The Cosy Little Cottage

How about a nice cup of tea?


This site is my little cosy corner where I collect my thoughts and the stories I want to tell. Instead of keeping them locked in a virtual or physical drawer, I decided to put them here, free for other travellers to rummage through. Who knows, maybe they can make your day just a little bit better, by giving you a reason to smile, or to think about something.

Also, this is my little playground to experiment with Web technologies. I’m not using any pre-made theme or framework. Like in the early days of the Interwebs, it’s all crafted by hand from the ground up, hopefully with less atrocious stylistic choices. This means that the site may look wrong on older browsers, or on particular devices. It may well look horrible on any browser. Don’t expect dazzling examples of Web design, you won’t find any.

What I can promise you is that my site won’t track you in any way. No analytics, no ads, no cookies, no annoying pop-ups reminding you about cookies.

If you are interested in the technicalities, I use Hugo behind the scenes.

Is this site a blog?

No, it’s not. The main content pages are organised by topic, not by date, and there’s no guarantee I’ll be updating the contents regularly.

I’ve set up blogs in the past, several times, and they’ve all died of starvation. Things used to go well at first, then I started to post less and less frequently, until I lost interest and deleted the whole thing.

Sure enough, I tried creating a blog section for the cosy cottage, but it became immediately obvious that I couldn’t be bothered to keep it up to date. So I deleted it. I never learn.

The thing is, I don’t want to be under any pressure to post updates on a regular basis. I don’t want to write something because I feel I have to.

Why a pseudonym?

I want to express my opinions freely, without family, work colleagues and acquaintances being able to snoop. The Cosy Little Cottage is not my professional showcase to let employers know how brilliant I am, nor I make any money out of it. It is a place where I can drop the mask, be myself, and occasionaly meet like-minded souls as they sail across the Interwebs.

Why no comments?

You can’t leave comments on the pages of this site. Comments are public utterances, shouted to the world. It’s as if we were talking at the top of our voices in a crowded pub, with anyone able to barge into our conversation, whether we like it or not. Not only that, but the words we say would be written down and pinned to the wall for everyone to see.

I prefer one-to-one chats, which is why I have set up a contact form in the unlikely event you want to get in touch. Maybe this could lead to a profound conversation that would enrich us both, but I would happily settle for a silly exchange of jokes.

I should probably mention that sometimes I do leave comments on other people’s blogs and sites. When I’m a guest in someone else’s digital home, I do my best to adapt to the way they like to communicate.

Social media

You won’t find the Merry Hermit on most social media platforms, unless some other fellow is using this name. I’m not on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or the like.

I used to be, but I soon grew tired, for the same reason I explained in the section about comments. I would end up using private messages more than public posts.

Moreover, social media can end up being mostly about numbers. How many followers, how many likes, how many retweets, and so on. These numbers become currencies to be exchanged, and suddenly all that matters is getting rich by trading these currencies. I follow you hoping you’ll follow me. I give a like in exchange for a like. I leave a comment on your blog to publicise the address of my blog. I shriek like a toddler on a sugar high to attract attention.

I was guilty of that too, except perhaps the shrieking, which is why I decided to put an end to it. I’m not saying you can’t have thoughtful, deep conversations on social media, or that you can’t forge strong, honest relationships. It just hasn’t worked for me yet.

But I haven’t lost all hope. Social networks, when done right, can be great to find people with common interests, or with interests you never knew existed. Even if you don’t interact much, you can do virtual people watching: overhear fragments of conversations and discover new books, films, websites. As long as you don’t fall into the death trap of infinite scrolling, it can even be fun.

I don’t rule out opening accounts on social network sites to see how it goes. But my main home will always be this cosy little cottage. I’ll sit by the window and sometimes exchange a few words with whoever happens to walk by. I like it better this way.

Published: Sunday 21 Jan 2018

Last modified: Tuesday 27 Oct 2020

The Cosy Little Cottage by the Merry Hermit CC BY-SA 4.0