Blogging and a few pics for now….

blog bw_9124It’s been weeks and weeks since I have posted on this blog. I seem to be questioning at the moment just “what” to do with my blogs and the direction they should take. Perhaps this is a common situation. Perhaps it is summer luring me away from the computer. Perhaps it is discovering the immediacy of Instagram. Perhaps I feel I am just saying the same thing over and over.

blog bw_9132Most of my blogs have faced some challenges recently.

“H the Blog” has been luring request after request to use the images for free. I’m sick of managing the requests. It has made me hesitant to post any more quality images. Which leads you to wonder “Why blog?”. The best thing about blogging was sharing, but if you are reluctant to share images, the point in blogging seems to be lost. I guess I can continue to show “works in progress” and pictures of my vegetable garden (thrilling!), but if I am having to be conscious of keeping the nice images off the blog, really, what’s the point?

“Island Home” (this blog) has been fine in the blogosphere, yet island politics have left us generally lukewarm over the past 7 months. My husband says we should just hunker down when we are on the island and not worry about the community. He is always quick to point out we are almost always the only ones on the beaches……adding……. “because the rest are sitting on their computers at home whining, whinging and berating others on Facebook while also wanting to destroy the lifestyle and environment on the island”. (Yep…try taking in the whole scope of that statement!) I am struggling with blogging  (or even taking) beautiful images of the island knowing what is stirring in the background. There is such a disconnect. Some people can “use and abuse” a place, some people can just “not care”, I’m just not that person. If I am owning in a community, I care about the community. Blogging “Island Home” was about sharing the beauty of the island, sharing what a great place it was…….. perhaps now I just feel that I am guilty of false advertising knowing what is happening in the background. Maybe if you want to be happy on the island you need to be a tourist. I guess I am really struggling with the hate some have of “part-timers” or “weekenders”….and it is hate. I still cannot fathom this hatred of part-timers when we pump so much money into the local economy, we create jobs, we keep businesses open. I’m just finding it impossible to get past this attitude. I’m really not sure what to do with this blog. Do I delete it? Do I let it die a natural death? Do I change its focus? Suggestions please.

My blog “Woodlea Neighbourhood Views” I shut down recently. It had started as a neighbourhood blog. Only seemed to be of interest if neighbours could use it as a forum to complain about cats in their flower beds. Then I shifted the focus to just be images of the neighbourhood (historical homes, leafy parks, etc). In the end I just didn’t feel inspired to keep it going. The scope wasn’t big enough for a picture based blog, and I always felt it was a shame that the original purpose of the blog didn’t take off. I am a believer that great neighbourhoods are formed when neighbours know neighbours and interact in positive ways…it didn’t happen.

Maybe society is letting me down. Maybe I think society is better than it actually is and that is why blogging is starting to become a disappointment. I definitely have some thinking to do.

blog bw_9226My other two sites, http://www.debra-hunter.com and http://www.handmade-canada.com continue to be sites that are working as I intended. One, a website for my business, photography, art and handmades. The other, my new project for handmakers. http://Www.handmade-canada.com will see a few changes coming up, but any new project needs to evolve. These two sites continue to work well as they have a limited scope, share the work, and that is the only purpose for the site. These sites will continue.

And so I leave this blogging ramble with a few images of Roe Islet on Pender Island. The spot is beautiful. The images are eye-catching in black and white. I do, however, need to figure out the point of continuing with the blog and its purpose.

Feel free to share your thoughts.

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About Deb

Photographer, artist and artisan splitting time between Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Check out my new project at www.handmade-canada.com , a site for Canadian handmades and art.
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9 Responses to Blogging and a few pics for now….

  1. Deb says:

    Reblogged this on h….. the blog and commented:
    Just a few thoughts on my current state of blogging as written on my “Island Home” blog.

  2. wildsherkin says:

    I too question whether I should keep going, mainly because of the quality of my pictures and my fear of exposure! I love your Island Home blog because you are sharing a different world. My advice is (and I will try to take this myself as well): forget about what is going on in the background and share what makes your heart sing. P

    • Deb says:

      I think your advice is correct. I have toyed with changing the focus of the blog to images and the art it inspires as I am working on a series based on the island. I just worry that it will bore readers, but maybe a redirection before giving up is in order.

