You're new here, aren't you? No, not you, I know you've been reading this blog for a while. But you, you've not been around for long, and it's good to see you.
Usually when people arrive on this blog for the first time, they don't come back. They were searching for something unlikely on Google, and I didn't really have what they wanted. Or they came looking for a photograph, and then went away. Or they clicked on some link on some other webpage with the promise of reading something interesting, and weren't impressed. Or they simply skimmed the post at the top of the blog and thought "sheesh, what sort of tedious rubbish is this?" and scarpered. For the great majority of visitors, once is enough.
But some people stay. Some people come back, maybe once, maybe weekly, maybe even every day. If you're reading this, you're probably one of those people who come back. And suddenly there are a few more people coming back. For which I thank you.
Visitor numbers have been sort of static on this blog for the last couple of years. Healthy-ish, but steady. Until mid-September that is, when there was a sudden influx of people, maybe including you, round about the week I wrote about de-rivering the tube map. Usually these temporary peaks die down, especially when I then go on to write about something considerably less mainstream. But this wave continues to ripple, which is nice.
Here's a graphic to show you what I mean. It shows visitor numbers to this blog for a typical week in mid-November. As you can see, there's been a minor step change of late.
So, if you're new-ish around here, I wanted to warn you that this blog isn't especially normal. Often it's about London, but often it's not. Sometimes it's about a place, sometimes it's about no place at all. Occasionally it'll be about somewhere or some topic you know well, but frequently I'll write in detail about something you simply can't relate to. Might be an anniversary on Monday, an Ealing suburb on Tuesday, some snarky Mayor-bashing on Wednesday, lots of geeky stats on Thursday and a load of personal waffle on Friday. Sometimes you can predict what I'm going to write about next, but usually you have no idea at all. Whatever this blog may be, it is not niche.
My chief raison d'être is that I write what I want to write, not what you want to read. If you want cosy gossip, go somewhere else. If you want a reliable stream of single-issue blogging, go somewhere else. If you want cut-and-pasted news items, exciting competitions and thinly disguised marketing, go somewhere else. But I hope you'll stay and hold the faith, even through the dull irrelevant bits. There's something new on this blog every day so, even if you don't like the tedious garbage I'm churning out today, hopefully you'll enjoy one of the posts that follows. You're very welcome here, and something half decent should be along shortly.