Today I wrote and published a normal blog post before 09.15. OK, it was just an addendum to the second post yesterday, but I can’t remember how long it is since overwhelming pain prevented me from doing something that used to be the norm.

Today, I tweaked my pain meds, adding more morphine.

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The Hospitalised Blogger…

For the urgently hospitalised blogger – an event which seems likely to feature in my future a lot more than I’m going to be happy with – there is, as far as I can see, no solution to the “if I’m unconscious I’ll be unable to take any gadgets into hospital with me, and thus will be incommunicado” dilemma – not, anyway, without the costs of duplicating everything and hanging it on the back of the door of my flat to be grabbed on the way out by the ambulance crew – which can’t be guaranteed so Continue reading

Why I’m not writing much of any consequence.

Apologies for the lack of quality output for a while. I can see from my blog’s stats that my lack of output is damaging it, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain what’s going on.

Since getting out of hospital, the bilateral lymphoedema** which has plagued me for the past two years has become seriously infected (cellulitis, possibly) and, so far, is resistant to treatment.

**Caused by my failing heart, which APH is still trying to deny, even though it was diagnosed there in 2011.

What’s cramping my style is the pain, which on a scale of 1 to 10 is a solid 10, and there is no position in which I can sit or lie which provides any relief. The pain, at its most extreme can, without warning, come roaring up my legs as if I’d just stuck them in a blast furnace – there is no way to Continue reading

Praise where praise is due…

I’ve noticed a strange trend online in the past few weeks. There seems to be a tendency for people to praise the writing of bloggers whose writing skills are, actually, often marginal.

I’m all in favour of encouraging people to write well – I’ve written quite a lot on the subject – but praise should be given where it’s genuinely warranted. By telling someone who’s not really that great how wonderful they are, you give them false confidence, and minimise any inclination to self-analysis and improvement, because it’s a sad fact that writers are too close to their work, very often, to see errors and defects without making an effort to do so – and I do mean all of us.

Far too many, it seems, fail to Continue reading

The cost of Atos, dismantling the health service, and other gripes…

You might have spotted that today’s papers are dominated by the release of a veritable torrent of data detailing (just a part of), government expenditure. In the spreadsheet for the DWP**, it’s revealed than in the 5 months since the election, Atos has been paid  £3,489,137.81. Sorry, ignore that, it’s not as simple as it appeared, as Atos is spread over several spreadsheets. As you were – I’ve scoured all the DWP data and can find only that one entry for Atos Medical Services. There are also sums of £330,585.05, £23,300.35, minus £13,152.00, £129.09, £356.03, £366.89, £59.49, £733.78 and £848.43   for Atos Origin IT Services UK Ltd. Same company?

The cost in human misery caused by Atos, though, is incalculable.

**Downloaded from here.

In a recent post the veracity of my claim Continue reading

Attracting people to blogs, and writing for them – which comes first?

In my view, that would be the latter, every time.

One of the most frequent cries for help in the WP forum is “how can I get people to visit my blog?” All too often, a look at the blog throws up another question – why would they? All too often that plea comes from a blogger who has written nothing beyond the initial Hey, I’m here! post.

If you want people to read your blog, you have to do two things (at least). One Continue reading

Plinky Prompts? No thanks…

“Overcome Writer’s Block With Plinky Prompts,” says WordPress, and “Each weekday, Plinky provides a prompt — like a question or a challenge — and you type in an answer. To keep it interesting, prompts are a mixed bag of fun commands (“Write a haiku about the last meal you ate”) to more thoughtful questions (“What is your favorite summer memory?”) ”

To which, based on those two naff suggestion, all I can find to say is, for pity’s sake, what the hell do you think we are – 12? Anyway, my favourite summer memory really isn’t suitable for a blog, thank you so much.

If a person becomes a blogger, it’s not unreasonable to expect that they actually have something to say, and some talent with which to say it. That it’s Continue reading