Today is the last day of NaBlPoMo and to celebrate I am going to list my favourites here in one place – rejoice. And yes, I know, youâ€™ve seen most of this already, your point? If you have kindly commented here in the past month and I have not replied to you, itâ€™s not that Iâ€™m ignoring you, (are you mad?) itâ€™s just that all my energy has been sucked up by writing a new post every day; no sniggering, itâ€™s harder than you might think. I have great hopes for December so hold your breath.
20six was my first internet home and I loved it but it revamped and I left in a huff and so did some others.
Bobble is a photographer. Her photos would pin your ears back. They are spectacular. Her blog is an insight into a sophisticated London world of banking, post office fraud (not by her, you understand) and mature students.
Marvellous Norah. The woman who made dull office working into art. Funny art. She is a mother now and not working in an office. This is good. It has cut down on her posting. This is bad. But it looks to me like she’s gearing up to get going again.
Heather was the winner of this year’s Swiss blog award. In fairness to the Swiss, this would appear to show them as open minded as Heather’s blog features, in hilarious detail, her attempts to settle in and learn Swiss German. The woman who found humour in Switzerland. Also, she posts, sometimes, about her family history and those entries are fascinating, inspiring and beautifully written. As, indeed, are the comments on the Swiss. Well, perhaps not inspiring, particularly not, if you’re thinking of moving to Switzerland.
Minks is a friend of Jojo’s (of whom more anon, be patient) and that’s why I went to look at her blog. There she was doing some exciting foodie job and, it seemed to me, having a great time. But she jacked it all in to stay at home with her two children (both of whom were born online, if you see what I mean). I am lost in admiration. She is inspiring about childrearing and it is extraordinary to see her dealing with all her crises with aplomb (including nearly dying in childbirth). And yes, of course, she’s very funny. I like that.
Kate Evans has moved to Canada. She would like the Canadian nation to stop hugging her. She would like people to stop buying water filters. She has a baby too but she didn’t when I knew her first. Really. She is a cool blogger. I imagine her looking a bit like Kate Moss. I would like to emphasise that she really loves Canada, despite the hugging.
Jojo was appointed by the powers that be to enliven 20six, look after us and create a community. She did all that. She commented on new blogs, she pointed us towards interesting things and she solved our problems. When she left 20six, I packed up my virtual bag and left too. She’s a journalist with all sorts of items appearing in real publications that people pay good money for. She also still has a blog wherein she outlines the travails of keeping down a full time job as a free lance while looking after her son. She’s lovely.
The clue is in the title. She’s a GP and a mama. Her daughter is very like mine to my great amusement. In fact, in many ways, her life sounds like mine, except of course, that she is a doctor bringing joy and good health to humanity and I am a worker drone thinking up performance indicators and writing annual reports. As well as writing about her children, she does the odd post about seeing things from the GP’s side of the desk and this is all very interesting. Let me give you a tip, if your doctor has a bad cold don’t say “Doctor, you should be the one taking antibiotics”. Apparently, though she will laugh politely, it palls after a while and, anyway, she will be itching to tell you a cold is a virus.
When I started posting at 20six, I instantly noticed that there was someone who seemed incredibly popular. Who was this pog anyway? I started to lurk on her site. She was a London party girl, that’s who she was. I started to enjoy a glitzy social life involving all night parties in cool London locations as well as a day job in something mediaish and exciting (though she was rather dismissive about this latter). It was another world. A lot of the blogs I read are more of the same world; I like that, it’s nice to be reassured that you are not alone and it’s entertaining to find others in the same boat as you but pog is a completely different world and I like that too. As it turns out, the cool girl has a heart of gold and now regularly reads my blog (can I tell you how excited I was the first time she left a comment?), which I hope will mean that she will keep up with the partying rather than settle down to produce kiddies in the short term. The cool girl is also a cook and when I was unable to eat anything in the later stages of my last pregnancy, sent me recipes artfully combining the few things I could eat. She also made bread from scratch. Including the yeast which she described as heaving in her kitchen in a large vat. What else can I say?
