The Last Post

It’s the last day of the year. The day before the first day of next year. It’s time for some resolutions to be set. I’ll try and be realistic. I’ll pay off what’s left on my credit card. It’s 0% interest and there’s not a lot on it, and no urgency to settle it, but I’d like to end the year completely debt free. Apart from the mortgage, of course. That’ll take a little bit longer. I’d also like to save up my overtime payments and have a new boiler put in. Or at least have the cash ready when the current one packs up. It’s going ok to be fair to it, but it’s ten years old, not the most solid model, and a bit rusty on the inside. Strictly no more smoking too. Actually this year, the smoking resolution is a bit different. It’s the NRT patches and gum I really need to quit.

And perhaps less blogging. Perhaps, even, much less blogging. Blogging had a point once, when I lived in Mexico. When I returned to the UK, the number of daily views and comments fell off a cliff, but I persisted with it. For a few reasons – habit, I enjoyed writing posts, the conversations and I enjoy looking back at old posts from time to time. This year has been the first year post-Mexico that views have actually gone up year on year. But I’ve tired of blogging somewhat.

There are better places to engage in political dialogue. There are better places to share videos. There are better places to share my life in the UK. And quite frankly, there are, more often than not, better ways to spend my time than sharing any of those things in the first place. The deteriorating political situation, on both sides of the water, is frankly depressing. Nationalism, racism and the stench of fascism is everywhere. And there’s a big fat debt problem that will, if we aren’t awfully careful, explode and make it all so much worse.

Still. I finally came to an answer to the biggest question of the 20th century. How on earth does that happen? It is simple, really. You see, I’m white, indigenous, heterosexual, in good health, law abiding, of no ‘offensive’ religious group, middle ground politics and the trade unions aren’t what they were. In a world where political integrity is at an all time low, and the prevailing trend has seen facts and reality dispensed with as unnecessary burdens in the sphere of debate, one has to ask oneself, ‘How does one reason with those who are so willingly detached from reality? What is the point?‘ It seems to me that I’m so far down that list that I’m more likely to be asked to ‘go get’, rather than have someone come for me. I’m all white alright Jack. Crossed fingers…

It seems to me that blogging is a great game for the retired, or otherwise unemployed or under-employed. It’s not just about having time to write, but also the time to get out and about and experience things worth writing about. I do still quite like the odd bit of revenue that my blog generates. And it would be rather sad to entirely abandon this blog and condemn it to the internet wilderness. So I go on. But, methinks, with much less politics, and mostly photographic content. And a comment to go with it. Should I limit it to 140 characters? Or two sentences? Or Twitter’s new limit of 280 characters? Whatever, it’ll be brief. Probably. I have had this conversation with myself at this time of year for several years…

Adios for 2017 amigos. And, of course, a Happy New Year to y’all.


15 thoughts on “The Last Post

  1. norm says:

    the stench of fascism are everywhere. True that my friend. No one wants to call it what it is, it is a word from the history books for most but it lives and breaths in our midst. A beast that sounds so comforting to those who crave order over liberty, those who would say,”If you have done nothing wrong, what have you to fear?”.
    Today on Facebook, I put up an old photo of my wife and I at the last Maya baktun. We had traveled to a remote ruin north of Guatemala City to see in their New Year. The Maya numbered in the few hundreds, the police and military numbered at least double. When I asked an officer the reason for so many armed men at what was a simple celebration in a very rural location, he said it was for my protection. Linda and I were the only gringos there.
    The most poignant moment was at midnight, a full moon silhouetting a young soldier standing on top of a pyramid holding an automatic rifle against the night sky. Fascism is real Gary.
    Happy New Year to you and P.


    • Now, see what you’ve done, Norm? Highlighted one of my grammatical errors. Truth be told, creating posts in IE 7 on a decrepit PC with constant interruptions is one of the most frustrating things about blogging over the last year. I lose my train of thought and get derailed all too easily. Fitting, I suppose…

      All the key ingredients are there, buddy. Put in place towards the end of 2016 and throughout 2017. The question in 2018 is how far they can be pushed. It’s a question that, if unanswered, can be rolled over for a few years. Just waiting for an event to provide the critical ‘moment of truth’…


  2. Been following since Mexico City & I still tune in for your take on UK living, and politics and even daily “drivel”.
    And your travels. Hope you continue.
    Best wishes to you and the mysterious Mrs. P.


      • I was going to say. I know a Dana. But Dan…? Well, it’s nice to see an old ‘lurker’ still around! I might be less political next year. But I make no promises about reducing drivel. No promises at all…

        Happy New Year to you and yours from myself and Mrs P. Who I will ensure, if ever she enters the music industry, will go by the moniker, Mysterious P.


