Some Saturday thoughts on blogging

Another gem from WordPress.

If you write a long post, you need to tag it as a long post. Not with the obvious word ‘long’ of course.

You now have to tag your post using WPLongform. What is a long post, you might ask?

Ah, therein lies the catch. The author of the post didn’t want to be prescriptive so wouldn’t give a word count for ‘longform’ I had to look up longform of course. It just means long as far as I can see. Stupid word. On a par with awesome. Perhaps it is American.

What was really funny was, that in the actual post, the author told us to tag the articles #WPLongform. In some of the comments a different WP supremo told us to tag them WPLongform, and possibly longform too.

I helpfully (always helpful me as everyone knows) suggested someone edit the original post to reflect the information in the comments because, not everyone reads the comments before they add their two centimos. Last I looked they hadn’t altered it. So half the world will be tagging their posts #WPLongform and half will be tagging them WPLongform.

Yet another one answered my query about word count. Given that most of my posts are between 1000 and 2000 words, what is long to me, ie more than 2000 words isn’t the same as someone who writes Tweet-style blog posts, where more than 150 characters is going to be longform. I saw a Tweet-style blog recently and gazed at it in amazement. What is the point of having a blog and only writing one sentence? or two at most eg ‘I don’t like what Obama said. He is wrong.’

Anyway, I was told that 1000 words was the rough guideline.

I am all for individuality, but for someone to write a post and her colleagues to come back in the comments and contradict her just makes the whole team look like they don’t know their arse from their elbow.

And people will be adding an extra word to reach that magical figure of 1000 😀 I wonder if I should tag every post under 1000 words WPShortform?

I have threatened to give you the worst of the ‘best’ of Freshly Pressed and highlight a few seriously bad blogs. The trouble is there are just too many of them! My original draft post wasn’t just longform, it was totally War and Peace form.

But, here are a few, chosen for no particular reason except they are crap.

Fem and veggie too! (never let it be said I am biased)

I should like this one as it is sort of feminist. I don’t. I struggled to read it. Left hand sidebars are terrible for left to right readers. Which most of us reading English or European languages are.

The intro was crap. The sentiments were great but very badly expressed. Blog theme was Chateau which does not suit that sort of post. I want to like this blog, feminism, vegetarianism is a great start, but it just doesn’t do it for me.

Oh no! I thought the recipe blogs had died the death. As if.

Bloody hell, there is always a recipe blog on there, and I thought they had faded out or gone off, or somewhere.

How to spend three years making lasagna.

Boil lasagna in pan, make sauce/s, er what more?

Why the hell does this long drawn-out boring shite get freshly pressed?

And a totally non-post.

Meat with a side of …

What was the point of this post?

Boring as hell. Seriously. Something about we need to balance veg and meat. Really? How amazingly clever and unoriginal. Dire. Shit theme. Crap text layout too. I mean just, totally poor. Definitely gets five stars for appallingness from me.

Just at least personalise your header photo. And shorten your paragraphs (yes I know I always say that).

Whisky galore

Oh, no. A drinks post too about whisky. I know something about single malt whisky, mainly on the grounds that whenever we visited somewhere in Scotland, I drank the local single malt to decide whether or not I liked it.

Verdict on this one: pretentious in the extreme, uses someone else’s views of single malts (why not ask me for mine, at least I have tasted the fucking things), too long paragraphs (again!) and spelling errors. Original photos? No. Links to other sites.

My fave five are, for your information (as if you are interested in mine or the other blogger’s choice),

• Bruichladdich
• Bowmore
• Bunnahabain
• Jura
• Ardmore

Yes I know they are all island ones. OK I’ll add a couple of mainland ones:

• Oban (still on the west coast though)
• Dalwhinney (there, that’s a bit more off the beaten track)

Iraq War

Here is an odd one about Iraq. I’m not sure what the point was to be honest, but it was mildly interesting, which is more than can be said for most.

And over at another FP blog, which I actually found because it was FP’ed, the author produces a weekly round-up of vegan news whch lazy roughseas enjoys reading as it saves her work. I learned that Bill Gates has discovered something I have been saying for years. But it must be meaningful and true if Bill Gates says it. It’s not what you know, it’s who you are that counts.

