This blog is a record of the wine that I make and drink. Each flavour made and each bottle drunk will appear here. You may come to the conclusion that, on the whole, I should be drinking less.

Friday 8 February 2013

A Brief Intermission

Two recent bottles drunk will not be appearing in this blog. For each of them I have received bad or disturbing news involving someone dear to me, and whilst I have written about these in my diary, it would be crass and unfair to put them in a public forum.

This has made me evaluate what the two versions of my diary are for - the one I handwrite, and this blog. The blog started life as a way solely to publicise my book, but has turned into more than that. I watch my statistics obsessively, and have very much enjoyed making cyber acquaintance with several readers - you know who you are. There is a small community of unconnected readers. And lots of people who want to know how to make Quince Wine. My entries are (on the whole) purposively light and puddle-shallow. That isn't to say that when I experience something upsetting I will not write about it. Witness the job shenanigans in 2011. However, if (and this has not happened) a friend is diagnosed with a terminal disease, it would be unfair of me to write "Cyril told me that he is dying whilst I was drinking this wine". (NB I do not know a Cyril.) The blog is an exercise in narcissism. I like to think that people are entertained by the minutae of my unextraordinary life.

The written diary has a different, more pompous, purpose. In this I would write about Cyril's impending demise, because that would matter to me. And whilst not entirely private, only a very few people have access to my written diary. The pompous bit is that I hope that the diary will exist after I do not, and will be a record of one man's life in the early twenty-first century. For this reason, the upsetting, disturbing details are as valid (and possibly moreso) than the details of what I happened to eat with a bottle of gooseberry wine.

So, are there other reasons I am writing my diary? Who is the audience? I used to think that my travel diaries would entertain my grandchildren, but one needs children for that and it has been clear for nearly nine years now that 'children' was never going to be within my own life story. And that is fine. So, I do not know for whom I am writing my hand-written diaries. Some unknown person in the future, whose identity I would love to know. But I shall haunt whoever throws my diaries away.


  1. I always enjoy reading your blog Ben. Especially your amusing anecdotes and especially about life in Northern England.

  2. Thank you Dave. You are, of course, one of the cyberland friends referred to above - the first, in fact. Normal service will be resumed shortly (and I am currently a little squiffy from Prune & Parsnip Bottle 2).