Ollie’s Latest Photo

Michele Smith is my near-neighbour, a fellow dog-walker, and treasured friend. She is an animal lover par excellence, and has always adored Ollie.

Just recently, we were chatting on Beetley Meadows, and she remarked that she had never taken a photo of him. She produced her phone, and managed to get Ollie to stand still long enough for this lovely photo.

(It can be enlarged, by clicking on it.)

Thanks very much, Michele. xx

Blogging Observations

2022 seems to be a rather quiet year for blogging. After the surge in new bloggers during the pandemic lockdowns, WordPress appears to have less new bloggers than ever before. Not that I am concerned, but this year has seen less new followers than I would have got in one month in 2021.

It could be that they tried it, and didn’t like it. Or the recent changes to WordPress plans with far less space allowance and higher charges for upgrades might be putting off potential new bloggers.

Perhaps it is just my blog that feels quiet? Is anyone else noticing this trend?

Luckily, we already have a well-established community, developed over many years. But it does seem a shame not to see so much ‘new blood’ appearing on WordPress.

With that in mind, if you are hesitatnt about staring a blog, or feel it is all too complicated to tackle, reach out and ask for help. Bloggers are friendly and helpful people, and most are hpapy to offer advice and tips, as well as supporting new bloggers with guest posts or features.

You can always contact me by email if you have any questions, so I will start you off with an email address.

petejohnson50@yahoo.com

If any others in our community feel they are willing to help new bloggers, please add a link or contact details in the comments.

New Year, Old Offer

2022 is upon us, and it is once again time for me to offer to host guest posts. Whether you are a regular follower, or a brand new one, as long as you follow my blog or follow me on Twitter, you can have a guest post here on my blog.

It can be about anything you want, and doesn’t have to be original. You can recycle one of your favourite posts if you wish, or perhaps just introduce yourself to this wonderful community on WordPress. It can be poetry, a short story, something about your life, or even why you decided to become a blogger.

There are a few ‘rules’, but they are easy ones.

*Feel free to promote a book or project, but NO selling goods or services.

*The post should be under 2,000 words, and any images should be reduced in size.

*I do not correct or edit any guest posts, so make sure they are exactly as you want them to be seen before sending them to me.

*Send me the guest post AS AN EMAIL- NOT A MS WORD DOCUMENT- to petejohnson50@yahoo.com

*Posts will be shared on Twitter, and usually appear on my blog within 24 hours. They are never deleted by me, so will remain here as long as I am blogging.
(As in as long as I am alive)

There is no deadline or time limit on this offer, but to get 2022 off to a positive start, why not send me one before the end of the month?

The Blogging Years

If I make it to this (my 70th) summer, I will have been blogging for ten years. I know many of you have been bloggers for a lot longer than that, but it only feels like last week since I tentatively pressed ‘Publish’ on my first ever blog post.

A lot has happened since then.

I have made amazing friends, and lost quite a few of them too soon too. I have had stories/articles/blog posts published online, in paper magazines, and even in a published anthology book. Outside of my family, and Ollie of course, blogging has become ‘what I do’, and I have even been recognised in Beetley by strangers, because of the photos I have published of Ollie.

I have published 4,608 posts, including this one, and had 580,000 views of my blog from 188,000 visitors. On one day, I had over 820 views, still the best so far.

My posts have been shared almost 16,000 times on Twitter, 6,800 times on Linkedin, and 6,700 times on Facebook. I am not even on Facebook, so that’s a bonus!

I have been ‘Press This’ 42 times, and I still don’t know what that means. 🙂

16 of my posts have been shared by email, and each post has averaged 45 comments. (As I reply to all comments, you can halve that to 22)

As of today, the lovely Jennie Fitzkee at https://jenniefitzkee.com/ is currently my top commenter. But Jennie is American, and very polite, so always adds ‘You’re welcome’ when I thank her for her comments.

