Saturday, 20 December 2008


AND so, we reach the end of another year. Last year, of course, was the year that changed everything - Rachel and I began dating, I graduated and then I went travelling. This year, although I travelled a great deal on a smaller scale (Estonia, Finland, Hungary and lots of train journeys to Birmingham), was all about growing up: moving to the big city, getting a proper job and being an adult for a while. It has been tough on me, not because of the growing up, but because of having to learn to adapt on my own, in an entirely different manner to that I have experienced before.

But there have been many highlights, such as the discovery of Skeptics in the Pub and the divine cheesecake that I recently received in the post (yes, Rachel really is the best). The many free BBC recordings (including Genius and The Unbelievable Truth) and Phil's ongoing saga Bertie the Flying Pig have been wonderful too.

Anyway, as ever, I've been watching the inner workings of this blog. Because I'm addicted to pointless statistics, I've been watching where the readers of this blog come from, and what they type into Google to find it. It was bizarrely but uselessly satisfying when the statistics program stated that page views were up by 300% in November (this correlated with my return from personal obscurity, so it was particularly welcome), and when it appeared that I was being vetted by the Royal Navy (I had a page view from Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory).

This year I had visitors from the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Germany, Ireland, France, Netherlands, India, Brazil, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Estonia, Belgium, China, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Greece, Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, Slovenia, Portugal, Jamaica, Hungary, Israel, Romania, Finland, Denmark, Malaysia, Egypt, Serbia, Mexico, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Iran, Slovakia, Hong Kong, the Czech Republic, Vietnam, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Russia, Macedonia, Chile, Sri Lanka, South Korea, the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, Anguilla, Lebanon, Croatia, British Indian Ocean Territory, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Ecuador.

Next year, the world!

And, as is now a tradition in the corners of blogland to which I have contributed, here is a selection of the search terms that led to this page. As ever, some of them are a bit worrying:

  • "Sue barker sexy"
    (and many permutations thereof: EIGHT of the top twenty search terms involved 'Sue Barker', 'Sexy' and 'Photos' - sorry to disappoint, tennis fans)
  • "Johnstone river crocodile farm"
    (three out of the top twenty; note my follow up post)
  • "Ay corumba"
  • "Waewae takahia"
  • "Simon says in maori"
  • "Danny Wallace"
  • "Enfield Island village"
  • "Kafka metamorphosis"
  • "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" and "Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson"
  • "Remy Zero Anger"
  • "Jon Ronson"
  • "A fringe of leaves"
  • "Leonardi da Vinci"
  • "Squinkers abroad"
  • "Where are the convolutions of broca?", "Carl Wernicke experiment" and "Francis gall removed cerebellum"
  • "A is for parrot which we can plainly see"
  • "Oldest human footprints Bolivia"
  • "Yes Man Singapore island"
  • "Ben Goldacre" and "Matthias Rath"
  • "Cassowary sound"
  • "Do earwigs make chutney?"
    (copyright Eddie Izzard)
  • "Steam puddings made in the marae"
  • "which Australian state capital was not named after a person?"
    (answer: Perth)
  • "Mensis intercalaris"
  • "Bruce Parry jumping over cattle"
  • "Cloudland Nature Refuge Atherton Tablelands"
  • "Did Genghis Khan conquer 1/3 of the world?"
  • "Facts about Gerald Durrell"
  • "Gugandji tribe"
  • "Ingrown toe nail pus blog"
    (I sincerely apologise)
  • "Interesting thoughts of a funny scientist"
    (I love that this links to this blog)
  • "Jesus Fiji"
  • "Orangutan news Simon Bishop"
  • "but I'm in constant terror of having cirrhosis of the liver"
    (and again, eh?!)

    And finally, and quite delightfully:
  • "Are giraffes the gayest animal?"

    And after all of my convoluted, inconclusive and pointless blogs about them, not one person came to this site searching for the Alans*.

    Roll on 2009. Already it is shaping up to be a good one - I shall begin it in a mystery location, wearing wellies.

    Merry Christmas everybody, and have a wonderful New Year.

    *More on this in 2009, I promise.
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