18 November 2015

Sidebar

Whatever happened to Ian Rhodes?
(Author of "Shooting Parrots")
In my sidebar there are links to other blogs under the heading "Blogorama". Every so often I find that I have to maintain this list. Bloggers come and bloggers go. Recently I deleted "Shooting Parrots" made by Ian Rhodes in Stockport, South Manchester, He hadn't blogged in many months but for a few years his blog was refreshed very regularly and it was one I followed quite slavishly. It became a habit... like "Going Gently", "Kitchen Connection" and "Adrian's Images".

What happened to Ian Rhodes and "Shooting Parrots" I shall probably never know. It even crossed my mind that he might have passed away but I could not confirm that through cunning googling. To replace Ian Rhodes's blog I added "Shadows and Light" by Steve, a US immigrant residing in London where he works in a school library and takes many brilliant quirky photographs but not, I am happy to say, of schoolchildren working in said library! He would probably get the sack and a tortuous police interview for that.

Over in Angola on the outskirts of Luanda lives/lived  Captain Tom Gowans, adventurous author of "Hippo on the Lawn". It was a great blog to read - like the diary of Indiana Jones. Of course this lively blog is listed in my sidebar but for how much longer? Tom hasn't blogged since March 18th and I wonder if he will ever blog again. 

There was one blog title in my sidebar that I was reluctant to delete until today - "Molly Printemps" by Carol Harrison in East Yorkshire. I know she will never blog again because very sadly she died earlier this year - another victim of breast cancer. Somehow the prospect of deleting that blog title seemed disrespectfully final. I have no idea how long Carol's blog will remain accessible. Possibly her sister and husband will leave it up as an online memorial for years to come.

My compromise is this: to leave the blog address for "Molly Printemps" right here so that  though she is gone from the world and from my sidebar, she will not be entirely forgotten in our ever-changing blogosphere:-

As Molly goes, I am going to fill that space with a South Carolinian blog  link - Jennifer's "Sparrow Tree Journal" which is always worth a visit. Welcome to "The Side Bar" Jennifer - another  pina colada coming right up!

33 comments:

  1. In so many ways, the blogosphere mirrors our offline world... People come and go, lose interest in their blogs (or in ours), some start arguments which lead them (or others) to leave blogland, and others die... Some disappear and we never learn what has become of them.

    I like the way you have organised your sidebar, with the country behind each blog's name.

    On my blog, for a long time a post named "Dear Dashboard" was one of the most popular. Since then, a lot has changed in my personal landscape of blogs and bloggers, but the post remains to remind me of those times - and the people behind the blogs mentioned in it.

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    1. There is history here in the wonderful world of blogging.

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  2. I used to enjoy reading Shooting Parrots too. Perhaps you could do his A to Z of famous people ~ 26 letters / 52 weeks could be a fortnightly tribute to Shooting Parrots.

    Surely John Gray knows what has happened to Hippo?

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    1. Yes I remember his AtoZ posts and how he naturally struggled over the Q's, X's and Z's. I might follow up your suggestion Carol - when I am stuck for a blogpost offering.

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  3. Ephemeral are we bloggers.
    Some just get sick of being polite, others get fewer hit's than they would like and the rest just have to reply to comments in the vein of "very nice." They get disillusioned and leave. I feel guilty if I don't offer something of a comment to someone who has made the effort to go one step further than Twitter or Face Book.
    I 'Personally' don't give a "Brass monkeys." I just write and post and be damned.

    Could you help me out here? When is a single inverted comma used and when is the double one. I tend to scatter my punctuation but hate reading crap. I also hate people that say in my opinion.......Fuck Wits...We already knew. They were the ones writing, speaking or shouting.
    To get back to your post, if he didn't have an e-mail address in his sidebar he was remiss or not amiss. I have mine under my header which folk have started to use. It's not hard to do and I can email the HTML code should you wish to use it. They show on hits to the site but not in comments.

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    1. Let me have a crack at this. In the UK, single inverted commas are used around a direct quote, and if that quotation contains another direct quote the double inverted commas are used. In the US it is just the other way 'round. That last one Indicates a deleted letter as in didn't, wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't, in which use most people on this side of the pond call it an apostrophe. Where to place commas, periods, and semi-colons in relation to quotation marks is a hotly debated subject amongst grammarians (not really).

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    2. As Professor Bob Brague of The University of Grammar suggests, the rules are not chiselled in stone but here are my thoughts on the use of single and double apostrophes.

      Before keyboards there was handwriting. Handwriting can be messy and a dot over a letter i could easily be mistaken for a single inverted comma. Consequently, it is sensible to use double inverted commas all the time except when quoting or for example mentioning a book title within speech. Hence:-

      "What is your favourite book?" asked Professor Brague.
      "Let me see. It is probably 'Wuthering Heights'," said Professor Pudding, the author of "Common Sense Grammar".
      They entered "The White Hart" where their old friend Adrian Ward was reading "The Sun".
      "What do you want?" said Adrian. " 'Guinness' or 'John Smith's'?"
      "Oh no. I am teetotal," said Bob. "Just 'Coca Cola' for me please."

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  4. I miss Shooting Parrots a great deal -- it was one of my favorite stops along the blogging trail. I also miss Brinkbeest In English (a woman in the Netherlands with horses and pigs), The Golden Hill (a guy named Sam who lives in Ohio), Dr. John Linna from Neenah, Wisconsin (who had a whole village, plus dragons, in his basement but, sadly, died) and our beloved Putz of memory (whose wife, Karmalee, probably made him quit, or whose mind finally went off the rails completely, or who somehow managed to persuade the Mormons to give him a planet of his own).

