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.


Packing and Spam

This blog was originally going to be about packing for a forth coming trip. We’re off to Italy in a few days and I pride myself in being able to travel light. I like travelling light, it makes me feel more independent. When we went to Iceland, it was easy. I knew it would be cold so I packed my cold weather gear and base layer T shirts took the sweat, meaning I only had to have one or two fleeces. There was room to hide a small mammal in my bag. But the weather forecast for Italy is unclear. Hot, cold, wet or dry? We are also going for longer and the upshot of all this is a clothing dilemma the likes of which I have not encountered before.

Add to that the nightmare that is packing to avoid creases (not an issue with bulky fleeces and thick jackets) and you see I have a problem. How many shirts for the time I’m away? I prefer shirts to sweatshirts for hot climates). How many pairs of trousers? How many pairs of socks? I finally packed this evening with what I think I need and had to run out of the room as the case was threatening to explode. As I type, I wait for the bang.

Anyway, packing dilemmas aside, I found that when I logged on to type the blog, I had five new comments. I like reading comments; it means I’ve done something that someone else likes and that’s always nice to know. And I like to read people’s opinions. But these 5 comments were from people with unusual names made up of lots of random characters and grammatical symbols. Whatever happened to traditional names like John and Jane? And they were, quite frankly, nonsense.

Such is spam.

I don’t get the point. Why does someone want me to publish “I have coming across your site and it is being excellent. I particularly liking the last section, which is powerful. I think you could increasing your traffic through with just a tweaking of using this site is for greater sales.” Or something like that. WordPress does a good job of filtering then out (thank you WordPress) and I like to think I have the capability to recognise the spam from the genuine. So, no! I’m not interested in linking to your dubious site just to get extra hits. I may not have tens of thousands of visits, but the ones I get I value a lot.

Thank you for visiting my site, genuine people.

Nor will I cash your Bank Of Nigeria cheque, buy goods for you and take over-payment in return, confirm my log in details to my Santander account (because I don’t have a Santander account). I won’t be giving you my address so you can deliver a special package which will cost me $1.50 a day if I don’t arrange for its delivery. You can’t fix my PC with remote access because there is nothing wrong with my PC and if you ring me up to cold call me, you are breaking UK law because I am registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

Gosh – that might have been a mini rant. I apologise.

No photos. Therefore, anything below this is unpaid for advertising.