Hello, and welcome.

Welcome to my blog! As I write this I have no idea whether or not anyone is reading this, but if you are: hello!

So what is “Get Down, Shep” all about? Well, it’s nothing to do with Blue Peter, or sheepdogs, or John Craven! At the moment I have no idea what the blog is going to be about, other than I don’t want to restrict it to a particular theme or subject matter, and would rather let it evolve and see where it goes. Or perhaps where people take it. I just want to write about the things I’m doing, seeing or thinking about. And make mistakes along the way, and hopefully learn from them! And ‘Shep’ is my nickname at work, so maybe the title of the blog will encourage me to get down off my high horse and not rant too much!

I’ve been thinking of starting a blog for a few years, but never actually got round to taking the plunge. I have written a few guest blog pieces for the excellent Into The Orchard blog, and really enjoyed the process, from submitting my piece, to watching nervously as it went online and wondering what people would think of it, and to the debate that subsequently was started as people commented on the piece – either favourably or not. I found it interesting to put my ideas out there and see if people agree – and to consider another viewpoint when they don’t agree.

So why not just stick to guest blogging? Why start a blog myself? Well, last summer I woke up to find that overnight the roads around my house had changed overnight with a new council traffic scheme. After a couple of days of struggling to get to work with this new road scheme, I had a day off, and went to the pub for lunch. Whilst there I started writing a piece on the new road scheme with a view to submitting it to Into The Orchard. But then I realised that the piece didn’t really fit with the blog’s theme, as Into The Orchard is all about the good things in life – hobbies, sport, art, coffee, food, music, architecture, travel, even castles – in fact, anything that enhances our lives. And the piece I had just written didn’t really fit with that, particularly as I was against the road scheme.

But what I did find was that I actually really enjoyed the process of writing the piece. I’m fortunate in having a lovely pub in my road which is light and airy and does great food and is often quiet during the day. So over a glass of wine I sat down with a notebook and pen – very old school – and just wrote down what I thought about the new road scheme. The process of gathering my thoughts and writing them down was very soothing, and helped me crystallize what I thought. I suddenly found that I’d been sitting there completely absorbed in my own world, just writing freehand, for a lot longer than I had thought – time had stood still. So even if I did nothing with the piece I had written, I had benefitted from the enjoyment of writing it.

I then thought that if it didn’t really fit with Into The Orchard, why not start my own blog and post it there? This thought didn’t really do anything other than stay as a thought for about half a year, but I finally decided to start the blog and put that first piece up. I’m slightly nervous; will anyone read it, will I get trolled if I write something contentious, am I creating a rod for my own back in that blogs need to be maintained, updated…? Will I find that the blog is like a newborn baby, demanding to be fed and with no time to feed it? Will I become frustrated with it? Or worse, will I find that I actually have nothing to say?

Who knows. What I do know is that I won’t know unless I try. So here I am with my first blog post, and I hope that I’m entering a brave new world and opening up myself to new experiences and new people, and that can’t be bad, can it?

 

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