Tag Archives: comments

Where does the time go? (Part 1)

I have decided to do some research on where my time goes. Today I set a fifteen minute alarm and set to work with a plan in mind. I was going to us my first hour fully and the first 15 minutes were going to be writing a post. I can, if I get a move on, do a post in 15 minutes, though photos and tags can take another five or ten depending on how it goes.

The results so far. My first forty five minutes has gone and I have read and replied to the comments, drifted off on top Wiki to look at “Variations in Australian English”, eaten a bacon and mushroom sandwich (cooked by Julia, so no time lost there) and checked my emails. The good news is that these 120 words (approximately half my minimum blog target) have only taken four minutes.

The short answer to my question would appear to be that answering comments takes more time than I would have thought. However, there is no point in blogging if you don’t get comments  I now know what sort of accent Tootlepedal has (I currently have a picture of Miss Jean Brodie, well Maggie Smith, to be honest, stuck in my head, though I’m sure I am wrong), I know how many blog posts LA has written (most of them  more thought provoking than my ramblings) and am far better informed on the variations in Australian accents.

Left to myself I would merely have watched TV. Probably Murder She Wrote. I can therefore claim that my brain has improved as a result, compared to the undoubted atrophy that would have taken place if I had not been blogging.

I have now been going for about an hour (I forgot to reset the timer last time it went off and I have written a post, read and replied to comments and eaten a bacon sandwich. Not bad for an hour.

I will now throw in a few careless tags and recycle a picture and am good to go on my next keyboard adventure. That will be covered in Part 2.

The picture is Arkwright the Tortoise from May last year. I haven’t seen him recently, but it’s been a bit cold so far this year.


Fragmented Thoughts

I’ve checked my emails, answered comments, written a bit and read a few posts – nothing significant. Yet the day seems to have gone. This is becoming an increasingly common and worrying problem, which I need to address.

Having written that, I’m off to look at a few more posts as I meant to do more, before but found myself wandering off to look at eBay. I think one of my problems might be lack of focus.

Yes, definitely lack of focus. I started writing lengthy comments on a couple of blogs then decided not to post them. Long comments and strong opinions are perhaps best left for my own blog. It doesn’t seem polite to cause ripples on other blogs.

I’ve been listening to one of the new breed of continuity announcers on TV recently. I didn’t really pay much attention to the older type with their Received Pronunciation, because that was something I grew up with. It didn’t bother me when TV companies went over the announcers with regional accents because that’s how most people speak. However, I am getting a bit fed up with some of the newer ones. They have gone beyond regional and some are now verging on sloppy.

It’s a tricky area, as things that I dislike about it (the dropping of “t” from words and use of “f” for “th”) are features of Estuary English, which is accepted as a region, and have been known in earlier dialects. OK, there are more important worries, but if someone says “fought” to you it is nice to be clear whether they are talking about thinking or fighting. When “th” becomes “f” it isn’t always clear.

I’m in danger of becoming the modern version of the people who defended RP at the BBC, which would be strange. I could probably write a post on whether I now speak better than I used to, or whether standards are slipping so badly that I’m starting to look sophisticated.

Either way, I half expect to look out of my window and see a pig fly by as I watch souls in torment skating on the frozen lakes of fire that were once Hell.

Wednesday Morning and Procrastination is in Full Swing

On Wednesdays, our day off, I traditionally get up earlier than Julia and go downstairs with thoughts of making her breakfast. This thought never gets past the computer, as  I can never resist using a bit of quiet time to write.

Today I sat down, checked emails, read and commented on a number of other posts and settled down to write this. They last ninety minutes seems to have gone in a blur and has covered polio, books, A A Milne, a famous England cricketer in the shower, academic redundancies, several poems, an article on whether Covid has killed our ability to socialise and an anecdote about bird feeding. Plus a few  bits and pieces as I replied to comments on my own blog.

Though I always feel bad about not reading other blogs properly, I do find that time only stretches so far. I may have to stop watching so much TV. Quiz programmes are probably good as a way of keeping my brain active, but they do tend to blur into cookery (which isn’t so mind enhancing) and popular culture (which I am sure reduces my ability to think).

A Robin singing in the fog

The sky outside my window is what Julia refers to as a “Simpson’s Sky” – bright blue with lots of cloud-shaped white clouds. If you have watched the cartoon you will know what I mean.  They don’t have cirrus in The Simpsons.

This sort of sky, when accompanied by a lot of movement in the shrubbery and tree tops, and by temperatures cold enough to require heating in the house, is a clear indicator that it is one of those “brisk” spring days, rather than a day for picnics. However, as it’s considerably better than a  a day with grey clouds and drizzle, I will accept it and allow it to raise my spirits.

Wow! I just noticed that it’s 11.00. Julia has made breakfast and I have been reading more blogs. I must get a grip on time.

I’ve been to Crowland, seeing it through the eyes of a visitor. I have written about Crowland several times. Four times, I think. My blogging life was about more than lockdown, bacon sandwiches and arthritis at one time. But time, as thy say, is a great wrecker.

Crowland Abbey



Looking at the Numbers

I’ve just been looking at my stats and have finally realised why my numbers aren’t looking so good this year. I still seem to be getting comments and visitors, and the site seems busy enough by my standards (which are, admittedly, not as high as the standards of some sites). The difference, as far as I can see, is that I wrote 465 posts in the 365 days of 2017.

I’m not sure if that’s really possible, but it’s what the numbers say, so I’ll have to accept it. It’s either that or go back and count the posts.

Year Total Posts Total Comments Avg Comments per Post Total Likes Avg Likes per Post Total Words Avg Words per Post
2014 44 22 0.5 49 1.1 11,285 257
2015 252 850 3.4 1,657 6.6 80,901 321
2016 288 2,539 8.8 3,812 13.2 99,157 344
2017 465 8,431 18.1 10,725 23.1 155,383 334
2018 325 5,893 18.1 7,345 22.6 101,535 312

This, of course, raises another question – how important are the numbers?

When everything was going well last year I was happy to think I had a growing audience but as they’ve gradually declined I haven’t really noticed any practical difference in terms of interaction. I really only need to see a few people, and I can’t follow and read too many other blogs.

It’s a bit like followers. I have 1,500 followers but get an average 18.1 comments per post. That tends to suggest my real number of followers is nearer 18 than 1,500.

It’s enough. I’m happy with the followers I have and don’t need the other 1,450 fictional followers.

What does anyone else think?