I live with two Dutchmen, one tall, the other
very very short rapidly approaching my height, seven chooks, Spike the Staffy and far too many vegetables in inner-city Melbourne. There are never enough bikes.
You can email me at dougiedehondAThotmailDOTcom
You can read this interview over at A City with Quirk or find me @vaguelyspecific on Twitter and Instagram
2001 found me working in a Dutch web bureau, Atmosphere, attached to the country’s largest advertising agency, FHV BBDO. With no experience in marketing or advertising, no dutch, no clients (it was immediately after the 2001 collapse of the dot.com world in NL) and no projects it was a mystery why I was hired.
I passed my time on the internet, it was after all, my work, and decided to start one of them new-fangled blog things. Weblijm, as this blog was first called, was a static HTML page I wrote in a text editor (I know!) and contained the particulary fascinating details of my life in Amsterdam.
Three months later, despite the continued absence of clients or projects, my contract was renewed for a further six months. Snazzy new blogs with categories and dynamic pages attracted my attention. A similarly bored colleague and I found a computer at work we could set up as a server. We installed Moveable Type with a db database and blogged on.
Late 2003 I was on maternity leave and, believe it or not, worried about what I would do with all the spare time on my hands once the baby had arrived. I decided it was the perfect time to overhaul the blog. Weblijm was renamed VaguelySpecific and sick of the db database’s tendency to seize I upgraded to MySQL. VaguelySpecific segued quite neatly from the inanities of our Amsterdam life and travel to the inanities of parenthood.
Strangely enough this was probably the stage at which this blog was most read. But by 2005 I was routinely wading through hundreds and hundreds of comment-spam every day to authorise the twenty or so genuine ones. It rapidly got old and I ‘temporarily’ disabled comments.
2006 saw us moving back to Australia and the spare time to worry about comment-spam solutions just wasn’t there. At some point lost in the mists-of-parenthood I did move to a hosted WordPress platform, sold on rumours of great spam control. (which have proven in general, to be true) With each subsequent move, links have been broken, photos lost and comments abandoned. In 2008 VaguelySpecific was changed to postcardsfromtheNorth but there were still three legacy .csv files to be manually cleaned and uploaded and a heap of photos left on a server in Hoofdorp. I did however, turn comments back on.
Since late 2010 there’s been no blogging to speak of. And I think those .csv files have been lost in the transition to new laptops. I still can’t find the photos to the first few year’s posts. But the nagging feeling won’t go away. So here we go again. Almost twelve years after we started.