So Many Blog Posts So Little Time

Chocolate Mousse

I have a truckload of blog posts written since I last tuned in here. One is as witty and interesting as the next. And, of course, each has been finely honed to reveal what a high-minded,progressive creature I am.

The only problem is that they’re all in my head.

Oh, you know how it is. There you are, mid-way through your long slow run. Bored as all hell with the endless miles, the bodily aches, the negative thoughts. You hit upon a brief reprieve as you consider all the blog fodder you can create on your return home.

Each jogging mile brings another blogging possibility. Quality stuff like “Why I hate small dogs and long leads and their dumb owners” or “How blackberries beat the pants off running gel” Good enough to be Freshly Pressed? No problem. And spike those stats? Well, of course. The difficulty will be fending off the hosts of publishers who want to sign you up.

Arriving home, high on endorphins, low on blood sugar, you raid the fridge, have a shower, curl up on the couch with the laptop.

And fall asleep.

It’s not for the want of good blog topics this week, either.

There was that pretty decent ten mile run last Sunday, f’rinstance.

And the splendiferous chocolate mousse I made on Monday.

Tuesday saw me running again, and later on, enjoying coffee and a chat with writer, PR person, and Martello Tower resident, Terry Prone. I could get five blog posts out of that alone.

Wednesday I bagged another run amid return-to-school chaos.

Thursday saw me ironing my little hen heart out but since that has got to be the most mind-numbingly boring task on the planet, I’d rather talk about the murder investigation TV programme that got me through it.
Need I go on?

Well, I should I suppose.

Or at least return to one or two of those topics.

And I intend to.

But which would you rather hear about?

Over to you…

A Bit of an Aul Rant

Just letting you all know, I am still here. And I am reading your posts. And I am even reading your posts even if WordPress no longer, for it’s own oddball reasons, features you in my Reader.

And I have being hitting the ‘like’ button. Though only if I truly like your posts-I don’t get  equate ‘like’ with ‘read’ or even ‘saw’.

And I have been commenting.

But it isn’t until tonight that I realised my last comment appeared to have been twelve days ago. I checked a couple of comments I’d made this evening but they weren’t showing. And then when I checked the ‘Comments I made’ section it said my last comment was twelve days ago on Jenny Pellett’s diary.

Good Lord. I am very certain I made lots of comments since.

So. I tried to comment again on several diaries. They would appear to post and then, suddenly, pffft! Like some evil fairy(okay, maybe she was a good one) had whipped them away.

Well, you can imagine how frustrating that is.

I feel like there’s a zillion conversations going on all around me at a party and I cannot break into a single one.

It’s like being invisible.

But it helps me imagine Jan’s frustrations at not being able to hear conversations.  Losing that two-way communication can be difficult for all concerned and luckily, Jan’s story has a very happy ending.

And it helps me realise that I moan, of course, over the most trivial little things while others soldier on through pain and difficulties that we cannot begin to imagine.

While for others in life, resolution of their difficulties never happen in their lifetimes but may happen for the succeeding generations.

Much though I prefer to blame wordpress for this impasse, I do believe it’s me.

It’s not you, WordPress, it’s me.

And the me is in the form of a substandard internet service but one which is very much par for the course if you live in rural Ireland. (See, I can blame someone else after all!)

It’s been dropping and picking up signal like, well, (insert your favourite metaphor here)______________. But keep it clean, please.

But, really, I am enjoying raspberry scones and church views. And dreaming about going to coffee shops and Anne Frank’s house and the Van Gogh museum again one day.

Or maybe I’ll go even further afield and follow my penchant for a good graveyard prowl all the way here?

Of course, my pedalling continues, though I don’t get to cycle quite as much as Katie. And my running’s been grand this week and my poppy hunting too, though not as good as Sharon’s. And I’d never match this guy for all the running, coaching and writing he does.

It’s my ISP that’s my downfall though. We’re working off a teeny tiny bandwidth at the Chook House. Which cuts out constantly. It’s a bit like having a trickle in your garden hose for watering a vast lawn(i.e.Three Teens on a multitude of wifi hungry devices). Suddenly the trickle stops and you shake the house(i.e. hit the modem off the wall) but the trickle will only start again in its own good time. If at all.

Insert random curse words here and don’t bother keeping it clean.

(                                                                                    )

The good news is that I’ll soon be able to compare it with the quality of wifi off the coast of Africa!

Yep, I’m flying due south on these crappy li’l wings of mine, friends. Just scoping out some new territory specially for this blog. The Canaries, doncha know. Well, where else would a bird go?

And I hope to check out the wifi too.

What are the chances of rural Ireland’s wifi being worse than the signal blasting off the coast of Western Sahara? It would surely give this pair something useful to rant about besides a has-been C&W singer who will/won’t/will play Croke Park.(Just kidding, folks…)

And maybe, when I’m back, I’ll be ranting too. Or maybe even before that. And, better still, on all of your blogs.

