It seems like a million years ago now but I won a competition to spend a long weekend in Finland, specifically a place called Salla which is t’up norf of the country. I remember that we flew out on a Friday getting to Gatwick at silly-o-clock and flying out to Rovaniemi then getting on a coach for a long arsed journey up to Salla, I think it took about 2.5/3 hours to get there, and that was just the coach portion.
We eventually got to the resort that we were going to be staying in and after some initial confusion when they told me that they were going to put me in a regular room I finally got my keys to one of the log cabins that was set deep within the woods.
This picture is exactly the same design of cabin I stayed in.
I loved the 2 days I spent here, it didn’t matter that it was around -35 outside; it didn’t matter that as we took the walk from our cabin down the dense, tree lined path towards the main hotel complex we had to nip into a building about halfway down for a hot chocolate because the exposed skin on our faces felt hot and flushed.
It was such a superb experience. I remember when we first got there the guy that took us to the cabin set up the wood burning fire and it was raging away so much we felt so hot, I had to go outside to get snow to put on the fire to dampen it down. We stood at the window looking out upon the trees and ground that were thick with snow but we were inside all toasty and warm. I even cleared the snow from the path with a snow shovel (it’s the little things).
Where our bedroom was at the back of the cabin the snow almost came up to the window. There was a sauna in the cabin and I went in, opened the small window and looked out upon an endless landscape of snow, trees and mountains towards Russia in the distance. I felt like a king, this was the life.
On the way back we stopped off at a shopping place, we walked down a long tunnel underground to get to the shops, when we came out we found out that it was a converted nuclear blast shelter I wonder how many of those were dotted around the landscape of Finland. I would love to go back, especially now, it would be all sorts of romantic now.
I remember coming back to the cabin after dinner one night, the path was narrow, trees either side stretching hundreds of miles, everything laden with now, I stopped and looked up, the sky was amazing, I could see millions of stars I am sure, no light pollution, damn, no pollution at all it seemed.
Firstly the daily post article.
The daily post article “Give ‘Em What They Want” analyzes stats so you can determine what is popular on your site and therefore tailor your posts accordingly, there most popular was blogging 101 and photography so they introduced more articles/posts around those subject, that is great, but in that particular article it is looking at it from a commercial viewpoint, I am not here on a commercial venture.
If I spread this out to 90 days the most popular are About me (56 views), about the blog (39 views) and wish (34 views), so whilst it is great that people are looking at the about page it doesn’t tell me much on the actual posts that are popular, so going back to the 30 day numbers. What can I get from those in order to look at what I post.
More posts about my perfect woman? more quotes from Carl Sagan? Posts about butterfly effects and chaos theory? I am sure that I could glean something from it if I really wanted to but you know what, I don’t really want to.
Now amommasview’s post.
She is asking, “What do you want from me” (Is that a Pink Floyd tune?) She is trying to find out what her readers like best and she is asking herself what is her blog about. She seems to be torn between focusing on a few things or just writing what she feels like even if it is a bit of everything, although you can tell from the comments (I think) that she prefers this later option.
So how does this effect me?
Well I find it an interesting subject point; I am always thinking why I do this, what I want from it and all those fluffy questions that go along with blogging. As I’ve stated elsewhere and as vain and egotistical as it may sound I don’t just write for me to read it, if I wanted to do that I would fire up word and save the entry on my hard drive, or in fact I most probably wouldn’t bother with any of it at all.
Or wouldn’t I?
All I know of chaos theory is when Jeff Goldblum mentioned it in Jurassic Park and all I know of The Butterfly Effect is a movie with Ashton Kutcher in it, but from the very little I know they are interesting concepts, but is everything connected? In the body of the prompt the author states a story about her dog and how she got the dog stating that a lot of small pieces had to fit together in order for her to find him that day and that a change in any one of those pieces could have resulted in her not even seeing the dog.
In that sense yes everything is connected but it is a present story in that she now has the dog and the connected pieces are in the past, just the same as me being in the job I am now. If I had not called that agency, if the person in the company had skipped my CV or if they had not received the email then I would be somewhere else or maybe even still unemployed, lots of different events came together to put us in the situations we are now. But what if? That is the more interesting question in some ways because they are the events we didn’t experience.
