Spam check, please

OK, I was in a rage yesterday. I knew I was, but couldn’t get past it. Sorry if I came across like some kid throwing a tantrum at the supermarket, but I was never allowed to do that when I was younger.

Besides, there were no supermarkets back then…

One of several things I was raging about, was the inexplicable decision by WordPress to put my comments into the Spam folders of so many bloggers. As always, this was random, as some bloggers continued to receive all my comments, whilst others had to look for them in Spam. This kind of thing happens so often, I really couldn’t be bothered to go through the rigmarole of contacting the Help Forum. As expected, some of my great blogging friends found those comments in their Spam folders, and approved them.

But it hasn’t gone away. Since I logged on this morning, at least six comments haven’t appeared on other blogs, though many have. If you have posted something, and would normally expect to get a reply from me, then please check your Spam folders when you have time. If you have recently followed my blog, and have yet to receive a ‘Thank You’, then please do the same. Meanwhile, I promise to calm down.

Well, just a little bit.

Here we go again…

With apologies to new followers, and those who may justly be expecting comments and replies from me, it seems that for the umpteenth time, WordPress has decided to make me ‘persona non grata’, and they are not allowing any of the recent comments and replies (on other blogs) that I have typed and posted.

I am still here, and have tried to comment and reply, believe me. Check your Spam folders, as I might be in there. It seems that I can still reply on my own blog, so I suppose I should be thankful for that at least.

As much as I love blogging, these constant WordPress ‘glitches’ do make me wonder if it is worth continuing. I am once again royally pissed-off this evening, and I have just about had enough of it, to be honest. Hopefully, I will be back soon, freed from the WordPress ‘jail’.

If not, it has been nice knowing you.

Very sad news

I received a notification of a blog post today, from one of the blogs that I have followed since I started out, in 2012. I hadn’t seen much from that blog lately, so I was keen to open the post.
Then I read this.

August 12, 2017

Nandia Vlachou (1975-2017)

“Nandia has passed away on the sunrise of the 8th of June 2017. This blog will no longer be updated, although its contents will remain available in memoriam.

Her husband.”

I can’t tell you how sad this made me feel. Nandia was a married woman, with children who are not that old. She lived in Portugal with her family, and worked as an art historian, and writer. Her articles were always fascinating, and written to a high standard. We shared many blog conversations about films, and she was a great supporter of my blog too. Although we never met, I considered her a real friend, and I was always humbled by her intelligence and experience.

Her blog will remain open for posterity, for all who want to read her work, or enjoy the many images she posted there. I will miss her a lot, and miss her comments on posts, and her opinions on anything. There will be no further posts, and no replies to comments. But if you ever want to have a look at a very classy blog, then follow this link.

Rest in peace, dear Nandia.

Historical Trivia

I was sent this as an email, by my American friend, and fellow blogger, Ed Westen.
I though it was well-worth posting here, as both education, and entertainment. Even though you might have already known some of these, I doubt you would have known them all.


Did you know the saying “God willing and the Creek
don’t rise” was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of
water? It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century.
He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south,
Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to
Washington . In his response, he was said to write, “God willing and
the Creek don’t rise.” Because he capitalized the word “Creek” it
is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a
body of water.

****************** ********** ** ***

In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s
image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George
Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his
back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by
painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by
how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’
therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the
expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists
know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)

*********************** *******

As incredible as it sounds, men and women took
baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair
covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and
wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They
couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf
of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes.
The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big
wig… ‘ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’
because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

******** ********************** ***

In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large
room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down
from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’
always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the
floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be
invited to sit in this chair during a meal.. To sit in the chair
meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting
in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the
expression or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board.’

*********************** ******* ***

Personal hygiene left much room for improvement.. As
a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood.
The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out
their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a
woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your
own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence
the term ‘crack a smile’. In addition, when they sat too close to
the fire, the wax would melt . .. . Therefore, the expression
‘losing face.’

*********************** ******* ***

Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the
front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’ wore a
tightly tied lace..

*********************** ******* ***

Common entertainment included playing cards.
However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but
only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades…’ To avoid paying the tax,
people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games
require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb
because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck..’

*********************** ******* **

Early politicians required feedback from the
public to determine what the people considered important. Since
there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their
assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go
sip some Ale and listen to people’s conversations and political
concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You
go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were
eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we
have the term ‘gossip.’

*********************** ******* ****

At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank
from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep
an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay
close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was
drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the phrase ‘minding your ‘P’s and Q’s’.

