All the stuff you never knew you needed to know about life in rural France.....and all the stuff the books and magazines won't tell you.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


In the days when I was a commuter I used frequently to get back later than anticipated and rather than wait for a bus and then change for another, I used to walk across town to get home, thinking shanks' pony a better alternative.

It was a pleasant walk for the most part...a little window shopping to be had in the centre, tree lined streets leading to another parade of shops with a late opening wine store and deli and then the trek past or through the park, depending on the season and the presence or absence of the local idiot fringe, to find the dogs waiting to mug me as I opened the front door.

But the first part of the walk was different....just outside the station there was a series of fast food shops...some local, some franchises.... from fish and chips (run by a Chinese family) past Kentucky Fried Chicken, a kebab house, a burger bar and the one which never failed to amuse me....Spudulike.

I used to wonder if indeed I would like their spuds and usually concluded that, as the title implied I would, from sheer perversity I probably wouldn't.

And Spudulike came back to mind today.

I thought I would do a little housekeeping on the blog and start by tidying away the blogs that have ceased to appear.
Inevitably, I started reading them - it's fatal to let me near reading material if there is anything else to be done - and found myself wondering about their disappearance.
Some announced their departure, others slid quietly away, but I miss them all.

So they're still there waiting for another housekeeping day!

Then I thought I'd go through the blogs I follow generally, whether on the Google thingy or on e mail as the Wordpress blogs seem to be....and I found a few that, on reflection, I decided to drop from my list as I wouldn't be missing them.

The difference between 'missed' and 'not missed'?

I think it comes down to a sense of contact between the blogger and the reader.

Not just common interests, because thanks to blogging I've had all sorts of horizons opened up by people who do what they do with passion, who make me see things differently, or for the first time.

I think it is the sense of privilege that someone is letting you into their world, enhancing your own.

The blogs that I am going to jettison are frequently very informative and well written, but the common factor is their distance - as I see it - from the reader.
It is not just a matter of replying to comments or not, though to me that is important if only as a matter of courtesy, it is more my feeling that the blog is complete of itself....needs no dialogue, wants no dialogue....hears no tolling bells.

I don't often, but should, look for new blogs, as there is so much talent and warmth in the blogging world, but don't really know how to go about it.

I have started messing about on  Wordpress (thank you Perpetua!) in an amateur sort of way and have been startled by the acknowledgements aimed at getting an increased readership by a sort of scattergun technique....not one I'll be using!

There are various 'catalogue' sites too...but I have problems there, all of my own making.
I cannot get to grips with the ways in which they use categories. I am category autistic.
None of them fits my style of blogging - as far as I know - and the categories I try don't throw up what I am looking for.

So if anyone knows of a sort of Blogulike site....I'd be glad to hear of it.
I have housework that needs to be avoided....


  1. Blogulike? Now there's a cracking name for a blog!

  2. I need to do some housekeeping,too...
    And I probably ought to write something on Idle Thoughts.But the truth is that I find I have nothing much worth saying.True, I am busily occupied with "work" things, but surely I could find a little time to sit and write something amusing or witty?
    Perhaps...when I've returned these library books...

    1. When I see some blogs it is clear that the idea of something having to be worth saying has never crossed what the writer is pleased to call the writer's mind...whereas you, on the other hand....are missed!

  3. Having been on both Blogger and Wordpress, I vastly prefer WP for a number of reasons. But, they also try to push a lot of things on one that one has no interest in, so I just ignore them. Interesting premise about dropping blogs. We do hang onto things, don't we? I have one blogger on my list whom I really liked and she quit blogging over a year ago, and stated her intent Yet her name still exists on my list. I have no idea why.

    1. I'm still at the poking and prodding stage with Wordpress...your aliens post must have taken over my mind rereading that last phrase....
      I hate to part with good things...thus the unchanged blogs, I suppose.

  4. I'm sorry I can't help you with the blog. I only blog on Blogger and haven't tried another as yet. I am still learning all the functions of Blogger, having only been blogging for 5 months now. What I don't like about Wordpress is that I am often unable to comment on those blogs depending on the settings the user has. I wish you all the best; as for myself, I will stay with Blogger. Thank you so much for all the kind comments you leave on my posts, I really appreciate it so much.

  5. Enjoying your photographs has made me want to try a bit harder with my thank you!
    I do not find Wordpress easy to fathom...far from it...but I don't like to be beaten and I've had the great advantage of having help from Perpetua to get over some of the hurdles.

  6. I occasionally go through my Followers list and realise that there are lots who never comment and I often wonder if they actually still read my blog. Likewise I've added to my list but after visiting those blogs a couple of times I find that I don't really have a maybe that's the same for others.
    There are blogs I have followed that are still on my list even though they haven't posted for up to a year. It feels odd deleting them..I guess I hope they may return.

    So even though I intend to clean up my list I never seem to manage it.

    As for WP...I tried...I really did! But it makes my brain hurt!

    1. Brain hurting here too....I can't get to grips with its mindset...but I'll fiddle about posting stuff there to try to make it work against the day that I might need it.

      As for followers, I wonder too if they ever read anything...and then one will pop up out of the blue!

    2. Must be something about us....

  7. Phew, I'm glad I'm still on the list :-) although not contributing much at the moment I admit. I have to believe that life will get more interesting again!
    I have just found a couple of new ones by wandering through a fellow blogger's blog list and also by following links within another blog.
    Some of my newest ones only let you follow as a 'feed' directly onto my computer which means no-one else can see who you follow (I think).
    PS I still have 'Not waving but Drowning' on my list as she was the first blog I ever read or followed. I fear that all may not have gone well with them but I do wish them well, do you know anything of them?

    1. That's how I find new blogs too....but how do these clever bloggers find them, that's what I would like to know!
      I should stir my stumps and put the 'feeds' onto the've recalled me to duty!
      I liked that blog too....e mail me about it.

  8. Hello:
    Like you, we write our own blog first and foremost for our own interest and amusement and also, along with many others we suspect, as a record of days spent and moments to be remembered. We too have absolutely no interest in increasing our readership in any intended manner, but are enormously grateful for those who do find something of interest and are kind enough to leave a comment.

    We, as you say here, do from time to time cease to follow certain blogs, largely because we feel that there is little in the way of any personal dialogue or, as does happen, that the subject matter proves to be outside of our areas of interest. Also we have something of an aversion to a wealth of images all taken from elsewhere, usually a glossy magazine or periodical.

    As for housekeeping our blog, impossible for the past three months as Blogger will not allow us to 'Manage Reading List'. The dust gathers - all very frustrating!!

    1. As you say, I do blog to please myself and not in the search for followers though I'm most grateful for people kind enough to leave comments.
      I have looked at some of the 'mega bloggers' and have come to the conclusion that to be a follower there is to be fodder, no more.
      One of the reasons I am going six rounds with Wordpress is because Blogger has these weird moments of misrule.....

  9. Perpetua has clearly been an a amazing tutor for quite a few of us. I haven't ventured into the world of Wordpress yet, and still feel completely confused by some of the strange things that happen with whatever it is that I do use. I do agree with you compeltely about the exchanges being the valuable bit about the whole process though. I know which blogs I really look forward to, and want to interact with, as well as those I just like to read and ponder on for a few moments.What I find incredible after my limited experience in the blogging world is that I refer to you, to Annie, Perpetua, Cro, Ayak, Cutoff, Rosemary, if I know everyone personally. I love it. J.

    1. Since my blogging technique depends largely on 'press something and hope for the best' I count myself lucky that Perpetua was kind enough to take the time to explain things which had before appeared like arcanae!
      But I would never have arrived at that level without the help of Ayak...she has the knack of explaining something in terms I can understand - simple things used to bring me to a halt pre Ayak...she gave me confidence!
      Yes, it is a comfortable world of blogging, isn't it!

  10. I remember Spudulike and I'm quite surprised to see they are still going from their website with a list of outlets. The problem I had with the spuds is that they were microwaved so the skin was thin and soft not thick and crunchy which is how I like it.

    By the way, I removed a potentially explosive post from my blog, which I wrote to get the issue off my chest, but then thought it might get me lynched again. I'm thinking of moving out of this village actually. The houses are over-priced for the rubbish that they are and the attitude is one of 'suffisance'. That plus my altercation with the maire and as we want to buy, we're probably going to go elsewhere.

