Today I realised how much I have neglected this poor blog. It has been left tied to a lamp post, forlorn and forgotten, in the manner of one of those sweet-faced, slightly scruffy dogs shown on Blue Cross adverts who have been carelessly and cruelly abandoned by their evil owners. Those are naturally the kind of dogs who have never chewed the sofa, never savagely bitten the postman's index finger off, and who most definitely have never placed their furry behinds on a bus seat thereby offending people who write to the local paper. This blog is not guilty of any of those crimes either, and deserves a more careful owner than the one who had to ask her friends if they remembered the web address for it because she decided she wanted to write something this evening. And then had to Google it because those friends, who are the only people who ever read this blog at the best of times, couldn't remember either owing to the lack of activity here for all these months.
It was Wife In The North who inspired me to blog again. Well actually, it was my friend Claire, who read Wife In The North's book. Anyway, it made me think "I haven't written my blog for a while" and then I looked (after googling) and realised I haven't written since May. Shame on me.
There has been a problem.
When I first started this blog, I was very enthusiastic. I was hugely excited by the linking of a TV blog from The Guardian to mine; they linked to my post about the performances of Billie Piper and her eyebrows in Mansfield Park. Shortly afterwards, I was again hugely excited by one of my blog posts being picked to appear in Shaggy Blog Stories. Then, between the printing of Shaggy Blog Stories and its arrival through the letter box - a matter of days - my father died. He didn't see my contribution to the book. I didn't even get chance to tell him about it. I lost my enthusiasm for blogging. It had lost its lustre.
The thing is, I know that my Dad would be upset to think that I'd stopped doing something I enjoyed doing because of him. I'm just not sure I can separate the link between my enjoyment of writing this blog and his loss in my mind. But I owe it to him to at least try.
By the way, my post about Billie was less than complimentary but in general I like her very much despite her non-Austenesque eyebrows. So I feel slightly guilty that it has been people googling her (and her facial hair) that has brought the greatest number of hits to this blog. In fact, if you Google "Billie Piper eyebrows" then this site is first on the list. There's a fascinating factoid for you! In an interesting contrast, people searching for articles about Heather Mills have been entirely absent.
So. By way of a brief update on us, we still live here by the canalside but my toddler cannot be described as a toddler any longer. He is a 3 year old little boy with many, many opinions and much to say for himself. People are still charmed by him on the whole. The dentist's receptionist certainly was the other day as he told her all about the way he looks after his teeth - and how Mummy doesn't, and therefore needs one of hers removed. She did become slightly less enamoured with him, however, when he suddenly reached out and pressed a random button on the calculator on which she was almost finished calculating the day's takings and lost all her figures. Being a dental professional probably came in handy at that moment, when she managed to keep the sparking smile on her face like the professional she is, and grit her teeth simultaneously.