An Alphabet Of My Life: W

W=Wordpress.

WordPress to me means blogging, but I used something else for ‘B’.

I came late to blogging. It was not until after a suggestion from my friend Antony that I even considered starting a blog. He thought it would be something for me to do once I retired from work. I looked into it, and decided that WordPress was the platform to choose. At the time (2012) it was the easy option. The process was laid out in a way I could understand, and it was free too.

Those first few posts were very short. I let my friends and family know that I had started a blog, and they encouraged me by leaving occasional comments. Some of them even followed my blog, and I started to become aware of other bloggers, and followed some.

A year later, I was having interaction and engagement with a selection of followers, and starting to feel like I was part of an international community. I even started a second blog with a very different theme, though I don’t post much on there.

Since then, I have added photos, written fictional stories and serials, told the world about my life in a small village with my dog Ollie, and reflected on my past in London. Although follower numbers increased dramatically, and I have now published 5,257 posts, it is usually the same core group of committed and much-valued followers who read and comment on my blog posts.

Blogging not only keeps your mind active, and allows you to express your emotions and opinions, it also introduces you to some amazing people from all around the world. You gain an insight into the lives of people from other countries that you have never visited, and different cultures to your own. Blogging is great, but you have to stick at it, and engage to get the full value from it.

I’m so glad I started a blog. My life has been enriched by blogging, despite the glitches, frustrations, and occasional annoyances.

Guest Post: Kabuu Wairimu

I was pleased to receive a guest post from WordPress blogger, Kabuu. Here is a link to her site, where you can read more of her writing.
https://realkabuu.wordpress.com/

| ANXIETY | PANIC ATTACKS |

So it’s 8 o’clock in the morning, we are all standing in the school parade ground for the morning assembly. In my school we used to assemble in this certain way, boys form a horizontal line on the right side and then the girls follow completing the left side of the line, each class did this. So I’m looking to the boys side and I can see two of them laughing while pointing at me, it wasn’t that serious but I freaked out. I remember seeing darkness for like seconds, my head was too heavy I was so anxious. I really don’t remember what happened next but that feeling I had comes all the time I’m anxious.

So why were they laughing at me? The previous day something happened. We were off from school my sister and I, we used to live close to the road and our house wasn’t fenced at the time, so every one who passed there including some of our school mates would see us. So, that evening when I was playing at the compound, I fell down and my dress decided to embarrass me, it flew up and my lil booty was out, some of the students saw that and laughed at me, I was so embarrassed I didn’t want to go to school the next day. That’s what led to my anxiety during the assembly. Well this is the first time I experienced anxiety and low-key panic attack. Cause every time I feel anxious around people that’s the feeling that comes to me.

The next time this happened to me I was in high school, we were given a CRE assignment as a group. We were to present it infront of the class so each one of us were given a part to present. That presentation gave my stomach a hard time for almost a week. I’m never anxious when it came to mathematics presentation where I had to solve a question on the board or when it came to telling a joke in front of the class, that was always okay. But this specific presentation ate me up. So the day came, minutes before we stood up to present, my temperature rose up, I had a very slight headache that lasted for some minutes as darkness covered my eyes yet again for some seconds. My hands were too sweaty and I couldn’t stop shaking. There’s something anxiety does to your blood. You feel like it’s boiling all over your body. I tried so hard to hide it from my desk mate, so I cooled myself down and when it came to us presenting, we went infront as everyone did their part. My voice was shaky so I didn’t really do better. But at least that was over. No one ever told me that it was bad, maybe I did good and maybe I wasn’t shaky at all, maybe it was just all in my head. I guess I’ll never know.

So I realized that it’s a problem I’ve got earlier this year, I decided to check on it and see what I can really do to be able to up my confidence level. But sometimes I think I’m confident but my head just chooses to let me down. I decided to recognize situations that give me anxiety, situations like being in a group or doing a presentation, going to the bank or even paying at the cashier or calling certain individuals.

I choose to be present whenever I’m those situations, I focus on what’s going on and choose to believe that it’s all good. Or if it’s a person for example who makes me anxious, I let them know, letting them know makes it less worrying and makes me feel a little bit comfortable. Or think of something nice or someone I’m into, just imagine or remember the best moments i had with them that made me feel so good.

