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Blogging, the Blogging World and the Cowgirl Blog List No. 1

Anyone for a Follow?

Anyone for a Follow?

I’m probably the zillionth person to say this…but…

When I first started this blog I had a vague aim to practise writing, do something creative with my spare time and give a purpose to my obsessive visual documentation. I hoped that with a bit of luck some people might find the story of the cows and my general musings interesting – a willing audience, hurrah! Thanks must go to my lovely friends and family who loyally followed me in the first place which gave me lots of encouragement. Thanks x x

Of course, as I found out pretty quickly, and I think most bloggers would probably agree, blogging is so much more than this. I have found myself swept up into the friendly bosom of a parallel universe – the Blogging World – a huge community of pen and camera wielders much like myself, tip tapping away on computer devices all over the globe. Another unexpected and interesting result of all this interacting is that my blog seems to have developed a life of its own.

In Blogging World I have met like minded and not so like minded folk, where we might share a laugh, exchange opinions and chit chat about anything from the joys of butter and farming ethics to the beauty of nature and the state of the world and culture. A bit like a giant pub, but with pictures.

There are cultural differences in blogging styles and one of the things I’ve noticed is that we Brits seldom show our faces – this is not surprising to me (that would be giving too much away wouldn’t it?) but I wonder what the franker and more upfront bloggers make of chatting with a bunch of legs, spiders, masked faces, flowers or symbols. And for us Brits it can be tortuous process selecting an image to represent ‘me’, so why do we put ourselves through it? Probably because Blogging World is in essence an unreserved place so we have to maintain our cultural identity somehow!

Anyway, in the spirit of the WordPress award system, today I’d like to spread some blog love. The actual award thing I’m a bit allergic to; probably some unresolved issues with authority there, or maybe it’s just the reserved thing again.

There are so many good blogs out there but here are fifteen to be going on with.

alpinemummy

Taking a break from lawyering in London and relocating to the French Alps with her husbandand two very young children, the writer of this blog wittily chronicles the trials and tribulations of her ‘new life in the middle of nowhere

Asked how she likes her eggs she replied ‘in a cake’ – a woman after my own heart 🙂

throbbingsofnoontide

Honest, poignant, funny, fierce; this writer really has a way with words. She speaks from the heart about lots of different subjects from Downton Abbey to Freedom of Choice isn’t Always Freedom, and relates the personal with the political in a really engaging and witty way.

If anyone relates to being in the wrong job or being over-stressed or tired you should read her post Thank you Panic Attack.

Plus she takes great photographs too.

live laugh RV

This happy light hearted blog is perfect for the armchair traveller, which I am these days. I always wanted to do a road trip across the United States, it even got to the discussion stage with a friend at one point. Now, I have fun watching this road trip unfold, taking in all the wonderful sights along the way.

Currently in Arizona, a-maz-ing!

sevenacres

I recently stumbled upon this beautiful blog, the record of an urbanite trying out small scale farming in Ontario, Canada and looking for a simpler life. The photographs are great, capturing a real sense of the place and the nature around. More walks please I say!

We’ll see just how simple that simpler life really is…’ they remark wryly in their About bit, which I thought was funny.

theroadtoserendipity

More tales from urbanites trying their hand at living the good life and proper self sufficiency, this time on four acres in Tasmania, Australia. I can now live vicariously through other peoples efforts with vegetables, you never know some of it might eventually rub off on me. The sheer positive exuberance and generosity of spirit and a great sense of humour makes the Serendipity Farm blog irresistible to me. Plus amazing phrases like ‘the twin machetes of adventure and change‘ are wielded about.

