I've been writing this blog for exactly 11 months. A suitable moment for quiet reflection. . . . . .
That's enough silence. Now for some noise.
Looking back is one of the things I do best. I'm staring so resolutely backwards that I often stumble. Looking where you're going is sometimes not just appropriate but necessary.
When I laid out my manifesto all those months back, I had a very clear concept of what my blog would be about: the history of beer, my research into the history of beer, what bollocks others have written about the history of beer and a diary of my beer-related experiences. Not forgetting the essential quota of crap jokes and stuff about my kids.
How faithful have I been to those initial intentions? (Why do I keep asking myself such difficult questions? Do you have any idea?) I feel I've stuck exactly to the concept I had in my head. Whether or not I managed to articulate that in my manifesto, I'm not so certain. I still haven't managed to tidy up my desk (see above)
History of beer
There have been plenty of posts on the history of beer. Probably far too many for most of you. I could imagine snores coming from my monitor when I wrote about the history of early Swedish lager or in minute details about Berliner Weisse.
It doesn't really bother me if my posts entertain anyone. I keep repeating this, but I'm uncertain how much I'm believed: everything I write is for me. To crystalise my thoughts or record information I might otherwise misplace. And to give the kids some idea of what their dad was like, what he thought and what he did. It's all just me, me, me.
I've served up plenty of undigested chunks of research. Raw data without much in the way of commentary or explanation. This has been partly through intent and partly lack of time. There's much information I've collected that I still haven't properly processed.
I wanted to make clear the process of research - which sources I use and what is to be found in them. Making the information available to others is equally important. It would be hypocritical to slag off others of not having the facts and then keeping them to myself.
The bollocks of others
This has mostly been limited to the odd attack on the BJCP. Kicking the BJCP is one of my hobbies. I've tried not to overdo it. Being perpetually negative is so unappealing. It would be easy to spend much of my time having ago at everyone I think talks bollocks about beer. But what would be the point?
A wide range of activities fall under this heading. Foreign travel, getting my beers brewed, dragging the kids around pubs, personal reminiscences. This is the stuff that Mike thinks is off-topic. Well, not all of it, but the travelogue bits. I especially enjoy writing the travel reports. There's no way I'll be dropping those. Sorry, Mike.
I estimate that I have about 100 regular readers. If you're one, comment on this post. That might give me more realistic idea of the true number. Especially those of you without a blog of your own.
I'm looking forward to providing more of the same over the next 11 months. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll put your fist through your screen. On second thought, best skip that last one. It might hurt.
Why don't you switch off your smartphone and go out and do something less boring instead? - ... such as coming to one of my summer festival events? This weekend it's the Stoke Newington Literary Festival. Set up by my wife Liz in 2010, it's now be...
5 hours ago