There are three reasons for being vegetarian, four probably.
1. Health
2. Ethics ie aversion to animal cruelty or eating them
3. Environmentalism
They are the idealistic reasons, the fourth would be you don’t like the taste of meat, fish, fowl.
Bill Gates has hit on the third one, as he clearly has no understanding of the other two issues because he carps on about the wonderful meat/egg/whatever substitutes. Now, while I might have been vegetarian for more than 20 years, I have never met anything that was remotely like a plate of smoked salmon or roast beef – to use two random examples.

And I would be extremely racked off if I did eat meat to read such drivel from Gates. He’s totally right with his statement about how much food it takes to raise animals for slaughter to end up on someone’s plate, but he has no concept of a vegetarian diet if he thinks everyone will just switch merrily to meat substitutes.

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and a vegetarian, penned an article for Mashable on the future of food. In “Food is Ripe for Innovation” Gates writes: “The global population is on track to reach 9 billion by 2050. What are all those people going to eat? . . . Meat consumption is expected to double by 2050 — it seems clear that arable land for raising livestock won’t be able to keep up.”
The answer is plant protein, says Gates.
There’s plenty of protein and necessary amino acids in plants, including the world’s four major commodity crops — rice, maize, wheat and soy.
The problem is that instead of feeding these crops to people, we’re feeding most of them to livestock. And so we’re caught in an inefficient protein-delivery system. For every 10 kilograms of grain we feed cattle, we get 1 kilogram of beef in return. The calorie kick-back is just too low to feed a growing world population.

I have to end with these.

I assume it is meant to be witty.To be pedantic I also studied calculus. It didn’t look a bit like that.

It seems the goalposts have changed drastically for becoming Freshly Pressed. It is no longer glossy photos that would grace a food magazine with an accompanying simplistic recipe, or bungee jumping in New Zealand.

Now you apparently need to be as boring and long-winded as possible, or just write the most inane rubbish you can think of.

Don’t know where I got this one from. [ETA, yes I do, it’s a later post from the boring lasagna blog with even more unoriginal recipes that I knew everyone would so wish to read]

Lamb with rosemary and garlic. Yes. Been there done that. Yet despite this unoriginal contribution to the world this post doesn’t appear to have been FP’ed. Why ever not? Hits all the buttons. Unoriginal and not glossy piccis plus boring text. Pretentious too.

And on lambs, I read a blog recently bemoaning the bad winter in the UK and how difficult it is for the farmers and the poor starving little lambs and calves. There were a lot of comments about how cereal farmers get subsidies and animal farmers don’t. They even have to buy in expensive food. They would, wouldn’t they, now that they can’t feed vegetarian animals on sheep’s brains?

Those subsidies may possibly be because cereal farming is more sustainable than animal farming, qv Bill Gates above.

I didn’t comment on said blog in the end. I would only have written some self-opinionated comment so I might as well do it on my own blog.

There are two sides of the coin. Or even more. Most people haven’t been on my side (of the coin), I’ve been on both. If you want to eat dead animals that is your choice. I’ve done it, and enjoyed it at the time.

I did struggle when I realised that one of my favourites – ox tongue – was actually the tongue of an animal. I thought it was just a name!

I liked sweetbreads too. What a quaint term. Why not call them bollocks? Because you are basically eating lambs’ testicles, or so I was told as a child. Where did this myth come from? They are thymus glands/pancreas or other offaly bits of animals. So not bollocks at all. Not sure which is worse really. Reading around, I found a reference that people were mental to think sweetbreads were testicles. No, I just believed what my parents told me. Some people believe in Santa Claus and Jesus. Does that make them mental?

I don’t like the hypocrisy that surrounds eating meat, a rabbit is ok if it is bought, but you don’t kill a pet rabbit? Huh? Or we eat cows and lambs and pigs, but not horses or donkeys, dogs or cats? Or it’s cool to eat rattlesnake and shark? Maybe elephant and tiger for all I know.

So I find the ‘oh it’s a hard winter and the baby animals are struggling to survive,’ concept totally surreal. Let’s be honest, these animals are going to be killed at some point, normally sooner than later. Why waste compassion on them? They are bred to be killed. To end up on a plate. With mint sauce. Simple.

Meat-rearing farmers are no different to anyone else who is struggling in the current climate, whether economically or weather-wise. We all have competition of whatever sort, and fail to make the money we want.