    Fortunately I still have you, and vice versa.

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    1. RWP, I have found out from watching my little You Tube families, that the Mormons are right into vlogging these days on You Tube, as a way of journaling their lives.

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    2. Oh yes Bob...Sam in Ohio. I had almost forgotten about him. I know he had significant health problems.

      And Carol - have The Mormons persuaded you to join them? You could be wife number seven for a rich Mormon fellow. He might nickname you Tuesday.

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  5. Yp , i have emailed tom a few times and have not got a reply to the last two...and that was a few months ago
    I am worried about his health

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    1. Oh dear. Perhaps his brother in Germany could throw some light on his condition. If we all throw in a few dollars, we could even send you off to Angola to check on him JG. Seriously though, I do hope he and Marcia and the kids are doing OK.

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    2. I really felt I knew him. When we went on holiday to Malta he asked me to take some photos of Valetta harbour where a battleship was sunk in WWII and I sent them on to him. Then there was the horrible way he was bullied in Cannock, Staffordshire. I know he was having BIG financial problems relating to tax and to his wife's profligacy.

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  6. I have sadly experienced the same thing. Sometimes people say what they are doing and that they are retiring. What concerns me most is when blogs just end.

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    1. We should all tell our nearest and dearest how to access our blogs in order to leave messages when we shuffle off our mortal coils or sink into senility.

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  7. I should delete some blogs from my list, too...but I can't seem to bring myself to do so. Does it matter whether I do or I don't. One I haven't the heart to delete - "Merle's Third Try"....Merle passed away. She was the sweetest, most gentle lady...I enjoy remembering the smiles she so freely handed out.

    My nearest and dearest are my two furry rascals, Remy and Shama...even though they regularly sit here beside my keyboard as I type (Remy is doing so at present...up very close and personal) they've not learned how to type...or, maybe they have...but have chosen to keep it secret, There is not room for three on this keyboard!!!!!

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    1. Perhaps they have their own blogs and create posts when you are asleep.
      MOUSING
      I saw a bloody great mouse under the decking today. I ambushed him near the back yard. His little whiskers were twitching and his eyes were as black as jet. But I showed no mercy and clamped him in my jaws before ripping the sucker in half. A delightful snack!

      Then my owner Gipsy Rose Lee called me inside, stroking me and saying "Coochie-coo!" before dishing up a saucer of "Fancy Feast" tuna. I turned my nose up at it so full was I of wild mouse. "What's up with you Remy?" she whined.

      I sneered at her and with a swing of my tail headed for her bedroom to take my usual afternoon nap.

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    2. There are a few blogs I have read over the years where their pets do regular or guest posts.

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    3. Have you got a pet Carol? For example a goldfish? It would be great to read Goldie's blog.

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    4. These two of mine neither blog nor catch mice...nor birds...not even a piece of meat if tossed at them! With genteel good manners (I've taught them well) they eat from their bowl...grazing at leisure...not greedily gulping their dinner down. If they could reach the napkins I'm sure they'd use them!

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  8. Wow, thank you so much for including my humble little blog on your sidebar! That made my day!

    I've been so worried about Tom in Angola. I used to love his blog and I hope nothing bad has happened to him.

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    1. He's probably sitting there on his African terrace with a G&T in his mitt and his laptop in front of him guffawing at our references to him.

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  9. I loved the story of how the "Shooting Parrots" blog got its name - I hope all the quotation marks are in the right place there - and I sometimes relate it when someone is talking about small children misunderstanding words.

    Congratulations to Steve Reed who has made the cut onto the Blogorama sidebar and congratulations to me for initiating the process. I am so full of my own self-importance today.....

    I used to keep blogs that had long vanished on my 'following' list; I am quite ruthless these days and have a house-keeping/eviction session every so often.

    Ms Soup

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    1. Often in need of inspiring soup recipes, I have occasionally clicked on "Experimental Farm" but it appears more or less defunct. Have you got another secret blog from which I am barred? If you let me in, I promise to behave myself Alphie...well, most of the time.

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    2. You do indeed get the credit for putting us in touch, Ms Soup!

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    3. A blog (yes, another one) is in the pipeline Mr Pudding; it's a very,very long pipeline so don't hold your breath waiting for the blog to appear.

      Your blog has been and still is, always worth a visit Steve.

      Ms Soup

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    4. I know what you mean about long pipelines Alphie!

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  10. Excellent! Thanks for the shout-out and inclusion in your sidebar! I always wrestle with when and whether to delete blogs from my sidebar. I've left some up that haven't been refreshed in years, but that I liked and just don't want to lose touch with. I have a (probably vain) hope that one day they may reawaken!

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    1. It seems that when a blog is dormant it just hangs about on the internet. I wonder for how long. A hundred years from now will people still be able to explore "Shadows and Light"? I guess it will be an antique blog then.

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    2. I think as long as the blog host exists, inactive blogs DO remain unless deliberately taken down. In the case of BlogSpot blogs, since they're hosted by Google, I imagine they'll exist long into the foreseeable future.

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  11. Don't delete me yet please! Not blogged now for 2 months, but I'll be back and all may be explained!

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    1. Let me know when you next blog Brian as I get fed up of going over to your blog to find that nothing is happening. Have you been in prison with other Catalan freedom fighters?

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  12. Well I must say that a few of the comments here have made me blush with both embarrassment and shame that I should have departed without so much as a 'by your leave' and that my absence would have been noticed.

    And as you can tell, I favour the single quotation mark with the double reserved for within the quote. As you say, there is no right or wrong usage in this instance, just a style preference. The bit I always have to think about is whether the full stop should come within or without the quote depending on circumstance.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.