VLOG: Weekly Playlist – 19th April 2015

suzie81speaks:

Meet Steve! He does a weekly music vlog in which he shares his playlist for the week – definitely worth a look! Enjoy!

Originally posted on Now This Is What I Would Call Music:

My Weekly Playlist Number One this week was “Kids (MGMT Cover)” by Wolf Saga Feat. Lyon.

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Not-Quite-Right Country Living

suzie81speaks:

Meet Joelle – I’m sure you’ll like this post!

Originally posted on Two on a Rant:

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While I sit here looking out the window as I devour my cheese grits (non-greasy variety), a southern USA delicacy, I contemplate the bamboo vine(smilax).  It’s growing through a space between the bottom half of the window raised up 1 1/2 feet to accommodate an Air Conditioner I don’t want or need.  

I’d ask my husband to take the-thing-that-makes-me-cold out of the window, but the last time that happened my beloved Chelsaddog needed it during her remaining few months of life as she progressively lost her battle with cancer.  

It’s easy to see how superstitions start.  Tis illogical, I know.  But the part of me that needs to rely on pattern recognition to make decisions when I’m in the forest/jungle worried about being eaten by a bear/leopard is telling me, “Don’t do it or the Gentle Giant is next!”

If that’s all it took to change…

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Blog Of The Day: Two On A Rant

imageMeet Joelle LeGendre!

She’s the co-creator of Two On A Rant, author extraordinaire and all round supportive and friendly blogging enthusiast.

Her ‘About’ page makes me smile:

If there are annoying people, places or things…if there is minutia that needs to be beaten to death, Joelle is out there–in more ways than one. If you’re looking for relaxing reading, something to soothe your frazzled nerve endings, or something to fall asleep with, you’re in the wrong blog.

I can relate – as someone who gets annoyed on occasions by the little things, I find that blogging about them is a useful form of therapy!

However, this page doesn’t quite do her justice. Her layout is simple, easy to use and looks attractive, and I love the mixture of poetry and animal photography (I’m always a sucker for anything to do with happy and well looked after animals).

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Joelle is also an established author, with her book ‘Atto Run’ being available on Amazon and Kindle. I love the description – A SciFi Cinderella comedy-romance that pokes fun at the craziness of life on Earth, & possibly elsewhere – which sounds exactly the sort of thing that I would enjoy reading! You can find her book (and her five star reviews) simply by clicking on the image – I’m sure it will be worth your time!

To find her blog, click on this link

Want to connect further with Joelle?

Here are her social media links!

Twitter: @JoelleLeGendre

Facebook

WordPress – do your thing. Follow, reblog, comment and get to know the lovely Joelle – she would love to see you there!

 

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

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If We Were Having Coffee #7

imageIf we were having coffee, I would tell you that it has been quite an emotional week.

On Sunday, my oldest friend, M, lost her mother to cancer. Yesterday, The Bloke and I travelled up north to attend the funeral. I’ve been quite lucky in life in that I haven’t had to attend many of them, but this means that I don’t cope very well during the service section of the day. True to form, I was a snivelling wreck, particularly when I saw another old friend, J, that I hadn’t spoken to in quite a while. All the way through school, M, J and I were a trio, and over the years we’ve created hundreds of memories, but over the last year J and I had drifted apart – busy lives got in the way. J is currently six months pregnant, and when she and her parents arrived we both burst into tears and gave each other a massive hug. It was truly nice to see her, although I wish the circumstances for our meeting would have been better.

The service was beautiful, and so many people had turned up from all over the country to say goodbye that there weren’t enough seats in the crematorium. M was able to read a poem that she had written herself. I admired her strength – I don’t think I would have been able to do the same – and we all laid a single flower on top of the coffin as we left. It was a beautiful send-off for a beautiful lady…

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I went back to work after a thoroughly wonderful few weeks, and I’ve had one of the best teaching weeks that I’ve experienced in a long time. I think that it’s mainly because my boss has returned from maternity leave so my timetable is lighter and therefore the pressure is less. I have still had a lot work to do, but for once I’ve been able to deal with it without being interrupted with random bit of paperwork that need immediate completion. I’ve been able to get in the classroom and enjoy my lessons – the weather has been beautiful, the students have been in a good mood, and we’re now reaching the final stretch of the academic year. After handing in my resignation about a month ago, the weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I have just over 40 working days left, and the job hunt begins!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been a blogging douchebag this week. Comments have been left unanswered, posts have yet to be posted, and I’ve barely touched any social media. The next few days are going to be spent catching up – on busy days I miss the interaction and enjoyment that I gain from the blogging world. I’ve decided to start a mini series about the different places to eat and things to do in my beloved city, Birmingham, and I fully intend on enjoying all the things it has to offer over the next few weeks. I rarely do guest posts, but I have one lined up for the 1st May over at Hugh’s Views and News, and hope you can join me there! I also have lots of advertising opportunities available!

The ‘If We Were Having Coffee’ series was created by Part Time Monster. Everyone is invited to join in, and you are welcome to share your coffee posts on Twitter every Saturday with #WeekendCoffeeShare – hop on over and join in the fun!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

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Working 9 to 5

suzie81speaks:

Have you met Rosie? This post made me smile – I did 18 months at McDonalds… I could relate to some of it!

Originally posted on A Red Lip And A Nude Shoe:

9to5

Working 9 to 5!