If you’re suffering from anxiety, just recognize that it’s something you sometimes cannot control and it’s okay. Choose to find ways that can make you less anxious in situations that bring the anxious feelings. I’d say avoid those situations, but some things can’t be avoided. I can’t avoid cashing out at a supermarket or school, I just choose to find a solution to my problem. People? Yes very avoidable. I tried meditation for a relief but I’m really bad at concentration lol, 2 minutes into a mediation and I’m already gone, doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying. I love you and we got this kiddo.

Has Blogging Reached Its Peak?

With new followers as rare as hen’s teeth, and many of the ‘Lockdown Bloggers’ disappearing as quickly as they arrived in 2020, I am left wondering whether or not Blogging has had its day.

From limited research, it would seem that Instagram and You Tube have attracted people who might otherwise have been blogging. The instant gratification of a photo or video is a lot less work that an 700-word blog post or a fiction serial, let’s face it.

Over the past few months, I have noticed that comments on my posts are almost always from the same group of people. No complaints about that, as they are my blogging friends, and I value their input and contribution to our community more than I can say.

But casting my eye over other blogs, there is definite evidence of a ‘slowdown’. Many are receiving fewer comments, and no replies to replies. The Reader seems to be being used to just ‘Like’ posts almost immediately, and the amount of comments generated by most posts is falling all over WordPress.

So, does this matter? Personally, I would blog to online tumbleweed, comments or not. But many bloggers are becoming frustrated by the lack of engagement in 2022, and I understand that frustration. I confess that I am lucky. I have amazing followers, regular comments, and daily blog views are usually around 300 since the ‘slowdown’.

Becoming part of such a community takes commitment, and a lot of time at the keyboard. Content is king. So if you do not post regularly, you will get sparse views of your old ones.

Let’s all agree to keep up with the blogs we follow. Show some encouragement, leave comments as well as likes, and keep the circle of blogging alive.

If not, what was it all for?

Still On Top!

In 2016, I published a post about a British Acid-Jazz band, Jamiroquai.

Whatever happened to?: Jamiroquai

This soon became something of a phenomenon on my blog, with an incredible number of views. Since then, not a single day has passed without that post getting at least one view.

Today, I noticed that it had been viewed twice, so checked my all-time stats. Sure enough, it is still there at number one, with total views of 5,847.

Comments Changes On WordPress

Since posting recently about not being able to leave comments on blogs I follow, I have managed to cure that problem by using the Reader to comment on posts where that was happening.

However, there seems to be something else happening with WP, double comments.

When someone comments on my blog posts, I get an email notification. That’s as it has always been. But now when they reply to my reply, I get two emails containing that reply. One is notified as a reply to my comment, the second one notified as a ‘new comment’ on my blog post.

To add to that, I am also getting notifications about my own comments, as if it is not my blog. “Beetleypete has left a comment”.

This has trebled the amount of emails I receive in the space of two weeks, as sometimes there will be six email notifications about one comment and a reply.

Has anyone else noticed this development, or is it just affecting me?

It’s That Time Again: Guest Posts

Back from holiday, and nothing in drafts, so I am once again offering guest posts to anyone who follows this blog. It doesn’t matter if you follow me on WordPress, by email, or on Twitter, I am happy to consider a guest post from you. And if you have had one here before, that doesn’t matter either.

So.

Under 2,000 words.
On any subject.
Images to be reduced in size to save space on my blog.
Nothing too ‘controversial’.
Nothing religious.
Nothing about the British Royal Family.

Please DO NOT send the guest post as an MS WORD document. I do not have MS WORD, so that is a pain.
(I say this every time, but people STILL do it!

Send your guest post as an EMAIL to, petejohnson50@yahoo.com
Attach any images you want to feature.
I will not alter or correct your guest post in any way, so check it before you send it. (Please)
If I decide to publish it on my blog, I will inform you by email.

Please reply to any comments on your guest post, even if I have already left a reply.

Over to you!

