diamond geezer

 Friday, February 28, 2020

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. Seventeen 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 2020 (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): It's been another good month for people turning up to read what I've written, even if it hasn't quite matched last year's total (which was the busiest February ever). Whatever, I'm still averaging almost two and a half thousand visitors a day so I can't complain. It amazes me sometimes that anyone comes back when there's the risk of reading about dead kettles, random bus stops or minor streams in Finchley, 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. As one of my regular twenty-four 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 2020: 66682
(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) (2019: 69102)

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 is fractionally down on last year's total but still well above numbers in my first decade. For a blog in the 2020s I'd say it's also 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 2020: 702
(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) (2019: 706)

Count 3 (Blog content): The number of words in my posts had been creeping up since I started blogging, but this year I've nudged it back down a notch. After six years of writing more than thirty thousand words a month, this year sees a 12% drop. But I'm still averaging over 1000 words a day, which is not to be sniffed at, indeed it's the equivalent of writing five novels a year. I wonder how many of you write that much on a regular basis? One possible explanation for the fall is that the number of photos I posted this February is 12% higher than last year (...suggesting that in my case a picture is worth 300 words).
Total number of words in diamond geezer in February 2020: 29099
(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) (2019: 33361)

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 but now I just wake up when I wake up, which is invariably later. 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 2020: 199 (30%)
(2011: 172) (2012: 167) (2013: 163) (2014: 165) (2015: 169) (2016: 174) (2017: 183) (2018: 197) (2019: 198)

Count 5 (Nights out): I'm not an especially social person of an evening, as you can tell by the fact this count has only once surged into double figures. 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), while the other involved tea and an obsessive tray-clearer in Dalston. An average of one evening a week isn't great, but I do at least have two bookings pencilled in for next week so things must be improving.
The number of nights in February 2020 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) (2019: 4)

Count 6 (Alcohol intake): For the purposes of this long-term count, my definition of alcohol has always been a specific gassy bottle of German lager. I cling to Becks for familiarity and ease of ordering, plus it doesn't give me hiccups. Alas it's become increasingly hard to source in pubs in recent years, and this month I haven't actually been to any licenced establishments anyway. I should probably have opened that chilled bottle in the fridge.
Total number of bottles of Becks I drank in February 2020: 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) (2019: 0)

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 2020: 122
(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) (2019: 121)


Count 8 (Trains used): This count's normally been 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 crept up this year to an all-time record. If you're interested I've also travelled on 40 buses this month, walked up 40 escalators and heard the 'See It Say It Sorted' announcement on 33 separate occasions.
Total number of trains I travelled on in February 2020: 136
(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) (2019: 135)


Count 9 (Steps walked): February's weather has been poor for walking, not just relentlessly grey and wet but squidgy underfoot. Nevertheless my monthly steppage total remains high because I've forced myself out in all conditions, mostly along solid paths. I've been averaging fourteen thousand steps a day, the equivalent of seven miles daily, which means I've walked almost 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 2020: 405000
(2013: 273300) (2014: 254600) (2015: 282300) (2016: 238200) (2017: 328100) (2018: 342000) (2019: 464000)

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 January was no different, nor December, before you start wondering if all the mystery has been sidelined elsewhere. Apologies.
Total number of times that the mystery event happened in February 2020: 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) (2019: 0)


» The Count 2020 (for individual daily statistics)


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