160. A year of Roads of Stone

roads of stoneI want so much to open your eyes
Cos I need you to look into mine
Snow Patrol 2006

Roads of Stone is a year old this month. And a landmark is almost always a signpost on the way.

Some of the writing here goes back further, of course, but it’s been a fascinating experiment to build an independent site. Roads of Stone is hosted on a multi-user platform, WordPress.com, so that most of the difficult stuff is taken care of. But there’s been a lot to learn.

Three months ago, I moved the site to its own dedicated domain, roadsofstone.com – to enhance the site’s identity and to increase its portability in case I need to move it in the future. Although almost entirely invisible from behind the scenes, that one small fix proved almost as tricky as setting up from scratch. So if ever you’re ever going to build a website, my advice is to decide firmly on your domain name first. If you can.

How has the site developed ? I don’t have much time to write, and in a year I’ve written just 39 posts. There have been some 300 comments, and 17,000 visitors to this site, currently at around 100 hits a day. Quite a few visitors arrive at random (as a West Ham supporter, I’m always impressed and appalled that over 1,000 people have found this place by searching for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone‘).

But a pleasing number of you stop to read a piece or two, and have added your own words to the site.

Thanks to everyone.

So much for the technical stuff – that’s surely the great diversion in any IT project – amongst the detail it’s all too easy to forget what you were trying to achieve. I’m as guilty as anyone.

It’s hard to see the wider view whilst building through busy times – life always changes – but I’ve tried to find time to write on subjects that speak to me.

In the past year, new words have appeared on Greece, on Scotland, on Norway, and on Africa, too. Long ago, this started out as a running diary, and whilst my footsore falterings and cycling crop up now and then, increasingly I’ve found myself writing about geology, evolution, politics and global warming. I’ve returned to write on London, and about landscapes wherever I have found them.

If there’s a common thread here, somewhere, then it’s surely hard to find.

That doesn’t worry me – not too much. More than once, I’ve pondered that there are so many words within a life, and only space and time to lay down a few. Like any writing project, it’s an incomplete snapshot of thoughts and musings, which finally says so much less than you wish it would.

But for better or worse, this is Roads of Stone. It’s been fun this far, and there’ll be more to see ahead. Thanks for being here, and thanks for reading, too.

Related articles:
126. A new England
133. Tomorrow – Avril Lavigne and global warming
158. How evolution works
153. The green monster – Ditchling Beacon and the London to Brighton bike ride
141. A winter sky and green and blue – Hyde Park, London
139. Snow patrol – Holmenkollen, Oslo

11 responses to “160. A year of Roads of Stone

  1. And, as coincidence would have it, Roads of Stone‘s first anniversary is WordPress.com’s second birthday, too.

  2. Personally, I admire you for finding the time to do everything you do, Roads…working, running, writing…it takes me most of the day to just wake up properly🙂

  3. Thanks, Gigi. I know exactly what you mean – there’s a lot of coffee required around here in the mornings, too.

    I’m in Kenya this week. A little running here provides a lot of thought-provoking material for Roads of Stone.

  4. Happy anniversary, R. It´s been a great pleasure to find your website and follow your great wirting.

    Enjoy your stay in Kenya!

    Saludos desde Almería

  5. Asante sana, Antonio. Muchas gracias.

    I’m looking forward to running a sub-2 hour half marathon with you in Almería in January 2008 !

  6. Running in Kenya, eh? How fitting!

    Thank you for sharing a year’s worth of your thoughts…here’s to gifts that keep on giving!

    Cheers!

  7. Karibou sana, Jonas – you’re very welcome. And thanks for your support of this site.

    As for Kenya – well, a fortnight here is worth years of thinking at home.

    More to follow …

  8. Bravo Roads – I still have not really got the hang of blogging, but count upon Sarah to help, and therefore get to read super things – like your editorials. Happy happy anniversary
    Diane

  9. Happy anniversary to someone who writes worth reading, and taking the time to share it with others.

    I didn’t find this site via “You Never Walk Alone,” but I must confess when I read how many had, I giggled a bit.

  10. I managed to leave out a word in my best wishes, but somehow it still makes a sort of sense.

  11. Very good to see you back, Diane. And you, too, BB.

    That’s from Montpellier to Dallas this morning, via Mombasa, no less – we certainly span the world around here.

    Look out Rupert Murdoch … we’re after you.

    Or then again, on second thoughts, maybe not.

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