I gave up the idea of compiling a blog-roll long ago, when I realized that my blog reading, like my blog writing, was never going to be anything but haphazard and irregular. Also, knowing what an odd-looking collection it would be, I worried a little about what my list would say about me.
Never-the-less, I can tell you which blog was the very first that I ever read. It was 'Loobylu' and it was in August of 2002. Looby was one of the earliest Australian bloggers and she still maintains, on an almost daily basis, her highly readable, technically impressive and very widely read blog.
Looby (real name Claire Robertson) is a professional artist, craftsperson and home-maker with a special enthusiasm for creating quirky soft toys which she always refers to as 'softys'. Since I first discovered her, she has had a baby, moved house a couple of times and ventured into various new interests and activities. As we don't have a great deal in common, I am no longer a regular Looby fan, but I visit as a casual lurker every so often. This weekend she gave birth to her second daughter. Her husband's brief post on her blog to announce the birth had drawn 436 comments from her delighted readers by the time I checked in yesterday. What a responsibility for a young Mum ... having to come up with something interesting every day to feed an audience of that size!
Another of my regular reads has been The Butterfly Garden, a long-running blog by a middle-aged Englishwoman named Linda Walls. A keen gardener, Linda developed an interest in butterflies and started her blog as a journal to record the butterflies she observed in her garden and the local area. Along the way she put together a comprehensive index of British butterflies, illustrated with excellent photographs, many of which she took herself.
In July 2004 Linda was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. After months of chemotherapy she returned to her journal to pick up where she left off. But in September the following year she discovered that she had developed Myelodysplasia and would require a bone marrow transplant. Not to be daunted, this plucky lady began a new blog, Life After Leukaemia, to document her illness and treatment. In December last year she announced that she would be going to hospital for her transplant, and like her beloved butterflies, would be hibernating until the spring.
Becoming weaker as she dealt with a range of unpleasant symptoms, she finally lost her battle and died in hospital last week. Linda left a husband and two young daughters.
Her memorial is the work she did in creating The Butterfly Garden.