Julie my fellow blogger from Barcelona, apart from inviting me to eat wrinkly spicy potatoes, also discussed blogging with me and gave me some helpful suggestions.
I described my current difficulty in keeping up with writing three blogs – not only do I not write regularly, I am now writing less often than when I had only one.
Yes I’m afraid I have been expanding and now it seems I need to deflate.
1 The Catalan Way
I began The Catalan Way not long after I arrived in Barcelona and used it for pretty much everything that I wanted to describe in my new life. Sometimes I wrote about culture, sometimes about food and shopping, and sometimes about history. Then there was daily life to describe and of course, I used it to explore my own responses to this massive change in my life.
I have never had a large readership and therefore don’t receive many comments on my writing. It’s amazing how many people feel shy about writing in a public forum. But people do sometimes let me know what they think and I soon noticed there were two groups of readers. One lot love reading about modernism or Barcelona street life or the politics of Catalunya or anything informative. The other group enjoys more my stories about finding my way in a foreign land. As the years have passed I have experimented with different ways of writing and always wanting to improve my skills and to find more readers, I have tried to write both what pleases me and also what others enjoy reading.
2 The Wicked Stepmother
I began to worry that I was writing in too personal a style and as that also impacts on the other people in my life here I started a second blog – one that was to remain anonymous and private. I wrote there about my life as a step-mother living with the person I have referred to as the resident adolescent. As anyone knows who has been in this position it is impossible to be a successful step-mother. Failure is unavoidable and as I had no previous experience it took me a long time to realise I was only playing a part and not creating it. I have been a complete failure if the test of success is a happy relaxed relationship with your stepchild. Who knows what the future may reveal but I still cling to the hope that I have done some good.
In case you are interested there are four markers for having an especially difficult experience as a stepmother
1. The birth parents should not have an easy ongoing relationship
2. The stepmother should not have any children of her own
3. The stepchild should be between 11 and 16 when you first arrive in their life
4. The father should be someone who wants to be a friend rather than a father
I met all these criteria with the added ingredient that we do not share a language or culture.
3 About Granollers
I live in a town called Granollers and it is not my chosen place to settle down. For my first years here I was always planning our escape to somewhere more interesting, more peaceful, more beautiful. But here we were and here we stayed, in part because the resident adolescent needed some form of stability and it seemed unfair to make him live in the countryside just because we would prefer it. So, I decided to start writing about this town which is almost totally unknown outside the region.
Who has heard of Granollers? When I first came here I couldn’t even pronounce the name.
I started my new blog About Granollers
intending to do lots of research about the history as well as to describe life here in all it’s ordinary glory. The Guardian newspaper once described Granollers as ‘a non-descript Catalan town’ and my aim was to put this right.
In my talk with Julie she suggested that I bring together these three blogs and try again to write here in The Catalan Way about all of my life rather than keeping them separate and distinct.