The idyllic pastoral scene is just garbage. Many farmers have fed their animals on the cheapest shit available, eg sheeps brains resulting in BSE and CJD. That’s before they’ve even fed them with steroids. Or packed them in tight crates. Great animal welfare there.

Try this link about cows (it has a happy ending so the squeamish amongst you don’t need to worry – well if you consider a 60% survival rate ok).

How about sheep?

and this

Sheep are sheared in the spring, just before they would naturally shed their winter coats. Because shearing too late would mean a loss of wool, most sheep are sheared while it is still too cold. An estimated one million sheep die every year of exposure after premature shearing.

I’m sure none of that goes on in the UK though. Just Texas and Australia. Y’all enjoy your cruelty-free lamb chops.

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in animal rights, animals, blogging, environmentalism, food, journalism, life, musings, vegan, vegetarian and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Some Saturday thoughts on blogging

  1. rachel says:

    Ha – well it wasn’t quite three days but nearly. I’m assuming you didn’t read it all though – far too long. You are going to love my post about 5 day stew. I think someone need to freshly press you – you are brilliant.


    • Rare for me, but Rachel I am cringing with embarrassment 😀 Well sort of. Not only did I mention your blog once, I hit on it again. Mainly because I did lamb with garlic and rosemary nearly 30 years ago. I never expected any of the blogs I critiqued (aka criticised) to comment!

      I think I said three years to cook your lasagna, or maybe it felt like that? I did read it all, although perhaps with glazed eyes.

      I’ve posted some lasagna pix on my other blog and I also do recipes, but I tend to confine them to pages so as not to bore people like me who find recipe blogs boring 😀

      Five day stew? It’s going to be meat and take five days? I don’t think that’s one for me. The longest meal I cook these days is paella.

      Thank you for the compliment. For some bizarre reason other regular readers of this and roughseas have said the same. I’ve also said, I wouldn’t wear the badge anyway. A bit like refusing the OBE, or Groucho Marx: I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.

      All joking apart, appreciate your comment, seriously.


  2. I’ll have to go and the whole bloody lot of mine. Try as I might I just can’t keep the word count down. It’s just that if it’s worth the bother of sitting down to write something you might as well make it as good as you can, right? The mentality behind that ‘long post’ stuff comes from the same minds that think that twitter is somehow profound. Hmmm–here’s my next two blog posts. To save space I think I’ll just use yours and save effort for all.

    Blog Post 1: Early spring in Newfoundland is generally Shitty! Too much freezing rain and too much wind.

    Blog Post 2: Cellphone covers are such a rip off! $50 gets me a piece of cheap plastic crap that makes the phone too bulky to fit in my front pants pocket and which just plain breaks after 4 months of use.

    Blog Post 3: I wish people waiting in line at stores had some cooth! A new cash opens up and the people from the back of all the lines stampede to the new one even though the sweet little thing opening the cash says, “I can take who’s next in line.” Well, you stampeding buffalos, you were NOT next in line! I hope you all trip up in one another. Whoops–long, post, right? #longpost

    Blog Post 4: Oh, look, the coffee shops have just right-sized the coffee cup sizes. Medium is the new small, large is the new medium and so on. Large is actually the same size as a piss tank! Ahhhh—mystery solved about the long posts. Everyone’s so hyped up on caffene and their bladders as overflowing so nobody has time to stay at the computer for long enough to read a proper post. Whoops another long post! #longpost

    Never mind–all my posts for this week are now done :>)


    • I think my principle is, if I am trying to write something thoughtful for discussion, that it just can’ be said in a few pars.

      I can write short (as someone cheekily said in shock regarding my not-a-photo-blog) but if you only write a couple of words what is there to reply to that?

      I don’t Tweet (that will come as no surprise) although both I and the dog have Tweet accounts. He has barked more than I have Tweeted, but even he got bored with it.

      Blog Post 1 is very profound. So much so that a) as I haven’t been there and b) most early springs are shitty that I can’t find anything to say to that one.

      Blog Post 2. I quite like my non-Apple rubber-like cover. So tactile. Mmmmmmm. Less keen on the placcy thing that went on the front and got ripped off some time ago and I risk an uncovered screen.

      Blog Post 3. Cooth! Is that a word Sir? In Spain we have a lot of cooth if that is the term. We tell people with less items to pass in front of us, and when a new till opens, we all normally wait for the next in line to go first to the new till. Politeness (cooth?) is not yet dead believe it or not.

