BEDM ~ Feeling Adventurous

I haven’t written on very many of the prompts for BEDM at all this year, but today I am picking one from the last couple days – Feeling Adventurous.

The other day, I was happily making dinner (shepherd’s pie, in case you’re interested), and a spider the size of my hand strolled across the worktop.

Spider

OK, so it wasn’t quite that big, but it was pretty huge. I surprised myself by dealing with it quite calmly, placing a glass over the top of it and then transporting it to the front garden (stopping to take a photograph of it first, of course – this is the kind of stuff that needs Instagramming). I didn’t need anyone to come and do it for me, nor did I freak out, which is a bit of a surprise to me, because I always used to panic about spiders. Within the last few years, I’ve just started to feel pretty neutral towards them; I don’t love them, and I certainly wouldn’t want one like this crawling all over me, but I don’t panic about them, either.

So now I’ve decided that I want to hold a tarantula. To me, a tarantula isn’t really a spider. I mean, I know that, technically, they are spiders, but they are big, hairy and slow, and that isn’t scary to me. So I’m tentatively making plans to be adventurous and hold a tarantula. By making plans, I mean to say that I’m hoping someone will say to me “Come and hold my tarantula.”

Blog Every Day in May

BEDM ~ Blog Chat

Today’s topic is all about blogging, suggesting that maybe I should share some of my best blogging tips. I am part of a blogging group on Facebook, and there are often people on there sharing their tips, and a lot of people looking for advice. I don’t always offer advice, more often than not I read the posts too late to offer anything new, but it’s great that there are such places where people can go to ask questions from people who are more than happy to help.

 

Five Blogging Tips

  • Write about the things you are interested in. As I’ve mentioned before, since the start of the year, I have really tried to focus my blog on books, because I love reading more than almost anything else. It’s easy to write a book review, or about a list of books I want to read, because that’s what I spend my time thinking about. When I get dressed in the morning, I don’t care that much about what I am putting on, and I certainly don’t enjoy shopping in the same way I used to, so why do I think I’d be any good at writing about fashion? There might still be the odd outfit post on here (I do have a silly 32 Before 32 goal to meet, after all), but if you want fashion tips, you’re in the wrong place!
  • Don’t feel bad about accepting items for review or sponsored posts. I’ve gone backwards and forwards on this kind of thing before, but here’s my definitive position on it. If you are lucky enough to be offered items for review or money for writing a post, and you feel comfortable accepting, go for it! I consider it a compliment that companies think I might be able to influence my readers in such a way. However, for my own part, I don’t read blogs where every post is sponsored or in collaboration with the brand. It doesn’t give me any confidence in the blogger, I don’t think they believe in the product or service they are writing about, I think they are just taking money for anything.
  • Allow your blog to be exactly what you want it to be. If that means that you want to post every day, and you want to be so organised that you have a week’s worth of posts scheduled, that’s great. If you want to blog once a week and you just want to write a stream of consciousness and press post, that’s fine too. Blogging is, for most people, a hobby, a creative outlet, a way of connecting with other people, and if it’s not your main source of income, you shouldn’t let yourself become stressed out by it. I’ve learnt that mistake the hard way!
  • Read other blogs. This is an obvious one, really, but it’s great advice because by reading other blogs, you’ll be inspired! You’ll see something on another blog that will really resonate with you and make you want to write a post. You’ll also probably see something on another blog that will make you reach for your bank card and spend a load of money online, but that’s just something you have to live with as a blogger! The big world of blogging is, for the most part, a lovely community, and by reading and commenting on other blogs, you’ll feel part of that community.
  • Get involved. As I mentioned, I’m part of a UK Bloggers group on Facebook, and it’s great for sharing advice and tips, having a moan, finding other bloggers to follow and sharing links. I also connect with a lot of bloggers on Twitter, through the various hashtags (#lbloggers, #bbloggers, #fbloggers and many, many more!), and from time to time, I get involved with the chats. Of course, the more you share your link, the better your stats will look, but it’s about more than that. It’s about finding people who are interested in the same things as you, and who understand why you want to take a photo of your dessert when you go out for dinner (“It’s for my blog!”)

 

Now, I don’t kid myself that most bloggers don’t already know all of these things already. I don’t think I’ve hit upon any secret formula to make blogging as fun as it can be, but I do think that most of the time, people need to be reminded that blogging is supposed to be about writing, having fun and connecting with people. So that’s my advice to anyone who is either thinking of starting a blog, or those who have been blogging for years. Find the fun!

