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Tartan Tights 2017 My Year On The Blog 

At this time of year it’s time to look back on the year that’s just gone and I’m delighted to say that 2017 has been the most successful year so far for tartan tights. 

In the past 12 months tartan tights received 15,467 views up by more than 3,000 on 2016 and surpassing the previous highest total of 14, 926 which was set in 2015.  

Yet again the New Year brought a slight change in direction and poetry some of which was political and some of a more personal nature began to become the most  prominant type of post  on the blog. There was also a significant increase in family related poems and in the early months of the year there were a number of LGBT posts. In April I managed to complete my third successful NaPoWriMo after which I took a week off and felt like I really needed it. After all the challenge of writing 30 poems in 30 days is more exhausting you may at first think. 

After about 4 or 5 days I was seriously concerned I may have lost my blogging mojo but then I came up with an idea which got it back and big time as I launched my new blog skirting round my life which would focus primarily on trans and women’s issues and I have to say this really helped reconnect with blogging and gave me back my passion for it.  

As for what posts hit the spot in 2017 it was particularly pleasing to see that personal poems played a  prominant part my top five posts which were as follows 

(1) The Clothes Of An Honest Man 335 Views This poem which was written on what would have been my dad’s 90th birthday gives an insight to the man who was the single biggest influence in my life and relates a story of a life in which the seeds of rebellion were sown early as was his passion for equality, fairness, and an independent Scotland. In a more personal context the poem shows of his hostility to organised religion and his deep distrust of The Labour Party whom he often described as Red Brits more than 30 years before the phrase Red Tories became a part of many yes voters lexicon  

(2) The Press Wee Ruth And The Tory Truth And Deliberate Miscalculation 252 Views This post written in the aftermath of the local election results expressed my disgust at the over hyping of the leader of the Scottish branch of the Conservative Party Ruth Davidson who in my opinion is a vacuous one trick pony who only has one phrase in her entite political vocabulary which is say no second divisive referendum  and my post expresses my outrage at the fact she was allowed to get away with this unchallenged by a complient unionist press and media whose hatred for the SNP enabled Davidson to say whatever she liked and get away it.

(3) My Mother’s Daughter 206 Views. In this very personal poem I finally gave my mother the tribute she is owed as I wrote with warmth and honesty about our relationship which though loving was shall we say not without challenges.  This was a poem I had wanted to write for ages as it shows  that though she couldn’t quite get her head round the idea of me wanting to be a girl and eventually a woman like her my mum was  kind hearted and the rules set me in my formative years where an excellent guide book of rules by which to live my life. 

(4) A Woman’s Choice 185 Views. This poem illustrates my personal politics rather than party beliefs and shows that I take the crime of sexual harrassment against women very seriously and as a transwoman I have had first hand experience of this kind of unwanted attention and it is never a nice thing to go through. I wrote this poem for the #metoo social media campaign and I would like to think it was a powerful poem which came straight from the heart. 

(5) The North British Cringe 184 Views.  In this poem written to commemorate our yes campaign and the march to fill Carlton Hill which we did with 30, 000 supporters I look with a significant degree on our opponents in Better Together where I describe what I believe is the condition they suffer from when they deliberately talk  down Scotland and our history and our culture for cash and ermine robes. I titled it The North British Cringe and believe me I’m being far more polite  than I would like to be. 

As for where my readers came from in 2017 I had visitors from 83 countries. The top five countries for visiting tartan tights were The UK(Mainly Scotland) The USA, Canada Australia and Ireland and there were also a significant number of visitors from Italy, Spain, India, Germany France , Switzerland and Netherlands and occasional glances from countries as far afield as Brazil, Morrocco, Bulgaria, and Thailand so it seems that tartan tights is developing an international readership.  So because of this increase in my international following and  for those readers who dont know me on a personal level I have a posted a picture of me at the end of the this post which was taken at the selfie wall for a new make up brand in a Glasgow city centre department store.

It was also a record breaking year for comments with 174 of them comfortably beating the previous record of 147 which was set the previous year and with 324 comment likes I cruised past my previous high of 291 which was set in 2015.  So as you can see, this has been a truly record breaking year for my blog. 

As for the most commented posts. It is no great surprise to me that The Clothes Of An Honest Man was my most commented post of the year with 7 comments. The runner up however was a surprise as I May Not Be A Person Of Interest But I Do Have An Interesting Life which was written after a massive spike in my stats from the USA from early to mid October finished up with 6 comments and Alarm Bells which is poem about Brexit led xenophobia and My Mother’s Daughter both ended up with 5. 

