diamond geezer

 Wednesday, February 28, 2018

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 single February since, purely to keep tabs on how my life is changing. Fifteen years later, I can confirm it's changed quite a lot, not least because I no longer have a job, which ought to throw all previous patterns into disarray. Let's see if it has. Below are my counts for February 2018 (also available in graphical form via Daytum), accompanied by the previous statistics and some deep, meaningful pondering.
Yes, I know February's not over yet, so all the figures below are based on best estimates for the final 24 hours. But don't worry, I'll come back and update the 2018 data as today plays out, before settling on the finalised figures at the end of the day.

Count 1 (Blog visitors): It's been another good month for people turning up to read what I've written, indeed it's been the busiest February ever, having passed 2017's total two days ago. I'm averaging almost two and a half thousand visitors a day, which is as good as it's ever got, so I can't complain. It amazes me sometimes that anyone comes back when there's the risk of reading about parks in Barking, castles in Warwickshire or another report from my local bus stop, which is hardly "must read" subject material for the average person in the street. But I do try to provide you with a varied diet where possible, rather than endless recycled press releases, because I believe there is still demand out there for original subject matter. It's not all high octane stuff here, not by a long chalk, as a whip round Tooting and a ride on the Woolwich Ferry will have confirmed. But as one of my regular twenty-five hundred, I assume you either keep coming back for the variety, or can put up with the personally-irrelevant stuff inbetween.
Total number of visits to this webpage in February 2018: 68993
(2003: 2141) (2004: 6917) (2005: 9636) (2006: 42277) (2007: 23082) (2008: 32006) (2009: 26048) (2010: 30264) (2011: 37200) (2012:40018) (2013: 55369) (2014: 51727) (2015: 58380) (2016: 60609) (2017: 63770)

Count 2 (Blog comments): There's nothing quite so unpredictable as comments. Some days this blog attracts hardly any, while other days the discussion catches fire and you add dozens. I'm pleased to report that this has been an extra-chatty month, with last year's record total being surpassed yesterday morning. Admittedly the best day for comments was the day I didn't post anything, and collective paranoia ran riot, but even without that entirely atypical boost the overall total is still impressive. Most blogs either no longer allow feedback or have commenting zones resembling tumbleweed, but somehow you lot always seem to carry on talking, nipping in with a pertinent reference, a pedantic query, a nostalgic nod, some schoolboy grandstanding or a bit of insider know-how. Admittedly it doesn't take much to set a few of you off, particularly if the topic is transport-related, and some days the gradient between sparkling and tedious can be steep. But one amazing statistic is that more than 300 different people have commented this month, chipping in when they have something relevant to say, and that variety is truly humbling. Somehow a community has evolved here, where regular and occasional commenters co-exist, and that's not an easy thing to create. Thanks everyone, because it's you that helps to bring this page to life.
Total number of comments on this webpage in February 2018: 810
(2003: 166) (2004: 332) (2005: 463) (2006: 648) (2007: 566) (2008: 504) (2009: 472) (2010: 396) (2011: 558) (2012: 440) (2013: 546) (2014: 477) (2015: 625) (2016: 687) (2017: 752)

Count 3 (Blog content): At last I've curbed the inexorable upward trend in my output. The number of words in my posts has been creeping up since I started blogging, but this year the total has fallen back slightly (and would have done even if I'd not missed a day out). If it feels more, that's probably because I'm adding a few more photos than I used to, and those photos are a bit larger than they used to be. I confess I expected to be writing longer posts now that I have more time on my hands, but this has turned out not to be the case. I am however still averaging 1100 words a day, which is not to be sniffed at - it's the equivalent of writing five novels a year, except I never end up with a book to show for it.
Total number of words in diamond geezer in February 2018: 30680
(2003: 14392) (2004: 16214) (2005: 16016) (2006: 15817) (2007: 17102) (2008: 17606) (2009: 20602) (2010: 21595) (2011: 23120) (2012: 25698) (2013: 29410) (2014: 32283) (2015: 30362) (2016: 31192) (2017: 33094)

Count 4 (Sleep): Now that I don't have to go to work I sleep longer than I used to. That's perhaps no surprise. Previously my alarm was always set for six-thirty, and now I just wake up when I wake up, which tends to be nearer eight. Interestingly my going-to-bed time hasn't really changed, it's still well past midnight, usually because I'm finishing off the post you're going to read the following morning. But averaging seven hours sleep a night rather than six must be doing my body the world of good.
Total number of hours spent sleeping in February 2018: 197 (29%)
(2011: 172) (2012: 167) (2013: 163) (2014: 165) (2015: 169) (2016:174) (2017: 188)

