The Missing Bloggers

I got to thinking about the bloggers who have gone ‘missing’, with little or no explanation.

I miss their posts, their comments, and their occasional emails too.

Some of you will remember them.



Abbi Osbiston.


That is just a selection of four of them, but there have been many others. I believe some of you followed those featured.

I am worried about them. In some cases, I have emailed them a few times, and received no reply. Others have left their blog open with the last post published showing the date of their departure, reminding me of the tale of the Marie Celeste.

It is not my place to pester them, but blogging is all about community, and caring about our blogging friends.

So if any of you see those links or pingbacks, please let me know you are okay.

What Dogs Do Care About

Not long ago, I published a post titled ‘What Dogs Don’t Care About’.

I thought it was now time to write about the things they do care about.

Dogs do care…

If you don’t give them their dinner

If you don’t leave them fresh water to drink

If they don’t have any toys to play with

If you make too much fuss of another dog

If you make too much fuss of a cat

If you make too much fuss of a baby

If you read a book or magazine and ignore them

If you don’t take them out for a good walk

If you leave them alone in the house for too long

If you shout at them for being in the way when they don’t know they are in the way

If you leave them with someone else and go on holiday

If you break their routine

If you forget to give them a treat or biscuit at the usual time

If you bring a new dog into the house to live

If you forget they are outside and leave them there for too long

If you tell them off for barking at the postman or delivery courier

If you forget to stroke them and cuddle them

If you shut them in another room when you have company

If one of your visitors doesn’t like dogs

If you have stroked another dog and they can smell it on you

If you eat something nice in front of them and don’t give them even a tiny bit

In many ways, dogs are just like us, especially us as children.
If you ever intend getting a dog, please remember what they care about.

What Dogs Don’t Care About

Dogs don’t care…

If you haven’t mowed the lawn

If you haven’t had a bath

If they haven’t had a bath

If there’s a really good film on TV

If you haven’t changed the blanket on their bed

If you are wearing the same shirt you had on yesterday

If they smell bad

If you smell bad

If they have slobber all round their face

If you haven’t had your dinner yet

If your car doesn’t start

If the roof gutters need clearing

If you had that extra glass of wine

If you didn’t get round to vacuuming the carpet

If their fur falls out all over the house

If another dog sniffs their butt

If Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister

If Donald Trump is President of America

If Kim Jong-Un has a bad haircut

If you didn’t manage to go on holiday

If you have put on a lot of weight

If your clothes are so ‘last year’

They don’t actually care about much at all.
We could learn something from them

Saturday Stuff

I woke up this morning with my head full of stuff. Some days, I am left wondering where it all comes from. Memories, films, old TV shows. Snippets of decades-old conversations, faces of people that I recognise but can’t remember their names. It’s all tumbling around in my brain, like clothes in a washing machine.

I try to do things to focus on. Read a book on my Tablet, type up a couple of blog posts, and check emails. But it is to no avail, as those random thoughts and visions are refusing to go away. It is a very long time since I ever experimented with any hallucinogenic drugs, but it feels a lot like that uncontrollable experience. Perception of noise is increased, until everyday conversation and background sounds become like some sort of orchestral crescendo.

One way of coping is to try to compartmentalise all this ‘stuff’. Get it into categories, remove the ones easily dealt with, and confront the rest. Otherwise, the rest of the day is going to be lived in some strange dream-like state, looking at one thing, but seeing something else.

I am beginning to wonder if this is actually the true meaning of insanity.

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday


I woke up feeling stressed today. Just something that has been niggling me for a long time, and it grew strong enough to actually wake me up. We talk about stress all the time, in this modern world. We say things like “Stress is a killer”, or “I feel stressed out”. Lots of things can magnify feelings of stress. Job interviews, job losses, examinations, moving house, getting divorced, or even being stuck in traffic.

Stress means different things to different people. One person’s stress is another’s challenge. Many thrive on the adrenaline of stress, whilst others have their lives destroyed by it. But how much of it is natural, and how much learned? Are we born with the capacity to feel stress, or is it thrust upon us by the experiences of others? Was it designed into our very being to help us deal with the basics of life, or has it grown since the age when we started to question satisfaction, and our place in the scheme of things?

