Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year

Living off one’s fat

‘Are you living off your fat?’ No, that’s not a remark about over-indulgence at the Christmas dinner table. It’s a question a friend asked me in a Zoom session the other week. He was referring to a comment of my own about how I was coping with the restrictions placed on us all by Covid 19. I said that I have been coping quite well, but it’s frustrating not being able to get out and look at buildings so much, and that this poses limitations on blogging. As a result, many of my 2020 posts have been about buildings in my immediate neighbourhood, while others feature photographs from my archives that had been set aside for possible use one day – in other words, yes, I’ve been living off my fat.

There’s quite a lot of material to choose from, but how will I approach this blog in the coming months, which promise to be at least as uncertain as the last few? I’ll aim to carry on in the same vein, I think, because enough people tell me that they enjoy the blog, and because writing at least one post a week (actually, it more often turns out to be two posts) gives me some satisfaction. John Naughton, who writes about the internet in The Observer, mentioned in a recent column a remark of Dr Johnson's that resonates with journalists and authors generally: ‘No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.’ Maybe so. And yet high-profile writers like Naughton and less widely known authors like me carry on blogging for the simple reason that we enjoy doing it. 

Putting aside such selfish reasons, I’m more aware than ever that putting information and images online that give people pleasure and help them appreciate the visual qualities of what is around them is worthwhile in times when the internet is filling up with bile, wilful misinformation, or anxiety. Much as I sympathise with the anxious – sometimes I share their anxiety – I feel I’m one of those who can offer something different. I can’t do this as effectively on Twitter or Instagram: their platforms don’t quite fit the format of three or four paragraphs of text plus one or two images that I find natural.* So blogging, for me, continues to seem worthwhile. 

Onwards, then, into 2021. May we all look forward, as this new year goes on, to better, safer, and happier  lives than most of us had in the last one.

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* I do have an Instagram account, however. So if you would like to see a few more of my pictures, go to Instagram @philipbuildings

Photograph Porcine portrait in ceramic tiles, Jesse Smith, Butcher, Cirencester, Gloucestershire


bazza said...

I think the same way about my Blog but, of course, I don't have to go looking for input as you do. In the last year I have re-posted quite lot of my favourite items.
Living off of one's fat is exactly what I feel like I'm doing these days!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s inordinately impudent Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

David Gouldstone said...

Yes, do please carry on blogging. Your posts are one of the things that keep me (and, I'm sure, many others) with a grip on normality.

Joseph Biddulph (Publisher) said...

Please be assured that your blog makes at least one of your readers happy! I look forward to it, as a break from a lot more SERIOUS stuff. It also gives me the chance to express my own opinionated views, which don't always get "moderated", and which I can no longer share with my long-suffering family. I also like the element of the unexpected - such as this pig's head! Please don't stop!

Philip Wilkinson said...

Thank you all. Your comments are always appreciated, whether I reply to them individually or not.