All our good resolutions about being in the blogging business for the long haul have counted for nothing in the face of "real life"!
Ella started a new job just before Christmas 2013 and I will be starting a new career as a teacher immediately after Easter in 2014. If you add to the mixture Ella' s toddler Nicola (aged 1) and my toddler Alice (also aged 1) plus our long-suffering husbands and pets you can see that something just had to go.
Luckily our close friends Didi and 38DD are keen to take over the leadership roles occupied by Ella and I since October 2009. We have known the two of them for years and they have both been active participants in many of the social events described in such loving detail within the newsletter and, more recently, this blog! They have very clear views on the "way forward" and as the new bosses they will have our absolute support in making some changes.
The open access blog (this blog) will shut down and a new "by invitation only" blog will replace it. Didi, 38DD and all (yes all!) the guest bloggers want to go down this new route and so that is what is going to happen. All the people who already qualify as subscribers to the new blog will be sent full joining details within the next few days. Sadly, at least as far as I'm concerned, this means we will be saying goodbye to a few current readers. The largest group we will be losing will be those who are not known to a qualifying member in good standing but who have also been receiving the newsletter for a minimum of 12 months without ever communicating with the editors. I think just six of you fall into this category. I suspect some of you signed up on a whim and either just skim-read the newsletter or delete it unread.
The "scatter gun" approach to marketing the blog will also cease. This was always going to be a risky strategy and it hasn't worked as well as we had hoped. Promotion of the blog will now be by word of mouth only. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of currently active members we have recruited via on-line groups and it is fair to say that we were not made to feel welcome in some of the places we visited in our hunt for members.
Making the joint decision to step down wasn't easy. But we would rather leave before things started to go wrong - which certainly would have happened if we had spread ourselves any thinner. We will continue to participate in every other aspect of the group just as we have always done in the past so don't panic!
With love to you all.
Eve and Ella (January 2014)