Category Archives: blogs

Testing testing, plus Billy Connolly’s Route 66

I know that thanks to the evil spambots the wibsite was down for quite a long time, and the recovery unfortunately meant that the pictures on previous blog posts have disappeared. I haven’t checked back to really old posts, I’m hoping that for me it’s just the recent pictures (which I had uploaded directly into the blog rather than having them hosted on flickr) which have disappeared, in which case it would be mainly pictures of book covers and pictures from the allotment which have gone, but either way I’m grateful to Chris in particular for all his hard work in getting the site back up to speed and hopefully less spammy.

So it’s been nearly 3 months since I wrote something here! My daily(ish) photo blog still continues here. I’m not sure whether to retire this blog (I think 10 years is a good length of time!), as I’m blogging elsewhere too (that photo blog, plus a more work-related blog on wordpress which I’ll not link to here as it’s in my real name). I’m quite nostalgic about this blog though, so I probably will still talk about holidays and books and things here.

The allotment’s going well too 🙂 We have started to harvest our first veg from it – we got some potatoes yesterday, and have also had spinach beet (the surprise hit of the allotment, I hadn’t expected it to do so well) and courgettes, plus some blackcurrants so far.

I’m trying to remember the last book I reviewed here. I’ve read in fits and starts, and have several on the go, but I think the only one I finished recently was Billy Connolly’s book accompanying his travel series when he travelled the entire length of Route 66. I enjoyed it a lot – I love his writing, and his spirit, he’s funny and respectful and observant, and was really good ‘company’ on the trip. I preferred the other book of his I read a few months ago (where he travelled the North-West Passage), but to be honest that was mainly because it had more pictures. This was a great read despite that, so definitely worth a read if you’re stuck for inspiration.

Best search term ever

“pictures of foot fungus that look like brockley”.

I mean, where do you even start?! Why? As a former district nursing staff nurse and former Brockley resident, it just appealed to me on so many levels.

In other news, today we discovered a nearby blackberry source along the short cut we use to get to the library (this is good as the bramble I planted in the front garden has been somewhat swamped by what I fear might be ground elder, so isn’t doing as well as it could). So I picked 2kg worth today – 5 hours later my hands and arms are still stinging because as well as being scratched as usual by the brambles, a lot of them were growing in the midst of some particularly vicious nettles. It will be so worth it though when it comes to the jam/crumble/flapjack making (that’s a news item for the long-time readers of this blog).

Introducing NellyO

I took the plunge and have started a blipfoto daily(ish) photo blog. Sadly Nelly as a name was already taken, so I added the O (the ‘O’ is of no significance – much like the blog then!). I am not going to beat myself up if I don’t take a photo every day, but I enjoy the snapping so will see how it goes.

Chas I haven’t quite figured out how to subscribe to other blipfoto blogs yet (will play around with it in a bit). I am going to link this one to facebook though so hopefully they will appear there without me having to do anything.

Name that blog

I am finding, 4 days into the new year, that I am missing Project365. Although I must say that having snapped pretty much every inanimate object in our house I am not missing getting to the end of the day and racking my brains trying to think of *something* original! I am enjoying seeing other people’s 365s (quite a few friends, including of course Auntie Doris, are doing it this year).

I have decided I am going to get a Blipfoto blog and although I won’t do a strict 365 I will put photos up there as close to daily as I manage. However, what is putting me off starting is that I can’t for the life of me think what to call it! So I invite any suggestions in the comments, hopefully you will make me laugh even if you don’t come up with the actual title.

The only name I can think of is “Nelly”, which is a silly name for a blog. When we were at my parents’ last week, the conversation came round to pet names, and my mum asked if we had pet names for each other (we don’t particularly, other than HD here). HD did though suggest calling me Nelly (because I trump trump trump. I blame the brussels). Anyway now I can’t get the name out of my head. Save me from myself, help me come up with something more suitable!

TMI?

Plenty of people who know me know I spend a lot of time on facebook – I love catching up with people, seeing what’s going on in their lives, reconnecting with people, sharing joys and sorrows, and all the rest of it. In particular I just find it so convenient – the fact is, however much I’d like to I’m just not going to be able to individually email/skype/phone/write to a 3 figure number of people very regularly, and it is just going to be a superficial Christmas and birthdays type arrangement in most cases, if that, whereas on facebook there are lots of my family and friends in the same place and I can catch up with lots of them in a relatively short space of time. With friends all over the world this has been an enormous blessing – I signed up for facebook when I was on my PhD fieldwork and found it invaluable in feeling still ‘plugged in’ to life back home and connected to my loved ones, plus it was handy for them to see that I was OK and having adventures and all the rest of it.

More recently, I’ve come across a few debates (on and off facebook) on over-sharing, particularly around pregnancy and birth. I suppose this is the next stage in the debate after thinking about over-sharing in a blog (one of the many reasons I’m enjoying the Project365 thing, as well as the opportunity to be creative and think of fun things to do and places to go is that I can blog regularly but quite superficially, which suits me for now – next year I’ll try to get round to writing a bit more substantially again). But even with my superficial blogging this year, following a chat with HD I did take down one photo which he (and, actually on reflection, I) found crossed the too-personal line (no I’m not going to discuss which one!). I think with social media, particularly a blog like this which I’ve done for years or facebook which I’ve also been on for 4 years and am very familiar with, it is easy to drop your guard and over-disclose without thinking of the consequences for yourself or others.