Humans… or it could just be me have a tendency to imagine alternative events that are much better than the current scenario. The Grass is always greener! I am sure you have heard that term before, if not you have a link to click and you can read all about it.
My greener grass scenario is this.
Back in the late 80s, early 90s a mate of mine (who is still a friend today) immigrated to Canada (he is Canadian by birth but had been brought up in the UK). A little over a year later he came back because he missed his friends. But he wanted to go back and he asked me if I wanted to go with him, he could get me a job as his boss from the company he worked at out there wanted him back and would give me a job. I even spoke to his boss as a few weeks later I had a letter from him to take to the Canadian embassy to get a green card to work out there.
This was nuts really , I could be going to live in Canada with a really good mate, working together, hitting bars, meeting lots of new people and travelling too (he had plans to visit Vancouver and California and I really really wanted to go… but.
I had a girlfriend, I think we had been together a year or two (same girl I am with now in fact) and although I wanted to go I didn’t want to break up, I tried talking into her letting me go for 6 months but she wouldn’t have it. her or the journey, I chose her.
There is not a week that goes by that I do not think of that Canada journey, I think I would be a very different person than I am now. The grass is greener scenario that I conjure up is that I would be more worldly wise and travelled, I would have great stories of parties around the globe and cities in countries that are far away, of staying in different apartments in different states, doing the sales job for a while but then moving away from that, maybe bar work, enjoying life, living life.
I would be healthier and slimmer (no idea why I think that). I may have even been still out there, the girlfriend and I would probably have split up as after the 6 months was up I may not want to have come home and 6 months away alters perceptions and thoughts. I may have settled down with a Canadian or American girl or maybe been a wanderer like Jack Reacher. It could even transpire that as I got used to life out there my mate and I went on separate paths.
It could have also turned out really badly and I could have ended up dead or living on the streets, who knows?
There are of course real world consequences to making that decision no matter how it turned out. I don’t think me and My girlfriend would have been together still, my friends would be different, Neither of my kids would be on this planet, someone else would live in the flat I live in, someone else would have my job.
Hundreds if not thousands of small events that did or did not happen lead my on the path that means I am at work, in London, sitting at this PC, typing this message, to all the people that read this. Isn’t it amazing and mind boggling that it could have all been so much different.
OK, this may come across a bit weird… but it is what it is. Some years back when I use to have a LiveJournal account some of the people I spoke to used to be on my MSN too, I posted up a picture on my site (although I am struggling to find that picture now which I thought I had saved on my machine). I had a conversation with one girl on my MSN about this and it developed into some weird “thing” about this would be our apartment if we lived in Paris. It even got to the stage where we used some online room designing software to design the place… I guess I was a little naïve back then.
Anyway, I remember the apartment, or at least the apartment from our descriptions and I still have it in my head as an ideal place to live. First some background.
I have this (most probably incorrect) notion that there are areas of Paris that are like an “old town”, narrow winding streets with apartment blocks that look something like this on them.
You would enter the building by a thick heavy door; the foyer would have either black and white, or stone tiles on the floor which had been designed in elaborate patterns would lead to a wide, sweeping spiral staircase that led to the various levels.
You could walk just around the corner from the staircase and use the elevator instead, the elevator would move up the building essentially between the staircase. The bars on the staircase where wrought Iron and the banister and heavy carved, think, dark wood.
The flat itself was on the top floor (4th floor), as you reached the top of the staircase (or got out the lift) there was only one apartment on this floor, there was a heavy front door painted green with a spyhole, and there were a couple of large houseplants either side (but not too close to) the front door.
Entering the flat there was a narrow hallway, a large bathroom/lavatory off to the right which held a roll top bath (no shower unit with the bath though) and powerful shower, as well as various units to hold toiletries and towels etc. opposite the bathroom would a large deep general purpose cupboard.