Another working mother blogger. I like that. Unlike me, she is rabidly imprudent and writes about work; immensely enjoyable stuff. I see her doing the juggling thing as well and it is great to feel that you’re not the only one failing to hit all your targets. She has two beautiful small children. Yeah, since you ask, she is funny too. Doesn’t everybody love funny?
Nearly won a copy of the LRB from me. Mother of one, nearly mother of two. Watch this bump. Funny and endearing. Sorry, this sounds like bad back of book blurb but itâ€™s true.
Bruxelles, Ma Ville (in French)
It is to Thierry that I am indebted for any local information and views about the town where I live. He is a bit of a screaming right winger by Belgian francophone standards (which is to say screaming left by American standards). He also has great Brussels photos.
Peggy (in French)
Peggy is a working mother of two little boys. She works on European stuff but is Belgian. I know this sounds odd, but it is hard to meet Belgians in Brussels. Please trust me on this. Peggy is like a Belgian friend. Through her blog, I get an insight into what it must be like being a Belgian in Brussels. I wonâ€™t say anything further because I donâ€™t want to unnerve her by behaving like a weird foreign stalker but I do like her blog.
The infertility bloggers.
No, my twins were not conceived with the assistance of IVF but thanks for asking.
Julie, mother of one after (trust me here), not inconsiderable difficulties. Polemical, opinionated, funny – whatâ€™s not to like?
The Ambulance Men
I was directed here by the GPmama and the life of an ambulance paramedic is quite fascinating. The material is interesting per se but he also writes very thoughtfully about it and has plenty of opinions. Iâ€™m not the only one who thinks this and he has just put out a book which seems to be selling very well. I heard him on BBC radio 4 the other day reading this post. I recommend that you have a look, even if you think that this may not be for you.
I found this via Reynolds; know one blog in the ambulance service, know them all, I suppose. This guy works in dispatch. I swear I am totally prepared on what to say on the day I have to ring 999. Good thing not to say is â€œitâ€™s an emergencyâ€. Apparently, theyâ€™re bright boys and girls and they know that already. Funny, interesting and moving. I love this one.
I once read a blog where the writer said words to the effect “if you don’t know who Dooce is, you must be my mother, Mom, please call me”. I think this sums it up quite neatly. That and the fact that if you google “motherfucking mormon”, she is the first site that comes up. Apparently. She said so, it must be true.
You think I covered this earlier, but no, this is Dooce for alphamom. Funnily enough, they seem to have barred her from talking about motherhood, itâ€™s about music, tv, concerts. For my money, not as good as dooce.com where her daughter, Leta, gets a lot of airtime but perhaps of more interest for those among you not blessed with progeny.
The delightful Alice: quirky and beloved New Yorker recently turned New Jerseyer. She may be the best writer on the internet. Aside from you and me, clearly.
By the people who brought you Finslippy, but with a different slant. Alice is doing politics for the alphamom people. I am bitter, she stole my breastfeeding post which I was hoping to use to pad out the time until November (and the incessant posting) ends. Did her husband carefully read the Burlington Free Press, print down the article for her and leave it on the keyboard with comments about whoâ€™d want to be in the Vermont Human Rights Commission? And an arrow pointing to the excellent name which the author of the article has (Sky Barsch, since you asked)? No, I think not. Boycott Wonderland. Since, Iâ€™m assuming, you donâ€™t want to fill in a form to see the article (but I recommend the Burlington Free Press, no seriously, we have fond memories of a couple of holidays in Vermont staying with the heart surgeon and reading things like – woman hits moose in car, neither woman nor moose injured), I have reproduced it below. Is there no end to my virtue?
