To lust or not to lust…

I follow blogs completely separate from the writing world.

I write daily, my life is wrapped up in word construction, so I choose to follow blogs a million miles away from writing.

A little bit of embroidery, a little bit of gardening, a little bit of lifestyle.

There’s a lot of lust steaming out of the first two.

I follow gardening blogs because they allow me to dream of what I could do in my own gardens if muscles, ligaments, climate change and advancing age weren’t encroaching. The embroidery ones are to learn from, to gaze at. I know I will never reach such standards of excellence but that doesn’t matter. I’m always in awe of embroidery artists, their designs, and the depth of their practical know how.

But the lifestyle ones are something else…

I find a blog with a good manifesto , good images and I settle to enjoy the posting. Sometimes its fashion, sometimes its cooking, places the bloggers may have visited, the things they’ve done and seen.

But what I’ve found over the last year is that some bloggers have learned nothing about the life, the universe, or anything. Some have never mentioned the pandemic, as if it is not one of the single most defining moments of our 21st century society.

Some bloggers disappeared, but re-emerged without a reference to the awful stress of 2020 for so many. As if, when they talked about the need to wear platform shoes or the new (and awful in my opinion) granny shirtwaist dresses, or what to take on a holiday, such things would nullify anything outside the door.

And that’s fine for some; maybe such posts did enable some to escape. But I found I was bored with selfie shots of this and that T-shirt, what a Peloton bike and some diet plan can do for you and so on.

Covid taught me, amongst other things, that life is short. Too short to waste time reading one dimensional blogs when really, I wanted earthy philosophy and even validation for my predilection for my family bubble and the Great Outdoors. So I refined my follow list. I follow a few writers, I follow garden blogs like Monty Don and The Propagator. I follow a few embroidery blogs.

But most significantly, now I only follow three ‘lifestyle’ blogs.

(photo courtesy of Tom Ryan and The Valley News)

One is by personal subscription only and is the most beautifully described journey through life, written by Tom Ryan. Tom is the author of two of my most favourite memoirs of all time – Following Atticus and Will’s Red Coat. Tom had a near death experience some years ago. Surviving, he developed a renewed zeal for the life granted him. His daily experiences with his chosen canine family (Samwise and Emily Binks Hawthorne) are inspirational. I always come away with a warm heart and the knowledge that in the Great Outdoors there is infinite beauty. He is a master wordsmith.

Another blog is that of Yorkshire woman, Margaret Creek. Her blog is eclectic and like Tom’s, inspirational. I share kindred interests like embroidery, gardening and the open spaces, so her blog resonates. She is currently challenging herself and a friend to walk the Yorkshire Dales amongst other things. How she manages to cram everything she does into seven days of a week is a wonder.


And finally, I follow what was originally a fashion blog (and high fashion at that) called Schokoladenjahre.  I first followed Bibi Horst because I have an aversion to wearing black and Bibi’s deft use of colour was to die for. As well, she’s one of the most elegant Germans I have ever seen. Not surprising. When I was in Munich in the 70’s, I felt German women oozed ravishing elegance.

But then Bibi disappeared for a while.

She has now returned with a very changed blog. Firstly, it’s inclusive of men and there’s a first. But secondly and most importantly for me, philosophically geared toward life after fifty in all its possible glory. Yes, she still sometimes features things that I couldn’t afford in a month of Sundays but it’s her sentiments I love.

And so that’s it for my in-depth blog reading – far from the world of the fiction writer. I follow a host of interesting folk on Instagram, but there’s not the scope for depth and discussion as there are on the blogs. Granted, the pictures are super, but for me, thoughts and words are much better.