The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.
In two weeks' time I'll have been blogging for a year, but I'm writing this now as I'll be away, out of all internet reach in the middle of the Mediterranean, and I want to be sure it goes live....A year on and I'm still not organised enough to schedule posts, which is slightly shaming but a definite thing to get to grips with in my second year!
This is where it all comes from when the weather's good
It's been an amazing year, which has whizzed by at breakneck speed, so fast infact that I haven't written as much as I'd have liked. When I set out I hoped to post once a week and soon increased that to 5 a month but there have been times when this hasn't happened. Life gets in the way and I've discovered I'm not good at writing when my children are around, so not a lot happens during school holidays. Cue scheduled posts, I know, I know.
I started blogging as a way of bringing more traffic to my holiday rental website, to increase my SEO, but I've discovered I enjoy it so much that I want to extend it to include more travel experiences. Nearly twenty years ago I travelled from Hanoi to Helsinki by train, exploring China, Mongolia and Russia. I was with a friend and there should have been a third person with us but at the last moment she couldn't come so we wrote an open diary for her to share our experiences. A precursor to the travel blog? Many people who read it at the time said we should get it published but we never tried, and I've hankered after the idea of writing a travel book ever since. If only blogging had existed in 1994 I'm quite sure I would have blogged about my travels. Imagine, we wrote in an old Vietnamese notebook with a pen. Nobody travelled with a laptop and of course iPads, social media, wifi etc didn't exist!
Is this where it all started? My friend writing our joint open diary on a Vietnamese train & the Trans-Siberian
I love researching the posts; coming up with ideas usually isn't a problem as there's so much to share about this wonderful part of the world that I live in. But best of all I love getting feedback, from friends privately, in comments both here and on Facebook and Twitter and from guests staying at the gîte who use it to explore the area. I have wonderful readers all over the world, commenting from Canada, India, Australia, USA as well as Europe and I've even been written about by other bloggers which is the ultimate accolade. When I nervously pressed "publish" on my first post on 18 April 2012 I, like most new bloggers I imagine, wondered if anyone at all would read it and I certainly never expected such success. Thank you all for supporting me in this venture over the last year.
Perhaps the most unexpected pleasure that blogging has brought me, however, is contact with other bloggers and my readers, many of whom are bloggers themselves. There's a whole other world out there that I didn't know existed until I became a blogger myself. There are so many talented and interesting people writing about their passions that I could read blogs all day every day and never do another thing! Click here to see some of the blogs I read and enjoy from all different walks of life though you'll notice a strong bias towards travel.
So, what do you think about the idea of writing about other travels I've done, not just focussing on the south of France? What would you like to see more of? I'd love to get your feedback.
Way to go, Phoebe, it's fantastic, wow! Just go ahead and blog about whatever your heart wants and people will love it because it's written with passion!
And get that book written and published
Thanks for your support Delia, it means a great deal. If only I could just wrote the book...I think blogging is all I've got the time for now...
Wow, this trip must have been quite an adventure, how long did it take? I love programmes on trains and I'm not sure this particularly one was ever shown! well done Phoebe
We took 2 months Ramon. Could have taken lots longer if time off work had allowed, but the actual time on trains was 12 days. It's exactly the sort of thing that gets filmed nowdays but not "back in the day"!!
I've been urging you to put a lot of this stuff together as a book for months now. It would be even better if you added some of your other adventures, such as riding across Mongolia on a flea ridden nag, staying in yurts (which should of course be called geirs), and other delights.
Thanks Richard. It seems ther's quite a bit of interest out there, now I have to find the time to write, just as the long school holidays are approaching!
Great post, Phoebe. Congratulations on the one year. Go for the writing about your travels.
I really enjoy your blogs. Certainly lets hear about all corners of the wold. Keep it up!
Thanks for your feedback. It's very exciting that you all want to hear about other things. Now the pressure's on to write!
Go for it! I am sure your exisiting audience consists of like-minded people, and one reminiscence will lead to another....I will look out for the boiled potato and half a grebe story from Mongolia!
Ruth, you've got a better memory than me, I don't remember the half grebe! I must dig out the diary and read it again.
Congrats on your 1st year
Hey Pheebes. That's me in the photos! That VN train was the luxury version! We got a mat on the bed and I think less people in the compartment, from memory. And I fondly remember the bottle of Cointreau (pictured). We shared the last of it with our honeymooning friends - Vlad and Val, as we crossed the Volga (or was it the Urals). I remember the black market people jumping in and out of windows, them wearing flak jackets, carring guns and strangley us not being worried about it; buying and eating potatoes and gherkins with dill out of plastic bags, that we bought on the station platforms; and of course visiting you in hospital in Finland (unrelated to the black market)!
great memories Sally! I wonder how it's changed 20 years on?
I. Have just found this blog. Phoebe. But yes do go for it and let us all read about your travels and life in Vietnam. Have you been to other interesting places? We would like to hear about that too.
thanks for your feedback Thomas, yes I've been to so many great places that I don't really know where to start!
Hi Mags, yes it's real. Sleeper trains in Vietnam in the 1990s didn't have much luxury! Notice the window too and you'll see that there's no glass, just a wire mesh.
I LOVE the photo of the train in Vietnam, is that real? There doesn't appear to be a matress! I'd love to hear about your other travels, it sounds like you've done some fun stuff! Wow, I'd love to do that train ride!!