If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday 25 October 2012

Is this blog spamming you?

Recently, I have started to get a large amount of commercial spam in my inbox, which are redirected comments from this blog.  The recent post 'Whitesands' especially has attracted a lot of unwanted attention from the spambots. I am reviewing and deleting around 20 comments a day.  I know they are not appearing on the blog, as Blogger's spam filters are fairly effective, so thus far they are only an inconvenience to me - Unless You Know Better.

I'm very reluctant to reinstate that awful Captcha thing for all comments, as I know what a PITA it is from commenting elsewhere.  As long as it's only me that suffers the inconvenience I don't mind too much. But if it's bothering readers I will have to think again.

I generally request follow-up comments to be emailed to me whenever I comment on someone else's blog, and I have been getting a lot of spam comments from two other blogs in particular - JuliaM's Ambush Predator and Woman On A Raft. It would appear that event though the spam doesn't appear in the blog, the email notification system is working before the filter rather than after it.

If this is happening to you,  please let me know either here or by email and I will consider reinstating the dreaded Captcha.  I don't want to do this, but if it's upsetting my loyal readership (thanks, both of you) then I will have a think about it.

Thank you.

Sunday 14 October 2012


After a couple of weeks of lousy weather, I have taken a few days off and on Friday we were blessed with a superb October day.  Cool-to-cold-ish, but sunny and dry.  Anna hadn't been out for a while, so we got in the car and tootled off to St Davids for a spot of pre-Christmas-visit shopping and a nice lunch out.

I almost wore a cardigan (1).

We had to wait a while for the shops to re-open after lunch (St Davids is like that), so we drove to the nearby beach of Whitesands for a look at the sea.  The sky was stunning.

(1) No I didn't.

Guys and Gals

How's about this, then, guys and gals?
Now then, now then, now then.
And that weird yodelling thing he did.

I met Jimmy Savile several times while working in Leeds (I was a hospital porter for a while), but only spoke to him once.  It was coming up to my Mum's 70th birthday, and my Dad and I (being lousy cooks) had ordered her a special cake from the local bakery.  It was to be decorated with an image of Guisborough Priory, which was the backdrop to all of their wedding photographs, and had a special significance to Mum.  We took a wedding photo to the bakery, they said they could do it, and a week later we went up to collect it.

As we were paying for it, into the shop burst Jimmy Savile and a young lady of about (I would guess) 20 years old.  He was in the usual ghastly nylon tracksuit, and she was wearing very little, considering it was October in the North of England.  Short shorts, a halter top and stacked sandals, if I remember correctly.  He did all the 'what's all this then' business, and when we explained he asked - no, ordered - the girl to go next door to the newsagent and get a birthday card.  He asked my Mum's name, wrote the card, and signed it with the usual 'Jimmy $avi£e' flourish.  Then he was off to another shop.  Working the dates back, this would have been early October in 1987, and JS would have been 60 years old.  He certainly seemed to have plenty of energy.  The girl seemed totally in awe of him, and obeyed his instructions instantly, but there was little affection between them.  I remember wondering at the time what the relationship between them could have been.  Paid assistant, young niece, friend, lover?  None of them quite seemed to fit.

I found the birthday card when I was clearing out my Mum's flat.  I still have it somewhere.  I don't think it will be going on eBay any time soon, though.
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