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

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