diamond geezer

 Thursday, February 28, 2019

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. Sixteen years later, I can confirm it's changed quite a lot, not least because I no longer have a job so get to spend my February how I like. Below are my counts for February 2019 (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 2019 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, and has fractionally overtopped last year's total, which was the busiest February ever. 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 local radio in Bedford, suburban tumuli or a bus journey to Pinner, 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 survey of station announcements and a trip to IKEA 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 2019: 69102
(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) (2018: 68993)

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. This month we've been averaging about 25 a day, which may be noticeably down on last year's total but is still damned 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 270 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 2019: 706
(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) (2018: 810)

Count 3 (Blog content): The number of words in my posts has been creeping up since I started blogging, and this is my wordiest February yet. But not by much. I seem to have settled down at a grand total of just over thirty thousand words, which is an average of about 1200 a day, which is not to be sniffed at. I wonder how many of you write that much on a regular basis? It's the equivalent of writing five novels a year, except I never end up with a book to show for it (so perhaps I'm doing this blogging lark all wrong).
Total number of words in diamond geezer in February 2019: 33361
(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) (2018: 30680)

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 2019: 198 (30%)
(2011: 172) (2012: 167) (2013: 163) (2014: 165) (2015: 169) (2016:174) (2017: 188) (2018: 197)

Count 5 (Nights out): Thanks to a social resurgence at the very end of the month, I've managed to nudge this count slightly up on last year's total. Before you get the wrong idea, the majority of this February's trips have been no further than BestMate's sofa (where we watched Netflix-sourced video on his telly and put the world to rights) and the other was an evening out with my brother (including pizza). I have sort-of tried, but an average of once a week isn't great, is it? Must try harder.
The number of nights in February 2019 I went out and was vaguely sociable: 4
(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) (2018: 3)

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. It wasn't on the menu in the one restaurant I went to, so I had to choose something else, but even so my Bottled Beer count this month is no higher than one. I probably should have opened that chilled bottle of Becks in the fridge.
Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2019: 0
(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) (2018: 5)

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 2019: 121
(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) (2018: 123)


Count 8 (Trains used): This count's normally pretty consistent too... always just over a hundred a month (apart from the year when I had a "one train" commute rather than two, when the total dipped a bit). I don't have to travel by train any more, but I choose to do so to explore the capital, hence the number's increased a bit this year. If you're counting, I've also travelled on 47 buses this month, five trams and two ferries (and walked up forty-one escalators).
Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2019: 135
(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) (2018:110)


Count 9 (Steps walked): Hasn't the weather been good this month... and I wonder if that's why my monthly steppage total is so high. I've smashed all previous records by a considerable distance, walking 120000 steps more than my previous high point last year. That's an average of 16500 steps a day, the equivalent of eight miles daily, which means I've walked over 200 miles altogether this month. Why sit in the house when there's a world outside to explore? That said I had hoped the extra exercise would help knock a couple of pounds off my waistline, but not a bit of it.
Total number of steps I walked in February 2019: 464000
(2013: 273300) (2014: 254600) (2015: 282300) (2016: 238200) (2017: 328100) (2018: 342000)

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. There was a February, before I started blogging, when the mystery count would have been in double figures, but February 2019 is no such month. Again. Apologies.
Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2019: 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) (2018: 0)


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