Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Category: Listography (page 2 of 2)

Listography – Top 5 Phrases That Drive Me Crazy

As a bona fide grumpy old man finding 5 phrases that annoy me is a piece of cake, in fact the challenge is picking just 5. If any of you work in an office you will no doubt be familiar with office language, words and phrases that don’t get used anywhere else. In fact if you use them outside the office people will look at you like you are mental. But I have resisted the urge to include all of them here to leave room for some other pet hates.

So here’s my top 5

  1. Give me a ballpark number; what exactly does this mean? If you are using the metaphor of a ballpark is that supposed to mean it’s close to the real number? I’m no expert but I reckon a ballpark is probably pretty big
  2. Lets take it offline; a common phrase during a meeting but just makes me imagine the people being powered down like robots and then discussing it via brain waves as they are plugged in to charge overnight
  3. Any sentence that ends in ‘yeah‘; you know how young people (told you I was an old man) talk and always end in year. WTF is that all about? Honestly we don’t need to give our agreement with every single thing you say.
  4. Where’s it to?; this is a Bristolian classic, instead of saying where is it, they say where’s it to. Drives. Me. Mental.
  5. I didn’t do nothing; so you did something then did you? Morons. Seriously, I’m not expecting the queens English but let’s try and at least speak in proper sentences that actually make sense.

That felt pretty good. If you want to see more pop over to Kate Takes 5.

Listography – Top 5 biscuits

So slightly more low brow than lasts weeks challenge, but I am nothing if not adaptable. Now I know you will all have your own opinions and clever arguments for which are the best biscuits but save your breath because quite simply you are wrong. Here’s the right answers:

  1. Digestive; simple, tasty and good dunking qualities. What more can you ask of a biscuit?  Definitely not the chocolate covered ones though, that’s just ruining a classic.
  2. Ginger nuts; an excellent choice for eating when travelling (ginger is supposed to be a natural cure for travel sickness). A tasty flavour and a nice, solid crunch when you bite into it.
  3. Malted Milk; these remind me of being a kid and visiting my nan who always had a tin of them. Very moorish and perfect with a glass of milk.
  4. Jammy Dodgers; the go to biscuit when you have visitors, the jam gives a hint of the exotic and extravagance that digestives just can’t deliver.
  5. Chocolate Bourbon’s; as a teenage I used to take my paper round money and buy a whole packet of these from the postie for about 30p. Then I’d eat the lot in the 10 mins it took to get home. However please don’t faff around biting one biscuit off, then the cream filling and finally the other biscuit though. That’s just an insult to the biscuit, bite it like a proper man.

If you still need to read other people’s thoughts on biscuits then check out the other listography posts here.

Listography – Top 5 tips for bloggers

It’s Listography time again and this week I’m adding my top 5 tips for bloggers. Having been blogging for 15 months now it feels like I am finally getting somewhere, but it’s tough getting to this point so hopefully sharing a few of the things I’ve learned might help people. If they don’t then check out the other entries because no doubt something there will.

1. Find a blogging cadence that suits you, but I would suggest at least once a week. It’s difficult to build readers and get interaction if you are blogging less often. However don’t feel like you need to post every day  or anything, once or twice a week works fine.

2. People aren’t going to magically find you blog, find out where people who write blogs in the same category hang out. If it’s parenting then checkout Britmums and NetMums etc, if it’s food then perhaps the British food bloggers? This gives you a great forum to not only let people know that you exist but also start talking to like minded people.

3. Following on from the above, go and comment on blogs, set aside a few minutes every day or every few days and comment. This is a great way to build interaction and 9 times out of 10 the person who receives the comment will be curious and come and have a read of your blog. But do make the comment meaningful, not just ‘nice post’ every time, find some way to share an experience or comment on a particular aspect of their post.

4. Join in with some of the regular linkys like this one, they’re a great way to get inspiration for what to write (see point 1) and for getting some visitors to your blog. But please don’t just do linkys, it gets a bit boring if that’s all you’re doing or if you are doing 1 a day. We also want to read something original from you and learn what makes you tick.

