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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

On 31 December I gained nine new followers – the most ever in one day.  Welcome to you all, and thanks to those who’ve followed me over the past year.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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At the supermarket checkout this morning an unfamiliar woman asked “Are you Ruth?”  When I said I was, she said she was a regular reader of my blog.  I asked whether she ever comments (thinking I might then recognise her name) but she said no, she’s a lurker.  I was amazed that she recognised me.  I guess I must look just like my photo (hmm) and I may have let slip somewhere the fact that I tend to shop at South City New World early on Friday mornings.  It’s always lovely to meet a regular reader, so Warm Greetings, whoever you are.

This year I’ve not blogged nearly as much and my daily average visit number is down to 53.  (Last year it was 72.)  I very much appreciate those who comment, and I’m also delighted to have those who simply lurk – and read.

“As well as commenters I need
the ones who simply lurk and read.”

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I wrote the first post on this blog on 5 March 2006, eight years ago.  The infinity symbol ‘∞’ is like an ‘8’ on its side.  Does this mean I’ll go on blogging into infinity?  Or maybe that I need a lie down (and a cup of tea)?

I had hoped my blog stat’s might read 150,000 by this anniversary.  I’m 1,790 short, and should make the milestone by the end of this month.  Today it’s pouring with rain for the third day in a row – not much inspiration for blogging there.

“Eight years is a good length of time
especially when my posts have rhyme.”

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A chance meeting with Jennifer Middendorf, the Production Co-ordinator of the University of Canterbury’s CEISMIC programme has led to posts from this blog being preserved for posterity.   She has found 480 posts which are earthquake-related and these have all been converted to PDF format.  This means that in fifty years time, if WordPress has shut down, my posts will still be able to be read as part of a digital archive of material relating to the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

I’ve signed a Deed of Gift formally giving the University permission to use my content.  At the time of the earthquakes some readers said that what I’d written would be of interest in the future, and this development affirms that.  Jennifer was kind enough to say: “It’s going to be really exciting to have such a rich and interesting start to our Christchurch Bloggers collection, so thank you again for agreeing to let us include it.”  This link takes you to my part of the archive., and I’m mentioned on their blog as well.

“My humble blog will still appear
when I have long, long gone from here.”

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Not-wanted Notice

Have you seen an advertisement at the end of one of my blog posts?

Recently I’ve had a message that says: “Occasionally some of your visitors may see an advert here.”  When I first joined WordPress seven and a half years ago I was surprised that they could offer such a great service for free.  They are now storing 2,300 of my posts with hundreds of photos and I guess it’s all too good to remain true.  They now want to recover some of the cost of the service they provide me with.  For $US30 per annum I can purchase a “No ads upgrade”, and I may  do so, but my frugal nature inclines me to wait until it’s essential.

So please tell me, dear reader, have you seen an advert on this blog?  WordPress say most of my readers, especially the regulars, will never see one, so I’m waiting until someone has before I start paying.

“It’s been great service that I’ve had
but I don’t want to host an ad.”

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A new referrer has appeared in my blog statistics.  Bloglovin is a site which sends you a message every time one of your favourite blogs is updated.  Apparently I have five followers there.  I don’t know who you are, but I’m glad to welcome you.

“Each new referrer helps to grow
the reader to blog ratio.”

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Several stimulating happenings in my paid role this week have left little time or energy for blogging.  Working in the voluntary sector means the boundaries between personal and professional can easily become blurred integrated.

This morning’s “Press” has just arrived and they’ve printed the “Perspective” article I submitted.  A good quarter page with large headline!  Yippee!

“The need to monitor the stress
means blogging energy is less.”

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It’s seven years today since I started this blog.  Over those years I’ve developed a style and process that suits me and satisfies my creative urge.

Generally I use alliterative titles, finish with a rhyming couplet, and post something most days.  I write about my personal experiences, tending not to re-blog items written by others (although I’m thrilled when someone re-blogs my posts).  Most posts include photos I’ve taken – my camera is an invaluable blog asset.  I don’t write about anyone else unless I have their permission.  If I say “we” did something the reader is often not told who is the rest of “we”.  I don’t blog about my paid work, except as an aside.  I have plenty of other places to write about work matters.

Once positive outcome of the earthquakes is that they’ve given me lots of material.  They’ve also brought me new readers and commenters.  WordPress tells me I now have 198 followers, although 86 of those are Facebook “Friends” and I’m not sure they all actually read the blog.  At the moment my daily visitors average 73.

Seven years is a long time.  According to Stanford School of Medicine every single cell in our skeleton is replaced every seven years.  So from now on a completely new me will be writing this blog.  I wonder if I’ll still be doing it in another seven years?

Heartfelt thanks to those who are regular readers and commenters.  You inspire and encourage me in my creative expression.

“For seven years this blog and me
have kept each other company.”

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I was delighted recently to get two complimentary comments from readers who’ve not commented before. Ness said: “Just wanted to say Ruth that I really enjoy reading your posts. You bring out the best in Christchurch when it’s sometimes hard to see. Thank you.” Hema said: I enjoyed reading your reflections. And Bentley is adorable……. Will keep reading your musings. Thanks for such evocative prose and pictures.”

These, together with comments from my regular readers, give me a warm feeling of connection, and it occurred to me that ‘Connect’ is one of the five winning ways to well-being promoted by the Mental Health Foundation.

Five winning ways to wellbeing

Another is ‘Take notice’ which is something my blog encourages me to do. I carry a camera and am always on the lookout for interesting items that might make a blog post.

‘Be active’ is a third winning way.  Seeking blog posts keeps me active. I prefer to walk wherever possible so I don’t miss interesting events happening around my area. Number four is ‘Give’ and I hope that my blog gives pleasure to readers.  Certainly some have indicated this is so.  The final winning way to well-being is ‘Keep learning’.  When drafting  a blog post I often consult Google to get details or learn something more about a topic.  So, it seems very clear that blogging is good for my mental health.  How do you nurture your mental health?

“One way to clear the mental fog
is looking out for posts to blog.”

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