Starting The Year (Calendar) And Making the Century (Weblog)

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This is the beginning of the working year - and the one hundredth entry which Hilary has written on her weblog. It's been an exciting adventure for this weblogger so far; and hopefully there are more topics to come....

It somehow feels right that this is the first working day of the new year - and also the one hundredth item I've written for my weblog. After a very hesitant start I actually got going in October, and here I am, still enjoying it all enormously.

And slowly the 'rules' I want to work to are becoming clearer: I try to keep things 'even' and I certainly don't want to be personal about individuals; I tend to steer clear of specifically party politics unless I can find no other way to say something (Yes, I am a seasoned honorary officer of the Liverpool Labour Party, just to be sure to declare my interest here); and I seek to share information and views across a wide range of topics, because I feel very strongly that we should all try to connect up ideas and views where we can.

Learning from your comments
I'm very grateful to all those who have taken the time and trouble to respond to various things I've written. It's interesting that the topic which has attracted both the most hits (about 5% of them all) and the most comments is in fact Liverpool's Sefton Park and the proposals for restoring it to its former glory.

Sefton Park could seem a strange topic for hot debate, but actually that's just what we're having about the Park right now - there are people out there who feel very strongly about the whole thing, one way and the other. So perhaps one element of a weblog which attracts active debate is the possibility on a ',a type="amzn">human scale ' of influencing outcomes?

Well-visited topics
But there are also a lot more issues which attract interest, to judge from hits on this website - amongst them, elected mayors (or not), Liverpool's Hope Street, regionalism and Tesco! And that's before we get to women's groups, orchestras, science and medicine, eco-issues and the surprisingly well-visited entries on allotments and art and health.

The weblog continues to take shape
I am of course very aware that my long-suffering website designer, the estimable Nick Prior, has set me quite a few tasks for the next few months to take this weblog forward. There will be re-designs to whatever extent, and I am going to have to make some hard-headed decisions about Categories and the like.... and that's where the feedback I get from you, our readers, comes in so useful. Please keep it coming!

And for 2006...?
Who knows what will crop up next by way of hot debate? We all have our pressing interests and concerns, and we all have lots to do, so the scope is enormous. But for me I guess and hope there will be some very interesting experiences in 2006. All the things I currently do are fascinating and there's more for me to add in the months to come - particularly my new role as a Member of the Defra (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Science Advisory Council, about which I shall start to learn more very soon.

So I hope it will be a very good year for us all; and that I shall continue to be able to share some of my ideas with you, and you will do the same for me.

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