      Blog Post 4. You know me, I don’t do unethical coffee shops. If I do have a coffee out, it’s small black and espresso in a cup, or in Spain usually in a glass to retain the heat.

      Shit wasn’t that easy? We could write a week’s worth of posts and responses every day!


  3. Perpetua says:

    So you would rather the lambs froze to death before we can eat them, would you? i’m presuming the post you refer to was mine and I will admit to being somewhat cheesed-off that you would so misrepresent it and the comments it received. Rants are all very well, but it would be nicer if you didn’t exaggerate and mock to make a point. Believe it or not the sheep farmers who are my friends and neighbours are decent, hard-working and honourable men and women and give their animals as good a life as they can.


    • Makes no difference to me, they are all going to die anyway, at some place and some how. Either by a knife or a stun gun. But not to feed me.

      Yes, it was your post, and I realised while I was writing this that you would almost certainly read this post. But I started writing a comment on your blog and thought it was inappropriate which was why I wrote on here.

      Misrepresentation? How? Seriously, where did I do that? Hill farmers are having a tough time in a cold winter in breeding lambs for slaughter for people to eat? Or is that not the case? So therefore they will lose money. What else this is about apart from money?

      There was also a lot of criticism on your blog about grain farmers receiving subsidies. Why? You only have to read the comment from Gates to realise why animal farming for human consumption is environmentally unsound.

      No mockery of your post. Just stating the facts. The only mockery was of Freshly Pressed posts. Not the same thing.

      And where is the exaggeration? I gave perfectly good links to my post. I can give a shedload more, believe me, but I know people want to stick their heads in the sand regarding what they eat. I think you did say at one point you hadn’t eaten horse, because you didn’t like the idea? Eat lamb but not horse?

      Whether the sheep farmers are your friends is of no interest to me. They raise lambs to kill them in order to make money. That is the bottom line.


      • Perpetua says:

        You can’t get rid of me as easily as that. 🙂 I still say your post misrepresented what I wrote, not so much by what you said as by what you didn’t say.

        In a post of only 353 words and 5 short paragraphs, the first para was about the dreadful weather the UK has been having and only in the second line of the second para did I mention lambs and the problems sheep farmers are having in the heavy snow and severe cold.

        The third para was about dairy farmers being unable to turn their animals out into the fields and running out of last year’s silage (hardly cheap shit after all the work they put into making it!). Unless you’re a vegan rather than a vegetarian, I’m assuming you consume some milk-based products at times and recognise that cows have to eat.

        The fourth para, to which you didn’t refer at all, was about the huge difficulties being experienced by arable farmers, because of autumn-sown crops rotting in water-logged fields and spring crops not being able to be sown because the ground is too cold and wet. It’s been a catastrophic year for crop farmers and I emphasised that by linking to a BBC report on their plight.

        The fifth and last para simply reminded people that the food on the supermarket shelves is a product of farmers’ hard work and not to take it for granted.

        It’s not my fault if one of my commenters made a rather soppy remark about poor little lambs. The other twenty-odd didn’t, but instead recognised the difficulties besetting all farmers, often from personal experience. Helen mentioned the cereal barony in her comment, because there is a general belief that the big cereal farmers do extremely well out of EU subsidies and not everyone is happy about that, but she was the only one explicitly to mention subsidies. Two comments out of more than 20 and you zero in on them and give the impression that everyone said the same.

        So yes, I think you did misrepresent rather unfairly what I and my commenters said, and allowed your loathing for meat farming to blind you to the rest of my post and the other comments. That won’t stop me reading and commenting in the future, but I did expect better of you.


        • Ouch! But if I can’t get rid of you so easily, never let it be said that I can’t take it when I dish it out.

          I don’t think I misrepresented what you said. I took some points, and some comments and referred to those.

          The overall impression I got, from my exceedingly biased perspective, was about poor farmers. Most of whom could lose money because they can’t rear animals to end up on someone’s plate. I don’t think you’ll argue with that.

          I wasn’t doing a par by par analysis, nor did I claim to.

          The dairy par also included a reference to buying in expensive food for the cattle. So would cheap food be better? Hence my reference to feeding vegetarian animals sheeps brains. You take your chances in whatever industry you work, which is why I mentioned different ones later. Farmers are in it for the money as are we all, whether or not they are arable or animal farmers.

