First of all: no, I haven't had my baby yet. You'll be the first to know. I promise. Apparently, a due date is not like an appointment that your kid knows about. And no, that is not my belly.
Since blogging could be tough for a while, I'm going to try to clear the decks of all the new blogs I've been saving up for, oh, ages. Too long, I know. Blogging is hard to squeeze in when you've been forbidden to sit too long at the computer (bad positioning for el fetus) and you're much too busy anyway scrubbing that mysteriously gummy corner of the kitchen counter that never bothered you before but now, for some reason, you must obliterate.
So what have we got today? First up is Manhattanchester, a personal blog written by Gregling, a NYC-loving Mancunian that features some graffiti art photos, cautionary stag do tales and thoughts about the rising cost of higher education. Greg also mentioned Overheard in Manchester as a fun place to play - I'd heard of the New York version but didn't realise we had our own one here.
Another personal blog: Middle Man, which is the sometimes irreverent ramblings and observations of a middle-aged, Midlands-born middle manager. Nice.
And another one: Gay/Thinking is the diary of a twentysomething gay student in Manchester.
Et in Ribbletonia Ego is a blog about the adventures of a new mother and pigeon racing hopeful who lives in Preston.
A new writerly blog: Extracts Von is Manchester-based writer Jack Burston's blog "collecting extracts, chapters and episodes from my writing as well as a few photographs etc. etc"
Shoplifters is a new mp3 blog from Manc DJs (Black Country) Grammar and Jon Claude, linked to their Bay Horse clubnight of the same name. It's basically all the latest remixes, for a limited time only.
Still on the music... Ugly Talented is a Manchester-based music blog written by Tom and Haydn. Nice eclectic mix of stuff on there, new and old both. And if you're in the mood for a total mindfuck, watch that Garfield and Odie do the Theme from Taxi clip they linked to. Whaaa?
The PR Media Blog is written by PR dude Mark Hanson, who recently returned to his native NW from the big smoke, and colleagues Toto Ellis and Michael Cooper. Some interesting posts on there concerned with the overlapping ground where PR, politics and media intersect, locally and globally (though Mark has questionable taste in US Presidential candidates. Hee hee.)
And a departure on the old blogroll: The Console, that ambitious and appealingly-designed dual pronged music and visual art blog, pulled the plug a couple of months ago. Sorry to see it go.
Also, as the literary types among ye may know, the blogs-to-books publisher The Friday Project has come a cropper. I'm not going to join the debate about whether their list was any good in the first place, whether blogs naturally make good books or not, or whether the whole idea was half baked/prescient but under-resourced, etc. etc., because other folks have already commented on this much more eloquently than I could hope to in my current state.
But I will say that local author and blogger Caroline Smailes (who spoke/read at last year's Manchester Blog Awards, you may remember) is one of the lucky few TFP authors whose books were picked up by HarperCollins, and so last year's In Search of Adam and her forthcoming Black Boxes are comparatively safe.