Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

10 Years of Blogging, A Celebration




sunset, newcastle, mandy charlton



On the 28th of February 2006 I made my first tentative post on this very blog, I didn't for one moment think that I would still be blogging 10 years later.

My blog is like a potted history of my life, it's there in all it's glory for anyone and everyone to read but just like me in real life I don't hide things, I'm not the keeper of any great skeletons in my cupboard, believe me, my house is so cluttered I could not fit skeletons in!

Several times over the years the tone of my blog changed, at first it was a diary, I covered my mental health, my sons Aspergers and our daily lives at home during my battle with agoraphobia.  Then it became a place to share photographs as my business started to veer it's photographic nose into the light for the very first time.  Shortly after I would decide to stop blogging but luckily it didn't last for too long before I returned although at that point I decided to focus my blog about my work posting hundreds of photographs, an archive of portraits, weddings, commercial expeditions all interspersed with just one or two personal posts.  Then a couple of years ago I came back to blogging as it is now, I share a mix of life, work, travel and everything in between and it seems to work so well, I regularly get 300-700 readers a day and in a good month I'll have 20,000 people who all come back to read my words each week.  My only wish currently is that I get back to blogging every day instead of my inconsistent once or twice a week and sometimes not even that but blogging is like my mind I guess and sometimes it's busier than others and sometimes it just can't come up with anything valid to say.  
You know that some of my days are genuinely without any exciting events!  (Sheesh)

I wonder where I would be without my blog, it's been my place to cry and rant and muse and even amuse from time to time, it's been my place to share my love of travel, my passion of travel photography and venturing to places far and wide.  The thing is, I could show friends or my children every single photo that I take but honestly, they'd be bored to tears so I collect them here, I curate blog posts and galleries of images which lift my own spirits and hopefully make other people smile too but I also know that if a particular post just isn't your thing then you'll skip it or miss it but hopefully return to the next one.

I've had some turbulent times over the last 10 years and so have many of my readers and this place has served as therapy for all of us, I have had messages and comments and conversations with people and some posts have genuinely helped other people as much as they have helped me.

You may have noticed over the last 18 months that my blog has mainly been the happiest place on earth, don't get me wrong, turbulent times still happen, strong emotions and occasional mental health hiccups are still there to be battled but mostly my blog has always reflected the place I am in my life and for the last year at least I can honestly say I have had the best time ever.  I have the most brilliant and wonderful friends, I've come to really love and appreciate the friendships of other women, something I'd perhaps missed in the past or maybe I just found the best group of friends anyone could ask for, friends who laugh with me, cry with me, hug me, understand me but also never judge me even when we all know I could take better paths, you know who you are if you are reading this now.

I cannot say with all certainty that I will still be blogging in 10 years time, no one knows what the future holds but for me, I don't see any end in sight, as long as there are adventures to be had, travel destinations to visit, either alone or with Holly Bobbins, as long as there are experiences and emotions to share then I will very much always remain a writer and a recorder of history.

I want to say a huge thank you to all of the people who read my blog, who do send me messages and leave little comments, sometimes just a few words can make a huge difference to my day and bring a smile on my face, I always try to reply to comments where possible and that feedback makes me realise just how many real life people do actually read my ramblings.

My blog is going to continue as it is now for as long as I can envision, I have trips planned, travel writing and photography assignments in the offing and this blog has lead to many of those amazing experiences so I hope you'll keep stopping by to read the next great chapter of my big adventure we like to call life.
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