The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

5th Blogging Anniversary

Over the past 5 years I have written more than 600 blog posts, received thousands of comments, gained over 130,000 visits and gathered in excess of 900 followers. Admittedly most of them arrived when I was featured in Blogs of Note last Autumn and never came back again (see: The Fleeting Fickleness of Fame), but it looks impressive...

However, the best and most wonderful people in the whole of the blogosphere still visit and comment regularly.

I must admit, one of the things I am most proud of with this blog, with regard to the regular visitors, is the sheer variety of backgrounds: Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, Atheists, fence-sitters, teens, middle-aged, retired, singles, couples, parents, gay, straight, black, white, Asian, American, European, African, Australasian, middle eastern, and the full range of social, economic and educational backgrounds.

And yet fights and arguments are incredibly rare.

I am humbled and honoured to know such incredible people. And yes, that includes you – I’m not just talking about everyone else – I do mean you too.

Recently I’ve seen a few other bloggers involved in giveaways in celebration of blogging anniversaries, so I've decided to do something similar.

What I'm offering is a high resolution image of (more or less) any of the photos I've taken that are on this blog, on the Redbubble site or on my Flickr account, which you can then print up for your own personal use (though I reserve the right to say no to any requests that make me feel uncomfortable).

So here’s the deal:

Tell me in the comments of this post something you would like me to blog about. And if I haven't blogged about it in the previous 600 or so posts (or I can put a new spin on it) AND I think it's a interesting idea that I'm prepared to write about it, then I'll email you the photo of your choice.

If there are a few good ideas then there will be a few winners. You can offer more than one idea, but you'll only win a maximum of one image.

I'd better put a deadline on this, so let's say Saturday (14th August) around 10am UK time.

Happy blogiversary and I look forward to your entries.


A Daft Scots Lass said...

Wow 5 years! Congratulations!!!!

Your pets?

Pat said...

Just to say congratulations and how much you are appreciated and valued as a wise, funny friend. I hope you are both on top form health-wise ere long, and I must take a rain check re requests till I can think straight.

mapstew said...

Congrats Kim. Will we be having cake?

(Do a post about one of your lovely MULLETS!) :¬)

Eryl Shields said...

Five years! Congratulations.

How about something on staying power/tenacity, or, has blogging changed in the last five years? You could compare and contrast then and now. You've probably done these already, if so, you could tell us about your hat(s).

Anonymous said...

Whew, the big 5! Hmmmm.... I'd personally love to have a new, up to date post on your daughter. That family pic was so gorgeous!

V said...

Congratulations! That's a lot of words....Have you been reading back over the years?

Out of curiosity, which post/topic do you like the best or is the one you're most proud of?


Reading Teacher said...

Happy 5th Birthday Kim! How do you do it? My blog, The Reading Dog, is fast approaching its first Birthday and I still think I'm the only one who reads it :)

Anyway this is my suggestion - I think you should chronicle what you eat through pictures and comments about what was going on during meal times. Many of us, struggle with weight, and I think it could add to community if you did this. You are so funny and such a gifted photographer I think people would find it interesting. Maybe it would be valuable for you as well?

Carole said...

Happy anniversary.

I enjoy reading almost anything you write. The ones that keep me thinking are when you challenge issues that don't even seem like issues to me, i.e. sports, patriotism, God's reality. I think I have grown more in my thinking because I just accepted stuff as truth without putting any thought to it. You allow me to see the opposite in a clear non-demeaning manner so I can process why I think a thing and see if that is really how I want to believe.

Patriotism is an example where I had to really ask myself why I thought America was so much better than everywhere else. Hmm. And I have so changed. My husband is a tea party man deluxe and I am so not. (But before I would have numbly followed along like a sheep.)

You allowed me to explore my faith in God and it was a difficult journey. It is a difficult journey I am still trying to navigate.

Okay, I still love the Chicago Bears, but I can't be perfect.

This is a very longwinded way of saying I love the posts that challenge my thinking. And if I had to ask for one subject in particular-and I believe you have a post or two on this-is addictive behavior. Why does something grab hold of us so strongly, that even when we hate it, we don't stop doing it?

Anez said...

Congrats Kim !!! still love reading your blog!
Your post are funny, interesting and have depth.....
I cant think about a topic right now but whatever your going to write Im sure its going to make an interesting read !

Roschelle said...

