Saturday 15 September 2018

The Saturday List #188 - Ten things you can achieve by writing a blog!

Things we stand for
"What is the actual point of your blog?" This is a question I've lost count of the number of times. I am always reminded of the opening words of "Mother Sister" by The Fall. A voice says "What's this song about?", Mark E. Smith replies "Nothing!". I have never set out to write about anything, there is no theme. The blogs about Barnet Council are written without any agenda. I just happen to write about things that I see that I think deserve to be discussed in public. If there was nothing of interest, I'd never write anything about them. The Friday jokes I just publish because I get sent a list of jokes every week and I find some funny and I rather hope other people will. Sometimes I make them up. But the main reason I blog is because I've found it quite therapeutic. My blogs about dyslexia have actually helped me to understand myself. My blogs about Cancer have helped me deal with a major crisis in my life. The Tweets of the Week are simply things I've noticed that are interesting that I think readers may also be interested in. And it has been useful in promoting shows for my band. So the point of the blog is that there isn't really a point, but nonetheless the point is also that anyone who is interested in some of the stuff I am interested may find it helpful/enjoyable/informative/funny (Take your pick). But for something quite so pointless, as we approach our tenth birthday, I think I've achieved a hell of a lot. Here is a list of what I consider can be achieved, based on my proudest blog associated achievements.

1. You can inspire other people to write blogs, many of whom will actually do it far better than you. As the first of the Barnet Bloggers, it has been great to see Mr Reasonable, Mrs Angry and Mr Mustard emerge and each in there own way has made a huge contribution. It was quite amusing that on Tuesday, at the Budget Consultation session I sat with Mr Reasonable and Mrs Angry. At the end a nice chap from the Barnet Society bounded over and warmly greeted my two fellow bloggers. He said " I always read your blogs and they are amazing". I said "Hi, I'm Roger who writes the Barnet Eye and went to shake his hand". He sort of scowled at me and said "Oh yes, I've seen that as well", with the look of someone who has found himself stuck in a lift with Croydon cat killer and a bag of moggies.  I've always suspected that the worthies of High Barnet are not really too comfortable with us Mill Hill lowlife! What it shows is that in Barnet we cater for all tastes! This blog stands for Peace, Brotherhood, Consciousness and Conservation. We hope you do as well!

2. You can stop bad things from happening in your community. This blog has been at the forefront of numerous successful campaigns. Perhaps our proudest moment was saving Friern Barnet library from beings old off. It is still, rightfully, at the centre of our community. We have a couple of current campaigns, one is to Save the Railway in Edgware and the other is to Save The Midland Hotel in Hendon.

3. You can help and support local charities. This blog has always made a point of supporting important local charities, particularly Colindale Food Bank.

4. You can publicise great local events. I try and do this on a weekly basis through the Tweets of the Week and if there is a big event I will post a complete blog. This has been especially useful for the various music festivals we help run.

5. You can alert the public to local politicians who are not treating the public with the respect they deserve. I guess long standing readers will know exactly what and who I am talking about. Happily, the public decided they agreed with me and the last time he stood for election he got a measly 264 votes and was booted into oblivion.

6.  You can help people get through difficult times. My blogs on bereavement and Cancer have resulted in numerous private messages of thanks. In many ways, these are the blogs I am most proud of.

7. You can make people smile. The Friday joke is a long standing tradition on the blog. It was started by Vicki Morris, who was the second of the Barnet bloggers, but who moved to Nottingham a few years ago. My Dad always used to say to me "If you can make someone smile, the day has been worthwhile".

8. You can make people aware of things that other people were trying to cover up. Perhaps the best example of this is how the Barnet bloggers exposed the Metpro scandal. Our action has saved the Barnet Council Taxpayers over a million quid, which presumably has paid for the CEO and his deputy ever since!

9. You can sort your own, longstanding mental health problems out! It may sound quite strange, but writing about my dyslexia has forced me to deal with some very deep standing issues. There are some blogs that I've written on the subject that I have not published, because what I've written is so shocking that I really wouldn't want my children to see it (not things I've done, I hasten to add, but some of the experiences I have had that I have had to bury and lock away). The mere act of writing them down has forced me to deal with issues and I believe that this has made me far stronger and more able to deal with some issues that have caused me a lot of problems, mostly with anger.

10. You can share amazing things with the whole wide world! Today I will finish by sharing with you a Spotify Playlist I've just put together. This is the complete list of songs covered by my band, The False Dots in our long, illustrious 39 year career. This list is only ones we've publicly performed. Even if you don't like the Dot's I think this is a pretty damn fine playlist. Have a great weekend.

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