Most of the people in my life are already aware that I am spectacularly bad at remembering special dates. If there is a big birthday or anniversary the odds are I will forget to mark it with a text or a card or a lovely little something. I am not the person in my family who spends time thinking about appropriate gifts come the holiday season; that is a task firmly in my husband’s to-do pile.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Me bad at dates. I have forgotten one particular friend’s birthday, two times, both times while spending the actual day with him. Really, really bad at this.
I don’t know why. You would think I am exactly the person that calendar reminders are made for, except I can’t abide my phone informing me of events either. I don’t even know my mother’s birthday exactly - since we haven’t lived in the same place since I was 15 I just send her a card or gift in the first week of July and that will do. She’s not terribly good at these things either, which occasionally hurts until I remember I’m no better at it, so it evens out.
This is a very long winded way of saying I completely missed the 20th anniversary of the Belle de Jour blog. My god, the time does fly, doesn’t it?
It was 20 years ago, give or take, I started the blog that would not only change my life but also the internet as we knew it. Sounds weird to put it like that but it's true.
By the time I started that particular blog, in October 2002 (I think? As I said, I’m not good at this) I had already been blogging for several years. That was more of a traditional link blog, the kind with one line max of wry commentary, just a way we used to point people to curated items of interest.
A few people had already started producing blogs with more diary-type entries, telling their slim readership what yogurt they had for lunch in their London media offices or whatever, but that was not my jam. Not simply because I preferred link blogs but because the daily minutiae of middle class white collar folks roughly my own age was not terribly interesting. In 2001, the Guardian started its Best British Weblog award, and the inaugural winner was… some guy who wrote semi ironically about office life in London, maybe. I genuinely do not remember.