The Oliver Observations

Another year, another blog: Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the internet…

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The tell-tale signs of the birth of another year are all around us.
You can’t take a walk without an increased number of joggers puffing past, faces lined with grim determination to at least go five more minutes before giving up. You can’t go to a pub without seeing an increased number of people glancing mournfully behind the bar before asking for a lemonade. Nicotine patches have replaced Christmas jumpers and comedy antlers as the soon to be discarded seasonal fashion accessories.

With a similar burst of New Year’s Resolution driven enthusiasm, I’ve decided to start a blog.

One friend I mentioned this plan to wasn’t overly impressed, saying dismissively ‘You’ve been threatening to start a blog for years!’
Indeed I have often said that I’d like to start a blog, but never actually found the time or the will to do it. Actually that’s not quite true, as I did have a blog for about a year between 2009-10 which I was rather fond of, until under pressure of work its posts became fewer and further between, and its demise became as inevitable as Crossroads or The News of the World.

I’ve hesitated to try again, partly due to the fear that blogs can easily become ridiculously pretentious and self-centred, and also worries about inferiority – knowing there are others who can say things more elegantly, forcefully, and certainly more concisely than me.

But I’m eager to give it a shot

  • Firstly, because I can be pretentious and self-centred,
  • Secondly, to provide a place to record thoughts I can’t fit into a 140 character tweet,
  • Thirdly, in the hope it serves as somewhere to record pleasant or interesting things which happen before I forget them,
  • And lastly, but not leastly, just to see what happens and how it goes.


I’m not planning any theme as such, but anticipate it might include posts about Higher Education policy and news, politics, history, comments on historical places I visit and books I read, and maybe Arthur the Aardvark.

I’ll going to try to post something at least once a week, so you have something new to see if you decide to check back.


I’m also extremely open to suggestions of an alternative name. The Oliver Observations was the name of the old blog which I’m just transplanted here. It was only ever meant to be a placeholder until I came up with something better, but I never did.
(It was also originally a very niche in-joke as my friend Kyle Christie had a blog at the time called The Christie Communiques. My friend Dannie Grufferty also briefly followed the alliterative pattern with a blog called The Gruff Grumbles.)

I remember rejected suggestions at the time included Joe Bloggs, Oliver’s Twist-ing Kaleidoscope, and Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dream…Blog. But it anyone can think of anything better I’ll be eager to hear it.

I’d also really welcome any feedback telling me what you think of issues I cover or the blog itself so do please leave a comment or get in touch.

The happiest of New Years to all friends, associates, and those misguided here by search engines,

Joe x


Written by oliverobserves

January 14, 2013 at 1:11 am

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