Happy Anniversary Kim!! I was introduced to your site through the blog of note fame you achieved. So, I'm still hanging in there.

As far as what I'd like to see you blog about, I remember a couple of post way back when that included your voice. I think you were reading stories or poetry or something.

Anyhoo, I liked those :)

Lee Ann said...

Congrats. I found your blog through Blogs of Note. I don't comment much though -- just read and enjoy. :-)

My recommendation is to just continue doing what you've been doing. There's no need to come up with something others suggested UNLESS you've hit a "block" of some kind. :-)

PS Don't consider this an entry. I love your photography; but, at the moment, I am living in a rental and have bare walls. I wouldn't know what to do with a picture as we're not hanging anything on the walls here. I am hoping that someday soon, we'll have a place to call our own. :-)

savannah said...

CONGRATULATIONS, sugarpie! xoxoxoxoxo

(can you tell i'm still recovering from the wedding and the flights?) ;~)

Kim Ayres said...

Gillian - we have no pets

Pat - thank you - and you still have a couple more days to think of something :)

Mapstew - you've seen the photos... I don't think there's any justification for drawing attention to mullets...

Eryl - I only have one hat and I rarely wear it, but the other ideas sound interesting :)

Starrlife - she starts high school in a couple of weeks, so there's a possibility there might be a post about her then

V - sometimes someone comments and it reminds me of a previous post so I go back and look for it, so most posts have been read a few times. As for favourite topics & posts, a lot depends on the mood I'm in, but I'll maybe give that some thought. Do you have a favourite post or topic?

Reader Teacher - I have a whole separate blog dedicated to weight loss - see Losing a Hundredweight. Check the sidebar for links to posts which are about insights and thoughts rather than just weekly stats

Carole - your words warm my heart. One of my biggest desires is to get people to challenge their own thoughts - even if it means they are more convinced than ever their original position was right for them. It is the unchallenged thought that saddens me most. And of course, you've challenged my thoughts so often too - it's wonderful :) As for addicitive behaviour, I think that's got more mileage. I will think on that :)

Anez - thank you :) You still have a couple of days to think of something :)

Roschelle - if you look on the side bar under "Find Your Favourite Topics" and click on "Audio", you'll find a few voice-recorded posts :)

Lee Ann - well if you fancy a pic for the day you do want to pint it up for the wall, or to use as a desktop background on your computer, then you still have a couple of days to think of a topic :)

Savannah - thank you - hope the wedding was full of amusing events ready to convert into blog posts, but was all good and happy in the end :)

Sausage Fingers said...

Damn, time does fly by. What's your fav whisky? I will get you a bottle.

JRS said...

Happy blogging anniversary Kim. I have enjoyed reading for a while now. I have quite a few favorites, but the story about the Brambles comes to mind (both written and audio versions). Then, how can I not mention your photography? Anywho, just keep doing what you're doing and we'll be back.

How about a spooky tale? A good local legend would be fun to read too. It doesn't matter if it was 'true' or if you or your readers even believe in such things. A well told ghost story is always fun (in my opinion).

Jacqui said...

Many congratulations on 5 years blogging. That is a lot of words.

If you were to have the chance to have morning coffee with any historical person who would it be and what would you talk about?

Chocolatesa said...

Your favourite food and how it has changed over time, how your tastes have evolved since you were a kid. Include recipes if possible (and pictures of course!).

V said...

Hmmm....I trawled through the archives started reading your blog shortly after your blog of note, and lurked for quite a while. I'd only started reading other people's, rather than simply rambling away to myself in the virtual world. I was ready to seek out others, learn, explore.

Two things drew me in. Not so much favourite posts or themes, but your honesty (without being self effacing, self indulgent or self important) about some really hard topics, always with a sense of insight and humour despite it all.

Secondly, your blog revealed a whole world of interesting folk and their own virtual worlds to me. It's like finding a great second hand bookshop in alley you've wandered past everyday for years. Your sidebar opened my blogging exploration to people whose writing fascinated me, rather than drivel, nonsense or the inanely twee I'd stumbled upon (harsh, I know!). One of those wonderful writers drawn from your shelves was Yellow Son. I miss reading Sang's stories and musings. I go back sometimes.

So, a long answer to a short question. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and those of others with us. Perhaps you need a wee anniversary badge and some balloons? Happy 5th Birthday

hope said...