I have no doubt that stress can make you feel ill, physically as well as mentally. Stress-free days are so rare that they feel special, like a holiday, or childhood treat. In western society, we seem to have been taught what we should feel stressed about. It’s as easy as telling a child not to worry about something that they weren’t worried about to begin with. “Don’t worry about the exam, it will be fine”. So you worry. “Don’t worry about the new school, you will fit in”. So you worry. “Don’t worry about your first day at work even if it feels strange”. So you worry, and it feels strange.

Often in life, we choose to place ourselves in stressful situations. For most of my life, I worked in jobs that could be extremely stressful. Not just because of what I encountered, but also because they carried an above-average sense of responsibility, and accountability too. Added to that stress was more of the same, found in my private life. Failed marriages, trying to be kind and fair to everyone, hoping to set a good example. Instead of just getting on with it, I always felt stressed about it. From an early age, I was taught that stress makes you sharper, gets things done, and leaves you with a sense of achievement that then cancels out the stress. But that didn’t happen.

Was stress something to bear because of youth, puberty, and development issues? I had to be seen to be popular, have a girlfriend, a decent job, and live a worthwhile life. Once that was all behind me, surely stress would play little or no part in my life? But it did, and it still does.

I woke up this morning wondering if it will ever stop.

Tired, and emotional

I have reached one of those blogging impasses, yet again.
Tonight, I feel like the old newspaper quote, “He was tired, and emotional”.
That was usually a euphemism for being drunk, but I am not drunk tonight, though I might wish that I was. But I am surely tired, and feeling emotional to the brink of tears.

Why is that? I have no idea. Things in my life, never mentioned on this blog, are accumulating in their affect on my well-being. Good old Beetleypete is not what he might seem this evening, that’s for sure. Despite having had a very good ‘blogging weekend’, my heart is heavy. Inspiration has deserted me, and I feel adrift, in an ocean of thought and feelings.

Perhaps that is the way of things, as you get older? I don’t really know. But whatever the reason, it is no less disconcerting. Do I need a break perhaps? That’s one thing to consider. Or maybe I just need to disappear, and leave this world of blogging to everyone else?

As you can tell. It is a very strange evening indeed.

To be continued…

When I stopped worrying

I couldn’t name the day, and I am not even sure what year it was. But it definitely happened. I stopped worrying. Not about important things, those things that we actually need to concern ourselves about. Just those social things, the acquired worries, all those unnecessary ones.

I stopped worrying about how I was dressed. After all, I was walking a dog in rain and mud. Why should I care what people thought about the clothes I was wearing?

I once worried about what my hair looked like. But then most of it disappeared, and I just cut what was left myself, into a short crop that looks like I have no hair at all. Why worry about hairstyles, when there’s nothing left to style?

I stopped worrying about looking old, and became interested in the change instead. I couldn’t do anything about it, and I certainly wasn’t about to endure a lot of painful surgical procedures to restore my youthful look. Better to just stop worrying. And it worked.

Having strong opinions is not always acceptable in polite company. But I got to that time when I realised I had been keeping them to myself when meeting new people for far too long. So, I became true to myself, and stopped worrying about what they thought.

I used to actually worry about all the places I had never seen, and the countries that I had wanted to visit, but never had. It dawned on me that save for a lottery win, that was never going to happen. So I stopped worrying about that too.

I worried about losing touch with people, especially after moving away to a place that few would ever visit. I tried my best to maintain contact with everyone, but it wasn’t easy. They had their lives to live, and it wasn’t their fault that I had moved 130 miles away. So I stopped worrying about that.

As my list of things not to worry about became longer, it got easier to accept more additions.

For a long time, I worried about upsetting people with blog comments, or alienating them by writing about things that they didn’t agree with. But one day I realised that a lot of those bloggers were no longer around, and new ones had replaced them. I decided that such things have a way of sorting themselves out, and stopped worrying about them.

Then I stopped worrying about doing things. So what if I said I would go to the post office today, and didn’t? It will keep until tomorrow, and there is no point worrying about something I didn’t do, when it is too late to do it. The lawn wasn’t cut on the day I said I would do it. No matter, let the grass grow.

There is real freedom in not worrying, I assure you. Everyone should try it.