Down the hallway further there would be a large bedroom on the left and a kitchen on the right. Three would be a comfortable bedroom. The kitchen whilst looking old would be state of the art with more than enough room to cook up great food.
the last room at the end of the corridor, its door directly facing the front door would be a massive front room/living room, a quality sound system would be there with surround sound perfectly set up for the acoustics of the room, I could listen to all my ambient tracks in perfect peace here, there would be a large TV too, all connected up to the surround sound.
Off of the living room there would be a balcony, you could sit out here with friends for a few drinks etc, the balcony weaved its way around one side of the flat.
The pictures I linked here are pretty much how I see it, there would be a few details changed but I think they capture the essence of it, I only found those pictures today as I wrote this.
being a Monday to Friday office worker I really enjoy Saturdays. They are the first day off of a very short weekend but I still find enjoyment in them. This week especially for a number of reasons.
1. A post that I put out there on Friday has given me one of my best days ever on my blog in terms of likes. There were also a few ongoing comments that has at least partially restored the dwindling faith that I had in this blog, So thanks for that.
2. I went out today to listen to some new headphones. My ones are just not good enough and so I said to everyone at home that for xmas they can give me money towards a new pair. The intention today was to just listen to some and then get them nearer xmas but in truth I don’t really give a monkeys about xmas so I will have them next week when they come in. They sound a billion times better than my current ones and I am quite excited to start hearing my music properly.
3. In the same shop I ordered the headphones I enquired about some new speaker cable. You may think it all sounds the same, I did, until today. The different in the two he showed me was night and day, I will be investing once I have some money.
4. Lunch… What lazy Saturday isn’t complete without a nice lunch. There is a pub in a town near me, the bar is down out like a kitchen with welsh dresser and wallpaper, they have a selection of different lsgers and ales (non of that generic rubbish in regular pubs and the food is good, so after I came out the hifi shop I went there, my gf turned up 10 minutes later and we had a nice lunch.
5. That bit after lunch :) we left the pub and walked through the town centre. I visited a market stool that I sometimes go to in order to stock up on incense sticks and also bought a new incense burner which I lit when I got home, Also popped into a Deli near me and had another drink and chilled out watching the rain come down outside.
Now I am back home sorting out my music, I won’t post about that though as it’s all pretty hum drum, been watching a few cooking programs on TV, also on the PC looking at a few of those hundreds of posts I marked on Friday
All together a good day, I think I am on a bit of a high still from my wordpress experience on Friday.
I’ve always wanted a courtyard I can picture it now a nice little stone farmhouse type building in a small village in France, Italy or Spain with its own shady courtyard, There would be a few large wooden tables out here and people would congregate around them, friends would chat and be animated, lovers would sit and hold hands and talk amongst themselves, wine and cold beers would flow freely and the aroma of wonderful fresh cooked meals would permeate the air as kitchens were used to cook up culinary delights well into the evening.
Dotted around there would be fires rather than street lights and as lots of people drift back to their beds I would sit there relaxing holding her hand, my thumb stroking the smooth skin on her hand as we talked about future plans and feelings of passion. The evening would be warm, still t-shirt and shorts weather well into the night, several others would stay up, dotted around that courtyard doing pretty much the same thing, muted conversation about our tomorrows
Feeling that slight buzz from the alcohol we would go to our bedroom, the room cool and inviting, undressing and laying down on crisp white sheets, I cuddle her naked form and my head resting gently on her smooth belly as she plays with my hair, my fingers running light circles around her belly button. She stifles a giggle because the touch is light and then she laughs that beautiful laugh tugging at my arm to move on top of her, A night of passion and a morning of dreams.
I’ve gone back over the last few weeks posts and added all the people that liked or commented on a post to my reader (this doesn’t mean I am following), and I will endeavour to go through and look at all the blogs to see if I can pick up some new ones.
My comment yesterday on the art of following a blog generated a lot of likes in itself so I have added those too, Ironically sprinkled amongst them were the affiliates and such like, I assume that was just a middle finger from both hands, either that or people just blindly click like without ever reading words, well just in case you read these words… I aint interested.
