August & Everything, After

My first attempt at a round up of the previous month was well-received, so I though I’d inflict another on you. For me, August was a strange month in blogging terms: a regular pattern followed by what counts for me as a deluge in the final week. I hope you kept up!

My first post of August was that review:

July In Retrospect.

It has links to all of that month’s posts, in case you missed anything and are feeling distraught at having done so.

I then settled into my (now) regular routine of Tuesday Tunes posts, of which there were four – yes, August had four Tuesdays, if you hadn’t noticed. In chronological and numerical order, these were:

 Tuesday Tunes 20: Lockdown Music – Part 2

Snappy title, huh? I always knew that marketing degree would come in handy one day…

The rest of the month saw a return to more ‘normal’ titles, if anything I do can be classified that way. There were:

Tuesday Tunes 21: Growing Up

Tuesday Tunes 22: Disappointment

Tuesday Tunes 23: Happy

That last one had the strange result of attracting the fewest views and ‘likes’ of the August Tuesday Tunes posts, but also the most comments. Maybe I should have added some encouragement (sung, of course): ‘if you’re happy and you know it, like this post.’ Or maybe not – perhaps this series has run its course and it’s just the diehards left? I’ll see how it goes.

I then rounded off the month with two posts which showed – to me, at least – that I could occasionally write about something other than music. But music did feature in both: one day, I’ll write some words with no music! The first of these was an updated version of a post originally written four years ago, a reminiscence of my youth:

Born To Be Wild(ish) Revisited

As an additional bonus, that post included a link to a companion piece I wrote a few months earlier – they give each other some context:

Summer Of ‘69

I then rounded off my month with another reworking. This time, the original dated from 2013, and it seemed a reasonable bet that no one reading this drivel now would have been doing so back then – or would have forgotten, if they had:

You Go To School

That wasn’t one of my longer posts but it made some serious points, which are just as valid today as they were back then. And it contained a little music. Of course…

Do please tell me if this round up is useful, or if you’d rather not have been reminded of everything I’ve made you suffer in the previous month. Otherwise, there is always the danger that I’ll keep doing this.

Just saying…😉

Spam, Lovely Spam

Now that I’ve probably put the Monty Python song into your head, I feel I must come clean and admit that this piece is highly unlikely to be remotely as funny as that, or anything else the Pythons did. But it’s a good title, so I’m sticking with it.

If you’ve never checked your spam folder, you really should: WordPress may have had one of its occasional hissy fits and deposited a genuine comment in there. It can also be a source of amusement, especially if you think these might be the product of a real human, as opposed to a bot – which is probably what they are, though. I take screenshots of the ones that amuse me the most: they can be good fodder for a post, as I’ve found before. Having amassed a bit of a collection over the past few months, I thought it about time that you saw some of these pearls too – although I’m guessing you may have received some of them as well.

The most common comment type to find its way into the spam folder is the one where an offer is being made which would probably involve spending some of your cash on the dubious services of a ‘lady’ whose name bears no relation to her email address. Sorry, but I’ve no wish to run the risk of bankruptcy or of catching something nasty – I’m just not that desperate. Yet.

There are also a great many in Cyrillic writing, but as I don’t speak Cyrillic they are rather wasted on me. For all I know, they could be offers of incredible wealth, and I’m missing out big time. Or lots more of those ‘ladies’ – does anyone know the Russian for ‘hooker?’ Then again, they could be abusive and my delicate nature is being spared by not translating them. On balance, I think I’d rather stay in blissful ignorance. Sorry, Cyril, but it’s a ‘no’ from me.

Quite a few of these comments are attached to my About Me page, and I’ve often wondered why. I don’t have that many cousins who are likely to be going round telling everyone about me, but it appears these guys know of one (click on the images to enlarge them, if necessary):

Both of the cousins mention that they are seeking help for a problem. They don’t specify what it is, but perhaps I should introduce them to one of those ‘ladies’ who are helpfully offering their services? I’m also wondering if I should ask ‘Hairstyles’ and Vance which of my cousins snitched on me? Nice nickname, by the way – it’s a good thing s/he isn’t a proctologist…

The most recent comment came yesterday morning:

Generally, if you’re offering professional skills it is a good idea to display them in your sales pitch. I think Magdalena – who appears to have gender issues – forgot this, so he or she may not be the person I’d turn to if I needed help with my writing or if my nerves were shredded. But the claim that ‘only I can solve all their problems’ rings a bell: perhaps he’s seeking alternative employment after he loses the election in November? And where is ‘Old England’ anyway? Advice from residents of New England welcome…

Sometimes spam people say nice things – ta, Sha:

And sometimes they don’t. The comment from ‘Free Stuff’ in the second set from the top (the Vance one) is one such, and this is another, I think:

Sorry, Aurea, I’ll try to do better in future but, as you can see, I struggle to link things together. You might like to try simplifying your comments, too: that one took some understanding, for a simpleton such as I.