Congrats! I was always happy to have stumbled your way...prior to the arrival of the 900 however. :)

Your love affair with the camera, I'm sure you've told us why. What about why it continues? What is it you see that the rest of us miss?

mapstew said...


And Sausage is cheating by offering bribes! :¬)

Jayne Martin said...

Happy Blogging Anniversary. I thought one year was a big deal, but five! That is quite impressive indeed, my friend. Being a political junky, I guess I'd like to know if your government is as much of a mess is ours is. And do you have your own "Sarah Palin" or are we the only country who would give such a moron a platform?

Vicky said...

5 yrs is awesome, congratulations. Yes I was one of those that stumbled across your blog when it was named in blogs of note, but I didn't leave LOL.
I just enjoy the randomness of your posts so keep that going :)

Sandy's witterings said...

Well! half a decade of your online presence. I'd be quite happy to read whatever your write but since my recent (last half an hour)return to the virtual world after a week, I have noted you reporting on bargins on school equipment, so it might be good to know how Rogan's hoovering homework is going (I'm glad they're teaching kids something useful at last)

Cheche said...

Happy blogsary Kim! I know you hardly blog about her, but I'm fairly interested about Meg (for obvious reasons). I am so smitten with her and I know that she's growing up to be an artist like her dad and mom. I remember that art exhibit she had in your kitchen. So, how's life with a growing teen lady as beautiful, smart and artistic as Meg? ... Cheers to you and here's to more witty and funny blogs in the coming years...

Fat Lazy Guy said...

I resent being lumped in the Australasian camp!! ;)

Congrats on the 5th year mate! That's awesome!

I feel privileged to have been around so long and seen your photography grow in leaps and bounds. You touch the topics you write about thoughtfully and help enlighten and challenge your audience. You remain one of my favourite bloggers.

Well, it's hard to think of something for someone else to write about when I can hardly think of something for myself to write about. But some things I'd like to read about would be:

Your wedding with Maggie.
What it was like moving to Scotland.
Your travels.

TalesNTypos said...

Hello Kim,

Ooh there's that benevolence again. :)

I'm going to pluck two words, or two themes which invariably link (IMO), and let you run with them.... ahem... that's to say if you want to. ;)

'Pain' & 'bestowal'.

Or of course you could just wax lyrical about the magnificent shock of Ayres family hair I can't help but admire when I catch glimpse of it in your photographs. You all wear it so well. :P

Be well Kind Kim.
I'll be happy with whatever you choose to write about. I always am.

Adila ;)

Attila The Mom said...

Happy Blogiversary!!! Actually I find everything you blog about to be interesting.

Something you haven't blogged about...hmmm...Kinky sex maybe? LOL Just kidding.

Kim Ayres said...

Sausage Fingers - that's very kind, but although I've enjoyed single malts in the past, I very rarely drink alcohol any more. The CFS already makes me feel tired, uncoordinated and brain-foggy a lot of the time, so the idea of more of it has lost its appeal

Jen - a spooky tale? Hmmm... nothing leaps to mind. Ghosts, spirits and gods all seem to give me a wide berth and never make their presence felt to me. I'll have a think though :)

Jacqui - I'd be cursing the fact I've given up coffee... but it's an intersting idea. Will give it some thought :)

Chocolatesa - I have a very complicated relationship with food, most of which is explored on my other blog, Losing a hundredweight

V - thank you - flattery will get you everywhere, especially with me :) And yes, I miss Sang too.

Hope - I can see mileage in that - I'm not sure I've written much about why I love photography

Mapstew - I am always open to bribes. And flattery. I'm a sucker for them both.

Jayne - we've just elected a government full of them, after ousting the previous goverment that was also full of them. Politicians are quite possibly the worst people in the country to be running it...

Vicky - thank you :)

Sandy - we were trying to home educate Rogan in the ways of lawn mowing over the summer holidays, but the weather's been against us.

Cheche - It's true, I've not done a specific Meg post for a while. However, she starts high school after the holidays, so there's a chance I might write something then :)

Kepa - so which continent would you prefer? I figured Australasian was less offense to you than Australian... ;) I understand your thoughts about weddings :) Mine and Maggie's was mostly summed up in the post Tin Wedding Anniversary

Adila - an interesting combination of words - would you care to expand on why you feel they are invariably linked? It might trigger an idea

Attila - I know full well you weren't actually kidding. However, writing about sex, kinky or otherwise, would never be approved of by Maggie, so I'll have to turn down that suggestion :)

Frankie said...

