Just a couple of days ago I posted my fifth anniversary post. By that time I already knew that WordPress was getting rid of the Daily Prompt and Weekly Photo Challenges.
What was different from other times that we’ve had changes here is that WordPress has not told us that it is an improvement or that some new and better thing will be coming along to replace it. The last topics have been very final.
I’ve read a lot of posts and comments and I know that people are very unhappy about all of this. It seems there will be nobody left at WordPress to listen or care or to reassure us that it will be alright. They already have our money.
The bloggers that I read are not businesses, they are people who like to share their thoughts and pictures like I do. It’s fun to blog but if you are not being read it is a bit like shouting in an empty room. I admit that I did not do the Daily Prompt every day but when I was starting out I used it a lot for inspiration and most of the people who I follow now I found through their Daily Prompt posts. I’m not sure how somebody starting out now would find other like-minded bloggers. By luck I suppose.
I know all our collected posts on this subject will not matter a jot. The WordPress Team are now packing their cardboard boxes and heading out the door leaving us wondering what’s coming next.
Today is the 5th anniversary of my first post on “Our Other Blog”. Of course it was “My Other Blog” then. I had only been writing the doll blog for about a month and I was itching to write about other things and post photos of non-doll subjects. However, I wanted to keep the blog on topic so the logical thing to do seemed to be to start another one.
I wasn’t sure how I’d get on as a newbie blogger trying to write and photograph enough material for two blogs or how long I’d keep it up for before losing interest. It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start; looking back at the stats I had 9 views of the blog in June 2013, the next two months were no better. My first very modest goal was to be read every day. I hated seeing those blank spaces in the stats graph like gaps in your teeth.
Things picked up though. Six months later I was posting regularly two or three times a week. I’d started joining in the Daily Prompt, thanks Daily Prompt you helped; and I’d hit on the idea of posting a photo every Thursday as a blogging goal.
Since that time there has been steady though unspectacular growth in the number of people reading the blog and the names of many regular readers feel like old friends now.
I have learned a bit I think. I take photographs now consciously looking for subjects that will be interesting to use in a photo challenge. Cee’s Photo Challenges in particular have been a big help to me as I now look beyond the obvious for a picture and I have a new enjoyment of black and white photography.
Reading the work of fellow bloggers has helped me a lot too. Sometimes their thoughts trigger an idea of my own to write about; sometimes just an interesting thread of conversation in the comment section.
I know that some people who read my posts are not native English speakers so I proofread for spelling and grammar errors and try to write in language that won’t be too hard to follow. I want us to write the way we speak but to keep it simple. I know that sometimes I write a bit too much so I try to check that too. “Is there an easier way of saying that?” I ask myself.
I’ve probably learned as much from reading the work of others as from reading WordPress articles about blogging. I want to particularly mention Marilyn Armstrong and her team of writers at Serendipity-Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth because I enjoy the variety of subjects they write about and Marilyn has a lot of good advice for new bloggers as well. Pat, who writes Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss, has shown me that even if you rarely travel far from home you can still write entertainingly about your daily life and the antics of your cat.
Over the past year I’ve learned how to work as a team with Naomi after she joined me in blogging here. In fact Naomi’s first post was on the 31st of May last year so it’s her anniversary too. It’s been a lot of fun to have someone to exchange ideas with.
While thank you’s are being said I also want to mention my friends Ally and Matt Clark and Bruce Laughton who have all generously allowed me to use their photographs when I didn’t have any suitable ones of my own.
Matt -Hobart snow day 2015-Photo Ally Clark
Ally enjoying the snow – Photo by Matt Clark
Bruce- Sunbury 2017
I think that photography will be the main theme of this blog for the next twelve months. I want to keep on sharing photos of the places we know in Tasmania. Naomi is particularly interested in vintage vehicles and we both love to photograph old and interesting buildings and other structures.
Although we probably won’t include them in our Cruise Holiday posts we do hope to share a bit of the footage Naomi has been taking with her movie camera in the future. She wants to concentrate on editing pictures and sound before we do that.
So finally I’d like to say thanks to our readers old and new for sticking with us and we hope you’ll continue to enjoy the journey.
I went back over the photos that I had taken for blog posts in 2016 for this challenge. It was not an easy year for me to take photographs. I came back from our cruise holiday with a sore ankle from too much walking I suppose and a few weeks later I had a fall which gave me two bruised feet and made walking uncomfortable for some weeks. We had a long wet, winter which prevented me from going out very much so my photographs mainly focussed on home.
Highlights of my year were the cruise of course, the ship and New Zealand were everything I expected; and a trip to Adelaide in October to visit family was very enjoyable.
At home I watched my garden change as a new front porch, pergola and plants were added. I found that I took a lot more pictures of flowers in 2016. I enjoyed time with Cindy and Polly outdoors as well as in and became even more interested in the feathered visitors to the garden. I had new flooring laid inside too so although there is a long way to go gradually the house is starting to look better.
I managed to get to one cricket match in Hobart and also to a book signing where I met Michael Clarke the previous Australian cricket captain. I spent time at the Hobart waterfront as I do every summer and started to do volunteer work at our local Op Shop in Geeveston.
I bought more dolls both old and new and wrote about them for my doll blog and visited the model railways show to see tiny and full sized trains.
I broke my Nikon L120 which made me very sad because David had given it to me but bought a used Pentax K10 DSLR which was something the two of us had discussed buying when he was in hospital. I tried to learn more about photography by participating in photo challenges and will continue to do this in 2017.
One of Wellington’s two Street Pianos
Polly is interested in the birds in the apple tree.
Spring is near.
A place to relax.
My first pansy of spring.
Compostiion Shirley Temple doll c 1935
The Sydney Opera House
I should know what this is but I lost the plant label. I believe they are Liliums.
Michael Clarke signing copies of his book “My Story”.
Slate patterned vinyl is a big improvement.
Cindy demonstrates how to use the new steps to the pergola.
Out for a stroll with mum or dad.
Tasmanian or Green Rosella
Ovation of the Seas – Hobart ,13 Dec 2016
A wicket is taken.
Outside the Geeveston Op Shop.
Tasmanian steam locomotive C22 at the Tasmanian Transport Museum.
Wellington Cable Car in the upper terminus station.
The new timber
English Lavender taken with my 18-50mm zoom lens on maximum zoom.
Santa arrives in Geeveston
One of the cars used by the Napier’s Art Deco Trust.
Tall ship mast.
We loved this quirky structure.
It was nice to be able to walk straight off the ship and into the city centre.
Luna Park Sydney
The chairs in place.
Potted cyclamen given to me for my birthday.
My gift from Naomi
The new border.
Napier Municpal Theatre
Our first glimpse of Explorer of the Seas
The trees are starting to look like a hedge. Sept 2016