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100 ideas for your blog

Give us something: 100 ideas for your blog #3

Gift superman by JD Hancock via FlickrIronically, I’m writing this when I feel I have very little to give. Yes, it’s been one of those weeks. But this post is about the best gifts I’ve given and received. I’d like to say they’re not materialistic things but that would be a stretch…

When I met my now husband, it wasn’t long before his 29th birthday and we had (and still do) a shared passion for New York. So I dipped into my savings and took us off to the Big Apple for a long weekend, a dramatic gesture when previous dating experiences had seen me paying my half of dinner and little more. But this felt right and it really started our relationship off on the right foot. Holidays with new boyfriends can be a huge risk but we felt right at home, with New York and with each other. And it obviously worked because we’re now happily married, result! So, yes, that’s possibly the best gift I’ve ever given – and one I’m not likely to give again!

The best gift I’ve ever received? That’s tricky. The briefcase I asked for one birthday when I was a kid was pretty damn cool and, despite being under 12, I felt like a true mini business person of the early 90s. I can’t even remember what I kept in it, official and secretive documents no doubt, but I do know it was quite cumbersome to carry around and not nearly as practical as a rucksack. You can’t fit an apple in your briefcase!

Aside from that, getting our first childhood dog was a pretty damn good present. Dad hated pets so when my parents divorved my mum opened the doors to all sorts of animals – first hamsters, then rabbits and after that, guinea pigs. And then there was Henri.

Mum told us the night before that she was bringing a special visitor home from work so we’d need to tidy everything up when we got back from school. She told us no more than that so my brother and I were uber excited. Who could this mystery visitor be?! So, we tidied as we were told, and the house was spick and span by the time mum pulled the car into the drive. With a four legged visitor in tow!

We’d never for one second guessed that she’d be bringing home a puppy, despite the fact we’d spoken about it in the past. And that’s the night we met Henri the Cocker Spaniel, our play mate and mum’s loyal companion who was very much a part of our family for 16 or so years.


Inspired by No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog by Margaret Mason

Picture by JD Hancock via Flickr under this licence

Fess up: 100 ideas for your blog #2

The idea of this post is to confess, blab about your failings, tell people you’re human. This already feels uncomfortabe…

Here’s five…

Hare’s breath
When covering a court case as a junior reporter I wrote that the defendant was within a ‘hare’s breath’ of *insert punishment for menial crime here, I can’t remember the details* What, in fact, I should have written – and was pointed out to me by the smirking subs’ desk – is that the magistrate actually said ‘hair’s breadth‘. Duh.

Man found hanged
Sometime later, as a deputy editor, my headline on a story about a man who killed himself in the car in his garage – suicide by intoxication – was ‘Man found hanged’. I’d read the story, knew what had happened but for some reason typed in ‘man found hanged’ in the headline box and, wowsers, it was a perfect fit! What’s more amusing is that the reporters who proofed the pages didn’t pick up on it AND neither did a SINGLE reader. Amazing. Lucky for me it was the same week as my editor made a typo in a headline which should have read ‘Grass cutting’ not ‘Grass c*nting’. That one made it into FHM magazine.

Falling in love
When I was in high school I was delighted to be friends with one of the hottest guys ever, in the year above me. Trouble is, I was always ‘the mate’ and never the girlfriend. So I was a smitten kitten when Nicky – that was his name – challenged me to a race on the playing fields one lunch time. I’d won the 100 metre sprint at the recent sports day and he reckoned he could beat me. I knew he couldn’t. So we raced, to the amusement of our friends who were watching. I was ahead of him, the finish line was in site, when… he took my legs from under me and I went FLYING. Arse over tit, skirt not covering the bits it should, face utterly red. I laughed it off with the others but I was DYING inside.

Tale of too many tissues
During my journalism training we visited a prison and had a look around a lifer’s cell – which was rammed with boxes of tissues. I stupidly piped up, a bundle of nervous enthusiasm, and asked what all the tissues were for. “Take a look at the walls love,” said the warden guy, as I glanced up at poster after poster of nude women. Ah, nuff said. *Red face*

Science failure
I was the only person in my year to fail my science GSCE. I took the top paper (why did you insist Mrs Miller, you silly teacher, you!) and so the lowest grade I could have got was a C. I missed out and even after a remark, failed by two points. If I’d taken the lower paper I could have scraped a D. I am very BITTER about that.

Inspired by No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog by Margaret Mason

Reign supreme: 100 ideas for your blog #1

One of my birthday presents two weeks ago was a copy of No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog by Margaret Mason, from my good friend Angie.

In it are 100 prompts to help you create interesting blog posts and, in the absence of a ‘Project 365‘, I’m going to dip into this book throughout the year and follow its lead. Starting with #1 – reigning supreme. An example of this is Heather Powazek Champ belies the world would be a more beautiful place if toilet roll is positioned in a certain way on a holder. I happen to disagree, but that’s another matter.

So my reign supreme post is this: if you’re not going to eat your steak rare or even medium rare then you shouldn’t be eating steak at all. To order your steak well done is offensive to the taste buds, to the chef who has to cook it that way and also to the poor animal who died to give you dinner. Yes, the thought of blood dripping from your meat is possibly a tad disturbing but get past it; think of it as jus and tuck in. I promise you’ll enjoy it way more. If you can’t eat your steak rare or medium rare then skip past it on the menu and plump for something else. The phrase “well done” should only be used to praise someone for something they’ve done, not to describe how you want your food cooked.

Picture by missmeng via Flickr under this licence