A Reblog Phenomenon

Last November, I reblogged this post.

Day Brightener – “Who Is Shaking The Jar”

Checking my stats sometime later in December, I was surprised to discover it had well over 1,000 views before Christmas.

Since then, it has been getting around 20-40 views most days, and is usually the ‘Most viewed’ post on my blog every week. Total views since November 2022 now stand in excess of 3,600 as of today.

And I have no idea why.

Car Woes, and Blogging.

I went to the supermarket today to pick up just a few bits, like fresh bread and some milk. Unfortunately, the gear selector of my automatic car jammed solid as I parked in the car park. I eventually had to call out the breakdown service we subscribe to, and wait 90 minutes for them to come out. I couldn’t even go and get what I needed inside the supermarket, as the key could not be removed because the car ‘thought’ it was in Drive.

The repair main connected my car to a computer, and diagnosed the fault as the gear selector switch solenoid. He then fiddled around with the lever, and managed to get the car started, and into Drive. I knew better than to chance leaving it at that, and drove to the local main dealer for my model of car. They booked it in for Tuesday, said I could leave it with them, and ordered a taxi to get me home.

As a result, I am not long inside the house, have just cooked dinner and put it in the oven, and will have no time to comment on everyone’s blogs.

I may well be without my car for some time, as the dealership reported great difficulties in finding the right parts at the moment. Fortunately, Julie has a car, and it is much newer than mine. So at least we are not stranded. I have been trying to nurse my old car for some time now. It has done relatively low mileage, but is showing its age in other ways.

Just another thing to ‘happen’. On top of the heating boiler repairs, and everything else that piles on at once.

Ain’t life grand when you are old, your dog is old, and so is your car? 🙂

Guest Post: Gavin Marriott

My thanks to Gavin for this interesting article about one of New Zealand’s ‘finest’.

A Fairlie good story about Sir Bill Hamilton.

I’d like to tell you about a farm boy brought up from the same locality I was, albeit 50 years earlier. Much information is in the newspaper article below (if you are able to open it).

The area down here is called South Canterbury but will have its Māori name of Aoraki used. It is in the centre of the South island and nearby our highest mountain Mt Cook and alongside multiple lakes all a turquoise colour (to do with the glacier rock flour). The night sky is a world heritage site and one of the best places to see the stars. It’s a tourist mecca. My family church is one of the most photographed in the world.

Apart from the lakes the place is a barren desert of tussock grass, rabbits and sheep. But the lakes supply hydro power down some rivers. So it must be in the water down here that such a remote place in the world in a mostly unheard of nation where world leading inventions are made. Ed Hillary trained on the mountains here (with my uncle) and Richard Pearse flew here before the Wright Bros. The ski plane was invented here too. The main town here is Fairlie, named after a town in Scotland. The district is called Mackenzie after an infamous Scottish sheep stealer that is more legend around here. The local pipe band is often heard. The rugby team is called the Rams as you could guess and the town is the butt internationally of a certain sheep joke (deserved).

Most have propellers but a few now have a jet unit that pushes water out the back at such force the boat can go faster, reverse immediately, spin around and sail in very shallow waters (like a few inches). To put it in perspective, many on the River Thames, the fast English channel ferries are jets as is the new Shannon class RNLI lifeboats.
These jet units are called ‘Hamilton jets’ named after Sir Bill Hamilton and still manufactured by his family just around the corner of my main home in Christchurch city.

But Bill did much more. During the depression he invented farm machinery and hydro electric schemes to save the farmers money and during the war munitions inventions for Britain. But as is usual, the locals in Fairlie were not overly aware of him so I thought a statue a good idea and the article if you can read it will show that project.

Windows 11: Some Questions

I use a Hewlett-Packard PC for blogging, bought new with Windows 10 pre-installed. It seems to suit me very well, though I have only the most basic knowledge of how to use computers. I do not explore all the possibilties of computing, using it only for blogging, photo storage, emails, and an occasional word document.

Microsoft has been sending me invitations to download Windows 11. It is currently free to do this, and Windows 10 is unlikely to be supported after 2025. So I would like to ask PC users already using Windows 11 if they recommend that I do this.

I also have some other questions, and forgive me if they seem obvious or simple to you.

1) Will the change to Windows 11 lose the photos currently stored on the PC? (Or does all that have nothing to do with Microsoft?)
2) Will it lose the settings and shortcuts that I use regularly?
3) Will I need to reinstall my current Antivirus software, and other intsallations like Disk De-Fragmenter?
4) Will I lose any or all saved passwords on Google Chrome?
5) Is it drastically different to W10? Will I need to ‘learn’ how to use W11 from scratch?

Thanks in advance for your help.


Can anyone offer help or advice to Lorraine? She is a blind blogger experiencing great difficulties in managing her blog to her satisfaction.

