Sunday, 29 March 2009


I spent a wonderful day yesterday with my very good friend Trousers. We have been walking together now about every 6 weeks, for the last 18 months.
The deal is I bring the sandwiches and coffee and he brings the chocolate and we walk wherever I've decided to go.
Yesterday we parked up in a wonderful village called Hartington in the Peak Park and walked to the river Dove, and then went beside it, there and back for a total of 8 miles.
The weather was almost different every five minutes, warm sunshine, pouring rain, billowing wind, and then start the cycle again.
We managed to have our picnic between storms, sitting on a log listening to the river gush and gurgle past us.
And as ever from the minute I picked him up at the station, we never shut up. We get on so well on so many levels, from the really daft to the soul searching serious stuff. The only thing we really don't have in common is our taste in music, but we're prepared to indulge each other in their odd tastes!!!!!!
We spent some time talking about blogging, which is how we met, he was the first person to ever comment on my blog nearly two years ago, and he'd also recently started blogging then.

We've both been in a difficult place about it recently, and it was good to know that the stuff going on in our own worlds was also going on in someone elses..... Always good to know we're not alone.

One of the things that has been perturbing me about blogging is my blog roll. I actually take blogging seriously..... it could be that I need to get a life,of course! But those people on my blog roll, get read and most times get commented on, as I think based on how I feel, it's important to have our words acknowledged. Otherwise why bother blogging, just keep a journal instead.

But for me there has to be a reciprocal thing going on, and some of the people on my blog roll, just get my comments and never respond back to me about my stuff. So in the interests of my feeling ok with this, I'm going to reduce my blog roll only to people who want to play in my garden sometimes, as I do theirs.

For those making comments, as you often do, I don't expect you to write every time I post. I post such a lot. I know you come and go as your lives take you. YOU are not the people I'm talking about and I wont's be taking any of you off my blog roll anytime, as I consider you to be my friends.

If however you do ever comment on my stuff, be assured that I will come over to your site and leave a comment, it think it's the only way to behave. And if there then becomes a mutuality of visiting then you would go on my blog roll.

Whilst I'm on a roll here..... Followers, what is this about? You get a collection of nice little pics, and the knowledge that, at least once they had to have visited your blog, but not necessarily ever again after they have put the little pic up.
On the one hand I love getting new followers it makes me feel good. But on the other side of the coin it frustrates the hell out of me when the person never bothers with me again.

Now I actually do know where all my feelings come from on this, and how my childhood relates to my perceptions as an adult and I also know what I need to do to feel ok within myself. So if the followers list disappears don't be surprised. The people who I love/like/know will still be there on my blog roll. But the one time hangers on, unless they communicate with me are going.

I am sorry if this all seems a bit harsh, but for my own reasons I need to do this tidying up of my blog to keep me in a healthy place about it.

The photographs are from yesterday by the river Dove when the sun came out for odd moments.


trousers said...

I know I've said it already but I'll say it again, it was a fantastic day!

I know I haven't commented as much here lately but if you check your stats, I've still been visiting :)

Dave King said...

It is quite obvious from the pics and the text that it was a brilliant day. (There have been times when I have shared your frustration, but thanks for posting details of such a heart-warming time.)

Angela said...

Well, you can`t kick ME out, Mandy, because I will return, haha! Only kidding. No really, you are perfectly right. I might do the same thing! You are a fabulous and self-thinking woman! I am very fond of you!

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I have your blog in google reader (like all my faves) so I don't always visit unless I've actually got something to contribute and probably more significantly, the time. I had to take the decision a while back that I could either carry on blogging without answering comments or give up all together, so now I rarely reply to comments and try to get around other people's blogs as often as possible. I think having blogs in readers makes it seem as though ppl don't visit when in fact you can be a favourite blog of theirs.
Glad you had such a lovely walk, my beach is waiting for you;) BG x

Annie Wan said...

if i don't visit or comment it's not personal (to you, that is) - it's probably more the state of my own mind! i love your photographs and your observations and i'm intrigued by the things you do and the friendships you've nurtured.

it sounds like you're restless again - tidying up the blog roll! cmon it's too nice a sunday to be doing stuff like that. come down and spend some time with me in london when i'm childrenless xx

Fire Byrd said...

Wow two invites.... yes please to both the beach and London, bring it on!

Lady in red said...

like trousers I visit but don't always comment as I recently posted on my blog

and yes I do know I am not one of the ones you are talking about.

next year when I only have one child at home I shall be better able to make my home more agreeable to visitors then you wil be welcome any time

Cheryl Cato said...

The countryside looks so pleasant. I love the sun sparkles on the water and the foot bridge is a thing of beauty. Quite quaint, is this where you had your lunch?
It's nice to know you have met & like on a personal level one of your blogger friends. Really nice...
PS You can't kick me out either, I voted for you several times!! ha ha!

Mel said...

Oh my....

And today a walk would mean almost a half a foot of snow.


Darn white stuff...

Lemme live vicariously through your photos--they're much more inviting!
AND there was chocolate!

(((((((((( You )))))))))))

ShirleyAnn said...

I love your blog and am more a reader than a commenter. Sometimes I read it and the comments and feel I have nothing "worthy" to contribute. I try to read every day so I can vote.

Rosaria Williams said...

Share your sentiments exactly. A few weeks ago I posted new rules for myself and my blog friends. The comments I received told me that humans are civilized and expect niceties to be part of encounters. Thank you for reinforcing my sentiments.

Merry ME said...

