Thursday, 27 April 2017

Romantic Camping - Romping

Yes, that is official. Romping is the new style of camping to get the younger generation to go camping. Double Air mattress, scented candles and you sleep under the stars. Most camp site do warn you, in their terms and conditions, that safe sex should be practised at all times. You want to take nothing home with you but wonderful memories.
Easter weekend, sun, sea and fun. Well somewhere, not here, as we are overcast and that fresh breeze keeps the jumpers on. It has been a good Friday for me and Susan gets back tonight, topping off the day. Did a quick cleanup around the house as Susan would expect it spike and span. Susan has just been to Japan, Australia and the Philippines, quite the traveller, I am thinking of taking her for a walk along the beach tomorrow. Nothing like giving a girl a good time.

Have you noticed that when a woman sees another woman, she gives them a quick once over, then looks away. It is that second, in depth look that takes it all in. Why is it that when you ask them if they saw that woman with the really tight legging, they look vaguely at you and say something like 'Sorry I did not notice.' Woman, wonderfully complex and let's face it, we really would not have it any other way.

Talking of woman, I could not but over hear a couple at the table next to me. She said something about their smart TV not working properly. He answered. 'Most smart TV's are smarter than you.' After that the silence spoke volumes.
Susan is back from her marvellous travels and it is not 24 hours and she is wanting to swimming with turtles again. I think it is time for a trip to Corfe Castle. Nothing like an ancient castle ruin on one of the Purbeck mountain peaks to quench ones thirst for travel. Actually they serve a very British Cream Tea in the National Trust cafe.

Just to finish off, I find it difficult to remember and pronounce some of the leaders of some countries. Theresa May easy, Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, now that is a challenge. So is the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, another mouthful. So I have broken down the Turkish president to 'Air der One' and the Iranian president to 'After dinner lad' sort of works. Till later.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Return to Brownsea

Our great adventure started with a sailing on the ferry service to the island. High winds and the threat of rain did not deter us, we took the essentials, cameras and jackets and after an uneventful crossing we arrived at the landing on the island. With the start of spring, we paid our landing tax and decided to take the path less travelled. A part of the island where birders are in plenty. The Dorset Wildlife Trust manages a small part of the island and it is mainly concerned with the conservation of  birds.

We were very lucky to see a number of birds, also came across some birders who proved to be a valuable source of information. I know nothing about birds and learnt to identify a number of birds. Funny thing, I always thought that people who watch birds are called twitchers. Not the case.

'The term twitcher, sometimes misapplied as a synonym for birder, is reserved for those who travel long distances to see a rare bird that would then be ticked, or counted on a list.' Wikipedia. The Shelduck was my favourite but we were lucky enough to see the first Avocet that had arrived a few days ago, from the north. The Lesser black-backed gull, Common Tern, Little Tern and the Bar-tailed godwit were all squabbling, fighting and building their nests. The Avocet slept through all the chaos, understandable, after flying thousands of miles.
Our walk took us through some interesting swamp areas and I was fortunate enough to take a photo of a very rare, Lessor Spotted Susan, in a very dense wooded area. If you look carefully at the photo, you can just make it out. Fascinating and such a thrill, no birders around, so we enjoyed the moment all by ourselves. Well that is all for now, look after yourselves.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

So what does Google want?

So what works? How does Google determine which pages to return in response to what people search for? How do you get all of this valuable traffic to your site? Google’s algorithm is extremely complex. Google is looking for pages that contain high-quality, relevant information about the searcher’s query.

Relevant Information.
Google determine relevance by “crawling” (or reading) your website’s content and evaluating (algorithmically) whether that content is relevant to what the searcher is looking for, mostly based on the quality of key phrases or words it contains in the text on the website. Relevant information is very important to any website and a 60:40 text to image ratio is what we should be looking for.
High Quality
Google determine “quality” by a number of means, but prominent among those is still the number and quality of other websites that link to your page and your site as a whole. To put it extremely simply: if you were a plumber and the only website linked to your website was a blog then you will not be assumed as a quality website. If your website was linked to a major supplier of plumbing materials, who have a comprehensive website selling all its products, you will be trusted and perceived to be higher quality.

Increasingly, additional elements are being weighed by Google’s algorithm to determine where your site will rank, such as:
How people engage with your site? 
Did they find the information they need and stay on your site, or bounce back to the search page and click on another link? Or do they just ignore your listing in search results altogether and never click-through? A popular mistake made by those who have a website and continually type in queries to see where they are ranking on Google and then type in another query, never actually opening your website and browsing through the pages. Google will pick that up and assume your website is not relevant to that query and so reevaluate it lower.
Your site’s loading speed and “mobile friendliness”. 
Half of all websites are viewed on a mobile, so if your website takes too long to load and is difficult to navigate on a mobile, you will score badly.

How much unique content you have.
Unique to your business that your competition does not have. Could be a service or a exclusive product. Too many people expect the web developers to know their business and fill the website with valuable, unique content. This is a common mistake to make and if you want your website to work, then make sure the content and images reflect who you are and what you offer.

