Saturday, 28 February 2009

In camera

There seems to have been a great deal of fuss lately about bloggers 'revealing' themselves to all and sundry on the internet. It got me thinking, for the first time, about what I'm doing here. Maybe I should be more circumspect; perhaps names should be changed. But on the other hand, I'm doing nothing that I haven't done for twenty years in front of a class full of relative strangers. Kids ask questions, teachers answer them; it seems a normal part of human interaction. To be honest, I don't say anything here I wouldn't tell a stranger in the pub if I was so inclined. Perhaps we've all become too frightened of identity fraud, or something?
Anyway, another 'tag', this time courtesy of Cheshire Wife and Jenny Smith. I've got to go to the fourth photo in the fourth folder in 'My Pictures' and then show you what I find. Here it is:

It's a photo taken from the tower of Boston Stump, the day - four years ago - that Sarah and I got engaged. We went to our favourite restaurant, then climbed the tower and admired the views of Lincolnshire. A special moment.

And in other news, I've just been interviewed by the author Caroline Smailes; you can read it on her blog, here.

I wonder if I should have asked her to disguise my voice?

30 comments:

  1. Beautiful photo!

    And I've never understood the "don't reveal your identity!" thing either. I've revealed far, far more over a few G&Ts than on my blog (which is saying something).

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  2. That photo is wonderful, and the memory attached to it makes it even more so. I'm just off to listen to your voice! x

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  3. That interview was excellent - I'm just off to build my railway village!

    I am very interested in your new novel too, Sir!

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  4. Ooooh, I'm a fan of Caroline's, I'll pop over and take a look.

    The issue of 'identity' on blogs is an interesting one and I've heard a number of different views. I've seen many American blogs in particular that post numerous pictures of their family and friends. I'm quite particular and have a rule that I will never put a photo of my 5 year old daughter on my blog unless her face is well hidden. I've also changed her name. She is not called 'IJ'. I just want to be extra cautious because parenting blogs can attract uwelcome visitors (I know this through spam I've received in the past.) You just don't know who is out there on the internet reading your posts.

    And even though I blog I'm actually quite a private person.

    I suppose it depends on what you are comfortable with.

    Also, Rosie Scribble is not my real name!! The first part is correct though. I'm not completely fake. I also use of name professionally so have to be extra careful.

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  5. As there is so much information available on everybody these days - electoral rolls, telephone directories etc, why worry about a few more people knowing a bit more about you? If anyone is bent on 'stalking' or taking your identity, they don't need blogging to do it, as where there's a will there's a way. Paranoia reigns, more's the pity...

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  6. Hi Tim - came to say hello. Your book looks really interesting (and congratulations too!). Just read the interview (tho didn't recognise your voice?) and good to learn more about you and how you came to be where you are. So to speak.

    Am very interested in mental health - and the fact, of course, that writing can be so cathartic. Have/am using it myself for that purpose having gone through a very bad depression a few years back. Haven't really touched on that in my own blog yet, but will get round to it eventually.

    Re identity and cyberspace: I know that I am being stalked by my husband's PR department so I have to watch what I say. And being in a small village where I know some people read me, I cannot always say what I want to say! At least, by being more circumspect, I don't have that 'My God, why the hell did I say that!' middle of the night sweaty kind of moment! Instead I use the blog to get views off my chest or simply for the joy of creating something from words and pictures and, in some small way, to document my existence on this planet without the stresses and strains of editors and deadlines.

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  7. I started my blog with a 'this is me attitude' and I continue to do so. Friends, family and acquaintances now know what I'm doing. It does mean that I have to censor certain aspects of my life, but that is what I choose.

    I have started the book, if the new book is anything like 'Writing Therapy' it will be fantastic!

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  8. Thanks, Ruth. One of the few bonuses of living in a Fenland landscape is being able to see for miles and miles. If you can get some elevation, that it!

    Of course, Kitty, it's the memory that makes it special.

    'N' gauge or 'OO', WoNI?

    Oh, you've shattered my illusions Rosie. (Mind you, 'Scribble' is such a wonderful pseudonym!)

    You've certainly got to be careful, Jinksy. But I'm just a little worried that we'll throw the baby of normal human interaction with the bathwater of cyber-privacy. Tricky balance.

    And I'd certainly be more circumspect if I was being stalked by a PR department, HotH!

    Wow, thanks Laura! Hope you enjoy the rest of it.

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  9. Lovely pic!

    Yes i do wander why i am made to feel guilty by showing pics of 'Twinkle' like the one at xmas, she is very beautiful to me and sometimes i want to share that with the world. But i do like to use wierd, wacky or beautiful nick names...my real name is so so common. Twinkles real name is beautiful and not common and im sure you have guessed it but i like to use nicknames for her too.

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  10. I have a similar photo of the Boston Stump though featuring less clement weather... a massive thudnerstorn brewwing over the horizon! Fantastic place to go down on one knee though!

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  11. great pic.
    I must admit when I write about other people I don't say their real names, although I do use mine.
    Can understand the police not giving their real names though.
    As for blogging, I love it, it allows you say the things that worry you, concern you, and make you laugh, and you get so much support from the other bloggers.
    It's a release.

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  12. The identity issue is a tricky one. I know I don't name my kids or husband, but if anyone wanted to know who they were it's easily found...especially since we're all on facebook. There's a big part of me that just wants to trust people, though. It may be naive but it hasn't hurt me too much yet. And great interview. I'm off to order your book now.