And even better still, maybe the Chook House wifi will be up and running at full speed when I get back. At the ‘up to speeds of’ bandwidth that those ISP people hook us in with.

Yeah, maybe… yeah, right.



Lies, Damned Lies and…

…then there are statistics.

Stats are fascinating though. We can fool ourselves up to the two eyeballs but the stats, that number, that measure will tell a different story. Might not always be the truth, mind. But they should at least make us think “Uh,oh. What`s going on here? “

That`s exactly what I thought when I reviewed my blog`s yearly stats. As you do. Here was I congratulating myself on writing a variety of posts-and some really clever, witty ones too!-about a variety of topics.

But the stats tell me most readers come here to read about Mary Berry and Yottam Ottolenghi.

Naturally my “Home page/Archives” gets the most amount of hits. And the “About” page gets a lot of traffic too. So, if I leave these out of the stats picture, here are my top five posts for 2013

In fifth place, and on 152 hits is

Yottam Ottolenghi`s Herb-Stuffed Tomatoes

Ottolenghi`s Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

Ottolenghi`s Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

I`ve got a soft spot for the Ottolenghi cookbooks. They make me trawl through the deepest recesses of the most obscure Asian food shops to find that quirky, but essential ingredients. And anything I made from is book plenty is both delicious and nutrient dense. Perfect running fuel. 

He was pipped into fifth position, probably because of all the fuss around The Great British Bake Off and, here in Ireland, The Great Irish Bake Off, this year. People can`t seem to get enough of baking these days.

So, in fourth place on 160 hits it`s  Mary Berry`s Fast Flapjacks


With a creditable 224 hits, Running Wisdom is in third position

Ms Trunchbull

I`d like to think that post is popular because of my witty, no holds barred writing style. Red Hen at her eloquent best.

But the truth is there are people out there who are fascinated by the glorious Ms Trunchbull of “Matilda” fame and so arrive in search of the above picture.

At least I can claim a likeness to her, which is something, I suppose…

Now, in second position and on 312 hits is my post Men In Tights

Mankini Man

Mankini Man

Yep, again my own ultra clever attempt at humour. (Groan. I hate reading my old posts…) Or some of my male readers wanted to know my opinion on men wearing running tights. (Don`t Do It!)

But maybe people are drawn to it for the picture of Borat above? I have to say, I`ve a soft spot for guys that entertain us all with their Borat impressions midway through torturous long distance runs. Or anytime, really!

And now, let`s hear it with your drum roll and trumpet please…

…on a staggering 845 hits….


Key Lime pie 2

            Mary Berry`s Key Lime Pie

Well, people arriving at that page haven`t come for the food photography, anyway.  Look at that crust? See how uneven it is? And the lumpen pieces of lime on the top…

Funny thing is, I haven’t done that pie since.  It`s full of the worst possible ingredients-condensed milk, cream and sugar. It should have no place in a running blog.

But of course, this isn`t a running blog. And it`s not a food blog either, despite three out of five top posts featuring food.

I think its sort of morphing into a lifestyle-in-Ireland blog.

If I were to stick with what the stats are telling me, I`d keep posting everyone else`s recipes and improve my food photography.

But I am more interested in running races, seeing more exhibitions, learning more about history and art in Ireland and beyond.

The stats reflect what the fly-by-night reader looks for. It`s followers and loyal readers that I`d prefer to blog for.

Your opinion matters more than the stats, after all.

So, if you get a chance, could you tell me what you would prefer to read about here?


Picture Credits:

Ms Trunchbull

Borat in Mankini







Happy Birthday To My Blog!

Happy Blogday

Today marks this blog`s first birthday. And also, my first year with WordPress. And what an enjoyable first year this has been.

Of course, like parenting a kid for the very first time, I`ve had to significantly revise my perceptions of what blogging would be about, and learn a huge amount along the way.

I thought, for instance, that this would be strictly a running blog. My first entry, after all, made it very clear that I was all about times and distances and running my first marathon.

But, before too long, I was blogging about the things I saw on my run. And then posting pics of those things. And then even posting pics of things I saw when I wasn’t even running.

Soon, a little bit of history and a little bit of art were creeping in too.

Recipes were becoming a regular feature. So much so that my top post is for Mary Berry`s Key Lime Pie. You`d get diabetes from looking at that recipe alone. It`s certainly should have no place in a runner`s life because eating that kind of stuff will do nothing to optimize one`s performance. But we all need a treat every now and again, right?

So, this has really morphed into an anything and everything blog.

Another big learning for me has been meeting all of you. I never realised blogging would be more about reading than writing. And that reading blogs can deliver fantastic insights into all sorts of lives lived all sorts of ways.

What a treasure that is.

So here`s to all of you! Congrats on bearing with me patiently as stumble around the country roads and get into all sorts of other adventures. And congrats on presenting such wonderful learning material for me and others to enjoy.

This first year in WordPress Blogland has been just fantastic.

Here`s to many more! Sláinte!