In summing up, take responsibility for your presence on the web. Update information regularly and make sure your social media ( Facebook, Twitter etc..) reflects the updates.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Deforestation and Capitalism

Deforestation is global, only 2.4 million square miles remain of the original 6 million square miles of forest that formerly covered the Earth. More than half of all plant and land animal species in the world live in tropical forests.
A theory has been put forward that suggests capitalism is not immoral but amoral. In other words something we should work with. This leads to some interesting scenarios, can we apply the resources and expertise from our capitalistic environment to reverse the trend and grow more trees and in so doing increase the size of our forest? When major industry have a problem, they allocate huge resources, namely research, funding and expertise. By coming up with a solution they go on to create wealth. 
If we apply this working model to deforestation and trust the figures, that for every £ 1 spent now, there is a benefit of £ 2.50. This is a 10 year cycle but is substantial in any long term financial plan. We can not quantify the lasting impact on animals and plants, but from limited research, there is a capital gain to be accrued for future generations.
There is many projects that plant trees, paper industry is one, planting trees if you buy their product. Others are charities, genuine and scam, asking for a monthly donation to plant trees. Where are all these trees that we have donated to? Good question, how long do you have to find out? In truth, the amount of trees that they plant is negligible. What we need to plant is 10 billion trees a year, just for a start.
I read an article on seeding vast areas by drones. A company has perfected the technology that can plant enormous amounts of seed a day. I ask the question, do we have the political will to invest? I feel this will be low on the agenda, so what next?
Most of the wealth of the world is controlled by a very few people, this is a problem, as most of this wealth is inherited and very old money. People with this sort of wealth feel they have to guard their fortunes for future generations. 
I feel drawn back to my original suggestion, turn to the capitalists and convince them of the danger of deforestation and hope they will come up with a solution. They will see it as a humanitarian project and pass it to the government. To convince them to invest and execute a project as vast as this, would be another hurdle. I cannot find out what the £ 2.50 benefit breaks down too, so I do wonder if it is in their interest and if so will the dividend be tempting enough? I do not know the answers.

All I do know is that we need to plant trees, billions of them. This is a challenge for those younger than me. I can only hope we have instilled in them, a love of this world, for them to reverse the harm our generation has and is continuing to do, all in the name of progress.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Dish and other holidays

Tonight, I threw together a dish and popped into the oven, little knowing how great the dish would turn out.
Started with a look in the fridge and saw I had two lamb chops that really needed cooking. What to have with the lamb? There was one Portobello mushroom, sweet potatoes, onions, fresh garlic, onion and chilli. There was a good movie on so I wanted to get dinner out the way, pause the movie, chop an onion up, chop two cloves of garlic up, crush the garlic with some salt and butter.
Stuffed the mushroom with a little garlic and topped it with cheddar. Mixed sweet potato with onion, chilli, the left-over garlic and chopped courgette that was hiding at the back of the fridge. Added tomato, sliced, a dash of olive oil and seasoning. Tossed the whole lot together and threw it into a roasting pan. I placed the mushroom and lamb chops on top of the vegetables and roasted for 30 minutes.

Susan on her way to Cebu, Philippines to spend 5 days with Michael then she will be home for Easter. Really hope she gets some sun and a wee tan, although you cannot really get a tan in 5 days. I am on the quay in search of a cup of coffee. Why the quay you ask as my favourite for a Sunday is Sandbanks Cafe. The holidays have started and when I got to Lilliput Village, the traffic was already at a standstill. Did the wise move and came down to the quay, I can park at Merlin and it is a short walk to the quay. Trying a new coffee shop called Trade Winds, we shall see. Looks comfortable and staff are friendly but the test is in the coffee.

Talking of coffee, only 2% of the fine people of Italy drink instant coffee, just saying. I do believe the figure is more like 72% in the UK. I think that is a little old as the fastest growing retail shops, excluding Tattoo shops is coffee shops. We can take some comfort in this growth but I still visit so many clients and get given a mug of instant. Cannot be impolite but I wait until it is cold and then drink it like medicine.

Fresh Content

It’s not easy to provide a constant flow of tasty content, but that’s just what your customers expect. High quality content that’s created as fast as fine truffles in a chocolate factory. Google has billions of pages to index and rank. Most of my clients would expect to be on page one of a Google search query. Without the high-quality content, it is almost impossible to achieve any serious position in the ranking. We are as handicapped as a chocolate maker, making chocolate without cocoa. The content matters, as anyone who does this type of work will tell you, valuable content is Googles way of making fine truffles. To all my clients, send the latest news, views or disasters through and we can work our magic.

It has turned out to be a funny day, firstly the electrician arrived to replace the entire distribution box. No electricity means I had to find an alternative office for 5 hours. I had to relocate to Sandbanks Cafe, two reasons, good coffee and good wifi. Life goes on and we can be grateful I have not detoured to the nearest Weatherspoon's pub, by now you would have a devil of a job getting anything sensible out of me. Views from my temporary office is a definite plus and as the sun is shining and little wind, brings the peasants out to frolicking on the beach. In all fairness, they are not too tempted to swim.

