A small world …


Way back at the beginning of 2017 I posted about a familiar face popping up on FaceBook and how I was in two minds as to whether I should make contact or not. Looking back, I don’t think I posted that School palsI did get in touch. We had a good evening out some time later, and have kept in touch (on and off) ever since. In fact, we had lunch just recently. Now this is where the title comes in. At that first evening meeting we talked about our family and such. But then we got onto work, and it turned out that this old school friend worked for the son of my maternal grandmothers brother (my mothers cousin). Not only did he work for him, but he knew my grandmother and often visited her. All this came out at that evening out. And before you ask, we both did have that amount of hair in those days.

Then around June time, last year I noticed a post, again on FaceBook from a friend that I worked with way back in the late 1980’s. Back in 1986, I went to work as a clerical officer Typingfor the Local Authority. She started in 1988 as a clerical officer and left that job around 2001 which caused us to lose touch. The post in question was a reply to another post from a current local friend who knew this girl from college way back in the late 1970’s. Thankfully, although she now lives in New Zealand we are now back in touch again. She and her husband are a couple of the nicest people I know.

Leap forward to this month (May 2019) and the relative smallness of the world is again raising it’s WPhead. This time, through this very blogging platform. I was reading through some of the comments on a post I had just read. I often have a look at blogs of people who make interesting comments and this was no exception. One of the commenters (is that what they are called?) I visited had an interesting post that had an image of a place near where we used to live. I commented on the post and to cut a long story short, after a couple of messages I now find out that this person lives close to my wife’s father, and may even know him. I refer you back to the title …

Start with someone else’s words…


True friends stab you in the front

I’ve been reading up on various websites about the “art of blogging”. There are so many ‘helpful’ people trying their best to help you/me become a better blogger. Most of them seem to want me to follow their blog and maybe contribute financially to their blog. I tend to pass these by once I see the ‘Donate’ button. Occasionally, one site/post will catch my eye. A particular blog suggested that it is often a good idea to start your blog with someone else’s words, as a hook to get potential readers interested. So this is the point of this post.

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I’m going back to 2011. My eldest son, S**** and I are at the Leeds Festival (or Leeds Fest as it it known colloquially). We have just watched the band Madness and he is going off with Leeds Festhis friends to do what young people do at festivals. I’m trying to be the ‘trendy oldie’ and I’m thinking I’m going to see the next band … whoever they are. Turned out they were a Sheffield band called “Bring Me The Horizon”, who’s music at the time was defined as “metalcore” which was something I had no idea about. So there I was, at the grand old age of 56, wearing a skull bandana, wishing I still smoked waiting for this band to appear.

It was loud … very, very loud. The singers voice just seemed to screech all the time, but the music was very addictive. I stayed for the whole set … including  a particular song that was apparently BMTH 2011called “Wall of Death”. This involved the singer telling the audience to form a large circle. By this time, I was towards the centre of the audience and people were beginning to move backwards. the circle was getting bigger and bigger. There seemed nowhere for me to go. I asked a young man who was near to me, what I should do. His words were “Just run and don’t stop!” Which is exactly what I did. There is a YouTube video that shows the event, but the photo here shows the scale. I was never more scared and excited in my life. Although you will ne be able to make me out, I was somewhere near the bottom righthand corner.

Ever since that day, I have enjoyed listening to BMTH who’s music which has turned somewhat into what some call “pop metal”.

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Now to the point. The quote is from a song by BMTH called True Friends. The quote is based on a quote by Oscar Wilde, and it is claimed that it is not about anything/anyone in particular.

So that is my attempt at “Start with someone else’s words” Lets see how this one goes.

Still going – just …


The issues with the laptop continue, although they seem to be not as bad as they were at the beginning of the week. After reading some the comments online, I’m more and more convinced that at least some of the problems are linked with the last Windows update. The annoying thing is that whereas at one time you could choose to update or not, now it is more or less forced onto you. I also think. that there may be some compatibility issues with some of the software I’m using. However, it is looking likely that I may have to bite the bullet and get a new one, with all the issues that brings.

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Coming back to my Blog Editor trials, I thought last night when R*** was using my laptop, that I had forgotten to include BlogPad Pro app on my iPad. It worked quite well when we were away and providing I can upload the manual to my phone, for reference, it might just be a contender. I have decided against using Notepad as it would me more effort than it’s worth copying and pasting, so I’m going to cross that of the list. This post is being written with my favourite application, Open Live Writer. This is the one that I started having problems with which prompted my testing.