The joy of commuting to work by public transport is the opportunity to eavesdrop on peoples conversations. Usually it’s the most inane topics you’ve ever heard and that’s when headphones come in mighty handy! Sometimes there are fun and juicy titbits to devour. The other morning I was listening in on two women (both looked in their mid to late 40s) who were going through their career histories. The first woman said that she had only ever had two jobs and had been in her current role for almost 20 years! The other was rattling off a list of jobs as long as her arm.

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Just a regular ol’ mummy killer!

That got me thinking about my own work history and the fact that I have also had quite a varied and random list of job roles. I wasn’t always an illustrious blogger *ahem* and some…

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Blog Advice 3: Likes Versus Views

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I suppose, upon reflection, this isn’t advice – it’s more of a discussion, but I decided to include it in my blog series as I hope that it will promote conversation and assist with any questions that newer bloggers may have…

One of the most controversial blogging features appears to be the ‘like’ button at the bottom of a post. The like option is used throughout all forms of social media, and was introduced to WordPress in 2010. When I first began this blog, it was this function that I deemed the most useful when gauging the popularity and integrity of another blogger – the more likes I saw on a post, the better I assumed the author was. In my frequent ‘blog wanking’ (thanks Gene’O – great phrase) posts in which I proudly shouted my little achievements at regular intervals, I always included the number of likes a post had received. We all like to be liked… Or do we?

Two years later, the like button is something that I pay the least attention to. This is not to say that I don’t appreciate them – I am grateful for anyone who gives their time to interact with my blog, but I don’t focus on them in the same way that I do the comments I receive. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • The number of likes does not directly correlate with the number of times a post is viewed.
  • A ‘like’ does not mean that a post has necessarily been read at all. I know of several bloggers that regularly like my posts within about 10 seconds of them being published. Some of these posts have been over a thousand words long – even the quickest of readers could not have read it in that time. However, this doesn’t bother or offend me in the slightest, even though I know that some bloggers get very upset by this.
  • A ‘like’ does not give any information as to what the reader thought about the post. They liked it? Why?

In the past I have tried little experiments on a number of occasions where I check my number of views against the likes I have received within the first twenty minutes. It used to work out that the likes would exceed the views. Now, it is the other way around, mainly due to the number of email and social media followers that I now have, lots of whom aren’t on WordPress.

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However, I contradict myself at this point, because of the way I use the like button on other blogs. I limit the number of blogs that I follow simply because I enjoy them and want to be able to read all of them, even if I don’t read every post. However, when I only have a short amount of time, I will like a post to acknowledge that I have read and enjoyed it, and I will do the same if I have read something via Twitter and plan to retweet it. I know that many others do the same, and this is why I usually avoid conversations about the like button – we’re all busy people with our own lives outside of this little online bubble that we have created for ourselves, and it isn’t possible to spend hours commenting on every post that we read.

So, now I’ve potentially confused you with my hypocrisy – here are a few points to remember when thinking about the amount of likes you gain on your blog.

  • The number of likes a post receives is not a reflection of how good a post actually is and how competent the writer is. Instead, it is more of a representation of how much the post has been seen by other WordPress bloggers. If you have spent hours crafting the most wonderful, insightful piece of writing that you’ve ever done, don’t feel disheartened and start to doubt your own abilities if it doesn’t attract the number of likes you feel it deserves. Instead, work on promoting your blog to others and increasing your traffic.
  • If someone likes your post and clearly hasn’t read it, move on. Don’t get your proverbial knickers in a twist about it – use your time instead to respond to comments from others.
  • Use the like button particularly when you don’t have time to leave a comment, but try and comment where possible.

Above all…

It is not a popularity contest. I follow a blog if I like it, not because of the amount of followers they have or likes they gain on their posts. I follow bloggers that have three times the amount of followers I have, and I follow bloggers that have only been writing since the beginning of the year. Each are enjoyable and unique… And I like them all!

What do you think of the like button? Do you value it? Do you use it?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to visit my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks and give me a cheeky… like!

 

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An Unexpected Good Day

imageAfter a truly fabulous two weeks, I went back to work yesterday. Over the last fortnight, I’ve been relaxed, happy, and I feel like I have rediscovered a little bit of my old self that has been lost for a very long time. I’ve slept well, ate well and laughed a lot. I decided that I am going to approach what will be my final term in teaching with a positive frame of mind, with a focus on working hard but not taking negative things to heart. I went to bed on Sunday night after spending some time on #SundayBlogShare (which has been trending across the UK, the USA and Canada for much of the day) feeling reasonably relaxed, although a little sad about my friend’s news, and after texting her I fell asleep.

However, my brain had other ideas, and I found myself wide awake from 2.00am. Normally, I get bad bouts of insomnia during periods of extreme stress, but I didn’t feel stressed or uneasy. I tried everything – listening to music, watching cartoons, deep breathing… Nothing worked.

I gave up at 5.30am, and got up to feed and inject the cats (one of them is diabetic and requires twice daily insulin shots), and made sandwiches for The Bloke and I for lunch. I felt like a zombie by the time I had arrived at work (7.00am), and reluctantly turned on my laptop to get organised for the day.

After such a bad start, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable teaching days I have had in months. While I was tired and feeling lethargic, I found that the lessons I had planned went really well. My timetable has changed as my boss has returned from maternity leave so I had an easier workload, all the staff were pleased to see each other and were chatting away and it felt like a little weight had been lifted from my shoulders now all the main concerts are done.

I’ve got less than 50 teaching days left until the summer… Let’s hope that these will be as good as yesterday!

And last night, I slept like a baby…

What about you guys? What do you do when you can’t sleep? Check out this wonderful post from Not a Punk Rocker, one of my favourite bloggers about her experiences!

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

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