What to say?

I’ve been trying to think of things to blog about this week. When I started this blog it was going to be to showcase my photography but it very quickly went beyond that. There’s an argument that says if I want it to be successful popular I should pamper to the masses and do things that generate likes and followers and re-posts. But to me, that’s false because there is an inevitable change in the things I write and the way I write them. I would rather have 100 followers who do so because they like what i wriote than 1000 followers who do so because I write what they like to see and hear.

I could easily add video (one of the current popular things on social media) or blog endlessly about work related stuff (to tap into the professional side of my life) but that’s not what interests me on this site.

So today, some random, unconnected stuff that I feel I want to say. You may agree, you may not. It probably won’t get me followers. That’s ok, too.

Everyone has the right to believe in what they want, in terms of religion. One god, many gods, no god; it’s ok. But regardless of your opinion no one should die because of someone else’s beliefs, because they are just beliefs. All the major religions are, or have been guilty, but the recent issue of the pregnant woman being condemned to death because she renounced the major faith of the country she lives in is wrong.

How come, with all the research and study and highly paid people, that no one spotted many decades ago that we are all living longer? After all, it was on the news and in all the TV popular science programmes. Suddenly, the people responsible for managing our pensions realised that they were going to have to pay out for longer because the average lifespan of a UK citizen has increased. That didn’t happen overnight – it’s been a trend for hundreds of years. If I made such a fundamental mistake in my job I would quite rightly be encouraged to leave the company.

A friend pointed out to me after the final of Masterchef last week, that a large proportion of the world’s population are considered by the UN to be undernourished. Now, while it’s unlikely that the food on Masterchef would make a dent in that (although with the calorific value of some of the dishes, I wouldn’t put any money on that statement), I bet more people tuned in to watch it than have donated to a charity addressing the food issues (and I’m not talking about emergency famine relief, but long term projects). This is not a political grumble, by the way, and nor is it a plea for you to donate. It’s a comment on the state of the world.

Am I the only person that looks up into the sky, see’s a high flying jet, and wonders about the people on board and their destination and what they are doing? Its a rhetorical question, I know I’m not because I’ve spoken to friends about it before. In an uncharacteristically warm summer’s morning, I was out in the garden having a cup of coffee and watching the birds fly high above me. I saw three plans fly over head in a short space of time. My house is above on of the corridors for aircraft flying to and from the USA so it’s not unusually to see many planes. I used an app on my phone to see where they were going. The one that caught my imagination was the London to Dallas flight, climbing to it’s final altitude of 33,000 feet. First I realised that it was only 4000 feet higher then Mount Everest. Then I thought about the people on the plane and what their stories were. Business, holiday, celebration, misery. There would be some people on there frightened to death of the flight itself, and some excited about the time in the US to come.

Finally, for now, Rufus is back with me after a couple of weeks in his temporary home with his permanent family. Despite a comprehensive collection of fences, gates and wooden rails, he managed to escape several times and it seemed better for all concerned if he came back to stay with me while we create a permanent place for him to stay during the day when no one is around. It coincides with a week off for me, so some adventures are on the cards. I’m happy to have my buddy with me for company. I think he’s happy too. There is a lot of tail wagging going on!








WordPress is pretty good at identifying and filtering out the spam comments. But I can’t help laughing at some of them as they are clearly generated automatically, or by someone for whom the English language is just something they have been told about. Probably in a dream. Here are some classics from my recent spams:

“I would not even know the way i ended up right here, but I thought this post has been great. I don’t know what you are but certainly you will a popular blogger should you aren’t already  Many thanks!”

– Well, i aren’t a popular blogger and I’m not sure what I am either. But I is working on it and if you recommend I to all your friends, my popularity is growing!

“This genuinely answered my personal problem, thanks a lot!”

– I am genuinely relieved that your personal problem was resolved by a random post about potatoes.

“Why A Hard-Nosed Millionaire Is Willing To Teach You How To Make Money Online! Watch Here”

– Possibly because the Online money making scheme involves getting ‘suckas’ to click on links to his site? Or am I being a bit too cynical?

“Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.”

– Hey there. Useful information on my blog? (Well, I guess I do resolve personal problems through the medium of spud). Hey, I’m looking forward to more of your spam comments.

“When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Many thanks!”

When you initially commented on my blog, I deleted you as a spammer. If you managed somehow to click on the ‘notify by email’ checkbox, that’s your problem, although I doubt you did, personally. However, if you did (please, oh please) and you are getting 4 emails every time someone posts a comment as a result of you trying to spam me, let me and everyone else who has ever been spammed know how it feels and we will try not to laugh at you. And they’re not spam because you asked for them. And no, there is no way I can remove you (even if I wanted to) as I don’t have access.

My comment rules:

1. I welcome genuine comments and as I say on my home page, I will read them all. If they are appropriate (i.e. tasteful and interesting) I will allow them. They don’t have to agree with me, but they must make a point without resorting to aggressive or insulting language. If they don’t meet these simple criteria I won’t allow them.

2. If you appear to be a spammer, or if the message appears to be promoting your own business/get-rich-quick scheme, I will add you to my spam list after copying the message. At some point, I will publish the messages, removing the relevant contact details, and make fun of it.

3. I don’t automatically ‘like’ or ‘follow’ you just because you have done the same to me. I will visit your site but if it’s commercial in any way (and that includes not-for-profit ‘message’ sites) then I will probably not like or follow you. There are always exceptions, and I am the only one who will make them for this site.

4. I don’t expect you to automatically like or follow me. I would rather have fewer genuine likes/followers than masses of ‘auto-likers’. I am old fashioned enough to hope that a ‘like’ actually means something rather than just being a means of generating more likes on your won site. If you get a like from me, it’s because I genuinely appreciate what you have posted. There is no obligation to like me back.

5. There is no point 5.