Blogging as therapy

July 13, 2010

Toll calls were very expensive and we didn’t have mobile phones or the internet when our son was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disorder.

We made a few calls to immediate family but telling most of our friends throughout New Zealand and overseas was done by writing letters and posting them.

There had been little technological improvement in the following two years when we got the diagnosis for our second son. Mobile phones were becoming more common when he died five years later but we still hadn’t heard of the internet.

Now, when people want to spread personal news, good or bad it’s relatively cheap and very easy to do it by text, email, Facebook or blogging.

Writing can be therapeutic for both the writer and those who read it and that’s what prompted me to choose blogging as therapy for my chat with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today.

Blogs I mentioned were: Annie Fox –  written by Anna Wolfe who among posts on politics and life, wrote about cancer. The last post was written by a friend and includes tributes given at her funeral.

Kismet Farm wrote a variety of usually light hearted posts but mentioned a diagnosis of cancer earlier this year. The last post a few days ago was written by her husband, telling us she’d died.

We Remember is written by Lee Ann from Maryland whose son was killed in Iraq. The name was chosen because

 . . it seems more positive than simply not forgetting. Remember those we’ve lost, remember those left behind, remember why we are here. . .

Stoatspring is a mixture of reflections on life, retirement, reading and disability in poetry and prose by Harvey McQueen. He explains why he started blogging:

 . . . I’ve been diagnosed with inclusion body myositis, a rare muscular degenerative disease. . . . I cannot travel. I can’t garden and I can’t cook for I cannot plant seedlings or lift a casserole out of the oven. . . .  I’ve had to give up driving which means I’m dependent upon other people. It’s very rugged on my wife Anne for it means I can’t help around the house  . . . Thank heavens, I still can read, use the computer, watch television and DVDs, talk to friends. From being a participant in life I’ve become an observer. Hospital waiting rooms loom large as other events narrow down. So I begin this blog to widen my contacts

The last post was a recommendation from Deborah at In A Strange Land. Had Jim and I not run out of time today, I’d have mentioned that she is helping herself in her determination to stay off the demon drink for a month in aid of Dry July with a virtual star chart. A page with links to each day’s post is here.


Death of a blogger

July 8, 2010

A comment on one of my posts led me to Kismet Farm where I enjoyed Wino’s tales of her horses and other animals, her battles with bureaucracy, and observations on life.

A few months ago she wrote that she had terminal cancer so when she hadn’t posted since early May I was concerned. Today her husband posted that she died last week.

If I am sad after knowing her only recently and electronically, how much worse it will be for her family and friends.


Did you see the one about . . .

April 10, 2010

Italy versus Cambridge – Quote Unquote on cultural differences.

KASS Music Gem(s) of the Day and Their Antipodes: Top of the Pops, 1951/2009 Lindsay Perigo at SOLO demonstrates how music has degenerated in his lifetime.

The end of the road – Rivetting Kate Taylor’s been tiki touring.

Labour MPs in 2009 – Kiwiblog ranks the Opposition and reranks them at More Labour Rankings.

Getting stuff done – Lindsay Mitchell on being motivated by laziness.

Fonterra lets out groans – Cactus Kate doesn’t have an issue with foreign ownership of NZ dairy farms.

I’m still standing – Kismet Farm is dealing with chemotherapy and home renovations.

Satistkick me – Opionoinated Mummy does the numbers on cognitive tests (a follow up to Kick Me on the horrors of the recruitment process.)

Revolution Is In The Air – the latest in NOt PC’s regular posts on works of art.

Just at thought but – Inquiring Mind wonders how far anti-whalers carry their opposition to things Japanese.


Dick Francis – a tribute

February 15, 2010

The paperback had lost its front cover and the blurb on the back mentioned racing.

That almost put me off, but I was stuck in a cottage in rural Kent. Rain had stopped hop picking for the day, it was too wet to walk into the nearest village and there was nothing else to read.

The book was Flying Finish by Dick Francis and within a few paragraphs I was hooked.

I sought out his other books and have now read everything he’s written.

He was a champion jockey who went into journalism when he retired from the race track. That didn’t pay well, his wife suggested he write a novel and that was the start of his career as a thriller writer.

Horses and racing feature in all his books but his heroes usually have other strings to their bows. Through Dick Francis I learned more about photography, flying, the jewellery business and wine than I’d otherwise have thought I’d want to know. 

The meticulous detail which made his characters and their lives so real and believable was one of the factors which made his books so good.

He had an old-fashioned attitude to women, but  most of his books featured a strong woman and his heroes always treated them  with respect. They were also honest and upright and one of the themes in all his books was the triumph of good against evil.

His late wife, Mary did a lot of his research and some suggest she played a bigger role in the writing too. His last four books were co-authored with his son Francis.

Dick Francis’s website is here.

The Times’ obituary is here.

The Telegraph’s obituary is here.

The Guardian’s obituary is here.

Keeping Stock also pays tribute.

Update: Kismet Farma has posted her tribute too.


