Nine Years Ago Today

On the 23rd of March, 2012, I moved away from London for good, and arrived in Norfolk.

My wife Julie was already here. Having had to start a job locally, she had moved up on the 31st of December, 2011.

That week in March is one I will never forget. I had my retirement party on the 12th, my mum died on the 14th, and I was 60 years old on the 16th.

For the first months I lived here, I felt as if I was on holiday. Julie was still working full-time then, so I was alone during the day, in a totally unfamiliar place. The quiet of Beetley really got to me then. In a good way, making me relish the move away from the noise and bustle of Central London. But there was still a part of me that wondered if I would ever feel at home in this Norfolk village. I felt out of place even walking up to the post-box.

Getting Ollie saved the day. Having a dog to walk meant that I encountered many other people. Very soon, there was a regular group of walkers, all enjoying the antics of our dogs playing together.

However, I still found it hard to shake the feeling of being rather ‘lost’. So I became a volunteer at the local school, teaching cycling road safety. Then I took on a second voluntary job, working for the Fire and Rescue Service as a home safety officer; fitting smoke alarms, and giving talks and presentations to various groups around the county.

During this time, my friend Antony suggested I start writing a blog, which I began in the summer of 2012.

The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

A Surprise Gift!

A parcel courier has just delivered something for me. I wasn’t expecting anything, so opened it with curiosity.

Inside is a box containing a pair of elasticated metal grips for fastening to walking shoes or boots in icy weather.

I have to conclude that a blogging friend or reader has sent them to me, after I wrote about finding it hard to walk on the ice here.

As there is no card or sender’s address, they have chosen to remain anonymous.

So I send my sincere thanks and appreciation to whoever it was that sent them. They will certainly be useful during the next spell of bad weather.

Tech Help Required For A Blogger: Kindle Books

The lovely Dani has had a recent disaster, losing the books in her huge Kindle library.
She needs help to recover them, and I am hopeless. Here is her question, if you can help her.

I have a Kindle Fire and had all my books in my cloud and the Send to Kindle section but my 5 year old son grabbed my tablet and said he wanted to take a picture with it… Well I grabbed it right back and I noticed my Kindle books disappeared inthe main library and then went to the cloud and they were gone too! I mean, hallelujah freaking monkey balls, I was freaking out! About 5,000 books in my regular Kindle library which I am not going to lie that most of them were free ones I got over the years but didn’t change my love for them!!❤ but my review/mobi file books from NetGalley, authors,and publishers were GONE! Okay so they weren’t totally gone, I went into the Amazon app and found them under Device Content but here’s the problem, I wanted all my books back to their proper place but once I started checking books off to get them back where they should be but when I selected a page worth they would all get sent to download and I didn’t have enough space for just 50 or so booksand wouldn’t let me archive the books so that they were there just not downloaded. Also it doesn’t just show the whole name of book or which I ne came from the cloud so it’s been impossible to find a way to get all of them back in the library where they belong! Do any of you good folks have any advice on how to deal with this? I contacted Amazon Support for Fire and was no help at all! So any tips or help would be so much appreciated so I can go through and get these reviews popping and back to where they belong!

If you can help, please leave a comment on her blog post.
Here’s the link.

Sorry For My Absence, A Question & An Update

Thanks in advance, Pete.

I’ve Got A Great Idea

John isn’t getting much traffic on his blog. Please have a read of it when you have time, and let him know what you think.

Now If You Want My Opinion ...

How about some of you other bloggers that I have never heard from get on here and let me know that you can see my blog so that I will know that this whole blog thing isn’t some kind of hoax or something. I am thinking that this blog platform might be a swell platform for a kind of social media outlet or something like that …. but I don’t know whether I am visible to all but a certain few or not.

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Blogging In 2021

Judging by the immediate new crop of new bloggers, some of whom are following my blog now, I suspect that 2021 is going to see the explosion in blogging continue, at least for now. It will be interesting to see if they carry on blogging past any return to something like ‘normal’.

If something like normal ever happens again of course.

As for me, I survived not using the Block Editor in 2020, and will continue to not use it in 2021 for as long as I am able.

At the start of last year, I was going to take a lot more photos to put on the blog. That never happened, as the stresses of the year sucked out all my enthusiasm for photography. I didn’t even bother to set up the new full-frame camera I got, and that was in mid-September. It is still sitting patiently on a shelf behind me, no doubt in need of another full charge for its battery.

I bought a combined handle and holder for my mobile phone, intending to carry it on my walks to capture more videos of Ollie.
That didn’t happen either, it’s still in a drawer.

Note to self. Don’t buy any more ‘stuff’ in 2021.