And they make lovely spoons. I missed out in their spoon lotto but I’m hoping to win won one day.

greenfieldnotes

Permaculture Magazines covergirl and freelance journalist, an intrepid globe trotter WOOFing her way around the world (that’s Working On Organic Farms), Rebecca chronicles her adventures and misadventures on farms and smallholdings. One of her last placements was at a Hare Krishna temple in Utah, USA where she was stunned to find out they were more interested in Krishna than composting and recycling. Funny, thoughtful and quirky with fantastic photographs, I always look forward to reading the next instalment.

digging history

I love the way this blogger displays his metal detecting finds, like they are treasure. Having lived near the Fylde Coast and the river Ribble and its estuary for many years, the writer knows and cares for this landscape and its wildlife intimately, from all different angles – the surface, underneath the surface and its history. Fascinating.

the task at hand

What can I say? A writer who is in search of just the right word and she just about gets it right 100% of the time I should say. Beautiful, elegant prose delivered in small essays on all manner of subjects, from social issues to religious festivals and North American culture. In fact one of her posts was about essay writing itself which is what motivated me to start following.

That, and that she quoted writer Flannery O’Connor saying that ‘reading my own work is akin to eating a horse blanket…’ which tickled me.

She includes poetry and music in her posts and I always learn something even though I’m not always in agreement. She is truly engaged with her many readers and answers every comment with thoughtfulness and care. How she manages to do all this while running a yacht varnishing business at the same time is beyond me – another good reason to chuck out the TV!

lorna’s tearoom delights

Teashops. An obsession of mine too, why didn’t I think of this idea?!

Lorna has a mission to go to all the teashops in Scotland and report back to her readers. Cue fab pictures of buns and china. But it wouldn’t be doing this blog justice to leave it at that. She’s an engaging and warm writer and reading her posts are always a pleasure, you feel like you’re there with her.

Charming, Delightful.

I also really want to know what she does when she works on the oil rigs.

lemonyshots

Just another (gr)egghead trying to get it in focus’ says Lemony

Typically modest from this amazing photographer of spiders, plants, her neighbours garden among other things, like experimenting with the representation of her recent illness pneumonia.

Creative and inspired.

science on the land

Everything you ever want to know about news in British agriculture/conservation in short up-to-date snippets packed with facts. She leans towards the sustainable in outlook but reports on everything.

She also reblogs interesting related posts from other bloggers.

I particularly enjoy her ‘Vegetable of the Month’ and ‘Tree of the Month’ posts

tricia tierney’s blog

Brave and honest, this writer is not afraid of tackling the big subjects of loss and pain, having been both part of a country’s tragedy and suffering a personal one.

I read the first excerpt from her memoir of her time in Sarajevo and subsequent events and wanted to read more.

that’s how the light gets in

Gerry, the erudite and eloquent Liverpudlian blogs ceaselessly on all things cultural – books, films, exhibitions, documentaries, radio programmes, history – a one stop shop for all my cultural needs.

He is also in love with landscape and takes you on guided walks around the Liverpool area. With stunning descriptions and beautiful photography.

Long reads, get yourself a cup of coffee!

debbie yare

Artist and photographer Debbie wanders her northern landscapes. I just can’t get enough of those images of Morecambe Bay.

Beautiful, wild, haunting.

frames of reference

Although this is the official blog of the Rowley Art Gallery, London and here you will find links to all sorts of beautiful art and artists, Hamer also blogs brilliantly on the walks he takes and the places he visits with top class photography and evocative description.

One of his recent posts was from Toledo, Spain where he got slightly obsessed with walls – ‘once I started photographing them I couldn’t stop’ he said. But I love a good wall too, so that’s ok.

Some of the artists that the gallery represents also guest blog so it’s interesting to see their work too.

I am saving up.

******

So, that’s the end of my first list. I hope you have fun discovering some new blogs in 2013.

Happy New Year!

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32 Comments Post a comment
  1. THANK you, Cowgirl. This might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said!

    P.s. INTERESTING about showing faces. I hadn’t noticed that, but now you mention it…. I’m wearing a balaklava xx

    January 2, 2013
    • Really?! Well thank YOU for your interesting posts. This could go on and on couldn’t it?!

