The Gremlins in my Head #MPBooks

How does a simple illness mess with your mind and mental health?

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Cat covering eyes
Image from Pixabay.com

For most of yesterday I’ve been feeling like the cat in the picture.  I’ve had a splitting headache, found it hard to function and am struggling hard to shut out thoughts of guilt and sadness which have plagued me since I started coming down with something a few days ago.

I don’t like to admit I’m not feeling good, but the truth is that although the last few days of last week I’d been feeling positive, I started to come down with something and it seems relentless in wanting to put me on bed rest.  I feel like I’ve got a sleeping sickness, I’m just so tired all the time and when I sleep, which has been for most of the last two days, I don’t feel refreshed at all 😦

Though I suspect (and hope) that all I’ve come down with is a nasty virus or similar, it’s the negative impact on my mood that’s really worried me.  I try to keep myself cheerful and upbeat, in fact I want to feel positive, but something inside, almost like a disconnected thing is trying to bring my mood down and bring in all these horrible negative thoughts which ultimately plunge me into depression.

Sometimes it’s been so easy for me in the past to give in to these thoughts, to embrace the pain and horrible feeling they give me of guilt and upset.  It’s been so easy to give up, to let go, to enter that dark realm of dark thoughts that spiral me ever further into a place I can’t crawl back from.  It’s a place, a realm, I’ve sometimes been almost eager to enter, not happy with my own life, my own existence, I’ve found it hard to even want to grab the sides of the long dark pit and crawl out.

But despite that horrid darkness, I stop.  I stop myself going there again.

It doesn’t always work out this way, of course, sometimes I relish being in that realm and enjoy breathing in the mind-choking air, but now I’m discovering I’m stronger than I think.  I can resist the urge to fall into that dark pit, or at the least I hover past its entrance, look down and fight that will to put myself there, to accept that I have to feel that way just because everything in my life seems to want me to.

Today, although I still feel ill and an incredible guilt is filling me for not being able to keep up my personal commitment to check in with all you wonderful people and your blogs, I still resist the urge to get fully depressed.  It’s almost like I’m fighting myself and the happy me is winning this battle.  I refuse to let the depression take hold, to let it throw me into that pit, to make me resist the urge to leave.  Today I am okay.

Does this mean it’s not possible to become depressed like that again?  No.  It just means that today, I’m coping better than I used to with this thing, and I’m determined to not let it control me.


Well I went off-topic here, waaay off-topic and wrote something from the heart based on my emotions and how I’m feeling today.  I am still feeling ill and this post was a real depiction of how I feel and became far more raw than I thought it would be.  I’ll be posting up a lot of book review posts the coming days which I’ve prepared so I can sleep off this (hopefully a virus) thing.  
  Inspired by the daily prompt: Gremlins


Please let me know any of your thoughts you have on this post, I’d love to hear from you (though I might need time to reply as I may be asleep) 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#PhotoChallenge: Fragile Berries #Photography #Photo #MPBooks

An image that evokes ‘temporary’ on the day that is temporary to me – my birthday!

Berries
Fragile berries – Image © My Peacock Books
mypeacockbooks.wordpress.com

Well I’m lazy today.  It IS my birthday but I took the day off and didn’t have anything prepared for my birthday blog post 😮  So I thought I’d post a quick image I took which to me fits this week’s photo challenge: Temporary.  To me berries and summer fruits are very temporary and as you can see from the photo these ones are already beginning to dry up.  I’m also aware that birthdays are temporary, as they come and go only once a year 🙂 🎂🎂🎂🎂🎂 😀

I’ll be back online later but I’m taking the morning off, hope you are all well and thank you all for the birthday wishes I’ve already received 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤


Do these berries speak ‘temporary’ to you?  What in your mind is temporary?  Please let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also follow me in these places: 

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A September 2017 Late Round-up #MPBooks

Image from Pexels.com

A round-up of September is not going to feature much this month as I had a little blip and didn’t do as much as I had wanted to on this blog.  I actually forgot about doing a round-up post at all until today! lol  But I wanted to wrap up the month by showing you which posts were the most popular as well as give anyone who hasn’t seen some of my previous posts  the chance to catch up.

