diamond geezer

 Tuesday, February 28, 2012

During February 2003 on diamond geezer I kept myself busy by counting things. Ten different counts, to be precise, in a none-too thrilling daily feature called The Count. My 28-day tally chart may have been deathly dull to the rest of you, but I've continued to count those categories again, every February since, purely to keep tabs on how my life is changing. Below are my counts for February 2012 (also available in graphical form via Daytum), accompanied by the previous statistics and some deep, meaningful pondering.
note: in leap years, only the first 28 days count

Count 1 (Blog visitors): Ooh, up another 2500 visitors on last year. I've topped 40000 visitors too (for the first time since an atypical February in 2006 skewed by external linkage). And all of this is despite one distinctly below-par week when I blogged relentlessly about Charles Dickens and obscure roads called Diamond, which had people staying away in droves. Accurate visitor numbers remain incredibly difficult to ascertain, of course, given the number of folk reading via RSS feeds, mobiles or whatever. But it's quality of readership rather than quantity which most makes me smile, so thank you!
Total number of visits to this webpage in February 2012: 40018
(2003: 2141) (2004: 6917) (2005: 9636) (2006: 42277) (2007: 23082) (2008: 32006) (2009: 26048) (2010: 30264) (2011: 37200)

Count 2 (Blog comments): By blogging about comments mid-month I've probably invalidated the statistics here, sorry. But, even with that artificial blip, comment numbers are still well down on the Golden Age of 2006-2008. This blog now merits only one comment per 100 visitors, rather than the one comment per 13 it used to get. All that earlier noise has seemingly diverted to Twitter, Facebook or whatever community you lot spend all your time chattering in these days. But at least what comment remains is intelligent, relevant, insightful and (mostly) kitten-free. I'm delighted, obviously.
Total number of comments on this webpage in February 2012: 440
(2003: 166) (2004: 332) (2005: 463) (2006: 648) (2007: 566) (2008: 504) (2009: 472) (2010: 396) (2011: 558)

Count 3 (Blog content): I appear to be suffering from writers unblock. This is my most prolific February yet, up yet again, and now averaging more than 900 words a day. I always mean to keep things succinct, but then there's something extra I want to add and before I know where I am I've written another daily essay. You'd still read this blog if I wrote a bit less, I know, but something keeps driving me to write a bit more, and then a bit more again. I need to learn to ease off a little.
Total number of words in diamond geezer in February 2012: 25698
(2003: 14392) (2004: 16214) (2005: 16016) (2006: 15817) (2007: 17102) (2008: 17606) (2009: 20602) (2010: 21595) (2011: 23120)

Work/life balance, February 2011Count 4 (Work/life balance): Daytum provides a fascinating way to visualise my February as a purplish pie chart (reproduced here), and 2012's graph has turned out to be mostly similar to previous years. I work about a quarter of the time, which may not sound much but it's still more than I'm contracted to do. I sleep an average of six hours a day, which I bet is less than you (and is also about a quarter of the time). Only 7% of my time is spent on the move, mainly because my daily commute's mercifully quick. And that leaves nearly half my life for everything else - eating, blogging, socialising, visiting, tellying, slobbing, that sort of thing. Thankfully I'm extremely good at dragging things out to fill the time available, because there's a lot of it, but oh the joys of being footloose and offspring-free.
Total number of hours spent doing stuff in February 2012: 672 (=24×28, obviously)
2012 - (work: 169) (rest: 167) (play: 287) (travel: 49)
2011 - (work: 158) (rest: 172) (play: 290) (travel: 53)

Count 5 (Nights out): Only six. And two of these only scraped in by being "vaguely sociable", rather than full-blown hedonistic. Still, that's pretty much in line with past years - one or two attempts at getting out and about each week, some of which occasionally involve friends, bars, beer and stumbling home in the early hours. Thanks to the three of you who, this February, helped me to achieve temporary extroversion. But generally, no, I'm stuck at home with a cuppa rather than out there living it up.
The number of nights in February 2012 I went out and was vaguely sociable: 6
(2003: 21) (2004: 7) (2005: 2) (2006: 2) (2007: 3) (2008: 7) (2009: 7) (2010: 4) (2011: 9)

Count 6 (Alcohol intake): Fourteen's not bad, relatively speaking, judged over the years. It would have been higher, if only a couple of the bars I visited had sold proper Becks rather than that non-alcoholic Blue muck. At least everyone knows what to try to order for me when they go to the bar, which keeps binge nights simple.
Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2012: 14
(2003: 58) (2004: 17) (2005: 0) (2006: 7) (2007: 1) (2008: 28) (2009: 4) (2010: 3) (2011: 20)

Count 7 (Tea intake): Apart from one dodgy year when workplace kettle usage was banned, my tea consumption remains astonishingly consistent. I am, it seems, a four-and-a-half cups a day man. Milk, no sugar, thanks.
Total number of cups of tea I drank in February 2012: 133
(2003: 135) (2004: 135) (2005: 81) (2006: 128) (2007: 137) (2008:134) (2009: 129) (2010: 136) (2011: 135)

Count 8 (Trains used): This is remarkably consistent too... always just over a hundred a month. That's apart from the year when I had a "one train" commute rather than two, when the total dipped a bit. But, blimey, we Londoners do swan around on trains a lot, don't we?
Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2012: 118
(2003: 103) (2004: 109) (2005: 117) (2006: 107) (2007:100) (2008: 117) (2009: 103) (2010: 83) (2011: 109)

Count 9 (Exercise taken): Unlike the majority of wimpish travellers, I still attempt to walk up every escalator I ascend. This works best in the rush hour, when lazy commuters are better trained to stand on the right out of the way. And it works worst in shopping malls at weekends, when friends and couples block the entire width while stood around gossiping. A bit of a bumper month for me this month, though, which beats paying a fortune to go to a gym.
Total number of escalators I walked up in February 2012: 43
(2003: 73) (2004: 72) (2005:38) (2006: 35) (2007: 31) (2008: 33) (2009: 28) (2010: 13) (2011: 32)

Count 10 (Mystery count): Sorry to disappoint you all, again, but the legendary diamond geezer Mystery Count continues to be nil. Utterly rock bottomly not-even-close, which ensures that February 2012 has thrown up yet another big fat mystery zero. Ah well, maybe next year...
Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2012: 0
(2003: 0) (2004: 0) (2005: 0) (2006: 0) (2007: 0) (2008: 0) (2009: 0) (2010: 0) (2011: 0)

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