This week's interview is with John of Scriptor Senex
who writes the blog Rambles from my Chair .
This is John's main blog although he runs several, as he explains.
Thank you for the interview, John
and a very warm welcome to you and your followers.
Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?
I ask myself that at least twice a day! But then I question why I do most things. At the age of about fifteen I started keeping a foolscap notebook of odd thoughts, poems, bits of artwork and extracts from books I had read.
This is me writing in it at the age of 18! By the time I was 21 I was on my fifth or sixth volume and they were laboriously typed onto A4 sheets and inserted into ring binders. They had reached 100 volumes by the time the computer came along and I was up to about 120 when doing a blog just seemed a natural replacement. That is why my main blog is such a mixture of my own thoughts and those of others. It also gave me an opportunity to insert photos and, since photography has always been my main hobby, it was a natural blend of the two.
I also have a passion for passing on things that I learn or find. Once one’s children grow up the desire to pass on all these little gems has to be satisfied some other way. Blogging is an ideal one.
I am one of those folk who likes things to be organised so it seemed natural after a while to start a second blog, A Book Every Six Days , then a third about words and phrases entitled, Words, Words, Words (and Phrases) and, like Topsy, the whole thing just grew and grew so that now I have a silly number of blogs.
My favourite secondary blog is Project 355 because it makes me work hard at trying to capture at least one decent photo every day. But Rambles from my Chair remains my main blog and the one I try to ensure has a posting every day.
What's the story behind your blog name?
Fifteen years ago I retired on ill health and my ability to roam has gradually diminished as my condition has worsened. Add to that the fact that about five years ago I had to stop driving as it was no longer safe for me to be on the roads – a combination of double vision and inability to feel my feet on the pedals. So I decided my rambling had to be largely done whilst sat in my chair. Rambles from my Chair therefore seemed a fairly logical name.
As to why I chose the blogging name Scriptor Senex, I was looking for something a bit different and I have always loved the Latin language so Old Writer in Latin seemed as though it would probably be unique.
What is the best thing about being a blogger?
I’m a great believer that the Internet has altered the whole idea of what forms a community. No longer is one’s local community defined by using the same shops or living in the same road. The Internet has given us all a whole new opportunity to interact with others outside our normal sphere and, in some cases, outside of our normal comfort zone. And it gives people a chance to be more honest about their situation than they might feel comfortable being with family or friends they meet physically on a regular basis.
But perhaps the most fascinating aspect of blogging is the fact that those who read and comment on one’s blog are almost without exception non-judgemental and supportive. Views may differ but rarely, if ever, are they expressed in a hostile or upsetting manner. I don’t think it is a case of folk just obeying the ‘rules’ of blogging I think it is a fact that the type of people who blog and who read blogs are genuinely good and caring people. I know that probably sounds soppy and naive but I can assure I am neither of those things – I’m really quite cynical and I’ve been around a long (long, long) time. I really am impressed with how nice a world we live in and it leaves me wondering how come we end up with wars when folk are so understanding of each other’s situation and seem to revel in the differences and at the same time share so many similarities.
What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?
Do your own thing. Write what you want to write and be yourself. And don’t feel guilty if you can’t blog on a regular basis or if you seem to be writing about mundane things. The blog is yours and is there primarily for your enjoyment. Don’t let it become a chore or a cross to bear. It is amazing how interesting even the most mundane things can be if you live ten thousand miles away and it also helps us to realise that wherever you are in the world someone has to do the daily chores and wash the clothes.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?
Gosh – that is a hard question. I think it would have to be one that was posted posthumously by a young blogger who knew he was dying of cancer and had left a post to be published after he had died. I cannot now recall what it said but the idea of a young person having the courage to write about their cancer in the way that he had done and then to leave a message for his followers was quite overwhelming.
That apart I find that a large number of posts act as triggers to one’s own thoughts and a blog post that may be fairly innocuous to most people may have special significance to you as an individual.
What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?
According to the records I have written 1633 posts on my Rambles from my Chair blog and sadly I cannot think that a single one of them is of special significance! Nevertheless, I hope that some of my readers may have found in there something that helped them through a difficult time – even if it was only by having a momentary laugh on a Monday morning or being given food for thought by seeing our soldiers parade for their fallen comrades on their return from Afghanistan in my post The Troops return from Afghanistan. Whether one supports British troops being out there or not is a political thing but supporting the boys themselves - who have no say in the matter - is quite another.
