Life in Mud Spattered Boots started as a place to tell some of the story behind the food we eat. I wanted to show the journey from a grain of wheat planted in a field to a loaf of bread on your table and to share a little about life on an arable farm in Essex.
As I wrote in Why do I Bother in 2014, “… the main reason I write this blog is because I love being part of the blogging community. Through reading blogs I’ve been inspired to pick up my knitting needles again, to haul out my sewing machine and to have a jab at crochet; I’ve learnt new techniques for growing vegetables and tried new varieties; my recipe box is bursting with new things to cook and often our supper is influenced by something I’ve seen on a blog earlier in the day. Most of all, I enjoy seeing how other people live. What is a perfectly ordinary day for you may be extraordinary for others. I flit from snow covered Finland to the searing heat of Australia. I’m envious of your glut of fruit when it’s something I use frugally because they’re exotic and expensive to buy here. I have a list of places that I’d like to visit one day, not because they’re an amazing tourist destination but because I’m intrigued about the places you’ve written about and photographed and I’d like to visit the market or check out the art gallery. There are some bloggers I feel I know well enough, even though we’ve never met, that should we find ourselves in each other’s neighbourhood, we’d arrange to get together for a cup of coffee or a glass or two of wine.”
Things have changed since 2014 and looking back, it was a much simpler and more innocent time. Blogging has moved on. It’s become more professional and monetised, moving from hobby to career with blogs swamped by adverts, sponsored posts and self-promotion in the pursuit of income. There are still plenty of personal blogs out there, but many more have been abandoned or are updated irregularly. Followers have drifted away and readers now bounce in to read a post that answers their particular question and bounce out again, never to return. It’s hard to comment using a phone or tablet (which most people use to read blogs) so the banter and dialogue that came with comments have been replaced with a meaningless ‘like’. It’s all a bit soulless.
At the end of 2020, stuck in lockdown, I pressed the pause button on my online life. Bored witless by the banality of Instagram and repelled by the hate-filled bile of Twitter, I deleted the only two social media apps from my phone and I stopped updating Life in Mud Spattered Boots.
I decided not to write any more blog posts as such, but I didn’t feel ready to let go. The blog posts remain in the Journal, there are articles about foraging in The Edible Hedgerow, craft projects and recipes in Making and notes about a few of our Long Distance Paths in Walking.
A New Chapter
I couldn’t let go! There’s been a minor resurrection of some favourite blogs, which has rekindled my enthusiasm for Life in Mud Spattered Boots. I’ve started to write an occasional post, but very much in line with Domesticali who wrote on Instagram “Blogs were so good before every bugger started monetising them. You know, the ones we wrote just for ourselves, when anyone else reading was a bonus.”