Did you see the one about . . .

January 27, 2010

Productivity and wages –  Antidismal follows up his earlier post – Econ 101 and the minimum wage.

The average worker should not be paying even 33% – Kiwiblog on tax creep

A Little Bit of Fun – how to Mathematically park your car. Aimee Whitcroft at Sciblogs on how much space you need to parallel park.

Why the public should not be so worried about asset sales – John Carran at the Rates Blog.

Economic weather report – 24.2% of NZ born graduates live overseas – highest in OECD – Bernard Hickey at Rates Blog.

Comic game theory and living arrangements – the Visible Hand shows sharing a house doesn’t mean sharing standards.

Inadequate – Kismet farm finds bra manufacturers have boobed.

You should see the pot selection – Something Should Go Here finds something unexpected at the supermarket.


Did you see the one about . . .

November 4, 2009

Probing the depths of snow – Daniel Collins at Sicblogs has some stunning photos from Temple Basin.

Didn’t we learn from 1989 – Liberty Scott

When inanimate objects attack – Opinionated Mummy profiles some perfectly rages.

Motel greenwash – Motella doesn’t want a sermon when he stays away.

Mary Wollstonecraft wept – In A Strange Land adds to my contention that the fashion industry is inherently misogynist.

One of these is not the same – Macdoctor sees signs of sense from a health boss.

The Church of Jones – Roarprawn spots another cult.

October public polls – Kiwiblog paints a pretty picture for those of us who like blue.

Another pet lamb bites the dust – RivettingKateTaylor on life and death and pet shows.

And I like cows because . . . ummm  Kismet Farm has one of those days.

A heavyweight conundrum – Frendmy compares Australia’s roads with ours.


Stat time of the month

October 9, 2009

It’s stat time of the month again when Tim Selwyn of Tumeke! calls for blog stats for the Blogosphere Rankings.

In September at Homepaddock:

Sitemeter recorded 13,478 unique visitors. Stat Counter more generously recorded 15, 117 unique visitors.

 There were 238 posts which received a total of 497 comments.

The four most commented on posts were: 33 on Coal to fertiliser plant for Southland? on 25.9; 17 on Kiwirail must pay its way on 30.9;   16 on Greenpeace has wrong target for wrong reasons on 17.9 and 12 each on  Last cab has the mana and the power on  15.9 and The honourable member on 29.9.

The top 10 referring blogs were:

nominister.blogspot.com 1,580
asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com 924
kiwiblog.co.nz/blogroll 340
nzconservative.blogspot.com 273
kismetfarm.blogspot.com 169
keepingstock.blogspot.com 138
pmofnz.blogspot.com 126
lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com 75
macdoctor.co.nz 70
roarprawn.blogspot.com 69

Thank you for popping in and an electronic bunch of daffodils to all who left a comment.

Sitemeter

homepaddock
This Year’s Visits and Page Views by Month

This Year's Visits and Page Views by Month

The graph from StatCounter doesn’t want to copy but here are the figures:

Page Loads                 Unique Visitors                                            First Time Visitors                           Returning Visitors
Total 21,862 15,117 8,918 6,199
Average 729 504 297 207

Tuesday’s answers

September 15, 2009

Paul Tremewan wins another electronic bunch of spring flowers with four right and two bonus points for wit.

Kismet got three points and a bonus for ingenuity.

I’ll accept Gravedodger’s word he knew three and he can have an extra point for the extended discussion.

Andrei gets 2 points and a bonus for extra information and because PDM earned a sprig of blossom for one right.

Monday’s Questions were:

1. “Read him for the tittle-tattle. But for strategic analysis find yourself a grown-up.” Colin James said it, to whom was he referring?

2. Who wrote All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?

3. Titi-tea is the Maori name for which mountain?

4. Sheep breeders encourage multiple births, why aren’t cow breeders so keen on twins?

5. Which ship took New Zealand’s first frozen meat exports to Britain?

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


Did you see the one about . . .

September 9, 2009

Show Time at In A Strange Land – old crafts and new junk at the Adelaide Show.

Post election polls for new governments at Kiwiblog.

Why all the talk about a new currency at The Visible Hand.

 Accidental Rape? at Macdoctor  who says ACC isn’t the right place for rape cliams.

Referendum Madness from Andrew Geddis at Pundit.

Lazarus a real nowhere man  at Inquiring Mind – we can but hope and in a similar vein Out of the ashes I rise . . . at Dim Post.

Hit Me Baby – Laughy Kate shows how low a blogger can go when driven to compete.

No photos it’s x-rated – at Kismet Farm where there’s no privacy in the horse paddock.

The Artist’s New Rubbish at Opinionated Mummy a rewrite of an old story for modern times.

Apropos of the art is rubbish issue this issue see also:

Rubbish? Art? but I repeat myself  at Not PC

Art that isn’t  at Lindsay Mitchell

Rubbish is not art by Lucia Maria at NZ Conservative

and

Modern Art is Rubbish  at Quote Unquote.