          I did comment about your post because I thought it was interesting given the Gates comment about environmental impact of animal rearing.

          The arable farming par wasn’t relevant to what I was writing about. Simple as that. If you want, I could question whether or not they farm organically. Or how sound their extensive farming principles are. Ploughing up headland. Ripping down hedgerows. Not giving the ground time to recover with a fallow period.

          As for the food on the shelf – it’s there because farmers want to make money. I don’t understand this need to be grateful to someone who is in farming for a living. They aren’t doing me a favour.

          I wasn’t actually referring to one of your commenters, rather your comments about lambs and mothers struggling to survive in snow or driving rain. And animals to thrive. That is writing meant to appeal to emotions. Nicely done.

          Because I had read the comment about cereal subsidies I thought it was relevant to the Gates quote.

          I was selective with what I wrote and highlighted, aren’t we all? I was writing about a number of vaguely related topics. Although, on your blog, actually almost everyone did say, ooh those poor farmers. Why? Just why?

          Actually, I am vegan. I spread butter when I make sandwiches for my partner, and I will use cheese for him. For me, I don’t use dairy.

          Loathing for meat farming? No. Just a dislike of killing animals to feed me and people who turn a blind eye to serious abuse of animals for the sake of food on their plate.

          I don’t need the patronisation. Please don’t do it again.


          • Perpetua says:

            i don’t see any patronisation (is that a word? 🙂 ) in what I wrote, but I guess like a lot of other things it’s in the eye of the beholder.

            However, I do take issue with the following: “I don’t understand this need to be grateful to someone who is in farming for a living. They aren’t doing me a favour.” Unless you grown everything you eat, yes, actually they are doing you a favour. We can live without computers and a lot of other modern must-haves, but we haven’t yet learned to live without food. I happen to think that farming IS a special case in terms of support because of our basic dependence on the products of their work. If the weather makes problems for farmers we all suffer because of food supply problems and rising costs.

            I accept that you are vegan, though you’ve usually referred to yourself as vegetarian, but you still need food and someone to grow it for you and they have bills to pay like the rest of us.


          • Good debate – Lively – I enjoyed it!


          • Just get a move on and write up your Spanish trip.


  4. Jeff Peters says:

    I thought Gates was talking out of his ass when I read his “It tastes so good I couldn’t even taste the difference between real chicken” quote on Mashable. Maybe he’s eating different vegan meat than me. But I think the general idea that fake meats are improving is spot on from the long time vegans I’ve talked to.

    The worst thing about writing each week is getting the Google alerts and 90% of the vegan “news” is celebrity related. That is one good thing about Twitter. It can be a good way to find and share stuff.


    • I would agree that meat-style or fake meat products are improving. Many years ago I had some sausages and seriously worried they were meat because they did taste so similar, but as there is little meat in most sausages that’s hardly surprising. I’ve also had some fish paté and fish cakes that were extremely fishy 😉 But as a rule, I don’t think meat/fish/chicken substitutes taste the same. What they do, is provide variety in a plant-based diet, and often add different texture, which is an important part of food. I’m sure I could tell the difference even if Gates couldn’t.

      I do like tempeh, tofu, seitan, but I don’t see them as fake meats, but as plant-based protein food that has been around for centuries, unlike say, Quorn. Not sure how available that is in your part of the world, as there was some good old protectionist opposition to its introduction into the US.

      You know I enjoy your weekly updates. I like any weekly update that saves me hunting through the intersphere and sifting out the dross, and I think you provide a good mix of news. I don’t want to read about celebs either, but I am surprised at the number that claim to be vegan or vegetarian. I’m sure like many other so-called veg*ans they will no doubt eat cheese, fish, bacon etc etc

      I do find it interesting to read quotes by Gates or Clinton however because them saying it packs a powerful message. Not that I liked Microsoft as I a died-in-the-wool Apple person. But, one of/the richest man in the world and an ex-president just gets more coverage than I do! When I say the same things, I have to cite sources and references so that people know I’m not making it up. When they say it, hey! it must be true! That’s life.


      • Jeff Peters says:

        I’ve only tried tofu so far but I’m learning to like it when used properly. Everyone seems to say seitan is pretty good so I’ll have to give that a whirl sometime.

