The Story Behind the Name

Picking your blog name – was it easy or did you ponder over it for some time? Did you know, out there in the blogging world, there is a real Garden Faerie and her name is Monica? Well there is… and she has cast her spell across Blogland…

s-h-a-r-e…. t-h-e…. s-t-o-r-y… b-e-h-i-n-d… y-o-u-r… b-l-o-g…. n-a-m-e….

My name is Shirley… when I began my blog (over five years ago now) I didn’t want people to know that! I was a secret blogger…

shirls… came about as it was a connection to my name but not really me.

Oh… but that missing apostrophe has niggled me over the years… but I was happy (yes I was) with my deliberate plan of no punctuation at the time we hit the create blog button.

Anyway, I have been called Shirls in the past and I wanted quirky and (almost) anonymous. Mm… but then I should have an apostrophe after…

Oh…. It wasn’t likely I would continue to blog for more than a few months so did it really matter anyway? Oops… got that timing estimate well wrong!

gardenwatch… came about as that was what I was going to do. Quite simple. I was going to watch my garden for a Robin to visit.

I deliberately joined the words together. I wanted a longer, descriptive word to follow a short one. Simple… or was it…

Oh… but I never considered the whole comment thing when I started blogging. I wasn’t a blog follower or reader. So when it came to leaving comments… that missing apostrophe came back to haunt me once again. Preceeeding ‘says’ its abscence stood out too much for me so in the end I reluctantly dropped the shirls to shirl as my name in comments 🙁

For the record (UK readers) I never considered the whole Autumnwatch and Springwatch names of the BBC programmes. I was definitely not blogging on the back of that. I was an occasional watcher of the programme at that time. Things have changed somewhat there then! I had no idea when I began that my blog would evolve as it has.

So why was I looking for a Robin to visit my garden – in winter preferable with a snowy background? Again quite simple, but a sad story this time…

My homesick friend living in Australia had lost both her parents (back here in Scotland) within three months of each other. I wanted to help keep her connection to Scotland through her time of heartbreaking grief as even after over 20yrs in Australia she was still a Scottish lass at heart.

My friend loved our cold, Scottish Winters and seeing the Robin (not known to me until the day of the second funeral). Her Mum would regularly send her items with Robins on it (from days out) when she was alive.

I started this blog to share images of Scotland and the Robin with my friend. I had no plans for it other than that. I was persuaded by my husband it would make downloading sense and it went from there. I can remember very easily my first attempts at photos and video capture for her. I am confident I have improved since then 🙂

Now with a (basic) HD Video camera I’d like to get a really good capture of the Robin in winter for my friend and everyone else that has since enjoyed seeing footage of the birds that visit my garden. However, I’m still very pleased with the capture below taken in December two years ago. I had fun adding a festive jingle to it 🙂

Oh my… that Garden Faerie has cast a spell on me… however… believe it or not (even now after five years blogging) I am still a bit of a secret blogger… it’s funny that.

Don’t know why I keep this blogging life from some family and friends. I guess I don’t think they would be very interested but for some reason I do feel a tad awkward and embarrassed at thought of telling them anyway… so I don’t.

For any first time visitors reading this blog, I do blog on my garden plants and wildlife as well as watching out for birds visiting the garden. I post on garden and nature reserve visits too.

I’d like to end this spellbound post with a ‘Hello and Thanks’

12 thoughts on “The Story Behind the Name

  1. Hi Shirl,

    I'm a secret blogger too; and suspect there are many of us out there who run our own little lives in the blogging world.
    I see it as a place to go and to be myself without having to think any more of it.
    It's also completely separate to other lives I lead elsewhere on the good ole tinternet! 😀

    Other good friends on the net don't even know about my blog; and it's nice to keep it that way. Just as one keeps real life friends in different areas – some work colleagues, others might enjoy going fishing with or old school friends which know us in a very different way.

  2. oh Shirl you could probably tell your entire family and most wouldn't look at it anyway. Everyone in my family knows about my blog but they don't look at it very often if ever. Never a comment from them. I know my Sister does look at it occasionally because she will mention something to me about it. Sometimes it spurs her to send me pictures of her garden. Love knowing you and your blog even though you try to hide. 🙂

  3. I'm a bit of a secret blogger. Soemtimes I tell people and the shutters come down when I say it's about gardening…But there are also secret blog readers here in Montrose who whisper to me that they read my blog!
    That is the most exquisite photo of a robin. I have all these wonderful birds eating away (including gold finches eating niger seeds -hurray!) and I can't photograph them… yet!

