Monday, 12 July 2010

What To Blog About ?

What to blog about?

The cupboard is bare.

I look out of the window and, for the first time in weeks, it’s raining.
Good. The rain is badly needed. I should feel newly energized. Sadly, I don’t.

What to blog about?

There are ideas, some notes, a few headings, some half completed scribblings, but nothing that has any substance as yet. It’s there in my head, now it needs writing. Writing it is the hard part. Can non-writers suffer from writer’s block?

Summer is a slow time, the living may be easy, but the heat saps energy, thoughts run like treacle, sticky and viscous. All I want to do is sit in the shade and read.

I went to the village barbecue, hoping for some blogging material. After all, I am good at people-watching, people-dissecting. The barbecue is an annual event, run by the ladies who run all such activities, like coffee mornings, the Women’s Institute, the bring-and-buys, I’m sure you know the sort of thing I mean. On the face of it, the barbecue represents  the perfect milking parlour but I came away with nothing.

Sure, Colonel Blimp was there, full of his glory years, still reliving the  Empire; the Squire and his lady put in an appearance, smiling graciously,  instantly surrounded by a fawning coterie; the local MP, a worthy man, no doubt meaning well, but a politician nevertheless and therefore happy to take from the poor to give to the rich, showed his face briefly.

The Church was represented too, several vicars, male and female, in dog collar and black or dusty grey garb, were huddled around the same table, occasionally rising to tend to a particular member of their flock.

The village idiot family was there, middle-aged children keeping close to Mum and Dad, enjoying the outing.

The village intelligentsia mingled nicely, dripping words of wisdom and allowing the run of the mill villagers the benefit of their superior intellect.

The artist colony flapped and gesticulated, laughed a lot and, having made sure that everybody had noticed their presence, made their prolonged exits.

In other words, everybody had fun, everybody was kind to everybody else and ate the burnt meats and bland salads with a good grace. Wine flowed, at £1.50 a glass an easy treat. The accordion lady played her instrument in the middle of it all.The evening was balmy, the gardens lovely and the surrounding fields a picture of bucolic innocence.

Yes, I came away with nothing. Singling out any particular grouping at this friendly, enjoyable event to use as blogging fodder would have been too unkind.

So, what to blog about?


  1. I don't believe that your cupboard is bare, Friko. Surely there is something hidden in a corner?

    Your description of the village barbecue reminded me of garden fetes I attended in childhood - a similar collection of local characters.

  2. "...the heat saps energy, thoughts run like treacle, sticky and viscous. All I want to do is sit in the shade and read."

    I hear you, Sister.
    That's pretty much what I have been doing.
    My brain has turned to unset gelatin.

  3. When I first came back to the UK to live (1998) we moved to a village in Surrey - we lived there for 10 years running the village shop; your description reminded me of every village function I attended! I wish my husband could have read your post - it would have made him realise that ALL villages are pretty much the same no matter how unique they all think they are. Thank you for sharing your "Nothing to Blog about" which bought back so many memories!

  4. And now you've spun your straw into gold -- nice post, Friko!

  5. Life in hot summer days as it lazily unfurls - as you just did. I enjoyed reading about the guests at the village barbeque through your keen eye.

    I often mull over the same question Friko. But I think you have revealed the secret to a good blog. Write about what is, as it is, as it unfolds. I fail too often in that regard, for various reasons. But I do enjoy a glimpse into the daily life of bloggers around the globe. A rare privilege to be invited into the life of someone thousands of miles across the sea, for a moment or two.

  6. Wonderful! I think you found quite a bit to blog about. Your observations were interesting to say the least. Here I was thinking you had hit upon one of those periods where the creative spirit seemed to have left you high and dry. Sigh.. It happens to all of us. Sometimes it feels like all too often. But this was not one of those times. ATB!

  7. I enjoyed your 'nothing' very much. I could picture it all in my mind.

  8. Friko, even when you say you having nothing to write about you do it so well. As I read your description of the village BBQ I could picture all the participants in their assigned roles with you and your hubby as the quiet observers.
    And,yes I too tend to feel sapped by the heat - just came in from an hour's weeding and will need the rest of the day to recover.

  9. Sometimes I just get tired of the sound of my writing.

  10. Christine - there is little difference between one village and the next in rural backwaters.

    June - I'd get into the fridge (soup) to set that jelly, but apart from that what could be better than a good book, a comfortable chair and an afternoon with your feet up.

    madamebutterfly - you haven't said where you came from before you lived in the UK. But you are right, you could write a novel and set it in any village in the UK and you wouldn't have to change a single character. Makes it easier for incomers.

    Vicki Lane - thanks Vicki, nice compliment.

