The other day I was making my way to the post box in the village when I bumped into an elderly neighbour.
'Don't you write your blog anymore? It seems to be stuck at Christmas 2012.' He said.
I was momentarily taken aback by this, I had no idea that Mr R even knew my blog existed, let alone actually read it. I stopped in my tracks. I scratched my head, you know in that vacant sightly worrying sort of way; like when you go upstairs with the greatest intent only to stand on the landing thinking ... but I digress.
'Erm, well ... you know ... one thing and another cropped up and there never seems to be enough time, what with work and everything.' I replied hesitantly. No doubt looking extremely astonished at his opening gambit.
'Well I miss it, and I'm sure your other readers do too; those friends in that little box, I'm sure they miss reading about your garden and such like.'
I could feel myself blushing, or at least having a hot flush, and blurted out modestly.
'Well, you know, there are absolutely loads of blogs out there; hundreds, thousands really, there are no end of blogs you can follow.'
'So, do you follow many blogs?' I asked tentatively. He gave me a quizzical look.
'Well what I meant to say is; do you read many? Blogs I mean?'
'Oh no, just yours. I can't be bothered with all that social networking stuff. No, my daughter told me that a friend reads your blog and it turns out that you live in the village. I was curious. Of course I recognised it was you from those pictures of your garden, you know from when you had your Open Garden a few years ago. Now, that's something else you really must get cracking on with again.'
'Yes, I suppose ....' I trailed off depressingly.
'Anyway cheerio! must fly, the bus will be along in a mo.'
As we waved each other off in a flurry of goodbyes I thought about what Mr R had said. I couldn't help feeling rather chuffed. I'm a writer I thought. I have an audience. Someone in the village actually reads my blog. I know who the daughter's friend is, she's a colleague of mine with whom I work occasionally. I'd told her about my blog yonks ago when I was eager for readers to come on board.
Walking home, I continued to mull over the conversation. I thought about how I had left my blog, sort of in the lurch really. Just upped sticks and left it, with hardly a backwards glance. Left to float alone and orphaned in cyberspace ... well you get the picture. The Christmas Goodbye post in 2012 had indeed been very short and to the point (well why dilly dally I had thought at the time).
Of course, I have to confess that as some of you may know, many months later I flirted and toyed with a new blog. But it was never the same. It just didn't feel right. I struggled with inspiration for posts and realised that somehow it just didn't have my voice. I've read about the importance of voice, or the lack of it, somewhere or other.
Anyway, some techie glitch had got hold of the aforesaid impostor blog and it simply disappeared, in a puff of disassembled words. I metaphorically wiped my hands and didn't feel the least bit sad. Then work became manic for a while, as it often does and the whole blog issue got shoved to the back of my mind ... until ... well, back to the story ...
I posted the two letters (bills of course) and the two birthday cards (belated of course) and hurried home in great haste to look once again upon this pretty page. I felt my blog mojo rising. Yep, it was still here, looking somewhat old-fashioned, quite sweet really. My blog roll was still here (of course), familiar blogs with new posts loading daily, weekly, as it ever was. A year had gone by, children have grown, people have moved house and changed jobs, undertaken new ventures; there have been successes and disappointments, books have been read, holidays taken and sad losses endured. Just as in our real lives, the virtual life of the blogging community continues to roll along, inspiring and generously documenting lives and goals.
I began to type.
The virtual door to Cottage Garden will once again be open for business quite soon.