        I agree Freshly Pressed is a mixed bag, but I think they just go for variety rather than top notch writing. I think of it more as a cross-section of WordPress blogs rather than the cream of the crop of what’s out there.


        • I think tofu is good because it is so versatile. Because it is bland, the trick is either in marinating it and/or serving it with a good sauce or in a casserole. There are a few different types of seitan, ie in jars, tins or vacuum packed, and it can come in strips, lumps or small pieces. Each type has a different texture, although a similar taste. Depends what you are planning to do with it.

          You’ve hit the nail on the head with the description of going for variety rather than the so-called ‘best’. Pretty good of you to say that considering you have been FP’d. In fact, last time I looked, I couldn’t see their little caption saying ‘we bring you the best of WPblogs’ or whatever it was they used to say.


      • bluonthemove says:

        Did you see Joe Biden (current VP of the USA) talking about American stoicism even after Pearl Harbour was bombed by the Germans (sic). It must be true.


        • I’d heard the name. It sort of rang bells with someone who has not a brain cell to speak of right now. I was informed I should not vomit over the keyboard I was so busy laughing at your comment, and when I read it out to him he nearly wasted half a tin of San Miguel spluttering in exactly the same fashion. That is seriously class. There seem to be a few germans bombed pearl harbour views in America though, eg John Belushi

          Vice presidential debate last year, yes?

          BIDEN: (interrupting) “Of course my friend here doesn’t understand. Punks like him never understand — did they understand when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? And it’s not over now! I can’t believe I’m hearing such hogwash! Such poppycock! Such — uh, is it my turn to talk yet?

          Please can you give a health warning in future. Especially for my keyboard.

          Do you remember the Oliver Tambo/Sambo quote? I’ve tried to look it up but can’t find it, but always one of my fave American presidential gaffes. It seems to have been wiped off the intersphere. I read it in the Guardian so it must also be true.


          • bluonthemove says:

            On the royal visit to the USA in the mid 80s the Whitehouse printed a whole load of invitations to a dinner with the King and Queen of Norway.
            Keyboard health warning.
            The Queen of Norway died some 30 years earlier. The King never remarried. He died in 1991.


          • Where do you find these gems?! Tears streaming down my face but not onto the computer.


  5. EllaDee says:

    I also read the WP Longform post… Curious about what comprised longform I clicked on Longreads where the first 3 posts are 6556 words, 3524 words and 5721 words… It will be so much later by the time I get to savour them – they’ll be bloody stale! I had only a quick look through your FP selection… the bacon one was AWFUL, but I did like rachel eats and have subscribed 🙂
    My daily email from Higher Awareness today was titled “People are Different” and shared 2 quotes “Homogeneity makes for healthy milk but anemic friendships. We need relationships that cross culturally imposed lines to enlarge our hearts and expand our vistas.”
    and “…conflict is the primary engine of creativity and innovation. People don’t learn by staring into a mirror; people learn by encountering difference.”
    I think you can tick the box on fulfiling both 😀


    • Yes, Longreads goes for much longer longform than WP, which immediately makes a mockery of it anyway. Even I would be unlikely to plough through 6000 words plus on a computer screen (I’m not into reading books on a computer).

      If you found a blog you liked out of my selection that’s great. On the rare occasion I subscribe to a FP blog (Jeff’who commented above you is an example) I check out quite a few of their posts, and obv the about page, as I do when I write about them on here. I’ve also unfollowed a couple I followed. It’s all in single figures as I rarely follow a FP blog. I actually only look at FP because I find it easier to read than specific topics in the revamped scroll-down reader. OK, and because I like to have a laugh at some of them.

      I think the first quote is a bit pretentious but that may be because I am switching off to the spelling of anaemic! although I like the sentiment of the second sentence. I like the last phrase of the second quote, although I’m not sure that people do learn. And that includes me. There’s not a lot I learn from gun-toting, warmongering, abortion-banning religious zealots.

      Clouds has never been meant to be a ‘pretty’ blog either in terms of appearance or content. It is a lot harder-hitting than roughseas, although I have occasionally let my personas blur over there when I have felt strongly about a news item. Juan Carlos on his safari in Africa was the one that comes to mind immediately and obviously the recent IWD one. I’m always surprised to get comments on here, when most of my readers are neither feminist, vegetarian, environmentalist, dog people, left wing/active union members etc etc. Some people come, and some go, so I value the ones who stay and read whatever has hit me at the time, and whether they agree or not isn’t the point. The raising of issues and the discussion is the point. Which is what your quotes say somewhat more succinctly. Thank you for what I’ll take to be a compliment.


