I’m still here!

cropped-headers-21.jpg

As some of you may be aware life has been a challenge this year. My posts on here have been sporadic…  to say the least. And yet -folk still drop by. They don’t always ‘Like’, but, hey they visit. Come to think of it they probably make a hasty retreat and vow to never call again. After all… there is a plethora of other rubbish to read out there. And then there is some really GOOD STUFF!

Anyhow… I just want to wish you all a very happy Christmas and say a huge thanks for following me, reading me and running away very quickly – when you realise what this blog has to offer.

I plan to reappear on here next year. Sooner, rather than later. You have been warned!

Wishing all of my victims a peaceful and contented Christmas. Yeah, right… like that is going to happen. Just survive, just survive! 

See you on the other side.

Dorne x

P. S. If there are any spelling mistakes in this post, it doesn’t read very well, or you’re bored silly by it – that’ll be the fault of my cataracts.

 

WordPress Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!

This week WordPress asked us to post on the subject of It IS Easy Being Green!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/it-is-easy-being-green/

For me… that IS easy as green is one of my favourite colours.

I drive a green car, have a green front door to our cottage, have green/blue eyes, have  some green walls and I wear a lot of this wonderful, relaxing colour.

Simples!

Spring in springing in my part of Yorkshireland. Although it changes frequently. So, yesterday we spring had arrived and heat. Sunday lunch was taken outside and a bit too much wine was drunk.

Today, a washed – out grey sea of clouds is hanging persistently above our heads. The coats are back on and the garden parasol is not required to shield us from the sun. In fact the sun is nowhere to be seen.

Hey ho… such is life!

But, the trees and landscape are waking up. Fresh green buds are unfolding and that virginal green will soon be everywhere. A green of hope and expectation. Gradually, it will turn to darker shades of green as the summer sets in and then in the fall the greens, oranges and yellows will combine for one glorious, last show. But, that’s for another blog post.

Click on the above link to check out the other takes on this great subject.

Time I wasn’t here. I wish I could be here more, but times are a bit more challenging these days and I’m not very good at juggling! But, I’m practising and practising. And I never give in!

Thanks for dropping by.

Dorne x

 

 

Walking upright is so underrated: confessions of a temporary Quasimodo.

walking-post-2Well hallelujah! I can walk upright again and without the aid of my trusty walking stick. Walking upright is so very underrated.

Sunday saw me resembling some weird combination of Quasimodo crossed with a constipated duck. What does a constipated duck look like? Me – yesterday. I had that slow and slightly wobbly walk that they have. Hunched over and unable to straighten to my full 5ft 7 ins I tried to adopt a graceful and dignified walk.

Hubby told me : ” You look fine… you’re hardly bent over at all. “ But, I was using every bit of my strength and resolve to stay as upright as possible. My muscles at the base of my spine and in my pelvis burned, and screamed for me to sit down. They felt like rubber bands that would snap at any moment.

Back inside, I relented and Quasi was back BIG TIME!

” You stand more upright when you’re outside, you need to go outside again.” said my terribly, sympathetic husband.

Oh, you’re so funny!

Thinking about it, he probably won’t have that much sympathy. He has Parkinson’s disease and for the last twenty years since he was diagnosed,  he has gradually become more and more bent over. The difference is… he doesn’t get any relief from it. He doesn’t suddenly straighten up, like me today. He has it day in and day out… and he doesn’t moan about it – or blog about it!

Yesterday has made me appreciate just how great it is to walk tall. True, I am still sore and tender, but I am truly grateful for being able to unfurl to my true height.

I don’t know what caused my temporary back problems. It could be linked to one of many things at present.

I have given up gluten to try to help my daily headaches/migraines. I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a headache.

Some folk who give up gluten experience the withdrawal symptoms and I’m one of those. Well, what a surprise?

I’ll bore you with the ins and outs of that in a future post… when I can stay awake long enough.

walking-post-1

Right now, I’m just here to celebrate being able to walk upright again… for now.

Not a bad way to start a virgin week I reckon.

Thanks for dropping by and have yourself a great start to the new week.

Dorne (Quasi)  x

A teenage greyhound’s first blog post. Love from the Daisy Dog.

daisy-asleep-1I want to like, wash my bottom on the sofa in the lounge and then I may have another little snooze. Before you’re sick ,mummy has a big fluffy throw on there and a waterproof cover:  and so my bottom will not make the sofa smell. Which is a shame, because I love all things smelly and fluffy. Cool!