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The village seems to be the target of a couple of gangs of thieves. Properties are being broken into and it appears that the thieves are after the car keys of high-end vehicles. These  cars are then stolen and either shipped abroad or broken-up for the valuable parts. The local primary school was also hit, but that was for the laptops. It’s a bit of a worrying time for all.

(Written with Open Live Writer)

Really long days


I was supposed to be posting a little every day. But, as with all plans on this trip, things seem to get in the way.

I am currently enduring enjoying a family break in the Scarborough area. The week didn’t start well. R***’s transport arrived 40 minutes early. As this was a new driver and escort it seemed bothered more than him. Then, we got a little lost at the end of the journey. It would seem that there are two places in the Scarborough area, that have the same name with almost the same postcode. Of course, I had got the wrong one. S**** was arriving later and as I/we had given him the wrong postcode, the same happened. The place is not too remote, but as this is England the mobile phone coverage is poor to say the least. To cap it all, K*** got a phone call from R***’s respite to say that the transport had arrived to take him home. Somewhere along the line wires had crossed. It could have been a huge problem if they had brought him home only to take him back again.

Bye bye Blogger, Blogger goodbye …


Not my interpretation of a 1970’s Bay City Roller’s classic, but me saying farewell to my blog on Google Blogger. I created the Blogger one in 2009, and it was my intention to ‘get my message’ out to as many readers as I possibly could. The idea was that I would write a post here in WordPress, then repost it in Blogger to maximise readership. It was not long after my first repost, that I discovered that this kind of activity was called ‘cross-posting’ and is highly frowned upon in the blogging community. I was advised that both blogs should be unique, but that I could reference each blog in the other. All seemed a little bit too much effort really. As a consequence my Blogger effort suffered which resulted in only five posts of which only four were unique. A few months ago I promised myself that I ‘must try harder ’ with what was called “At Home With The Hub 2”, and post more often on Blogger. FAIL !  I don’t really have that much to say that justifies having two blogs.

So this morning, with hand on heart I said goodbye and deleted the blog.

Where now …


The demise of the “Daily Post” has left me feeling a little bit lost. Like many WordPress users, I used the “Daily Prompt” for inspiration rather than a resource to find other blogs. I recently purchased a ‘Personal Plan’ as opposed to a free plan, with the intention of using the Daily Prompt, as what I felt it’s purpose was, to encourage me to write more. My reasoning was that if it cost me money, then I would use it more.

I often tell people, when they ask what my blog is about, that it’s about “… what I want to share, when I want to share it …” There is no basic theme running through it, except when I wrote many posts about my heart operation back in 2014. I have thought about writing about a specific topic, but never got much further than thinking.

So, where now?  Where will my inspiration to blog come from? I have had a look at some of the so called ‘Blog Generators’ but none of them seem to be a fit replacement for the Daily Prompt. I looked at the WordPress ‘Discover’ site but the thought of selecting my best post and ‘pitching’ for a random chance of blog promotion seems a bit alien to me. I don’t feel it is up to me to decide which is my best post. My readers will decide that.

If anyone knows of a place that does a similar type of thing to the Daily Prompt, I will be very grateful if you would share it with me.

Not happy … Daily Prompt


I’m fast coming to the conclusion, that the iOS WordPress app should be renamed the iOs WordPress (CR)app. I’m sat in the sun, with a nice drink and I quite fancy having a go at today’s Daily Prompt. “Hmmm,” I think to myself. “How do I get the ‘ping-back’ with the issue I’m having opening the Daily Prompt notification?” I know! I can go to the Dashboard, open the notification from there, then open the post and copy the link. I’ll just have another drink before I start.

Twenty minutes later, and the bl**dy post is showing as “Not available…” Awkward is not the word I used. It is so frustrating and I cannot believe I am the only one having this issue. I don’t like using the editor, as I prefer to double, even triple check my musings before they go public. I’m using the BlogPad Pro app, which I’m gradually getting used to, and I don’t want to have to lug a laptop on holiday with me. I know I don’t post every Daily Prompt, but it would be nice to do so when I want to.

The developers are supposing looking at the problem, but it seems to be taking some time over it. I know where I worked, if we had a problem, I would have to have it fixed within a couple of days or questions would have been asked!

Just a quick test …


I thought I would give this “Blog Pad Pro” iPad app another go. It’s not the easiest app I’ve used, but it is a lot easier using a separate keyboard.I really need to get up to speed with it. Struggling with adding categories and tags. It’s not as simple as with the laptop software, and I’m not sure how to post as draft. I must try and find a downloadable manual.

But to other things. Today is the “Royal Wedding” and that is all I want to say on the matter, as far too much has been said already.

Moving on. Today is also the FA Cup Final, but as I’m not a big fan of football, lets move on again.