There were three top posts this month but by far the most popular is one I put out recently which was for a classic book with a feline twist.

Romeow and Juliet book coverRomeow & Juliet is a fun picture book for any ages based on the classic play ‘Romeo & Juliet’, however the entire book features cats rather than humans and the illustrations are simply stunning!  The review has had a lot of shares on the web so well worth looking at if you have time.

 

Peacock hello

The second most popular blog post was my little post about my return after taking a break from the blog called Hello…Anyone Miss Me?  Oddly my personal post about how I’d been feeling down about my blog and things in general had a lot of views and even shares.  I felt better after having a chat with several people from posting that post and it goes to prove that sharing really is important and helps if you’re ever depressed.

Yuki Means HappinessThe third most popular posts were both a book haul post and another review.  The review is for Yuki Means Happiness a book I found interesting and much darker than it’s blurb or cover would have you believe!  Well worth checking out if you like modern cultural books.

 

My book haul posts have been doing better than expected recently with around the same number of views for both Walker Books September’s book haul post and a new Bookbridgr one featuring those animal inspired classics.  Look out for another book haul post from Walker Books about to come up – this month with new Christmas books and Christmas inspired gifts! 😀

Zonkey

I’d also like to share this month’s poetry which got quite a few views.  I’m afraid I only wrote two poems this month and haven’t had much time or inspiration to write more but hopefully that will change especially with Christmas and Halloween inspiring some fun poetry.  There were two serious poems however, one light and one dark.  The lighthearted poem I do hope you will enjoy, even if it’s just for the picture of a zonkey (check it out!), is Different Is Fine.

crouched in sadness

As usual the dark poetry got more views with Why Did You? featuring a particularly difficult subject that is still a serious problem in our world but that’s considered a little taboo to even talk about.


October’s going to be a far busier month and I have a lot of exciting things to share with you.  I have a new book haul post to share with you this week as well as of course plenty of books I have yet to share from last month’s set.  I’ve decided to try and do something for Halloween at the end of the month, even if it’s as little as a spooky poem.

Pumpkin
Spooky Halloween stuff! – Image from Pixabay.com

As well as poetry and book reviews I hope to share an article or two this month.  I have an article that’s been bugging me, sitting in my drafts for ages and I just need to read back through it and give it a bit of editing before it’s done.

 

Apart from all that I hope to just enjoy getting to know you guys more and visiting as many of you as I can.  I’m not able to constantly be online and visiting blogs is something I can only do every few days rather than everyday, as I’m just too swamped with everything in my offline life at the moment.  The run up to Christmastime is a busy one for me and the next few months look like they’ll be busy for me although I hope you’ll enjoy what I do manage to post out 🙂

I hope you’ll all want to keep reading this blog and the content I put out.  You are the reason I keep enjoying blogging.  I might still blog if I had no audience but it’s so much more rewarding to know others are reading.

So a big thank you to you all for following this blog and I hope you have a great October!

Thank you image
Image from Pixabay.com

Did you have any highlights for September?  What are you looking forward to in October?  Please let me know I’d love to chat with you 🙂  You can also soon find me in these places: 

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Do You Have Ghosts Following You? #MPBooks

Are there people following your blog who don’t interact? What are ghost followers and are they worth worrying about?

Invisible head
Image from Pixabay.com

No this isn’t about literal ghosts but about the blogging kind.  I recently read a post by a blogger complaining about ‘Ghost Followers’. What is a Ghost Follower? These are people who follow your blog without liking or commenting on any posts, essentially an invisible follower. The blogger was complaining about the lack of interaction they get from ghost followers and I even read that the blogger felt it necessary to delete those ghost followers from their blog as they were very keen in interactions with other people, something the ghost follower doesn’t do.

