latest from wordsout
January 2020 Sorting through some boxes from the loft we came across the manuscripts of two "lost" occasional pieces of which I had only the dimmest memory: an eighth "Professor poem", The professor meets his match celebrating Colin and Mary's 40th wedding anniversary in 1994, and an even earlier piece, The counselled husband calypso, written on my old manual typewriter to sing to her study group when collecting Tessa after a counselling course at St John's Nottingham in 1988 or 1989 - ironically we found this in the month that St John's has closed down. There are some bad puns in the first and some quite good jokes in the second.
January 2020 Christmas is by far the busiest time of the year for the wordsout site: 75% of visits are in the three months up to Epiphany (January 6th), mainly people looking for readings for Christmas services and events. Some stats for the geeks among my readers. There are about 13,000 visitors in that period, on average each one visiting the site 1.35 times, staying for just under 5 minutes and looking at 7 pages per session. 82% are from the UK, 7.5% the US, about 1% each from Canada, Australia and Ireland and a smattering from a hundred other countries. Two thirds get to the site via Google or another search engine, 27% by using a specific URL or a bookmark, and 7% via social media or other internet links. Unlike most sites where the majority of traffic is now mobile, 60% of users are on computers (ministers and others at their desks looking for material!), only 25% mobile and 15% tablet, although mobile use is growing and I hope that having made the site more mobile-friendly in this last month will help. The figures and patterns are remarkably consistent year on year (although 2019 was up a few percent on 2018): Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days - that's presumably when most event planning is done. The most popular seasonal poems for several years have been Joseph and the Shepherds, Gabriel's Revelation and What kind of Messiah?, although this year the Brexit parody The (good)will of the people was the runaway winner - not something I expect to be repeated in 2020!
December 2019 The site is undergoing a major reformatting, in the main to make it more mobile-friendly.
December 2019 Added The gallery to the ongoing Incarnate collection. This poem was written more than 30 years ago and I didn't include it in Breaking the Chains, but reviewing it in the course of working on the site I realised that it fitted well with the themes of Incarnate and that it still represented my views, which is not so true of some of the other early poems.
November 2019 Added The (good)will of the people, a Brexit-influenced rewrite of Luke's angels and shepherds story. It was written for St John's carol service in 2018 in the expectation that it would be entirely irrelevant by this year. I rewrote parts of it in the context the December 12th UK General Election.