This daily blog is an attempt to create a year-long verbal (and photographic) picture of life in Allendale, Northumberland, in the heart of the North Pennines of the United Kingdom. It’s not a calendar of events (there are plenty of those throughout the village websites) but rather it’s a record of musings, thoughts, memories and reminiscences, incidents and happenings, recorded at the end of each day in this blog.
By the time the end of the year rolls around, there should be 365 entries, which might be collatable into a book form, thereby turning into a handy record of a year, this particular year of 2019 in fact, of life in this village.
So . . . who is this diary for? Probably not for the greater outside world — more probably it’s for the people who actually know and love Allendale, this diary is more like a picture/story book about Allendale (and much of the wider Allen Valleys) that you can actually hold in your hand, or dip into online and exclaim, “Well, yes, that’s true, that’s the way it is, here and now.” Or, a decade hence, “Oh yeah, I remember that, what a concise history of a time and place.” The online diary could be a memento for folks who visit, or for folks who have moved away and want to reminisce. It’s not necessarily an attraction for tourists, or visitors, more of a continuing aide-memoire of life in this village during this year. That’s also why the Comments after each Post are so important!
The diary doesn’t fit into normal blog directories, in fact (I’ve checked, it doesn’t), because it is specifically about a great little village; it’s kind of an extended prose poem, a series of love paragraphs perhaps, to Allendale. So its reach will always be rather limited in scope, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s just about enough to be getting on with, isn’t it?
There is an intriguing point of consideration between blog and eventual book. The book, if it is published, will come with a comprehensive Table of Contents, but it will not have an Index. I would say that dipping into the book will be like shopping at IKEA . . . as you explore your way through the store, you suddenly find something that’s fascinating, that you’d never have found if your way hadn’t been made challenging with switchbacks and detours through all the many departments. On the other hand, the blog itself is infinitely searchable (use the small magnifying glass icon to the right of the top, situated under the Twitter and Instagram icons, but make sure your search term is specific or risk bringing stacks of entries up), and the blog will be live until the end of 2021, anyway, so if you happened to rejoice in the actual ‘book of the blog’ at some point during 2020, and wanted to find something you remembered reading, say, you could always find it by searching the blog online, and then retrieve it physically in the book, just by noting the date on which that particular entry was published. Just a thought for convenience, really. Apparently you could also consider the items in the blog according to the categories they’re listed under, which again the ‘book of the blog’ is unable to do.