If I were a Terrier…


…I would hurl my cute little body in front of every nasty jogger who huffs and puffs past my Mistress, those supporters of child-labour produced sports shoes, who spread their sweaty stinkiness to all and sundry.

A whole herd of joggers emerging from Buckingham Palace

A whole herd of joggers emerging from Buckingham Palace

If I were a terrier, I would bark my head off at every runner and shame them for the pavement-hogs that they are, never giving way, no matter how much space there is to left and right or how laden mothers are with toddlers and their buggies or how much elderly women with their shopping bags struggle to remain upright, when forced to jump out of the way of nasty joggers.

As my terrier self I’d nip the ankles of those grunting women, whose mighty bottoms I see wobbling past me at little over 4 miles per hour, their pinched faces expressing nothing but the ardent desire to get home to their couch, their box of chocolates and their favourite TV soap, if only Cosmo and Vanity Fair would declare fat-arsed women the next beauty icon!

Have I mentioned how much I loathe joggers? With my terrier tenacity in over-drive I’d chase after every long-limbed macho jogger, who has replaced his 60-a-day addiction with obsessive running, came rain or shine, and now splashes through puddles, covering innocent passers-by with an avalanche of mud as he races past them with haughty superiority.

Bute Park at dawn - even then not totally jogger-free!

Cardiff’s Bute Park at dawn – even then not totally jogger-free!

Grrr, if I were a Jack Russell called Bertie or Bob, I’d poo on the favourite trail of every jogger who’s ever sneaked up on my beloved human, those men and women who pass by so closely that their pervy elbows touch my beloved Mistress in their wake, treating her to a bout of heavy breathing in the process.

Woof, if I were a button-nosed fluffy Yorkie with an anarchic attitude I’d trip up charity runners who blithely take over an entire city park to show the rest of us how altruistic they are.

Why exactly do pensioners and mothers with toddlers who come to the park for a bit of fresh air have to jump out of the way when these park-pests arrive without warning and insist on running three-in-a-row? Parks are there for everybody and not just for those who obsessively support one cause to the detriment of everybody else around them.

Doggies unite and free this planet from these fiends, these joggers with their i-Pod deafness, their “talk to the cheek” attitude and their total disregard for other pavement users!

Oh, and if I were a Rottweiler with big teeth and jaws the size of T-Rex I’d rip the ankles off those WordPress geeks who are constantly messing around with the layout – it’s taken me nearly 8 minutes to get to my dashboard…who in their right mind makes it so difficult for bloggers to update their blog? Grrrrrr, biting, biting, tearing off those geeky trouser-seats NOW!

How to Import Your Linkedin Contacts to Google+


mariathermann:

I’m reblogging this to my own site so I won’t lose track of Doris Heilmann’s excellent blog and advice! although I detest LinkedIn and try to avoid it at all costs…it’s as intrusive and creepy as FB, brrr.

Originally posted on Savvy Writers & e-Books online:

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Import
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Import From Ireland (LinkedIn) to California (Google+):

In a recent blog post on SavvyBookWriters.com/blog we explained the possibility to connect all your Social Media accounts.  The task was to post or tweet more – in case you need this for a campaign to go viral.  Saving time on Social Media, allows you to interact more with your followers and readers.  But it also shows them where else they can connect with you.  You can import for example your LinkedIn Followers to Google+.  How this works?  Read more on our new blog site:

Our WordPress blog http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/ has moved to our web domain at: http://www.savvybookwriters.com/blog.

As we cannot transfer thousands of subscribers, so we will re-blog for a while.   If you want to get these valuable tips in the future, please sign up when the pop-up window shows up after 10 seconds on the new site, to make…

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What Time Of The Year Should You Publish Your Novel?


mariathermann:

Ah, yes…I am currently in the final stages of writing a German language novel and was wondering, when, WHEN, WHEEEEEENNNNN to publish the thing to catch book buyers when they’ve still got a few pence to spare before the Festive Season bankrupts us all. Thanks to Tara Sparling’s blog post I now feel a bit calmer…

Originally posted on Tara Sparling writes:

I’ve been getting quite a few hits lately from search terms such as “when do I self-publish my novel?” and “when does a book need to be published for the Christmas market?