Count 5 (Nights out): Well that's unimpressive. After bumping up my nights out over the past few years, this year I've slipped back to my lowest total since 2007. Technically I am still going out on average once per week, but only if you include January 31st and March 1st, and for these tallying purposes they don't count. Also I've undertaken certain daytime meet-up jaunts over the last four weeks, but officially they don't count either. So all I'm able to include is one proper pub night, with multiple real people and beer, and two trips to BestMate's sofa, where we watched episodes of Black Mirror and put the world to rights. Must try harder.
The number of nights in February 2018 I went out and was vaguely sociable: 3
(2003: 21) (2004: 7) (2005: 2) (2006: 2) (2007: 3) (2008: 7) (2009: 7) (2010: 4) (2011: 9) (2012: 6) (2013: 4) (2014: 6) (2015: 8) (2016: 8) (2017: 6)

Count 6 (Alcohol intake): For the purposes of this long-term count, my definition of alcohol is a specific gassy bottle of German lager. I cling to Becks for familiarity and ease of ordering, plus it doesn't give me hiccups. But it's become increasingly hard to source on a night out, forcing me onto other riskier beverages, which my fellow drinkers tend to see as "a good thing". So you can imagine my delight when the only pub I went to in February actually stocked the stuff, and at a much lower price than the average London pint. It means my Becks count is a precise reflection of my public alcohol consumption this month, but also reflects the fact that my after-dark social life is minimal. At least my liver's pleased.
Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2018: 5
(2003: 58) (2004: 17) (2005: 0) (2006: 7) (2007: 1) (2008: 28) (2009: 4) (2010: 3) (2011: 20) (2012: 14) (2013: 2) (2014:4) (2015:0) (2016:1) (2017: 10)

Count 7 (Tea intake): Apart from one dodgy year when workplace kettle usage was banned, my tea consumption remains impressively consistent. Every February other than 2005 has fallen within a narrow range of 120-140 teas, despite very different behaviour on weekdays and at weekends. My deskbound days were always brimming, brown-liquid-wise, whereas days out invariably find me rushing around without pausing for refreshment, and there have been a lot more of those recently. Nevertheless I remain, on average, a four-and-a-half cups a day man. Milk, no sugar, thanks.
Total number of cups of tea I drank in February 2018: 123
(2003: 135) (2004: 135) (2005: 81) (2006: 128) (2007: 137) (2008:134) (2009: 129) (2010: 136) (2011: 135) (2012: 133) (2013: 127) (2014: 129) (2015: 128) (2016: 133) (2017: 122)


Count 8 (Trains used): This count's normally 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, and apart from the year when I upped the total by blogging relentlessly about the Bakerloo line. I'm back in the zone again this year, averaging about four train journeys a day, because I'm still out there swanning around off-peak even though I no longer have to join the rush hour throng.
Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2018: 110
(2003: 103) (2004: 109) (2005: 117) (2006: 107) (2007:100) (2008: 117) (2009: 103) (2010: 83) (2011: 109) (2012: 118) (2013: 139) (2014: 101) (2015: 124) (2016: 132) (2017: 108)


Count 9 (Steps walked): I've been counting steps using the Moves app on my phone since 2013. It's a bit of a battery hog, and also potentially stalky because it records everywhere I go (both when and where), plus how I travelled inbetween. Alas last Friday it glitched for the first time and now crashes on start-up, so my most recent daily totals have had to be estimated. But I can confirm that this has been my fittest February yet, thanks mostly to daytrips to Bristol and Warwickshire where I walked over thirty thousand steps each time. Working days used to mean consistent steppage, but not working has allowed me to ramble more, and I'm proud to have walked over 100 miles this month. That said, if anyone knows of a reliable iPhone tracking app, I fear I may now be in need of one.
Total number of steps I walked in February 2018: 342000
(2013: 273300) (2014: 254600) (2015: 282300) (2016: 238200) (2017: 328100)

Count 10 (Mystery count): Sorry to disappoint you all, again, but the legendary diamond geezer Mystery Count continues to be nil. I know, I'm as unimpressed about the outcome as you are. And best not get your hopes up for 2019, this big fat mystery zero is seemingly here to stay.
Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2018: 0
(2003: 0) (2004: 0) (2005: 0) (2006: 0) (2007: 0) (2008: 0) (2009: 0) (2010: 0) (2011: 0) (2012: 0) (2013: 0) (2014: 0) (2015: 0) (2016: 0) (2017: 0)


» The Count 2018


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