    Bonnie - Life as it unfurls can appear quite tedious to some, not everybody reads with their heart as well as their brain. I am glad you liked this little effort, which literally came along as I sat bemoaning the fact that I had nothing ready to post and no idea on how to get something.

    Rusty - thank you for the compliment. Sorry to be thick, it comes with the lack of language skills, what's ATB?

    ellen abbott - thank you ellen, sometimes letting it happen is all one can do. And hope that it turns out worth having.

    CarlaHR - thanks Carla, an hour's weeding in full sun would kill me.
    I get my weeding in late afternoon, if at all when it's hot.

    marciamayo - oh dear, I don't believe it. Change your computer for a quieter one. Your words can be as loud as they like, others won't find them tiresome.

  11. Du kannst ja sogar aus dem Nichts Grossartiges erschaffen, liebe Friko..!
    Die Stimmung, ja besonders die Stimmung in Deinen Beobachtungen kann man durch Deine Sprache besonders gut nachempfinden. Man fühlt sich in Dich hinein...
    Vielleicht bringt der Regen Dir ja eine besonders gute Nacht! Ich wünsche es Dir!

  12. Pfft. Non-writer, my foot. As for bare cupboards, isn't there a chef who goes into people's houses and creates fabulous meals out of nothing at all? Isn't he related to you?

  13. "Can non-writers suffer from writer’s block?" Charming. Of course we can! But writers such as you seem to be able to pull together at least a dozen posts from this crowd.

  14. vivid.
    you are our Trollope!

    Aloha from Hawaii, friend :)

    Comfort Spiral

  15. Life in the Shires rolling on ... It's a very comforting thought , somehow .

  16. Keep on writing about nothing at all, Friko. Your nothing at all is quite amusing. I recognized most of the characters at the gathering, thanks to a past addiction to the novels of Barbara Pym. If I were to write about such a gathering over here, the cast of characters would be quite different, although the behaviors would be recognizable.

  17. Hi, I'm visiting for the first time.
    Seems like you have plenty of material at an event like that, the characters so well brought to life.

  18. nothing is everything,
    everything is nothing,
    with that kind of mindset, you are worry free and feel happy.

  19. I protest! You did come away with a wonderful subject - I could feel myself walking through the gathering of people in the village - each with their own little quirks - and what makes us all so unique.
    Well done!

  20. But you are a writer! And very glad I am to be one of your readers. Every blessing and thanks for a brill post.

  21. As the artist places color on the canvas, so you too sketch the pictures in the reader's mind... drawing one into the world of the village barbeque. Allowing us all to meet each and every participant, as if we were there sharing the observations with you.

    Thank you for such an entertaining experience.

  22. Renee - Schon wieder Komplimente. Danke schoen. Gut geschlafen habe ich auch.

    Deborah - Not that I know. The next time you meet him chez vous, send him over.

    Tabor - They'll have me evicted if I do.

    Cloudia - Hardly, but thanks.

    S&S - Comforting, as long as you don't look underneath.

    Pondside - Can't wait, go on, pick some out at random and 'display' them. Do you think that people underneath the trimmings are very much the same, wherever they are?

    Tramp - thank you for visiting and commenting, come again.

    Jingle - I wish! Thank you for visiting and commenting.

    taylorsoutback - Oh well, if you think so. Thanks very much.

    Freda - Compliments galore, do come back.

    reflections - Glad you found it entertaining and thank you for saying so.

  23. i think your blog just proves that there is always something to blog about - you found a great deal here and gave us all a picture of where you had been

    Blogs don't always have to be "about" anything - just go with whatever feels right

  24. Hungry Pixie - blogs have to be about 'something' even that something is about 'nothing'. Provided you have enough 'nothing' you have a blogpost.

  25. I think you proved that you were wrong – you can blog on your barbecue dinner. You made it so alive with all the characters that it did spring to life – enough to make me think that I would not want to participate in such a dinner – lol!

  26. Certainly you wouldn't group yourself with us non-writers. ;) Thanks for bringing us to the bbq.. I enjoyed every one of your people-watching observations. I tend to run out of blogging ideas only when I run out of photos. If I had to write with substance each time, my well would have run dry a month or two into blogging.

  27. Vagabonde - oops, I'd never be rude about you. I shouldn't think any of the people I watch and then describe would recognise themselves. Nobody sees themselves as others see them.

    Hilary - Each to his own, Hilary, your photographs are beautiful enough to stand by themselves. I can only 'do' words, that's my creativity exhausted. And even words I can only do in a very limited fashion.

  28. Vicki Lane spoke for me too! I felt I was sitting in the shade of a tent, observing them all from under my floppy straw hat.....


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