Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Strawberry Yoghurt FIQ

Welcome to this Strawberry Yoghurt FIQ. Please take a seat, a small pile of napkins, and some of these delicious root vegetable crisps from Pret à Manger. There you are. Lovely. Mr Thompson will shortly be along with a pleasant beverage for you. In the meantime kindly proceed with the FIQs.

Why is this blog secret?

It isn't.

Well, why haven't you told me about it?

Ah. Because I didn't know if you'd like it: indeed I worried that you'd actively disapprove, and think less of me for having it. It is, after all, a pretty self-indulgent thing to have. I mean, I quite like it, myself, but I am not exactly proud of it per se; and I could never really say, "hey, you must read this, it's great."

Not long after I embarked on this yogological journey I was talking to someone whose opinions I usually really rather respect. I mentioned blogging, though not apropos of this one: probably Tom Reynolds or Dr Crippen or something. I was quite taken aback by their very negative reaction which was - to paraphrase a little - that it's all a self-indulgent waste of time, they couldn't imagine why anyone would ever want to write or read one, it could never be any good, and so on. So, not overwhelmingly enthusiastic, you may note. After this I wasn't in a huge hurry to blurt out something starting along the lines of "hey, guess what?" and I suppose this has stuck a bit.

There's a bit more to it than that but this'll have to do for version 1. Essentially, I didn't tell you about this blog because I'm still not sure that I'm not slightly ashamed of it.

Why do you have a blog?

Dunno. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I've always liked to write and never seemed to have time. Since I got my first PDA (HP Jornada 450 of blessed memory) ages ago in 2001 or something, though, it's opened up some little chinks of time, for example when commuting, that I can use to write in. This has led to my building up a small stock of pieces that could one day become blog entries - if I ever get round to them!

My Dear Kiddiwinks, well a majority of them anyway, have also been most encouraging and supportive. So, I done it.

So you think you're A Writer do you?

Ah no. I think that I am someone who likes writing, and afterwards likes reading what I have written, or at least some of it. I am well aware that a Real Writer possesses about ninety-three characteristics that I lack.

What do you like to write about?

Obviously there's all sorts of nonsense in here but the key thing, the thing that got me going, is accounts of travel and other odds and ends (perhaps music and orienteering, the odd interesting weekend) that I like to read about again. So in a sense it is just a glorified diary.

What was your first such piece of writing?

Memory plays interesting games with this but I think the first thing I wrote in recent times, with the idea of it being some kind of travel diary, was about being in North Yorkshire when Lottie was on ProCorda North. This was, oh, yonks ago. I still haven't posted it anywhere but I still intend to do so!

As far as I recall I started writing it because I was (mostly) on my own, doing touristy things while Lottie was busy, and I wanted to capture more of the experience than I could with just photographs. With the passing years my memory is not actually improving so this becomes more important.

And your first actual blog entry?

That was on this blog's LiveJournal predecessor and was about the simple pleasures of watching football on the telly. A copy, for better or for worse, may now be seen here.

You writing about football? Ha!!

I know, I know, but give me a break: a cat can look at a king, no? And anyway it wasn't exactly a formal match report.

What's with the Strawberry Yoghurt thing?

Well, I had to call it something. And I do like strawberry yoghurt. Really. And "Fat Sad Middle-Aged Bloke with Various Annoying Obsessions" seems a little lacking in poetry; and indeed, judging by some of the other blogs I've seen, I imagine it's already taken.

So this is not an entirely serious, pure and high-minded fruit'n'dairy-product review site?

Lamentably, no.

And the anonymity?

I think I cover this in the "About Me" bit. As I explain there, it's partly work-related; it's partly to not make life too easy for lazy Googlers; and so on. It's not exactly a nuclear-hardened level of security but I like it. I also, I suppose, like having a spare identity to play with.

And the ranting?

Rants lower BP, lessen risk of brain exploding, maybe occasionally help work through things. Or not.

And the ranting about Virgin businesses?

More to come.

Why Vogel von Neustadt?

More to come. But why not?

So are you really an ex-cavalry officer of aristocratic birth, raised in some unspecified but probably German-speaking country somewhere in The Middle, where coast is somewhat scarce but mountains ten a pfennig?

Er ... Yes?

And yet at other times you seem to attempt to claim to be a northern working-class son of toil, whose Dad's generation was the first in the male line of descent not to go down t'pit, eee 'appen?

Er ... Yes. Odd, isn't it?

Who is Sprengel?

More to come.

What is the name of the Imp of the Right Shoulder?

More to come.

Who are Tamsin and Colin?

More to come.

Your blog seems rather lightweight?


And doesn't really deal with the Bigger Issues in Life?


But where is The Profundity?

Erm. Friern Barnet? Is it that new wine bar?

The Angst?

Lost me there, guv

Do you really expect your readers to believe that your life is as jolly and straightforward as you portray it?


Didn't you mean this to be an FAQ?


Oh go on, then, I'll bite: <sigh> why, pray, is this called an FIQ?

Frequently Imagined Questions

How should one pronounce FIQ?

Hmmmm – I suppose it comes out sounding a bit fick?

Talking of pronunciation, what's this thing about Reveille?

More to come.

Why do your children have titles, each one in a different language?

The European aristocracy is jolly complicated.

Do you actually read it?

More to come.


More to come.

Mr Thompson?

More to come.

Mrs Thompson?

More to come.

An ting?

Ah yes. You have Althea and Donna to thank for that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For Personal Use only, not for re-publication.

Hello Strawberryyog I'l replying to a comment you left on our Collins Maps blog some time ago, sorry it's taken so long:

These are truly excellent guides which deserve their place as essential reading for canal boaters and enthusiasts.

That said I was a bit amazed to find that the new edition of Guide (4) - Four Counties & the Welsh Canals - has had its p. 4, "Map showing the waterways of Britain", messed up - the one shown in (4) is really the one that should be in Guide 5. Please check the colours etc and you will see what I mean. All the other guide maps seem to be correct. It's not a showstopper, but it is a pity. Do you publish errata somewhere? Thanks!

We have updated the master file for this guide with the corrected Waterways map ready for a reprint. I can post you the correct map from the previous edition, or scan and send if you give me a contact?

I see I am your 1000th profile reader, do I get a prize?

Also looking at your blog would be interested to read your opinions on Geocaching which I have just got interested in.