Blogging


Menston and Wilberforce have kept me away; many apologies for the long absence. First of all I was busy night and day (literally) getting a much-needed completely new website to its Beta form for the charity (Wilberforce Trust) for which I work, so it could be viewed by all the 70 or so staff for their feedback by the time I return from annual leave in early September. I’ll take into account the feedback then it can go live, hopefully that month. It’s a WordPress.org site so a lot more work than these wonderful free ‘wordpress.com’ sites. 

Menston village blog; screenshot with first post

Top of the new Menston village blog showing the first post

A glutton for punishment I suppose, I also decided to construct a new ‘unofficial’ website for the village in which I live – Menston. The site – menstonvillagewharfedale.com – a WordPress.com site of course, is in the form of a blog, on which ‘grumpytyke‘ will be commenting from time to time, starting today.  Have a look and let me know what you think, please.

There is an ‘official’ Menston village website, www.menston.org, but although it is now working after a long absence it is very out of date, much of the information being so out of date that it’s not very useful. It’s been promising a new site for a long time but so far it hasn’t materialised. However, its existence meant I couldn’t have a simple Menston name (menstonvillage also existed already) and you can’t have spaces in the WordPress user name unfortunately.

Bringing Menston into the WordPress community

That is only part of the reason I decide to create the ‘unofficial’ site. The ‘official’ one – shared by the local community association and the local parish council – is very institutional. I thought the village, a really friendly and cosy place, merited something a bit more friendly. Knowing what a great community WordPress bloggers are I thought the village should have a WordPress blog of its own.

The new blog was first ‘published’ in late July but really only went ‘live’ on 8 August when it was publicised. I’m delighted to say that in the three days since then it has had around 700 views.

Anyway, please have a look – menstonvillagewharfedale.com – and let me know what you think, with any suggestions. Input from all you great bloggers who follow ‘grumpytyke’ would be really valuable.

I don’t follow the Bucket List Publications blog for the adventure – I think life is an adventure enough without looking for more – and I don’t make ‘bucket lists’ – again because life has always presented me with enough goals and challenges without making more – but I enjoy Lesley Carter’s blog though in many respects our mindsets are completely different. Nevertheless, I thought she deserved my vote, so got it, and she deserves yours too.

Her determination to win the ‘My Destination’ contest has been quite something to follow.

As a former journalist I couldn’t resist her invitation to interview her about it so I sent her some questions and got back the replies below.

Lesley1

Interview with Lesley Carter

Some might say that making ‘Bucket Lists’, especially one as demanding as yours, just puts a lot of unnecessary stress into a person’s life. What’s your response to this?

Creating a bucket list isn’t about stress or worry; it’s about setting goals and having something tangible to look at and achieve. I put a lot of thought into creating a list every year and while it’s extensive, it’s all achievable. It gives me daily encouragement and direction.

You recently moved into what looks to be a superb new house. Do you really want to leave it behind for such a long time to go ‘adventuring’?

We build the house as a haven during the “down time”, but traveling and experiencing new countries, cultures, and adventures is just as much a part of my life as family and friends. Regardless of where I live or how long I live there, I will always want to explore more. There’s too much out there not to.

What advantages do you think that winning this competition will add to your family life?

This competition will open up the world to myself and my family. I will gain first-hand knowledge and experience in countries around the world as well as connections and contacts for my blogging career. Blogging has already given us so much as a family. Darren and I have been able to experience adventures and travels beyond our wildest imaginations and we want to teach Athena that the world is at our doorstep. Rather than learning about ancient history in school, I want to give her an actual look into the past by traveling and exploring. This competition will set the stage for future travel and experiences that she will enjoy for years to come.

What does your husband think about it?

My husband is my biggest supporter and he’s taught me that we can be completely unrealistic with our dreams and goals and still make them happen. We will be apart for a few months at a time during the travel if I win, but he sees it as the opportunity of a lifetime and he’s is just as excited to see me win. We view the world in a similar fashion so he totally gets my desire to see the world.

I think you said that the final stage of the competition was a ‘face off’ with other contestants in the UK. Does it include some potholing in Yorkshire (that really would be an adventure though I’ve never done it myself)? If not, what aspects of this stage of the competition do you think you will enjoy most?

I don’t know what My Destination has in store for us during our week in the UK, but I know that I’m prepared for anything they throw my way. I think I’ll enjoy meeting the judges the most. Everyone that I meet instantly recognizes my passion for travel and for life. It is unmistakable and could be the deciding factor in helping me win The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List contest.

If you do win, do you think it will ‘cure’ your thirst for adventure?

If I lived a thousand years, I would still crave adventure. I’m addicted. Life is worth living! One of my favorite authors wrote, “The true value of time is that you’ve got to make your decisions in each day count, otherwise you could live forever and it won’t make much difference.” I can only hope that each day for the rest of my life will include adventure.

Good Luck Lesley!

Yet another of my favourite blogs has announced a transfer from WordPress.com to WordPress.org; this time he not only announced it but did it within hours, and so has disappeared completely off the blogging scene (‘server error’ message only). I’m posting this ‘comment’ to both my blogs in the hope he and the others may see it.

But I don’t think bloggers contemplating this move realise that even when the new site works it is so much more complicated for people to ‘like’, follow and comment.

Another blog I enjoy following has also gone to WordPress.org but at least she has left the original site operational but says this is only temporary. If she does close down the original site I will be very sorry as I will not be able to comment (of course I am able to do it but will not go through the extra hassle).

Another blog I wanted to follow was set up originally on WordPress.org (for those who don’t know this means that it is not on the WordPress server) so I cannot follow it. I’m suggesting to this person they set up a WordPress.com blog even if their main site is on their own domain.

I understand very well the reasons for having a commercial site hosted elsewhere than WordPress.com, but I think it is a disaster for the kind of ‘friendly’ blogs which I like to follow.

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