Thursday, April 30, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Willow Manor with A Sad Day In History and Rune with O Is For Organ Donation. The other top contenders were Suldog with Yeah I Wrote It; Corey with When I Press The Shutter; Becky with What I’ve Always Wished For; Nikon Sniper with Last Glimpse Of The Sun; Gennasus with Black And White Time Again; John with Sunset; Your EG Tour Guide with Skunk Cabbage; DiXymiss with Blue Clue; Amy with I Heart TV Land; Mrs Nesbitt with O Is For Outdoors and Robynn with Pig Deal. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Can an aadvark bark, can a bumble bee stumble?
Can the king cobra ever be considered humble?
Is the Bengal tiger the most imperious beast?
And why, each year, are our merinos fleeced?

Last Embers Of The Day

The View Is Part Of The A La Carte Menu

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Every single photograph I've posted on this weekly theme has depicted a door shot from the outside. This week, for the first time, I've shown you the view from inside, looking out through a set of open doors.

While we were in Langkawi, Malaysia, last July, one of the first things I did when we checked in just before midday was to ask one of the lobby staff where the western horizon was. You see, I simply needed to orient myself in order to keep track of where the sun rose and set – which is one of those vital pieces of information when you carry a camera.

I wondered if the beach sunsets would rank with some of the vivid sky shows we often get in Melbourne, even on a winter’s day. I’m sure the tropical Malaysian island also gets some flaming colours across the horizon, but it didn’t happen in the week that we were there.

Midway through our stay, though, I shot this while we were at the pierside restaurant, Captain’s Grill, which looks out over the Indian Ocean. It’s not often you can take a shot like this from inside a restaurant, is it?

Yes, you read that right. I did take both these shots from where I sat in the restaurant. But there are a couple of things to note.

Firstly, I had my favourite 18-125mm lens on my Pentax, which allowed me several variations in composition. Secondly, I was actually facing east - so the sun had already set behind my back when I noticed the brief flare of pastels in the sky.

For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.

Abseiler Went To See, See, See

Drop In Any Time You Want

A 93-year-old Gloucestershire man has dropped into the record books as Britain's oldest - and best-dressed - abseiler. In a natty tweed jacket, shirt and tie, dapper daredevil Les Pugh, 93, descended 160ft from a Cheltenham office block roof to raise £15,000 for two charities.

FOOTNOTE: Roped in.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Woman In A Window with Death Where You Least Expect It and Jennifer Harvey with Thread. The other top contenders were Daryl with South Beach; Hilary with B-B-B-Benny And The Jets; Brit Gal Sarah with I Was A Little Freaked Last Night; Dishing With Debbie with Father Desktop Instead; Ngorobob House with Yellow Magic; Charles Gramlich with What I Do For A Living; Another Lifetime with During Storms; Claire with Your Wedding Shoes; House of Lime with Where’s A Good Prefrontal Cortex When You Need One? and Maggie May with Sock Shock. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Yes, they say pigs might fly
But I’m looking at the sky
I’m not sure what I’d do
If I knew that swine flew

O Is For Oddity

It Figures, Doesn’t It?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

When you have a camera in your hand, don’t you always feel compelled to look everywhere, to all points of the compass, just to ensure you don’t miss anything that might make an unusual photograph?

This was taken on a hot, humid December afternoon in Singapore. I only spent a day and a half there and I had an eastbound flight to catch very soon. But I simply had to cover as many miles on foot as possible, just to ensure that I hadn’t missed anything in a city that has captivated me since I was in primary school.

With the clock ticking down, I was on my way to the famous Raffles Hotel and took a short cut, hurrying (legally) across the stepping stones of a fairly large water feature in parkland. A long way to my left, I saw what seemed to be people in fancy dress, sitting on a bench.

