Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

First off, thanks ever so much to Miss Britt over at Ask and Ye Shall Receive for taking the time to honestly review my blog page. She gave many good pointers and much for me to think about. As a new blogger, I have so much to learn. Look for a new and improved B someday soon.

On to today's TT*. One of my favorite authors has to be Alexander McCall Smith. He is the fine fellow who has written the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, as well as "The Sunday Philosophers' Club" series, and the "44 Scotland Street" series. Today's poem comes at the end of "Love Over Scotland", as one of the characters gives a toast to a friend who has just come back from a mission abroad.

* A warning before you proceed. Make sure you're well-caffeinated, as this post is more that 2 lines long. If you don't have the patience for poetry, now would be a good time to leave. There will be no brevity, no swearing, nor any talk of vaginas - just bland, bland, bland - 24/7. So sorry - I guess you'll have to go elsewhere. Save yourselves!!

A Poem on the Subject of Maps:

“Although they are useful sources

Of information we cannot do without,

Regular maps have few surprises; their contour lines

Reveal where the Andes are, and are reasonably clear

On the location of Australia, and the Outer Hebrides;

Such maps abound; more precious, though,

Are the unpublished maps we make ourselves,

Of our city, our place, our daily world, our life;

Those maps of our private world

We use every day; here I was happy, in that place

I left my coat behind after a party,

That is where I met my love; I cried there once,

I was heartsore; but felt better round the corner

Once I saw the hills of Fife across the Forth,

Things of that sort, our personal memories,

That make the private tapestry of our lives.

Old maps had personified winds,

Gusty figures from whose bulging cheeks

Trade winds would blow; now we know

That wind is simply a matter of isobars;

Science has made such things mundane,

But love – that, at least, remains a mystery,

Why it is, and how it comes about

That love’s transforming breath, that gentle wind,

Should blow its healing way across our lives.”

Alexander McCall Smith


Miss Britt said...


As a not so new blogger, I still have LOADS to learn!

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Miss Britt: Welcome! Brave of you to wade through the pages of meh...
In my 46 years on the planet, I have learned that every day, I seem to know less and less. It's staggering how much I don't know. Yet I try. And hope. Yay me. Yay you.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Ah Baroness. Do not let the bourgeois Miss Britt get you down. Anyone who requires a moniker the same number of fingers on her hand should not be taken too seriously.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess NATUI: I do not know Miss Britt; I cannot assume that she is bourgeoisie. What I do know is from her About Me page. Which I am too chicken to put up. Because ironically, I have volumes to say yet nothing to say about me that I wouldn't find as insufferable as she did my blog. Life is funny, non? Let's all laugh.

Sandi said...


I LOVE your blog and think Miss Britt was way too hard on you.

I think they feel they will get more readers if the rip apart other people's blogs.

I do agree with one thing though. The "About Me" part--only because I would love to learn more about you since I find our blog so interesting.

love bites said...

Let me be clear, we don't rip just to rip. If we love people, we don't rip. And we quite clearly DO love some bloggers.

I loved the shoe post below. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this poem.

I'll be back.

BB, you can go here to find a bunch of sites with free blog designs that will help you prettify your surroundings and make it fit what you're doing here.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Sandi: Thank you so much for your support. I love my blog too. And rest assured, I'm thinking about the About Me thing; I kind of suck (royally!) at talking about myself, and was seriously hoping I wouldn't have to.

Love Bites: Thank you for stopping by - a pleasure, my dear! I've been around the block enough times to get what your site is all about; I can see the core of truth within. I didn't hear much more than what I self-flaggelate about every day.

Thanks so much for the tip regarding templates - I had seen one of the previous posts about them, and had a look, but thought it would be kind of cheating if I changed before my review.

As for the comment, do I read my entries beforehand, I do. Over and over. Then I just stop agonizing and hit "Post". Therein might be the problem...

Lisa said...

OK, I definitely missed something. I'm not sure what these people said about your blog, but if it was nasty or unfair, I hope they poop themselves in bed tonight. I know it's mean of me to put a little voodoo hex on them, but by now you probably know I have a slight streak of evil.

I loved this post because I often find myself saying "this ___ reminds me of ____." It could be a song reminding me of a person; a place reminding me of a memory, or whatever .... but I never thought of these as maps. I love it.

Write on, Baroness! And I don't care if you never change your template. ... Babs Peapod

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Ah, Countess Babs - you are the biggest sweetheart in the world - I would have you in my corner any old time. Please though - hold off on the voodoo for now - people have a job to do, and I asked. And received. Hence the name. But it's good to know that you have this power. Frightening, but good.

The more I read this poem, the more I loved it; this author is such a talented fellow. And if for those of us who think of our lives as a journey, then the maps analogy could not be more perfect.

Lisa said...