      January 3, 2013
  2. Julia Wylie #

    Wow, definitely no time for tv now:0

    January 2, 2013
    • Well, it’s a whole year til Strictly so I’m sure it won’t be too much of a hardship 😉

      January 3, 2013
  3. thanks for the blog recommendations and for putting me on to ‘Tree Wisdom’ which has informed me that yew trees can (apparently) be up to 9,000 years old – thats a lot of blog posts!

    January 2, 2013
  4. Wow! Plugged on a blog that I admire has to make my 2013 so far! Thank you SO much for sharing our humble little blog with your wider audience. I haven’t got any noble reasons for blogging…the length of my post and the amateur photographs are merely a testament to the determination and desperation of my 1000+ muses to all be heard (usually at once…”The Voices!”…). I just find life amazing…This year I turn 50…a good reason to be depressed for most people but I am so in love with life and learning all about EVERYTHING that I haven’t got time to be depressed…or to look in the mirror and worry about a wrinkle or two…this year we will be actually planting out our edible food forest (thanks to Ms Jackie French organic garden book writer and quintessential mental Aussie extrordinaire) rather than keeping it in pots and waiting for a “rainy day”…it aint gonna come! She promises the amazing possibilities of gardening proactively and stoically in our Aussie conditions and has reawakened the plant hoarder in me! I have so many things to grow this year…so many experiments in the natural world…so many natural cycles to integrate and SO MUCH TO LEARN! I think that by the end of this year my poor brain might be like a deflated hellium balloon 10 days after a celebration but I am SO going to enjoy arriving at that point :). Here’s to a year of opportunities to learn and grow for us all :)… oh…and Earl has requested another spoon draw…he NEEDS to get his nose back in that bowl of walnuts so be sure to enter again 🙂 and Steve is getting adventurous with his “spoons” now and is going all medieval on some wonderful old oak that he found recently so this next spoon… spadle… spatuloon even might be something really interesting! 🙂

    January 2, 2013
    • I certainly get a much needed shot of enthusiasm when I read your posts 🙂 I’ve got a bit jaded with the whole gardening thing – doing it as a business for years wrecked my body a bit so I’m currently resting…though I did grow dahlias last year, I’m not sure if you were following when I was posting those pictures!

      January 3, 2013
      • I get where you are coming from. We arrived at horticulture central late in the picture. We started studying hort back in 2009 and we did a bit of work for an ex student who had started a landscaping business for well heeled clientelle and towards the end of working with her I was perpetually stuffed! We don’t have much choice here on Serendipity Farm… its sort of a place where study meets the real world and we have to put everything (and then some…) into taming this wild beast and directing it off into another direction. I have developed a lust for life (just call me Iggy! 😉 ) since we moved here, got close to the ground and learned how much possibility there is even when you are a penniless student hippy with bugger all to your name apart from an untamed wilderness of weeds out on the River Tamar. The net (and my extensive desire to learn and know things…Steve calls it my being globally nosey 😉 ) has opened up so many possibilities and keeps me perpetually excited by all of that delicious free information out there and the library is like my crack den! Poor Steve often gets dragged along in my wake but I am having too much fun to stop any day soon! Steve picked up some free dahlia tubers from the little $2 plant stall up the road a while ago and has some in the glasshouse in flower at the moment. They are only the original purple ones but I will liberate them when they die back and will plant them out into the garden where they belong. I wasn’t following you when you were growing dahlias and might have to trawl back through your posts to find the relevant posts :). Horticulture can wear you out…the act of getting nature to work alongside you rather than race out in front of you is very similar to the act of walking our dog Bezial…he doesn’t listen… he is VERY strong and you end up dragging behind in a most comic fashion and being absolutely knackered when you arrive home…horticulture is an excited dog 🙂