No, I didn’t have any time to spare. I wasn't going to miss my flight, no matter what happened. But when you’re in a situation like this, you simply have to investigate it, don’t you? You can’t just pretend you didn’t see it. You can’t just walk away, a slave to time that ticks inexorably away, and always wonder what it was that you were never able to determine.

So I checked it out. I jogged a little closer until I realised that the figures were actually an art installation in the grounds of the Singapore Art Museum, housed in a sprawling colonial-era building. Luckily I had my 18-125mm lens on the camera, so I was able to shoot the scene from across the wide thoroughfare.

The interesting aspect, in my mind, was that all five heads were at different angles, as if emphasising that there are many ways to look at any situation. Just before I walked on, I composed a slightly different shot because I wanted to include the old-fashioned street light and the blue-and-white sign.

And as soon as I had the shot composed, I realised there was another neat (but unintended) facet to the shot. Look carefully and you'll see there are five of the high colonial archways, so common in tropical climates, in the shot. In other words, one archway for each of the figures.

It’s not every day you get a chance to shoot a figure of speech. Or five figures of speech.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

Bus Top

Houston, We've Found One Of Your Rockets

Rear windows of a Calcutta bus. Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Put Your Jest Foot Forward

These Boots Are Made For, Er, Banning

Health and safety advisers in the UK have banned a circus clown from wearing his big, floppy shoes. Valerik Kashkin was performing in Liverpool with the Moscow State Circus when he fell from a 10ft-high wire. Now he has been told his giant comedy shoes are a health risk.

FOOTNOTE: Soles survivor.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's joint winners are Easy For Me To Say with A Rogue And A Scoundrel? and Tranquility And Turmoil with The Owls. The other top contenders were Gaston Studio with The 12 Hours Of Sebring; Sandi McBride with And God Said, Pay Close Attention; Digital Flower Pictures with Magic Bells; Moannie with I’ve Only Been Gone Five Minutes; Jinksy with Angelic Explanation; The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street with What Moves You; Pouty Baby with Making A Memory and Fireblossom with God. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

High in the Swiss Alps they’ve banned naked hikers
Bare butts are verboten, for campers and bikers
So pull on your denim or don lederhosen
If you don’t want your assets to be swiftly frozen

Hue And Try

Warm Wishes From Wintry Melbourne

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Sometimes I think the only place more beautiful than Melbourne by day is, well, Melbourne by night. The familiar sights and shapes and views take on such a different personality after the last of the day’s natural light has disappeared.

Because this city – like most villages built by our forefathers – is sited along a river, we are blessed with waterside views that most of us probably take for granted.

Last Thursday night the entire Authorblog clan was in the city’s business district for a special function and after it was over we walked in a leisurely manner to a restaurant for dinner. It was a very balmy evening for this time of year, with winter only five weeks away (and yes, the weather has turned since then, with snow already).

I wasn't using a tripod (I never do) so the clarity of the shot is a pretty good indication of a steady hand.

I took a couple of frames of the shimmering colours reflected across the Yarra’s surface when I noticed a person walking slowly past the waterfront. I didn’t want to be intrusive, so I shot the scene from where I stood, using the human figure as a counterpoint against the many hues on the water.

It was a truly mellow sight on a truly mellow evening.

Visit the creative team behind That's My World Tuesday.

Green Machine

That Car Looks Good Enough To Eat

The world's first environmentally-friendly racing car, made of vegetables and powered by chocolate, will be launched next month. The 145mph ecoF3 has a steering wheel made of carrots, a body made of potatoes and a seat made of soybeans. The bio-diesel engine is capable of running on chocolate and vegetable oil.

FOOTNOTE: Driving force.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winners are The Things We Carried with Drowning and New England Living with Queens And Crypts. The other top contenders were Braja with Random Acts? No way, Baby; Dusty Lens with Boardwalk Reflection; Stephen Baird with Blocking The Runway; Greyscale Territory with Anzac Day; Bateua de Banane with Damned With Faint Praise; Skunkfeathers with Deceiving The Beast; Kim with Namesake; Jewels with Caution: In Training; More Than Just A Mom with Baby and A Woman Of No Importance with Love In Black And White. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

If you use a Hoover in Vancouver
Must your home possess a louvre?
But if you opt for Electrolux
Don't use it near a flock of ducks

Blossoms Of Autumn

Do These Petals Remind You Of Waves On A Beach?

