Happy birthday, espresso coco!

Today marks the ninth birthday of this little blog. Nine years! blimey.

It started, as all good blogs should, with a Hello World! post:

Ah,  another blog. The old one sort of vanished, so let’s try again.

The ‘old’ one could have referred to several other blogs I had around at the time, so I’m not entirely sure which it’s referring to. My Livejournal (which turned 15 earlier this month) was, and indeed still is, up and running, although sadly neglected at the moment.

So, espresso coco didn’t start off life as a book blog. It was more a place for random ramblings. Musings on the post office, the relative sizes of coffee cups (seriously, go watch that, it’s hilarious), or the occasional post with now-dead links. A musing on the mystical hour of 4am by Rives (one of my favourite videos – it showed up again in 2011 as clearly I’d forgotten that I’d already posted it).

I shared a lot of videos back then.

Maybe I should have a tidy up. WHO HAS THE TIME? Not me! And it’s my blog, so ner.

The first book-related post was a review (of sorts) of Scott Lynch’s excellent Red Seas Under Red Skies, but that didn’t show up until late August. It wasn’t until April 2010 that we saw the next bookish post, a video (told you) on the making of a book cover (Gail Carriger’s ‘Blameless’).

I also dabbled in movie reviews: Predators (could have been better), Adventureland (seven Molly Ringwalds out of ten) and Iron Man 2 (Don Cheadle tries very hard not to be Terrence Howard), just to pick a few.

I quite like talking about movies. Maybe I should do more of that.

I also posted up various bits of writing about a chap called Monty, gentleman thief and lover of dangerously caffeinated beverages, along with his long-suffering PA, Molly. He made some prank calls, got stuck in a minefield, and ended up in an… unusual car during a getaway. Huge fun to write. If you have a spare ten minutes, go have a read and let me know what you think.

In late 2012 I talked about Skyfall. More than once. Followed up by Ten Reasons Why Skyfall is the Best Bond Movie (still true) in 2013.  I’ve counted up seventeen Bond-related blog posts over the years. And I still haven’t done my BlogAlongABondAThon (looking at the books vs movies), or my Top Ten Bond Movies, or Best Bond Movie Per Bond, or a dozen other posts in the drafts folder.

I’ve also dabbled in photography advice (Ten simple ways to improve your photos), taken lots of photos of coffee. I love coffee.

image
Cappucino, Bottega Milanese, Leeds

From trawling through the archives, it was 2014 (ish) when the book blogging became more of a thing, and I started posting more regularly. I’d still post about random stuff from time to time, and I still really enjoy writing that sort of thing – ramblings about wands in Harry Potter, which way is up on a map, that sort of thing.

Maybe I should do more of that too.

I notice with some interest, that this is the 700th post on espresso coco.

That seems like quite a lot, but nowhere near the 12,000 or so posts on my Livejournal. I treated that more like a pre-twitter twitter, often with a handful of posts a day. I do miss the LJ community sometimes!

My top ten posts (excluding the homepage views)

Interestingly, they mostly hark back to 2013. Good year for blogging, 2013. Fine vintage.

Most commented on post was E is for Empire Strikes Back, part of my 2014 A-Z of Movies (now *that* was fun to do. Must do another one). Most of my most commented on posts belong to that A-Z.

This birthday post has got a bit long and rambling. Yes, yes, I realise that I’ve got past form in this regard. If anyone is still here, thanks for reading this far, and thanks for following my little blog. Here’s to another year (or nine) of blogging about books, movies and stuff. I’m glad you’ve been here.

As a special treat for reading this far, I’ll leave you with the ULTIMATE secret to a successful blog.

And some cake. Mmm, cake.

 

Dabbling

Ever heard the expression ‘jack of all trades, master of none’?

That’s me. I’m one of life’s dabblers. I’m always slightly envious of people who are really *really* good at something. Doesn’t matter what it is – DIY, playing an instrument, writing, sport, whatever.

The other night we were watching The Great British Bake-off with the kids, and they suggested that I should go on it as I’m good at making cakes. Now, I can turn out a perfectly good, tasty cake[1], don’t get me wrong. But, like most people, I’d need a good recipe and lots of time and WILL YOU GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN WHILE I’M BAKING. That said, getting hugged by Mel & Sue when I went out in the first week might just make it worthwhile.

*ahem* I digress.

Ditto with DIY. I can put up a shelf and it’ll be more-or-less level so long as you don’t look too closely, but there’s a reasonably high probability of blood being involved somewhere along the line, and one too many holes in the wall than are strictly necessary.

I also keep looking at the guitar I bought last December, sitting largely unused in its case in the spare room. I’ve had it out maybe half a dozen times for a strum since I got it, but never really got past that point.

I’m reasonably good at a few things, but always just enough to know exactly how much I don’t know.

Take juggling. I can juggle three balls reasonably well, and four at a push. Some people are impressed[2], but deep down I know that anyone[3] with a couple of hours to spare and enough motivation to put the effort in could do much the same.

Same with photography. I’ve taken some nice photos (along with a significantly higher number of terrible ones), but follow enough ‘proper’ photographers to know that mine are mostly merely competent, with the odd exception.

I’d love to be an expert in something. And that involves time and effort and I completely get that. Given that I’m now over 40, and my life is full of other important stuff, I should really be a bit more picky about what I want to do. My free ‘me’ time is pretty precious, and needs to be used wisely…

[1] mmm, cake.
[2] ok, mainly small children.
[3] yes, even you.