  3. As you’ve likely noticed I somewhat lost interest in both reading and writing blogs. I think the format is dying. The action these days seems to be mostly on YouTube. I don’t what your blog numbers are. And I’m not going to say much about mine, but let’s just say that at the peak during my 2014 Great Mexican Road Trip, I had readership in the hundreds. Meanwhile, on YouTube, even marginally successful channels have thousands of viewers. Of course the rub is that it’s WAY harder to make a decent video than it is to dash off a thousand words on a blog. And yet the traffic all seems to be on YouTube and not on WordPress or Blogger.

    As for politics/fascism/whatever, I think the Western World is in some kind of decline, a phase where there seems to be every incentive to polarize the public, not try to create some kind of unity. I also think that whatever fascism that people think they see stems from 9/11 and not from the current occupant of the White House. At least in the USA we decided we’d trade liberty for safety, and now it would seem we have neither.

    In any case, best wishes for a fantastic 2018, whatever you decide about blogging.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we fantasize about some day being a YouTuber.


    • I don’t think blogs are dying. The amateur blog probably peaked on the trendiness scale sometime ago though. Traffic can be interesting to look through, but that’s all it is really – interesting. Unless you are seriously into monetising your site on a traffic based basis. I used to get daily visitors in the thousands, regularly tens of thousands, during 2005, 2006 and 2007 when I used MyOpera to blog with. But that was more to do with a quirk – it was incredibly easy to get a Google Pagerank of 5 using Opera. With Blogger and WordPress it was down to the hundreds, sometimes a few thousand. Post-Mexico it fell to the tens. On days I post, I might get a few hundred. Sometimes. But there’s more to blogging than traffic. Hey, written diaries get zero daily visitors beyond the author. Post-death of author, that usually improves a bit, I guess…

      YouTube is a funny thing for traffic. Some of my lane videos have tens of thousands of views. Meh. But comparing Blogs v YouTube is like comparing TV and radio. They aren’t really competitors. I love using YouTube to have a look at places I’m planning to visit. Watched millions of India videos last summer! I’ve also found it really handy when I’ve needed to fix things around the house. Type in the make and model of your boiler and you’ll find someone who’ll tell you what you need to hit with the hammer and how hard. I think you really need either a specialist theme or an exceptional personality to make a really successful YouTube channel. And time and patience. But there’s almost certainly a niche in Mexico City for you. Perhaps hunting down lost or hidden treasures, such as the Angel’s squashed head.

      Politically, we’re all on a downward slope. Except, arguably, for the EU. Ironic, huh? Let’s hope it is temporary. I’d argue that wealth inequality is at least as much to blame as 9/11, and that Trump is a consequence perhaps more than a cause.

      Hope your 2018 is all you want it to be amigo!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope that you don’t give up blogging altogether. I do understand that writing about politics is depressing today and that for a working person it can be time consuming. (It’s much easier for an old, retired fart like me.) But I hope that you continue to post from time to time.
    Happy New Year to you both!


    • I think I have too many friends on Facebook. I need to cull, but there’s always the guilt factor. Posting a few political thoughts is a much easier alternative to an annual cull that works just as well! 🙂

      Happy New Year to you too William!


  5. Reblogged this on Bloggers Without Borders and commented:

    Say it isn’t so, Gary! I have so enjoyed your political blogs, especially those about Brexit. And about life on the other side of the pond. Would it hurt to just write a short blog once in a while? I think not. Hope to see a great blog from you shortly. Otherwise, I realize that heigh ho it is off to earn a living that you must go. Probably a bit late in the evening. You are already into the new year. But Happy New Year to you and Mrs. P,
    Rich Montoya


  6. Colm says:

    Happy New Year Gary,
    This has been an insane year for me, I quit my job, packed up 150 years of antiques and assorted junk, crated up my sidecar outfit, put my house on the market, sold it in four days. Then finally moved within two days of Christmas!
    Has blogging finally bit the dust or are we flagging? I see more and more coming on stream and so many young women are travelling alone these days and talking about it which can be refreshing but some of those too are reaching burnout and are now hauling in the oars and turning to Facebook.
    I decided last year to stand down too for a while and all my incoming blogs petered out for some reason but I was too busy really to bother. I have missed them all of course but I’m hoping to listen in again and hopefully they are not all burnt out.
    I’ve been an agony aunt of sorts for years for a group of like minded souls and I’ve passed the torch on to some other more enthusiastic guys to keep the flame alight. I’m tired of it, answering the same old questions and guiding recalcitrant hands to some success. It’s like rebuilding an engine through the exhaust and conversing down a long drain pipe. Then there are those who know better..
    Enough blather from me, have a great New Year traipsing about the countryside, don’t mind the naysayers, do your own thing and we will in turn comment at will.

    Colm and Carm in the Cowichan Valley


    • I know from conversations we’ve had on here that the last year has been rather active for you! Glad to hear that it seems to be settling down.

      I wish I could access my first RSS feed of blogs I read back in 2003 to 2005. How many of them are still about? Not many, I suspect. It would be interesting to look at.

      Hope you guys had a great New Year!


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