Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006


Stats, Beautiful Stats

This is my 600th post.

At the time of writing, Charlotte’s Web has had 423,822 hits.

Today, most of my visitors came from the USA (45) and the fewest from Egypt (2).

Top post is still the ever-lasting 10 Things I Find Weird about Germany with 34,970 views. If I one day sell this many books, I will be a happy writer.

Second most popular post is the good twin 10 Things I Love about Germany, with 19,613 views. This many books would also be great.

Top search is for Charlotte’s Web with 4,155 hits.

The second highest search is I love Germany with 2,817 hits.

So let’s hope I’ll still be blogging when I hit 1,200 posts. At least by then, I should have sold one or two books.

Thanks to those of you who are still with me, despite the sporadic service. You deserve a bit of this:

With thanks to darwinbell (red balloons), Gregloby (traffic lights), ZeroOne (Manhattan), Pedrosimoes7 (bare feet), AdamBindslev (coffee and cake), Luc Viatour (spider web), Steys (Deutschland) and Timailius (champagne).


Happy Birthday, dear Blog

It’s my blog’s birthday today. Three years of mind burps, fairytales, rants and soul-revealing. Three years of making friends (some of whom I’ve now actually met). Three years of laughing at the Germans (Germans, I love you, truly I do, but sometimes you are funny. I mean who else would call a hair salon “Hairkillers”? Or a ladies’ evening “Ladydinner”?). Despite trying to bring you depth and resonance (you know, because I’m like that), I find that my top three posts are about Valentine’s Day, cakes and children’s birthdays. And the top three search engine terms that brought people here are “charlotte’s web”, “writing strengths” and “lemon drizzle cake”. Which goes to show that when it comes to blogging, you don’t always know it all.

I have not strayed from my initial blogging goals, which were to write regularly, to aim for quality over quantity and to avoid topics like the laundry, my latest head-cold or why I haven’t been blogging lately. I don’t believe in making excuses, but when I do post, I try to make it worth your while. I also aim to be positive rather than negative, so while I love reading biting snark, I don’t really snark myself (unless it’s to do with the Germans).

So, dear readers, on this third anniversary of my blogging life, I hand it over to you. Tell me what you like best about Charlotte’s Web, and in future I will try to oblige.

PS Happy Birthday to my blog-twin, Dorothy.


Celebration Cake

Today, I celebrate two years of blogging. My blog is a toddler, and like all toddlers it likes a bit of cake. Over the years, I have written about love, friendship, AIDS, apartheid, feminism, family, parenting, children, books, writing, living in Germany and cake. My post on Lemon Drizzle Cake is still one of the most popular, at over 1500 hits.

To celebrate today’s anniversary, I’m doing a food meme, ruthlessly stolen from Emily and Susan, but in honour of today, it focuses on cake.

Five Random Things about Me and Cake:

1. The last cake I made was Nigella’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake, which I served as a dessert with creme fraiche and pomegranate seeds liberally doused in rosewater. Nigella says this cake is as “damp and sticky as gingerbread and quite as aromatic” and it is. My husband, who does not have a sweet tooth and is not desperately keen on cake, had two slices.

2. The next cake I’m going to make is something for Easter. I’m torn between Nigella’s Easter Nest cake which is chocolately, gooey and luxurious and her Rosemary Loaf cake, which is more restrained. I think I’m heading for the rosemary cake, because there’s going to be enough chocolate around this coming weekend, and the herb will provide a pleasant counterpoint. And I have a special fondness for loaf cakes.

3. Nigella is not my only reference point for cake, but almost. I have made Delia’s Victoria sponge cake and Jamie’s shortbread, but when I’m in the mood to bake a cake I always start with Nigella. Her recipes are fail-safe, delicious and seasonal. One of my raging successes was a chestnut cheesecake for Christmas. It was nutty and heavenly. I could have eaten the whole thing all by myself. Come to think of it, I probably did.

4. For birthdays, I am a traitor to Nigella. I always bake my mother’s stove-top chocolate cake, which contains buttermilk, cocoa and oil, and turns out fudgy and scrumptious. I once posted the recipe here.

5. I am intimidated by icing, and tend to prefer cakes that are icing-free or icing-light. My mother’s chocolate cake is wonderful because you pour the icing on while the cake is still hot, and it melts into the just-cooked cake, making it even fudgier. I admire people who can ice and decorate complicated cakes. Mine tend to be more rustic, but in a delicious kind of way.

One of my blog friends, Dorothy, shares a blog birthday with me. Happy Blog Day, Dorothy. It’s been fun being your twin. Would you like to share my cake?