... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Having noted the other day that I have been blogging for nearly nine years (longer than Granny Buttons!), and had, by that point, racked up in the region of 1,715 posts, I thought I would see how that compares with some of my favourite boat blogs. All the ones I'm going to mention are in my blogroll (to your right) so I won't put links in the text. The main reason they're in my blogroll is so that I can catch up with them quickly and easily, but I do of course heartily recommend them. I looked at the ones I thought were likely to have been the longest established, and who post fairly frequently: Herbie, Halfie, Captain Ahab, and Valerie. I used the crude metric of looking at their archive and plotting their annual number of posts against the year in question, then totalling them up.

What was immediately noticeable is that there was a very strong trend of starting slowly, building to a peak, and then gradually declining, in terms of number of posts per year. If we include Chertsey, to make a total of five, three of those (Chertsey, Herbie and Captain Ahab) fit that pattern exactly: a sustained increase, followed by a sustained fall, with a single clear peak. Chertsey and the Captain peaked in 2010, Herbie in 2009. Halfie had a sort of twin peak, almost identical top post counts in 2010 and 2012 (and scarcely fewer in 2011), While Valerie had a clear peak, in 2012, but a slightly uneven build up to it. The consistency of the pattern however is remarkable, and given that we are looking at a time frame beginning between 2005 and 2007, and ending in 2015, the position of the peak on that time line is stunningly uniform too. It's a shame I can't produce nifty little graphs to show it graphically - but I bet Neil of Herbie can!

The longest established blog in my selection was, to my surprise, as I'd never read that far back, Valerie, with Les's first post being made on March 8th 2005. Over nearly ten years, Les - and now Jaq too - have racked up 938 posts, giving the oldest blog the smallest number of posts.

Captain Ahab may appear to have a claim to have been the longest running but it's hard to tell as he has a number of retrospective posts going back to events in 1971, which he has rather cunningly backdated! I really couldn't tell when the first post was actually made, but as it was unlikely to have been between 1971 and 1985, 2005 seems the earliest possible year, and the first post of 2005 was on April 1st - a good three weeks after Valerie's inauguration. His post total is 1357.

Herbie, like Chertsey, began in 2006, on January 14th - beating Chertsey by two and a half months, and had as of yesterday reached a grand total of 1,277 posts.

The baby of the five, in terms of years, is Halfie - est. 19th November 2007. But guess what - in a mirror image of Valerie's position, the blog with the fewest years under its belt has managed the biggest number of posts - a whopping 2307.

Peak post, by the way, was 184 for Herbie, 186 for Valerie, 297 for Chertsey, 320 for Capt. Ahab, and 396 for Halfie (with 394 two years later). Lowest annual count (excluding this year) is 11 for Capt. Ahab (excluding the backdated years); 27 for Halfie, 32 for Valerie, 70 for Herbie and 79 for Chertsey. For all except Chertsey, this figure occurred in their first year - for Chertsey, it was last year (I hit 100 in year 1).

If only I had paid more attention when we did SPSS, I could produce the graph...


  1. I started this year with the intention of going back to posting every day after something of a falling off in frequency last year. 2015 began well, but, you know what? I just couldn't be bothered to keep it up. Blog fatigue kicked in. I used even to check on my ranking as recorded by UKWRS, hoping to see it at 30 or higher; I haven't looked for ages.

    Now I hope to post when we are on board, so as to form a record of our trips, or when I have something semi-interesting to say or a half-decent photo to share.

    I had to look up SPSS ... then I almost wished I hadn't done so.

  2. Granny Buttons and Andrew Denny first put a blog up in August 2003

    I have you on my blogroll hence I saw this.. :)

  3. Hi Sue - yes, but he stopped posting in August 2012, meaning he was posting for just nine years.

    1. Ah I see what you mean now. Yes it was right after he got the assistant editors job at WW. I suppose he couldn't put his opinions on a blog .with the new job he had.

      Very interesting post here Sarah

  4. But I should have said 'as long as', not 'longer than'. I was thinking that it will be longer than him by the time I've finished.

  5. I think Sue on No Problem has blogged about the longest. Certainly I remember reading Sue`s blog before I started so probably 2004.
    Anyway it`s all good fun and no matter how many times we blog we must all bring some smiles to a lot of folk.
    We all link to each other and personally I like that, it shows the good spirit among boaters to all the worldwide readers of us all.
    Interesting post Sarah I hadn`t ever thought about the peaks and falls of our postings.