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

This is probably the last serious flush of roses in the garden at Casa Authorblog. After a mild start to our spring and summer, they were heat-blasted through January and February, when the scorching conditions and lack of rain took a severe toll.

But now that we’re in the second half of autumn, the roses have made their last stand. I shot these images last weekend, late in the afternoon on one of those days when the slanting sun can produce light that sometimes encroaches on the very subtlety that you are trying to capture with a camera.

Yes, there were fresh blooms unfurling on this beautiful Chicago Peace rose bush. Yes, there were high, proud buds. Yes, there was a profusion of spent blooms that were less than 24 hours away from withering. But I decided that I would use the light to emphasise the intricate pastel shades spanned by a single bloom that was well past its use-by date.

I particularly like the first and last shots in this sequence, because they capture the delicate waves and subtle nuances of colour. At its best, this rose is brilliant in vivid orange and pink tones, with a distinct buttery quality to some of the blooms.

Not only does it have a wonderful perfume, the size of the blooms is also so striking that two stems are often enough to dominate a huge crystal vase. I thought the playing card would be a great visual aid to show you just how large the blooms are.

Yes, I deliberately chose the King of Spades card because I was the person who actually dug up the turf to put in what was then a tiny bare-rooted plant with a few minor sprouts.

Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

Bus Deriver

All Systems Go, Glasgow

A Scottish bus company is teaching its bemused Polish drivers basic Glaswegian to help them understand their passengers. Phrases such as "Geezan aw day tae the toon" (Give me an all-day ticket to town), and "Wanan'a hauf please" (One adult and a child please) will no longer be a mystery.

FOOTNOTE: Speak easy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Would you like to write couplets or just a rhyming stanza?
Would you care to shadow-box with actor Tony Danza?
Did you ever go through deep feelings of loss
When they axed his sitcom, called Who’s The Boss?

Tea, Rex?

Must Be A Friend Of Michael Crichton's

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Picture this: you’re driving in a city that is not your hometown. You’re concentrating very hard on sticking to the rear bumper of your friend, who is shepherding you from one point to another.

You come to a downhill traffic intersection in the heart of the city. You look around, admiring the autumn weather. Then you notice the huge tail sticking out of the large building beside you.

You point it out to the kids. You say: "Look at that – is that the tail of a whale?"

You know you’ve got it wrong. The kids point out that it’s not the tail of the whale. Wrong colour. Wrong shape. Wrong construction totally. Then one of them spots the head that is protruding through another window of the museum, further back up the hill.

Did I say whale? I meant to say dinosaur. Honest.

If the tail curving out of the left-hand window (see photograph below) is not immediately apparent, I apologise because I only had time for two shots before the lights changed. Huh, you try shooting backwards over your right shoulder and get a frame unimpeded by the car window or your seatbelt!

It was a brief spark of belated inspiration. Must have been a Jurassic spark.

Check out the rules at Camera Critters or go to Misty Dawn.

The Sunday Roast

She's A Heart-Starter. No, Seriously

This week's interview is with Epijunky,
who writes the blog Pink Warm and Dry.

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

To answer that question I have to give you a little bit of background on my profession. I'm an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), working on an ambulance. While a lot of our job isn't terribly exciting, it can get very stressful at times. I started blogging as an outlet for that stress (as well as some of the more humorous things that have happened on the job). As time went on I started talking about my children and photography as well. It's an addiction for me!

What's the story behind your blog name?