If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?
That’s another hard one. There are so many good blogs out there. I am going to resist the temptation to include one of my family despite the fact that they have a large number of blogs between them.
I think I shall pick two of those bloggers whose posts I wouldn’t miss if at all possible during my tours of fellow 'bloglings' each few days. The first is Simply Heathers Blog. She happens to be one of the first bloggers I came into contact with when I began blogging. In a way Heather is the ‘typical’ blogger. In other words she is an ‘ordinary’ person who lives in Vermont and drives a school bus. But, by communicating about her love for her family, photography, and the world in general, Heather is anything but ‘ordinary’. Her faith is strong but she manages to include it without being in any way offensive to those whose faith is either different or non-existent.
My second suggestion is Jen, formerly of Michigan but newly of Texas. Her photos really excel and I love the way she shows off her part of the world and her immediate environment through her blog. She did change her blog site to a private blog but fortunately she can still be found at her photography blog - Jennifer Photography ..
Jen contacted Eddie after this roast was published to say she has relaunched her other blog, Exquisite Juncture .
Eddie - Ok John I have contacted Jen already and she will be on the show soon. I will try Heather shortly.
That concludes the traditional roast questions but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.
Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)
(but not necessarily in that order, of course)
If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?
Movie – what’s a movie. I think the last film I saw was Bambi! So it would have to be a cartoon – how about Toy Story ? - with me as the cowboy (whose name I can’t recall and that’s appropriate since I’m reaching the age where I can’t remember my own name). My brother, who writes the blog A Hebridean In New Zealand, could be Buzz Lightyear and all my blogging friends could be the rest Andy’s toys. (Andy would be Google, of course.)
Eddie - You mean Woody, the sheriff - you would be great as him! Oh and don't forget Fat, Frumpy and Fifty as Bo-Peep with her wild waving arms. Oh and can I play Mr Potato Head? - and how about Jim Suldog as Sid Phillips, that nasty boy next door, who tortures the toys! All together, "Boooooo!"
If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?
Chocolate mint chip – Audrey Hepburn!
Eddie - What a great choice of er both! Breakfast at Tiffany's eh . . . . slap! Oh dear Mrs Bluelights has just intervened and has made her presence felt - ouch!
Describe in one sentence your perfect day
I would take my camera along a country lane in the sunshine and photograph a butterfly I had never seen before.
If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?
Can I cheat and offer two -Charles Dickens or Anthony Trollope? They both had such wonderful ability to notice and then write about the most minute details of life.
Eddie - OK two it is!
And finally if you answer all these questions I invite you to ask me one question - it's the least I can do. OK fire away! I wonder what it will be?
If you couldn’t live where you live now where in the world would you choose?
Eddie - What a great question and sorry folks it deserves a full answer! Make yourselves a cup of tea! LOL. Naturally I am heartbroken because I cannot remain in the UK! There are a number of compelling reasons for me to stay!! The worst flooding for 100 years; the worst chaos on roads caused by snow and ice for 20 years, leading to 1300 car breakdowns per day; arguably the worst economic recession since 1929; the worst banking crisis since 1929; greedy bankers paying themselves huge bonuses for almost wrecking the country whilst not lending any money without charging prohibitive interest rates; Gordon Brown and his cronies causing the worst National Debt problem in history, plunging every citizen £20,000 into debt!!! The worse unemployment prospects since records began; penalising the workers whilst rewarding the skivers!! Oh dear, I cannot stay so I had better go to a place where no-one wants to go, where they recognise right and wrong, fairness, equal opportunity. Yes, perhaps I shall try for a nice life in a warmer country where people do not have to queue in traffic jams for hours on end getting to work and then returning home all grumpy and miserable; where there are decent laws and enforced law and order, no muggings nor rampant political correctness. Regrettably I shall just have to pack my bags and move to the Seychelles, the Maldives or the Bahamas. Oh yes I did enjoy answering this one!! Aren't I cynical? Not really!
Thank you for appearing on the show, John.
Today's Sunday Roast with Scriptor Senex is the 96th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ___________________________________________________
This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press HERE
Next week's Roast is 'Oh My Goddess'