  3. salpal1 says:

    it is hard when you start something to celebrate the beauty of it, only to discover that beauty is gloss over a dark ugliness.

    Your husband does have a point, however – that you can go there, “hunker down and enjoy the part that is beautiful” – your home, your beach, etc. and try not to think about the rest. You aren’t telling a lie, you are just showing the good side of the island.

    And know that if ever you again purchase a vacation home, you want to rent in the area for a time, get to know the natives and see what the community is really like, in the winter, when no one is around. This hatred seems excessive, and as I have written before, I live in a land that is overrun and unrecognizable in the summer. We have some resentment, but it is more of the “what a bother all this traffic is” than a hatred. But keep blogging somewhere so I can continue to follow!

  4. Deb only you can decided why you blog, a blog is a diary, it’s full name is web log but written as one word ‘weblog’, I started blogging via a quilt list, blogging was a way for us to show photos of works in progress and discuss with other like mind people via the post comments, I now do the same thing only with gardening as my main focus of interest has changed, I do not have anyone local to talk to about quilting and gardening, I would be like your husband when on the island, just relax and enjoy my time there, ignore the rest and definitely not read islanders facebook pages, I have enjoyed your photos and stories of family outings, so thank you and good luck with whatever you decide, Frances

    • Deb says:

      Hi Frances, thank you for your comments. Maybe I just need a breather or a break. I am pretty disillusioned with society in general at the moment, so that is also affecting how I feel about the blogging . Sometimes I think we should just buy a huge chunk of land and drop out from society.

      • oh Deb I know that feeling only too well, sadly there is a lot of bad in the world of mankind, but there is some good, journalists always seem to focus on the bad, so I don’t buy papers and I don’t have TV, I sometimes listen to radio news but that all, one of the things I like about the internet is I can chose what to read and so can focus on the good, I only use facebook for family and love seeing and hearing from the young (children and grandchildren of my cousins), as I said my blogging is about what interests me, I moderate my comments now, as a few years ago I had problems with a couple of negative commenters, which I decided in the end to completely ignore and delete their comments without reading, life it far to short to dwell on the bad, enjoy the good, take care, Frances x
        p.s. I realised years ago when working as a nanny that a mother who was horrid to me was an unhappy woman, this helped me cope with it, happy people, nice people do not do negative things,

