Still Going On

When I was at school there were some subjects that I loved.

  • Maths.
    I loved maths at school. Of course, I still love maths, I’m weird like that.
  • Woodwork.
    I loved woodwork at school. I still enjoy woodwork (most of the time).
  • Sciences.
    I loved chemistry, biology and physics at school. Actually, I still love science – just don’t tell the guy who writes the school timetable, OK?
  • German.
    I loved German at school. Why have I allowed myself to forget the language I loved?
  • Art.
    Something else that I’ve allowed to slip away from me. I don’t draw or paint anything these days, apart from graphics for the Web. Maybe it’s time to change that.
  • When I was at school there were some subjects that I loathed.

  • PE.
    I hated playing hockey on the most freezing hockey pitch known to secondary education. I detested netball. Unsurprising given that I am the klutz who only learned to catch a ball once I reached university. Yes, really. But that’s a story for another time.
    I liked cycling and playing badminton badly and walking and dance, but only one of those was on offer at school.
    I still like cycling and playing badminton badly and walking and dance, although only the walking makes any kind of regular appearance in my life at the moment.
  • French.
    Apart from my first year, I did not enjoy French at school, mainly because we didn’t learn to actually speak it. I learned to read and write in this strange tongue; I can conjugate verbs with the best of ’em.
    These skills were not even slightly useful the first time Mr TLC and I visited France. It took me more than 20 years to fall back in love with languages. Of course, once I did go back to studying French, all that formal grammar that I’d learnt at school was suddenly very useful.
  • English (some of the time). (Sorry YP, but it’s true.)
    I loved reading. I loved writing. Still do. I did not love writing the essays that I was required to complete for homework. I did not love picking texts apart and analysing what the writer intended to convey by their choice of this or that word. Which is odd, because I do enjoy doing that now.
  • Despite my early love of writing, the enthusiastic teenager who entered essay competitions, wrote poetry so awful that the Vogons would cringe at it and kept a long and detailed diary somehow grew up to become someone who only used writing as a functional skill.

    At university I wrote up experiments and wrote dull essays analysing the properties of some material or process. In my first job I wrote copy for brochures and press releases about furnaces. As you can imagine, these were less than thrilling. I then moved to another engineering job where I wrote lots of quotes and specifications. Nowadays my teacher self writes worksheets, PowerPoints and reports. The nearest I got to writing anything just because I enjoyed it was when I decided to create my maths website, but that’s pretty limited.

    I didn’t miss it though. I don’t have ‘write a novel’ on my list of things I’d like to do sometime and you will be relieved to hear that no toe-curling poetry doggerel will be appearing here any time soon.

    Then, a year ago today, I started this blog. Not because I wanted to write, quite the opposite – I didn’t think I had anything to say and at first I had no intention of adding to the clutter that fills some sections of the Web. Don’t get me wrong, there is some great stuff out there, but I didn’t put my own posts in that category. Actually, I still don’t – and the first few posts I wrote are truly awful. Perhaps I should quietly delete them and publish this in a few weeks time.

    In fact, the first post that I wrote wasn’t even intended to be read. I wanted to use blogs with my classes and I just wanted to learn what to do. So I set myself the target of writing a blog for three weeks, that was all. After that, I thought I’d probably just delete it, look on it as a learning experience.

    Sometime during those first three weeks something changed. I discovered that I enjoy this, I rediscovered what good fun it is to sit down and write. I also started connecting with other people. I stopped worrying about whether the words what I wrote were any good or not, partly because I realised that it’s not particularly important to me, but also because if I thought too much about whether each post was any good I’d never publish anything. I tell myself that I’m really doing this because I enjoy writing it, I try to think that if anyone else enjoys reading this stuff that’s a bonus.

    However that’s not really true, because without all the lovely people who’ve read my ramblings and taken time out to comment and discuss, I would probably have given up an awful long time ago. So, if you’ve actually made it this far, I’d like to say a very big thank you to you all, I really appreciate every comment that’s been left.

    And now the bit that should have been easy, but is making me feel a little uneasy. At first I wanted to thank everyone that had comented, thinking it would be a managable task. Then I went rooting back through all the various comments and had a bit of a shock. So many people! I’d really like to say thank you to each and every one of you, even if I can’t list everyone.

    Now the uneasy part! There’s no doubt in my mind what I want to say here, I’m just paranoid that I’ve missed someone. I hope I’m wrong. Anyway here goes.

    Even if I can’t thank everyone individually, I’m going to single out some people who’ve made me feel most welcome here in Blogland. Big thanks to Blue Witch, Rashbre, Will , Yorkshire Pudding and Z, each of whom deserve the title of Super Commenter. (Ooh, I ought to make one of them there Blogland award badge thingies. *Adds to To Do list*)

    Very special thanks also go to Blue Witch, Chapati, Kitchen Witch, Maria, NeilH, Rashbre, Sheffield Blog, Will and Yorkshire Pudding because these lovely people have not only taken the trouble to comment, but have been kind enough to add me to their blogrolls. You’ve no idea how much I appreciated that, I really didn’t expect it. I thought Blogland would be a bit intimidating, but it turns out to be the friendliest place on earth.

    (I sound like an awards acceptance speech. How awful. I apologise, she says, before carrying on regardless.)

    Thanks also to Kate, Robin, Stephen Clynes and Virtual Voyage. Thanks to all of the many people who’ve dropped in to talk about three-legged cats and to all my fellow Black Box addi

    Finally, a very special thank you to Adrian Sudbury, a truly inspirational man who somehow found time to comment, even though he had so little time left. I’m very glad to see that although he is no longer with us, his campaign is being continued by his family, his friends and his supporters.

    Blimey, that’s a lot of people. Some of them twice! (I’m really hoping I haven’t missed anyone, she repeats, just to make her paranoia obvious to all.)

    One year on and I’m still going, or, as Mr TLC would say, still going on. Who would’ve thunk it?

    4 comments to Still Going On

    • Aw, shucks as they say (see I’ve gone American in honor (sp.) of the election).

      And thank YOU for showing some of us around a little piece of Sheffield. I won’t be able to walk past the green Tardis without thinking of a virtual friend in Sheffield.

    • Thank goodness for that – no, not the “thank you” (which was nice) but the fact that you aren’t giving up. What?? Yes, giving up, stopping blogging. Half way through this post I got a sinking feeling that this was the end. Thank goodness it isn’t.

      I’m sorry I don’t comment often enough. I do enjoy reading your stuff but it is so well written and so interesting that I’d hate to comment – does that make sense? Look, the last couple of posts, about “Beyond Limits” were fascinating. But there was nothing that I could add that wouldn’t have sounded trite. (plus, do you know how often my mum would drag me to Chatsworth? It was never this interesting.)

      So apologies for not commenting enough and congratulations on keeping going.

    • thank you :o)
      love reading your blog, glad you kept going with it!

    • Even though I don’t comment all that often, your blog is one of my favourite reads, particularly the pictures of unusual parts of Sheffield which I have never noticed despite having lived here for over twenty years.