This blog post made me think though, would I delete a ghost follower? The answer to me is simple: no. The reason I wouldn’t delete a ghost follower from my blog is because I’ve frequently been a ghost follower myself. So today I thought I’d come up with a list of the types of ghost followers there may be following your blog, based on my own behaviour and that I’ve observed in others. We all would like followers who constantly interact with every post, but in reality it doesn’t always happen, so here are my ideas of the types of ghost followers you may have:

The Late Ghost Follower

Fact is we’re all busy people these days, some more than others. The late ghost will follow your blog but be late in doing so. I’m not always able to keep up with the blogs I follow so I choose to bulk-visit sometimes which means I read a bunch of blog posts from the same blog all in one go. I bulk-visit my wordpress feed too, spending specific days catching up with the content I missed earlier that week/month.

The Busy Ghost Follower

The busy ghost just has too much of their time taken up with other things (realife-family, work, etc.) to visit everyone’s blog religiously. The busy ghost appears similar to the late ghost but the difference is that they don’t always catch up with old blog posts instead just reading on days they can versus days they can’t. Don’t be upset if someone doesn’t like or comment on all your posts. Chances are their lives are just really busy and the busy ghost does their best to follow you when they can.

The Choosy Ghost Follower

These people love to read only some of your posts and ignore others. It’s especially common on blogs with different types of content available like mine. Some followers only choose to read the book posts, others will gravitate to poetry, or articles, or colouring, etc. If a choosy ghost loves to read my book reviews but hates the poetry they’ll ‘ghost’ all the poetry posts until I post another review.

The Logged Out Ghost Follower

As the name suggests these people do read your posts but aren’t always logged in to wordpress to react to them. I sometimes have a few minutes here and there to read a post but I don’t have time to log into my account. Thanks to email notifications I can find new blog posts easily or I might just have a shortcut link to blogs I follow too.  Fact is some of your followers may simply be logged out and haven’t got time (or aren’t bothered) to log in to like or comment on something.

The Moody Ghost Follower

This isn’t moody in the bad sense but I sometimes struggle and go through phases of depression where I don’t feel like interacting with anyone so I simply don’t.  Or sometimes I don’t even feel like reading your posts yet as I’m not in the right frame of mind.  It doesn’t mean I won’t interact at a later date or don’t enjoy your content. I simply don’t feel in the mood to read or comment on something at that moment.  Or maybe I don’t feel able to answer a post properly if it’s something I’d like to comment on.  Either way the Moody Ghost may just not be in the mood right now.

The Hiding Ghost Follower

Yep, some people might try to hide the fact they are online so they don’t want to interact with anyone’s blog at all as that would give away the fact they are online! I confess I have done this in the past on my old blog sometimes when I was facing difficult questions or interactions on my own blog and basically didn’t want to answer anyone without thinking carefully about what to reply.  I didn’t want people to think I was actively ignoring them for liking or commenting on other blog posts so I ‘hid’, pretending I wasn’t really online – the shame! 😮

The I Just Discovered You Ghost Follower

Sometimes someone just discovers your blog but doesn’t have time to read your posts yet so they follow in the hopes of catching up at a later date. They don’t want to lose your blog url among the hundreds of other sites they’ve visited so follow you to remember your site so they can come back and check you out when they have time.

The I Think I Like You Ghost Follower

The sister (or brother) to the I Just Discovered You Ghost Follower, this ghost just found your blog and thinks they’ll like reading your content but isn’t sure yet, so rather than reading back older blog post entries they’d simply like to start following you in the hopes of finding out whether you’re a blogger they’d like to follow.

The Follow Everyone Ghost Follower

This ghost will follow back everyone who follows them and even follow back those that interact with their posts just once. These people will follow you back because they think it’s the right thing to do, or to be nice, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be interested in reading your posts.

The Hateful Ghost Follower

Okay, maybe hateful is a strong word but these people will sometimes choose to follow a blog because they don’t actually like you. It’s unlikely to happen if you don’t post anything that anyone would disagree with or find offensive but sometimes I’ve found the views or some people so crazy and weird that I can’t help but follow them as I’m curious what they’ll say next.

