This Is Not A
(It didn't look quite like that at the time; I have redecorated in here occasionally.)
Yes, it was my very first foray into the online world. I can remember the combined emotions of thrill and trepidation when I first viewed that live page. I don't really recall now what I expected to happen beyond that, but I don't think that I seriously considered the possibility that I would still be doing it two decades on.
Indeed, there have been occasions down the years where I have come pretty close to saying, "Sod it!", but something - whether an unwarranted sense of responsibility to My Reader, or ego, or just plain habit - has always ultimately prevented my pulling the plug on myself.
There have indeed been times when the existence of the site has been of more than usual benefit, at least to me. In the period between early 2010 and late 2011 in particular, it was crucial in my being able to work through - and ultimately out of - the crises engendered in me by the thoroughly shitty behaviour of my employer.
Beyond that, it has been the way in which I have been able to express my annoyance, anger and oft-times utter rage at the way things were going in the world in general. I long since stopped deluding myself that what I had to say actually mattered in terms of its effect on events; that sort of clout was always going to evade me. But even if all I have been doing falls under the heading of 'Old Man Shouts Into Cloud', at least I have vented my opinions which - dear as they are at a ha'pence a ton - provides, if nothing else, a sense of release akin to that achieved by more literal eructations.
Regular long-term readers (and despite the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, I don't mean 'regular' in that sense) will of course have noticed a measurable dropping off of 'product' in the past few months. This has been in part no more than a continuation of a trend dating back some four or five years; but the fact that this piece is only the tenth that I've published this year (compared to 'peak blog' in the 2010s; over a hundred items in 2017, for example) has a more particular cause.
Back in early February, I told you that I was in the throes of a Big Project which was taking up nearly all the time I would normally have used to educate, inform and entertain you. I wasn't forthcoming on the actual nature of the Project, and I don't intend being any more so right now.
A maximum of six people out of the population of the whole planet know what it actually is, and all have been sworn to secrecy. The more perceptive of the rest of you may be able to, as it were, read between the lines.
What I am willing to say at this point is that the Project was intended to see its full flowering in time for this date, as a significant advance from the way in which I marked the tenth anniversary. Unfortunately, because much of what was involved in doing this was completely new to me, the learning process has been much more involved than I had anticipated. This was further complicated by the fact that I fell prey to one of my consistent weaknesses, in that I barrelled into the whole thing without reading the instructions first (necessitating an awful lot of back-tracking and re-doing which in turn led to a lot of head-scratching and extensive use of my well-developed vocabulary of invective). So much so that it became apparent a few weeks ago that I was not going to be able to meet my intended deadline for its completion.
It will be completed, though, and that fairly shortly. And I no longer care anyway. Just sit tight; all will be revealed.
In the meantime, if you have been here for even a small part of this twenty-year journey, then many thanks for your support. What passes for normal service may well be resumed soon.