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.
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