************** ********** ****** ****

One more: bet you didn’t know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and
many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron
cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the
cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?
The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one
ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on
sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a
small area right next to the cannon. There was only one
problem….how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling
from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a
‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were
made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution
to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers
realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when
chilled.. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the
brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs
would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold
enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’ (All this time, you
thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)

Five years of blogging

I was notified by WordPress yesterday. They informed me that the day was my fifth anniversary of blogging, since the 31st of July, 2012. Those five years have gone quickly, don’t they always?

Remember when you thought that 10 views was exciting? I do. If you got a comment, just the one, it made your day. If you got four comments, you might go so far as to telephone people about it, in your excitement. Just looking at the stats was exciting. If you had eight visitors, you were over the moon. Eight people read your blog post. That was fine, and good enough.

On my fifth anniversary, I enjoyed a total of 203 views, from 108 visitors. As of now today, I have received 190 views, from 101 visitors. In the wider world of blogging, that is just a few hours. But in my world, it is amazing, and more that I ever hoped for. So, I celebrate my fifth anniversary, and relish the engagement, and everyone who bothers to visit and read my blog.

Once again, my best wishes to you all. Pete.


Can it really be August already? The seventh month that signals the slide toward Christmas, and brings yet more unstable weather here. It has been a strange year in Beetley. The mildest winter for decades, followed by excessive heat in the early part of summer. Back to normal now, with heavy showers, occasional storms, and threatening skies.

I got nothing done of course. Those tasks I promised myself to do, all fallen by the wayside. I would always do them ‘soon’. After ‘this’, or after ‘that’. And almost unnoticed, they were not done. And likely won’t be now. I still have more than a month to go before our short holiday. Choosing September as always, once the schools go back, and places are less crowded. A quiet seaside village in England, with no need to suffer the stress and fuss of airports, or that seasickness-inducing ferry journey.

2017 was my year to ‘be positive’. Six months gone, and I have managed it so far. Despite many things that I won’t go into here causing enough stress to overturn my determination, I made myself look at the positive side always, even when it seemed impossible to do. Staying positive, for the rest of 2017.

The blog has been huge this year, by my standards. The A-Z challenges were so well received, with views and comments far more than I ever anticipated. Something to definitely be positive about. Despite feeling drained by weeks of the ‘winter virus’, that I renamed ‘the permanent virus’, I didn’t suffer anything drastic. Ollie recovered from his ear infection and tooth extraction, and continues his happy obsessive-compulsive life the same as before.

I get older, more reflective, even more nostalgic. But I have settled into life here, at long last. Though the years pass far too rapidly, they are peaceful years, and a suitable contrast to the sixty hectic years that preceded them. If I can manage to stay positive for the next six months, maybe 2018 will just be positive, without having to think about it any longer.

That other blog

Not all of you are aware, but I do have another blog. It is very different to this one, and allows me to get very political on occasion, or to let off steam about issues that annoy me. Having just posted about reaching five years and 100,000 + views on this blog, I thought I would have a quick look at the stats for that one while I was at it. I also get to put in a shameless plug, for those of you who don’t know about it. I warn you, it is rather opinionated, and not for everyone. No photos or images, not one mention of Ollie the Dog, weather, music, films, or anything like that.

If you like the Royal Family, you probably won’t like this blog. If you support American, British, or Israeli foreign policy, you definitely won’t like it. If you vote UKIP or Conservative, I doubt you should bother to even look at it. It is the other side of me as a blogger. If this blog is Luke Skywalker, then the other one is Darth Vader.

In April 2013, I decided to remove political comment and politics of any kind from this blog, and start a separate one. Redflagflying was born, and is still going today. Compared to the stats I published about Beetleypete, stats for the other blog are minimal. But it serves a purpose, allows me to express that other side, and even has a few followers. So, one year less, and a great deal less posts too. How is it doing?

It has had 4,536 views in that time.
There have been 1,737 visitors to read the 106 posts published.
The blog has 121 WordPress followers, 5 followers by email only, and 139 Twitter followers.
A total of 265.
The most popular day for views is a Sunday, and the peak time is 4:00 pm.
The most views in one day was on the 22nd July, 2013. The figure was too low to be considered worthy of recording though, so probably less than 100.

I really enjoy writing on that blog, and although I don’t post very often, it does give me a lot of satisfaction. So if you fancy a change of scene, or just want to see the other side of the man who writes short stories, and complains about how much it rains when he’s walking his dog, then here’s a link. Don’t forget, I warned you…

For those of you who already follow that blog, leave likes and comments, and engage in the debate, I send my best wishes. Thanks for being part of a very small community. You are all treasured.