â€œNurse-inâ€ to protest Delta Air Lines today
Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2006
By Sky Barsch
Free Press Staff Writer
Upset that a woman was kicked off a flight for breast-feeding, a group of supporters plan a â€œnurse-inâ€ today at Burlington International Airportâ€™s Delta check-in counter. Sharon Panitch, a Burlington mother of two, said breast-feeding supporters will gather at the airport at 10 a.m. to show support for Emily Gillette, the New Mexico woman who was forced off a flight departing from Burlington. Panitch said the group wants to stage a peaceful demonstration to show they are upset that Gillette was asked to get off the plane after she refused a flight attendantâ€™s request that she cover up as she breast-fed.
Gillette said she was being discrete and was comforting her 22-month-old as they prepared for take-off after a three-hour delay. The flight was operated by Freedom Airlines, which was operating a commuter flight for Delta Air Lines. Gillette says she has filed a charge with the Vermont Human Rights Commission against both airlines, because breast feeding is protected under the Vermont Public Accommodations Law. The airlines said it asked that Gillette cover up with a blanket to be more discreet. A spokesman said the incident has been investigated.
Mother of two, mistress of the hilarious one liner. She once said (more pithily) that when giving out attention, the child who can throw things at her tends to have an advantage. This was a reasonable observation and stopped me worrying about ignoring my sons, thus allowing me additional time to fend off missiles from my daughter. She also observed, oh so truthfully, that when you have a small child, when youâ€™re out, youâ€™re out, which is how she ended up in the post office in dressing gown and slippers. Consider also this post on breast feeding a nine month old. Such an insight into the true nature of parenting and such excellent writing – from one so young too. She is only about 25. I try not to hold it against her.
This is an odd one, for me, at least. Kateri is the mother of two little girls, who live with her; she also has another little girl whom she gave up for adoption to her lasting regret. It was an â€œopen adoptionâ€ but it doesnâ€™t seem to have worked out very well for Kateri who is gutted. Iâ€™d never really given much thought to adoption and its implications for everyone concerned before reading this blog and she has made me think a lot about that. She is a very different person from me. She definitely falls in the earth mother end of the spectrum (she doesnâ€™t use disposable nappies, and this is only the beginning, people) whereas I am more at the â€œwhatâ€™s your name again child who I only see briefly every day, oh good Lord how many of you are there?â€ end of the spectrum. I think sheâ€™s wrong about a lot of things and Iâ€™m sure she would think the same about me but it is interesting to read the (very definite) opinions of someone you donâ€™t agree with most of the time. And also I do admire her coping skills as she separates from her husband and brings up her daughters and tries to do whatâ€™s best.
Separating mother of one who is surprisingly upbeat given the heartache and logistical nightmare of being a single working mother trying to deal like a grown-up with an ex-husband when all she really wants to do is scream. Or I may be overinterpreting here about the screaming bit. I do admire people who can keep so many balls in the air and manage to start over. Amazing. I also like the way that her posts are true.
Did you know that teenage boys can sound like their mothers? Just warning you, as is Alana. And I have just discovered that she is a poet too. Yes, I know, that sounds like bad news, but itâ€™s not. Truly.
I love Beth, sheâ€™s just so nice. That makes her sound bland but sheâ€™s not, at all. Sheâ€™s hilarious. Sheâ€™s kind and clever too. She is also mother to the worldâ€™s most beautiful child only excepting yours and mine which are tied there at the top also. There are some blogs I love but Iâ€™m not entirely sure I would like to meet the author but I would love to meet Beth. Thatâ€™s why she should be worried about stalkers in, what she foolishly believes to be, her Washington safe house. Doubtless, once you have investigated her blog, you will want to stalk her too, but, hey, join the queue.
Yet different. Because you canâ€™t have too much Beth. Welcome to the friendliest place on the internet. Really. Also, the best advice on the internet (if thatâ€™s not a compliment, it was meant to be but I appreciate that the competition is not exactly keen).
Inventor of the NaBlPoMo. Do I need to say more?
The famous blog of an English woman fired by her employers in Paris for her blog which barely mentions them. She is a mother of one and has split from her French partner. These are the bare facts. She writes beautifully. I first came here when she was splitting up from her partner (referred by Jack Dalton – Jack where are you? we still love you) and those posts were dreadfully sad and evocative.
