I’m back from my exotic Welsh un-birthday camping trip. Since my last post I have not only accrued another 0, a mild tan and a number of fetching loom band bracelets, but have returned to find that I have notched up another shortlisting, for the Jordans Commentator Award. (Which is kind of ironic since I’ve been a bit lax of late on the commentary front).
And so, as is customary – indeed obligatory – I shall proceed directly with the un-husting humble-brag reverse-psychology special. This is a very particular species of blogpost and difficult to pull off successfully.
Suesspicious Minds has already done his. And an admirable effort it is too. Like him I can’t say I know much about the other two shortlistees in our category, but I’m sure they are amazeballs, fabbo and brillig (wait – like a slithey tove?) and generally deserving…
So. The point is, if you are here, I guess you will probably vote for me or Suesspicious Minds – we’re sort of the same flavour. But if not you could vote for ‘tothers. I won’t mind. Can I stop now???
During my Welsh wilderness days away from the interwebs last week I pondered the blog in between touring castles, building sandcastles and collecting shells (which are currently in a sweaty carrier bag stinking out the garage. I know, I’m 40 – I should really know better). I didn’t write anything for Pink Tape, which was novel and refreshing in itself. The world didn’t implode and I didn’t even get the DTs but I do now have a pressing need to disgorge myself of about six major blog posts – of which this is but the first. You have been warned.
But, as I klick-klacked away at my knitting outside the tent and on the beach I did ponder the meaning of blogging, along with the significance of the big four-oh-my-god and the fast march from babyhood to big-independent-boyhood. At dinner parties we lawyers get asked the “How do you defend a rapist?” chestnut. The legal blogger’s equivalents are (from other lawyers) : “How do you find the time?” and “Why do you bother?” I still don’t really know the answer to either and I’ve been doing it for 7 years (of which Linkedin reminded me in its customarily irritating way just before I left for holiday, thus prompting a seven-year-itch sort of musing on the topic).
As to the making of time…well I learnt a long time ago from the amazing part time students with full time jobs and full time families at Birkbeck that time is elastic : the more you do the more you can fit in. It’s some weird time and relative space dimensions warping thing that I don’t understand. A sprinkling of passion somehow acts like baking powder.
As to the why : for sure there is an element of self-gratification, of catharsis, of seeking reassurance, of virtual sounding board – an “is this a crazy idea?” sort of thing. But it is also a way of making connections, of communicating with like minded (and differently minded) colleagues, professionals and interested/ing people – without the barriers of social awkwardness or convention. As time has gone on I’ve become better able to cope with the excruciating face to face “networking” duties that come with developing a practice at the bar – more adept. And in a way I never anticipated the blog has been both a useful talking point in those awkward moments and a means through which I have gained more social confidence in real life situations, more confidence to state my own thoughts and opinions (it’s true, even fearless advocates are soft on the inside), more confidence to challenge the status quo as advocate and general agitator. Or perhaps that is just the side effect of more life experience as I notch up yet another nought. Maybe I’m just growing up (finally). But what I do know is that as Pink Tape has grown and developed so have I – as a professional, as an individual and as a writer. More than anything though, Pink Tape has engaged me with my field of work in a way which I never anticipated when I first found myself thrust (to my horror) into the world of family law as a pupil, having hoped and planned for a rather different career at the bar. So I’d like to think that both the bar and Pink Tape have another seven years in them. Because – to use a grown up turn of phrase – I think they’re both ace.
Mind you, after seven years I still rabbit on too damned much.
Crack on and vote chaps.