Others have commented on my ‘excellence,’ which is always good to see, even from an automaton:

Looking at the second of those comments, I’m still at a loss to explain the reference to brussels. Do they mean the city, or sprouts? I’ve never been to Belgium, and apart from the occasional PSA reminder in October that it’s time to put the sprouts on for Christmas, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned them, either. But it’s good to know that the Brown Duck will be watching my blog for more information on this – perhaps as an accompaniment when its time comes for roasting? Whichever way you take that comment, it’s weird. And I hope you read that as ‘duck’ in that last name: if you didn’t, it’s your mind, not mine!

The third comment in this one shows that even bots lack self-awareness, just like a lot of real people:

As if Lorinda needed to ask! I do hope she sees this piece, though, as it might answer her question, albeit not in the way she was expecting. I hadn’t noticed the comment above hers until now: does anyone know if we’re allowed to travel to Spain yet?

With that, I think I’ve had enough vicarious excitement for one day. I’ll keep the collection going and if enough weirdos provide further contributions I may do this again sometime. Keep looking at your spam folder too: I’d be interested to compare notes.

As a reward for getting this far I thought I’d end with a song. From where I began this piece there could only be one song, couldn’t there?

Wrong! Gotcha 😉

If you’re now trying to work out where you’ve heard that before, Weird Al ‘borrowed’ his parody from R.E.M.’s song Stand. It turned out well, I think 😉

I leave the last word to the mysteriously named XRumerTest:

Ch-ch-changes Re-revisited

You may have noticed that I rely a lot on the Timehop app to fill in the ever-increasing gaps in my memory. Reliable as ever, it reminded me the other day of the original June 2016 post which I built into the one I’m sharing again today. A kind of ‘third time lucky,’ I guess. It speaks of two things which I believe are important, especially in these strange times in which we find ourselves.

The first message is that we benefit from ‘belonging.’ If you follow me on Twitter or on the Facebook page for this blog you will have seen the regular sharing of posts about the ‘Senior Salon.’ This began over four years ago and, as I say in the piece, has been an important part of my blogging life, as it has given me another outlet for my posts (which I badly need!) and has introduced me to some wonderful blogging friends. I think we all benefit from belonging to groups of one kind or another – they give us that interaction that we, as a naturally gregarious species, rely on. For those like me, who cannot get out much, the online group is a key part of our lives, and its importance cannot, in my view, be overstated. Happily, the post I wrote back in 2018 proved to be premature, and the Senior Salon reins were soon taken up by Esmé, who has been managing and expanding it since then. The latest weekly post can be found here if you’re interested. I hope you take a look – it is well-supported! And the link to Bernadette’s blog in the original post is also worth a view: she hasn’t posted for a couple of years, for personal reasons, but her Feminist Friday posts – in particular – were well-written, well-researched and enlightening.

The second carry out from my previous post is the importance that structure and routine can come to have in our lives. I’m not the most organised of people, so it helps me to develop a regular routine to keep me on track and, as the post shows, it is all too easy for that to be knocked out of kilter. In these pandemic days I would imagine that just about all of us have had to adjust to enforced changes to our routines. Some have probably been more successful at that than others! But we will have been adopting new ways of running our lives and, as lockdown begins to be relaxed, further changes are no doubt in the offing. Whatever they may be, we will be developing our ‘new normal’ to help us cope.

I hope you’re doing well, and can make any necessary adjustments to continue enjoying life, whatever it throws at us. Take care, stay safe. And there’s a great song to enjoy at the end of the original post, as a reward for getting there!

Take It Easy

Amongst today’s emails – just the usual hundred or so – was the regular Monday one from Bernadette announcing this week’s Senior Salon. It was a little different from the norm, however: Bernadette was giving us the sad news that it was to be the last Senior Salon. Looking back, I would guess that at least half of the blogs I read most often and, in particular, comment on, are those to which I was introduced by Bernadette. I understand perfectly why she feels the need to call a halt, and wish that I had the time and commitment to take it on for her – but, as you will have long-since recognised, I’m not the most organised or regular of bloggers! But I will always cherish those bloggers who, through our Senior Salon introduction, I now regard as friends – some have even joined me on Facebook, which is…

View original post 1,338 more words