        January 3, 2013
    • I like your description of the deflated helium balloon ten days after a celebration – I think that’s where I am right now with horticulture work, both physical and mental! The woman you worked for sounds like she had a bit of a similar business to mine…exhausting. However, I’m relying on you to inflate me again so don’t let go of that balloon neck anytime soon, you’ve got other people to feed 😉

      I’ll make it easy for you to view my (frankly bionic) dahlias…

      https://thinkingcowgirl.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/thought-number-10-a-big-thank-you-to-my-herd-of-of-lovely-blogits/

      January 4, 2013
      • long LONG before I could care much about gardening in any way, shape or form (read “renting”…) we lived in another state (Western Australia) and I used to walk past an elderly man’s home where he had the most magnificent dahlia’s that I had ever seen…HUGE things! They were bigger than my head and stunning colours. I used to talk to the man about growing them even though I had no way of possibly growing them in my rental home. I am not going to lose my love for horticulture any day soon…it’s growing in me now and is assimilating (like the Borg 😉 ). I am just about to go on a mad propagation bender. I want lots and LOTS of edibles to plant out en masse so when you are a penniless hippy you need to grow them yourself. A mate has offered me lots of walnuts from his tree last year. I had a good germination rate from the last lot that he gave me so I might get some stratifying this autumn and try selling them to get some moola to buy blueberries etc to plant. I am really excited about gardening again thanks to a book by an Aussie organic gardener called Jackie French. Her book “The Wilderness Garden” has me foaming at the mouth with excitement and hurling myself wholeheartedly back into propagation. First I need to offload all of the plants that Steve and I grew so passionately in cert 2 and 3 that are no longer part of our ethos…free plants for all! 🙂 I believe in sharing the love around…”anyone want some conifers?…how about some Brachychitons?”…free to a good home! 🙂

        January 5, 2013
  5. I just spent a lovely half hour reading through your blog choices and am flattered to be one of them! Thanks for the shout-out and kind words. And thanks for the intro to some great blogs I’ll now follow too.
    I began blogging for the discipline of writing regularly to be read and because someone in publishing suggested it’s important to have an ‘internet presence’ if you want to get a book published. I’d always thought the idea indulgent – who’d care? etc. but now delight in these blogger connections and … being read. It’s a lovely community – thanks for being part and fanning the flames.
    Tricia

    January 3, 2013
  6. Sooo many wonderful blogs! Sooo little time! Excited and honoured to slide my way onto the list. What a fantastic idea. You are fabulous! Permaculture cover girl… freelance journalist… pfft! I don’t know what you’re talking about! 😉 The blogs you’ve introduced sound interesting and enjoyable; I’ll be back for the links soon. Thank you x And Happy New Year to you!

    January 3, 2013
    • Happy New Year to you too Bex! I know what full time gardenings like – no time for anything! Those cold mornings in the van going to Plymouth seem so far away. Hope you’re getting a little r & r in these quieter moments of the horticultural year.

      January 3, 2013
      • I remember those all girl teams up to Plymouth verrry fondly! Granny’s scones and plants, spades and mud. Surely there must’ve been a power tool in the back of that truck too, even if it was just for looks? 🙂 I’ll be back in a couple weeks, looking forward to catching up with everybody! x

        January 20, 2013
  7. Thanks so much for including me on this wonderful list! I’m honoured but a bit daunted too. I’ll now be re-working my copy constantly and second guessing my photos. But no – must retain spontaneity! 🙂 And re the elderberry wine – don’t think the birds will leave us enough, but you never know. Cheers!

    January 3, 2013
    • You’re very welcome, I love to hear about your similar journey, keep them coming – spontaneously 😉

      Oh, it’s the flowers you make the champagne (not actually alchoholic!) and cordial from – an amazing fragrant flavour, perfect on hot summer days.

      January 3, 2013
      • Thanks, I’ll definitely look into it. And the grape by the way is native. The fruit’s not so hot, but the leaves picked in the spring when tender are great for dolmades.

