/* contents of a small JavaScript file */

Fashion,beauty and jewellery for sassy over 40 women

Friday, 11 August 2017

Mutton's Choice Cuts

Monthly Miscellany from the Mind of Mutton

This month I'm ruminating on Middle Child Day and my blog anniversary (2006!).

You probably weren't aware dear reader but tomorrow (Saturday) has been deemed Middle Child Day. Hooray for the middle child, the stalwart of the family who learns very early to wheel and deal.

According to Frank Sulloway, PhD, author of Born to Rebel, "They are agreeable, diplomatic, and compromising, and they handle disappointment well. They have realistic expectations, are the least likely to be spoiled, and they tend to be the most independent."
Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon with brothers Andrew and Robert as children

A good description, I fancy.

I was the middle child of three, with brothers on either side. In the photo above, I'm about six years old. There was a 10 year age gap between the eldest, Andrew, and the youngest, Robert. Andrew, who sadly died two years ago, was not a stereotypical eldest child. He was very self contained and independent. He could be quite bossy with me and Robert, who, when he was young, was very "naughty." Andrew would quite often slipper Robert up the stairs when he wouldn't go to bed.  Our dad was stationed in Singapore when Robert was a toddler, and Andrew took it upon himself to be the father in his absence.

He could also be a lot of fun. We spent hours playing "catch the gonk" which would be thrown up and down the landing, and used to fall about laughing at Carry On films. At Andrew's funeral service, we chose one of the trademark Carry On tunes to mark his exit.

My childhood was fairly idyllic. In those days kids were allowed to go out and play all day, and I did with gusto. I would be gone after breakfast and back in time for tea. My fun included going to the den or cave, fighting the children down "the enemy end,"creating plays, attempting to make films with a still camera and picking blackberrries or primroses in the fields near our home.

On Sundays we would pile into the car, usually wearing bizarrely named "car coats," and be driven somewhere for an airing. Tavistock perhaps, where Robert could play on Stumbles the steamroller, and fall into the pond in winter, so that he had to suffer the indignity of riding home naked behind a copy of the News of the World.

In addition to the freedom we had of being kids, we didn't suffer from over anxious parenting. We weren't forced to do any extra-curricular activities. I went to the Guides once but didn't like it (and my mum was relieved, because they couldn't have afforded the uniform). I did enjoy going to "Guild", a spin-off of Sunday school where we made baskets and got chips as a rare treat on the way home.

I don't remember my parents ever putting pressure on us to do well at school.  In my case, I had an inner determination to succeed and I spent hours revising and managed to get three A levels.

So if you're a middle child, let's raise a glass tomorrow and be thankful that our position in the pecking order made us resilient and determined.


That first blog post in 2006

A post written in 2016 about the death of David Bowie by life long fan Gail Hanlon
Back in 2006 I launched a blog called "A Curious Girl's Guide to Life." It still exists, out in the tumbleweed of deserted sites. I felt sure my pithy views and nostalgic glimpses of life in the 70s would make me a big celeb. So it was humbling to find that in those days, the likes of the Huffington Post were VERY rare, and I was lucky to get 200 page views a week from visitors searching for topics like "Does John Torode wear a wig?" (One of my more memorable posts).

Think back to 2006. We had Facebook (launched 2004)  and Twitter, just (launched March 2006). We also had Myspace, which was the largest social networking site in the world between 2005 and 2008. Blogging was nowhere near as popular as it is today. It was the preserve of a few people, mostly older, who wanted an outlet to write. I remember getting blank looks from my stepchildren when I asked them if they had ever read any blogs or knew where to look for them .

If you had a blog, you didn't have many options for promoting it. Social media was quite new and not everyone was using it. RSS feeds were niche.  I promoted my blog on Facebook and my call to action was always to bookmark my blog, but I could barely persuade my own family and friends to do it, let alone anyone else.  If I had a post I wanted to be seen, I would email my friends with the link.

The key thing was getting yourself into the directories that existed, and having a presence on sites like Technorati, and getting people to leave comments on your blog.  It was a tight knit community where bloggers whose subject matter was entirely unrelated to yours would visit and leave a comment, and vice versa.

I look back at the early posts and smile at some of the people who were my online friends then. "The Duchess," who posted beautiful pictures of tea cups and cakes. "The Frump Factor," a precursor of today's over-40s fashion blogger.

My old blog still exists, and the first post was not surprisingly about David Bowie. I wrote another in 2016 upon hearing of his death, shown in the screenshot.

I regard it very fondly now, as a record of my life between 2006 and 2016. I had a very long commute to work and would amuse myself by spotting the lorries operated by Bailey's Equine Feeds ("horse nutrition in the bag") and Norbert Dentressangle. This is all documented, along with my garden and my obsession about certain TV programmes - Strictly Come Dancing and The Apprentice. Plus accounts of our holidays, and explanations of why we celebrate bank holidays. Plus a few wood pigeons.

Sharing this post with the weekend blog hop at Claire Justine and Saturday Share at Not Dressed as Lamb.

FOR MORE MUTTON

Don't miss a post -  follow my blog on Bloglovin and receive a weekly email on my updates. You'll love "shoe of the day" on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. And check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter. 




SHARE:

5 comments

  1. I so enjoy your writing. Will run by the old blog to say hello. I don't always know the terms you use, I am rather sheltered and unworldly and have hung out with elementary school children most of my adult life. Not sure about a gonk or the Guides. But enjoy reading all the same.
    So sad to read about your eldest brother. Glad you have memories to keep him near. Thank you for enlightening me about Middle Child Day. Just sent a message to my middle child sister.
    Love that you can have fun with pics of yourself. You are so lovely and always impeccably dressed but such fun, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Leslie for your lovely comments. A gonk was a big round stuffed toy - I'll send you a pic. I'm sure you have something similar to Girl Guides in the US. It's an org that encourages girls to develop skills and do outdoor activities.

      Delete
  2. Old posts to treasure Gail. I already laugh at my "About Me" page on my blog. The first thing I ever wrote and it's so unprofessional ! But I can't bring myself to change it because that little written piece means a lot to me xx
    www.vanityandmestyle.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've used nothing but Blogger so when I change my About Me, it automatically changes on the old blog too. I'd love to see what I originally wrote!

      Delete
  3. Lovely post Gail, whoo you have been blogging a long time. I deleted my very first blog post. So embarrassing, hehe. My second one, which it now my fist is on running, I wish I could run that fast now. Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop.

    ReplyDelete

I love to get your comments! Go ahead, make my day. I like to reply to your comments so please make sure you tick the box to be notified of comments. Gail x

© Is This Mutton?. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig