In My Forties

I turned 50 recently. Crikey, even writing that phrase feels weird. I’m still 23 in my head.

Yep. I reached the half ton (if you’re a cricketer), the half century (if you’re an historian) and I can no longer deny that I am middle aged (if you’re an anthropologist).

So I have used this somewhat significant milestone to do a bit of an analysis of the previous decade.


I’ve just been through possibly the most life-altering time of my life since puberty.

In my forties… (in no particular order)

I had my nose pierced. (Since given up.)

I travelled with my husband and three boys to 15 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

I coloured my hair for the first time and proceeded to dye it a rainbow hue of various colours over the next ten years.

I went back to theatre and found lifelong friends.

Bearded Outlaw

The wickedest (and funniest) outlaws ever to appear in Two Gentlemen of Verona.

I found a new community singing group and a musical home and family in the process.

I took up running and ran in three half marathons and the Scotland Run in Central Park in New York City. And I got to train with Olympic marathon runner, Steve Moneghetti.

I began writing my own songs. (You can check out some on my Songs page.)

I completed two community projects with World Expeditions, building a bridge in Peru and a school in Nepal.

I bought and learned to play a banjo and ukulele.

I took up crochet for the first time since my mother taught me how when I was a kid.

I became a special education teacher, a job for which I was not previously qualified or experienced but that I found I was good at. And I love it with a passion.

I discovered I can draw. (There’s a whole gallery here.)

I broke six ribs and punctured a lung falling off a wooden box after trying to kill a tiny moth. (That story never gets old.)

I completed the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km challenge twice – in 2012 and 2014. And raised thousands of dollars for Oxfam in the process. (That’s what it’s really all about.)

I took up rowing and then dropped it again.

I lost my father to mesothelioma.

I learnt that I can sing. No, like, really sing.

I became a Great Aunt. (Not that I wasn’t already one but now it has capital letters.)


Joy and sadness. My late sister’s first grandchild.

I started a blog.


I’ve already started building a bucket list for the next decade because I know anything is possible.


Related posts about some of the things in this list that may be of interest:

(Re)Living The Italian Life

Living The Dream

Hope is a Beautiful Dream

When A Bad Day Turns Good

Getting a Grip 2: A Dose of Perspective in the Third World

It Takes A Village

Master of the Speaking Circuit

Move Over Etsy….

Is This The Real Life?

Delay In Service

A Popup Nomadic Community – Oxfam Trailwalker 2014

When A Night Owl Meets The Dawn

How To Get Better At It

My Dad Died Today

Saying Goodbye

Run Forrest, Run!

The Flying Beetroot: Scotland The Brave And The Fast

The Flying Beetroot: Crossing The Finish Line

(Plus any post starring the Flying Beetroot. Use the Search function.)

A Sister Lost – Remembering Keryn

Nothing ventured…




Dropping Bombs and Throwing Grenades

via Daily Prompt: Detonate

Yesterday I wrote a post about being someone who always instinctively wants to help people. I call it the ‘servant gene‘.

Someone left the following comment on my post:

servant blog comment

I had to read it several times to be sure it was saying what I thought it was saying. Is it just me or is this person accusing me of bragging about having a servant gene and that I think I’m better than everyone else because of it?

It upset me. A lot. Because one of the key things about those with a very active servant gene is that they never think they’re superior to anyone.

I started going over my post. Was it braggy? Did I sound like I was making out I was better than other people? Admittedly, I’d ended with the comment that those with servant genes are an important part of the community but it had actually taken a lot of effort to include that. If it sounded like I was putting myself above other people, I hadn’t meant it.

I’d never seen this person on my blog before so I clicked through to their blog to try and understand where they were coming from. There was nothing there. It’s a nothing blog. They just have a profile.

So this person just came by and threw a grenade at my house before driving away.


What is it with these people?

You see it too often these days on Facebook posts and online newspaper articles and the like. People say whatever they want, often inflammatory, and then disappear. Drop a nasty bomb and take cover.

If I had presented what was in my blog post as a speech somewhere, I’d be willing to bet that person would never have come up to me afterwards and made that comment to my face.

I just wish people would have a little common decency and stop detonating bombs wherever they feel like it. Not all of us are bulletproof.

Postscript: Amazingly, I’d already considered writing a follow up post about how much this comment had upset me and then the Daily Prompt landed in my inbox. It seemed meant to be.

Post-postscript: I feel better now. 😉



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Coming Up For Air

Up For Air

In case you were wondering where I’ve been lately…..

I’ve been working full time for the past two weeks.

All the full time working readers: So?

Well, I also have kids.

All the full time working parent readers: So?

Well, I’ve also been sick. In fact, one day I felt so sick, I actually thought I might have caught man-flu.

All the sick full time working parent readers: Sss….. Yeah, okay, that’s probably fair enough.

To be honest, I felt pretty wimpy. I mean, people do this all the time. At work, I’m surrounded by working parents teaching full time in a challenging environment. And, being full time teachers, they also have all that other accountability stuff like Professional Development Plans and reports and checklists and planning and…. It exhausts me just thinking about it.

Even allowing for the added challenge last week of spending each day fighting off a headache and trying not to cough up a lung, it concerned me that I was so tired at the end of each day.

But then I thought, maybe working is like any other physical activity. It takes fitness. Just as I used to be able to run 10km without really thinking about it, now that I haven’t run in months, even a short 4km is an effort. Maybe working full time takes training.

Apart from the occasional short stint, I haven’t worked full time since I had the kids. Prior to that, I was working full time on an IT project in a large corporation. I was commuting by train for over an hour each way and I was working long hours. And I really mean long. Six o’clock train in the morning, 7.15pm train home was the standard day. A 9.30pm train home was not unusual. Then there were the days I’d catch a taxi home at 3am. (The trains stopped running at midnight.) Or the one memorable day when I caught the 6am train to work and then came home at lunchtime the next day.

It’s been over twenty years since that mad stage of my life. There’s no way I could sustain that now. And it’s not just because I also have children who need me at the end of the day. I just don’t have the fitness for it any more.

But unlike my running that I do need to get up and … er … running, I’m not sure I’m ready to put in the training for full time work just yet. So I’ll stick with the casual relief work and take each option as it comes. And hopefully I’ll still find the time to hang out here in the blogosphere for a while yet.

Have you ever felt like you’ve lost your fitness for something?

I’d like to dedicate this post to my friends and colleagues who work full time in challenging environments. You rock.



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Sticking To The Sourdough


Have you ever seen something on the Internet and thought “Oh, I’m going to try that!”?

I expect it would be something of an occupational hazard for a blogger as he/she flits about other blogs and sees places to travel, food to cook, crafts to make, crazy ideas to try. Even a case of “Oh, I like the way you did that, I’m going to use that in my next post.” would keep one busy.

One of the things that flitted across my screen on a regular basis from more than one blogger last year was sourdough.

It always looked delicious and I kept thinking, “Oh, I want to bake sourdough.” But even a tentative investigation revealed a time commitment for such an activity that was daunting to someone cramming in a year full of stuff.

Then, suddenly, it was the summer holidays, there wasn’t much I could do with slowly recovering broken ribs and there was a post from Elaine at foodbod about her year of sourdough.

“Right. Now is the time.” I thought.

So I set off to make a sourdough starter. Because I will never do things the easy way and just go and buy one.

I used this recipe but without the malt. And I just used tap water not spring water. And I didn’t measure the temperature of the water.


You can already see where this is going, right?

My first loaf attempt looked like a cow pat. Fortunately, having three teenage boys, it still got eaten.

My second loaf attempt looked like an elephant pat. It also got eaten. But it wasn’t ideal.

I felt defeated and wrote this comment on Elaine’s post:

sourdough comment 1

Elaine was disappointed it had not worked out but urged me not to give up.

So I didn’t. It’s not really in my nature to easily let something defeat me anyway. Giving up because I’m bored, yes, but that’s on my terms.

For the next attempt, out of some desperation, I cheated and added a little dried yeast. It gave me a bigger loaf but it wasn’t really sourdough. Pedant Me was unhappy.

With further encouragement and advice from Elaine, I pushed on.

And I started to notice a change in my starter. There were more bubbles.

And then one day, my dough finally rose properly. Unfortunately, I had a busy social day and what I thought was going to be a 25C day turned into a 32C day and it over-proved. The loaf didn’t pop up the top like it should but at least it was the size of a sandwich loaf.

I was getting closer. And by accident, I discovered that leaving my starter out of the fridge and feeding it for two days rather than one gave me what I needed.


Not just bubbly but frothy!

The next loaf was better but smaller than I intended because I got impatient and cooked it before it had risen enough.

And then, here’s what I managed yesterday:

Evolution of a Sourdough Fruit Loaf


I had a piece toasted this morning for breakfast. It was delicious.

Now I’m completely obsessed with making sourdough. (I don’t think I’ll ever go on a No Carbs diet…)

So, thank you, Elaine, for encouraging me not to give up and for all your assistance. I’m sure the boys are equally grateful!


Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Rising. Get it? Bread….. rising…..

Sigh. Gosh, I’m hilarious.

And I can make sourdough.



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Delay In Service


MOSY has returned from her international jaunt and I know you are all anxiously awaiting the stories of her adventures.

We regret to inform you that there will be a small delay to these posts as I am currently languishing in hospital with six broken ribs and a punctured lung.


Well, first of all let me assure you that I returned from Nepal and Bhutan safely and completely unharmed. These injuries were sustained 48 hours after I returned home.

The Story (Please hold all laughter until the end.)

Some of you may recall my horrifying tale of the invasion of clothes moths in our home last summer. (Refresh your memory here.) Clothes were munched through and carpets were destroyed by these wardrobe terrorists.

They have returned with the warmer weather here Down Under and I have gone on the attack.

On my way to bed on Sunday night, I spotted one of these devils on the bedroom ceiling and stepped up onto the edge of the wooden blanket box at the end of our bed to squish it into oblivion.

Helpful Tip For The Kiddies: Do not climb on smooth wooden pieces of furniture while wearing slippery socks.

My feet slipped off the blanket box and I crashed first onto the bedpost and then onto the floor. (Six inches to the left and I’d have landed on the mattress.).

All Together Now: OOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

A ride in an ambulance, a chest x-ray and a CT scan and I was left with the news of six broken ribs (ribs 4 to 9 on my left side), a punctured and mildly collapsed lung and cartilage torn from my breastbone.

I guess if you’re going to do something, at least do it properly.

Oh, the moth survived, by the way.

Okay, now you can laugh.




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Going Off The Air


The MOSY Network apologises for this break in transmission. We will resume regular broadcasting at the end of November. In the meantime, reruns are available via our Blog-Post-On-Demand service. (The BPOD service can be accessed via the ‘The Old Trades’ dropdown box.)

Image courtesy World Expeditions

Image courtesy of World Expeditions

The Background Story

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, I will board a Flying Metal Bird for parts unknown. Well, unknown to me. I’ll be gone four weeks – three in Nepal and one in Bhutan.

I will not be gracing the blogosphere for much of the journey (if at all). For the ten days I will spend in the village of Lura followed by the six days of trekking in the Lower Solukhumbu region, I anticipate a lack of access to electricity. Forget about internet. The week in Bhutan will be on a more civilised standing (in that I’ll be sleeping in a bed rather than on the ground and the toilet won’t be a hole in the ground) but I suspect I will have better things to do with my time than surf the WordPress wave (no offence).

Lura, Nepal

Here’s where I’ll be working for ten days with nine others from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to help rebuild the village school:

(All images courtesy of World Expeditions)

Lura Talk 1

Lura Talk 2

Lura Talk 3

Lura Talk 4

Lura Talk 5

The school has been demolished and work has begun on the new building. The first group from World Expeditions has already started on the foundations and we will pick up where they leave off and groups will come after us to continue the work until it is done.


Bhutan? Well, that’s just for me. It’s been top of my bucket list for years so when The Husband told me to take more time if there was something else I wanted to do while I was in the area, I took him seriously. Called “The Essence of Bhutan” this private tour will be just a taste of this fascinating country. It’s not private by choice but no one else booked for that date. I will have my own one-on-one guide and driver for the eight days I am there. Introvert Me is hunched in the corner breathing into a paper bag.


I am nervously excited for the adventure ahead. Traveller Me can’t wait to get there but Shy Me – whom I usually manage to keep busy in the kitchen during parties – keeps sticking her head out the door with questions like, “What if they don’t like you?”. I’m trying to ignore her.

See you all on the other side.

NOTE: If you can’t wait four weeks, fairly regular updates on the project are available here. You might even be able to spot me in a photograph if you’re really lucky.




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Joining The Magic Blue Sticker People

Freshly Pressed Logo

I got Freshly Pressed recently. They give you a logo to put on your blog to show the world that you are one of the special ones. A magic blue sticker to plaster on your wall. (Not that many would see it these days by the time people use the Reader, the app or the email to read your post and never even make it to your actual blogsite. WordPress might want to think about that.)

When you start blogging, getting Freshly Pressed is the Holy Grail. (BYO coconut shells.)


You see it as a) the way to grow your readership and b) an affirmation of the quality of your blog.

For some, that affirmation comes early. For most of us, however, it might as well be an Oscar for how achievable it seems.

I long ago gave up my Freshly Pressed aspirations. In fact, I’d recently taken it as a point of anti-establishment pride not to have been Freshly Pressed. I joined the Never Been Freshly Pressed Club (yes, there’s a club!) and hung out with my non-high-achieving mates.

So when I got the email to tell me my Voluntourism post had been Freshly Pressed, my first reaction was to burst out laughing.

My second reaction was to feel nervous. I felt as if I’d been invited to eat at the Dean’s Scholars’ private dining table when all I really wanted to do was sit at the corner table in the cafeteria with my dorky mates. (Hi Joanne and Maggie!)


If you’ve never been Freshly Pressed, let me just warn you that the email you get that says “Congrats! You’ve been Freshly Pressed!” should actually read “Congrats! You’re going to be Freshly Pressed some time in the future and we’re not going to tell you when!” In my case, that took nine days.

I’ve often described blogging as being like a dinner party with lots of conversation and different views expressed. I love it. Getting Freshly Pressed means your dinner party gets gatecrashed. Most of them just stay long enough to drink your booze and then disappear. Presumably to move onto the next Magic Blue Sticker party.


You get a lot of new followers. Some days, as the notifications flowed in, I’d take on the persona of a paranoid and start shouting “STOP FOLLOWING ME!”

Strange people follow you. “I’m really not interested in buying real estate in India!” I called out but the blogger had already ducked down a side street in pursuit of someone else.

But lots of lovely people took the time to stop for a chat. They shared their own volunteering stories or told me they hoped to volunteer one day and my post had been helpful to them and some offered critical responses. (I’ll take criticism as long as it’s constructive.) Some flew past with a “I like this post!” but I wasn’t having any of that. I’d grab their arm and ask “What do you like about it?” Usually they’d just remove their arm and wander off without answering.

Some comments were…er…interesting…

First comment

Most normal people would probably let that go and just hit Like or even just ignore it.

I never said I was normal.

Full comment

Sometimes you just have to have a little fun to keep your sanity intact. (Or, in my case, to keep my normal insanity intact.)

A couple of people asked me for advice on how to grow their readership like I was some sort of blogging guru. I had to gently point out that I’d been at this caper for two years before getting Freshly Pressed (almost to the day as it happens). But because I am an inherently helpful person, I also gave them my tips for blogging. They’re kind of like the ones authors give to aspiring writers. You know, the ones they don’t want to hear because it involves work.

Tips for Growing Your Readership:

You have to read other blogs. Not just any blogs. Read posts by bloggers who write about the same things you’re interested in. Otherwise, it’s a relationship destined to fail because you don’t have enough in common.

You have to take the time to make a comment – a real comment, not just a “I like this!” drive-by comment. If they like what you have to say, they’ll come to your blog to check you out.

Keep writing even if some days it feels like you’re shouting over the traffic.

One person responded with thanks for the advice. The other I never heard from again.

It would be nice to think that this flurry of Likes and new followers will lead to bigger and rowdier dinner parties here at the MOSY abode but I doubt it.

And you know what? I don’t care.

For starters, I got some very important information out into a wider field than I could have managed on my own and for that I am grateful to the WordPress editors for choosing this post for Freshly Pressed.

The advantage of being Freshly Pressed so late in a blogging career is that you’ve already established your own circle of blogging friends who come to your dinner parties and always bring a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. Comment exchanges become more interesting to read than the post because we’re all friends here and it’s safe to make a joke, poke fun or confess a guilty secret.

I’ll gladly welcome anyone else who wants to sit down with us in the future but come prepared with your rapid-fire witty rejoinders because that’s what it’s like around here.

Time to paaaaarrrrrttttyyyyyy!!





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The Great Aussie Blogger Meeting – Coffee, Laughs and a Neurotic Cat

So how was it?????

That’s what you’ve been wondering, right? What happened when the Great Margaret-Rose and the Nervous MOSY finally met in person? Were there earthquakes in Sydney? Did the Space-Time Continuum tear open? Did the sky rain with meteors?

Nah. We just had a fabulous time.

The following is a recounting of the experience from both sides. M-R has decided to close her own blog next week and will no longer be posting on it but you deserve her side of the story (she says nervously) as well as mine.

MOSY’s Version

Although I stepped into the lift in her building with a heart beating hard enough to make the walls bounce, I stepped out of it to be greeted by an old friend.

And that’s what it’s like, folks. That person with whom you’ve got along like the proverbial incendiary dwelling out in the Blogosphere is, in my experience at least, the person you will meet in person (so to speak).

Of course, M-R made the smart first move of offering me coffee almost as soon as I got in the door so how could I not love her?

So what did you do?

We hung out. That’s it. We talked, we ate, we laughed, we drank coffee, we went to lunch at lovely little places. It was just two friends hanging out together. We ventured out for various things that needed to be done and had a great time. Even a visit to the optometrist brought joy. While I waited for M-R, I wandered over to the bookshop across the road. Outside the door on the Sale table was another of those addictive 1000 Dot-to-Dot books! Score!

I didn’t need a tour of Sydney (I’ve seen it). I didn’t need to be ‘entertained’ (our conversations covered that). Just the chance to be together was payment enough for the journey and I was richly rewarded.

Oh, plus I got to eat a rather substantial amount of that delicious bread she makes.

But what was M-R like?

You’ve read her blog. Or blogs. (She’s had a few.) You’ve read her comments on your blog and those of her many friends. THAT is what she is like. The personification of WYSIWYG, as Su Leslie so cleverly described her in a comment on the last post.

Actually, that’s not quite right. In person she is actually more than you get through the ether. A life-giving force of humour, knowledge, passion and most of all, generosity. Margaret-Rose has a heart as big as that new apartment monstrosity she so despises. I practically had to push her over to let me take the dishes to the sink.

Did you meet the fabled Lui Stringer?

Yes I did. He hid in his little hidey hole in a credenza when I arrived but not to be outdone, I slid open the door and reached in to give him a scratch under the chin. I think he must have been paralysed by the audacity of my actions because he allowed it. Then, as I slid the door across again, he hissed at me.

This was to become a theme.

It’s rather disconcerting to spend three days being looked at by a cat as if you are a visiting serial killer.


This was when we came back from lunch on the last day. “Oh gods, you’re still here. I thought you’d left.”

Three days flew by all too quickly and it seems odd to know that I can’t just pop over for coffee and a laugh whenever I feel like it. Thank heavens for Mr Bell and Mr Edison and Mr Turing and Mr Sir Berners-Lee and their ilk that we can still stay in touch. And a little thanks to the Wright Brothers for the ability to ‘pop’ up to Sydney without a 10-hour car journey.

So, thinking of arranging a meeting with a favourite blogger? Do it. Do it now. You won’t regret it.

M-R’s Version

Having been apostrophised by Mrs Dempsey regarding the lack of need to meet her at the light rail stop at Central and been suitably cowed (I am a very nervous person, after all !), I waited in the little flat to hear the intercom sound and H’s familiar voice be heard – I have terrorised her by ‘phone on more than one occasion …

And then, as I stood outside the lift, anxious as buggery*, she was suddenly there ! – slim, vital and smiling, looking about 25!!! At which point I knew instantly that it was all OK: here was H, just as I knew she’d be, and life was good.

Much coffee from the Gaggia Classic, and many cups of tea. Some food, too, every so often. The only momentous example of that was when she took me to lunch yesterday, and we went to visit my friend Tino at his restaurante português, where we ate his mum’s delishus cannelloni (it’s very confusing, Portuguese food …) and drank a glass of the wonderful Terras d’el Rei red each.

Did I take her all around Sydney ? Did I even take her to, say, the Maritime Museum and Darling Harbour ? Did I show her the sights ? – did I what ! Oh, no, sorry – that was a lie: the real answer is no, I didn’t! I did take her to North Sydney/Blues Point, but only because I had to visit my adored optometrist and his even more adored optical technician; and there H was given many examples of my habit of smooching on the men who mean a lot to me. (Well, why not ?!) But that was more or less the extent of what she saw in Sydney.   :-/

I believe the rest of the time we talked. Amazin ain’t it ? 🙂 I think I gave her some talking time of her own; but to be truthful it seems upon reflection it was entirely the sound of my voice that was heard in the land (just like the turtle-dove).

H and I have many extraordinary similarities in our lives. We’re both quite mad, of course; and we’re separated by something like 26 years … but she makes me feel as if we’re the same age, and start wondering if I shouldn’t think about doing <X>, just as she has done. Dangerous, that ! [grin]

I can add only that when we realized she had a bit left on her Opal card (bus, train, ferry and light rail transport) and no way of reclaiming it, and she said “I can use it next time” that I understood her to have enjoyed herself in the company of this whingeing, grumpy old fart. REALLY mad, then …

I wait for the next occasion on which her family feels they can possibly do without their motivating force in their midst for a couple of days: it can’t come soon enough.


*you’d be anxious too, if you were an almost 72-y-o living a VERY unadventurous life on her own and about to meet an amazing young woman who can do anything and often does, as well as being someone who knows tons of stuff and is a wife and a mother of three boys. Why on earth would she not think “How did I let myself in for this boring time ???” …





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Do I Really Want To “Meet The Blogger”?

Don’t we all?

Haven’t most of us, if not all, at some point expressed the wish that we could meet in person those with whom we have become friends in this online community of bloggers?

Some have already taken that step. Some have met bloggers who live nearby. Some have journeyed half a world away to clap eyes on the one who has loitered in their comment box for some time.

For those who have experienced this oft-expressed desire, how was it? How did you feel before the meeting? Excitement and anticipation? Or anxiety and fear? A bit of both?

How was the actual meeting? Was the blogger who you thought he/she would be? Did you talk as easily as you do at the virtual dinner table?

And what about afterwards? Was the online relationship the same or changed? Did you remain online friends or did meeting in person change your view of the other (or vice versa) so much that you are no longer in contact?

On Tuesday morning I will board an aeroplane bound for the City of The Great Iron Coat Hanger and The Iconic Operatic Sails to face my first “Meet The Blogger” occasion. Am I nervous? Only to the point of feeling like I’m going to throw up.


This is who I’m going to meet!


Sorry. Actually, this is The Blogger.

A little while ago I wrote in another post how I believe we can present the best side of ourselves in our online persona and that it is so much easier to hide the faulty parts of ourselves from those who only know us out in the ether. So what does that mean if we cross the border to personally meet friends who only know our online selves?

Will we be the person they expect? Will the irritating sides of ourselves that we have so carefully kept at bay rear their heads to shock our companion? Will our friend, by four o’clock in the afternoon, regret the offer made to stay with them??

Perhaps the title of this post should actually be “Does The Blogger Really Want To Meet Me?“.

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.


(Images Copyright to Margaret-Rose Stringer.)




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Miss Wilma Preston’s Guide to Blogging Etiquette

Bloggington Post

Miss Wilma Preston is a noted author and etiquette consultant who has worked in both the business and private sectors and most recently was etiquette advisor to many of the world’s political leaders. In 2014, she announced her retirement from the political arena saying, “There’s nothing I can do.” Miss Preston now writes a regular column here at the Bloggington Post, answering our readers’ questions on blogging etiquette.

Reciprocal Manners

Dear Wilma, I was told that if someone follows your blog, it is polite to follow theirs. I have lots of followers who never say anything about my posts so I’m not sure if they’re even reading them. I always read their posts and comment on them. Is it okay not to follow them if they don’t do anything? Rete Ernable

Dear Rete, Reciprocity has always been a difficult etiquette area. You are correct in understanding that courtesy would dictate that a follow gets a follow. However, in my work I have seen many instances in which this understanding has been exploited by the unscrupulous. You will find, Rete, that there are some people who “play the game” as we used to say on the hockey field when I was a girl. It is a strategic move to garner more followers but they have no intention of returning the favour. My advice in this situation is that if it is clear that a follow is only to gain yours (for example, if your blog is about knitting tea-cosies and you receive a follow from someone who blogs about hog-tying) then I think it acceptable not to reciprocate.

More Readers!!

Dear Miss Preston, Thank you for your wonderful column! You always give such great advice!! I have been blogging for about three months now and it is so much fun!!! My question is why am I not getting many readers?????!!! I think I am a great writer!! But I only have a few readers!! And even when someone does read a post and comment, I never seem to see them again!!!??!!!?? Can you help me??!!?? Perky Buttons

Dear Perky, Thank you for the compliment. I believe you will have more success if you learn to moderate your punctuation.

Reading Time?

Dear Wilma, I love blogging and I have lots of great bloggers I follow. I like to read all their posts and make a comment if I can. Recently, though, I have been really busy in my work as a Doll Hospital nurse and I am now behind on reading the blogs. What is the Catching Up etiquette? O.V. Loaded

Dear O.V., First let me say that yours is a common problem and it is a question I am often asked. There is no easy answer in terms of etiquette nor in terms of convenience. You can work through the old posts for all your bloggers in chronological order but this can be time-consuming and ultimately fruitless. You will in all probability continue to fall behind. Catching up with one blogger at a time makes it easy to ensure you have read all their posts, however other bloggers may be offended you have not visited their blogs. If you follow the etiquette rule I always promote – “Don’t just click” – and write a comment on each post, the blogger will suddenly find him- or herself with six comments from you to which they must respond. This may make them grumpy. My best advice is to forget the old posts and just write a comment on the newest one apologising for being absent. Although I do not usually recommend it, at times it can be acceptable to utilise a “I fell under a bus” excuse if you so need. Good luck with your reading!

Miss Wilma Preston welcomes all blogging etiquette questions from our readers. Send your letters to The Editor, Bloggington Post, Global Post Box 2003.



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