My 10 Best Posts of 2017

Well that’s it, Christmas over for another year. Time to relax, take stock and perhaps muse over the last twelve months. If you are a blogger, then it’s always good to reflect on your previous posts.

For me personally, it’s not been a bad year. I opted to go semi-retired which was a good choice I think, working three shifts on and six off. Still not happy about the three on but I like the six off!

Did I write the follow up to Floating in Space? Well, I have to admit I didn’t quite get stuck into that, still there’s always 2018!

I always tend to showcase my favourite posts in these ‘best of’ year end posts but I thought I’d start by taking a look at my stats and see what were my best performing posts.

My all time top performing post  is one about the JFK assassination, a tragic event wrapped in mystery and misinformation that has interested me since childhood. It always rates highly with google searches and that’s probably the reason for the high hit rate for this post. Interestingly, I reblogged it on the 22nd November, the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination but on the previous day, the 21st, David Cassidy died and so on the 22nd, many people were typing David Cassidy into their search engines and many of those people may have been surprised to find my second most read post ‘David Cassidy and a Haircut in 1977′ in their results. Maybe it’s a good one, well, I like to think so but then, maybe it’s just SEO compatible.

Earlier on this year, in case you didn’t know, Donald Trump was elected, surprisingly, as the new President of the USA. A lot of people were not happy about it but that is the nature of democracy; the people vote, the votes are counted  and the winning candidate is announced. Simple really, although a great deal of people seem to get very annoyed about it. I wasn’t too happy as I mentioned in my post Tipping Point, the Chase and Donald Trump, because rather annoyingly, my favourite quiz programmes were shelved in favour of the election coverage.

My Mother had her 88th birthday in 2017 and I wrote about her in My Mum, the Microwave and Old Age.

Talking about old age, I became semi-retired in 2017 and wrote a post about it Things to do when Semi-Retired.

In A Monkey, A French Canal Barge and a Million Pound Cheque I returned to my very first job when I had to deal with a cheque for, you guessed it, a million pounds.

I am a big classic movie fan as you probably know from my film posts and I decided to take a look at the persona of the urbane English actor in The Essential Englishman with special reference to David Niven in ‘Around the World in Eighty days’.

Although I’m not a football fan I have always rather liked George Best and in Personal Encounters with George Best I describe my fleeting encounters with the famous Manchester United player.

Going back even further in time than my George Best encounters or even my first job, Schoolday Memories is just that, a look back at my old school days.

As a major Formula One racing fan I tend to knock out an F1 post every now and again. In No Hiding Place and the Mexican Grand Prix  I combine F1 with a little humour and a quick look at a TV comedy classic.

I have spent a lot of time this year messing about with video cameras and editing and although I had some problems earlier in the year recording narrations, since then I’ve recorded quite a few including an updated version of my cycling video with narration rather than captions. Another video I made this year was one using in car footage of our trip to France in the summer. I’ve compiled this year’s video efforts together in a post entitled Adventures with an Action Cam.

Finally, in one of my later posts, I combined that classic British film Green for Danger with some thoughts about my personal work life, past and present, in Resignations, Old Friends and Green for Danger.

So, that was my year. Hope you had a good 2017 and all the best for 2018!


Thanks for looking in and if you liked this post, why not consider buying my book? Click the links at the top of the page for more information.

My 10 Best Posts of 2016

best posts 2016It’s that time of year again when we look back and take stock of what we did in the last twelve months and try to arrange everything neatly, tidy things up, add labels and pop everything onto the shelf of past memories before it gets consigned to the distant past. Bloggers are pretty much the same and I thought I might be a good idea to look back at my last twelve months of blogging.

I started 2016 by flying to Lanzarote for some winter sun and a welcome break from cold and wintry Britain. The Marina Rubicon in Lanzarote was lovely and warm, very much like a mild UK summer. The temperature was in the 70s (that’s Fahrenheit, sorry, I don’t do metric) and Liz and I spent a lovely five weeks swimming, sunbathing, reading and dining out in the restaurants and bars of the Marina. The evenings were a little cool I must admit but we dined outside every night, either at our rented villa or at a local eating place. Sometimes a fleece over the shoulders was necessary, sometimes not. I had taken with me my trusty laptop and I-Pad of course and kept myself busy blogging, promoting my book, Floating In Space and, supposedly, writing the follow-up novel. Alas, the follow-up never materialised but, what the heck, we had a great time anyway.