  4. I'm also a secret blogger. I told my Mom and after almost three years one of my friends. Not sure why I feel so self conscious about it.
    What a great reason for starting your blog. I bet your friend loves all your pictures and videos. Your Robins are so different than the ones we have here. Yours is a sweet little one, loved the video.

  5. Very interesting reading this Shirl. I was the opposite and blogged to record my wildlife wanderings, told friends and so on, over the years it has developed, maybe not in the right way, away from pure wildlife to musings. I think that's where I have gone wrong in the past, making it too broad ranging and too complicated… maybe I should go full circle and resurrect the first blog, Quicksilverbirds…. well it's just a few weeks to the new year!! A new start?

  6. Fascinating, I do enjoy your blog so much, and love seeing all the wildlife, I see a lot more birds in my garden now than when the garden was just grass when we bought it. Yesterday there was a blackbird and I was so happy, I've heard rather than seen them in the city but for some reason this is the first time in the garden. I don't have any luck photographing the birds so I really appreciate your fantastic images. You must have a great camera. I'll try to fit in a post about my blogging name (My Hesperides Garden) in the near future and read about some of the others too. Christina

  7. Within a week or so of starting my blog, my partner emailed virtually everyone we knew to tell them about it. I was mortified. Absolutely mortified – as I was just playing really and had no idea if I would stick with it beyond a few weeks. But like Lisa says while quite a lot of family and friends look at it and are very supportive, most have as much interest in it as they do in gardening!

    Love the robin, Shirl (and I had never noticed the missing apostrophe!). Though I suspect he's thinking, stop flipping filming and get the meal worms out!


  8. Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments 🙂

    Liz ah… I get what you’re saying. Different friends for different things. It’s been nice e-meeting you 🙂

    Lisa, you’re probably right. The family and friends I did tell don’t get around to looking. Truth be told I’m not bothered anyway. However, as it’s something that I do I wanted to tell them 🙂

    Janet, ah… the secret readers… that’s different again. Glad you liked the Robin pic. Never used it before, was in the massive files in need of sorting. Congrats on the goldies – I am pleased for you 🙂

    Catherine, ah… it is a strange one isn’t it? Thanks, yes my friend does keep reading (probably more during our winters). Yes, our Robins are quite different. I like yours too 🙂

    Andrew, oh… now you are the exception here then. I guess I could see your way of doing it too. Ah… the broad ranging catches me here too. Perhaps not as broad as you but I can get spates of bird stuff and garden stuff and depending when a visitor comes that probably brings them back or keeps them away. I’m trying to work on a way to get round that. A new start sounds good 🙂

    Christina, thank-you so much for your generous comment. Congrats on your Blackbird. I have enjoyed reading your blog and hearing about how as your garden has grown the birds and wildlife have arrived! My camera has a zoom so that helps, add to that most times the birds are only a short distance from my window and I crop the image. If you get to posting on your name that would be interesting to read 🙂

    Dave, absolutely… I would be mortified too! Sad, but true, my daughters and husband were under strict instruction not to mention my blog to a soul when I first started. They still are to a certain extent. I actually took 3 months to tell my friend in Australia and then was anxious of her email reply. She was so appreciative so I kept going for a while longer still never imaging I would be here 5 yrs on. Lol… funnily enough I never see the Robins at the mealworms. They must take them though. It’s the Blue tits that find the secret stashes 🙂

  9. Hi Shirl,

    I'm a secret blogger too. I love how the anonymity gives me a freedom to write. loved hearing about how your blog started off. I was never really into the internet before I started blogging but I have so enjoyed finding people out there that share the same interests. Most of the people I know switch off when I start talking about gardening and nature.

  10. Hello, great story! It was very difficult for me to come up with my blog name. Isn't it funny how the name seemed like such a small thing when you first start, and then you realize it's a big deal!? I wish I could have come up with a quirkier name, but I like the one I chose. It's fun reading other blogger's stories!

  11. Hello again, Wellywoman thanks for your comment. I loved hearing about you stepping out as wellywoman too. In theory I could call my blog mini wellywoman because we too get a fair bit of rain here and I do tend to wear wellies instead of boots but mine are the shorter ones… even easier for the toilet or phone dash :-)) Yes, chatting to like-minded peeps is great fun 🙂

    Hello and welcome Amy, thanks for popping by! Ah… I agree. There are so many quirky names now. So many more than when I first started blogging but then again the numbers of blogs (especially garden ones) have seriously increased too 🙂

  12. Oh that blighted apostrophe. If I would have known I would have gone with Elephant Eye. Now it often comes up as Elephant %$#& s Eye, as the computer battles with an apostrophe!

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