Monday, 13 September 2010

Dear Dashboard

Originally, it was this post that got me started on the idea for "Dear Dashboard", but circumstances prevented me from writing for a little while (more about that in a different post).

The first blog I ever read was when a friend of mine sent me the link to one of his posts that would make me understand better something we had been discussing. It did help, and of course I went and read almost all the posts my friend had written until then.

It did not take very long until I started writing my own blog, and I soon discovered that this seems to be the literary genre suiting me best - I have always loved writing ("always" meaning from the time I learnt to read and write, which was in 1973, when I was five years old with my sister starting school and teaching me in the afternoons what she had been learning in the mornings), but I lack both inspiration and tenacity to write a whole book, and there is such an abundance of topics I find interesting that I simply can not settle on ONE subject for a very long time. See - I am doing it again; this finding so many things interesting also means that I am prone to a little digression every now and then, in my writing as well as in speaking.

Over time, I have begun to follow other people's blogs. Some of these people I know in real life, the majority I have never met personally but have only come across by reading their comments on other blogs or because someone else pointed their blogs out to me.

When I fire up my computer, one of the first things I do is checking my dashboard here. And it is always with anticipation that I come here - who knows what funny, interesting, moving or informative articles are waiting for me today? So I scroll down to start where I last left off; with me following quite a number of blogs now, no day passes without something new on here.

Let me give you a brief introduction to what (or, better, who!) makes my dashboard worth visiting every day:
(I'll stick to the alphabetical order of the blog names, as it is impossible for me to give them any other kind of "ranking".)
Cooking the Ideas is a blog I follow not because I am such a good cook (I am not), but because I know the author from a small group which is part of a much larger social network, XING.
Cozy Cat Cottage is - you guessed it - maninly about cats, but, as the author herself points out, it is a place where she can have fun with her creativity. She includes poems, writes about food, quilting, crocheting, farm life, her cats, blacksmithing, camping, barns, exploring country back roads... (I have simply used her own introduction here, as you will see if you visit her blog).

Next on my dashboard is
this blog from my friend Mel. I've known Mel for years through our common love for a computer game, namely "The Sims 2", and it was in the forums on the official website for the game,, that we first bumped into each other. Her blog gave me a chance to get to know her better, and I hope the same is true the other way round.
Martin's blog is a treasure trove for anyone who is interested in the finer points of English v. German, be it for professional reasons or simply because of a fascination with languages - and a good sense of humour. Martin is practically my neighbour, living only two roads up from where I am.

I came across
Female Sleuths while trying to find out more about an author whose book I had just finished, and google lead me to this blog. So far, I have hardly read any of the numerous books mentioned there, but the descriptions are interesting and I keep checking my local library's online catalogue for them (the books, of course, not the descriptions).
Why I am following
Geranium Cat's Bookshelf should be obvious from the blog name alone - it contains "Cat" and "Book", two things featuring rather prominently in my life. Need I say more?

As far as I remember, I stumbled onto Julie Whitmore's Pottery through another blog which will also be mentioned here. Now, whoever knows me in real life might be surprised that I am following a blog about pottery - me not really being the handicraft person at all, and living in an almost clutter-free flat, with a taste for clear-cut lines, wide open spaces and empty surfaces. And yet, I enjoy reading her blog and looking at the pictures of the things she makes. Apart from that, she seems a very nice person and has left many a kind and encouraging comment on my blog.

Most likely it was
here on Nan's blog that I first came across Julie's blog. Again, it may make you wonder how come I, probably one of the most unfarmy people around, would be interested in following a blog entitled "Letters from a Hill Farm". But Nan writes about many things that I also find interesting, books including! And probably because her life is so completely different from mine, I always read her latest posts.

Only today I have started following
Linda's blog - I came to my dashboard this morning and found that the number of my followers has increased from 10 to 11 (I know, it's not many, but I treasure each and everyone of them!), and Linda being "my" No. 11, of course I went to check out her blog, too. Again, here is someone leading a very different life from my own, and thus I find it fascinating.