 

BEDM ~ Home Sweet Home

Here we are, on the 14th May, and I’ve failed with BEDM. I managed up to day nine, and then life got in the way, just as I suspected it would, and I failed to post on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Last year, I beat myself so much about getting a post done each and every day, and it stressed me out when I was sitting there at 11.30 trying to get anything uploaded. But this year, I’ve been much more Zen about it, as I knew from the start that I would struggle. So a four day break notwithstanding, I’m going to try again with BEDM, and hopefully complete the rest of the month.

Today’s prompt is called Home Sweet Home. It’s quite apt, considering that I spent almost a week away from home last week, and while I did enjoy myself (as much you can enjoy yourself when you are working from 7.30 in the morning until sometimes eight o’clock at night), it was good to get home, as it always is. There’s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed, even if the hotel bed you slept in was the comfiest ever.

~ Print by Chatty Nora on Etsy ~

I’ve only ever lived in five different houses, and three of them were while I was a student. I am of the firm believer that home is where the heart is though, so I like to think that I have a number of second homes:

  • Anna and Rob’s house. I am actually staying there this weekend, for the first time in months. I’m really looking forward to it, because we generally just sit around talking, watching television, laughing at Rob, asking Rob to make us tea, asking Rob to make us dinner, telling Rob to wake up, and having a lot of fun.
  • Hannah’s house. I stay at Hannah’s house at least once a week, as I go to work with her once a week, and I can’t get to the office from my own house. I have my own room, to a degree, though obviously it’s just the spare room and other people stay there too. Although I annoy Hannah a lot, we get on well together and I’m very thankful that she lets me stay over so often.
  • My sister Sarah’s house. I don’t stay over at Sarah’s house all that often, because she lives approximately five minutes away from me, so there’s no need. But sometimes she asks me to stay to ‘look after’ my nephew if she and her husband go away. I don’t really do an awful lot of looking after; he’s fifteen and can probably look after himself, but he probably wouldn’t eat, and he definitely wouldn’t get up for school if there wasn’t someone there to do it, so I do it. By the time I’ve been there a few days, the cat even starts to like me.

There’s really no place like home, but for me, I am lucky enough to have places that feel like a home away from home.

 

BEDM ~ Five Favourite Posts

I’m doing well, it’s the second day of Blog Every Day in May and I’m still on track! Today’s prompt encourages me to share my five favourite posts from my own blog. When I first read it, two posts sprang immediately to mind, and then I had to think quite hard about the other three. With a bit of reading back, I’ve identified five in total, but I can’t guarantee that they are necessarily my actual five favourites, they are just the ones that I could think of in the time I had to spare!

 

 

Childhood Summer Vacations

In August 2012, I took part in 20SB’s guest post swap, for which the subject was Childhood Summer Vacations. I followed all the rules, sending my post to my partner and hosting her post, and then a couple of days later, she decided to delete my guest post! As I was quite pleased with the post, I decided to repost it here, and I’m glad I did, because I love all the photos! I have such fond memories of all my family holidays as a child, and it was nice to go through photos and realise that we did almost the same thing every single year, but that I wouldn’t have changed it for all the world.

Hello old friend, and here we are, you and me, on the last page

In October 2012, I was lucky enough to go along with my friend Richard to Cardiff and see an advance screening of The Angels Take Manhattan, the final episode of Doctor Who to feature Amy and Rory as companions. We got to spend the day in Cardiff, looking around different Doctor Who landmarks, and then we got to see the episode in the company of Steven Moffat and a few other luminaries. I also got to spend the whole day with Richard, which is something that sadly doesn’t happen too often. I really like writing the post about it, and showing off all my photos of us larking around outside the Torchwood building.

30 Before 30 ~ Go for a bra fitting

Another post from October 2012; one of my 30 Before 30 goals (that feels so long ago now) was to have a bra fitting. I’d never in my life had one, always just wearing the size that my mum had guessed at when I first started needing to wear a bra. I was miles out with regards to what I was wearing and what I should have been wearing, but, as I explain in the post, I actually think the woman who measured me got it wrong. Since then, I haven’t been measured again, but I have plans to, because I’m still not wearing the size that she told me I was, and I’m curious to see if it would be different now, eighteen months on.

Sunday Specials

This isn’t a post that I necessarily feel particularly proud of, because all I did was collate a number of photos all around the subject of the US presidency. But I love the US presidency, and I really love looking at all the photos!

Natural

This post is from earlier this year, when I took a photo of myself au naturel for a FMS Photo a Day prompt, and then decided to write a blog post around it. I may call this a lifestyle blog, but I don’t do an awful lot of ‘sharing’ on here. Nothing too private or personal really makes it through, so this was a bit of a detour for me. It got a pretty great response though, so I was pleased that I had shared.

So there you have five of my favourite posts. I am sure there are others that I have loved writing (I’ve already thought of two!), but these are the ones that I wanted to share today.

Blog Every Day in May