It has to be said however that tartan tights would be nothing without its readers and special acknowledgment must be made to those who are amongst the most regular readers and commentators be it on the blog on social media so thanks go to Amy Cadwallender, at Curvacous Vegan,  Andy Fleming, Angela Haggerty,  Angie Strachan, Autumn’s Mummy,  Beccy Kiernan, Bob Leslie, Carol Allen, Charlene McElhinney, Charlotte Dougall aka Colours Carousels,   Chloe-Rose,  Christina Cannon, Colours Of A Rose,   Derek Read, Diana Devlin Fay Roberts, Janet Crawford, Jenni Pascoe, Katharine MacFarlane,  Katy Loudon, Ksbeth,  Laura Doherty, Lesley Traynor, Lisa-Marie Ferla aka Last Year’s Girl, Peter Russell, Robin Cairns, Sheila Templeton,   Steven Tierney,  Stephen Allan, Stephen Watt,  Susan McKinestry, and Suzanne Egerton, and I thank each and every one of them and many others too numerous to mention for contributing to tartan tights and continuing to support my work.  

Looking back on 2017 it was a good year for tartan tights and the statistics tell a story of success.  The only low point was just at the end of NaPoWriMo when for a week I thought I’d lost my blogging mojo. The fact I was laid up at home during this period with what was a badly sprained ankle didn’t help matters and I think may have contributed to my feelings of helplessness in the early part of May.  

Amongst my blogging highlights this year I was delighted to invited to join the team which hosts the best Twitter chat on the blogosphere Bloggers Do It Better and to write yet again for Common Space on World Transgender Remembrance Day. It was also very pleasing that more posts than ever before reached 100 views including The Flying Winger which is a very personal poem based on the life on my late uncle Arthur Smith That’s Nice a poem on how friends and neighbours react when you tell them your going to a poetry night  and Storm Of Sorrow a poem written in support of Catalonian independence. 

All things considered I believe that this record breaking year for tartan tights has like all years had something to teach me as I aim to become the best blogger I can be and lesson I think I’ve learned in this past year is that you don’t need to worry about finding  your topic because when the muse decides it’s going to strike the subject can be anything from Extra Second  nights at what was The Blue Chair to Mental Health, Global Warming , General Elections,  or even how your friends and neighbours view poetry or the idea of a spoken word scene. The important thing to remember is when it’s ready to be written you’ll write it because you don’t choose the topic, the topic chooses you.  On that thought, all that’s left for me to do is to wish all my readers A Happy , Peaceful, and Successful New Year and hope you’ll keep reading throughout this year and beyond.

Till next time 

Gayle X

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I May Not Be A Person Of Interest But I Do Have An Interesting Life

As a blogger of over five years I would like to say there are few if any issues which have caused me concern since starting tartan tights in March 2012 .

I have put a lot of effort in to what I hope is now a site worth reading and strive to create quality content on a number of diverse topics in which I could be said to have an interest. This has not been an easy journey but it has in the main been an enjoyable and rewarding one . However at this stage of my blogging history I am perhaps for the first time experiencing a very slight unease and if you’ll allow me the privilege I’ll explain the reason why 

It started at the beginning of this month when I suddenly noticed a spike in my stats. Now normally this would be a good thing which would leave me feeling pretty positive but to me at least it was a problem, you see though the views were substantially up the only real increase was in my home page. When added to the fact that this increase was coming not from the UK (my site doesn’t give separate figures for Scotland) but from the United States I was shall we say ever so slighty puzzled .

As a political activist I worried that since I hold views which would lead to the alt right calling me a snowflake that I may have become a person of interest but even for a Celtic fan that may be taking paranoia to a whole new level. I mean I know I have been a vocal critic of President Trump and his friends in the UK Conservative Party but person of interest surely not.  

After putting my paranoia to bed I thought about other potential reasons for this sudden spike in my stats, and the only reason I can possibly think of is that unlike my genuine American readership they don’t actually know what my blog is about and perhaps because of the name they believe it to be focused on one of the following areas. 

(1) Tartan 

(2) Tights

(3) Both 

When they discover it is about neither the tartans of the clans of Scotland or the latest fashion hoisery I can only begin to imagine the horror in their faces, no doubt this will be made even worse when they realise that the blogger concerned is a spoken word poet who is also a transsexual woman and an ardent supporter of both Scottish independence and environmental issues such as climate change. Yes I am really what some would a liberal minded progressive which in Scotland we call normal. I guess this is why most of them don’t make it past the home page. To me the fact they don’t read my posts is their loss rather than mine and message to them is clear if you don’t want to read my content then don’t re-visit my site in the hope it will change,  because it wont and neither will I. Anyway as you should know the definition of insanity is repeating the same action and hoping for a different result. 

So having made all the points I wanted to make,  I will conclude by saying this is my blog. It is my space on the information super highway that is the internet . It a place where I’ll share my thoughts in my way and I’ll try to produce the kind of content I know my regular readers enjoy reading and after five and a half years of tartan tights I think I know what that might be. Why do I say this you may ask, well I’ll tell you why and it all comes down this simple fact, I may not be a person of interest, but I do have an interesting life. 

Till next time

Gayle X