I already pontificated on the issue of self-publishing for Christmas in this post, but that only dealt with one time of year. Now I’d like to talk in more general terms about seasonal trends in book sales. I have inhaled oodles of data on the subject. And so, in this post, and more to follow*, I’m going to take a look at questions like these:

  • Which month of the year sees the most sales?
  • Which month sees the least sales?
  • How many sales do you need to make it into the Top Ten Bestseller list? Are there times of the year when the target is lower and this might be easier?
  • Are there particular weeks in the year…

View original 767 more words

What Time Of The Year Should You Publish Your Novel?


mariathermann:

Ah, yes…I am currently in the final stages of writing a German language novel and was wondering, when, WHEN, WHEEEEEENNNNN to publish the thing to catch book buyers when they’ve still got a few pence to spare before the Festive Season bankrupts us all. Thanks to Tara Sparling’s blog post I now feel a bit calmer…

Originally posted on Tara Sparling writes:

I’ve been getting quite a few hits lately from search terms such as “when do I self-publish my novel?” and “when does a book need to be published for the Christmas market?

I already pontificated on the issue of self-publishing for Christmas in this post, but that only dealt with one time of year. Now I’d like to talk in more general terms about seasonal trends in book sales. I have inhaled oodles of data on the subject. And so, in this post, and more to follow*, I’m going to take a look at questions like these:

  • Which month of the year sees the most sales?
  • Which month sees the least sales?
  • How many sales do you need to make it into the Top Ten Bestseller list? Are there times of the year when the target is lower and this might be easier?
  • Are there particular weeks in the year…

View original 767 more words

Hidden Gems of the City


on Tower Bridge

on Tower Bridge

Before I launch full-scale into major tourist attractions, I wanted to take you on a stroll down the River Thames towards the delightful village of Rotherhithe. We start off from Britain’s most recognisable attraction, Tower Bridge.

At either side of the River a fabulous promenade or river embankment allows people to admire the city from its best side, the Thames. When first entering Tower Bridge look out for staircases on either side, leading down to the river.

On Tower Bridge, looking towards The Tower and Tower Bridge Exhibition Building (to the right)

On Tower Bridge, looking towards The Tower and Tower Bridge Exhibition Building (to the right)

I walked down the steps that lead to the Tower, but before going there I turned left instead of righ, walking towards the restaurants and shops now occupying the former dockyards.

A new lease of life has been given to the erstwhile warehouses and docks that were once part of Port of London all along the Thames.

Now these lofts and condos exchange hands for well over a million pounds, but in earlier centuries they were nothing but industrial buildings and hovels for the desperately poor, those who worked in the docks and eeked out a living from scraps thrown away by others, by pick-pocketing and nefarious nocturnal activities.

Restaurants and cafes are clustered around Tower Bridge on this side of the Thames. I walked through an archway to investigate the possibility of a steaming cuppa on a windy day, when I came across these fantastic barges moored just outside Tower Bridge.

Thames "paddle steam" boat

Thames “paddle steam” boat

Copyright Maria ThermannThey are tourist cruise ships, obviously taking a Sunday afternoon rest here from ferrying chattering hordes of visitors.

Thames Houseboats St Saviours Dock

Thames Houseboats St Saviours Dock

Walking towards the even smarter housing development of St Saviour’s Dock one soon comes across a flotilla of house boats, some colourful and bohemian, others more like a floating suburban home that wouldn’t be out of place in Surbiton or Kingston.

