They say that your body cells completely replenish over a 7 year period. If that is the case (and it seems incomprehensible to my non-scientific mind) then there’s not a lot of me left that sat down and started to write his first blog post exactly 7 years ago.
For today is my 7th anniversary of reviewsrevues and I thought I’d do a little taking stock rather than look at post viewings etc which I tend to do on such occasions. Never did I think when I wrote the first post that I would still be doing so 7 years later and producing this, which is my 823rd blog posting.
Seven years ago starting something like this was my New Year’s Resolution. I was looking for somewhere to collect together the reviews I had always written for my own use and increasingly on book sites like Amazon which led to some work with poetry magazines and a connection with what was then called New Books Magazine (now NB) which has continued in some form to today. At the time I was running a guest house here on the Isle of Wight and winters were long and quiet as there was never enough business to warrant being open at this time of year. January, however, was the time when there were the most bookings for the summer so there was quite a bit of hanging around waiting for the phone to ring so I felt the blog would occupy some of the spare time. Also working from home I felt that it would me a chance to reach out to the wider world. I did get away from the house some times as I was volunteering at my local library which had turned into a community library following council cut-backs.
Around the same time the blog started my connection with NB magazine was ramped up as I became lead contributor for Literary fiction within the magazine which led to author interviews which I also occasionally carried out for the blog. Reviewsrevues.com also certainly helped with my appointment as a relief library assistant for Isle Of Wight Libraries which evolved into a four day a week senior permanent post. The guest house was sold and after 17 years in the hospitality business the bungalow we bought in the same town no longer had to be full of guests! After getting the Library job, the amount of time I had for the blog did diminish which saw an easing off of the music and TV side of the site with the focus being books. Before then I had completed my 100 Essential CD Countdown which I have been re-reading recently and which represents many, many hours of work.
And that’s how seven years has passed. It does feel like the end of an era, not because I am giving up reviewsrevues.com (far from it) but because of things that have been going on in my personal life. We are planning a move off the island back to the mainland and coastal Dorset. This should be further ahead than it is and it is certainly a nerve-wracking, stressful time as anyone who has bought and sold property in England will know. Not a lot seems to be happening, even though we are surrounded with boxes that we’ve packed (and said goodbye to a lot of books from the shelves) and I have had to hand my resignation in from work and am down to one day a week and a bit of relief work for the next couple of weeks before that all comes to an end. I’m thinking of it as a “phased retirement”.
What that means, once the relocation has taken place, and I am having to keep everything crossed as I write this because it feels like it can go either way, is that it will be a new start both for me and for reviewsrevues.com, which is exciting. But for now, I’m celebrating my 7 years with you today and would like to thank you for reading and re-visiting the site. Here’s to the next 7 years when it will be a completely new me writing to you all.