1

Thoughts on blogging (500 words)

This is quite spontaneous and mainly a way of reflecting on things I have been thinking about so I apologise if it is slightly rough. I will have had this blog for 3 years in November. I have enjoyed writing it and I am not thinking of stopping any time soon. But that is not what I am writing about here. Not only do I enjoy writing my blog but I enjoy reading the blogs of others. I love the personal voice that comes from blogs (although this is not exclusively a blog trait) and the way that this allows people who don’t know each other to connect and share experiences of issues, in my case scoliosis. Of course, it is not only strangers whose blogs I read or indeed who read my blog. The first readers of a blog are friends and family and so I write with those in mind. I have many friends with blogs and they are the ones I get email updates for and read most regularly. Yet there are some friends who are not forthcoming with their blog content. I know they write but without an url there is little chance of finding their blog. Moreover if they don’t tell you how to read their work, it is more likely that they actually don’t want those who know them to read anything on the blog. For me this is a really hard concept. I am, for want of a better word, nosey. I want to know everything that is happening and crave instant responses to messages and even blog posts. The internet has probably not been helpful for this – in a physical interaction, anything that isn’t an instant response would just be rude. I am also very inquisitive. One particular friend has a blog that they specifically don’t want me, or indeed anyone else they know, to read. As their friend I will honour that, and I already know from their own attempts that it is near impossible to find via Google. But if I put effort in and really tried to find it, using a combination of search engines and subtly extracting information, I probably could have an url fairly quickly. It doesn’t help that I have loved everything they have written and want to read more. What am I trying to say? I’m not entirely sure. Rest assured, I’m not going to do any crazy googling of anyone’s blogs – if I don’t have an url then I won’t search, I understand the weirdness of knowing people you know read what you write, even though what I write is often for the benefit of those I know. Maybe the main point of this post is demonstrating that I might be a good candidate to work in the secret service – I am particularly good at finding random people I meet! Most likely, this is just a creative outlet for now, but if you are reading this, tell me, what are blogs really for to you?

0

22nd June 2015: A post I never finished

Upon going through some blog drafts I found this post, last edited at 11:30 on 22nd June 2015 – it was quite enjoyable to write so I hope it is enjoyable to read too!

I am writing this blog post whilst on hold with HMRC to sort out my tax code. I’ve already had an annoying conversation with an automated woman and now two pieces of musak are on repeat. I have no clue how much this is costing me.

This is one of the many administrative tasks I have to do now that I am home – applying for help with health costs from the NHS is next on the list, after they rejected my last application over one mistake.

The post has just arrived and I’ve been informed that my Mobile Tariff is going up – oh joy! It’s only £1 but it’s of little extra benefit to me, so I think I’ll head online and see whether I can get a better deal for less. Bear in mind I’ve now been on hold for at least 15 minutes!

In terms of my mobile, I think that’s another phone call I have to make! I’m actually tempted to try calling them now and then they can have a race with HMRC! I think Virgin’s hold music is way better too… But anyway, it seems like I’ve found a better deal, yet I haven’t got the opportunity to switch.

And that was the point at which my mum came home and we took the phone upstairs while we tidied my room. It took about an hour to get through to HMRC, at which point the phone operator Rhys was extremely helpful and sorted everything out, changing my tax code for all my employers and assuring me my refund was on its way.

My mobile tariff was easily changed with one quick phone call but I am still on the warpath with NHS Business Services over help with health costs – application number 4 is soon to commence but that’s a whole other story.

0

Published in The Founder

This post is over two months late but back in June, just before I finished first year at university, I had the privilege of having another article published in The Founder, the university newspaper. Most importantly it was about scoliosis, and it was featured on the front page! I had a great response from the editor and am very glad that I am able to raise awareness on campus through student media. I know that there is another person who has undergone scoliosis correction surgery coming to Royal Holloway next year, but if you are a RHUL student reading this with scoliosis please get in touch! I would love to hear what you thought of the article and how you are finding university life.