Back when I started this blog, in September 2001 (blogging ancient history), I used to put quite a lot of personal stuff on it. And because I wanted to preserve the privacy of our kids, a lot of the personal stuff was to do with our dog (latterly dogs). You can see some of the posts from following the RTL tag (Rosie the labradoodle). In fact, the video I shot of her first litter of puppies at day 38 is by far my most successful YouTube clip, with 173 000 views so far! Baby animals are truly the key to internet success.
Recently, I’ve been posting pretty much uninterrupted wine stuff. I guess I have got busier. And a tiny bit more professional. This is a shame: it’s not that my life is particularly interesting or special – it’s just that we are all people and if I read your writing it helps me to know a bit more about you. Context helps. That’s one of the reasons I quite like social media, even when it’s just the sharing of the mundane. It’s through this that we get to know each other a bit.
If you read someone’s work, there’s an element of trust involved, and if you get to know someone a bit – even in a digital way – then there are some grounds for that trust. [Not very postmodern, I admit.]
So, a non-wine related post. It’s spring – the best time of the year. Were it not for the winter, then the first warm days of spring would not taste so sweet. It’s a time of year when we look forward in hope for what the summer has to bring. The first evening sitting outside. The first lazy day spent in the park. The 9 pm twilight. The soul-soothing song of the birds. Of course, I am writing from a British perspective, where we spend around 5 months of the year in some form of winter weather. We have proper seasons, and our blue-sky summer days are rare enough that they are all cherished. It rarely gets too hot to go for a run, either.
The last couple of days have been just perfect, and walking the hounds – Rosie and her daughter Puppy – has been a real joy. Dog ownership is like having kids, but with a touch less responsibility and considerably less expense, with the added bonus that dogs love you unconditionally, bear no grudges, and are always happy to hang out with you. It is a big commitment, though, and for the last 8 years, when I have not been travelling, I’ve walked them at least once a day. It’s great thinking time, although it does seem a bit wasteful. What could I have done with all those hours? But this is the wrong way to think. Life is about balance, and dogs help to bring that balance. It’s just so healthy to care for something other than yourself, and relationships with dogs tend to be uncomplicated and rewarding in ways that you can’t quantify.
So, what do you reckon? Is it best to just stick to wine here? Or should I allow the odd bit of non-wine content, in order to add colour and context?