Exactly one year ago I set up a new blog called My Darling Darlinghurst and published my first post at about eight in the morning. I only know it was 8.20am because that's what the time stamp says. God knows what I was doing up at that hour.
Anyway, over the next year I became obsessed with my little blog, encouraged on by the dozens of lovely emails I received from readers throughout Australia and around the world. Okay, there were probably not dozens of people writing to me, but there were at least 12. And each little bit of correspondence I received was lovely. It is a rare thing to indulge your passion and then have people enjoy it enough to write to you, so for each and every email I am grateful.
Some of the people that wrote to me, such as street photographer Adrian Bell and Tasmanian tunnel-lover Stephen Hickmott, also had their stories published here and continue to write to me today and I am the richer for it.
Through this blog - in a way - I was also able to meet and correspond with Larry Writer, author of Razor and all-round charming chap.
What a blessed existence I have in this excellent neighbourhood.
I may be too old to still be renting and have no money in the bank, but there is a daily joy in waking up in Darlinghurst and wondering what adventures I might have or what people I might meet.
I also think my blog provides me with a good distraction to forget about the things that I don't have and simply appreciate the things that I do.
To celebrate my first year as a blogger, I have made a tiny, eensy-weensy, little eight-page zine, A Guide To The Neighbourhood, which will be distributed through my favourite shops.
Just like my blog the zine is a labour of love, has the occasional mistake and is not perfect. But please be kind to it, because unlike my blog, you can also use it as a makeshift fan to cool you through the warm spring days.
I began work on the zine many moons ago, but when it came to the point to draw the large map that features in its centre-spread, I gave up. It was just far beyond my technical skills.
But then, with the first anniversary rapidly approaching, I decided to just cheat and use a photocopy of an existing map, rather than drawing it myself. The result is not that great: you can barely see the streets, so it is practically useless.
Still, I take heart that many people who choose to use the map may become lost in the Darlinghurst backstreets and stumble upon a hidden treasure, say a beautiful piece of street art. Then, becoming lost and losing time will be so worthwhile.
I published the zine or comic on pink paper, because when I started this blog it was initially pink (but while pink is one of my favourite colours, it's not to everybody's taste so I switched it to the present sepia shade).
The first print of the zine is an exclusive edition of 30, which features hard covers and colour printing. If you would like me to send you one, please message me with your postal address through the My Darling Darlinghurst Facebook page.
The second print has soft covers, only comes in black ink and I'll probably print as many of them as I can, to distribute in my favourite local shops, such as Strawberry Cream and Russell Wade Clothing.
If you happen to come across one, please let me know what you think.
If I am still around in another year, I might make another one.
Thanks for reading and warmest wishes, Violet Tingle.