2022 minus 61: Here we go again…

Posted: 1 November 2021 in 2022 minus, comics, social media, stuff
Tags: , , , ,

Well, come on, be honest… this wasn’t exactly a surprise even before I said I was likely going to be doing it.

The moment I got more than half-way through ‘57 minus…‘, it was likely I’d go on to do a ’57 plus…’ And the moment I got more than half-way through ‘57 plus…‘, let’s face it, it was more than likely I’d go on to do a ‘2022 minus…’

So here we are, or at least here I am, doing a ‘2022 minus…’ And if you’re out there reading this, hello! Feel free to say hello down below. If you’re new to the blog, welcome. If you’re an old hand, welcome back.

This will be the [oh, I don’t know] umpteenth (?) countdown blog run I’ve done and I’ve long since accepted that it’s the only way for me to post on a daily basis.

Previous attempts over the past decade or so I’ve had this blog that progress without the countdown tend to… peter out after a week and a half; I have no idea how people writing general allpurpose blogs, i.e those without a a specific focus, do it. I really don’t.

It was easier back in the days of Livejournal. Mainly, I’ve come to realise, because of the absence of Twitter.

My previous blog is still ‘live’, in theory at least. It’s effectively archived, although every so often someone will stumble across it and reply to a post from 2006 or something. And I’m not even referring to bots or spam comments.

You may think I’m kidding… I’m not. A year ago, someone replied to a post from 2004.

Yeah. That was… surprising.

But for the most part, the previous blog exists for me to look something up or to find something I know I’ve written about previously. And of course for the ‘in case of emergency, post a Q&A’ entry, where I can grab a set of questions and answer them in 2021, as opposed to the answers I gave in, say, 2006.

Thing is, looking at that blog, looking at the entries now, in 2021, it strikes me that a good 25% of those posts wouldn’t these days appear on my blog, but would appear as single tweets or even as a thread.

And now, in 2021, it’d just seem flat weird to post on this blog an entry of only 50 words. Or to post multiple short blog entries in a single day. Both of which I did freely on the Livejournal blog.

But without that freewheeling nature on here, yeah, I need the structure of the countdown.

So, yes, a countdown to 2022, a year that I’m in some ways finding it hard to come to terms with. It honestly doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all arguing about whether the year 2000 actually started the new millennium, or whether it was 2001 that accomplished it.

(It was the latter in case you wondered, but it was quite right to celebrate the former. After all, no one cares when your mileage odometer clicks over to 20,001 miles. Everyone cares when it hits 20,000.)

But because

a) it’s been a couple of weeks since you’ve seen anything from me, and

b) it’s only been a couple of weeks since you’ve seen anything from me, I’m left in a bit of a quandary for this post.

There’s no point in me doing a reintroduction. I did one of those at the start of the ’57 minus…’ run. Neither is there really a point in telling what you I’ve planned for this run. I did one of those recently as well.

You don’t need a anyway, because both you and I know that it’ll likely be the same kind of thing, though with different actual content, hopefully, this time around: new fiction on a Thursday, fiction from the vaults, Saturday Smiles, and the usual slice of life and occasional ponderings, and various items of flotsam and jetsam.

One question you might have is why sixty-one days/posts. It’s a fair question.

I usually do a seventy-five day countdown to the New Year. But after this most recent blog run, as I said, I genuinely needed a short-ish break. And so I took one, for the back half of October.

A fifty day countdown? Well, I could do that, but I was honestly worried that if I took effectively a month off, until mid-November, then maybe that fifty-day countdown would get delayed and turn into a forty-day countdown and then maybe I’d put it off for another short while and then suddenly we’d be nearly December and I’d think it’d not be worth doing it at all.


Sixty days was the obvious compromise: enough of a break to recharge the batteries, but not long enough for me to get comfortable not blogging.

So I did the calculations, and realised that counting sixty days backwards from 31st December brought me to precisely… 2nd November 2021. Which was… awkward.

Because as anyone who’s followed this blog or the previous one for a while will know, 2nd November is an important day for me.

And I didn’t want to kick off the blog again with that post. So, you get something else today, then that post tomorrow along with the return of fiction from the vaults in another post. And since I’m seriously considering doing a set Twelve Days of Fast Fiction again for the first time since 2016, I’m also thinking about including some of those for the Tuesday posts. I’ve got more than 40 I could pick from, after all. Hmm.

I haven’t decided yet on either proposal.

What else today before I sign off?

Well, I’m going to be attending my first comics con in almost a decade in a couple of weeks, which at the moment feels very… weird.

I’ll go more into it before I travel up on the 12th, maybe while I’m travelling up on the 12th, but, at the moment, suffice to say that Dave Gibbins and I wrapped up the hypotheticals panel at 2011’s Bristol Comic Expo, and I only attended a couple more cons after that.

Partly that was because I – as I’ve previously alluded to in brief – cracked up; partly it was because it was a part of my life that felt… over. And whenever I vaguely considered attending a con after that, it just felt, I dunno, not… right. Not the right time.

And then of course, suddenly it was 6 or 7 years since I’d been to a con.

But towards the end of 2019, I felt that strong itch, that itch I hadn’t felt in years. People were talking and writing about going to cons, and for the first time since I quit going, I… missed them. Missed the people, missed the culture, missed the being around people I like, missed… everything about attending a con. Oh, and I missed being around comics people. I missed hearing about comics and talking about comics and… everything that makes comics enjoyable as well as reading them.

And, after a few occasions of this hitting me, I mentioned it. And a couple of people said ‘come to a con, we’d love to see you…’ A couple of people even said I’d been missed, which was nice.

And then… and then, of course, covid hit.

So I wrote off the idea of going to cons-that-weren’t-happening and the idea of attending one got lost in, well, got lost in the craziness and absurdity in which we’ve all lived for a couple of years.

And then they started up again.

And Thought Bubble started up again, a con I’d only attended twice, many years ago now, but which everyone praises as ‘a con done right’.

So I pondered, and thought about it, and I was driving myself mad; a short drive, you’ll appreciate.

So I booked tickets and travel, and accommodation. Not on a whim, but yeah. (Note: I’ve been out of the game for a long time, and while there are cons that I might have asked, cheekily, if there was any way I could be comped in… Thought Bubble is not one of those cons.)

So, yeah, I’m going to a comics con. That’s weird.



See you tomorrow, with… something else. Well, two somethings else to be precise, only one of which will be part of ‘2022 minus’…



Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 slowly approaching.

I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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