Sunday, 10 December 2017

Happy Birthday! 500th Post

Happy birthday! The Loveofscotland blog is 500 posts old. I started it to give impressions and poetry from around Scotland. It was intended as a more frequently updated companion to, an online tour of Scotland that does not really change (and badly needs another update). Below is a link to a map where you can see every post in the blog:

The most popular post is The Driest Town in Scotland. The least popular? Pretty much any with poems. There’s hillwalking, historical, and just general out-and-about posts, and as the quantity of posts has dried up, the style has become drier, more terse.

When I look around my space, I see chatty blogs giving a tourist-centred view of Scotland; I see blogs about hillwalking or canoeing that inspire awe and envy; I see political blogs that I avidly read but don’t really get involved in; I see some amazing one-stop portals like Undiscovered Scotland; I see lifestyle and fashion blogs featuring la dolce vita.

So here’s the thing. What would you like to see more of? Not poetry, that is obvious from the stats. But the general out and about posts, the outdoorsy posts, and the historical ones vie with each other in the top 50.

Is there anything about Scotland you wish you knew, but maybe didn't even know you didn't know...?


zinnia306 said...

Congratulations, Robert! I have loved reading your blogs for several years now and would dearly miss it if you discontinued or tried to recreate it otherwise. IMHO, the poetry was replaced with even better "prose poetry" that you truly excel at. Your thoughts and descriptions are delightful inspirations while full of personal knowledge and insight that a poem might not as easily convey. And your photos are as individually unique and often far more beautiful than anything I've seen on other blogs - too many of those look staged or try too hard (or not hard enough). They are integral to the blog - I actually have one on my desktop right now! You have a raw "eye" for the broad landscapes that always give the viewer a sense of being there, along with a naturalist's curiosity for the nearby, which I'm guessing you love sharing and your readers love to view (if I may speak for all). So I'd vote for you to keep up both words and images - hiking, history, whatever strikes your fancy. It's your blog, after all. :) But for someone not in Scotland yet having an ancestral affinity of it, you supply my desire to know more about it on the level of a living surrogate - someone there right now, like a visual penpal - and so far you've done a wonderful and satisfying job of it. Thank you, Robert!

Ian Johnston said...

Happy 500th Robert.....and here's to the next 500!

As Zinnia has said, the mix of subject matter and style makes your blog what it is; and keeps it fresh too. I continually find your posts interesting, thought provoking and well observed....Keep on documenting whatever catches your eye or interest, and keep doing it your way!

Kind regards

Robert Craig said...

Wow thanks Zinnia. In 500 posts that's the best comment I've received. And interesting that you see this as an unvarnished account of Scottish life - as I set out to record what I see and think without too many filters. I will keep my virtual penpals in mind in future posts :)

Curious to know which picture is your desktop background?

zinnia306 said...

Hi Robert - I currently have one of the Creag Bhan photos on my desktop (with the stone marker in a rocky foreground and lovely sunlight spot of water far away under rain clouds). So now I have to confess I'd sent you a comment about this photo but signed it Anonymous, for reasons unknown now. ?? :D But before that and for quite a while, it was your beautiful sweeping photo of Marwick Orkney showing vast green fields and tiny farm houses with a large cumulonimbus cloud pouring rain in the background. I've also commented on a church cemetery in Glasgow? And there are many others that you've posted I've so appreciated but not said anything ie a somewhat recent rainy day of hiking and the misty images you captured, proving Scotland's inherent beauty in all its various forms of enduring weather, which is plainly intrinsic to the shaping of its beauty. You don't deny that, in fact you admire and revel in it, which is as it should be. The land and the sky were here first, after all. ;) It's pretty much flatland where I live and hiking is mostly along wooded rivers that don't allow for rolling vistas. It's beautiful in its own right but not anywhere near the same as climbing the hills of your country. I have ancestors from the pirate coves of Wigtown - that was very fun to read about! I enjoy reading books as well - all those bookshops!! - so all the more a trip over needs to come into plan here. Until then, your much appreciated unfiltered posts will keep me inspired!

Robert Craig said...

Thanks again... reminds me of the surprise I felt when a visitor from South Africa told me that the thing she liked most about Scotland was clouds! It is easy to moan about bad weather and fail to appreciate the constantly shifting light.

The smugglers of Galloway are a subject of interest. Avoiding tax was practically a national pastime before the 19th century, I was surprised to read how extensive tax evasion was in Scottish culture all the way from medieval times... you wouldn't guess so today because the political consensus is for a fairly big state. Maybe voters believe someone else is paying :)

There is a hotel on the Galloway coast supposedly linked to a smuggler’s cave via its wine cellars - don’t know if that’s true but would be pretty cool if so.