This is a site that features different bloggers every day. It can be hit and miss but Iâ€™ve enjoyed some good stuff here. I like their daily round up of parenting news as well you know, this kind of thing: expert blames parents for bratty kids.
Miscellaneous (I don’t mean that in a bad way)
From Limerick and a deep thinker. I started to read her after the best dressed diplomat (a more profound thinker than I am) found her. And then I discovered that Dervala and I had friends in common, so, clearly, I had to read her blog out of sheer nosiness. She is a thinking techie with a huge following and she writes a lot in reflective mode. I think she might be the Charlotte Rampling of the technology world. She writes about an Ireland lost in the mists of time which I always find mildly alarming as she is a couple of years younger than me: this is a fairly typical offering in that vein. And not a mother at all, well fancy that.
Just because I have children doesnâ€™t mean I have lost all interest in shoes. The Manolo, he loves the shoes.
I came across Amanda after Dooce linked to her site following Hurricane Katrina and, doubtless brought her (Amandaâ€™s) ISP to its knees. Amanda is a tall, compassionate Southern pro-gun, pro-gay rights girl. I think that there are a lot of contradictions there and thatâ€™s only a couple of adjectives. Iâ€™m not sure that the American political system can accommodate them all though I have a dreadful feeling that (gasp) she may be a Republican. Sheâ€™s having a bit of a rough time at the moment, so, I suspect she would welcome some warm fuzziness from the internet.
Sarky comments about fashion pics and the odd dig at celebrities. Oooh this is excellent.
I was pointed in this direction by a friend who is writing a book. It’s strangely compelling in a train wreck kind of way. If you are looking for an agent, you may be interested or you may be terrified.
I have no idea how I stumbled across this blog. Romy is a catholic convert with all the zeal thereof which can be a little alarming. She is an academic and often has funny stories. She lived in France for a long time and litters her blog with French which, of course, I would never do. I realised when compiling this list that I used to read her a lot more previously when her entire posts appeared in bloglines. I am just too lazy to go that extra click. Which doesnâ€™t mean that you should be.
Friends and Relations
Surviving India. Just.
I met Nicholas when I worked as an election monitor in Bosnia for a couple of months; I know, the glamour. Then years later I met him in a cafe in Brussels. It turned out that Mr. Waffle knew him too. Itâ€™s a small world and all that. And he had a blog and I have become a devotee. I tend to ignore the Dr. Who stuff though (and you can too, unless youâ€™re into that, of course). His blog is fascinating. Lots of international politics but seen through a prism of Nicholas. And I scored 320 on this language test to which he directed me. Iâ€™ve been waiting to tell someone that since September. No, I donâ€™t know what he was doing on a dating site either.
Nicholasâ€™s wife who has, alas, a stop start approach to blogging. I suppose minding three kids full time gives her less scope to write than trotting off to the caucauses (Iâ€™m saying nothing Nicholas). I think that this is a real pity because I enjoy her posts and, as you will be well aware, itâ€™s all about me, me, me.
The woman who created the beautifully designed website you see before you here today. She used to post a lot more but I think now that she must have channelled her energies into more useful things. I still enjoy her occasional posts but I wish she would post more, I used to really like her blog, especially fun in the days when she was playing around with formats.
People I should have mentioned earlier but am now too tired to describe
Chez Miscarriage (who had a baby, way hay, but I miss her blog, I wish sheâ€™d come back)
Brother Lawrence (the only blogging religious brother who was hilarious)
Fluid Pudding (but hang on a second, sheâ€™s back, but different)
Jack Dalton (ah, the doctor)
Silveretta (it seems so long ago that the skinny within was out jogging)
Locotes (the Cork man who explained to me how the whole blogging thing works)
Open Brackets (the woman who read all the articles in the LRB and not just the personals)
Cancer Baby (in a different category; she died, tragically, at 33)