85. 12 weeks.


Here we go again. For the regulars, there are only two of these left, so hang in there. If you happen to be new here, I’m writing 100 posts in 100 days, and giving a weekly update on them. This is the twelfth. I’m also trying to get 60 000 views in 100 days, and failing miserably. Yesterday, I passed the 30 000 mark. It’s still possible, I suppose, but I’d have to give the pope a wedgie or something; there’s nothing wrong with a bit of publicity.

Although I understand the popes are all well versed in the use of "the force".

Although I understand the popes are all well versed in the use of “the force”.

I am, to be honest, not unhappy that there are only fifteen days left. It’s not that I’m not enjoying writing them. It’s just that I’m starting to get a sense of sameness about my posts. Every day, as I drive my kids to school, I listen to the same station on the radio.

It’s a talk station, and a great one. They pride themselves on their social conscience, and are not afraid to speak truth to power. They get powerful and interesting guests, and are not afraid to ask them the hard questions. And every month or so, I have to turn them off. For a week or more.


It’s just too much of the same. It’s the same DJ, and no matter how much he varies his content and seeks out interesting guests, he can’t change his voice. He can’t change the rhythm of his speech, or his voice, or the favourite issues he keeps going back to. There’s the newsreader, too. Same guy. Every day. Different stories, but the same. Sport; same guy. Every day. Traffic; same guy. Every day.

Until it all gets to be too much. I can tell after two minutes that I’ve shot my bolt. And I turn off. The radio station doesn’t suddenly turn awful; I just reach a point where I’ve had enough. It’s all just too samey. I can just about put up with my family every day, and I love them. I don’t love the guy on the radio. So he has to go away every now and then.

When I’ve had my little break, it’s a joy to go back. They sound fresh again. They are, in their own little way, trying to change the world for the better. And they are smart. And challenging. And fun. They feel like old friends.

I try to visit them every day, but I don't think the security guy knows me.

I try to visit them every day, but I don’t think the security guy knows me.

I’ve been here for 85 days (barring a brief interlude in the bush). It’s me, every single day. I’ve tried to vary the content as much as I can, but what I can’t (or don’t want to) vary is the voice. The rhythm. The favourite issues I keep going back to.

So I’m looking forward, in a way, to turning myself off. I have, as the world’s worst life planner, given absolutely no thought as to what I’m going to when I’m done with this. A series of public safety videos on YouTube?

I have no doubt in my mind that I’d like to carry on doing this. But like it should be done; once a week. Once a month. Just often enough to sound like an old friend, but not often enough to sound like a mosquito on a hot night.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzzz. zz.

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzzz. zz.

So there you go. If you’re feeling heartily sick of me already, don’t worry, so am I. Stick with me, though, out of sheer bloody mindedness. It’s only fifteen days. If you’re not, you need to take stock of your life and maybe look into finding a hobby. Spelunking always sounded fun, and somehow slightly risqué and phrenology seems to be making a comeback.

Truth, be told, I wouldn't be averse to the odd spelunk.

Truth, be told, I wouldn’t be averse to the odd spelunk.

So what have I droned on about this week?  My son’s haphazard approach to personal organisation. And my own. And warthogs, as one does. I indulged in a bit of amateur etymology. Which beats the hell out of phrenology and spelunking. I looked at a few words that are peculiar to South African English. And then looked at the rather curious collection of dead animal parts that has appeared in my home.  And then I mentioned the problems we’ve been having with our neighbours.

Right. That’s it then. Onward an upwards. I have no idea what I’m going to be writing about this week; I’ll know when I get there. And here’s today’s vote.

34 thoughts on “85. 12 weeks.

  1. I must admit I’ve found it difficult to keep up with your daily posts. I used to look forward to getting your notification emails, knowing your post would make me laugh, but when it’s every day I just don’t have time to visit that regularly. So I guess you lost a regular reader when you started your challenge – that might explain why you’re falling short of your target views, if others have felt the same. Still great, funny writing though and interesting to read. I’ll catch up with all the posts eventually!

    • 23thorns says:

      It was always going to be the risk. I used to love “Top Gear”, even though I’m not into cars. I watched it every day (there were loads of reruns to catch up on) for about six months, and then I reached my fill. I haven’t watched a full episode since.

      • I bet you’ve upped your blogging and writing profile and increased your number of followers though. Also, the more material you have out there, the more you’ll show up on search engines. It’s a fascinating and funny window into life in SA so I really appreciate that. 🙂

      • 23thorns says:

        That was the plan. I’ll only know if it worked once I stop.

  2. I like your pics and captions–reminds me of me! 😉

    If you can fit in a pic of Justin Bieber or who ever is really making news and put that name in your tags. Or just use really catchy tags that you figure people on the web search for (and you’d be surprised), you’re hits will go up. Not necessarily your readership, but your hits. “Buzz cut women” in something I always find in search terms that lead people to my blog. I’m not kidding. That and “confused old woman.” I really worry about people out there…

    • 23thorns says:

      I am both curious and a little unnerved to type “Buzz cut women” into Google. Thanks for the tips; I haven’t really paid any attention to that side of blogging.