Could there be a better hobby/pastime than blogging? I don’t think so. You can do it anywhere, inside or out, and you will meet some marvellous people from all around the world, if you do it right.

So, to all you ‘New Year’ bloggers. Keep at it. Don’t give up.

It will enrich your life.

My First Musings Of 2022

I’m musing on the wrong day here, but at this time of year I have to look at my calendar to know what day it is. Apparently, it is Saturday. As it is a ‘sort-of’ public holiday here, and most people will not be out and about or back at work until the 4th, it feels like yet another Sunday.
(The 3rd is the official public holiday, because today fell on a weekend.)
———————————————————————————————–

I managed to stay up and awake to see 2022 arrive. In fact I didn’t go to bed until 2am. My perkiness was assisted by only having one glass of wine with my dinner. The Tapas-style buffet we chose to prepare was delicious, and eaten over a decent amount of time as we sat around watching the poor choice of seasonal TV provided.
———————————————————————————————–

I am going to try to be a little more positive about things this year. Here is one example.
It rains too much in Beetley, and that gets on my nerves. So here is a positive slant on that for New Year’s Day.
Too much rain = never having a water shortage.
———————————————————————————————–

My driving licence expires in March. That is because I will be 70 years old. In Britain, that means I have to make a ‘Medical Declaration’ that I am fit to drive, and also supply proof of my identity all over again. It is such a faff to do this. They recommend you do it online, but I have no scanner to scan documents. The paper form requires that I send original documents as proof that I am who I say I am, and it comes with a warning that there is a very long backlog of applications already. I was hoping to win the lottery so that I could just abandon driving and employ a full-time chauffeur.
Sadly, that did not happen.
————————————————————————————————

Ollie is going to be 10 in February. For his breed, that is a considerable age, close to 80 in human years. His fur is still patchy, and refusing to grow back. Some other dog-walkers seem to be avoiding me recently, as they are convinced his skin condition must be contagious. Covid-19 has made people fear anything unusual.
————————————————————————————————

I intend to cook a Chinese meal tonight. Duck in hoisin sauce, stir-fried with suitable vegetables and noodles. After days of making do with leftovers or eating huge traditional roast dinners and High Tea, I am yearning for something Asian and spicy.
————————————————————————————————

The brakes on my car are making a nasty ‘squeaking noise’. When life gets back to normal on the 4th, I fear I am going to have to take it in for examination and repair. No doubt this will be my first financial downturn of 2022, as I can already hear the mechanic’s cash register ringing up a huge bill.
————————————————————————————————-

On the plus side, I am looking forward to reading all your posts in the coming year, and I might even be having my usual moans about bloggers who follow with no link to their site, or others who think that a one-word comment like ‘Nice’ is acceptable. (It isn’t, and you get spammed for it by me)
————————————————————————————————–

The sun is shining brightly. That’s two days in a row. I am taking that as a sign!

—————————————————————————————————

Hopeful New Year

At this time of year, I usually put up an image like this one, and wish everyone a Happy New Year.

However, 2022 doesn’t look too promising. There are still rumours of war in Ukraine and Taiwan, not to mention Covid-19 mutating into so many variants they will soon run out of letters of the Greek alphabet to name them with.

But there is always hope.

Hope that no war will happen.
Hope that Covid-19 will disappear.
Hope that extremist politics and fanatical religious zealots will become a bad memory.

So I am wishing everyone a Hopeful New Year instead.

Best wishes to you all. Pete.

Happy Christmas 2021

I would like to wish all my blogging friends and followers a very Happy Christmas.

It has not exactly been a memorable year, and we can only hope for a better one in 2022.

My thanks go to everyone who has read my posts during the past year, left Likes and Comments, and also shared on social media or reblogged.

There are no plans to change my blog format next year, so be prepared for more of the same old stuff.

Best wishes to everyone, wherever you live, and whatever you celebrate.

Pete. X