She can’t do anything about my farts smells though. They are like something else. They’re awesome! Sometimes I have to run away from them. I mean where do they come from? Well, alright I know where they come from… but, I mean what have I been eating? Like! They’re so GROSS!

I’ve been living in this place like since January and it’s like okay.

I will be five in May of next year. Yeah, because I was like four in May of this year… get it?

I like to be cuddled and I love to get myself comfy on the sofa and screw the covers up. Sometimes I drag the covers off the sofa and dump them at the bottom of the stairs like. That’s awesome.

If dad leaves his empty coffee cup on the coffee table I like to get in there and have a slurp of it. Yummy. Yeah, that’s awesome – me… a teenage greyhound on caffeine. You’ve got to see it to believe it. Heard from downstairs, me in the bedroom sounds like an earthquake… cool – like!

Why is the coffee table called a coffee table like? Like does it need to have coffee all over it? I can help with that!

This thing called Christmas is coming like and mummy has put things called decorations up in the house… the whole house. Daddy says it’s too cluttered and mummy tells him it’s Christmas and to shut up – like. Later on I find daddy looking at the decorations and smiling.  When mummy ( who is also known as she who is usually obeyed) asks daddy to put the lights up outside, at the front of the cottage ( because we have to emphasize we live in a cottage – like) he can’t get out there fast enough – like! This has nothing to do with mummy  – she is trying to get her chocolate  – filled bottom through the loft hatch, to find more Christmas decorations. Daddy may never get back in again. The decorations may fill the house – like.

Anyhow – like. I’ve discovered something called crackers. Mummy had carefully selected some to go with the rest of the rubbish she has on display   – like. I got hold of one the other afternoon and showed  it to daddy. He told she who is usually obeyed and she took the cracker away and then she moved the other crackers.

She’s forgetting that if I stand on my hind legs  – like, I’m nearly six-foot tall… hah, hah! I could get the crackers – like.

Right, I’m bored now – like. I need to sleep a bit more, but I might come back again sometime – like.

If you’ve read this… cool! If not… I’m not really that bothered – like.

Big sloppy kisses and a right awful pong  from The Daisy Dog x

 

Think you’re not making progress with your blog? Check out your older posts.

In the maze of blogging.

In the maze of blogging.

My recent autopsy of my blog has been rather messy, but, enlightening.  Although it is still ongoing… I’ve managed to produce quite a lot of dross stuff. Some of it will be re-cycled and other posts TRASHED – big time! I mean what was I even thinking when I wrote them? Perhaps, I was abducted by aliens and my earlier attempts were the after – effects. THEY MADE ME DO IT! In my defence, I was trying to find my ‘blog voice’. We all know that dilemma – yes?

We can come across as too rigid, too silly, plain daft ( I think I may have dipped my toe into the waters of that one!) confused, boring, obsessive or hopefully encouraging. If we get it right and people find something in our blog and posts that they like they return and we are not talking to ourselves any more.

I suspect that when we stop trying to be bloggers and just act naturally is the time when folk find us and read us.

 

This blogging thing is serious stuff.

This blogging thing is serious stuff.

Writing a blog is scary.

Writing a blog is very intimidating – and it is all self-inflicted. We don’t want to disclose too much of ourselves – that’s dangerous. By this I mean chancy in the sense of  :

  • There’s a lot of unscrupulous scum- bags out there that will take your sensitive information and use it to clone a darker version of you.
  • Do you really want to find yourself naked in a room full of strangers, all pointing and sniggering at your less than perfect funny bits?

But, in order to connect to people we have to give something of ourselves first… right? Reveal something about our true self to another person and they will likely open up, or scurry away – shaking their heads. That is after all, how friendships come about.

It’s just we don’t need to tell folk about everything and go all around the houses, like we usually do.

That’s the fastest way to losing friends and boring folk rigid.

So, how much is enough and what is too much?

I think that is a decision that we all have to make individually. Some folk are more comfortable with sharing aspects of their lives and others are more private. The trick is to find out where you are on this and then blog accordingly.

In the bowels of my blog.

In the bowels of my blog.

 

My blog autopsy continues, in amongst all of the other things I have going on. It’s a slow process.

Sometimes, in amongst all of the entrails and cringe-worthy stuff  I’m finding something that is actually kind of okay. Words have been used that I didn’t even know that I knew! Posts actually make sense and I can take some pride in them. These masterpieces will be kept and brought out on parade, every so often. ( Who am I kidding? They’ll be on here all the time.)

