Sometimes, you just need a bit of a review. Am I doing what I set out to do? And do I care?
As I sat down to get a bit of a start on post number 266 to this blog – that would be this post – I looked through a few stats.
- 265 posts since Feb 7th 2011 on this blog.
- About 30 posts to other blogs since that time.
So, I wonder what it is about this blog that keeps me coming back? And, have I achieved my aims? What were my aims?
Here’s the first, and shortest, blog I ever posted here in its entirety.
Why, Oh Why?
Ok, so I have a blog. And a bunch of videos.
The thing is, tea is fun, and fascinating, and can be very light-hearted, as well as heart-lightening.
So outside of my very serious blog, and my informative videos, I need a space to have fun.
I mean, three billion cups are drunk everyday. Someone somewhere is having fun. Whether it’s a Tibetan with the traditional brew with added salt an rancid yak butter, or some poor unfortunate soul that thinks teabags are acceptable, fun can be added to every cup.
So, let the fun begin…
So, that was the idea. A bit of less serious fun. I’d discovered Tea Trade via Twitter and wanted to give it a go. At the time, my “serious” tea blog had about 10 posts. (It eventually had one more.) And my serious-ish non-tea blog had about 30. (It’s had two since.) I was a tea video-blogger, but that sort of died away.
Post number two started with some light banter, but then settled down into what it really was – a eulogy and a comment on the transitory nature of life.
Are we having fun yet? Not according to the touching comments.
The third one is just a memory piece. Not great art. Not memorable in itself, but the theme of tea and memory, occurring in posts 2 and 3, is one I never seem to tire of. Again, some of the comments are lovely.
The ‘fun’ kicks in about post 5, with an anti-chamomile rant.
Then Post 6 is where I declare that I am moving all my tea blogging to this site. I even give a round-up for what some people might have missed, in a very generous and giving- or ego-maniacal – way, depending on who is telling the story.
And then it starts. A massive rant, Cafe Quackery: The Great Tea Bag Rip-off.
To some people, my defining post. I’d already made a video on the topic.
So, I was searching this stuff out to see what had changed. And there are a few things.
- My friend Rick suggested I start video blogging. My witty wife came up with the answer to one issue: My identity. “Robert Godden” was a lousy name for a fearless tea video blogger. So she created “The Devotea” . So I adopted that name. And then started referring to her on this blog as “Mrs Devotea” to protect her anonymity. And then promoted her to “Lady Devotea” as she has too much class to be anything else… and then we launched “The Devotea” as a tea brand. And people started reacting as though the brand was me, and not the pair of us. So I renamed myself “Lord Devotea”, because I’m married to a Lady. Are you still with me?
- I used to just use tea as an excuse to write about whatever the hell I want. Oh, hang on, that one’s not changed.
- Fun is great, but it is no longer mandatory.
But some things haven’t changed. It’s still Lady Devotea, and I, and tea, against the world!
But the unexpected thing I found, looking back on those posts from about four years ago, is the generosity of people willing to comment. It’s never wavered.
And I am extraordinarily proud to say that of the first 10 people to ever comment, we have now met 6. In London, in Melbourne, in New York, in Virginia, in Las Vegas. And so many more people in so many more places.
What I failed to mention in the first blog was that blogging makes you strong, lasting friendships, untroubled by distance. and so I’ll sip my Lord Petersham* and finish this piece knowing that our friends will be glad** to see it turn up in their Twitter stream or Facebook newsfeed.
*Just snuck the tea in there
** Could be that “generous and giving” vs “ego-maniacal” situation again.
*** I could have used a Paul McCartney song title as my blog title, but he’s a bit of an embarrassment these days. Also he’d probably send me a bill.