What I did do was to post a great deal on my blog. Seemingly unable to read, concentrate on films, or bother with my cameras, writing took over. That was my safe place during 2020. Sitting quietly in the office, typing away, and not thinking that much about whether that sniffle or cough was the start of impending doom.

Blogging kept me going, and it seemed to work for this blog too. Many more followers, the most views ever in one day, and welcome comments and contact from my blogging friends. That made each of us feel that we were not alone with our problems, worries, fears, or even bereavements.

I am not making any predictions for my own blogging in 2021, and definitely no resolutions. I almost gave up this blog for various reasons last year, so who knows if that might happen yet? Working hard on fiction serials that had a much reduced engagement with readers also made me think twice about continuing with fiction. My most popular posts last year were an Alphabet of things I like, followed by an Alphabet of things I don’t like. That sort of posting seems to appeal to a very wide audience, as I discvovered.

It would be nice to think I might post a lot less rants about followers who don’t follow, and comments that are links or sales pitches. I would like to think that, but I am afraid I cannot promise not to do that if the mood takes me.

And guest posts may cease to feature, as the take up for my last offer was zero.

However, if you are a part of this community, have a book to promote, or just want me to feature you as a Guest, then the offer is still open. In case you have forgotten the email address, here it is. petejohnson50@yahoo.com Write to me there, and I will reply telling you what to do.

For the time being, you can expect more of the same. Ollie and Beetley, the closing episodes of my fiction serial followed by the whole thing in one post, and random thoughts that usually occur to me on Sundays. If I watch a film I will probably review it, and if I ever finish a book again, I will make sure to review that too.

See you soon.

WordPress Glitches

Just to let you know, my blog has been suffering from some WP glitches this weekend.

Some followers have been appearing as ‘Anonymous’ when they have left a comment.

Using the notification sidebar to reply to comments has made those comments disappear, though my reply has appeared on the blog.

A few comments from regular readers have been found in the Spam or Trash folders.

I have been asked to approve comments from people who regularly comment, even if they do not contain links.

So if my replies are delayed, or your comment is missing, you know why.

A ‘Just In Case’ Post

After being told off by WordPress earlier, (see previous post) it has occured to me that they might well cancel my blog without warning. It’s not as if they need my money, and they do consider me to be in contravention of their guidelines.

So if I disappear, that will be why.

With that worst case scenario in mind, I would just like to say it has been a great pleasure getting to know all of you, and of course considering many of you to be my good friends.

(And if you email me, I will tell you how the current serial ends. But only if they ban me. 🙂 )
petejohnson50@yahoo.com

Pete. x

USUAL MUTTWITS MOST WANTED

DOG LOVERS! Respond to this post from Usual Muttwits, and you might see your beloved pooch immortalised! It’s free, and fun!

USUAL MUTTWITS

Who likes Muttwits?You do, of course – but wouldn’t it be great if you could show the world your very own muttwit on Muttwits.com?

Simply trot over to our emailzozoandjools@yahoo.comand send us a sharp photo of your sharp-looking bestie, together with 1)name, 2)breed: incl. age + sex 3)personalitya few words on wot makes yor muttwit special.Every Monday we will share all the Muttshots on Usual Muttwits Most Wanted.

In fact, once a month Zozo will choose a few Muttshots and draw them.Some may even trot into upcoming stories…

CONTACT US: zozoandjools@yahoo.com

Instagram: @usualmuttwits Facebook: Usual Muttwits

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Blog Feature: Usual Muttwits

Some readers may recall a blog started by one of my oldest friends, Julian. It was full of amusing stories about the doggy residents of an imaginary town, and their feline arch-enemy. Well that blog has been revamped, and now has great new illustrations by Zozo alongside the amusing stories.

Each character now has their own feature too, with the drawings summing them up perfectly.

Whether lamenting about the lack of available food, or investigating new canine arrivals, the antics of the Muttwits gang reads like a wonderful soap opera of the activities of all the pets in the town of Westley Piddle. If you own a dog, have ever owned one, or just love them, I am sure you will find this blog a delight. There is also a book in the works.
Dogs tails from Westley Piddle

So check out this new blog, treat yourself to some great illustrations, and a good laugh at the stories. Perfect Lockdown relief!

SIX THOUSAND AND ONE

I noticed the follower numbers had ticked over to 6,001 this morning.

I usually mark such milestones on my blog by writing about how so many of those followers never actually follow, and why the numbers don’t matter in the least.

But I won’t do that today. 🙂

I will just say a big “THANK YOU!” to everyone who follows this blog.

Best wishes to you all, Pete.