Blogging – The First Year (Alias a year since I bought toilet roll)

It may/may not surprise you to hear this, but I’ve now been blogging for over a year (one year two days to be exact).

I’ll be honest, it took me a bit off guard when WordPress pinged me a little congratulations notification on Wednesday 11th November. It was like WordPress was saying to me “well done you for making it to a year. We’ll be honest, when we saw your first post we were a bit unsure whether you’d hack it. We were not sure the content was really appropriate considering most of our bloggers write about interesting, informative things and make an effort with their photographs. However you sure stuck at your own little niche writing style and lo and behold you’re still around. I’ve lost 50 Bitcoin in a bet to Tumblr and still don’t get what keeps your readers coming back, but all the same well done you.”

Of course, all I got was this:


(I studied English Literature at AS Level, I can read between the lines. Well, line.)

At first I shook off this news. I was halfway through writing my last post and too focused on Ainsley Harriot’s tomatoes to process this notification. When I was 75% of the way through writing said post I was actually annoyed with WordPress for telling me this news randomly when I was typing something else that was unrelated to blogging for a year. I felt the site had robbed me a golden chance to post on the actual anniversary that I created My Housemate’s a Mermaid and my Grimgrad identity.

“Dam you WordPress” I thought.

“Sod off, I’ve already lost 50 Bitcoin to Tumblr and now I’ve got MySpace on the phone laughing at me. MySpace!” An anthropomorphic version of WordPress responded.

Anyway, here I am, a week later than billed, writing my thirtieth anniversary post. Sometimes it feels weird to think this image marked the start of something new for me:

Shock, horror! I'm a real adult now!

I mean the image itself is not strange, I pull stupid poses all the time (regardless of whether there is a camera present or not). But four things make it particularly interesting to me:

a) I think everyone will agree this photo expertly sums up everything about this blog. The style, the importance, the sheer randomness about every word that is written. Someone once asked me if I did stand up as well as the blog, they found the writing style to be so amusing and witty. Unsure whether I should be flattered, concerned or ring up my local comedy club I simply responded with the truth; that every word I write for my blog is 100% natural me. Colleagues and friends may say I’m nothing like this in real life, family will tell you I’m worse, but what I type are literally the mental ramblings of my little brain.

b) This one photo marked the start of a new interest, hobby and creative release. It kinda makes it a big deal to me.

c) Since posting it on my blog I have never taken the time to look at or use this photo again. I could have used it for the Hat Season post but I didn’t. I remember at the time thinking it was a photo of significance and it should not be repeatedly used without a justified reason. In a bizarre twist of fate, this silly photo had adopted a degree (pun not intended) of near holy importance to me.

and 4. It looks like a mouse is hiding on the top of my mortar board. Never noticed that before.

Perhaps I should be submitting the above picture to the various examination boards of Britain. I mean clearly this is an image that school children can and should rip apart to fully understand Britain in the early 21st Century. Best to get the resources together now AQA, you’ll only be regretting it when you have to pay my grandchildren royalties for using this photo.

To bring it back to the title, why is this post also being referred to as a year since I bought loo roll? Well, it’s not uncommon for people to ask bloggers the predictable question of “what made you want to start writing?” Now, the normal answer to this would be equally as dull and expected, something along the lines of “I was inspired to write because…” or “when *blank* happened to me I felt impassioned to tell this important story to the world”. Which one was I? Come on, you know me better than that. Did you seriously think this blog had a dully beautiful creation? I’ll tell you the story of how this blog came to be:

I was in Sainsbury’s after work. It was wet and cold out and I really could not be bothered to go, however we were out of toilet roll and it was my turn to buy some. Sure, I could have left it another day, but we were down to the last roll and you are playing with some serious hand grenade if you’re sharing a bathroom with two other females and you keep putting off the loo roll shop.

I was standing there in front of all the types. I think a new Olly Murs track was playing? Yeah, I think it was him. Singing some generic tune, something to make me feel happier about a product that would see my money being literally flushed down the toilet. In front of me was the branded Andrex on offer at £3.50 for nine rolls vs. Sainsbury’s own brand at £6.50 for 16. Sheri and I had always bought in high volume on the grounds that loo roll isn’t about to go out of fashion. I remember debating it forever, analysing every single aspect of each product. Sheri had always bought branded toilet roll and I didn’t want to look like a tight wad by purchasing own brand, but did I really want to pay up any more than I needed to?

I don’t think in the history of loo roll has anyone spent so much time studying the details of something no one really cares about. “Lovely bathroom Tina, but it’s a shame your toilet roll didn’t feature a floral boarder” said no one ever. I finally selected the Andrex family pack. I paid for the goods and walked out of the store, chuffed at my purchase.

“This will see us through to the new year. I won’t have to buy any more toilet roll for ages,” I thought “not even this misty rain is going to get me down.”

I pressed the button at the pedestrian crossing and waited for the lights to change.

“Hey, why don’t I start writing a blog? That could be interesting, although I probably wouldn’t be able to hack it. I mean I tried it once ages ago while at Southampton, when I created the account for a party pineapple…



…that was until I realised I’d created a persona that was more Twitter than WordPress. He rotted away and I did not have the energy or funds to invest in a new pineapple. Yeah, that was a bit of a fail. But maybe I should try again though.”

Green man appears, I walk across the road.

“But what to call it…”

There was literally zero thought process to it, I don’t know how it came into my head but two minutes later the title “My Housemate’s a Mermaid” was firmly stuck in my head and I became more determined than ever to write my first post.

Ever since that moment the only time I’ve been frustrated with blogging was the first fifteen minutes when I got back and I just wanted to write something. I had to quickly research which site to use and fill in so many boxes to create an account “Jesus Christ, just let me write already!”

And that my friends is the true story of how I came to be sat in bed a year later, still writing the same old waffle. The same old waffle you’re still reading now. I’ve come a long way since then, I now type with the duvet over me as opposed to under me. No need to thank me, thank Sainsbury’s special promotions and your natural bodily functions. I was actually in the same supermarket a couple of weeks ago to buy loo roll. Even though I had no idea my blogging anniversary was coming up I had this weird feeling which I couldn’t quite place. And then it dawned on me…

Own brand toilet roll had increased from £6.50 to £6.65.

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