I have noticed a number of friends on facebook posting lots of baby photos, ultrasound pictures etc, and I am genuinely happy for them. But I do sometimes feel vaguely uncomfortable, not particularly on my behalf, but thinking about the impact this might have on other people who might be struggling with their less than perfect family life or other issues. I also wonder about how the child might feel about their picture being on the internet (more than one family I know, the kids love having their pictures up online so I’m not going to get all preachy about it, but in some cases I wonder if a line is being stepped over). There are a few blogs I read by parents which are all about their experiences as parents, so obviously the kids play a big part in that blog, and they are so well done that I can imagine the kids can look back on those blogs when they’re older and really know how proud of them their folks were. But I don’t know if I could do that.

This weekend I came across an article on the blog Feministing about so-called ‘Social Media Pregnancies’. This is coming from a staunchly pro-choice perspective and I think makes some interesting points (they also link to an article in the Washington Post which reckons that by the age of 2, 92% of American children have an online presence which I am both shocked and unsurprised by); it is also I think unfortunately rather strident and the arguments about ‘fetal personhood’ and women’s bodies as mere vessels are a bit unfortunate (this is something which is picked up on in the very interesting comments thread which follows). I think the stuff about the ritual of posting and sharing photos on sites like facebook is really interesting though and I would love to read some decent research about this.

And then today my friend blogs on exactly this subject and is so much more eloquent and gracious than me about it (don’t you just hate it when that happens? 😉 I should have just linked to her post and saved myself all this time). I love her take on thinking about how her life could be something that friends taken up with nothing but their young babies get jealous about, and which they could indeed be upset or jealous about. I don’t think we can self-censor to the extreme – whatever I post could potentially upset someone, so I have to be realistic and trust my friends to take anything I post in the spirit in which it’s meant. And it’s down to me to extend them the same courtesy (and if all else fails, the scroll feature is a wonderful thing).

‘Unfinished Symphony’

So, here we are. My blog’s 7th birthday, and I think about time for a change. I’ve changed the title and the theme (still trying a few themes out, but I like this plain one and think it’s good for photos), and once my thesis corrections are in (hopefully in the next fortnight) that’ll be studentdom over and done with for a good long while.

And to all those who over the years have found my blog by searching for ‘maturest sex’, this blog *still* isn’t what you’re looking for.

(Re)Name That Blog

After I posted about my successful viva, Karin asked in the comments if I would be changing the name of this blog. I remember a year and something ago (probably before I got the year’s extension, so thinking I would have finished over a year ago) I did muse about that and even asked for suggestions, but didn’t do very much about it as I ended up taking over a year longer than I meant to to finish, and also because I thought once I’d finished I’d be doing the family planning nursing course so I’d still be a student for another year and a half after that. However, now that I’m not doing that course (and, the very thought of a complicated course and writing essays and all that for something new still leaves me cold so won’t be happening any time soon) and the PhD is finished, it probably does make sense to rename the blog, to finally mark my passage out of formal studentdom. My blog birthday is coming up soon (April 5th), and as that is a couple of weeks before I need to get my corrections in it seems like as good a time as any to switch over. But what to?

The last time I talked about this, the one suggestion I quite liked was “Unfinished Symphony” which seemed to capture the ongoing continuous learning/developing kind of idea, as well as being a wee nod to my ancient and thoroughly neglected music degree. But I’m not 100% sure, so I thought that I would open it up to suggestions from my lovely creative readers to see if they had any other suggestions ……. I won’t promise to use any of them, but even if I don’t they might spark off some random tangent in my own imagination to come up with a new name. Over to you then 🙂

2011 Project365 (day40)

9th February 2011

This is a shot of one of my London friends’ blog. He found out yesterday that he has a brain tumour (almost certainly benign) and so has started blogging from his hospital bed to relieve the tedium (and, I suspect, try and take his mind off the fact that he has been nil by mouth all day). The operation to remove the tumour will hopefully be tomorrow – any and all prayers for him would be good and I’m sure really appreciated.

The Gallery Week 34 – Seasons

I haven’t posted on the Gallery for a few weeks, but this week’s theme is Seasons so I have the perfect excuse to post some of the pictures I took in Queen’s Park the other weekend. I was going stir-crazy so we took a walk as it was a lovely day (the last one for a while, probably) and we were rewarded with some wonderful colour.

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One thing we both noticed was how yellow autumn in the park is this year. It was definitely the predominant colour.

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It’s also very yellow in the park in spring thanks to the carpets of daffodils everywhere. We really are so lucky living near such a great park. Every season is different. I think autumn and spring are my favourites though. Maybe somewhere else I’d favour another season, but here, well, winter is Winter with a capital Wet, and as for summer, well ….. move along, nothing to see here!

Yellow wasn’t the only colour we spotted:

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My favourite picture though is that classic yellow/blue combo:

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Technical question about RSS feed readers

So I use bloglines to check out the blogs I like to read. I’ve been happy enough with this service for a number of years, but over the last couple of days a notice has appeared from its owners to say that it’s shutting down from October 1st so I need to transfer my RSS feeds to another reader (in the meantime I’m copying the blog addresses to a Word file in case I break it all and lose the lot when I try to export the feeds). The main one seems to be Google Reader, and I was wondering if anyone has any experience of this? (I know I could ask the resident techie, but he’s away for the weekend and uses bloglines for his RSS feeds too).

I do have a googlemail email account, so have taken a quick look at the reader from there. I guess it will be easy enough to set it up, but I do wonder from a quick look whether it is possible (like it is in bloglines) once a post is read for it to disappear unless you mark it? I can see (from their recommended feeds, none of which interest me in the slightest) that if there’s a post you want to keep you can star it, just like with important emails so they’re easier to access in the future, but I don’t want to be trawling through a morass of read posts that no longer interest me in order to find the occasional classic.

Alternatively, does anyone use a reader other than bloglines or Google Reader they can recommend?