Congratulations... I just want to say thanks for writing... your photography is very inspiring and I really enjoy reading about your family and your life... it gives me another window to look out of...

litzi said...

Hi Kim,
Kudos for a marvelously entertaining 5 years in the blogosphere! Your posts are informative, thought provoking and a delight to peruse. THANKS!

Please keep up the good work…

snoble24 said...

well you got an intresting contest idea.i guess you would call it a contest anyhow.i love reading your blog so happy 5 blogging anviersry

Mary Witzl said...

Wow! Five years? Wheeew! And here I was beginning to feel like an old hand...;o)

As for blogging topics, what about the best day you can remember? Or what would, for you, be a perfect day? I'd like hearing about either of those.

TalesNTypos said...

Hey Kim,

Well, I suppose when I said "pain" I wasn't thinking of physical pain. More, emotional pain.
But even so, as I'm reading it, I'm thinking, 'gosh, I'm such a kook'.

Happy writing in any case. :)

Fay's Too said...

I think you should write about super powers - yours, those of your nemesis, your postman. . .
Congrats on years of lovely blogging.

Hindsfeet said...

Happy 5th, Kim.....

Always glad for the depth and insight I find here over at "your place"...Love your writing, your prose, your photos, your stories (still love that brambleberry story of yours and listen to it from time to time)...

Love the inspiration here and there (that one post comes to mind that you also did a sound recording of, "You *can* do it, I mean you"...something in that vein...just one of the many meaningful moments spent here....

So, this isn't an entry, this is just to say "thanks".....thanks for putting your soul out soul is the better for it.....


michael greenwell said...

Well done on the 5 years.

And I would like a post about the conspiracy and/or the cock-up theories of history.

I have my own take on it but would like to hear yours.

Katie Roberts said...

How can I put t originally?


600 posts! thats a fabulous thing!


lots of warm bubblyness


Oh a suggestion: have you written about your favorite children's books/stories? and the importance/meaning of story telling to children?

Falak said...

Hi Kim! Congratulations on your 5th blog anniversary! It has been exactly a year since I started reading your blog and I've read enjoyed every single post you've written even though I might not have left a comment on all of them. The best thing about your writing and photographs are that you readers are able to connect with you as a person despite the fact that most of us haven't met you. You always provokes people to think and you do it so skillfully that the 'thinking' part of it happens involuntarily. Waiting to read many more posts from your end.

Ps:the best part is that you reply to comments. Adds that extra personal touch:)

Falak said...

Sorry for the awfully long comment but I just couldn't help it.

Anonymous said...

Although I missed the deadline I'm curious to see what the next post is going to be.

Ché l'écossais said...

Humbled and honoured to know me ?
A likely story.

Missed the deadline, but still, I'd be interested in knowing what, if any, 2d pencil-and-paint artists ever inspire you.

Kim Ayres said...

Frankie - thank you :)

Litzi - thank you :)

Snoble24 - thank you :)

Mary - best days? they tend to be things like the birth od my children, or getting married... or leaving school, that was a particulalry good one...

Adila - I figured you meant emotional pain, but I'd still like you to expand on the idea a bit :)

Fay - I wrote about my mutant genes and super powers in the post Genotype Compound Heterozygote. Not sure why the postmand would be my nemesis though...

Hindsfeet - thank you for your warm words :)

Michael - I have to bee careful about invoking the paranoid anarchist within - he's very difficult to get back in the bottle...

Katie - I don't think I have written about children's books/stories. I will ponder that one :)

Falak - Never apologise for a long commment - I love them :) And I've never really understood why some bloggers don't reply to comments. If someone has taken the time to read, consider and comment on something I've written, it

Allen - the next post will just be me thanking those who've commented on this one :)

Ché - 2d artist inspiration... I reckon I could probably write something about that

angryparsnip said...

Terrific !
Happy 5 years !

Still catching up with blogs after too much paperwork, unfortunately still more this week. Trusts and wills are a huge pain !

cheers, parsnip

Conny said...

CONGRATULATIONS on the 5 years!!! I am so grateful to know you! And I love reading your stuff. Always remember how talented you are!!!!

Kim Ayres said...

Angry Parsnip - thank you :)

Conny - If I was half as talented as you I'd be a happy man :)

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