Blogger’s Books: Sally Cronin

Few bloggers are as kind and supportive to others as the lovely Sally Cronin. I am delighted to be able to tell you that she has a new book out, and I wish her great success with it. Please have a look at the original post, and share links to anyone you think would enjoy it.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

At last the day has arrived and Tales from the Irish Garden is now available.

The book has been three years in the writing, mainly because what began as short stories in line with the first collection, turned into a full-length book. As we moved back from Spain to Ireland, house hunted, and then embarked on a renovation project, there were breaks from  the process. However, the upside was that I had the time to adapt and create new characters and adventures with more freedom. It also gave me time to meet Donata Zawadzka, courtesy of Paul Andruss, and after seeing her wonderful illustrations, I commissioned a number for the book to showcase some of the lead characters. More about Donata shortly.

Many of those that lived in the palace in Spain in the garden of our house, followed me across land and sea to settle in a magic…

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Jamiroquai: My ‘Five A Day’

Back in 2016, I wrote a post about the British band, Jamiroquai. This was it.

Regular readers will remember that it became something of a beetleypete blogging phenomenon, attracting the most views ever on my blog, and continuing to do so for months on end. I continued the theme with no less than eleven more posts about the effect it had on my blog, and how it continued to attract so many views even after the band reformed, and released a new album.

After writing so much about it, and becoming aware that it was boring the pants off many of my most loyal followers, I called a halt to those posts, and gave the band a well-deserved rest from this blog. But a recent skim through my stats revealed that the original post remains a stalwart on my blog. Ever since I posted it, it has been viewed continuously, for over two years now.

This past month, it has been viewed at least five times every day, seven days a week. Even on the rare days when I post nothing at all, you can bet it will still get those five views, or more.

Sometimes, the experience of blogging can throw up something surprising. And this is one of those.

A Beetley Power Cut

On Tuesday the 16th, we have been informed of a ‘Planned Power Cut’ that will affect Beetley. If it goes ahead, we will have no electricity from 9 am, for the rest of the day. (Duration unknown) With this in mind, I am planning on getting out for the day, and eating out too, somewhere that still has electricity. We will have no heating or cooking facilities, no landline phone or Internet of course, and if it is as dark as it is today, the only option would be to read by torchlight, huddled under a blanket. I could take the rare opportunity to spend the entire day in bed, but I have a feeling that Ollie will not be happy if he doesn’t go out.

Now I know this is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things, but I thought I would let you know. If the power cut doesn’t happen, then it will be ‘normal trading’ on my blog. But in the event that they go ahead with it, then I will not be able to comment on any of your posts, reply to those on mine, or check emails. I could use the Internet on my mobile of course, but give the size of the screen, that’s not going to happen.

So if I disappear tomorrow, just be aware that I am not dead. (Well I hope not)

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Blogging Time Differences.

Not long after I woke up this morning, I turned on the computer. As I did so, I thought about the many bloggers who would just be settling down for the night, or even welcoming tomorrow.

One of the interesting things about blogging (well it is to me) is to notice the time differences around the world. This is particularly noticeable if you follow a lot of international blogs, and have followers from many different parts of the world. I am happy to have the majority of my blogging friends from two countries, equally split between the USA, and Britain. But there are others in many European countries, the UAE, the Indian sub-continent, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and the Far East too.

When I start blogging fairly early in the morning here, (7-8 am) I get comments or replies from bloggers in The Philippines. For them, it is already the end of the same day. If someone pops up from the east coast of America, you can be sure that they are up late, as it will be around 1 am there. Many of the Europeans will have already left for work, (if they work) as most of them are one hour ahead of the UK, with parts of Russia some three hours ahead. Those from Australia and New Zealand are already a whole day in front, and probably fast asleep.

Later on, when I return from walking Ollie, the bulk of the American bloggers have arrived. From the mid-west, to the west coast and south-west, their time-zones have kicked in, and their day is just starting. After dinner, most of the British bloggers start to post or comment. Back from work, or a day out, they have probably eaten, and started to relax for the evening, finally getting round to checking the blogs they follow.

As I am thinking of closing down for the night, sometime around 11 pm, the American bloggers are in full swing, as they have finally got home too.
From waking to sleeping, blogging is a 24 hours a day possibility, and that makes it even more delightful to enjoy as a hobby.

Do you have any time-zone examples to share?
Please add them in the comments.

Best wishes to everyone, whatever time it is where you are.

Changing things that already work

I have just been reading a post on another blog about the forthcoming ‘Gutenberg Editor’ change from WordPress. In case you are unaware of the impending change, here is a link to Worpress’s take on it.

As you will see, it is quite technical, at least to someone with my level of computer knowledge. I like to keep things simple, one of the reasons I chose to blog on the WordPress platform, six years ago. I also notice that this new system is aimed at helping those bloggers who use a Tablet Computer, or Smartphone. I still use a PC tower set up with a ‘proper’ keyboard. For all the tech-savvy people out there, I suspect this will cause little or no upset. Those of you self-hosting a dot-com blog on this platform might welcome a change to make life easier too, if that is what actually happens.

