Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Loxodonta africana - he wouldn't forget any birthdays! I spotted him in Kenya, in 2001.

We're one year old today! Huzzah!

If you don't count the rather flaky one, on the 18th September when I still hadn't got a blogging clue, my first proper post, to which some of you very sweetly replied was on 22nd September 2008.

So I thought it was time to thank everyone who has been so incredibly kind and who have contributed such fab comments, over the past 12 months.

Thank you, too, if you voted for me to win Best Newcomer, not to mention Panel Beater, on the Fork 'n' Monkey awards. I'm really touched by it all and, no, there's not one trace of irony in what I've just written. I really do thank you. Very much indeed. Thank you!

I feel that I also owe an explanation. Why does this blog have such a peculiar name?

When I first began to stumble around the blogosphere, led there by an accidental Googling one day which led me to the Simian One, I realised that I simply had to start a blog of my own.

Typically, instead of thinking it all through and planning, I just sort of blundered into the thing and ended up suddenly having to give it a name. I knew the competition out there was tough - I mean, if someone calls their blog a 'sea of immeasurable gravy' and thinks of themselves as a sock, its pretty clear that the competition for weirdness is pretty tough out there.

So, I rummaged for a half decent title picture and while doing that, tortured my exhausted grey cells for a suitable name.

My computers all have names. Always have had, ever since my first Apple Classic in the early 1980s which had a tiny monochrome screen and storage for, ooh, about 2 megabytes. It was called Rose. (Apple is in Rosaceae and because Malus sounds too like 'bad', and it was a classic - it had to be 'Rose.') My first - and Apple's first - laptop, an unwieldy Powerbook with a battery like a house brick, was called 'Violet' because it was supposed to be small and shrinking.

Later, a Powerbook Duo was 'Orchid.' I won't bore you with Iris - she was a coloured iMac which soon got re-named the Fruitgum, because she resembled e a Rowntrees strawberry gum.

James A-S will recall that my more recent Powerbook was 'Cowslip,' since he was obliged to hijack it for one of our shows when his Powerbook suddenly died of a stroke, ten minutes before curtain-up.

Hang in there - I'm almost done.

My first Apple G5, a shiny metallic monsta, intimidated me. On account of its argentous nature - is there such a word? There is now! - I decided to name it after the South African Leucadendron argenteum, or Silvertree. Silvertreedays was a possible blog name but looked ugly on the page and since I'm, almost constantly in a daze, the name silvertreedaze seemed more apt. Subtle punning, you see.

In two weeks time, I'm taking myself off to Apple's bright shiny store in Regent street, and lining up a replacement for Silvertree - another monsta whose name I have yet to decide upon.

Silvertree, meanwhile, will go to a good home. My younger son is desperate for better computerage for his music composing and will take it over.

Cowslip was replaced by Tillandsia - it was to have been a MacBook Air, you see, until I discovered how hopelessly flimsy they are, and decided on another MacBook Pro. But the airy name stuck.

As long as it's always an Apple/Mac, all shall be well. Sort of.

I'm listening to Beethoven Piano Sonatas, playing with a slideshow on Tillandsia to run the batteries down so I can recharge them properly.

This week's film was Barnacle Bill, a deliciously corny Ealing comedy about a naval captain, played deliciously by Alec Guinness, whose career was blighted by incurable seasickness and who ends up in command of a decrepit seaside pier. It was filmed in Hunstanton and Wells, in Norfolk.

This time last year I was . . . but you already know.

Thank you for reading such utter drivel all the way down to here! Toodle pip!


  1. Nigel, Happy Birthday to you, your blog and that very handsome gingery elephant.
    Thank you also for the explanation of Silvertreedaze. I, rather uncharitably, thought it was a rclever name for an old folks home! My suggestion for the name of your new computer is Zizia or, maybe, Parahebe.

  2. Happy blogging birthday, and many happy returns! Glad you decided to blog, you are always informative and entertaining.

    If you venture into the Apple Store on Sunday or Monday, or Tuesday evening you may well bump into my eldest son, who works part-time for them as one of their Grow Your Own iGenius in the Regent St. store.(graduate gap year student saving to do his MA)

  3. Happy blogbirthday - I love your blog.

    Can I just say though that I am not just an ordinary Sock, I am 100% cashmere plucked from the underbelly and throat of Kashmir goats selected for their most exquisite softness.

  4. Not just plucked, Arabella, but plucked by miniature clones of Chris Beardshaw.
    Vital detail, that.

  5. Many Happy Returns!


    ps does the Sock glide through a ring effortlessly?

  6. Happy first blogaversary! I know blogging can be a bit bewildering when you first start out but you've done well and I liked reading how your blog got its name.

    BTW only my first computer got a name: Orac.

  7. Happy Birthday to you! I recently celebrated my 1st Blog Birthday in August, oh how the time flies. Congrats on the awards for wonderfuness, jealous but happy for you xx Many returns of the day.

  8. Congratulations & I hope there will be many more such momentous anniversaries.

    I really enjoy your ramblings & the name of your blog has always made me think of someone very distinguished. I am a relatively recent follower of more than 1 particular blog & an even more recent blogger myself (& I'm still not sure why) so the whole business is still a bit puzzling but keeps me out of mischief.


    Oh yes, how can miniature clones of Chris Breadstick reach an underbelly without scaffolding & safety equipment?

  9. Duh! Ms B
    The goats lie down of course
    Enchanted and very lightly hypnotised by his magnificence

  10. Safety helmet & possibly body armour then! Highly dangerous work, but then someone has to!

  11. Congratulations Nigel and many happy returns!

    May your daze be ever silver and covered in trees ;)

    I've been completely mesmerised by the real CB today and I'm still reeling from the effect :0