This blog has become my constant companion and one of my favourite activities. Wherever I go, whatever I do, whomever I meet, whatever I hear of, I ask myself if readers might be interested. If so, I make notes or take photos, and file them where I can find them for potential future use. Thanks to everyone who has made suggestions and shared their stories with me over the year. It is these personal stories and suggestions which have been most popular. Keep them coming and the blog can continue forever. Well, maybe awhile, anyway….
When we (and I say “we” because the idea was not mine) launched this blog, I had no idea what benefits I would gain from it. On so many levels. Curiosity is a blessing; being able to indulge it a gift beyond measure. That’s precisely what the blog has done. It has opened my eyes and given me license to engage with everything and everyone around me to the extent my energy allows. Attending City Council meetings, scanning daily newspapers, reading books, seeing films, walking around the city, enjoying cultural and community life, working out at the Y, on vacation; preparing posts for the blog provides a purpose to help make life more meaningful for myself and, perhaps incidentally, for others.
The blog has also been a vehicle for my personal re-education. I wanted to learn to write. That is happening. The more I write the blog, the easier it becomes, the more I want to write, and the more I actually can write. I have complained that writing the blog detracts from other “more important” writing. I’ve changed my mind about that. The response from readers indicates that my blog fills a niche. That others find it useful, occasionally funny or touching or provocative, has been very valuable feedback and an incentive to continue. Adding pictures that might attract my grandchildren has lightened the task of actual writing, a bit, and given the posts more “pop” for everyone. Pictures also enable me to use many of those photographs until now languishing in my iPhoto Library.
On a technical level, the blog has taught me much about modern technology. Lori Myers, who set up the blog, remains my editor, and has been a mentor par excellence, teaching me about WordPress and much else, as issues arise. I stay totally indebted to her for the rich collaboration we have enjoyed, and for animating the West End Walking Group which has been the source of so many ideas for my posts. “Learning by doing” sounds trite, but is true. If not for the blog, I would never have learned the lingo, mastered the art of inserting media, or developed the confidence to know that even I can telephone the Apple Help Line and get answers to computer problems that arise. I now understand the incredible utility of multiple computer devices and how one interacts with the others to make life easier and more productive. Ditto re: the social media. Although my own efforts to master Facebook and Twitter are sputtering, I now know why they are so useful to the world at large, and the media, and that’s a first step. There is much more to learn… but no rush. As the blog requires more skills, they will come.
I had intended to use this occasion to do an update on posts featured over the past year. I will save that for next week… after the Toronto Municipal Election, including the election for mayor, which occurs on Monday, October 27th. We are down to the wire, and every eligible voter in the 416/647 area will need to cast their vote. It’s time for a change and, hopefully, we can continue our celebration next week.