But as I said, I like to keep things simple. I still use what is known as the ‘Old Editor’. When WP changed to the supposedly ‘Improved Editor’ some time ago, I chose not to leave the old system. So as you might imagine, I am far from looking forward to having the ‘Gutenberg Editor’ imposed on me.

All through my life, I have been constantly frustrated by unnecessary change. The old saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ works very well for me. Not all of us can adapt to upgraded computer systems easily, and some of us (including me) struggle to get the best out of the current manifestation of WordPress, let alone one more technical.
Anyone else remember ‘Windows XP’? That was a great operating system, and I still have no idea why it had to change. Oh, actually I do. To make us spend money on the ‘new and improved’ one.

Planned obsolescence is the spectre of modern life. It won’t be long before the CD and DVD disappear, PC towers become obsolete, and if you are not doing everything ‘hand-held’, you are yesterday’s news.

If have a suggestion for WP, and all other such companies. If you want to make changes, sell ‘advances’, and foist unwanted ‘improvements’ on us, that’s fine. Just leave the original system in place, for those of us who just about cope with using it, and will possibly be forced out of blogging by changes we cannot get our heads around.

A Non-Tweeted Twitter Thank You.

This is by way of once again saying a big “Thank You” to everyone who regularly re-tweets the tweets of my posts on this blog. I try to keep up by ‘Liking’ your re-tweets, but never seem to have time to actually send you all a message.

So; David Prosser, Olga, Robbie, Dannie Hill, David Miller, Felicity, Thom, Teagan, and many more who are not mentioned, but no less important, I just wanted to let you know you are all very much appreciated.

I am not really that ‘up’ on Twitter. I just use it for advertising my posts, and widening the audience for the blog. But if any of you want me to follow you on Twitter, (If I do not do so already) then just add your Twitter name in the comments, and I will happily become one of your followers.

In case anyone wondered, mine is @beetleypete

As long as you are content with my lack of interaction on that platform. 🙂

Best wishes to everyone, Pete.

Accelerated Decrepitude: A Re-Post

I came across this old post, from 2013. I appear to have been in a bit of a state at the time, and now I am five years older!

I seem to be developing a condition shared by J.F. Sebastian, and the Replicants, in the film ‘Blade Runner’; namely, accelerated decrepitude. The rapid advancement of the symptoms of old age continues to rampage through my physical person, exaggerating the slightest conditions into ones that are immediately debilitating. I had hoped that this move to the countryside would endow me with increased abilities, and banish many of my previous maladies. It seems that the reverse is true, and country living is only highlighting my limitations, and driving me down to new lows.

I have recently mentioned the sudden onset of eczema. What started as an itchy chest, now looks set to consume my entire skin surface. Currently, only my face is spared; though the sight of the rash appearing around the base of my neck makes me feel that it won’t be too long before assimilation is complete. The chemicals prescribed by my doctor do not seem to be helping much. I have turned instead to organic remedies; in particular, a balm made from various herbs, including St John’s Wort, encased in a paste of beeswax. If it doesn’t cure the rash, it may make me more attractive to honey bees.

I was woken by a severe cramp in my right leg recently, more painful than any I had previously experienced. I realised immediately that I had to get out of bed, and get that leg straightened. I jumped out, and assumed the characteristic pose of the flamingo, perched on one leg, with the other thrashing back and forth, like a rugby player attempting numerous shots at goal. (Perhaps I should not compare this to a flamingo at all, on reflection. That elegant and sedate bird is unlikely to be flattered by being likened to a flabby 60-odd year old man, cavorting naked around a bedroom in a Norfolk village.) These strange antics achieved mixed results. I did manage to reduce the cramp, and diminish the pain. But in doing so, I also happened to pull the calf muscle in my right leg, which has now hurt me all week.

I have previously mentioned my increasing dependency on reading glasses. This has now become an obsession. I always have to know where they are, and have them to hand at any time. This became ridiculous earlier this week, when I wanted to look at some post that had just arrived. I went into the living room to fetch my glasses, and could not find them. I began a systematic search of all the rooms, even though I was fully aware that I had not been into at least three of them. After a search that would have graced a crime scene investigation, I became annoyed, and resolved to get the spare pair, from my car in the driveway outside. I found the keys and walked over to the car, immediately dropping them, as I went to point the ‘beeper’ at the lock. Bending down to retrieve them, I noticed something else fall nearby. It was the lost glasses; they had been on my head all the time. I felt as if I was in a scene from an unfunny sitcom, and decided that I had finally become a cross between Mr Magoo, and Terry Scott.

Plagued by the itchy rash at night, I have been unable to sleep properly, resulting in my staying up even later than usual, and trying to doze on the sofa. I have avoided the bedroom, as my constant unconscious scratching does little to help, and only serves to keep poor Julie awake, before she has a long day at work. This strange half-waking existence has meant that I spend most of the day in a haze, get little or nothing done, and become even more forgetful, with life going in a constant, downward spiral.

I confess that I am always wondering what will happen next. What exacerbation of ailment, or arrival of new illness can I expect to greet tomorrow? I can only repeat my previous exhortation to all of you lucky enough to still be under forty years of age. Do it all now. Whatever it is, get it done while you are still capable of doing it. Before you know it, you will be a member of an unfortunate club. One that I appear to have joined, along with J.F.Sebastian and the Nexus-6 variants.