That’s about it for now.

Back to the usual …


Blodpad IconStill testing the Blogpad app on my iPad. A bit of a way to go yet, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. One of the downsides I’ve found, is that you cannot post your missives (is that what I mean?) as a draft in your WordPress blog. Well I’ve not found a way, if there is one. The way it works is thatBlogpad 2 it is stored as a draft in your defined storage area. You can then ‘preview’ your work and see how it looks, before finally publishing it as a live post. Another downside seems to be the ‘autosave’. I can’t find a setting that sets the autosave frequency. I Blogpad 3discovered, to my cost when the app crashed, that the crash happened before the ‘autosave’ kicked in, so I lost a good portion of the post. I’ve now decided to click/tap on the Save icon every 20 words or so.

This app is not going to be my main blogging editor, I’m still firm friends with Open Live Writer, but I needed something to work with when I go on holidays. Don’t want to take the laptop with me (K*** would kill me if I did) and as I have mentioned before, I’m not too keen on the WordPress built in editor. At the moment, there are more ‘up-sides’ than ‘down-sides’ to the app, although I’m not liable to have a tantrum, I just hope ‘up-sides’ continue to grow faster than the ‘down-sides’.

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I’m still having an issue with the WordPress app on the iPad. When I’m in the ‘stats’ screen and I click on the Notification Bell at the bottom right of the iPad app, the notification list comes up as normal. Now the issue is, that if I tap the Daily Prompt notification, I get a very unhelpful message telling me that there has been an ‘Error Loading The Post’. I hadn’t noticed this before, it’s only since I have been having a go at the Daily Prompt that the iPad app has become more active. Anyway, the good people in support are looking at the issue and I am hopeful they can come up with the solution.

Just giving it a try …


The ‘it’ in question is the “Blogpad Pro” on the iPad. I normally write my posts on my laptop using the “Open Writer” software that replaced Microsoft’s “Live Writer” when said company decided to drop the application. I’m not a big fan of writing with the WordPress editor, and I wanted to be able to write a post if I’m away from/home and only have my iPad mini.

At first attempt, it seems to be quite good, but there are a lot of controls and features that I have not had chance to try yet, It’s still early days.

It seems so much longer …


Strange post title some may think, but today it is three months since I retired from working life. Not a long time, but like the title says “Seems so much longer …” Of course, my initial plan has gone out of the window. My intention was to have a part-time job before Christmas. Nothing too much. Somewhere around 16 hours, just to give me a bit of pocket/petrol money. At the moment, it is not needed and to be honest, there does not seem to have been anything in the offering that I feel I would have enjoyed. However, now that Christmas is over, maybe the type of work I would want to do will start to resurface.

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With work in mind, a couple of weeks ago, I contacted my old boss. My security access card was still sitting in the glove compartment of my car. It was my intention to call in at my old office, just before Christmas (possibly on the day when they had their Christmas fuddle!) and hand my card in then. It never happened. Or more to the point, I never made it happen. I bottled out, I’m afraid to say. There are many reasons for this, but at the moment I want to keep them private.

So, I contacted my old boss to explain and to ask for her address to send the card back. I did the usual and ask how things were going on etc etc. It took a couple of weeks, but she replied today. The email was brief, but had a lot of information, and I felt enough confidence to email a couple of other colleagues to ask how they were.

It is unfortunate that I only have their work email as I feel it takes some of the personal aspect out of it. Still, I hope that they get back to me, as at the moment, I still want/need to keep in contact.

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Yet again, on the subject of blogging I was asked “What is you blog about?” And, yet again I get the same puzzled look when I reply that it is just about ‘What I want to write about, when I want to write it!’ I don’t have a theme, it’s just general ‘rants & raves’ with a slight emphasis on the ranting aspect.

It has given me food for thought though. Maybe, just maybe I could add a paragraph or two about my hobbies! As I say, food for thought.

A new year … new beginnings? Perhaps …


So, all those promises I made to myself about getting a part-time job within two months, turned out to be just bluff and bluster. Well …not really. I have been looking, but maybe not as hard as I could. At the moment, things are working out quite well and there is no urgency for me to supplement the pension I’m getting. Of course, that could all change. As R*** starts to increase his respite stays, income we get for him may (will) start to decrease and that’s when our financial situation will alter. But that’s in the future.

