It’s THAT time of year again, and I shan’t ramble on – but I’d just like to take time to wish everyone out there reading this a very happy Christmas, and the most peaceful, happy and prosperous new year – wherever this message finds you, I wish you well.
I’d particularly like to thank you readers for making this shambling, rambling pile of cobblers what it is – bafflingly popular. For some reason, when I started this blog nearly nine years ago, I unleashed something small that grew and grew. What I expected to die a timely and well-deserved death instead flourished, and became an entity of it’s own that people read daily and look to for local history, a little news, events and a bit of a laugh.
I have no idea how this thing got here. I have even less where it’s going. I’m still enjoying it, but I’m tired. I’m getting old. So tired. But this is a labour of love and this town, this community and the people in it are in my heart, my soul and being.
I never thought I’d still be here today.
I know lots of people don’t get what I’m doing or actively dislike it. Sorry, but I’ll stop irritating people when I die. You have my sympathies. You can’t actually do this without being opinionated and annoying. It’s what gives you determination.
Thanks to all who contribute – every one of you. From football reports to railway images, from psychogeography to union history, from cake to carnivals, it’s the stuff readers send me that make this what it has become. I could not do this without the generosity and patience of everyone who sends material, does research, or helps behind the scenes.
Merry Christmas also to those who put up with me and this in my life; to those who listen to me when I’m down and stop me throwing the towel in. The gentle encouragement, humour and assurances that I’m not actually mad really do help, as does a bloody good laugh.
My co-admins on Facebook, Linda Mason and Phil Griffin deserve an award for managing to deal with me. Thanks, you two. It is appreciated.
Just so you know, this year has seen surprising growth for the blog, mainly due I think to social media and all the lovely people doing stuff on Facebook. In 2016, we did about 970,000 views. A couple of days ago we crossed 1,100,000 views for 2017, and look set to clear maybe 1,120,000 for the year. That is mad. Bonkers. Ridiculous. But WordPress collect the stats – and they don’t count my access either!
If you want to reach about 20,000 pairs of eyeballs a week just drop me a line – BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. The population of Brownhills is about 13,000. I find this clash of numbers bizarre.
My apologies are due to anyone who’s contacted me this year and who has been forgotten or it’s taken an age to get your material up – work has been very busy this year and there are many demands on my time. If you think I’ve forgotten your stuff, feel free to remind me. I won’t bite. I get a huge amount of mail and sometimes stuff gets overlooked. I’m sorry.
There will be a Christmas competition this year. I’m just not sure how that’s going to work yet. I shall think about it.
Best wishes, everyone – if you celebrate, have a good one. I f you don’t, I wish you the best. For me, the main thing about Christmas I the beginning of the return to light. The end of the darkness.
Thank you everyone. This wouldn’t be here without you.
May you all remain in light.