During 2013, when I finally surfaced from a horrible few years and felt the sunlight again, I decided I’d like to write a blog. It was just an idea that I thought might help put into words the feelings of joy and excitement I’d found in a new, simpler life. It might also help process some of the more challenging things I’d faced the previous year. Having spent my entire career in fashion design, I also needed an outlet, albeit a completely different one, for creative urges. I was happy with the idea of writing just for myself, like a sort of diary.
I’d recently stumbled across a very entertaining blog, The Art of Doing Stuff, whilst Googling contemporary chicken coop designs. I signed up and found myself looking forward to new posts. The author of this blog is a Canadian writer and TV presenter, and a hilarious and inspiring can-do sort of person. I realised that reading her posts felt like a brief daily chat with a friend. They made me smile. I thought that, in the unlikely scenario that anyone were to follow my blog, then this would be a good goal to aim for.
Mr. B was not overly receptive to my blog idea. He was busy, not that interested, and didn’t have time to explain the meaning of URL or hosting platform, nor to help me set up the technicalities. He mumbled about me having better things to spend my time on. He was ambivalent. Maybe thoughts of my previous business ideas made him hesitant. Maybe he was concerned that I’d make stress for myself. Whatever the reason, it made me determined not to pester him and just do it myself.
So, when a business trip to Singapore for Mr.B presented a quiet opportunity, I jumped in with both feet. Try as I might I couldn’t get my head around the (pretty simple as it turns out) technical know-how required to set up a WordPress blog, so I settled for Blogger. Blogger is a straightforward and friendly package for wannabe bloggers starting out. I set-up and set to with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
After jotting down a long list of possible name ideas I settled on The Urban Nest. As a family we call ourselves NEST after the initials of our first names. I was trying to realise my dream of living in the country with my reality of living in the inner suburbs, so the name seemed apt.
My first ever blog post was a simple series of photos with captions, Today’s Harvest. I had little idea of how to use our camera, and couldn’t work out how to change the long lens, so I just stood a very long way away from my subject. Picture me backed into the corner of our tiny galley kitchen pointing the camera at a pea pod on the corner of the counter opposite. The result was surprisingly pleasing. I was thrilled. I took more photos and wrote more posts. By the time Mr.B got home a few days later The Urban Nest was 4 posts old.
I said nothing to Mr. B. I signed myself up for email notifications and waited for him to see them in his inbox. I held my breath. He got in from work late, and I was on my way to bed. He pottered about sorting things out in the living room. He finally came into the bedroom, looking somewhat sheepish but proud. “I like your blog. It’s really good!”
Later he told me that he’d been sorting through junk mail when he saw the email notification for the latest post, The Fantastic Four. His first instinct was to delete it. Then he hesitated, thinking it might be something I was researching for my hair-brained blog idea. Then he thought he’d better have a look at what I might be up against. His first thoughts were, “Oh no, this is just the sort of thing T wanted to write about, and it’s quite good”. Then he looked at the pictures, not even recognising our own hens. It was only upon reading their names that he finally realised what was going on. He said that for a nano-second he thought, “Oh! They have the same names as our hens”, before the light-bulb moment.
So I’ve been writing posts, at first quite regularly, and then more sporadically as life took a few twists and turns, and I became frustrated with my blogging platform. I found it impossible to set up social media buttons and readers reported that they couldn’t seem to subscribe. I set up a Facebook page which helped, but it really wasn’t going anywhere and started to stagnate in my mind.
Sooner or later I knew that The Urban Nest would need to find a new home, and at the beginning of the year I made a New Year’s Resolution to migrate over to WordPress, which I’d heard was a more professional platform and more versatile. Since I have no technical help I’ve had to muddle through by myself again, so it’s taken a while. On my recent trip to the UK, a friend who works in the social media field set me a few tasks to get The Urban Nest back on track. I’ve now finally moved over to WordPress, so that’s my first homework assignment done.
So I’m back, and I hope you like the new look. I’m sure to be tinkering about with it for a good while yet, so watch this space.