The Can’t Be Bothered Ghost Follower

These are sometimes the sisters (or brothers) to the Hateful Ghost Followers.  Rather than dislike you but follow you out of fascination these are people who did follow your blog in the past but for whatever reason don’t care to anymore.  Whether that’s because they don’t like you anymore, you angered them with your views, or they simply stopped caring about what content you posted, these ghosts still follow your blog  for one reason – they can’t be bothered to un-follow you.  As daft and simple as it seems some people will never use the un-follow button, even if they should.

The Copy-Cat Ghost Follower

It’s rare and sometimes flattering but some people will follow a blog to see how it’s done and copy you in a way. These ghosts are often new to bloggerland and can’t help but want to follow in the hopes of copying someone’s style or ideas. This isn’t usually a problem unless they start copying your blog posts too, if they do then there may be a reason to delete them from your follower list, unless you enjoy it of course!

The I Forgot About You Ghost Follower

If you’re not a blogger who posts regularly, say once a week or less then some of your ghost followers could be the I Forgot About You Ghosts.  These are people who simply forgot they were following your blog.  It’s especially easy to forget if they didn’t know you well to begin with and your one blog post a week gets lost among hundreds of others they follow.

The Please Like Me Ghost Follower

These ghosts are more sinister than their name suggests.  They are fellow bloggers who want you to follow them so they follow you. Confusing right? I’ve noticed this happens a lot on twitter but now on WordPress too. WordPress notifies me when someone’s followed my blog, telling me who they are and a link to their blog. This lets me hop on over to their site to see if it’s a blog I’d like to follow myself.  Without the notification (and the follow) it’s rare that I’d find this new (to me) blogger’s site. So it’s a clever way these ghosts use to get you to notice them. It’s unlikely that the Please Like Me ghost will ever actually interact with your blog but they sure do want you to interact with theirs! 😮 😡

So that’s it, my list of your potential ghost followers.  What do you think?  Have you noticed any of these ghosts following your blog? Are YOU one of these ghosts? Let’s chat I’d love to hear from you 🙂


Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you want you can find me in these places too:

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Commenting on WordPress Blogs without using WordPress #MPBooks

Did you know you can comment on Wordpress blogs using your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ accounts? Find out how.

Girl happy at laptop desk
Image from Pixabay.com

So after being a passenger on this wordpress train for about a year and a half (counting my old blog and this one) I’ve come to learn some cool and simple things that some of you may or may not know.  I’d love to start sharing some of these with you.  If they are useful then please pass it on, or share if you would like 🙂

Commenting without using WordPress

Did you know that you don’t need a wordpress account to comment on a wordpress blog?  Most people currently following this blog will probably have a wordpress account, but I know some of you don’t.  Some know My Peacock Books through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other ways too.  If you don’t have a wordpress account, do you really need to get one to comment on this blog (or in fact any wordpress.com and .org blog)?

The simple answer to the above question is: no.  As anyone who’s ever visited a wordpress site while not logged in will know, you can usually leave a comment in the comment box by typing it in and then adding your name and email address.  But I’ve discovered you can also comment using your own Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account!  And it’s really easy to do.

How  change the commenting account

When you scroll down to the comments box on any Wordpress blog post (this only works when viewing the proper webpage not the WordPress reader) you type in your comment, but before clicking ‘post comment’ press the little button that says ‘change’:

Click on the ‘change’ button to switch to social media accounts.

 

Now click on the type of account you want to use, the options are WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or Google+.  don’t worry about being logged into your social media account, if you are not you’ll be prompted to do so.

Click on the account you want to use to post a comment.

 

Once you’ve selected the account you want to use, a new window will open up asking you to log in.  I chose to use Twitter in my example.  WordPress may then ask you to authorise it to use your Twitter (or other) account for posting comments, just click ‘Authorize app’.

Now you can see that I am logged into twitter and ready to post a comment using my Twitter account 🙂

Changing commenting account image three
Now commenting using Twitter 🙂 !

 

Now when I post a comment it shows my Twitter icon as well as my Twitter name 🙂

Commented with Twitter
Commented using Twitter account.