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  13. Thanks, Halo. It's worth having nick-names if they're all as good as yours.

    You can certainly see the storms approaching, Steve. Very dramatic, as you say.

    That's a good way of describing it, Annette - a release. There's something especially cathartic about blogging and then getting a response. Not something you can get from a diary (although I write one almost every day).

    Thanks, Sue. I certainly enjoyed doing it. Hope you like the book.

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  14. Oh, sod all the gloomsters who want to spoil our fun in the blogosphere. Fingers crossed, I have only "met" nice bloggers. Actually, I did meet some bloggers in real life when a Paris picnic was held by Petite Anglaise. I blogged about it (of course):

    http://wwwtheothersideofparis.blogspot.com/2007/06/of-bloggers-and-book-signings.html

    So, let's ignore the killjoys!

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  15. I realised early on that I was giving enough away for someone who knew me in real life to know who I was. After that, I was careful not to say anything about anyone that I wouldn't say to them.

    I've just read Notes from Walnut Tree Farm too. I lent my copy of Waterlog to someone, I don't know who, who never returned it. More fool me. You should never lend a book without putting your name in it, because the odds are that the borrower will forget who the owner is.

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  16. Great photo.

    I know what you mean about revealing oneself in blogland, you do have to be careful but with a little common sense it is easy to keep privacy at the same time.

    CJ xx

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  17. Great photo, especailly because you have told us the memory that goes with it.

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  18. Lovely memory x

    I've been asked so many times about the wisdom of having my kids photos on my blog but as they all do myspace and facebook and have a gazillion photos of their own, I thought it was ok. I don't use my real name but do so with the numerous bloggers I talk to "off blog"

    Am I just being Pollyannaishly naive ?

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  19. Yes, I was also pleased to see this pic, as I'd imagined there were no views in Lincolnshire!

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  20. How nice that your photo reminds you of one of the happier moments in your life! There is something about the view of the river that makes it seem symbolic. I was also tagged for this one, but the photo that it brought up was one of my husband's family at his mother's 80th birthday. I didn't think he would want me to "share" it.

    Which brings me to your other topic: blog privacy. I think that the weird thing about blogging is that your site can feel really cosy and full of friends -- and there is a natural tendency to want to share/vent about your life. It is difficult to remember that it is also incredibly public. In general, I have no problem talking about myself, but I try not to reveal too much about my husband or children as I don't feel that I have their permission.

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  21. I assume that's a motorway disguised as a river? What a lovley pic for a very fond memory...

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  22. Lovely photo, Tim

    By the way there is another award waiting for you at my place

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  23. Maybe there are only 'nice' bloggers, DD? And as for the kill-joys, they are all non-bloggers, without exception. But I think they're jealous!

    I know the feeling, Z. I sometimes think I should have those magnetic security thingys that they have in the library fitted to my books. Annoyingly, I sometimes even replace a favourite volume only to have it 'returned' days later!

    Common sense. That's certainly missing from all the stuff that's been written by the 'knockers' CJ.

    Needless to say, Sub, there are a few more from the top of the tower. It was a lovely afternoon.

    As others have said, AG, if someone wants to find out about you, chances are these days they can. And FB etc are much worse.

    Oh, there are plenty, Gadjo. Mostly sky but - contrary to popular belief, Lincolnshire is not all flat. We have a mountain range to the north, known quaintly as 'The Wolds' - inspiration for Tennyson!

    Do you know, Bee, I hadn't appreciated the symbolism. Thanks for pointing it out. And - yes - it's a real river NB (albeit straightened in the 19th c to make it easier to navigate). Lincolnshire is one of the few counties without a single mile of motorway!

    Thanks, FF. I'm on my way to have a look.

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  24. Lovely photograph! Do you think that you should have told us that it was taken the day that you got engaged? - I'm only joking.

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  25. The award is on the post before the one you commented on. In case you missed it.

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  26. Lovely photo, beautiful memory!

    I always just bleed it all out on my blog! lol! If someone really needs my life that bad, they're pretty darn desperate!

    Off to check out the interview!

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  27. Love the story behind the photo, Tim. So romantic! The interview is very interesting, too. Nice to learn something more about you. Love what you said about your passion for trains and your first article. My husband went to Hull Uni as well in those years and he also boasts about Philip Larkin. I HAD to study his poetry at Uni and I was a little bit less enthusiastic. About privacy and blogging, how can an identity being stolen from a blog? And what else can then happen? That we get stalked? Come on, I don't think any of us is as famous as George Clooney or Kate Moss!!! Or are we? I'm intrigued about your book, Tim. I'm thinking of buying it, but I'd like to have it signed by you (I collect signed books). Is there any chance that I can buy it directly from you? I can pay by paypal or send you a cheque...I suppose you're not going to steal my bank details, are you? Wish you all the best. Ciao. Antonella (Of course this is just one of my many aliases!)

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  28. Maybe not, CW. I'm not sure I got my wife's permission!

    Thank you, FF. You are very kind.

    I like your no-nonsense approach, Antonella (or is it Lunarossa? or something else entirely?). I would be delighted to send you a signed copy for your collection. E-mail thedotterel@gmail.com.

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  29. It's a funny one - I started my blog just for family and was open about Charlie's name but then I got some attention and I started disguising him... but couldn't be bothered to go back and change it and then... god it just made me tired. So I reveal a bit but try to be reasonably circumspect... bit rubbish of me really.

    Love the pic and the story though, thanks.

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