BTW, I don't really practice voodoo ... and I'm really not evil. I did, however, find the "review" of your blog. While there may be contstructive sniglets throughout the review, I must say I think the site is garbage ... and if it's an attempt to be funny it sorely fails. If it's supposed to be a way to help people but be a little funny in the commentary, I think Miss Britt is way off the mark. She may have a few good ideas, but I think she's mean-spirited and probably salivates as she conjures up just the right phrase to slam someone's work right into the ground. Not something I'd be too proud of. Mean-spirited people -- not something the world needs more of. Of course, she and her compadres can have whatever kind of site they want, but I certainly won't be visiting again. ...Babs

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Babs: A million thanks for always being such a staunch supporter! Again, I chose to submit my blog - I found this site to be staffed by a group that was a little edgier (ok, a LOT edgier) and younger - so I was intrigued to hear what this demographic had to say. And I still remain intrigued (and a little bit saddened).

I know full well that you are not a Witchy Woman, but I did seem to hear the name "Peapod" bandied about quite a bit while in Georgia... ;)

Blog Antagonist said...

Well. I disagree with some of what Miss Britt said, and agree with other things that she said.

I like your name. I think it's funny. The part in your "about me" section where you had Employment: Hello? Baronness? cracked me right up. But, since I have a weird sense of humor, it's probably good to go with what she said.

Also, I like your writing. You're dry, like me. But she's right. Breaking up paragraphs is good. I made the same mistake when I started blogging. I wrote like I would if I was writing a term paper or a book. Succinctness is not my strong suit anyway, but in a blogging medium...verbal diahreah can be the kiss of death.

I'm no graphic designer and my developer husband finds my HTML clumsy at best, but it's pretty easy to tweak the blogger templates to make them more interesting. My blog is actually the blogger template called "Thisaway Rose" that I altered. I just don't have the skillz to creat a template from scratch. If you Google, you can find a lot of information about how to pimp your blog easily.

So, don't give up. I'm a pretty discerning reader and you make me stop by. :?)

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess BA: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As for weird senses of humour, I'm right behind you in line, hon. I believe the erudite refer to it as "skewed".

As for length, I know, I know, I know. But if you ever had the pleasure of knowing me in person, you'd know that I'm a fast talker (not to be confused with low talker....), I write like I talk, and I could probably ramble off one of my pages in about 30 seconds flat. come to think of it, it might not be pleasant to hear me talk either. But no one has said anything yet, so I'll take that as a good sign.

I've been spending the last few days looking at templates (I feel like I'm buying a freaking car here), and I'm thinking I might go for a designer - I have an idea in mind. Hopefully the wait will be worth it.

While we're doing the mutual admiration society thang, let me say right now that I think you are an amazing, engaging writer, and I thoroughly enjoy your posts; I see some very familiar characteristics in you as well. By the time I get to comment(the dread east coast/west coast reality), what I may have wanted to say has been taken, so I lurk. But I lurv. ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was kind of hard to get through. Thank goodness it wasn't a poem about math-don't think I would have made it.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Catherinette: Ooooh, feisty! Me likee.

Welcome, and thanks for stopping by! I've done my research, and find that you are an extremely hilarious lady (while at first glance it may not appear so - I do know funny). LOVE your site. I will endeavour to do my part to get you on the "".

As for the proviso at the top of this post, surely you didn't think I meant it for YOU? No, no, dear - it's for THEM.

(And also, as a new visitor, I'll give you the insider heads up that I'll be dedicating May to "Getting in Touch with One's Inner Math Geek - A month-long Tribute to Pythagoras and Euclid".I think I'll do it as a series of limericks) :)

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess C: Crap, crap, crap. Sorry, sorry, sorry. I just read my comment and need to clarify. I think your site is so very funny at first, second, and third glance.

What I meant to say that it may not be obvious to a new Baroness reader that I can be funny. Or appreciate funny. But I can. And I do.

Wow - didn't I clear that up nicely?

Anonymous said...

Thank you kindly for that clarifciation, Baron von B. I appreciate.

Here's something that confuses me: you said that the post was for them and not for me. I'm confused, I'm not used to things not being for me. What is this all about?? Well, I'm new here, maybe I'll just have to get used to these strange ways.

Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

Countess Catherinette: Don't worry; you are not being excluded in any way, shape, or fashion. I so understand that feeling of distress when things aren't always for and about me - rest assured this would never happen to you. I've walked your road, sister.

What I meant (in my lame, obtuse way) is that the proviso/warning I gave at the beginning of the post surely could not include you - who at first glance, appears to be a smarty who can tough out more that one sentence, and some polysyllabic words. As for the ADD-addled "they", they know who they are. And who they're not.

Are there strange ways here at BvonB? Yes. Yes, there are. I'm strange. Long-winded. A buffoon, really. So adorable.

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