Saturday, January 13, 2007

My life, my life...

In an act of selfish, self promotion, ladies and gentlemen, today I present to you the new and revised web site, the web site of my life, its my autobiography (in progress) and its just here.

If you've been there before it's now 50% bigger with new stuff, new stories, me history writing and a stack of new, old photos - and it easier to sift through all of the gubbins on there now, give it another go, its me, just me.

Why ?

Like the intro says, I just want to leave a flavour of me behind when I step out of the ice-filled tent telling my comrades "I'm going out, I may be some time", I want my offspring to know what it was like to be me in the latter half of the 20th century and maybe one day four or five generations down stream from me someone may point and say "that idiot is related to me you know"

It started with John Boyd, a one-time presenter on BBC Radio Leeds and the regular sunday morning spot on his show that involved a local history geek by the name of John Gilligan who each week would pick a road or a factory in Leeds and describe it history and the part it played in building this fine city of ours.

I'm a sucker for local history.

A friend of mine used to lecture part-time at Leeds University on local history at one of those night school classes that anyone can subscribe to and he is now a respected author on the subject of Leeds and a senior member of the Thoresby Society - the group of similar history geeks that has done so much to preserve our knowledge of our fore-fathers and indeed save some fine old building s from the developers hammer.

So this John Gilligan on Radio Leeds then, he once said something very profound on the sunday morning show, he said that everyone, everyone, should keep a diary, if only for the fact that it would make life much easier for people like him in future when they are looking back at our society and trying to decide what sort of people we were.

His almost exact words were that historians know so much about (for example) Queen Victoria (1819-1901) that they really don't need to know anymore, you can read her daries and other courtiers diaries any time of the day and find out what she had for dinner at Balmoral on any specified day of her life - but how much more interesting woul dit be if for example we could read the diary of the cook who had made that dinner, or the scullery maid, or the girl who turned Her Majesty's bed down every night, or the man who cleaned her toilet out after she'd gone back to London ?

We, as humans, don't want to know lists of dates or political shilly-shallying and nit-picking - what we are all interested in is other, ordinary peoples lives and how they compare to ours.

Its why blogging is so popular.

And its why I started writing

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