Blogging Insights #44 (31 August 2020)

This prompt is the brainchild of Dr Tanya over at Salted Caramel. I took part in it a couple weeks ago, and it is a Bank Holiday here today, so I have a little time to spare. Tanya asks:

How many drafts do you have in your ” Drafts Folder” right now?

Funny you should mention that, I had a clear out only a couple of weeks ago. Right now, there are about a dozen posts.

It is usually at least that many, but only ever a few tens. It might be nice to create different subfolders under “Draft” to keep everything organised.

Do you always complete a post that you draft?

No, my posts are in various stages of readiness. I’ll often get partway into writing a post, decide I can’t be bothered finishing it right now, and leave it for later.

Sometimes (music posts, generally) I’ll complete a post so that it is ready to go live, then hold it back until a “slow day”.

I don’t want to post too often – I have in my mind a maximum of three posts per day, but I’m not rigid about that – so there’s another reason for holding things back.

Some posts, it’s just the wrong time to publish. For example, I wrote a post about suicide in early December, and there was no way I wanted to publish that anytime near christmas. I think it finally went live around March.

Another one around that time was regarding the allied decision in WW2 not to bomb the concentration camps. I was prompted to write that post by a documentary I happened to watch, but ultimately canned it as part of my clearout, because that kind of post is probably interesting to only a very few people and I don’t want to bore my readers to death (more than usual!).

Is it a good idea to leave your unfinished drafts hanging around or should you delete them after some time, if so, how long?

It’s not a time thing.

If I’ve got a post in “draft”, if I decide I no longer fancy finishing it, or if I decide I no longer want to publish on that topic, I’ll delete the post.

Otherwise, if I’m still undecided, the posts will stay. It might be six months since I first started working on it.

Even if I do can a post, it goes into a Trash folder. I’ll clear that folder out just a couple times a year, so the odds are that I can get a post back if I really want to.

There’s no imperative to do it any other way – in terms of the space we’re allowed by WordPress, every single post of mine, combined, all thousand of them, is about the size of a single image. So if I have to make space, the Media Library is where I’d start. And, I’ve only used 3% of my WordPress allocation so far. At this rate, my allocation will be full in around 2050, when I will be 83 – I figure they’ll have upped our allocations by then but even if not, I’ll get worried about it nearer the time.

Body shamed

I stopped buying women’s magazines. The only time I ever see someone who looks like me is under the word ‘Before’.

Sarah Millican, UK Comedian

She’s a current British comedian (from Newcastle) who puts a funny slant on a serious issue:

Fandango’s One Word Challenge (31 August 2020)

I started looking around for ideas to satisfy Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) for today, hunter, and could not believe my luck. This story from just a few hours ago: Actually, this type of story seems very novel from here in the UK, but I hear them from the US a few times a year, so perhaps not so uncommon as I first thought?

I’m sorry, there is some swearing today – part of this is undoubtedly my lack of vocabulary, but some of it accurately represents my feeling toward hunting. I hope you’ll forgive me just this once.

I was just out for a stroll, just trying to mind my own,
When some bastard shot an arrow in my ass,
So I turned on him, pursued him,
Caught him and subdued him,
Now I’ve put that little fucker out to grass.

Who Won the Week (30 August 2020)

I always liked Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, and like to join in with some quirky stories from my own newsfeeds. All from our unique vantage points, the idea is to pick something (a person, organisation, anything) which “won” the week. Poor old Fandango sounds really p’d off this week, so let’s hope this one will cheer him up.

I guess this is a feelgood story, all the way from Quito, Ecuador.

Julio Mora and Waldramina Quinteros knew each other because his cousin was married to her sister. Romance slowly blossomed between the two, and they were married seven years after they met, on 7th February, 1941 (79 years this year).

Julio was born on 10th March, 1910 (110 years old), while Waldramina is five years his junior, being born on 16th October, 1915 (104 years old). The pair have a combined age of a staggering 215 years.

Last week, they were named by the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s oldest married couple.

I bet they’re absolutely sick of each other!

Life through the Lens (30 August 2020)

When my eyesight was still good, I was a bit of an amateur photographer. This is one of mine.

image showing a silhouette of a camera

My first week, this is known as the Porte d’Aval, in Étretat, on the northern coast of France. Étretat has a beautiful crescent-shaped beach, flanked at both ends by these beautiful chalk arches. I’ll post the view in the other direction next week.

A Birthday Surprise

My wife has a friend’s birthday coming up, so she decided to make a card for them. She has been quite enthusiastic about her crafting lately, and this is the card she produced. I thought it was lovely so scanned it in. The skeletal design came from some stamps, and she has added watercolour. What do you think? Do you think she deserves some cake after her lunch?

Dreaming Spires

for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 30 August 2020, covered.

– When is it, again?

– I told you, it’s in three weeks. Tuesday to Thursday.

Anna was just at the point in her career when she was asked to go to seminars on the firm’s behalf.

– The main speaker is a real hotshot. He’s a former judge, professor at one of the colleges there.

In truth, she and Paul hardly saw each other during the week anyway, so it would not make much difference. She continued:

– This is good stuff, Paul. They want me to go down to Oxford and represent them at an international conference. It shows they’re starting to trust me. Besides, I’ve never been to Oxford, it’s meant to be really nice.

Oxford lies about sixty miles north-west of London, and the train journey up from Paddington Station was completed in an hour on the Monday evening. Not really having much of a clue where she was, Anna passed what seemed to be thousands of pushbikes and caught a taxi to her guest house, located by the Botanical Gardens. The journey only took five minutes, at that time of day.

In fact, that was the main topic of conversation – that the traffic would turn the drive into a half-hour journey, if she happened to get the timing wrong.

She knew she was only on the fringes of the city centre, so she asked the hotel for directions to the Centre for International Studies, where her conference started at 9:30AM the next morning.

“It’s quite straightforward”, said the receptionist, pulling out a small map. “We’re here, you see, just off the High Street. So, out of the door here, turn left, then walk along the High Street into town. It’s only 5 minutes. Then, take a right along Cornmarket Street – you’ll easily recognise it, it’s the main shopping street. It’s pedestrian, apart from all the buses go down there. If you walk the length of Cornmarket Street, the place you’re after is just a bit further, along St. Aldgate’s. The whole journey should only take ten minutes.”

Anna slept well and was greeted the next morning by a good array of items in the breakfast buffet. “I’m quite surprised at the buffet”, she approved. “Normally there’s such little choice, I resign myself to going without. The waiter assured her that, these days, they catered for more and more vegan travellers.

Anna left the hotel and managed to find the Centre for International Studies without any problem. The most difficult part was finding the building itself, just one house along a terrace.

The conference finished for the day shortly before 4PM, and Anna had to retrace her steps back to her hotel. With no time pressures now, she looked around the city centre. Oxford is a charming city, with many students and some wonderful architecture, thanks largely to the colleges. It was not surprising that this was the most affluent city outside of London, that so many people lived out here and commuted in.

Feeling adventurous, Anna wandered through the wonderful architectures, past the Bodleian Library and the Ratcliffe Camera, then up a side street, Anna discovered Oxford’s quaint Covered Market. Too late, she realised that this market comprised mostly of butchers’ shops, and Anna felt that she had to hold her breath until she found the exit.

I used to live in Oxford between about 1990-5, and all the places are accurate as far as my memory goes – the Covered Market certainly did stink! Also, I’ve written a background to these characters, in the posts below.


Let me take a moment to write this ditty,
It is certainly fun, and very witty,
I worked quite hard to make it rhyme,
And almost succeeded, as you can see.

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