Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of my blog! I still can't get over the fact that I can type this in the comfort of my south-west London study at 8.38am and by 8.48 am some total stranger may be reading it on the other side of the world.
I don't know exactly how many visitors I've had during this time because I've had some ructions with webcounters along the way (there's now an invisible one!), but currently I'm averaging about 100 visitors per day. There's usually a dip at weekends, which suggests most of you log on at work! :-). I had my highest number of hits when I posted a picture of my cat, Solti!
There have been hits from 59 different countries from Los Angeles to Taipei to Chile to Kyrgystan.
I've discovered that bloggers are marvellous, strong-minded, helpful and idealistic people! You're marvellous, the lot of you! Some will go to extraordinary lengths to help out other people whom they've never met and wouldn't recognise if they bumped into them. Everyone experiences - I think - a sense almost of relief that blogs exist. This is a medium in which you really can speak your mind and nobody can tell you what your opinions ought to be.
Having so said, I'm still astonished at the way anonymous viewers hiding behind self-appointed watchdog-type nicknames are simply waiting to leap out of the woodwork to tear you to shreds the second you dare to admit that you don't like Christmas...
My most unlikely referrer was probably: http://ecksteingirlsbasketball.blogspot.com/. And some of the strangest Google queries that have led people to the site have been, in no particular order: 'Where can I find magic mushrooms in Scunthorpe'; 'latkes en francais' (please note, they taste the same in both languages!); 'Serkin rowing' (did he?); 'Ukranian poppyseed cake'; 'Real tomcat meow recordings sound effect download' (is that what my husband is doing in his spare time?!?); and last but by no means least, 'violin fetish' (erm, not unreasonable, this...)
Of course, the danger is that one uses a blog as a way of keeping friends and family scattered all over the place up to date with one's news - so apologies to anyone who's found they get fewer e-mails from me these days - don't worry, I still love you all!
Finally, I wish I could say that my book deal is the result of blogging, but it isn't. I started that book over a year before starting the blog and the fact that it's going to be published is the result of little more than a fantastic agent and some extremely good luck!