What is blogging in 2017?

Never mind the future of blogging – what’s the “now” of blogging in 2017?

I’ve been a bit quiet here recently. There are various reasons for this, but if I rolled off a few, they’d sound like excuses.

The quick version? Circumstances change. People change. People move on.

Ironically, I don’t always blog my thoughts in case someone reads something I’d rather they didn’t. By not blogging at all, I’ve certainly taken care of that.

The risk in 2017 (or 2015, or 2020) is that everything you say is so visible. So easy to find – and so hard to erase.

There’s that line for people who worry about their private messages being accessed. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ll be fine.” I’ve become a bit paranoid – not because I’m plotting something, but because once you put something in writing, it could be held against you – somehow.

While there are loads of stories about how someone has said or done something terrible, I can’t help feeling that it’s all too easy for one bad comment to permanently tarnish your reputation. There are levels of severity here.

I guess the answer is to not put it in writing. It feels like we’re expected to do this all the time. A blog cannot be too personal, lest you reveal too much. We can’t post negative things online – unhappiness, un-constructive criticism, anger, moaning, venting – because that reflects badly on us.

Thus, we have these uber-positive social media profiles. No wonder the only thing I can remember seeing on Facebook is engagement, marriage, and babies. Occasionally birthdays and barbecues show up. Oh, and holiday photos. There’s not much else.

So, what’s the “now” of blogging in 2017? It feels like blogging – and online life in general – has become very filtered. Based on my own anecdotal evidence, the overwhelming trend for everything I’ve seen friends posting online is that it’s positive – or at least has a positive spin.

I’ve posted less, because I haven’t always had happy things to say. To be honest, I haven’t had much of anything to say. Facebook particularly seems to be geared towards sharing things when you have news – especially when it’s positive. This is perfectly illustrated by the lack of any reaction besides “like”, at least until February 2016. The “like” button “was first activated” in February 2009. That’s seven years of Facebook giving the indication that positive stuff is preferred.

We’re human beings. We’re not always going to be happy. Suppressing negative emotions by not sharing them is probably not a good thing. I’m sure someone else has said that better.

For now, blogging is filtered. Maybe it’s time to change that.

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Music update: FAWM complete!

Tonight, I completed FAWM! (Here’s my original post, for context.)

Basically, I wrote 14 tracks in 18 days – I finished with 10 days to spare.

I might do a couple more, but for now, that’s the challenge done.

A couple of links to check out:

I’ve also refreshed my Music page. See below for a quick preview.

170218-music-homepage-resized

Try monthly mini-projects instead of year-long resolutions

Instead of setting one or more resolutions for the whole year (if you do, I bet you go off-piste by March) why not set one goal per month?

In January I attempted to write a blog post every day. I didn’t achieve that goal, but I did write a total of 10 new posts in January – the same as the number I wrote in the previous four months combined.

For February, I’ve embarked on a songwriting challenge: FAWM (here’s my profile). The goal is to write 14 tracks in 28 days. I’m trying to get a bit of a head start as I have a few social events lined up this month, so I won’t be able to write a new track every day. I’ve already managed 5 tracks in 5 days. It’s going well so far.

I haven’t planned a goal for March yet. I don’t see a reason to plan a goal for every month of the year right away. This allows me to leave plenty of room for new ideas. I might think of a new mini-project later in the year that I wouldn’t have thought of sooner.

I also don’t want to publish a list of 12 objectives on my blog, only to miss most of them. I’d rather share my progress as I go. I’ve slightly broken this with February’s goal, as I’ve shared quite early, but I’m still taking the idea one goal at a time.

Try monthly goals, or mini-projects – see what you can achieve.

Music update: 2016 albums and what’s coming up in 2017

I’m quite pleased with what I achieved in 2016. As my Music page shows, I released four new albums:

  • Symmetry 1
  • Symmetry 2
  • Revisited
  • Voyage into Space

I released Symmetry 1 and Symmetry 2 simultaneously, under the name “GFD”. Towards the end of the year, I released Voyage into Space, also as “GFD”.

Meanwhile, the Revisited project was an opportunity for me to bring some of my oldest tracks up to date. Although a few have been remixed before, I felt that they were worth another look. I remixed 10 tracks from A World Beyond, and 10 tracks from Besidewalk Plight.

In 2017, I’ve decided to have another try at FAWM – a site that challenges you to write 14 tracks in 28 days. Way back in 2007, I successfully completed this challenge – the music I wrote ultimately became The Unravelling of Travelling. Ten years on, it feels like a good time to do it all over again. If all goes well, the music will form the basis for my tenth album, which I’ve ten-tatively called… Ten. (I’ll stop now.)

After that, I’d like to come back to the Revisited project. Instead of making the current 20-track album even longer, I’m expecting to kick off an altogether new album, called Revisited 2. The album will include remixes of tracks from Twice Midnight, and The Unravelling of Travelling.

I’m excited to get started!

T2 Tea

There’s a tea shop in Richmond called T2. They sell tea.


After a lot of thought (should we buy a tea maker, tea set, and loose tea?) we decided to keep it simple and buy a few teabags.


So far we’ve only tried Melbourne Breakfast, which is very nice: a subtle flavour with a bit of vanilla.

It’s looking pretty likely that we’ll be back for more soon.

More info here: https://www.t2tea.com

Moving house

As I wrote in a previous post, we recently set the wheels in motion to move back to London. Today was the big day!

It started out as a very dark and cloudy day. But by the time the movers got here and started moving things, things brightened up a bit.


Unfortunately, it rained at the other end. Oh well.

There was a minor casualty: our sofa didn’t fit down the narrow hallway into our lounge. We ended up asking the movers to take it away. Not their fault. However, we’ve been wanting to get new furniture anyway – and we have a couple of chairs that will make do for now. I also think it would’ve been a bit cramped with the sofa in here. It’s not so bad.

Speaking of which, here’s how part of our new lounge looks:


The lounge is quite a bit bigger than this. Here’s a pic of the bedroom:


We’re not done with the place yet, but we’ve made good progress on getting unpacked.

I decided to stack up all of the empty boxes:


And after all that, we needed an energy boost!


On Tuesday we’ll be picking up Maisie from the cattery. We thought it would be a lot simpler to finish packing, do the move, and do most of the unpacking without a cat in the house with us. Maisie will come into a brand new home, which will take a bit of getting used to (she’ll do her usual exploration of the place first). We know she’ll settle more quickly if we aren’t unpacking things around her.

Back to work on Wednesday. It’s going to be a long week!