Oh dear, now I'm upset that I might be kicked off. What, says my inner child, I'm not good enough to be a follower???

Here's the truth. I don't know the rules of blogging. I don't know the difference between a blog roll and a blog follower. I don't know what the commenting rules are.

What I do know is I love your blog. I love where your blog takes me. And I love when you comment on my blog.

I'll just keep doing what feels right to me. And I'll keep voting for your blog!

Val said...

hoh no - you are not getting rid of me that easily! i know i dont always comment but its usually because of my state of mind as Mei Del says.... in my case that usually means 'empty'....
your walks with Trousers sound fabulous - what beautiful countrside you have around you.

Fire Byrd said...

Oh dear, there is no way I want to kick anyone anywhere who does the courtesy of commenting on my blog.
So please please don't think I'll get rid of you.
I was just having a major moan cause I was frustrated .
Please forgive me for winding you up. It was unintentional.
One of my greatest skills is open mouth and wait some time for brain to catch up..... I have a degeree in tactlessness, particularly when I'm out of sorts.
You lot are just fab and I wouldn't be where I am today without YOU!!!
So hugs and kisses all round

Trixie said...


I have actually just opened up your blog to get your URL because I was in the middle of culling my blogroll!!!! (not you, I had bollingerbyrd down, was updating it!)

I've also written a post called culling, but not scheduled till tomorrow (cause also did a post on the other one tonight) so when you read it, just remember, I did this before I read your post LMAO!!!!

And I so agree with you..thats why my blogline went from 137 to 71.

Lori ann said...

Can I just go on the walk?? i'll bring strawberries and Champagne! it's so pretty there!

janis said...

First, I want to tell you I LOVE your photos! I love how you change your background photo. They are so peaceful and moving.
Second, totally agree with what you said and some of the comments. I read your blog daily, I just don't comment daily. I don't want to look like a Blog Stalker. Also, sometimes I am more interested in what you say & the comments than giving a comment.
I will continue to be a fan/follower. You are far too interesting to just stop by then to forget you.

Pam said...

As you are "oh-dearing" and throwing out hugs and kisses, I'm giggling gleefully with "ya can't catch me - I'm making a bee-line for the kick-free zone!!" Love your blog Mandy!(That looks like one beautiful walk)xxx

Miss Robyn said...

oh you took me off :( so I guess I am one of the ones you are talking about - I have been so distracted with my brother in law being sick, it has been difficult for me to blog much the past month. I am so sorry. But I will still continue to visit as I am able.

anyhow.. I think your walk with trousers sounds fantastic. I love old fashioned picnics! What a great friendship has sprung from blogging

e said...

I know I've not been by here often, but even with what's going on, I vote every chance I get, and I hope you win, even if you do shorten the roll!

I loved you pics and wish you the best.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Those photos are so relaxing, and the story of the bucolic picnic is so well told that I could actually hear the water trickling by and the birds chirping. Ah, wonderful natural music therapy!

As far as comments and followers, I feel the same way. I love the interactive journaling, but I might trim down my blogroll too, as I feel I'm putting a lot of energy into blogging, reading, commenting and following up on it all. Like Rosaria wisely advised me from the beginning of my blogging experience: keep it simple. I'm so happy to have found this wonderful circle of friends...

Dark Side said...

I understand where your coming from with this and it is probably the reason why I only have my chosen few viewing me.

Goergeous photo's by the way, so much better then my rainy and very windy London weekend..xx

anya said...

I know exactly how you feel about comments, Byrd. The comments are the meat of the blog. That's what makes it more of a conversation than a dissertation. I value my commenters so incredibly much that if they don't comment for awhile, I get all anxiety ridden worrying that they don't like me anymore. (sound familiar?) Occasionally a topic pulls a lurker out of the woodwork and I love those lurker guys too. I was a lurker for quite awhile when I first began reading blogs.

I love how you English say "river Dove" or "river Thames" rather than the way we say it here: Mississipi river, Columbia river. Your way sounds so romantic.

Speaking of comments I would so much appreciate your wise advice on my most recent post. Your counsel is always so well thought out and valuable.

Unknown said...

I loved your pics and it sounds like a grand day out, even if the weather was thoroughly Irish! :-)

Yep, I think there always comes a time to prune the old blog roll, mine undergoes regularly prunings as bloggers disappear - either out of blogosphere or off my blog. You do exactly what you need to - whatever is right for you, is right.

Reya Mellicker said...

I read a lot of blogs, too many probably. I only comment when I have something to add to the conversation. Some people call this "lurking" but I don't see it as inappropriate in any way.

Blogging is a social network so conversation within the comments section is a part of it, but it's also a citizen based media. I don't ever expect or need anyone to comment - or even read - my blog. It is a joy, no matter the response or lack thereof.

Your photos are sumptuous. Must have been a glorious walk.

Barbara said...

I haven't been as faithful as I would like to be lately, but I certainly enjoy reading when I come here. The photos alone are enough to bring calm to my life!

I agree with you about reducing one's Blogroll. I generally leave someone on until it's obvious that person has lost interest in Blogging on a regular basis.

nitebyrd said...

Great pictures, once again. It's really nice that you can get together with Trousers and that you get on so well.

I like to get comments, too. Especially when they are thoughtful. I know that people can't comment on every post but I'd like to know they were there and enjoyed/hated what they read.

It's spring so I guess it's time to "cull" like Trixie did. I've got a few as well that are mainly "dead".

I always enjoy your posts, Byrd!

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