      • If you use your tags properly, you attract new viewers to your site. Some stay and some just pop in and leave when they find that you are a blog and not the kind of site they were looking for. I’ m telling you, it’s odd out there!

  3. I recently finished a year of poem & drawing a week, and decided to change to a weekly post. Tomorrow will be my second weekly post and I already know that it will need to increase – a poem and drawing a week with random incidental postings…. or something!

    • 23thorns says:

      I don’t really need my blog to grow; it’s not for money or anything. This has just been a fun game to play. It is kind of addictive, though.

  4. I voted for spelunk but since I just attended the International Congress of Speleology, perhaps Im biased?

  5. Pippa Sheehan says:

    What a milestone! 30,000 views… Congratulations. Thanks for your likes!


  6. Lyn says:

    From a personal perspective, I love your blog and would hate to see you not blogging. It is without doubt, a very bright spot in my day. I know I’ll always learn something interesting and that I’ll always get a laugh. Do a weekly blog while you renovate your bathroom, spend more time with the kids and Mrs23Thorns and come back refreshed and ready to enlighten and entertain us 😉

  7. Kevin says:

    I can only offer my worthless advice and you know that won’t help you reach the 60,000 mark. Maybe I can throw you into despair and you’ll quit at post 99 by inspiring you with more worthless advice from America?

  8. Dirk Porsche says:

    The “Other” box won’t let me insert the rest of my suggestion.

    Write about some hotly debated topic. Take a very aggressive standpoint. Offend, or denounce some of the thought leaders. Be pointy. Be concrete. Use conventional wisdom. Simplify things. Be a real ass. Be fresh. Make it short. Reference some made-up sources.

    If it it’s just the 60.000 and you live in America. You might want to engage some debate about religion, politics, terrorism, or sexuality.

    Then find other blogs or news sites of you opponents and comment heavily linking your post. Tell everyone on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, …

    You should be prepared to get some strong reactions, to say it mildly. And I’m not to blame if you got shot in the streets by some fanatic.

    • 23thorns says:

      Race. You left out race. Round here, that would shoot me into the stratosphere.

      • Dirk Porsche says:

        Oh God damn, it. How could this warm bastard up there make me forget about all those Obama cohorts, that blew up the trade center …

        That has covered them all, right?

        I sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings I might have hurt.

  9. Blogging is hard.
    Reading blogs is hard. Buy ME a beer.

  10. smallpebbles says:

    Of course we will miss you – the mind judges itself, and because you write ’em and read ’em everyday, it must at times get a bit – boooring…..yawn….what about that book you started out to write (if I remember correctly) seems like you have plenty of good material to work with from all your posts. This planet can always use a lot more laughter! And thanks for that!!

  11. narf77 says:

    Hopefully after a brief interlude where you contemplate your navel, and renovate that bathroom that Mrs 23Thorns has been waiting for for 4 years (get to it man! If a woman has to stoop to getting your most irascible and deluded blog follower to give you a prod, it’s “time”…) and give your kids an extended hug without looking over their heads as you tap something you “just remembered” into a prospective post and just lay on the floor looking at the ceiling twiddling your thumbs (don’t do that for too long or you will notice that it probably needs a lick of paint…) you will be back. You have a voice. You have a good voice. You have found an outlet where you are able to connect with strange (I am being kind there) and wonderful members of the fringe community of humanity who “get” you and that’s addictive man…that’s a heady cocktail of kudos akin to the rush of euphoria and power that those dance drugs give you…you shall dance again Mr 23Thorns. We, your ardent followers (stalkers) amount to a healthy dose of crack and methinks you might just be as addicted as the rest of us are to that hit of adoration from the semi anonymous masses. It might be once a week…it might be once a month but you are going to have to indulge your need to vent…and when you do, we will be here most expectantly. Besides, the 23Thorns – Tracy loves History tag team is doing a sterling job of making Africa look like someplace that vaguely resembles a first world country and that people might actually want to live in…they might actually start paying you to keep blogging. Motivation comes from the strangest places Mr 23Thorns.

    • 23thorns says:

      I don’t intend to stop entirely. I just intend to stop on Sunday nights at 11:30 or Saturday mornings before going out for lunch.

      • narf77 says:

        How very curious? Does that mean that you will be posting on Monday through Friday? That’s a LOT of posts Mr 23Thorns!

      • 23thorns says:

        No. It does not. that was just the beginning of a rather complicated schedule of times at which I will not post, based on days of the week, weather patterns, astrological influences and the tides. For a start.
        So far it looks like I’ll be free to respond to a few comments on the 17th of September, and do a full post in January next year.

  12. Jocelyn Hers says:

    I’ll miss you, but I get your point. Fortunately my father took us caving as children and cured us more or less forever, so spelunking is out. Maybe I should do something about that pile of books quietly multiplying by my bed?

  13. spartacus2030 says:

    I’m throwing up 3 blogs a day and can’t get 50 visitors. I guess I stink… I hope you reach your goal! Open a book, close your eyes, point to a word, and write about it. Do you suppose that would work? What if you land on “sex”?

    • 23thorns says:

      I tried that. But I kept landing on “the”. Whether I reach my goal or not, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop this completely. Where else would I be able to get free advice from a camouflaged man holding up a deshelled turtle dressed in white hotpants.

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