  6. rachel says:

    Serves me right for not reading it all. I still think you are brilliant and would sign up as I am partial to a sharp, clever writing from an uncompromising woman. I won’t though. Wish I’d never clicked over to tell the truth. Scapegoated and slated by a journalist with a dog in Gibralter. Feel shit. Oh well. I’ve learned a lesson. I just hope our paths never cross again. But really, all best, not that you need it.


    • What didn’t you read initially?

      I don’t write original recipes at all. Well, sometimes I do, but many of them are just repeated from elsewhere. The most popular recipe I’ve done in terms of hits and one of the most popular on my roughseas blog is olive paté:

      I’ve just done a quick search and it comes up second on google. Loads of hits, and no comments. I’ve since added it to the recipe page where it has one comment. And someone did comment on the cauliflower soup recipe and mention the olive paté at the same time. I waffled a bit on the original post, but cut it down to the ingredients and method on the recipe page, which took all of a few words.

      Thank you for the compliment. It is especially appreciated from someone whose blog I have criticised. Although I picked on the blogs at random, I actually chose them because I thought they might be interesting. The main point of my critique is at WordPress (although I realise it doesn’t feel like that where you are coming from) because there is no consistency to their choice of FP blogs, maybe there doesn’t need to be, but – and this is just my perspective – it is overly biased in terms of American blogs, youth, pretentious writing and sentimental slop.

      I thought long and hard before I wrote this post, and redrafted it. I decided to add the Gates quote because it interested me and the other blog I had read about lambs suffering in the cold just fell in from there. I’ve pissed two people off with this post, one who used to read and comment regularly both on this and roughseas (I doubt she will visit any more), and you. I am genuinely sorry for upsetting you, that was never my intention, which is why I did think twice before I published.

      I certainly never expected any of the bloggers I featured to comment on here, so you get my respect straightaway for that. Not that it’s worth anything, but I have no idea what I would do in the reverse situation. If you do choose to read anything in future, you will be very welcome on here, after all, you don’t need to comment so I won’t know you are there unless I use statcounter which I can’t usually be bothered to look up.

      I had a similar exchange with someone a few months back, I hadn’t even seen her blog but she made a comment on mine and we disagreed …. we parted on good terms and she was as magnanimous and generous as you.

      And it’s not all bad. Ella_Dee liked your blog and decided to follow you 🙂

      PS – Don’t you like dogs?


  7. angryricky says:

    I always feel bad about having been freshly pressed when I hear about the other blogs that have also been, so I avoid the subject as much as I can. I will say that pictures seem to be a requirement, because the WP editors asked me to add some before they’d honor the post.

    After I had written my first four or five posts, WP started sending me notifications that I didn’t have to write long screeds all the time, that a blog post could consist of a picture with a short paragraph instead of always being fifteen hundred words without illustrations. They didn’t let up until I wrote something short. Ironic, for a platform called WORDpress.

    It strikes me as funny that Gates says that we need to turn to the food products that are most likely to be genetically modified and that such a high percentage of Americans (his country) are allergic to. Food doesn’t need to be innovated–it needs to regress to pre-twentieth century habits, rather than progress to whatever GMO paradise he envisions.


    • I didn’t realise you had been FP’d. I obv fell on yours via the illustrious Pinko.Your blog is a shedload better than 99% of the other FP ones. You don’t even sport the sign either. Now that is idiosyncratic because I’ve gone on record as saying I wouldn’t. Or if you do have it, I’ve missed it 😀

      I do prefer longer posts, that say something and give me something to think about. You touch a diverse range of topics and your ex-pat life just adds the bells and whistles. I assume as a private blog you can’t be FP’d but I doubt that is your aim in writing now anyway.

      I was thinking about medieval food patterns actually, re one of the previous commenters. I don’t know how long Gates has been vegetarian but I don’t think he knows what he is talking about. (His computer systems are crap too).


  8. angryricky says:

    I don’t remember having been offered a sign. I was a bit bashful about the whole thing, so wouldn’t have posted one if it had been offered.

