Once upon a time, there was a weblog.
This particular weblog existed for almost exactly five years. It emerged — stumbling and blinking into the light, displaying a dreadful site design backed up by some very amateurish code, and featuring far too many sickeningly enthusiastic words — in October 2000, when its writer (that’s me) knew virtually nothing about the internet and had only read two other weblogs because, quite honestly, there weren’t many more than that to read at the time.
The rest, as they say, is hysterical.
History. I meant history.
The rest, as they say, is history.
This same weblog finally met its end in October 2005, by which time its writer (still me) knew far too much about wasting time online, and the term ‘blog’ had become so dreadfully ubiquitous that your next door neighbour’s pet goldfish probably had a page where it enlightened the world as to its daily thoughts. It ended because the writer (also me, allegedly) was bored with blogging and decided to indulge in the medium’s very own version of a hissy fit — otherwise known as a ‘hiatus’. But the hiatus became a pause which became missing in action which became eight months in the non-blogging wilderness. Then the writer (no longer me, because I was obviously not writing the weblog being referred to here) set up An Unreliable Witness, the site you are currently perusing with presumably no small measure of enjoyment. They all lived happily ever after, and the former writer of the aforementioned weblog never looked back.
Except he did look back, because he was that sort of person. He decided that the five years’ worth of words he had published in a different location had, on occasion, not been so bad. He came to the conclusion that his first foray into the weblog world had been, in his own humble opinion, a little better than decidedly average. A glowing endorsement, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
So the writer (still writing, but not where he had been writing before) sat down with his sixty months of archives and sifted, pulled out, weeded and salvaged the better posts, while dispensing with the dated, irrelevant or badly-written dross concerning long-forgotten news stories, hilarious pictures of kittens or, more often than not, bouts of pathetically self-obsessed navel-gazing. He decided, rather grandiosely, to make these chosen entries available in his current online home, thereby allowing him to finally nail the condemned notice to a wooden post on his old stomping ground. It is difficult to imagine what the writer (him, over there) was thinking by taking this entirely vain course of action — maybe he foolishly imagined that some deluded soul out there might want to read words that, in internet terms, are almost prehistoric. Will the writer’s inflated opinion of his own importance turn out to be justified? Very unlikely, frankly.
The weblog in question was called Wherever You Are. For five years, it gave the writer (whoever he was) something to do in the evenings. Or during quiet moments at work. Or when he was just at a loose end. Which was often. It did not change the world, and the writer (having since retreated into a permanent state of bewilderment) makes no claims that it did so. It was only a weblog, after all.
Since the particular weblog in question was called Wherever You Are, quite obviously this site within a site — a bijoux site-ette, if you will — cannot also be known as Wherever You Are. No, it cannot, since that would be terribly confusing. Wherever You Are is dead and gone and forgotten and rotting in the ground, though it still lives on in the hearts and minds of many. At least one person, in fact. Possibly.
So this is not Wherever You Are, and never shall be. Instead, this is Wherever You Were. But that would be a silly name for a blog, even an archived blog — not to mention being too long to fit comfortably into my site navigation. So it shall be known as Preserving. Because that’s what it’s doing — preserving.
To put it another way, this is a means by which a selection of writing from five years of blogging can be stuck somewhere that isn’t just on the writer’s hard drive. Please try to remain in your seats and not get unduly excited. Enjoy reading, but don’t take any of it too seriously. That’s this writer’s advice, anyway.
Finally, a word of thanks to Hg for suggesting the very appropriate title for this part of the site, to The Goldfish for seemingly knowing Wherever You Are better than I knew it myself and reminding me of many old posts I would otherwise have forgotten about, and to everyone who visited the site and took the time to read or comment during the five years of its existence.