Third Time Lucky, Or Could This Be The Last Time?

FOR A THIRD consecutive year — albeit later than I made it back here last December — I find myself looking at what could have been a regular column with a growing readership; but the money has to be earned somewhere, and right now, that isn’t here. Even so, chatting about “stuff that happens” remains a reasonable concept. As the winds of change continue blowing strongly in my world, for a third time we’ll see if the column might yet become a regular thing.

I should begin by wishing readers as they trickle back a belated Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the new year that is now just four days away; 2017 has been an excellent year for me — representing a colossal leap forward in terms of my personal goals — and 2018 is looming as a similarly great advance, with the winds of change continuing to blow as they have for the past few years now, but showing signs of really gaining strength from this point.

Those who’ve been through the first two attempts with me to get this column to fly — a purely personal, spare time project literally for the love of writing and telling a story — know that twice, just as a head of steam began to form in terms of building momentum, circumstance intervened; not one to do anything by halves, the breadth of my various workloads has meant that something had to give, and twice now, that something has unfortunately been this column.

But before I get to that, a few pieces of housekeeping…

Despite the fact I’ve already shown a bit of a penchant for posting lots of links to clips, especially to music, I’m loathe to post the same thing twice; even so — and just because it’s been so long since my last article, and given my sails continue to billow with the breeze of the new — I’m sharing one of the tracks I originally posted when I first started the “Retro Tuesday” segment back in 2015 a second time today.

There are some readers who have approached me privately since I last published something here back in January, wondering where I had gone; since May, some of them have also noticed that my “legacy” political comment column had also disappeared; and a couple of really sharp pairs of eyes even noticed that that last article, on 7 January, seemed to disappear altogether.

My other column is voluntarily suspended — for now — on account of a conflict of interest that arose; it was no longer appropriate, for reasons I won’t detail here, to both publish political commentary and to pursue conflicting activities. I didn’t mind suspending it indefinitely, but one thing really hurt: my last article in that column in May predicted a romping victory for Britain’s Conservative Party in the general election it had called…and two days after I placed the site behind a privacy wall, the Tories made a near-fatal suicide attempt by announcing the most ill-conceived and nastiest aged care policy imaginable. Needless to say, my instant reassessment of their electoral prospects was a correction I was unable to publish, but never mind…

I can, however, confirm that the timing of my absence from this particular column simply coincided with the recommencement of my regular workload — employment responsibilities, resumption of studies, etc — and in making yet another attempt to reflate the souffle, I’m wondering how I can avoid a similar petering out in the space of the next fortnight.

And lest we get too bogged down in apologies, my final housekeeping item is to simply note that with Christmas and now Boxing Day having been and gone yet again, those readers with a half-eaten turkey in their refrigerator should revisit last year’s Boxing Day article as a matter of some urgency.

So here we are…

As I speculated in my very first post on this site — a theme I revisited last December when I briefly resurrected it, with some spare time suddenly to hand — why start a new column? Part of it, as I have also twice noted, is the instinct to just write, and as those exhilarating winds of change blow harder, it seems that personally and professionally, writing is something I am destined to spend an increasing amount of time doing.

To be sure, there are factors working for and against my chances of making a third attempt at building this particular column into a regular ongoing feature a success.

On the one hand, the drain on my time imposed by part-time study, with its weekly same-day flights to and from Brisbane 24 weeks of the year, are over: having started my degree in 1990 I graduated this month. It isn’t just the time involved directly, but the collateral impact of the couple of days after each trip, wherein I had the energy to do my job during the daylight hours — and not much else when the working day was done.

I have ceased work on my media production business, which for years bubbled away as the constant and primary focus behind everything else I was doing; one is remiss to ever say “never,” but for now, it’s 30 hours per week or so that are no longer committed somewhere else.

And of course, the time taken up with my “legacy” political column — perhaps another 10-15 hours every week — is also no longer being expended.

But on the other hand, I took a new job in May that saw my direct workload skyrocket; I have loved it, of course, but the intensity (and often the duration) of its demands has meant that all the time that has progressively become available has been hoovered up instantly.

I have also sketched out the outline for a book I will be writing in 2018 — and yesterday made a start on writing it.

And to put a further complexion on things — and reflecting the theme that is most central to today’s thoughts — the air is thick once again with change; my colleagues and I have ended the year by delivering excellent results, and have celebrated a truly stellar win this month. But 2018 heralds further change in this, and other areas.

Will Life and Love, Happiness and Health really take off this time?

To some extent, it depends on you, dear reader; it’s nice that people who know me make contact quietly to discuss some of the material I post here — the trips down memory lane on Retro Tuesdays, or the life stories I share, or the little stories that emerge simply from (metaphorically) setting pencil to paper. But without having the word spread — through shares, through retweets, through comments on the site, and through good old word of mouth — then it is very difficult to build up the following needed to sustain an ongoing effort.

One thing I can tell readers, as they return to new content for the first time in some time, is that I have been through and fixed all of the links to the clips previously shared: despite the disclaimer on the “about” page (which, legally, is adequate to cover the use of copyrighted material on an un-monetised site), some of the original clips were withdrawn by copyright owners — although mostly due to third party breaches by YouTube users, not this site. So for now at least, everything works as it should.

But what I can confirm, having made it this far down the page, is that I am very happy to be near the end of another awkward post aimed at breathing fresh life into something I have allowed to slip into a coma twice. It isn’t like jump-starting a car; the less pleasant analogy of defibrillating a cardiac arrest springs more immediately to mind.

Either way, today’s post either marks the final attempt at getting something continuous happening here, or it marks…well, perhaps another clip is a better way to make the point…

I will be back in the next couple of days — let’s see what the world yields up for us to talk about in that time.


AND ANOTHER THING: with an eye to that second clip…don’t you just love multinational music companies that withdraw original clips and “provide” an audio track with a static image instead? Flagrant abuses of copyright are one thing, but the whole point of social media is to virally spread a message. You’d think they would welcome the free publicity for their products, but what would I know?

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