Sometimes - especially in the summer months - you find newspaper columnists writing about how difficult it is to come up with something about which to write (or 'something to write about', given that most of them never listen to what they type).
Being a blogger, I don't have that pressure. Nobody's paying me to write. Well, actually a university is paying me to write research papers, but the less said about that, the better. But Plashing Vole is simply me ranting into the void. It did start as a tool for teaching some MA students about social media, and in that respect, it failed miserably. They'd never heard of blogging, didn't want to know about it, and certainly weren't going to try it, which torpedoed the second half of that particular day. No doubt it would all be very different now.
So I'm in the happy position of not having to blog if I don't want to. Or am I? After all, I have a readership of sorts. Some of you I know personally. Some have washed up here after being misdirected by friends. Others have followed links from social or even official media. Most of you are passing through, having clicked a link on a search engine. You wanted cars/sex/music/LOLZ and you got me, for which I can only apologise.
You're a disparate bunch, which makes you a tricky audience. I can't - like a radio or TV station - offer something for everyone and assume that you'll tune in to the bits you like. I have to balance the kinds of thing I offer in the hope that some of you will come back for more, driven by my magnetic personality and unique take, even if you're not interested in the source material. I'd quite like this to be one of those beautiful, cool, intellectual and literate sites like Tales from the Reading Room, or this one, or any of these. But I can't. Mainly because I'm a dumbs with the concentration skills of a brain-damaged gnat, partly because I just don't know enough and keep reading fun books rather than Improving Tomes, and partly because most of you guys would close-tab at high speed. (And I buy far more books than I read).
What else do I blog about? Politics, you say. OK, I do occasionally venture into that field, perhaps a little too enthusiastically at times. Winding up Paul Uppal MP (his newsletter is full of pictures of him posing as a volunteer, but doesn't find space to mention his cheerful votes to cut benefits, punish the poor, privatise higher education, enrich the banks, bomb more brown people, privatise the NHS and abolish libraries) is a public service, but I might just be losing some of you when I put up the 13th politics post of the day. What can I say? I'm a boring and obsessive man.
Then there's fencing: I'm a minority voice in a minority sport. You should all try it - it's fantastic, exhilarating and exhausting. But I understand that it's not to all tastes. Which brings me to my taste in music and other culture. It feels downright rude to bring to your attention all the wonderful artefacts that are better than the ones you're already familiar with. The Field Mice. Beefheart. Tiffany.
Finally, I put up photographs. Flowers, fencers, hills, silly signs, urban decay.
So: of what would you like more, and less?