 

blog-progress-3

So,  to revisit my initial title:  if you doubt you’re not making progress with your blog, just check out your earlier posts. There will be the evidence of your blog baby and you can bask in the knowledge that your blog is growing up and evolving.

How about you? Have you been pleasantly surprised by your earlier attempts at blogging… good and bad?

Feel free to comment in the box below.

As always, thanks for reading.

Dorne x

 

Blog stats and do they really matter? I need convincing.

blog-stats-1

I have a confession to make… I don’t check my blog statistics. Do you? Why? What do you learn from them?

I suppose if I’d digested all of the information in those blogging stat guides correctly I wouldn’t be making this statement now. I would probably be analysing them like crazy and would know just what I needed to do to increase  my blog traffic. But, do I want to increase my blog traffic?

Here’s the thing – I blog for pleasure and not followers, likes or blog traffic.

I'm a romantic blogger and blog for the enjoyment of it.

I’m a romantic blogger and blog for the enjoyment of it.

 

I suppose we all do to a degree – otherwise why else would we impose blog writing and the internal, and physical pressures that come with running a blog, on our already busy and knackered selves?

There will be those of you that may conclude that my above statement, about blogging for the love of it, is a cop – out. Perhaps it is. But, I do know that since I cancelled my subscription to Statcounter a sense of calm and acceptance has descended upon me. I kid you not, I was positively becoming obsessive with statistics.

If I gained new followers I was naturally elated and if I lost them, as you do, I was deflated. My worth as a writer was in danger of only being measured in terms of my blog traffic. Should blogging really be as superficial as that?

So sad was I that I would even check my stats in the middle of the night, if I awoke for the toilet.

That’s pretty bad, isn’t it? And what useful information did I glean from this bleary – eyed analysis of my blogging attempts. Nothing, nada! Sometimes folk visited and sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes they would stay for a while  and sometimes they took a  mere nano-second to decide me and my blog were not for them. Some hardy folk returned for more, time and time again. I never did quite figure out what they were reading though.

And I could see which part of the world they visited from.

That gave me a few  oh my gosh, they’re reading from there! moments.

I tried to get more blogger savvy.

I tried to get more blogger savvy.

 

I would try to make my posts more world-wide friendly. But, I’m a Yorkshire woman living in Yorkshireland and maybe, just maybe, that is why folk visited in the first place? We all like to read about other people’s lives, don’t we? They’d seen Sean Bean on tha telly and thought Ey up it’s the female equivalent of him.

They finally left when they realised that even Sean Bean was nowhere in sight. It was just me and some mouldy Yorkshire pudding. I don’t even own a flat cap, it’s a beanie: and my dog is a greyhound, not a whippet!

Blog stats are not strict blog stats.

Blog stats are not strict blog stats.

 

Then I moaned about blog stats in a post on here

https://dorneawhale.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/im-asking-again-do-you-check-your-blog-stats/?preview_id=4544&preview_nonce=9456cb6f7d&post_format=standard&_thumbnail_id=4545&preview=true

and was reliably informed that blog stats are predominantly made up of Twitter followers anyhow.

So how can they be called blog stats? It beats me. Not everyone on Twitter is fool – hardy enough to blog… right?

Blog stats are too much like doing maths and my romantic and arty – farty soul is somewhat scared by figures, sums and stats.

And whereas most folks follower figures increase, mine have a habit of dropping. I’m not sure by how many exactly, because I don’t keep a check on them; but, I do suspect some folk have abandoned my ship of lately.

I don’t take it personally though.( I just sit in a cold, dark, corner and quietly cry to myself. It does me good. There’s no need to feel guilty about leaving me.)

I mean do you have time to sit and read blog posts all day? I certainly don’t. We all have to be selective with who we follow, what posts we read and how often we comment… right?

It’s quite easy to drive yourself demented with the number of blogs out there in the blogosphere.

It's quite easy to fall apart at the blogging seams.

It’s quite easy to fall apart at the blogging seams.

 

And then there’s the guilt!

You’re a selfish little blogger because you haven’t returned the favours, of all of the followers that follow you and take the time and the trouble to comment on your posts. Good luck on that one if you have in excess of 1000 followers. You don’t need to sleep or have a life do you?

And we all write short posts… ahem, well sort of shortish! Why? Because we know that some poor sod is out there frantically scanning your post, so they can like at the end – without feeling the guilt of just hitting the like button. Because, you may just get found out and ousted as someone who just likes the post – without actually reading it.

Does this sound familiar?

Some folk have got wise to this and have removed the like button. If you’ve read and enjoyed, stay a while longer and comment, appears to be their philosophy.