Bits on the Side for Sale at Bits on the Side – another blog bites the dust.


Tuesday’s answers

June 23, 2009

Monday’s questions were:

1. What’s the gestation period of a sheep?

2. Who said: I married beneath me, all women do?

3. Who wrote Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession?

4. What did tamarillos used to be called and where did they originate?

5. Where is this statue (bonus point if you can name the dog and his master).

dairy 10001

Paul Tremewan gets the electronic bunch of flowers (perhaps the sweetpeas in the post above?) – for the second week in a row, but this week he’s lost half a point – he said Erma Bomberg when it’s Erma Bombeck, but he does get the bonus for the whole answer on Greyfriars Bobby and another one for being specific on the location.

Kismet gets 2 1/2 – right about tree tomatoes but not Chile-with a bonus for amusing me.

PDM get 1 and two halfs – tree tomatoes again but not Peru and Greyfriars Bobby but not Glasgow.

I’m open to debate on tamarillos – my source said Andean regions of Bolivia and Argentina but they may be found in other parts of the Andes.

The answers follow the break.

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Did you see the one about

June 14, 2009

Quotes and tips at Something should go here (where there’s several other jokes posted too).

Hager vs Crosby/Textor round 94  at David Cohen’s blog

At the carwash at Quote Unquote

Skating on thin ice at RivettingKateTaylor

Question of the day at In A Strange Land which came from In which I forget the purpose of posting at 2B Sophora

Nostalgia at Kismet Farm

Toxoplasmosis caused the crash your honour at Frenemy

Newspaper death watch – desperate remedies at Dim Post

You go girl  at Anti Dismal

What good is a right to life ? at The Visible Hand

Return of the stump speech at goNZo Freakpower

Milk Link shows just what a co-op can do  at Phil Clarke’s Business Blog

And a new – to me – blog: The Definitive 1000 Songs of All Time 1955 – 2005


Did you see the one about . . .

May 30, 2009

Recessions don’t hurt everyone at The Visible Hand in Economics

The Wesleys 1 at Musty Moments (numbers 2 -6 are also funny) Hat Tip: found via My First Dictionary at Kiwiblog

Cow breeding 101  at Kismet Farm

A New Zealnder opened a bank account today  at Watching Brief

Wondering at Craft is the New Black

Conversation wiht Myself about Obesity at Dim Post

Road Code Politics at MacDoctor

10 feminist motherhood questions from Blue Milk at In A Strange Land

Sommat Better at The Bull Pen

Extra-Ordinary at Bowalley Road

In which my cake geekery reaches new levels at The Hand Mirror


Did you see the one about . . .

May 18, 2009

OMG you won’t believe this at Kismet Farm (the end of a saga, you need to read some earlier posts to understand it).

Mortgage madness  at Frenemy

Businesspeople, the media and double super secret background  by David Cohen at This is not a Blogpost

Serve it up Bruce  at Cactus Kate

NZX and CPL Update  at Quote Unquote and while you’re there check out Pet Airways

Beware the $1000 clock  by Adolf at No Minister

Bizarre ad aims to scare potential teen mums  at The Hand Mirror

The old days  at Lindsay Mitchell

The most distrubing blog I think I have written  at Laughy Kate (warning, not for sensitive stomachs).


Did you see the one about . . .

May 1, 2009

The Next Einstein won’t be British  at NZ Conservative

Why is science important?  at Open Parachute

A Green Conundrum  at Frenemy

Alcohol & Addiction Part II at the Visible Hand in Economics

Incentives Matter Bible File  at Anit-Dismal

Gob.Smacked  at The Hand Mirror

The Great Tamiflu Swindle  at Monkey with Typewriter

Press complaint: exploitation of mental illness at Kiwipolitico

Autumn in the Park  at Half Pie

Compounding errors  at Kismet Farm


IQ test skewed towards men?

April 17, 2009

IQ Test
Free-IQTest.net – IQ Test

 Kiwiblog is smarter than I am.

Quote Unquote  is brighter too.

I bet it’s the number sequence that I got wrong.

If two men score better than one woman do I have sufficient evidence to accuse the test of  gender bias? 🙂

UPDATE: Oswald Bastable  beat me too.

I haven’t noticed any women confessing to their scores – but maybe they’re too smart to waste their time on the test.

UPDATE 2 : Kismet Farm scored better than me too.


Rural voices in the blogosphere

February 11, 2009

Agriculture Minister David Carter has joined the blogosphere at Over The Fence  ,  it’s good to not only have a blogging minister but another rural voice.

I’ve recently discovered another rural blogs: Kismet Farm.

Others who give a rural perspective on the blogosphere are:

Agridata

Alf Grumble MP

Bull Pen 

RivettingKate Taylor

2B Sophora

I’ve also just discovered Half Pie who isn’t rural, but he was a country boy.

If you write, or know of, any other rural blogs, I’d appreciate you leaving the web address in the comments.

Hat Tips: Kiwiblog & Lindsay Mitchell.


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