  5. Mimi Nordby says:

    Deb, I am not a blogger, but came across your pages by accident. My family bought on Pender in 1947. A grandmother who thought city kids needed to have a place to go to learn how to be independent of mod cons. I swear when I first came at 5 years old I did not go to the bathroom for 2 weeks [not possible but an outhouse???my poor mind was boggled]. Pender did not have Magic Lake then, in fact Magic Lake was a meadow with a swamp, a derelict farmhouse and an old leaning wool shed. We had 10.3 acres, were Easter and Summer people. Lived on the North Shore in the lower mainland of Vancouver. Being “absentee owners” one really did not ‘know’ some of the things that went on, but the people of that time [c1950’s] were fabulous. We lost to expropriation the area through the top end of our property to accommodate the road to South Pender [for the bridge about 1951 or so]. We then had the government tell us we were going to experience the pleasure of a road my grandmother allowed landlocked neighbours [prior to aforementioned bridge road] to use, widened to 66 feet. This was to allow Magic Lake Estates to be developed. My family fought for years, the original Bedwell Harbour road was turned into a private road {which ran up across from Hamilton in the or close to the Roe Lake area, all the way down to Medicine Beach. Magic Lake Estates, how I don’t know, changed it down this end, to Schooner Rd, this I did not think was possible} and we then had at least a compromise of the road running down our eastern boundary, rather than through the middle. Fait accompli!! But we lost almost 2 acres in all. This did not diminish my or any of our love for Pender, nor for some of the most wonderful generous people I have ever met. My husband and I moved here permanently 35 years ago this month and have never had regrets. We, to live, have worked at all manner of jobs, some of which we had to learn, just to be able to live here. We are now retired, but that meant doing like your husband has said. You don’t actually raise the drawbridge, but just live and enjoy your life. We have done our community service in many ways, quietly, we very seldom go to meetings [you will find not many “old Pender family” folks and their descendants attend every controversial item there is on island]. That is not to say they don’t have their opinions, but sometimes one can get ‘too involved’ in the petty squabbles AND ALL the islands have their squabbles, it just shows up more when the citizenry is smaller. At least that is what I think. I have two sisters living on island and relatives with a vacation house as well. We all are fairly green minded but also don’t care for having many things shoved down our throats. Your Timbers debacle is how Otter Bay Marina and Poet’s Cove began, but at least those had fairly close zoning [which did not come in to being until after Island’s Trust became another level of government c1972/74.] Mr. Conconi owned several houses before buying out Trinco. I did see where he acquired brownie points for his sale of the house next to the ferry terminal. I am very wishy washy on STVR’s. At one time that was the only way people could have the pleasure of a place to stay. However, I really do not think Pender needs another ‘high end vacation accommodation lodge or hotel’. We were subject to the TUP of the garbage down below the bottom end of our property, at Magic Lake Market. By the way Magic Lake Estates does not start until you are near the ball park. The original ‘store’ from a small house where the Market and trailers are now, was a bone of contention as well during the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s etc. See, it is always on going! The garbage bin does not bother us, our home is up the top end of the property, but we were concerned with what a hot summer day might present to the folks in the homes directly above it and the open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. We did fight a pub and marina there. Concern was also with expansion and Shaw building in regards to the Bird Sanctuary which has been recognized for many years. I think any place, especially with the rapid growth of the modern technology and demographic changes, have these problems. Even trendy Saltspring never stops with the battles. I can’t quite understand [outside of BC/Alberta jokes] why you would run into people who hate Albertans. There are many, many folks from Alberta living here and have retired to the Gulf Islands. Enjoy the peaceful life of your lovely spot. Be thankful that you do not have my dilema, going from running outside the little cabin we used to come to at our bottom end……to see the ‘once in a while’ truck or car go by…..and gape at them to grand central station that we experience now with traffic from the ferry to Magic Lake, traffic to and from the Driftwood, school, clinic, South Pender. Thank God for my forest. Love your photography. Keep on. I bet Timbers will not be allowed in the long run, many of your neighbours were originally against the whole idea.

    • Deb says:

      Hi Mimi, thank you for your comment. Both my husband and I read it with great interest.

      When the Timbers topic initially came up recently, it probably came at the very worst time for us as within a span of 6 weeks we were fighting development issues that all broke by-laws here in Red Deer, at our cabin west of Edmonton, plus the Timbers…every single one broke by-laws…it was insane. With regards to the Timbers, I wish Conconi would forget about cashing in. He is always going on about cancer and charitable donations, why doesn’t he take the Timbers and make it a retreat for cancer patients and their families to be able to “get away”. Down east they have a program along those lines running in cabin country. It could be a legacy, and he certainly doesn’t need more money. He could actually do something with real meaning.

      The Alberta comments are frustrating. Generally from people that don’t know us. We never get it from the neighbours that know us well, or the hardware store, True-Value or Pender Sushi….they are all awesome. Perhaps it is because smaller places are more insular that we have had the comments. In Alberta everyone is from somewhere else so the comments really rub me the wrong way. I think the people that don’t know us don’t realize how much time we spend on the island, how we feel personally invested in the island, and how we want the island to thrive (not just monetarily but also as a place of preserved natural beauty). I do know removing all Pender groups from my facebook feeds has helped tremendously in feeling better about the island.

      The last few weeks I have taken a break from the blogging. A few big knitting orders came up so my days have been spent working away, and the meditative nature certainly helps to clear the mind and add perspective. I will probably continue the blog and focus on the things I love most about Pender….my garden, Roe Islet, kayaking and empty beaches in the middle of winter. Our kids love the island, they love the beaches, and they love adventuring in our big backyard…..of course if they ever get the catapult that they keep building to actually work, we’ll probably hear worse comments that that we are from Alberta.

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