Education’s A Wonderful Thing


What a strange few weeks this has been! Beautiful warm weather, without a hint of a threat of rain, until the Diamond Jubilee weekend of course! This constant increase and decrease in temperature of 10 degrees(C) is playing havoc with my old bones. I just wish it would even out at about 22C and stay there until September!

Walking to & from school for the summer exams has been a pleasure, as has been invigilating the pupils, who on the whole have been better behaved & better prepared than in previous years.

Once the Jubilee celebrations are over & done with, half term will be at an end and we’re back for a further three weeks, but with a much lighter load than of late. In early July, with the last exam behind us, we’ll be arranging a social evening (booze up!) to celebrate another successful job completed.

Not much time to rest on our laurels though as in September, we’ll all be back at it again (after a cull – quite a few of our new intake for Summer 2012 aren’t best suited to the task I’m afraid!)

As regular readers of this blog will know, my main aim in setting up this website was to use it as a vehicle to sell more copies of my book; the blog developed in a way I never anticipated last autumn when I took my first tentative steps.

In the first few months your comments arrived in ‘dribs & drabs’ and WordPress asked me to ‘moderate’ them (approve or remove, basically!) In my naivety those first few generous compliments were given a welcome tick of approval. I even replied to several without any further feedback. When an email I had sent was bounced back as undeliverable, it gradually dawned on me that the vast majority of those comments were from ‘spammers’.

While on holiday I had dozens arrive; long winded lists of medical terms or complete gibberish which I ‘trashed’ without a second thought. It was becoming a chore, but not too taxing.

What sparked the ‘blitz’ that occurred in mid May heaven only knows! I received between four and five hundred inside a week! A couple of nasty comments but 99% saying what a lovely bloke I was, how exciting & informative my blog was, how well it was written and how they couldn’t understand why I didn’t have an army of fans hanging on my every utterance. I was being bookmarked, hero worshipped and occasionally abused, from morning to night!

Enough was enough! I trashed or spammed the lot. Even some of my earliest comments which may well have been genuine! I hit a ‘filter’ button that I hadn’t noticed before (I know! I’m flying by the seat of my pants in this technical era I can tell you. I usually get there in the end, but I probably could get there quicker if I’d shelled out for some tuition on how to make best use of my ‘dashboard’ thingy!) Whether it was designed to fix the problem, or whether another force was at work, who knows? I’ve had no comments since even though the website traffic is still climbing healthily.

Why DO these people waste their time (and ours!). What can they possibly hope to gain? Their lives must be terribly empty if all they can find to do is send garbage out to people like myself, day & night.

In the last month or so my twitter numbers have stuttered upwards, rather than flow inexorably as in the past. I’ve been busy at school and home; I’ve given up on Twiends & the ‘Get Followers’ sites, so in a way it’s understandable. Plus, people have their ‘time in the sun’ and mine is possibly over? (It is, looking outside; it’s very grey and forlorn)

Several things still drive me on however. One, I still believe in my product and remain convinced my book should reach a wider audience. Two, the followers of this blog who continue to support me as the figures show. Thirdly, other stats from my good friend Tweepi indicate that almost exclusively, any ‘lost’ followers were just that, we were not ‘Mutual’ as they call it. Once we’re mutually linked we seem to rub along together pretty well, thanks for asking!

Being curious though, I dropped into and signed up so I could check on the ‘lost’ souls. If it was my tweet content or my reluctance to follow back then I can perhaps rectify the situation, or just let it ride. C’est la vie!

The increase in traffic was down to without a doubt & I continue to use that resource. However, they linked up with blogengage a couple of weeks back. Around mid May in fact, I wonder if this sparked the influx of ‘spam’ on the blog. If you’re reading this guys, can you check it out please?

The first Melksham Music Festival was held last week and the weather was the best thing about it I’m afraid. A disappointing turnout to many of the week’s events (Choral/Jazz/Folk/Classical/Musical) and although Saturday was a scorcher, the Party in the Park line-up was a bit lame for my tastes.

I’ve been asked to get involved next year, but unless we see a sea change in the percentage of ‘new’ music as opposed to tired old tribute bands & trying to ‘please all of the people all of the time’ I think I’ll pass. Someone far better than me worked out you can’t do that, a long time ago!

On the reunion gig front there was better news! A bass player has been found. A Sunday lunch in June will bring us all face to face and rehearsals will then be scheduled. I reckon the playlist will run the gamut of early R&B, 60s Soul then some hard rock. A mixed bag to coin a phrase!

And finally, credit where it’s due! Remember my whinging on here a couple of months ago about Twitter mucking about with my DM’s and removing the all too valuable ‘Delete’ button? Hallelujah it’s back! Over the past 48 hours I’ve been trawling through my list of messages and getting rid of the timewasters. Thank you Mr Twitter, I’m very grateful.

Oh, just before I go & get ready to go out for my Friday night live music fix there was one more thing. I joined up with last month & this week they got back to me and my book is available to review. It will help if you’ve downloaded a copy and read it? If my non technical brain has worked it out properly this link will take you to their site!

If you want to buy the book of course the link to amazon is on the appropriate page of this website, handily entitled ‘Get The Book’. Look forward to meeting up with you again in the middle of a long hot summer (or just July as it will probably be!). Bye for now.

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