a funny thing happened about 6 months ago: my website and blog vanished. i contacted my hosting company – who in the past have been very quick to respond to support requests – and got the usual automated email saying someone would get back to me soon. i waited, and waited, and waited … and checked their website for info about an outage or other problem. there was nothing. after nearly a week i started looking into a new hosting company. after a week, i received a reply – informing me that the company had been bought out and the new owners had sent a single email in mid-july informing customers that web hosting services would cease in 3 weeks. i never received that email, maybe it went into a spam folder, but one email and 3 weeks notice seems pretty unprofessional for shutting down services.
anyway, that was how it was. interestingly, i wasn’t too bothered. if it had happened a couple of years ago, it would have made me furious. but now – ah, a holiday from having a web presence! i was gone from the internet for over a month! something that had not happened in about 20 years of having a personal website! and some good fortune, my site is still old-school html, so i have all the files on my laptop and once i had a new hosting company in place it took a couple of minutes to ftp everything & be back in cyberspace.
however, i did also have a blog. i started it almost exactly 10 years ago, at the start of 2009 – my first post was an account of my new year’s adventures – and this was a database that i had backed up to my own server … at the same hosting company. it was extremely difficult to get any contact at all with the new company that had bought and shut down my web host, since i am not a customer of the new company. finally i spent about 45 minutes on the phone to a nice young woman in the USA, who tried to find out if my database could be recovered, but ultimately she had to admit that she couldn’t actually find anyone who even knew anything about what had happened. so i’ve lost 10 years of blog posts.
it’s a loss for me; there was some stuff there that i don’t have anywhere else that was good writing, and/or documentation of my projects or festivals i’ve presented at or simply interesting observations and events. i keep a paper journal so i won’t suffer too much from holes in my memory but there were things there that would have been nice to still have. but … maybe it’s timely. maybe it’s good every now and again to lose stuff, to let go, to accept that not everything is necessary to keep. to have a fresh start. so this is the restart. you can expect something.