So, I have a new blog. One of the very first posts I ever wrote on my Tumblr, 18 months ago, was about my writer’s block – my repeated failure to start and maintain a blog because my love of writing is coupled with a crippling self-doubt in my ability to do so. Through that blog, and the amazing network of feminists on Tumblr, I have learnt and developed so much since then. But, through a combination of laziness and the “reblogging” nature of Tumblr, my blog there has, of late, turned into little more than a scrapbook of pictures and quotes, reblogged from other people. There’s nothing wrong with that as such, except that I currently have that same burning desire to write again.
On Tuesday 9th August I said goodbye to my grandfather, Doug Graham. We had very little in common, particularly when it came to our views on sport, religion, politics and the role of women! But we were both passionate writers, and we were both Grahams. In the last letter he wrote me, he spoke of the importance of being a Graham – part of the clan (despite his genealogical research having proven no such connection!) – and referenced my own past disinclination towards this idea. I must admit, being a Graham (as I imagine is the case in many families) has often, over the last 10 years, felt rather like the Clarks school shoes your parents force you to wear – the less attractive option, that you later, having tried out the alternatives, come to appreciate for just being SO DAMN COMFORTABLE. The motto of clan Graham is “ne oublie” – do not forget. I won’t.
One of the few ways in which we related to each other was through our shared love of writing. It’s a love I inherited from both him and my dad, making it an indivisible part of my identity as a Graham and I can’t, as a writer, ever imagine being anything else. He wouldn’t have agreed with all my radical, feminist views, but he’d have agreed even less with me not writing at all when there’s so much on my heart.
In the long-term I hope it will be a blog of quality over quantity (leaving Tumblr for the dozens of reblogs a day), but I feel like I have a lot to write about over the next few weeks. Not only is my mind racing with thoughts on everything I heard over the weekend at UK Feminista’s summer school, but I’m also (very consciously) coming to the end of a totally intense and life-changing year, and I’m full of reflections on everything it’s held.