There is another one of the "farmy" blogs I am following:
My Farmhouse Kitchen. The author's daily life and interests are exotic enough for me to marvel at her posts, and, just like some of the other writers whose blogs I follow, she seems kind and friendly and leaves comments on my blog every now and then.
This blog about New Driftwood, a fictional town filled with Sims (from the game "The Sims 2"), belongs to Mel who I have mentioned already.

A true gem is
this blog - and there is the advantage of it being updated every day! "Rambles from my Chair" is still new on my dashboard, but I already wonder what I read in the mornings before I found it. The author has even commented on my blog, which is quite an honour for me.

Pete's blog is
Tempestuous to Introspective, and if you are looking not only for information about many a different topic, presented in an entertaining manner, but can appreciate one of the most eloquent and elegant writers about, then that's the right place for you.

A bit further up in this post, I have mentioned XING, a social network platform where I am a member, and it is through there that I know Ange, who has become a friend over the years we have known each other. Therefore, it is with some regret that both her blogs,
the blue marble we live in and thoughts of *A* cactus have not been updated for a long time.

The painter who owns
this blog has featured before in my blog - namely in this post, and given that we have worked together for a painting, it is hardly surprising that I follow his blog.

Second to last on my dashboard is
Twinridge, another blog of Mel's about her Sims.

The man who lets me partake in the rambles from his chair writes more than one blog;
this one is about words and phrases, their origins and meanings, and provides me with inspiration every day.

Well, I have come to the end of my dashboard and thank any of my readers who have persevered until here. Maybe I have managed to make some of you curious about the blogs that I follow, and who knows, you might find them interesting enough to add them to your own dashboard.

PS: I have only just realized that this here is my post No. 101!


  1. Hello...(Librarian)of course I don't know your first name...did I miss it somewhere? but I find your blog to be so fun and beautiful to read and look and the wonderful pics of Germany. I am an Oma because I was born in Rotterdam Holland. My parents immigrated to the United States with my three older brother and me when I was just a baby in 1952! yes a very long time ago, but I have soo many cousins in Holland still that our family keeps in touch with. I keep my Dutch ties...and Oma is just so special that my sister and I want our grandchildren to somehow find that special heritage in them through us. I have been back to Holland only once as a child although my siblings have gone several times. I want so much to go again and show my husband of 40 years where my heritage is. My sweet Tante Maria was from Germany. Boy could she cook and make the BEST pies! she was about 4 ft. 7 inches and a PISTOL of a woman! lol. I am so glad to have met you! I hope we can keep in touch!

  2. Hello Linda, how sweet of you to get in touch and tell me about how you came to be an Oma! I had no idea the Dutch say Oma, too, I thought it was only a German word. So I have learnt something new today which already made it worthwile to get up this morning :-)
    My first name is Meike, which is an ancient Northern German (Friesian) form of Maria.
    I do hope that you'll manage to make that trip to Holland some time soon!

  3. What a great post!!! I'm ashamed to say I haven't updated my stories in quite a while, but real life has stopped a lot of my game playing. I am, however, honored to have been mentioned!!! I do feel that through your blog, I've learned quite a bit about you, of what you're willing to share to the virtual world! Truly, when I read your posts, I feel like I've shared a cup of coffee with a good friend over good conversation!

  4. Mel, if that's how you feel about reading my blog, then I am happy - I really try to convey a lot of myself, of what I think, feel and what I am like, through my posts, and from your comment I guess I am not doing so bad!
    You are welcome to share that cup of coffee with me anytime :-)

  5. Our lives may be different, but I think you and I would get along in real life. Sorta like you and your mother do. I think she ought to do some guest postings once in a while. :<) And your dad. They could write about books and gardening!

    1. Oh yes, Nan, I am certain of that you and I would get along very well in real life! As for guest postings - there's an idea; they could write in German and I could put the original version up as well as translate it into English. My Mum reads and writes English well, but she'd feel more comfortable in German, I guess.

  6. Now I feel guilty, Meike, because my words blog is no longer updated daily. Perhaps it will be again one day...

    1. With so much else on your plate and several other blogs to write on, I don't think you have any reason for feeling guilty!