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Yet again, one of this years New Year Resolutions has been broken. I shall go into a little more detail here, if I may. K*** had wanted to watch the Robbie Williams new year show (I didn’t) and in the spirit of compromise, I gave in. My opinion …total rubbish … sexist and egotistical does not describe what we watched. Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, we watched the London fireworks (fireworks on the TV don’t really work for me) and then K*** went to bed. I quickly changed channels to watch Jools Holland and his, now famous ‘Hootenanny Show’. Where is this taking us, I hear someone ask? Well, it was during a performance of Tilted by Christine And The Queens that I once again resolved to ‘post everyday‘ which I quickly modified to every two days. As the date of this post shows, that was a fail! It is now modified to ‘post more often‘, but even that may yet be modified.

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Now here’s a question for you. What do you use to write your blog posts? I know I’ve asked this before, but that was before I started with Windows 10. The reason I ask (again) is that I tried today to use the desktop WordPress app. It started okay, and I was able to write and my work was saved as a draft. But then the program crashed … repeatedly. It crashed so many times, that it became unusable in my opinion. So I’m back using the faithful Open Live Writer which works without any problems. Just wondering if anyone who uses the Windows 10 WordPress app have had similar problems.

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Wait a minute! Where does the “new beginnings” part of the title come in? I just thought it was a good sound bite!

This is a bit cool …


I’m a bigger fan of the Android system, rather than the iOS system. So I have never really had anything to do with an iPad as such. Often have had to troubleshoot Mrs H’s and R***’s iPads,but only by Googling the issue. I have never had much knowledge of the product at all. 

I decided to buy Mrs H a new iPad, out of my retirement payout, as hers had got very very slow over the past few months, almost to the point where it was unusable. I then thought that it might be a good idea (full of those) if I had one also. Now R*** has two iPad Minis. The intention was that he would have one at home and take the other when he went on respite. But he wasn’t keen on that idea, and will not take it with him. Mrs H took the notion that the other on was just sitting there and that I should use it, to “… see how I get on …”. Well I’m getting on just fine and am beginning to use it a lot more.

And so to the point of this post. I was looking on the App Store for an app that I could use to write a post with and came across Blogpad Pro, which it seems is the recommended app for blogging on WordPress. So I downloaded it and you know what … those recommendations were right. It seems to be just what I needed to blog on this iPad. I was well impressed. I am so impressed, that I decided to with this post in praise. I still have a lot to learn, but it seems to be fairly easy to get the hang of. So easy in fact that this post is written with Blogpad Pro!

I like the look of this …


 

I am referring to the new free theme Karuna. I’ve been on the lookout for a change of theme as I’m beginning to tire of my current one. There is nothing wrong with the Independent Publisher theme and it has served me well for a long time, but I think I need a change.

There seems to be a lot of things that will be familiar in Karuna, but the overall look is a bit cleaner. The default font looks tidier and I like the idea of a menu at the top and a side menu. So I might just give it whirl over the weekend.

(Posted by email)

Is it a scam …?


Yesterday, I received an email direct to my WordPress email from an organisation that calls itself  ‘My Trending Stories’. Having a quick look on their website, it seems that they collect posts from various people on various subjects.

The email drops a few flattering phrases into the body, such as “…and strongly admire the content. Your writing abilities and ability to engage readers is remarkable and a very rare asset…” and “…strongly believe that your writing aligns with our core value…” and concludes with “…we only allow a certain amount of writers on the website in order to provide mentorship and personal growth…”. Now, this all sounds very interesting and promising, but is there a catch? I emailed them back for more details, and the reply was very much of the same. It appears that I would have to post regularly eg two or three times a week and can even repost work I have posted on my blog at WordPress.

I did a little Googling around, and I understand that a number of people are among the ‘certain amount of writers’ that this site  is attempting to attract. I have to say, that I am a little intrigued, even interested, but I have doubts. Nothing I can put my finger on, but I’m a bit uncertain. Maybe it’s the commitment or maybe it’s the excessive flattery that worries me, I don’t know.

I would be interested to know if any of my followers/readers have had the same email or any experience of this site.

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Now for the “Rant of The Day.” I’m not the biggest fan of tennis. In fact, I’m not really a sports fan at all. But K*** like to watch Wimbledon, especially when it’s Andy Murray. So the point of my rant today is how it is shown on television. The BBC covers all the big matches, but they seem to like to mess around with the channels. Tonight, Mr Murray’s match was on BBC 1 until around 6pm when it was moved to BBC 2, to allow for the news. It then flipped back to BBC1. Why? Why could they not re-arrange the schedules and put the tennis on BBC 2 and BBC 3? It’s not as if they haven’t done it before. I have an idea, that it is to stop people from ‘live pausing’ the matches. That is all well and good and some of us can remember the days before live pausing, but it is a feature that a lot of people have and we should be able to use it. Come on BBC, get your act together.