As EMT's we start assessing the Patient as soon as we see them. Part of that is a skin assessment. If the Patient's skin is pink, warm, and dry (as opposed to gray, cold and sweaty) it's generally a good thing. I wish I could say it was something more glamorous than that (that inspired my blog name), but I'd be stretching the truth. For some reason the name stuck with me.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I would have to say it's the friends I've made. I have been so blessed. I've met people through blogging who I would count among the closest friends I have. They are among the true friends and family members that I'd call with the best (or worse) news I've ever gotten. Given the fact that in most cases I've never met them in person (and in some cases an ocean and several continents separate us), I think it's kind of an amazing thing.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Two things. First, write often. Don't worry about how polished it is, just get your thoughts down. Write from your heart. Some of my better posts were inspired by just writing down what I was thinking and feeling. Second, read and contribute. Find blogs that interest you and read them often. Don't be afraid to comment. I love getting feedback from the folks that read what I have to say, and I can't believe how many fantastic people (and blogs) I've found just through comments.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

That's a tough one, there are so many talented Bloggers out there who I read regularly ... I'd have to say that Ambulance Driver's Seeking Words Of Balm and Sam The EMT's Falling Softly are two that touched me the most.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

The Ballad Of Hilda And Oscar. It took a good friend over a year to convince me to write it, it was such an awful experience that I still can't think about it today without getting teary eyed. In the end I believe it was cathartic to finally get it all out.

David, I can't thank you enough for this opportunity... Thanks for everything you do. It is so appreciated. I hope you know that.

Today's Sunday Roast with Epijunky is the 65th in a weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

Letter Of The Lore

I Couldn’t Spell That If I Tried

US officials admitted that they have been spelling the 45-letter Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg wrongly for years. According to the local newspaper, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the signs inserted an "o" for a "u" at position 20, and an "h" for an "n" at position 38.

FOOTNOTE: Cast a spell.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

While Granny preached peace to Sylvester and Tweety
The feline never listened to a single entreaty
The pace of the onslaught was often quite scary
But the winner each time was the gutsy canary

Anzac Salute

Australian Sacrifice Sustained A Little French Town

Shrine of Remembrance. Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

The main street, called Rue de Melbourne isn’t in Melbourne, my hometown. The Victoria School isn’t in the state of Victoria, where I live.

They’re both in a French town called Villers Bretonneux. There in the school, the students still sing the haunting lyrics of Waltzing Matilda, the old Australian national anthem.

Yes, little French children sing the Australian words "billabong", "coolibah tree", "jumbuck" and "swagman". Emblazoned prominently around their school are several signs that say: "Do not forget Australia."

The Australian flag flies over this town. It is a fitting gesture of respect, for the Australian flag once flew over this town after a terribly bloody battle.

The story goes back to the northern hemisphere spring of 1918. German troops captured Villers-Bretonneux on 23 April and two Australian brigades were ordered to retake the town before the Germans pushed towards Amiens.

The attack began late on the night of 24 April and by dawn the next day the Australians controlled the town. But almost 1200 Diggers had fallen during the battle.

Publishing this salute to history and sacrifice is especially significant today, for it is exactly 91 years to the day that the Australians liberated the town. And for about five hours after this auto-posts on my site, hundreds of people, young and old, will be gathering in reverence and in silence here in Melbourne, at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Today is Anzac Day and the traditional dawn service will honour all those who laid down their lives to ensure our freedom.

Visit TNChick's Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Protection''.

Greta Garb

Sounds Like A Classic Cover-Up

A West Midlands grandmother has been told to cover up three of her garden gnomes - because they're naked. The figures have stood outside her home for 15 years. But a council official warned her to put clothes on them because they were causing "offence".