    It's a bit like blog reading really. Sometimes you just get fed up.

    1. Ah, mystery of Spudulike solved...and it was spud you didn't....

      Yes, I caught the post. By the look of things you'd be well off elsewhere, the place seems to be a nest of vipers.
      Good time to buy....

  11. Not at all sure how Wordpress works. So have failed pretty much -sadly- to keep up with one or 2 blogs I inadvertently found and liked which use it. Note to me: must try harder...

    As for avoiding housework...humm let's see: it is hot [32C]; the terrace is shady; the grass can grow one more day, it is leggy anyway; and I have a Camila Lackberg to read. :-)

    1. As to Wordpress, without Perpetua I would have torn out my hair, but Blogger can be so unpredictable that I thought I should persist in order to have a back up...and perhaps to try something else in blogging.

      You're excused boots for have a new terrace to enjoy...

  12. Well, if you ever come over to WordPress, be sure to let me know. I find it easy to navigate, though admittedly, I have nothing to compare it to.

    1. I have started a blog there....and thank you for the offer!

  13. It is rather sad when people stop blogging. You feel as if you have lost a friend. I really need to freshen up my blog, but recently real housework has had to take priority. So that is another job to add to my list!

    I have never had much success in finding new blogs. I seem to have more success with them finding me, but I do not know how they find me.

    1. Yes, some people tell you they came through so and so...but most don't, so it remains a mystery!

  14. complicated world the blogging world is it not?
    finding others whom you like might not like you and vice versa
    I have decided - had to come up with some sort of auto guidance or rule- that those people who are sweet, nice and interested enough to comment on this is belgium, will for sure receive a comment in return, as token of my appreciation
    that is my secret and philosophy and will try to abide by
    bonne nuit

    1. Yes, I agree...though there can be a problem when people have a blogging gap and there's nothing new to comment on...
      I am enjoying your blog - brings back so many good memories of being with the family in Belgium.

  15. My comment is almost an exact replica of Rosie's.
    I too am glad I haven't been deleted, although I haven't blogged or commented much for some time. I still haven't given up hope of blogging and commenting more regularly in the future.
    I usually find new blogs by trawling through the blog lists on the blogs I read. But this strategy often leads me back to the same blogs over and over again.
    And I would love to email you about Not Waving but Drowning, but I've never worked out how to use Outloook Express. But you could contact me at

    1. I know what you mean about coming back to the same blogs....blogging seems to go in, well, not exactly cliques, but fairly tight circles.
      I can't use Outlook Express either. I write something in the box then up comes a screen with a load of damnfool questions about pips and ports....

  16. It's a good job there are no visuals with blog comments or my face would be glowing redder than a peony, Fly. :-) I'm glad to have been of use with the little I have so far learned about WordPress. For now I'm sticking with Blogger as it seems to be behaving for me at the moment and we still have the old dashboard, but come the final changeover I may well feel differently.

    Like you I'm reluctant to drop blogs and in my case I've been blogging and following for a much shorter time, but I have disconnected from a few over the months for very much the reasons you give. For me blogging is overwhelmingly about two-way communication, writing, comment, response and it can becomes unsatisfying and indeed pointless to see my comments always dropping into the void.

    However I never seem to have trouble finding new blogs to read, just by following up links or comments on my own or other blogs. My problem is saying No to new blogs for fear of having no time left for my own!

    PS It's very easy to add WordPress blogs to your Google Reader. Just click on the big, red Subscribe button in the top lefthand corner of the page and paste in the URL of the blog in question. The new posts will pop up in your reader from then on.

  17. Um...this is me you're addressing Perpetua...I have seen Google Reader, but don't know what it is....yet another voyage of discovery ahead....

    I am very grateful both to you and to Ayak....there is something about most of the instructions on screen that leave me wondering if I can still understand English.

    The communication element of blogging is so note something in a post, make a comment and learn yet more from the reply...about the subject in question, about the blogger themselves - or yourself!

    There are a couple of blogs to do with France that can be interesting...but I don't comment as it is clear that only the favoured few receive answers, so out they went.