 

So commenting with your Twitter, Facebook or Google+ account is really easy and perfect for those who don’t have a WordPress blog 🙂

But should you allow people to comment on your blog if they aren’t WordPress users?  I say why not?  Although some of you might want only WordPressers to comment, I think it’s a good idea to allow everyone to comment as there are plenty of people who don’t use wordpress.  Many of my followers are Blogger (BlogSpot) bloggers and I’d love to see their names and profile pics when they comment on this blog.  WordPress has a pretty good spam filter which works most of the time so I really don’t see why you shouldn’t allow everyone to comment on your blog.  

Of course it’s up to you and whatever you decide, make sure your blog has the right settings for comments.

How to check your blog’s comment settings

If you want to check what commenting settings you have set on your blog first go into your wordpress admin account.  You can go to WordPress.com and click on My Site and then Settings->Discussion and follow the same instructions below or go into WP admin area which I find is much easier to navigate and use for all wordpress blogging.

To go into the WP admin area type your blog’s name into the address bar and add /wp-admin at the end of it.  So my blog’s address should be:

http://www.mypeacockbooks.wordpress.com/wp-admin

Now you’ll be in the WP Admin Dashboard.  Scroll down until you see the ‘Settings’ option on the left.  Hover over or click on the settings option and then select ‘Discussion’

Click on ‘settings’ and then ‘discussion’.

Once in the discussion settings you can change various things but let’s concentrate on ‘Other Comment Settings’.  If you want people to be able to comment using just their email addresses then click the box.  Also make sure you don’t tick the ‘Users must be registered and logged in to comment’ box if you want to allow social media commenting, otherwise only WordPress users will be able to comment.

Tick and un-tick the relevant boxes and then save settings.

Make sure you scroll down to the bottom and ‘save settings’ before exiting this page.  By default WordPress allows users to comment using their email or Twitter, Facebook and Google+ so there’s no need to worry if you’ve never visited the Settings->Discussion section of your site.

I hope some of this post has helped navigating the WordPress world a little easier.  If you have Twitter, Facebook or Google+ users following your blog let them know about this feature so they can comment with their names and avatars visible 🙂


Has this post helped you at all?  Would you like me to do more of these ‘help’ posts?

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Was #GrenfellTower A Disaster Waiting to Happen? #MPBooks

A look at the disaster that shocked the nation.

Grenfell Tower Wide image
Grenfell Tower ablaze – Image from Wikipedia, By Natalie_Oxford –Twitter

In the early hours of Wednesday 14th June a terrible tragedy happened. In one of the richest boroughs of London a fire broke out. The fire was in a tower block of flats and quickly spread, engulfing the entire building in flames. Only a few lower floors were saved from the blaze. Firefighters raced to put out the fire and save those trapped inside but they were against a towering inferno, one that was ablaze for many hours and still smouldering 24 hours before it was finally put out.

Most residents were trapped inside the building at the time of the fire, with little chance of escape. With flames and black smoke surrounding them it was difficult if not impossible for many to get out. There were reports of families trapped inside, residents screaming for help, a mother throwing her baby out the window in a desperate attempt to save it. Several days later and the death toll is already at 79 but is expected to be much higher. But why did this terrible tragedy happen? And could it have been prevented?

Nobody yet knows why the fire started, but there is a lot of speculation on the causes. Whether or not they turn out to be true, I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that this tragedy has left a mark on London, and one which has affected me personally. The main issue surrounding the disaster is one of money because the residents of Grenfell Tower were not the rich, well off people living in London. They were from the poorer end of society. Because the families living there were in social housing (subsidized/affordable – whatever you call it in other countries) there’s anger over whether this building’s safety was overlooked, something which would never happen in a rich, multi-million pound set of high-rise apartments. We can’t know for sure anything yet, and I am not accusing anyone or any government body, but the lack of sprinklers and questionable, flammable ‘cladding’ placed on the exterior of the building makes me wonder if the speculation has real truth.

