Everything old is new again
I am, I have been forced to admit, a creature of habit. I do not like change. I get myself in to comfortable routines, and I happily wallow there like the last wild boar of Ireland in a pit of mud after a fine morning spent snuffling about for truffles in the forested undergrowth.
And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually. Which is why these are being made on cobblestones.
Dublin Castle, Dublin, Sunday 4th August
When things change, I am unhappy. Gmail changed, I was very unhappy. Blogger changed, I was very unhappy. The Irish Times website changed, I was very unhappy. Flickr changed, I was very unhappy. Gmail changed again, I was very happy. The Irish Times changed again, I laughed because I was right all along, but basically I was still unhappy.
I try to go with the times. I have gone through phases of standing firm and saying, "harumph, the music kids listen to today is all rubbish", but then every now and then something ends up on my iPod that was made by some child who probably wasn't born when I first started buying music (yes kids, when I were a lad we paid for music), which is ironic because most likely my iPod itself was made by some child who probably wasn't born when I first started buying music, and I am forced to accept that there is still some small amount of wonder in the world left for my jaded ears to discover.
But there are also times when I stand firm and hold my ground. Haircuts, for example. I had a steady succession of embarrassing haircuts throughout my youth, and thus I settled in on a pretty nondescript, low maintenance style a few years ago and am religiously sticking to it. I have seen too many photos of previous follies to ever want to try something adventurous again (a big thank, here, you to all my 'friends' for presenting said photos to me en masse on my thirtieth birthday). That too, is why I avoid such transitory fashions as, lets say, red summer shorts for gentlemen. Any such bold statements now will only serve as future photographic grist for the shame and embarrassment mill in later life.
While I would not describe myself as the unbending reed standing firm in the stream until snapped in two by the unstoppable current, unnecessary change happening unnecessarily does cause me upset. There is enough necessary and unavoidable change in my life that the small familiar things should remain so.
Apparently there's some sort of theme at work here. I think this one is about eating your enemy's heart to gain their courage.
Dublin Castle, Dublin, Sunday 4th August
Earlier this year I tried a bold experiment, and changed the format of this blog to something new, and shiny, what my winged code-monkeys would call "dynamic". The notion being that with a plethora of devices and screen sizes out there, the notion of a static website was dead, and each site must change automatically to suit the needs of this fragmented market.
I tried it out, and hated it. But I thought I would give it a chance and see what happened.
I stopped writing. That's what happened.
Traffic to the blog remained the same, with no noticeable improvement. However the one visitor that mattered, me, stopped coming. I missed my old blog, with its Georgian-style column and naughties widgets, its links to blogs mostly long-dead from writer apathy and Soundcloud files that hadn't been updated in four years. It was a familiar pair of shoes with soles wearing thin or scruffy combats with scraggly leg-ends from too much jumping up and down in dingy basement-clubs. It mightn't have been much too look at, but it felt warm and comfortable and fit me in all the right places.
Luckily for me, being the compulsive hoarder I am, I never through out the old template, just tucked it away in a corner in case it was needed again. And so this weekend, having a little bit of spare time I reached up in to the wardrobe and pulled it down, gave it a bit of a light dusting and brushed away the moths who now called it home. There may be a few holes here and there, the odd bit that no longer works the way it once did, but that adds to the charm.
I always wrote this blog primarily for me, as a tool to help me work out problems in my head. The fact that anybody ever read it always came as a surprise to me. So with that in mind I've decided to put its number one customer, me, back to the fore. I'm sorry if the site doesn't render properly on your iThing. I'm sorry if your Samsung Guardians of the Galaxy spits it out with a deeply unpleasant face. It works on my computer, and makes me happy when I see it, and for now that's all that matters.
Anyway, that's that. Sorry if you don't like it, but if you remember it from last time you can snarl dismissively at your mates and say, "pffffh. I hated it before it was cool. Which it's not".
Damn you, you red-shorts haircut-wearing hipsters.
Damn you all to hell.