    Getting Freshly Pressed was never a goal; one of the WP editors sent an email asking if I’d like to be, so I said sure. People always say to focus a blog on one subject, but I’m interested in more than one thing, and I think that for me as a writer, a single-focus blog would get quite dull quite quickly. The blogs I enjoy tend to be a bit like The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy–a little of life here, a few opinions there, some pictures sometimes . . . just not with an eighteenth-century writing style.

    We’re trained by evolution to eat the way that our ancestors have been eating for millenia, but in the last hundred years we’ve drastically altered our eating patterns. Going further back is the healthiest thing. I tried the paleo diet in the US for a while–eating what can be hunted or gathered, so a strong emphasis on meat and fresh produce and a definite avoidance of grains. I felt great and healthy and I loved it. It’s hard to do that here, though, because so little is fresh and because I don’t like grocery trips (either on the company bus or calling a taxi). I hope that this summer I’ll be in the US again and can eat the way I want to.


    • It’s a blue thingy that everyone proudly sports. Now I’m wondering which of your posts was pressed. Not that it matters. I like your blog/s for what they are.

      I’m not into single focus blogs either, eg photography, recipe. If they add text that is interesting then OK, but otherwise I fall asleep.

      You know I hate Tristram Shandy!

      Eating habits leave me depressed. Needless to state, I wrote about paleo:


      • angryricky says:

        I figured you’d have heard of the diet. I’m not as obsessive or trendy as the adherents you mention in last year’s post–I think the key is to be generally healthy (including getting some exercise) and to forgive oneself for liking to eat cake every day.

        Yes, the Sterne comparison was there to poke at you. 🙂

        The post was one that I took down when I was deleting older posts. I can send it to you, if you’d like.


        • I don’t have a problem with the diet per se (except that it’s often overly portrayed as get as much meat down your neck as possible), ie eating good quality fresh food. To me that is common sense. I find the silly rhetoric around it, and even the name, irritating though. It’s not as though our sedentary protected lifestyles are comparable with a cave life. The message from our govts should really be don’t build your diet around junk and processed food, but they won’t do that because it’s all about money in the end which is more important than health.

          I’d read it again to see if I could get on with it any better, but I feel like I’m falling asleep just thinking about it.

          If the post was before I’d started reading your blog/s, then yes please, I’d like to read it.


          • angryricky says:

            Well, an autobiography that takes four hundred pages to get around to the birth does have some major structural problems. I’ll send an email with the FP post.


          • Oh right, so you are finally agreeing with me that it is somewhat long-winded?

            Ta for the mail. I’m behind on your audios, paperwork and other crap has got in the way of pleasure/leisure, hope to catch up over the break.


  9. Good post. If you weren’t FP blacklisted before, I am reasonably certain that you are now! After flying back from Spain I was having difficulty sleeping so I especially liked the pasta making post – put me out straight away!
    FP is bullshit and there is an awful lot of favouritism about being selected e.g. angryricky – chosen after only a few posts. Proves to me that they find a blogger and it stays permanetly on their limited radar! (I’m not criticing that particular blogger by-the-way) After 5 years blogging I’d be rather embarrassed to be selected now!
    I aim for 800 words – never (ok, rarely) more than a 1,000.


    • Thanks. Yes, I can’t imagine them emailing me in the near future offering me the status and the glory. I wonder if anyone ever refuses?

      I think Jeff (who has been FP’d) above has got it right when he says it is a variety of recent blogs. That to me is a fair description, but to try and suggest FP ones are somehow ‘better’ than others is just crass.

      Poor old Rachel (her of the soporific pasta post). At least she had the courage to comment on here! And I even got her an extra reader in Ella_Dee. So there is merit to being slagged off on here after all.

      Ricky writes a good blog, although his current one is private so you wouldn’t be able to see it anyway.

      Not sure when I got my first WP blog, it’s probably still out there somewhere. But at the time, the choice of themes was minimal, there were stories about lack of security, and basically back then, Blogger was vastly superior. I doubt they had FP back then, but I didn’t hang around long enough to investigate. I’ve come up to six years this month, although only about 15 months on here.

      I don’t aim for any length at all. I write until I have finished. I will try and limit the number of photos. I hate those blogs that have 20 or 30 photos. I find that more tiring than reading text. My eyes start glazing over. That’s why I’ll use the slideshow sometimes if I have more than a handful, gives people the option of looking or not.


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