        January 4, 2013
  8. Wow, what an incredibly wonderful gesture! Thank you so much for including my blog here. I am really so honored to be recognized in this way. I can’t wait to go exploring now to have a look at all the blogs you’ve listed. They all sound so great! The blogging community really is such a wonderful place, isn’t it?! I’ve discovered people and worlds I never expected. I’m so happy to have followed your blog these last months and look forward to your posts in the coming year! Happy 2013!

    January 3, 2013
    • The sad thing is that there’s always a limit to how many blogs one person can follow 😉 Photography blogs like yours are great because they say so much in literally a moment! I so enjoy your experiments. Happy New Year to you too.

      January 3, 2013
  9. Harriet #

    Great list! Going to dip into all the lovely blogs 🙂

    January 3, 2013
  10. Dear Sarah I’m flattered by your kind words. I saw your list and so hoped to be included and was nervous all the way down until I saw FOR at the bottom. Hurray! And thanks for all the introductions to so many other blogs too. I find I’m now always looking for things to write about and paying more attention, constantly absorbing and filtering and cataloguing. Maybe this way madness lies. It’s not possible to catch it all but it’s lovely to share what we can. Thanks for being a blog monitor. Love to B & L & MR.

    January 3, 2013
    • Last but definitely not least! I always enjoy your posts.

      I will send the cows your love thank you…Lucy allowed me to put my arms around her neck yesterday, she even seemed to quite like it….though I could be pathetically fooling myself 😉

      January 4, 2013
  11. thank you thank you Cowgirl (whatever you look like…;) ) for including me in your roundup, what a lovely present to start the new year. I hadn’t twigged it was mainly the Brits who hid in their profile photos but now I look at the blogs I follow, I see you’re right! How funny. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your cows and cakes and walks and teashops in 2013 (and I’m going to have even LESS time to keep the house clean now I have 14 other great-sounding blogs to look at. Oh well…).

    Happy New Year! xx

    January 4, 2013
    • Happy New Year to you too! x So many blogs, not enough time! But cleaning is over rated…;)

      January 5, 2013
  12. Thank you for your very kind words, and for including my blog in your splendid list. Your other recommendations look wonderful! The only problem – and it really is a problem when you realise how fantastic the blogging world is – is that there are so many great blogs but not enough time to read them all.

    January 4, 2013
    • Oh I totally understand, the limit is reached pretty quickly…otherwise there wouldn’t be time for anything else!

      January 4, 2013
  13. supernova #

    Hello there cowgirl, thank you so much for including my blog in your recommendations, I think that’s a really nice thing you have done and I’m touched you thought of me. I’ll look forward to checking out the other blogs you’ve listed. Hope you had a nice Christmas and all my best wishes for 2013.
    SN.

    January 7, 2013
  14. One of the things you’ll learn about me is that I’m always dragging in late, but I’ll show up! I’m touched beyond belief that you included my little bloggie in your listing, and I’m so looking forward to visiting the others. Even the names of some are intriguing – I’m sure the blogs are, too.

    And it tickles me that I’m at least Brit enough to have an avatar which isn’t me! Actually, my image is from Alphonse Mucha’s series “The Four Arts” – she is, of course, “Poetry” !

    I’m so looking forward to following you in this coming year. I’ve enjoyed all of your posts tremendously. Oh! And I’ve been meaning to tell you – I thought I’d had a spot too much to drink when I saw some striped cows in a field, but they weren’t exactly striped. They were Belted Galloways! There’s a rancher who’s started them on his place – and there’s even a Texas BG Association. Of course, hearing BG recalls the Bee-Gees, which brings up the image of Belted Galways disco-ing away in the barn under a great silver ball….

    I believe I’ll go to bed!

    January 16, 2013
    • Been at that tipple again Linda? 😉

      They are very woolly here, the BG’s, I wonder if they ever get a winter coat in Texas?

      Very fitting, your poetry avatar – though of course there you are in plain sight should one visit the bloggie!

      January 18, 2013

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