Who am I? Who are you?

I know I’m not the only one who has been left sadly bereft with the loss of Google Reader. I know they want G+ to take its place, but I very much doubt it ever will for me. I don’t want my content to be tailored and guided and sorted for me; I want things like the olden days. I want a list of blogs, like I used to have in my trusty Sage plugin that sat at the side of my laptop browser. I want every post of every person I like following. I resent Facebook deciding what I want to see and I’m far too busy to sit on Twitter all day and hope it shows me interesting things to read. I’ve tried Bloglovin (but meh… I don’t like it) and I don’t enjoy having to switch from wordpress reader to network blogs to anything else. Reading blogs on my phone is what happens most of all and often in places where content won’t load quickly (outside a school, sat in a hospital, under a child). I just want a bank of easy to access reading fodder, like my RSS feed used to give me. I had that until they shut Google Reader, damn them. I had a nice reader that moved content from phone to ipad and meant I got to read. Commenting was harder (stupid captcha) but at least I read.

The rot goes deeper though I think. My core of friends who blog do so less often and I’ve struggled to find time to curate a new list of people who suit my changing self. I want to read writing blogs and craft blogs and mix them up with parenting and grief and home ed and all those other things. Once there were only a few blogs; now there are millions.

I’ve lost my way on the internet. I’ve been so busy and so distracted that I’ve stopped enjoying what I like most about it simply from having too little time to create an internet I like again. I’m so bored of flicking constantly through Facebook to see if anything interesting comes up.


So. I’ve been signing up to email subscriptions this week. I’m trying to remember all the blogs I used to love and visiting them, hoping they’ll send me blogs by email, in the hope I can enjoy those when I have a spare quiet moment.  And what I really want to find are some new blogs that tickle my fancy. And I’m trying hard to comment more and trying hard to comment back on the blogs of people who leave me messages here, something I know I’m woefully short changing people on. I do read all my comments but I never seem to quite manage to have conversations. I miss conversations.

So this is me.

5694107614_f2c1b8300c_bI’m Merry. I’ve blogged for ten years. I own a small business (and have done so for ten years too) which I set up in a cupboard and grew it until it was mine and my husband’s job. We sell toys and crafts. We have 4 daughters ranging from 15 down to 8 and they all now go to school, though they were all home educated until recently. It’s something I am passionate about and will never regret. We have a toddler son who will soon be 2 and in between him and the girls was a little boy called Freddie who was born and lived for 11 days but never came home from hospital.

I blog about craft – I love to knit, crochet, make models from Fimo, create craftiness madness from beads and pom poms and felt and more (but especially Hama Beads) and I blog about all of that. I write about grief and child loss and how that feels, about books and education and how much I want to move to Devon and trying to lose weight. The girls get plenty of mentions with their various sporty endeavours because this is predominantly a family blog and I write a little about watching Bene grow up too. And then there is usually more about grief, since it will never leave us and some of the issues the girls face, including life with a cleft lip and palate, Aspergers, thyroid disease, allergies, asthma and eczema.

But increasingly I think it will be about moving to a new phase of being a working mum, doing up our house, making our move happen, lots and lots of craft and decorating and a good bit about the garden. (It’s highly unlikely there will be cookery. Trust me on that). I am however desperate to get back into sewing.

If any of that sounds interesting, you could look over on the right (or at the bottom of the post) and sign up for an email subscription.

But what I’d really like, if you think we have something in common and I might like your blog, is for you to leave me a little bio and a link to your blog too so that I can pop over and hopefully start sending your posts to my inbox.

What do you say?

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  1. says

    You are in my list of Followers on my blog, so I hope that you can get at it when and if you want to catch up on our doings in the Fens. I have joined you now in doing crochet, at last, and we have the home ed background in common, and I also long to live someplace other than where I do live, so I identify with that feeling. We also have gymnastics-girls, although mine is moving more into coaching since her wrists aren’t up to doing as much training, so that is a new step for us.

  2. says

    Hi Merry
    I’m new to blogging and haven’t set up an e-mail sub or anything like that yet, but I’m writing about being on both sides of the divide, both home educating four girls and lecturing, and also about writing too. Please pop by if you have a spare five minutes (I can hear your ‘Ha!’ from here!) My blog is called Making Clay and it’s at lynnblair.blogspot.co.uk

  3. says

    I tried Feedly but found it too magazine-y, then someone recommended ‘The Old Reader’, which I’ve been using for a few weeks and find to be just as good as Google Reader. It even let me import my subscriptions from the old Google Reader which I’d have thought would be long gone. No idea if it works on iPad, but it’s great on my computer. I had to tweak slightly but then found it actually easier to organise than Google Reader.

    I think part of the reason blog comments have died down is that so many people comment on Facebook when we link to our blogs. I don’t mind, personally, and most comments don’t really need a response. For people writing the comments they’re more likely to see responses on FB unless they remember to sign up for blog comments (and I rarely do).

  4. Sarah says

    Another one missing Google Reader! I’m using Bloglovin’ at the moment but it’s not quite what I want. I blog at http://www.pyjamaschool.co.uk/blog about home educating two little ones, childminding, Montessori, allotmenting and occasionally a bit of crafting too. I first came across your site when I was home educated myself as a teenager. :)

  5. says

    Well I’d love you to follow my blog by email but I don’t know how to put an email subscription option on there. Sigh. Will try and find out. *adds to interminable to-do list* I think it’s a really good idea, and I should subscribe to more blogs – at the moment I only get yours that way! I mainly rely on twitter (and fb a little bit.) Have dabbled in Bloglovin but don’t look at it that much. I make occasional forays into G+ but it still scares me :)

    • says

      Jet pack is your friend :) but actually I have discovered thanks to other commenters that I can feed the old reader into my RSS feed app. So I will slowly rebuild that too. Left it too late to grab my google reader list though :(

      I wish more people wanted me to follow them though. I guess people aren’t bothered about having people actually following their blog these days!

  6. says

    Hi Merry,
    I have been following your blog since 2004 when I first started home educating. It is always one of the first things I like to check when I turn my computer on in the mornings.
    I am a mother of five children between the ages of 17 and 10 and home educate the youngest two. I have only just started a blog very recently and am quite self conscious of it at the moment but hopefully I will grow into blogging more comfortably as I go along! At the moment it is a blog about writing as I begin to timidly stick my toes into the waters of developing my writing now that my children are growing older and seem to need somewhat less of my constant attention. If you would like to have a peep the address is http://singingunderthemoon.blogspot.co.uk .
    Nikki xx

  7. says

    Merry, I know that you and I have read eachother’s blogs for years now, and you are in the ‘followers’ widget in my sidebar? And I do have the rss feed link on the main page of my blog (it’s down at the bottom of the posts column). I am uncertain about using Blogger’s email notification widget. I don’t care to send out my blog posts via email and I don’t know if that is what happens with blogger email notifications, of if it’s just an email with a link directly to a new post.

    I tend to be very very low tech and not involved in online social networking. I have my blog and that’s it :-)

    I still read every post you write and don’t imaging I’ll stop reading until you stop writing {{hugs}}

  8. says

    I was going to say that I could help you find a way to read RSS feeds without Google Reader. Both Feedly and The Old Reader are good alternatives, and there are apps available for both on mobile platforms for easier reading. Personally I use feedly, but can’t stand the feedly app, so I use Mr Reader on iPad and Reeder on iPhone. I did a load of research into the options an I am happy for anyone to ask me for recommendations that suit them.

    If you are interested in family and geeky stuff I’d love if you wanted to follow my blog :)

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