Image from Wikipedia – By Natalie_Oxford – Twitter

The problem with the Grenfell Tower disaster is that it could have been prevented. It seems crazy in this day and age that a basic sprinkler system isn’t built into every tower block but the fact is it wasn’t. Some rumours are saying that even the fire alarms didn’t work. There are questions on this thing called ‘cladding’. I didn’t know what this was until now. It’s a substance that is used to cover the external walls of a building; it may have other uses but the most probable in the case of Grenfell Tower was to improve the appearance of the structure (making it less of an eye-sore in the area). But it’s suspected that the cladding used on Grenfell Tower is the cause for the fire’s quick spread around the building as the substance was flammable.

When I saw this on the news it hit a nerve with me. Not only the harrowing stories of people trapped, choosing to face the smoke inside or trying to throw themselves out of the building in the hopes they survive the fall. What hit home to me was the fact that it shouldn’t matter where these people live, what their income levels are…These were real people, the same as you and I, and they deserved respect and a decent home to live in.  

Grenfell Tower residents are not the ‘scum of society’ like so many depict. It guts me when I hear people referring to the poor as the ‘dregs, wasters and scum’. It’s labels like these that put up barriers, stop us being kind and compassionate to our fellow human beings. Most of the poorer in society, those living in the Grenfell Tower are hardworking individuals, the likes of nurses, carers, cleaners, bus drivers, etc. People we rely on everyday. Syrian immigrants who came to the UK, to avoid being killed in their own country could now be dead inside the charred remains of the tower block.  And many others.  These people are human beings. Regardless of income, everyone has a right to live and feel safe in their homes. They deserve better from the government bodies that house them and the people who call them such names.  So why in a society that is one of the richest in the world were safety precautions not made? Why in this day and age is there still a rich-poor divide akin to the days of Dickens?

This disaster affected me more than the others in London, because it wasn’t a terrorist attack. It was a stupid result of negligence, and it has cost so many people their lives. I’ve had the experience, as a young child, of living in such a building. The thoughts of ‘would I be here if it had happened to me all those years ago?’ keep repeating in my mind. I was lucky. I didn’t spend years living there, it was only as a very young child and I’m lucky to be living under different circumstances now. But I can remember what it was like and now wonder how many other areas of ‘poor’ housing face the same possible disaster? Was Grenfell Tower a warning? Is there another ticking time-bomb elsewhere in this country?  Or around the world?

In relation to the daily prompt meddle


I realise this is a world away from my usual posts but this has affected me deeply, and besides I wanted this blog to be a place I could share any thoughts and veer away from books and art sometimes.  Please do comment if you would like to.  And don’t worry, I’m fine, it’s the people of Grenfell Tower I feel for. 

I will be back to happier posts soon 🙂  In the meantime you can also find me here:

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Blog Celebration! #MPBooks

My Peacock Books celebration banner

I have something to celebrate on this blog!  I have officially reached 100 wordpress followers! 😮 😀

100 followers badge
100 WordPress followers!

I got this fancy badge in a notification today and just wanted to spread the joy!

But that’s not the only news my blog has and I also have two other milestones!

 

500 likes badge
500 Likes!

 

This badge came a few days before the 100 followers badge and I know it might mean little to some people, I’m really happy to get any kind of badge 🙂

 

1000 visits
Over 1000 hits!

The last little ‘yay’ moment has been My Peacock Books reaching 1000 visits to the blog!

Okay, so these milestones aren’t exactly huge, and I used to run a blog that had waaay more hits and followers than this one does, but for a blog that only began in April and hardly had any visits in the first weeks, I’m very happy with these badges and hope that more people will visit, like and comment on this blog 🙂

I’d like to thank every single person who’s made a visit to this blog and especially to my wonderful followers.  If it wasn’t for you guys this website would be a kind of diary rather than a blog and I really appreciate every single one of you and your visits and comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you ❤

Image of My Peacock Books logo
Phoenix the Peacock

 

Oh and Phoenix says ‘Thank you’ too 🙂

 

 


 

 Have you reached a milestone on your blog recently?  Let me know I’d love to chat with you 🙂  Check me out in these places too: 

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