely proud of how my blog became a place for my blogging buddies, old and new, to meet up every week or so, share some jokes and some tunes.

      I know what you mean – this is my safe place, but every now and then I do get somebody having a pop. I could just block them, but I prefer to publish their post and then expose them as the idiots they are. They’re not used to someone arguing back, I find. Certainly none of them have ever come back for a second go.

      As an older chap, whose always been an argumentative sod at the best of times I find it easy for to stand my ground here, but I can see why it would be less easy for someone younger to do the same. You know what I’m referring to here, of course.

      Oh, and either you or C has already invited me along to your next drink-a-thon. I’m keeping my diary even free-er than usual in anticpation.

      1. The Chain was an epic piece of work and like Rol’s Saturday Snapshots, was a great place to meet up with fellow bloggers on a weekly basic for a bit of the “craic”, as we say up here.

        I have been lucky enough not to have had any negative comments on my blog but I’ve seen how you’ve dealt with the ones you’ve had, so well done there. For youngsters however, who are online 24/7, discreet cyber-bullying is very real and it can lead to….. , well you know what it can lead to. With them it’s less about the words as it is here but more about pictures of what seems like the perfect life. All so unreal but can be so damaging.

        Sorry I’ve filled up your comments boxes again but as you say, quite a few of the blogging buddies have been going through tough times of late so nice of you to reciprocate with words of support.

    2. Reading blogs from nice people does help
      Had a shit couple of years but music, enthusiasm and good humour is a great thing

      er that’s it

      1. The word “nice” always seems a bit bland but having just looked it up it means “being kind and thoughtful”. There is a time for the music and for good humour but I’ve found that when the chips are down around here, people who leave comments are very kind and thoughtful. Sorry you’ve had a bit of a shit time of late but glad you find the blogs a good escape – We’re all with you there.

  4. Ditto everything you and the above comments say. Proof of my inability to keep up as well as I’d like to is that I am also a day late in responding to this. But being amid so many genuinely lovely people here online is a constant reminder that there are others out there who just ‘get it’ – and also that none of us has expectations either – we understand each other’s absences and other priorities, there’s no pressure.

    It was so great to meet the lovely Alyson earlier this year – I too felt as if we’d known each other for ages and it’s because of all those insights, attitudes and characteristics we’d already shared purely in written form (certainly there are people I only know in the real physical world who know a lot less about me/my life than some of my blog-readers!) And just to reiterate what Alyson says above, yes you’d be v welcome to our next rendezvous.

    Anyway, indeed, very glad to have found you and the other bloggers and to know what an easy, supportive place this is.

    1. And if I hadn’t stumbled upon Jez’s blog we would never have had that lovely day in London last summer. After 3 years of reading my blog you now know me better than my real-life best friends!

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