Back To Reality Musings

We returned from our holiday on Monday afternoon, and had things to do yesterday. So I have not been online from the 4th, until this morning.
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We were lucky with the weather, despite some overnight rain and an occasional heavy shower during the day, we managed to avoid getting wet and stayed in pleasant sunshine. Like most people do on holiday, I had too much to eat, and a lot more wine than I would have at home. Ollie had a wonderful time meeting new dogs, (including two Sharpeis) but he came home exhausted by the extra exercise of long walks along the seafront. He has been sleeping all the time since Monday, save for his walks across Beetley Meadows.

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It felt strange for me to not be blogging of course, but I am back today, starting from scratch. This means that I have replied to comments on my posts while I was away, but have not managed to tackle the hundreds of posts of bloggers I follow. By the weekend, I should be back to my normal routine.

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Thanks to everyone who read my older posts while I was gone. It was encouraging to discover I had regular views every day, even when not posting anything.

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Quite a lot happened while we were on holiday, including the death of the Queen, and Ukraine retaking ground in the ongoing war against Russia. But I watched little or no TV, as I had a porch to sit on, and watched the world go by outside instead. I make no comment about the death of Elizabeth II, and the media circus that has accompanied her passing. Everyone who reads this blog will know I am not a royalist, and have no interest in anything to do with the British royal family.

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After an enjoyable time breathing sea air, and travelling around a different part of England, I am actually looking forward to re-establishing my routine with Ollie. Julie has today off work, so it will be spent quietly, with a necessary supermarket shop and some catching up on domestic things.

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I hope you have all had an enjoyable week while we have been away, and I will catch up with all of your blogs soon.

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A Blogger’s Appeal

Our blogging friend Ami from https://undercoversuperhero.com/ is participating in a fundraising event with her husband to raise money for the unit that helped her through a long illness, and continues to help her and others today.

This is her post about that.

We’re Fundraising for the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Departments.

You may have already seen by now that me and Ewan are taking part in the Superhero Tri this year to raise money for the physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments at the rehabilitation centre where I stayed for 6 months in 2018.

If you’re unfamiliar with my story, in 2018 I almost died from double pneumonia, as I slowly recovered I realised I had lost the ability to do everything apart from moving my eyes or turning my head.

I had to learn everything again from writing, typing, brushing my hair and teeth, eating and drinking, to sitting in a chair, sitting up without support, standing up and walking.

In total, I spent 3 months in hospital and 6 months at the rehabilitation centre. It was at rehab where everything changed.

On my first day there, I was dependent on a hoist, but by discharge day I was able to walk with a walking frame (with 2 people assisting me).

I could write a book about how much the staff mean to me, they really are extraordinary people and are the real superheroes.

We’re almost halfway towards our fundraising goal (thank you so much if you’ve donated already!) and I know times are tough right now so if you’re unable to donate, can you please share this far and wide?

Thank you so much!

Here’s my fundraising page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ami-Hook-Ireland

If it is possible for you to help with a donation of any amount, please follow the link. If not, then please share this post on any social media you are a member of.

Back In The Land Of The Living

After a couple of days spent mostly in bed, I am now on the road to recovery. I starved myself yesterday, and that seems to have done the trick.

Ollie also seems to be responding to the large amount of medication I have been giving him. He ate his food late yesterday afternoon, and slept undisturbed by pain last night.

Sadly, I have not been able to keep up with any of your posts, so I am starting fresh today. Hopefully, my next serial episode will also appear at some stage.

We have some more hot weather forecast for the weekend, but nowhere near as hot as it was earlier this week. Fingers crossed we have seen the last of those exceptional temperatures for this year.

Shotgun Blogging

As it is too hot to finish off my serial fiction post, here is a reblog from 2015. Many of you will have seen it.

beetleypete

I have been perusing other blogs of late, and drawing some personal conclusions about the nature of many blogs, including my own. Some of my favourite blogs publish articles of great import, sparingly posted. They are usually sumptuously illustrated, or have accompanying photographs, generally of high quality. Although they do not appear that often, the response from their audience is always immediate, and in great numbers. These bloggers are at the high end of this pastime, the careful craftsmen in our blogging community. They have experimented, worked hard and meticulously, and achieved something enduring, with work to be proud of. I think of them as the Guild Bloggers, masters of the art.

Then there are the Niche Bloggers, predominantly photographers, poets, or writers of published works. They post only about their subject of interest. We might see something of their travels, or their personal developments in their chosen field, but…

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