I started a blog because I wanted to write. More especially, while struggling to communicate in French, I wanted to remind myself that I could still construct a coherent, nuanced sentence in my mother tongue. New to Paris and all too aware of the uncountable pages already written about that extraordinary city, I started writing about the one facet of Paris life that was uniquely mine, the plants in my window boxes.
My posts have had pictures as well as words from the beginning but to start with the image was just a hook to hang the words on. As a newcomer to WordPress I was content with the achievement of putting a photo at the top of the post and some words underneath. Four months on, I finally explored the editing menu a little further, learnt how to add more than one photo to a post and risked adding a Like button. By this time the blog was wandering further beyond the window box and there was so much more to show and tell. Few people were likely to want to read four thousand words of musings on a Paris park but (on the familiar equation of one picture being worth a thousand words) four photos could be easily digestible.
Gradually the photos started to take over, aided by practise with a new camera and my discovery of WordPress photo galleries. Two years into Beyond the Window Box it’s a rare post that has more than three short paragraphs or less than four photos. When my camera went into hibernation a few days ago my first reaction was to turn to stored images to illustrate a new post – there are plenty of photos in my archives to keep the blog going for months without leaving the house – but moving into the New Year I felt I’d already looked back enough. So when the sun came up in a clear blue sky yesterday and I set out into the frosty garden with a spade and a bundle of beech hedging whips, I started collecting words in my head in place of photos. This post already has already used far too many words on saying far too little so I’ll save my garden gleanings for tomorrow.