Saturday, January 28, 2017

On Not Stopping

We arrived in KL yesterday just before midnight, having survived an epic jam on the Malaysian side of Tuas. After that things were reasonably plain sailing, with nary a jam in sight on arrival in the capital. Opening our door we were treated to an unreasonably but seasonably loud barrage of fire-crackers from the valley below, and from somewhere on our hill itself. Not the sort of thing you get exposed to in well-regulated Singapore.

And with the new year - or one of the three new years I get to enjoy these days - comes the question of the renewal of this blog which began just ten years ago, on 27 January 2007. I thought of it then as a ten-year project with three aims in mind, the first being to act as a quick way of letting friends in their own far places know I was still alive and kicking and give a rough idea of what I was up to if they happened to drop by. Sadly at least two folks who did so have gone to their long homes in that time - a sort of reminder of the relevance of my intention.

The second aim was to see what happened to my voice when it sounded not in pages intended for my own perusal but was unleashed on the wider world. Well, it changed, in marked and interesting ways. Funnily enough I much prefer the public voice of this space to the private version; and, equally strangely, I suppose, I generally find it oddly unfamiliar when I look back over what I've posted.

My third aim was related to my work. It has always seemed odd to me that English teachers are not seen as being required to practise a crucial aspect of their craft in the same way that we expect music teachers to make music, and dance teachers to themselves dance. The on-line public context affords some opportunity for students to read the matter herein expressed, if they find out where it is, and a chance to read what I produce with the same critical eye I bring to their own efforts. Fair's fair, after all.

Anyway, ten years is a quite a long time, and it was vaguely always my intention to let this project run for a decade and then see if it was worth continuing. In that time we've been told the Conversation (whatever that is) has moved on from the on-line blog to Facebook (now equally passé, I'm guessing) and instagram and twitter and other platforms I've never heard of (I'm pleased to say.) I can't say I've ever built up a sizable audience, and have precious few 'followers' - for which I am deeply thankful. And it's the almost complete irrelevance of this Place to the bigger world which has convinced me to have a go at keeping it going for another decade, if the mercy of time allows. Plus, I suppose the original aims are still valid.

To be honest, I enjoy writing it too much to stop.

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