Every morning my emails from WP come through from blogs that I am following. There are all the usual challenges in there and also other bloggers’ responses to challenges. I so much would like to join in these challenges but as a newly blind person I find I do not know how to get to them from my emails. Are there any blind people out ther who can help? Or anyone else for that matter. My activities on WP are so limited now and it irks me. I can make my posts and with help reply to comments but I cannot go to other peoples’ blogs and read and comment although when I have help I can get my cursor into the reply boxes and type out my own response. Is there anyone who can help please?

I am using an iPad and voiceover by the way.

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How to Market Your First Book: The Ultimate Guide

Great tips for authors from Nicholas. And also good many reasons why I have never published a book! 🙂

Nicholas C. Rossis

Market your first book | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

So, you’ve completed your first book. After pouring your heart and soul into your first masterpiece, the rest of the world surely needs to appreciate your accomplishment as much as you do. This landmark moment in your life needs to be shared with the world. But how? You might have no idea how to market a book.

Fortunately, technology has developed to the point where there are now many avenues for sharing information if you’re a new book writer. The trick, of course, is finding the RIGHT channels to reach your desired audience. You can post things on Facebook Ad Nauseum, for example—but if your target group isn’t part of your following, you’ll get nowhere.

Here are some tips to follow for effective marketing of your work!

Follow the experts

Before you get started on your own marketing efforts, it would be wise to take a look at successful writers…

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Can anyone help Frank? He has come across a WordPress issue I have never heard of. Please read his post and let him (or me) know if you can solve the issue. Thank you.


Who is “Sur.ly”?

Recently I went to log onto my wordpress blog (toritto.wordpress.com) and encountered a page evaluating my blog for various offensive themes.  There aren’t any but the sur.ly page blocks access to my blog.

I am currently accessing through my emails concerning posts and comments.

I have never encountered this problem in the more than a decade I have posted here.

I have tried to contact sur.ly with no luck.

What gives?  This seems like some kind of trolling. I have recently deleted a number to “Christians” from my followers list.


P.S.  Has anyone come across this problem when searching for my blog?

Many thanks.

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A Blogging Thank You

I am still not feeling well enough to comment on posts and reply to comments on mine. I will have to start from scratch once I feel able to sit at the PC and write something coherent.

Meanwhile, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my recent posts, and apologise for not taking time to reply to you all individually.

If you are still celebrating the season, I hope you have a wonderful time.

Seasonal Greetings From Beetley

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I would like to wish every one of my blogging friends a Happy Christmas anyway. I hope that all of you can be around friends or family, or someone or something important to you at this time of year. I am not including a ‘Happy New Year’, as I hope to be back to regular blogging by the 31st.

I am aware that in some countries, Christmas Eve is the day for present giving and some feasting and celebration. So I am posting this a day early.

A Very Different Christmas

Our plans for Christmas 2022 were very simple. Nothing remotely grand, just a Christmas Morning visit to Julie’s children to see everyone open their presents, then back to Beetley to get ready for the traditional meal in a restaurant at 3:30pm. Just the two of us, booked well in advance.

Then Julie became unwell, and tested positive for Covid-19. She was hoping that would be over and done with by the 25th, and the plans could stay the same. But she is still testing positive, five days later.

Yesterday, my cough and sore throat got worse, and I wasn’t able to do much, as I felt so ill. By 8:30pm, I was coughing do badly, I decided to go to bed. But that helped nothing, as I felt as if I was drowning in the amount of nasty stuff coming up from my lungs. I tried sitting up in bed. That didn’t help. Lying flat was not an option, as that made me feel like I was fighting for breath.

As a consequence, I haven’t been asleep at all, and I have currently been awake for 26 hours. I have tried to sleep this morning, but every attempt has left me in a fit of coughing. I will try again later after taking Ollie out, and warning other dog-walkers to avoid me completely.

One hour ago, I did a Covid test, and have tested positive for the first time since the pandemic. This means I am unable to go to see my doctor and get antibiotics for what I am sure is a chest infection. However, Julie was able to secure me a telephone appointment later today, and if the GP agrees to prescribe drugs, we can get someone else to collect them for us, and put them through the letter-box.

The next step for Julie was to cancel the meal. We had paid a deposit of £10 each which we wil lose, but that’s not so bad. Better that than to sit in a crowded restaurant on the 25th, coughing and spluttering and not being able to enjoy Christmas Dinner. Then she rang one of her daughters, to cancel the morning visit to see the present opening. With two small children in the house, we cannot risk infecting them with something nasty.

Christmas has evaporated before our eyes, like morning mist driven away by sunshine. Julie is naturally upset to miss out on her family time, and we are both sorry to have had to cancel the restaurant.

I am not sure what is going to be happening with my blog during the next week. There is a chance I might recover quickly of course, but if that doesn’t happen I will be absent from my blog, and those blogs I follow.

Thanks to everyone who has left the kind comments on recent posts. I apologise for just ‘Liking’ them, and not replying properly, but please be aware that they have been read, and are much appreciated.

Best wishes to all my blogging friends, Pete.