Rise Up

Bread is a large number of small holes entirely surrounded by bread. —Lennie Lower

Now that the year has got going properly, I’m going to have to get this blog going again, so here it is. This month’s banner theme, if it isn’t clear, is bread: I’ve been baking a lot of it in recent months, trying out recipes by Paul Hollywood and the Bourke Street Bakery, getting a sourdough starter going, and wondering why all my baguettes end up as flat as ciabattas. For Christmas, I got a baking stone and a copy of Brilliant Bread by past Great British Bake-Off runner-up James Morton, and tried out several of his recipes. At this point I can confidently say that it’s the only bread book you really need; it’s certainly the only cookbook I’ve read cover-to-cover in 25 years of cooking. I would start recipe blogging to document it all, except that it’s hard to take photos of wet dough when your hands are covered in it, and I’d just end up plagiarising all of James’s recipes. Buy his book instead.

So instead, this will be blogging as usual, with one or two new things. One of my new year’s resolutions was to tweet more, preferably every day, which as I tweeted yesterday for the first time in a month was “going spectacularly so far”. An hour later, three extremists attacked a French satirical magazine’s offices with Kalashnikovs, and suddenly I was retweeting like a robin on an all-sprout diet. (More on that sorry news anon.) I was actually planning to tweet more about work stuff, not just the news of the day, and once teaching starts again I might yet.

It feels slightly anticlimactic keeping the same Movable Type templates, and for that matter keeping Movable Type (bringing you the hottest blogging interface of the early ’00s!), so I’m going to simulpost to a WordPress install for a bit and see if I can get it looking right, then if all goes well move seamlessly from one to the other.

But the bigger question facing this blog(ger), especially after two years of having comments switched off, is whether anybody’s even reading the thing. When Google changed its algorithms a couple of years back and inadvertently sabotaged Metafilter’s rankings it did the same to countless small personal blogs, including this one, which was once a first-page result for searches for “Rory” (not even my full name, just “Rory”) and now hardly shows up for anything. I don’t mind writing for me, myself, and I, as plugging away at this for fifteen years has surely shown, but it would be nice to think that it’s more than a small hole among a large number entirely surrounded by bread.

8 January 2015 · Journal