For the others, wow it is going to take me some time to go through all the blogs, the reader that I use (inoreader) shows 212 comments, although with an average of 10 comments per blog is means that were are around 21 to visit and view.
I saw this today from one of the wordpress guys, I couldn’t find an area to comment there so I posts it on mine and hopefully the ping back gets registered. if not then it seems ironic to post about something on that subject and then not allow comments lol.
See I don’t think that people are making a light, but real commitment once they follow a blog, in my experience the bulk of follows that you get are random and out of the blue, they are not preceded by a comment of any kind, you know the sort of thing whereby a person comments on one or two of your posts and then you see a followed icon. No they are just there bam, X has followed you which is great I guess but then you will never every hear from that person again, not a like, not a comment, Nada, Ничего, Niente, Niets, Nothing.
Sometimes I am surprised and there is interaction (and I love that if it is meaningful) but I would say 85% of the time it’s a one off thing and I think that the reasoning behind it is that if they follow enough people then people will reciprocate as that seems to be the etiquette. These people have no interest in your blog or what you have to say, they are interested in harvesting enough followers as possible for their affiliated scheme, or product, or something similar. It is annoying and I wish there were a way to remove such followers from following.
Recently though I’ve noticed a few do post a comment, well a non comment really, they will say “great post” or “interesting” they normally find their way to my trash but I played along recently and replied with a “?” nothing more, nothing less and I got nothing back, not a “sorry what do you mean” or anything which proves to me that this person has zero interest in my blog (unless anyone can enlighten me that my thinking is flawed).
I never follow because someone says follow me and ill follow you, the blog has to engage me and interest me, as I assume mine has to do the same with the people who are interested in it. Unless it is an obvious “ghost follower” as I call them I will add them to my external reader, monitor the posts for a while then follow if I find I am drawn in, doesn’t have to be every posts a winner but there have to be a click, a connection.
If you click on the picture it will take you to the page that I found this image on. It says…
This is part of a nature reserve which has been allowed to regain the original look and feel of an ancient forest. The entire area is completely covered with spongy moss (great for walking on).
The only sound to be heard is the rustling of the wind through the towering pines …and of course the occasional bird call.
Firstly I think it is great that they have allowed that to happen, normally a walk through the woods, whilst pleasant, means that you are walking over bare earth for the most part, sinewy tree roots tripping you up but this is different, a spongy moss, whilst still hiding those trip hazards must be a great experience especially if it is supposed to simulate an ancient woodland.
Secondly, that wind in the trees. It is such a mesmerizing sound do you not think?
What does the very term ancient woodland conjure up? Maybe back to the days of knights and armour, small bands of mounted troops galloping through the woods as depicted in any old classic Robin Hood movie, or maybe back even further? Dinosaurs perhaps. Or something inbetween.
There is something magical about woodland as if you want it to be alive in a Lord of the Rings way, ancient acres of trees that have witnessed many things. It’s a great thought, comforting in a way.
I can imagine standing there, at that spot, in from the tree line where the sun beckons me out onto a small meadow, the deep rooted smell of the soil and moss invades the nostrils, birds twitter in the trees and insects buzz. Shall I go toward that meadow and bask in the sun or head deeper into the woods, lost in the shadows?
This is pretty much the polar opposite to the weather we have been having lately. The default over here at the moment seems to be rain. I love rain so there are no complaint from me on that score… well there is one and that is I cannot use the escalator in the tube station on the way home because it is slippery, that’s it.
But as Summer passes and Autumn takes its hold the nights will draw closer. It will be dark when I get up for work and dark when coming home and if we are lucky then we will get impressive sunsets like this one, lighting up the sky in golden hues for a brief period of time before the fingers of night spread over the sky.
I used to work for a large organisation in West London, they had offices dotted around other locations in London and one of them, the biggest one, was in Central London, we could get up on the roof of that building as that was where the staff canteen was and on occasion you got to see stuff like this. A fresh breeze blowing in your face looking out upon the enveloping dusk and London town, it was superb.
Do you enjoy sunsets during the later months of the year?