Seven years of the blog

It is seven years since I began the Brother Lapin’s Pilgrimage blog, shortly before leaving England:   I did not suspect for a moment as I began that blog that I would not be returning to the UK again, and the blog would be about a new life in Spain.

The blog had an instant following because I was connected with some other people in blogging circles on the internet, and I sometimes experienced surprisingly large numbers of followers.  I gradually lost touch with those people and so it was unsurprising that the readership numbers gradually tailed off.  But the blog has never been about seeking to make an impact on the world weird web: it is more of a way of keeping a record. Also it is something for my daughter to enjoy, looking from afar.  I still appreciate whoever other readers we hold onto, or occasionally gain.

The original blog – recording a journey away from the UK to a temporary stay in France – then a new life in Spain with donkeys, lasted for five years.  The “last post” was 15 August 2015: 


This blog replaced it, reflecting a settled life with donkeys rather than a continuing pilgrimage or journey.  I have no idea who still reads this blog (if anybody!) and in a very real sense that doesn’t matter at all. The blog has always been a diary and it breaks down in times when there is simply nothing to say.

Sometimes when I have struggled to express my feelings about confusing events like Brexit, there have been those who quickly turn up a comment on the blog to tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about and this is a bit irritating as I am not inviting polemics on this blog but simply recording some reflections, mainly about feelings.  (I remember the course in counselling years ago, and the first thing we learned was to simply recognize the feelings of people. Not start arguing against them!)

Commenting will be enabled on this blog.  But remember it’s simply my diary and if you want to read it great.  I’m not here to start a dialogue in which readers tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about…  Please!  Life is too short.

And so the summer holidays are halfway through.  Glorious to have unhurried time at home with the donkeys.  The only things to do on my list on the kitchen wall are: “Thursday: water Cait and Carl’s plants” ;  “Friday vet visit for Aitana blood analysis.”  Otherwise, do some house painting, groom the donkeys, go for a bike ride, or do nothing at all.  Perfect.

The main projects for the summer are the pond (now painted and fish back in) and the painting of the house in a lovely deep Venetian red hue that looks just like the colour it was always meant to be: contrasting with the green of the trees and the awning that provides shade outside the house.

I signed out of Twitter last week after a thought suddenly occurred to me.  Looking at Twitter several times a day, reading and writing tweets, I stopped and thought, “What can I remember of tweets that I read or wrote last week?”  Nothing.  No recollection at all.  Instant entertainment, amusement, pointless news, trivia; instantly forgotten. What a waste of time.  Like Facebook, which I dispensed with a while ago, Twitter is just there to gather information about us, not to give us any useful information.  Goodbye to that.


Aitana has lost weight quite dramatically and this has been discussed with the vet for a couple of weeks.  The main worry is that she is moving very slowly: walking down the slope from level 1 to level 2 she picks her way very carefully, instead of her usual carefree trotting. Tomorrow she is having a blood sample taken for laboratory analysis.

UPDATE 11/08/2017  More experienced donkey keepers than me may have spotted the signs in the photo above. It’s a new one on me.  The angle of the front hooves tell us all we need to know.  Aitana has laminitis.  Bit of a shock here, but I am working on a solution now with vet and farrier.

Whatever her result turns out to be, today is the A-level and GCSE results day, and I am happy to be messaging my successful students on their results day, particularly those with A grades in A-level and GCSE Geography.  It is always so rewarding to see the students succeed and it repays all the work we put into preparing our teaching, for we certainly never get much thanks from management! 🙂 Soon it will be time to start gradually thinking about planning the 2017-2018 course, but that is a few celebratory gin and tonics away yet…

If you too are on holiday, enjoy!  If not and you are at work, perhaps my blog may brighten your day for a few minutes. You are part of a small but exclusive readership.

5 thoughts on “Seven years of the blog

  1. Gareth, I was listening to a podcast where it pushed me to delete Facebook, but now, your post here has given the confidence to say good-bye to twitter. Two services that are nothing more than a waste of time.


  2. One of the problems with Facebook is that it gathers huge amounts of information about its users for commercial purposes; from a teacher’s point of view it is difficult to secure your Facebook contributions from your pupils as younger staff are sometimes quite careless communicating socially with minors (in itself entirely unprofessional) but Facebook encourages automated “friends-of-friends” etc. to widen the circle and become a professional security risk. Having explored this several times there is no way round the problem. Facebook is a menace.

    I had issues with Twitter for some time but found it useful as a connection to current events. Since current events now include an idiot in the White House tweeting threats of nuclear war, a mass boycott of Twitter to get the nutter banned would be a good thing. Isn’t threatening nuclear annihilation against Twitter’s acceptable use policy?


  3. Yes you do brighten my day and I have been wondering how you all are in the reported ‘heatwave’. I expect you know what dreadful weather we’ve had here. Do hope the blood analysis reveals something easily dealt with. Animals are such a worry.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Glad the blog can brighten your day! 🙂 The heat has been quite challenging here, but we have now had two days of thunderstorms and the temperature is down to 22 degrees this afternoon: quite pleasant.

    Aitana a bit of a mystery. Same healthy appetite for food but huge weight loss and little energy. (Maybe it’s just greedy, lazy donkey drama queen syndrome?)

    A steady uphill bike ride to Finestrat now to water friends’ plants. Good excuse for a beer…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, the complementary red/green of the parral and the house (as well as the pine trees and the existing awning) is something I had in mind. The vine project is much slower than I expected. Of the dozen cuttings that I planted back in March only half of them have survived and they are very slow growing due to the soil problems I’ve mentioned here before. I will probably need to buy in some vines next year. Tito, who brings my donkey feed every month, says he can get me vine plants when I need them. Need to wait till February or March next year.


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