I have been quite busy. One of the curses of that state is reduced time just to wander round and then write about the many offerings from our fellow bloggers. To make up, come with me this morning on a ramble round the blogging traps.
On 27 January, blogging friends Winton Bates (left) and Neil Whitfield joined me for an Australia Day BBQ. They hadn't met before. Three bloggers, three different perspectives, but we do gain from each other.
Neil has put his previous blog aside in favour of a new one, Neil's Commonplace Book, so if you haven't already done so. In his last post on Neil's Final Decade, Neil or Ninglun as we once knew him as has provided an index by month to thirteen year's of blogging across all the Floating Life blogs. That's useful from my perspective, given that we have been interacting for close on seven years now.
Winton blogs at Freedom and Flourishing. Like many of us, Winton's writing wanders around a key interest, in his case freedom and flourishing. That's part of the fun of it all. In his latest post, Will 'Lincoln' encourage people to give more thought to modern forms of slavery?, Winton puts a tentative toe into the murky waters of modern forms of slavery.
On my birthday, I awoke to find an email from Ramana. He had deliberately written it the night before so that I would see it first thing in the morning. I thought that was really thoughtful of him, but then Ramana is like that. You can see it in his blog, Ramana's Musings. Ramana's gently musings provide a quite wonderful entry point to aspects of Indian life and of life in general seen through the prism set by Ramana's life.
Another blog in the same class if from a different place is Denis Wright's My Unwelcome Stranger. Denis has an incurable brain tumour. Don't let that put you off. Like Ramana, he writes with gentle humour, bearing his present experiences as best he can. Denis is a good writer. He mixes stories from the present and past, adds dashes of Asian philosophy and literature (professionally, he is an historian with a focus on Asia and especially the subcontinent) and whatever takes his fancy. Many of the best independent bloggers do draw from their own experiences, but are not dominated by them. Their experiences become raw material for their writing, are transmuted through the writing process into pieces that we can all read.
I follow a number of photo blogs. One old favourite is Gordon Smith's lookANDsee. This photo from Gordon shows the University of New England colleges through the haze created by the recent bushfires. Gordon has not been posting as frequently recently, in part because of computer problems. Hopefully, these will soon be put behind him.
Gordon's wife, Bronwyn Parry, also blogs in her role as romance suspense writer extraordinaire, although her posts have been irregular recently. Her thrillers, I would call them that, are set in Northern New South Wales, the broader New England I write about, and have achieved considerable commercial success. If you read one, you will see why. They are ripping good yarns, and I'm not talking about the bodice ripping that was such a feature of romance writing.
One of the things that you don't see although I refer to it from time to time, is the stream of leads I get from my fellow bloggers and commenters. They know what I write about and send me links to stuff that I might find of interest. Gordon does this, as does Ramana and kvd. It really helps.
Another of my favourite photo blogs is Mark's Clarence Valley Today. The best photo blogs tell a story, linking the photo to its context in a few words.
This spectacular photo from Mark shows the recent floods on the Clarence. For those who don't know the river, the Clarence is the biggest coastal river in both New England and NSW. That bridge is normally well above the water. At 4am when Mark took this photo, the question in everybody's mind was whether the flood would break the levy protecting the city of Grafton. It did not, although it was a record flood. It was a close run thing though, with the waters peaking centimetres short.
As you might expect, I follow a number of history blogs. One I have really liked is Signposts, a group blog about Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. In turn, this led me to NZ History, New Zealand history on line. For Australians, these sites will highlight the historical differences between the two countries. For those elsewhere, they will highlight the way in which New Zealand has evolved its own very unique history and culture.
I fear that I am out of time this morning. Maybe more later.