FOOTNOTE: Figures of speech.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Muthering Heights with And I Will Never Live It Down. The other top contenders were A Glowing Ember with My Philosophy; Shrinky with Yee-Haw; Woman In A Window with Sorry, Tall Lanky Guy; Snowbrush with I Judge My Life; Positively Organic with Just Beachy; Maggie May with Mystery Of The Hidden Eggs; Merisi with Skies So Blue; Dave Coulter with Oaks In Reflective Mood; MamaGeek with In Living Colour; and Mojo with Round. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

I wonder if Parky would care for souvlaki
Or if he’d refuse and get rather narky
Would he chill with a novel by Mario Puzo
Would he drink champagne or choose-o some ouzo?

Stiff Challenge

I Guess It Must Have Been Dead Reckoning

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON

We were driving past Paddington Market in Sydney last week when I had to stop at a traffic light. As always, my camera was within easy reach. My attention was first caught by the iron trellis on this wall, about twenty metres to my left.

Not only was the craftsmanship redolent of the colonial era, it also reminded me of my own childhood in India, where this sort of work was extremely common.

I wanted to compose the shot based around the various shades of grey, but I worked the focal plane quickly, to include the lowest portion of a tree branch nearby, just to provide a splash of colour. It was only at this point that I noticed the "No Parking" street sign that said "Wedding or funeral vehicles excepted".

I had to react very quickly, because the lights were about to change. So I focused on the iron trellis, leaving the street sign in softer focus, but still apparent.

So tell me, did you notice the street sign immediately?

Visit MamaGeek and Cecily, creators of Photo Story Friday.

Earther Kit

Soft Hues That Herald An Autumn Dawn

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

It was just one of those mellow mornings, so typical of a Melbourne autumn day. There was a clear sky, a single star and a crescent moon as darkness receded.

It was a cool morning, but the temperature was bracing rather than hostile. It was not as sharp as the previous morning and it was still at least a fortnight early for those typical Melbourne frosts.

But even before the sun rose, something about the gentle colours below the silver schooner of the moon nudged me towards my camera bag. I deliberately used the overhanging branches of a nearby plane tree as a motif for the top of the frame, but in reality the gentle skyscape needed nothing to emphasise it.

I put the camera away and went about the myriad early-morning tasks. About fifteen minutes later I looked out of a high window and spotted this light dusting of cloud on the horizon.

Yes, these images were shot on Wednesday April 22, better known as Earth Day. It was a perfect validation from Nature that sometimes delicate hues can be just as striking as bold, bright sunrises. Sometimes we need to be reminded of these subtleties.

For other participants in Dot’s concept, go to Sky Watch HQ.

Trials And Tribulations

Hip Hop? No, This Is Just A Hip Op

A German judge has ordered her trials to be held by her bedside after being hospitalised with a broken hip. She has ordered lawyers, witnesses and handcuffed defendants to take part because, under German law, all the cases would have been scrapped if the judge had been unable to continue with the trials.

FOOTNOTE: Folk law.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is San Merideth with Debbie Does Art. The other top contenders were Carver with Watching Fishing; Erin with Reflected In Windows; Just A Plane Ride Away with York, England; Gracie Who? with Trips Out East; Hilary with Wrong; Kirti with Open Letter; Finding Sirius with Religion and Hello From Hispania with Why I Heart Spain. And drop in to visit Pagan Sphinx, who has just started a great meme called Think Green Thursday.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

Said Guinevere to Lancelot
"King Arthur doesn't dance a lot
I don't see why I should curtsey
To a king who won't fold his shirtsy"

Dry Humour

Surfers Never Throw In The Towel

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

Warm afternoon. Perfect autumn weather. Low cloud. Plenty of sunshine. One of the world's most famous beaches. Surf's good, without being spectacular. That's every surfer's late-autumn prayer, isn't it?

We were just leaving Bondi Beach in Sydney, walking through the main car park to our vehicle, when I saw this. You've got to give this person a big thumbs-up for clear thinking.

He or she had obviously finished surfing for the day (evidence: surfboard strapped to the roof rack) and had decided to go in search of something to eat or drink.

No point leaving a wet towel on the back seat, is there? So it's been draped carefully through the rear passenger door and then the car's been locked.