Brexit, is it my imagination or has the world stopped creating anything news worthy? We are so fixated by Brexit, well the BBC is, I do not read the newspapers. We have so many experts prophesying a unlimited list of catastrophes, it is almost something akin to the darkest days of the IIWW. I just want to point out, no one has the faintest idea what type of trade deal will be decided or for that matter, what will happen to those living in the EU now. I can say that life for most the UK citizens, will not change one little bit. Actually, I tell a lie, we have changed the shape of our £ 1 coin so those irritating trolleys will probably not take the new coin for a while. This will be fixed in time; how much time depends on the will to implement the changes.

You do not know it, but it has been some 3 days since I visited this blog. I was at the Sandbanks Cafe last. Oh well, you were not to know, so let that be an end to it. I find myself at the Druckers Patisserie in the Dolphin Centre. The sun is out and it is warm, so the peasants are dressed for the weather, last year’s shorts and tops. This does create a problem as the winter has not been that kind to some and they are revealing more than they should. I have taken a neutral photograph to show you my view, being very careful not to include any of the under dressed, over weight persons of questionable gender. I do not encourage indecent images on my blog, that said, if I did publish some that have walked passed, I could be very well be charged for taking indecent images of those on benefits. It is a pity that benefits do not go all the way to clothes and how to dress. People watching is one of my favourite pastimes, everyone walking passed tells a story, some tell more than others and that is what makes it so interesting.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Words, blogs and cabin fever

Assembling a blog is always the most enjoyable part. I spread out words and thoughts like map references in my note book or the iPad and then the time comes to understand why I wrote a phrase, word or sentence. Wondering how those random thoughts ever found the light of day. Other times the entire blog happens in an instant. 
Once written and edited several times, it is time to let it rest. After a week or two I revisit it, this brings in sharp focus what I really wanted to say. As if my words only know how to make posters of people I miss, each full stop a reminder to think, each random, non sensible sentence, reaches out to someone in my mind. Oh, yes there is code written in most blogs, normally, just saying 'I love you.' 

Getting cabin fever so I decided to take a walk, funny that, in the past when I was getting the same feeling I used to take Sam for a walk. It never worried me then that I was not working, now I feel like I am a little naughty. It was always a bit of a challenge taking Sam to the very wet beach. Don’t get me wrong, it was always pleasant to walk, sun or rain made no difference to him but being a mere human, the wind and rain, was something that had to be endured. Fear not, the sun is shining today and the wind is light, I walked to the Haven Hotel and back to my favourite cafe for a much needed Americano, no cake. Yes, yes, I hear you are all saying, what a lovely walk it is and how you enjoyed it the last time you were here.  I say, feel free to join me, when you next in the area, take the sea air with me and we can partake in a coffee to end.

On my way from the beach, I drove up behind a new Aston Martin, really nice looking car but you do sit too low. In front of the Aston Martin was a Bentley SUV and behind me was a beautiful red Ferrari. Well my 10 year old Zafira was definitely the odd one out. 

Read an article on the web about a man who was arrested on a charge for murder. Seemed like a probably suspect. They found a mobile on him, not his but the murdered victim. Reading further it transpires that he was a homeless beggar. Three days later I saw that they had released him. Delving further I discovered he admitted to picking up the mobile and being a beggar, knew it had some value. Now the conclusion I draw is that he was no murderer, the only person he wanted to kill was himself. We do not know what nightmares some people have and what guilt they carry with them all the time. Many of us have something we would like to forget, but guilt is a strange master, it does haunt us. 

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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Beach Huts

Beach huts in winter, are like the pages of the sea, with a book left closed by an absent master in the middle of another life. 
Masters are few and far between, less than 5% are visited at any one time of the year. I have a theory with regards to all those that are wanting a beach hut and can not even get on a waiting list. You will use it at the start but then like you garden shed, it will stay closed until it comes around to paying for it again. Lay your beach towel don and erect your wind break, go back to the car for the folding chairs and umbrella. Enjoy the grittiness of the sand in your sandwich, it is what life at the beach is all about.

Talking about absent masters brings me onto my next subject. I begin with our continued desire to exploit the earth. We are behaving like servants would, when their master is away. We are not happy with destroying our world above the ground, we are wanting to destroy it below the ground. Coal mines that are no longer viable, get closed. The consequence of what will happen once the supports, holding the extensive tunnels, rot and collapse, is not really worth thinking about. Fracking is now, the new coal mines. Test fracking was suspended near Blackpool, in Lancashire, after two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area. A subsequent study found that shale gas test drilling triggered the tremors. We are still going to peruse this destructive course, despite the consequences. 

Enough I say, this is too negative, get a grip or as Daniel says 'Sort it out Dad'. Actually his father would battle to mix a cocktail at the moment, fell off his bike and broke his shoulder blade and collar bone, get well Gary. The world needs someone to 'sort it out'. 
Spring has arrived unannounced today, sunshine and a light breeze woke the peasants and they all headed for the beach, my beach, it is at time like this I long for winter again.
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