It's been a long couple of weeks but thank you for holding on and standing firm, if you have done. We reach the climax, the big one, the title that everyone really wants, whilst pretending that they're pleased for all the other winners.
How does a blog get into the list of nominees for the Blog Of The Year Award? Well, in order to answer that you need to start by putting objectivity aside. It's all about blogs I read, people I like and things that fundamentally make me smile. There's no rhyme or reason, it's really just the blogs I find myself returning to time and time again.
Of course one of the major influences in this is the frequency of posting. Some blogs are fantastic but kick out a superb post every once in a while and then languish lazily in the recesses of Kottu for months before they put out the next. I crave satisfaction on a far more frequent basis than that.
Then there's the question of identity, blog identity, not the whole "is he really a Sri Lankan when he lives overseas and doesn't wear jeans with turn ups?" thing. There are some blogs that change their name, look or address more often than that Anarkali woman. That's all well and good if you are that Anarkali woman but it's not going to win you the Blog Of The Year Award.
No, I like to be able to read archives, to look at history and to not have to hunt for a blog's URL like a rare bird making its first appearance in Sri Lanka for several hundred years, finding that Amila Salgado has gone to the cinema for the afternoon and having to look everywhere for him.
The smiling thing has to happen too. Make me (and the guest judges) smile. It doesn't have to be cracking up with mirth and merriness smiling either. It might be a wry smile, like when I do a fart in my office and I'm the only one aware of it, or it might be a smile with a nod of the head for a bit of intelligent writing that I understand. Rare I know, but it has happened.
If I tell you that the previous winners are such legendary bloggers as Darwin, Cerno and The Missing Sandwich, then you'll have an idea of the high standards involved. So I will tell you. The previous winners are Darwin, Cerno and The Missing Sandwich.
I think that's enough rambling, I can get a bit excited sometimes. This year the nominees are:
1. Cerno - Yes, the winner of the award in 2007 is back and better than ever. Cerno's one of the old school now, but age only makes him better at blogging and giving us interesting things to ponder on. I've never actually met Cerno but, if I ever do, I'll be in awe and probably won't be able to talk properly. This post is proof of his genius. From the layout and look of his blog to the content itself there's something wonderfully imaginative and quirky going on there. He remains one of my heroes.
2. Ephemeral Ruminations - Or Java Jones as we know him. Or, to use Sittingnut's intelligent and eloquent approach, Chickenshit bitch Java Jones. Now I know Java and I can tell you that he's one of life's good guys. He's the sort of fellow who, were I living in that sort of environment, I'd allow to sleep with my girlfriend, assuming she wanted to of course. That's how nice he is. Really. Somewhere in there is a joke about wives and girlfriends, you know that insinuation that a fellow might have both. I'm not going there though, due to some thin ice re my previous statement.
On the blog side his outpourings are that delightfully witty yet slightly nutty with a woody aftertaste recipe that we've all got so used to, like woodapple jam actually. He makes me think does Java, with posts like this when he asks a relatively simple question and posts like this when he gets cleverer than a British MP filling out his expenses which are then going to be checked and authorised by a Sri Lankan one.
3. Life In Taprobane - I plead guilty here. Guilty to never having put a link to this blog up from mine. I don't know why, as I read it avidly, eagerly awaiting a new post like a dog with a bone being dangled just above its mouth. Serendib Isle, the author, is a divorced father of two who lives in Jeddah (I think). He's Sri Lankan and writes a lot about the motherland in that very diasporic way. As a fellow divorced and diasporic Dad I feel a great affinity towards him. This post is one such example where I really could relate to the feelings and thoughts described. Or have a glance at his post about Lebanon for an example of one of those make you think about things type of posts.
4. A Glimpse of Lady Divine's World - Our Lady D was pipped at the post last year in this very same category. How is a chap to describe her and her blog? Well, I hope she takes this in the good and positive way it's intended. She isn't the best writer out there, she doesn't tell the best stories, she's not the funniest nor does she take the best photos. But, put it all together and she's consistently one of everyone's favourite bloggers. She's got the X factor, though I've no idea what the X factor actually is. She's the Kylie Minogue of the Sri Lankan blogosphere.
It might be her honesty, the heart on sleeve element that goes on. I don't know, but check out her post about getting pissed and blood tests to get a dose of it. She just has this very clever way of living her life and making all of us, her readers, feel as if we're strolling along next to her and watching everything going on. Natural and cool I say.
5. Just About Anything - The winner of this year's best overseas blog. It's another Lankan diasporic one, this time coming from Japan. There are pictures, stories of Japanese life, stories of Sri Lankan life and the best clock in the Lankanosphere. What more could a reader want? Yes, drums. I know. Other than that it's all good over in the JapSach corner.
Those, my friends are the finalists. They all follow in some awesome footsteps but sadly there has to be a single winner. Yes, the winner, the Blog Of The Year for 2009 goes to............
.........................A Glimpse of Lady Divine's World.
I pass you over to our guest judge, last year's winner of the title who then went on to retire from blogging, it's The Missing Sandwich. She had these words to say of Lady D:
"D has been around the lankanosphere (term coined by RD) since 2006, quietly pattering away on her keyboard about a myriad subjects from mothers to burps, marriage proposals to poetry and the occasional post that delves right into the soul of her, reminding us just how real and passionate a person she is. The 'glimpse' she gives us of her divine world makes me envy her and the ease with which she invites us in to take peek. Congrats LD, you are indeed the 2009 Blogger and Blog of the year. I am not allowed to express my real sentiments, so the enraged exclamations of "give me back my award bitch!" will have to be put on the back burner especially since the missingsandwich is recently retired. Oh and the best part... Shhh! Come closer, I don't want to offend Cerno. Listen velly carefully for I shall zay zis only vunce - please take that bloody 16 tonne olmec head away from me! It was too much. Really. Here you go.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olmec) Good luck with trying to move it. (snigger) "
Congratulations and thanks to all. Tomorrow we wind things up with the closing ceremony.