1.Being an avid TV viewer I had a post in the pipeline already, written in advance just in case of Wi-Fi issues on holiday. It was called M*A*S*H and the Emotional Leap Indicator. M*A*S*H is the star contender for my favourite comedy show ever and a show that is close to my writing ethic; that of combining humour with drama, and in this post I go on to analyse and talk about a comedy show that is funny as well as sad and routinely combines humour with tragedy.

2016-01-28 (2)ed2.While on holiday in Lanzarote, I did one of my usual posts, My Holiday Book Bag. I do love books and this is one of a series talking about the books I take on holiday. The idea stemmed from reading a biography of Richard Burton, who had a voracious appetite for books and always took a book bag away on holiday with him. On this occasion I’d thought I’d go one step further and make the post into a VLOG, a video blog, with me sitting in front of the camera giving out a good old rabbit about the various books I had with me. Later this spawned another blog, Making the VLOG about the whole experience of filming, narrating and so on.

IMGA03533.Whilst on the subject of books, I wrote a post about Marilyn Monroe books back in July. It was called 10 Books you should read about Marilyn Monroe. I have a large collection of books about Marilyn and in this post I introduced ten of them. Michelle Morgan, the author of Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed was kind enough to add a comment on the post.

4.During 2016 I’ve had a few health issues particularly with my back and my neck. I first hurt my neck over ten years ago and I don’t have a lot of mobility in that area but I told the story of my visits to the doctor, my diagnosis and experience of physiotherapists in Lost Horizon, Samsara and a Visit to the Doctor.

5.I regularly write posts about writing and how I work as a writer and blogger and a pretty good post about how I manage my blogging life was Bankers, Potboilers and J Edgar Hoover.

6.You may have realised as you troll through this blog that I do like my TV. Not any TV of course. I like my classic TV from the 60’s and 70’s. I like sci-fi and espionage shows and I adore old movies. I’m a great recorder too, regularly recording and watching stuff which I tend to watch in batches, sometimes watching part of a movie one day then the second part another day. Aliens, Frank Sinatra and Three Days in the life of a Couch Potato documented my TV watching habits.

Sigourney Weaver as Ripley

Sigourney Weaver as Ripley

7.Bicycles, Barry White, and a Man with a Chip on his Shoulder was a nostalgic look back at my younger days when I forced my younger brother to take part in sketches and plays I had written, all recorded on cassette tape for posterity. Music came into the equation when a teenage friend and I recorded interviews with each other discussing our top twelve records. Once again, faithfully recorded on tape!

8.American politics is one of my great interests and Howard Hughes and the Watergate Tapes discussed billionaire Hughes involvement with President Nixon and the Watergate affair.

9.Thoughts from a Sun Lounger Part 4 was written on holiday in France and is part of a series revealing the various musings that have come to me while indulging in one of my favourite experiences, that of lazing in the sun on a sun lounger. This post amongst other things involves another instalment about physiotherapists!

a so called writer!10. The Holiday Diary of a So-Called Writer. This was another post written on holiday in rural France. It was about my efforts, as a writer, to focus on writing rather than reading, swimming, drinking wine and eating and might go some small way to explaining why a follow-up novel to Floating In Space has yet to appear.

Last year, 2016, I published my 200th blog post. Although I tend to focus on books, film, and TV I write about almost anything that comes to mind, always focussing on that Saturday morning deadline. Customer service, Cillit Bang, Captain Kirk and the Beatles were just a few of the diverse subjects I posted about in 2016. I also wrote about my long-term love of F1 racing in Confessions of an Armchair F1 Fan.


Hope you had a great Christmas. All the very best for 2017 and if you are an avid reader and you find yourself stuck for something to read, why not try Floating In Space? Click the links at the top of the page for more information.

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