Is this you? Do you have a like button, or are you testing whether we actually read your posts? I can’t say I blame you.

And then ( I’ve nearly done now) there’s Twitter.

If I get another tweet telling me that I can buy more Twitter followers – I will explode.

I believe in doing things on my own merit. If folk follow me on Twitter it’s not because I have bought them; it’s because for some unknown reason they have decided to follow me. ( They clearly don’t know me.) Well, none of us actually know many of our followers, do we?

And, because Twitter = blog followers, my followers are not bought either. I didn’t buy one and get one free.

So, to all the Twitter  follower  – sellers – type – people… leave me alone. If I ever decide to go commercial I will contact you.

Am I stupid, or what? (Quite possibly.)

I have no doubt there will be some of you who disagree with my philosophy. I’m guessing that you’re more competitive and a better business person than I am, or ever will be. And you will probably make your living blogging.

If you can spare a moment, share your views with us.

I for one am open-minded and you might just show me that I need to get with the stats and where the action is.

Convince me!

But, for now I will stay with my small and intimate blog. I’m one of life’s plodders. I don’t get anyway fast, as I’m too busy gawping at things. But, if my poxy, ( worthless/ god damn awful) blog and quite frankly – crazy posts can help someone along the way, then that’ll do me just fine.

The fire is lit and the coffee is on.

The fire is lit and the coffee is on.

Thanks for dropping by here, it’s always appreciated.

If you fancy losing a day to reading great blog posts and watching some cool videos, check out My Trending Stories  .

I am currently contributing to this blogging website.

This link will take you to my page on there, and from there you can explore the other endless posts, by clicking on the My Trending Stories banner, in the top left hand corner of the page.

Dorne x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does this qualify as a poem? Grabbing some peace.

 

The beauty rose up as high as I could see.

The beauty rose up as high as I could see.

I’m not an overly religious person, but I do believe in a power of some sort. Otherwise how would we and this fantastic globe that we spin through space on, exist?

As a child I schooled at Church of England schools and so regular visits to churches were the norm. One overriding memory is of my five – year old self standing at the entrance to our local church, one Sunday morning. The beauty, as I perceived it, rose up as high as I could see. Inside the church amazing colours shone through the stained glass windows and music, that sang to my young soul, infiltrated every stone of that vast building.

I find that during the course of a mad day, grabbing myself a bit of peace in what I like to think of as nature’s house of worship, helps me to ground myself.

Being outside, whether in a woodland, forest, amongst mountains, hills, or roaming fields and beaches feels like a spiritual place to me. It can be likened to entering a house of worship. I’m not going to say church specifically, because we all have our own beliefs.

In my eyes they are all equal: and so are we.

 

Entering nature's house of worship.

Entering nature’s house of worship.

 

Beneath, is a poem that I wrote on here, some time ago. I say poem. I’m not sure if it does qualify as a poem. I just wrote it as I felt at the time. To my rhythm and with no rhyme. It seemed to work when it was first published and some folk took the time and trouble to stop by and pass comment.

So, as more of my buried posts are brought to the surface, in the great blog clean – up, I unearth this one again. And a version of it appears on My Trending Stories, to which I am presently contributing.

*********************************************************************

The poem describes a walk that I take, with my retired greyhound – the Daisy dog.

Prior to her, I walked the favourite walk with my original greyhound, Misty. Some of you may be aware that she passed over a year ago.

In my times of grief, at her passing, the walk, the trees and the overflowing nature brought me comfort and peace.

 

Finding my peace.

A canopy of leaves.

A canopy of leaves.

 

Beneath a canopy of leaves

I seek

and find my gods and goddesses, 

residing in nature’s cathedral.

The ancient, and twisted tree trunks

rise to the heavens

and give support to a roof of thousands of leaves.

A dazzle of colour and light.

As the sun catches the leaf edges

they become like stained glass windows.

The birds above

are an angelic choir.

The soft, grassy carpet beneath me

is ancient and blessed.

Truly, holy ground.

Many have walked this way before me

and will continue to do so:

when I no longer walk the Earth.

In the pews, either side of me

wildflowers quietly worship

I whisper my secrets to the trees

and they keep them safe.

They in turn,

whisper their ancient knowledge to me.

I leave nature’s cathedral/ chapel/ synagogue/ mosque/church.

It has no preference:

any one of us is welcome here;

in nature’s house of worship.

***************************************************************

As always, thanks for reading. I’d love to hear if you think my free-style poem works.

Dorne x