For earlier posts in this series, check out The Doors Archive.

The Long And Winding Wall

It Stretches A Bit Further Than We Thought

The Great Wall of China is 180 miles longer than previously thought. The extra miles of the world-renowned ancient monument were uncovered after a two-year government mapping study. The project used mapping technologies such as infrared range and GPS devices to show extra portions of the wall hidden by hills, trenches and rivers.

FOOTNOTE: Mortar follow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Post Of The Day

Today's winner is Trauma Junkie with 0327. The other top contenders were Jo Beaufoix with Call Me Ma’am; Old Man Lincoln with Chipmunk; Valkyrien with Hepatica Nobilis; Indrani with Taragah Fort; Esther Garvi with Camel Riding (Beginner's Level); Sara with Orange, Red, Green And Blue; iMac with Parallels Of Time; Pouty Baby with Cacti-pus Monday; Babooshka with Silver Foiled and Annie with Always Make Friends With The Dog. Do pay them a visit and leave a comment if you have time.

You can nominate a post too. Just leave a comment here with the URL or link - and tell us the name of the blogger you are nominating. Righty-o, then, it's over to you ....

Verse And Worse

Random Wit, Errant Rhyme. Not A Literary Crime

He was just an Outback larrikin, the bloke they called Mad Mick
He outpaced every crocodile, he dived and swam so quick
Then one fateful summer’s day he drank from dusk till dawn
They still recount his one-race loss, years since he’s been gorn

N Is For Numbers

Digits Define Our Lives In So Many Ways

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON

In just about every way conceivable, our lives are governed by numbers. Birth dates, years, chronological references to every important point in our existence. We must remember several numerical sequences – phone numbers, ATM access codes, passwords to computers and everyday online applications.

So it’s no surprise that when I started this blog, I initially declared I had no interest in knowing how many people were visiting my site. A couple of my friends thought I was mad, but it really wasn’t important to me.

Then, nine months after I began blogging, I finally succumbed and installed a hit counter.

Yes, it is irresistible. Yes, I was daft not to load one onto my blog at the outset. Yes, it’s great to keep track of daily visits and weekly patterns. Yes, it’s interesting (not just because I am statistically minded) to notice that visits increase in winter, when people are indoors and start to plateau in summer, when everyone is out soaking up the sun.

There have been major landmarks along my blogging path. The first time I got 100 visits in a day was really memorable. Getting to 200 visits a day was a great feeling, but the real watershed for me was reaching (and maintaining) 240 visits a day. Why? Because 240 visits in a 24-hour day equates to an average of 10 an hour, or one every six minutes. That significant moment came a year ago.

My hit counter, when I installed it, was calibrated to register hits, not page views. I have never changed it. So while the figure in the top right-hand corner of this site shows that I have had more than 200,000 visits, I have had about 315,000 page views .

I often get asked what is the most difficult part of increasing readership – and my answer always is the same. The most difficult part is your first 2000-2500 visits.

If you can sustain a blog that long and weather some disappointments, you are well on your way to establishing a loyal readership. No newspaper, for example, ever achieved a circulation of 10,000 or more without doing the hard yards first. Be patient. Sometimes it is harder to be patient than to be creative.

On the night of February 12, I switched off my computer in the knowledge that when I logged on the next morning, my blog would have (in the middle of the Australian night) notched up a landmark. While I slept, someone would have become the quarter-millionth visitor to my site. But nothing could have prepared me for what was to happen the next morning.

While I sipped a cup of tea, my eyes popped. My site stats had blown out beyond my wildest dreams. It took me a couple of minutes to work out where the traffic was coming from, then I realised that I had been included in Google’s Blogs Of Note. That day I had almost 9000 page views.

If you build it, they will come.

But you have to build it first. And build it well.

For the home of ABC Wednesday, go to Mrs Nesbitt's Place.