5. Be nice. You can be thought provoking, controversial even in your writing, but do it in a positive way. This goes for twitter to, have a debate but don’t be nasty or believe that your view is the one and only right one.

P.S one more thing to add that occurred to me while at the gym (where all the best thinking is done) and that is enjoy it. A lot of the above are about getting people reading your blog, but please don’t interpret this as you should be trying to get as many page views as possible. The reason to attract readers is to get some interaction and discussion. Get out of your blog what you want, be it a place to share things with family, exercise your urge to write or to build an income. None of these is the ‘right’ motive.

Listography – my best

So this week for the listography we have to choose our 5 best, in what ever category we want. Dangerous giving free reign I reckon but here goes:

  1. Best hotel ever stayed in; hands down this is Gleneagles in Scotland. A truly amazing hotel, a massive place full of luxury and if your wallet is big enough you can do or get whatever you want. Beautiful grounds with not 1 but 3 golf courses, a shooting ground, croquet the list goes on. And the bedrooms, oh the bedrooms were magnificent, huge beds, a bathroom with a massive shower cubicle, double sinks and to top it all off a remote control fire! The best thing about the stay? It was free as I was staying there for work.
  2. Best roast; has to be pork, probably shoulder over belly but only just. All that amazing crackling and beautiful meat, served with roasties, celeriac, cauliflower cheese, cabbage and peas.
  3. Best meal in a restaurant; Christmas dinner in the Château Whistler in Whistler, British Columbia. The lady of the manor and I were in Whistler for Christmas as I was working in Vancouver for my gap year. We stayed in the cheapest place in town (the Shoestring lodge) but my parents had given us some money for Christmas dinner so we booked into the best place we could find. The lady of the manor had steak and it just melted in your mouth, I had stuffed quail which was just perfect, then we shared a desert that was a platter of chocolate deserts. So so good. Then we hopped in our clapped out car and headed back to our hostel.
  4. Best moment of my life so far; aside from the obvious 2 of my wedding day and the birth of Matilda it would be 24th September 2011. We were in New Zealand on our big adventure and had just left a motel after the worst night sleep ever. Just down the road was a must see sight of Lake Mattheson, we really weren’t in the mood for anything but dragged ourselves out of our camper van and headed for the lake. The walk around the lake was spectacular with Mount Cook reflected in the water. At the end was a coffee shop where we sat in the Sun, looking at mountains drinking flat whites and eating the best carrot cake in the world. There really haven’t been many times when we have been happier than at that moment.
  5. Best day of the week; Sunday’s, love a lazy sunday morning with boiled eggs and soldiers, Sunday love songs on the radio, tea from a pot. Then out for a dog walk in the countryside followed by a roast. Can’t wait for Matilda and the sprout to be older and doing these things with us properly.

Listography – Top 5 things that make Christmas Christmas

This is the first time I’ve taken part in this linky, but as  I found myself sat at the computer on a Sunday morning with a baby fast asleep upstairs I thought I’d finally have a go at joining in. So here’s my 5 things that make Christmas Christmas.

  1. Putting the tree up, a real tree of course and it has to be taller than me so that when you cut the netting off it fills half the room. I do the lumberjack duties getting it to fit in the stand and the lady of the manor is in charge of design.
  2. A Christmas day run; come rain, shine, snow or hail I go for a run on Christmas day. Normally mid morning after presents have been opened. The perfect way to work up an appetite for the feast to come and also probably the quietest time of the year to be out running. Now of course the hound comes to.
  3. Christmas wine delivery from Majestic Wine; this is my job in the Christmas planning, love deciding what to match with each meal, picking out new wines and drooling over the descriptions of the taste.
  4. Watching The Polar Express; is there a better movie for getting you in the Christmas mood? Has to be watched snuggled on the sofa under a blanket with hot chocolate. If we had a log fire that would be burning also.
  5. Going to a Christmas market; Frome is the new discovery and current favourite. Love finding new local producers of fabulous food. Cheese, chutney, bread, chocolate the list goes on. Must have some music or singing in the background and a hot drink to walk around with.
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