A Public Image


I recently engaged in correspondence with a good blogging friend. It was about the inclusion of a personal portrait on a blog, book jacket, or any other form that made the image publicly available. He was wary of including his photo, feeling that it made identification so much easier, and with that, the potential for confrontation. In response, I argued that readers often like to have a mental image of the author of the work that they are reading, although I had to agree that humans are prone toΒ  make suppositions about character from a fleeting glance at an image of a person.

I have only ever posted two photos on this blog, and neither of them were of me. I perhaps had a worry that readers might be put off, by unexpected or disliked features. Since the exchange of e mails with my friend, I have continued to dwell on this subject. As someone who has laid out their entire life history for anyone to read, as well as expounding extreme opinions on many issues and subjects, why would I balk at showing a personal photo? Was I worried that followers and readers would desert my blog, as they were unhappy with my appearance? It all started to seem a bit silly, and self-conscious: perhaps even a little precious.

So, here I am, with my oft-mentioned dog, Ollie. The photo was taken on the North Norfolk Coastal Path, in the early summer of 2013, so it is still fairly current. I even had the same jacket on earlier today, so little has changed. Of course, many of those who read my blog know me very well already. To them, this image will hold no surprises. Others in my blogging fraternity have seen this previously, sent privately in e mails. For the rest of you, I hope that it wasn’t too much of a shock.


21 thoughts on “A Public Image

  1. Pete, I just knew there was a big smile to go along with your posts. This is a lovely picture of you and Ollie, thanks for sharing.

    Take care and happy (strolling with Ollie) πŸ™‚


      1. Pete, I wouldn’t worry about too many lines across your face, all I could see was a wonderful face shining through. A happy life shows in each and every line we proudly face the world with.

        Take care & happy blogging to ya, from Laura


  2. Nice to meet you face to face, in a manner of speaking. What came to my mind from seeing your photo was Anthony Hopkins as he appeared in The World’s Fastest Indian. Were you and Ollie to walk daily through my neighborhood, I’d have no hesitation greeting the 2 of you and engaging you in conversation.


    1. Thanks for your kind words Gretchen. I have often been compared to Anthony Hopkins, and I have no problem in accepting that as a compliment!
      It is a shame that Ollie and I will not be walking past, to have that conversation, but at least we have the blog…
      Very best wishes from a warm and humid Norfolk. Pete.


      1. I’m glad that what my eyes told me when I saw your photo was taken as a compliment. I greatly admire Anthony Hopkins as an actor and as a person.

        Here in Bloggerville, you and Ollie do walk past my dooryard and I enjoy our conversations.

        NW CT is also warm and humid. My garden is loving it and growing into a veggie jungle. So far, barring some kind of unforeseen weather event, it appears that in awhile I’ll have tomatoes aplenty.

        Have a great day! GG


  3. It’s nice seeing your pic here with Ollie. My…what a lovely dog πŸ™‚ What you perceive someone to be does not change much, you just try to fit the image with the words/writings, then the puzzle is complete πŸ™‚


  4. Well, I see you took the leap! I don’t think you have anything to fear, and I imagine most folks will find your appearance very pleasant, and will very much appreciate your decision to share a photo of yourself. I look forward to reading the comments of other followers.


  5. Ha ha. I was never in ‘Softly Softly’, and he had much more hair!
    I am nowhere near as serious as I seem in print, as I hope my photo has shown. I suspect that some who know me well might describe me as ‘grumpy’, as they often do. I tried to overcome this ‘Meldrew’ tendency by looking very happy in that photo!
    By contrast, your photo shows you to be exactly as I imagined. A good thing, I assure you.
    Very best wishes, Pete.


  6. How lovely to see you in the flesh, so to speak. I don’t know quite what I expected but it wasn’t this lovely, smiling chap. Actually, I think I imagined someone who looked like the actor Terence Rigby and a very serious demeanour! I recently came to the same conclusion and yesterday added a photo me on my About page. I do think people are curious to see what they’re ‘dealing’ with. I know I am! Lovely to meet you face to face.


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