Canada geese inspect house boat potential

Canada geese inspect house boot potential

Make no mistake, these are some of London’s most expensive dwellings, although the house boots moored at Chelsea are perhaps the better known floating homes, having in the past been sold to famous people like Damien Hirst (that awful man who thinks displaying dead calves is “art”).

Copyright Maria ThermannEven the small bridges and gangways that connect the various housing developments with the promenade sport an interesting architecture.

with every passing river cruiser these homes get buffeted by the waves, BOOM!

with every passing river cruiser these homes get buffeted by the waves, BOOM!

The Thames Path is well sign-posted and although it leaves the immediate proximity of the River at times to wind its way through charming mews housing developments, alongside parks and through former warehouse complexes now transformed into luxury apartments, the Thames Path never leaves the River for long and it’s not really possible to get lost.

St Saviour's Dock, Thames Embankment, London

St Saviour’s Dock, Thames Embankment, London

Copyright Maria ThermannEn route one comes across wonderful sculptures and statues such as this head at St Saviours Dock. At every turn there is something interesting to see. Plaques tell walkers where they are, what local communities are doing or who is being honoured with a plaque or statue and why. The whole thing has a real community feel about it and seems a great place to live. I can still feel the impact each wave made when hitting the moorings of the house boats, BOOM, the hiss of the spray of brown Thames water escaping over the sides of the embankment’s walls, sending careless walkers squealing and running for cover. I remember the scent of petrol from the passing cruise ships and the noise from the tour guides’s announcements over loudspeakers when recalling the history of the Thames. One day soon, all this will find its way into my writing…at another river setting, an imagined location but remembering one sweltering hot Sunday afternoon at the Thames. Perhaps the background for a murder mystery, a romantic interlude before the killer strikes!

Rotherhithe Church, Mayflower plaque

Rotherhithe Church, Mayflower plaque

Eventually one reaches a park, where the Thames Path suddenly seems to end in the church yard of Rotherhithe Village; it’s a delightful place and the appropriate spot for honouring the intrepid Rotherhithe citizens who sailed one fine day off into the unknown blue yonder on a wee ship called The Mayflower. Can’t remember what happened to her but yon American citizens might recall that part of the story….

Rotherhithe village

Rotherhithe village

Encircling the church and small churchyard are various 17th, 18th and 19th century houses – this one with the statues above the entrance caught my eye because it was adjacent to a cafe and small park. By now the weather was deteriorating and working itself up to a full-scale storm with thunder, lightning and torrential rain thrown in for good measure.

London's temperamental weather strikes again

London’s temperamental weather strikes again

Naturally, the village has all sorts of connections with the Thames’ staggering historical importance and various famous people stem from this part of London. A miniscule museum honours one of the world’s finest engineers, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Voted as one of Britain’s 100 most important people ever, this extraordinary Victorian is responsible for the world’s first tunnel under a navigable river (the Thames Tunnel), the Great Western Railway, the first propeller-driven steamship that went across the Atlantic (1843), the Clifton Suspension Bridge and countless other famous structures, bridges and ships. Sadly, I didn’t have time to visit the Brunel Museum that day, but hope to do so in the next few weeks.

Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe Village

Mayflower Pub in Rotherhithe Village

A typical English pub honours all those dockhands, tally-men and mariners who worked and drank (beer and gin mostly) at Rotherhithe Dock over the centuries. By an amazing co-incidence the pub is called The Mayflower – I wonder who thought of that one…

Pilgrims at Rotherhithe Village

Pilgrims at Rotherhithe Village

A look into the future

A look into the future

The Pilgrim's Pocket - plaque at the foot of the bronze sculpture

The Pilgrim’s Pocket – plaque at the foot of the bronze sculpture

Finally, before leaving the village of Rotherhithe one comes across this lovely threesome, a boy, his pilgrim father and their dog. Step onto the pedestal and take a peep into the pilgrim’s book, for the Mayflower pilgrims’ future is revealed in its pages, hence the pilgrim father’s bulging eyes!