Thursday, 8 September 2011

Eggs and Bacon, Trials and Tribulations on the Line

Hi Orage and others who may have been wondering about my protracted absence from the bloggersphere! No, I’m not being lazy, far from it! I'd got the date of my return from the Greek island of Kos (yes, I'd got the spelling wrong) wrong - it was 14 nights, not 10 nights. This meant I was scheduled to join my kids at their grandmother's place (just outside Clacton, by the sea on the east coast) more or less immediately on my return, having spent an additional night in a hotel in Gatwick due to a delay occurring to my return flight which meant I got back to the UK too late to travel on. Since then I have been pouring all my creative energies into fulfilling the commission I have spoken about previously having fallen behind schedule due to various other commitments. This latter endeavour has been complicated a little by the fact that my kids were scheduled to return to school later than I had been led to believe they were supposed to - and so for a few days the privacy I need to work in has been somewhat limited (they went back for the first time since the summer school holidays yesterday. The other problem I encountered upon my return home was a severely limited broadband internet connection, with the connection intermittent at best and failing completely to connect at worst!

Now it wasn’t my intention to update the blog again until I had completed the commissioned piece but I am visiting a friend’s place today who has a good fast broadband connection as I needed to quickly look up something for that piece. As I blundered into a blog I had not come across before I thought I’d take the opportunity to add it to the blog list (see right hand sidebar) and briefly update you all as to my progress. Called ‘Domestic Discipline Digest’ you can visit by clicking on the above picture taken from the blog, clicking on the blog title here or checking out the sidebar blog list. By the way; I have also added a reply from yours truly to a comment made on the previous entry which some of you may be interested in. Click here to read.

The problem with my home internet access is ongoing and is clearly due to electrical noise on the phone line. The phone sounds like eggs and bacon frying in a pan whenever it rains - and it is not exactly a desert here in the UK! As I said to someone else in an email recently by way of explanation: You are probably thinking 'just report it to the phone company'. In theory this sounds simplicity itself; in practice it is somewhat a pain in the arse! You see we don't get our phone line from the phone company (British Telecom),,, Oh no! We get our phone service by way of the post office (mail company) and oddly they are based in Ireland and don't seem to know what they are doing (although they get out a British Telecom engineer to fix the fault if they find it). Weird isn't it. I wonder if it is like that where you are in the world?

Here we get our electricity from the gas company (or is it the other way around?) and bank accounts and mobile phone contracts (and insurance and banking) through the local supermarket.

The utility companies are a real mess though. It was supposed to lower prices through increased competition - and perhaps it can lead to lower bills sometimes, when it all works - when anything goes wrong though, all hell breaks loose. And there are cases I have read in the UK press of people receiving multiple bills from different utility companies for the same service!

In our case; our telephones, internet router and internal wiring are all ours and our responsibility. We get the bill for our phone calls from the post office but rent the phone line from British Telecom, the phone company. The broadband service provider is someone else entirely, although their equipment rack is housed in the local British Telecom telephone exchange (to whom they pay rent to house it and provide access to the phone lines).

So guess what happens when there is noise on the line and the fault is intermittent and difficult to localize? Yeah! You got it! Everyone points the finger at everyone else and it goes around and around and around.... You get the picture. For now I’m off to get some more writing done and the blog will return to full service just as soon as I get the commissioned piece satisfactorily completed. At that point I intend to start to add some original creative content by yours truly on a weekly basis. Bye for now!


Anonymous said...

‘Domestic Discipline Digest’

This is yet another so called blog that does nothing more than post pictures copied from other sites that in turn have taken them from another site and so on and so on.

I saw one pic, 'vintage spanking', last but one on this page

Saw it was taken from metalonmetalblog

and that site had taken it from which seemed to be the originator.

Now, someone there had posted a comment that the pix "come from a French book indeed!
It is called “Jeux de dames Cruelles”(Games by Cruel Ladies”and is written by Serge Nazarieff.
It was published in 1988 by Taco Verlagsgesellschaft and Agentur mbH,Hauptstrasse 9,D-1000 Berlin 62
So it was published in Germany.
The ISBN number is:3-89268-053-1

The book is in three languages:French,German and…English,but for the major part just photo’s"

So I went to Amazon, put in the ISBN and 'voila' found it - its out of print but I found a 2nd hand copy for £8.50...And then an Abebooks dound it for £1.93 and bought it. :)

So, another book on its way and a good 45 minutes spent browsing website intead of working.


Rex Talbot

Orage said...

Thank God you're back!

Toyntanen said...

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your experience of visiting the blog ‘Domestic Discipline Digest’. But then again, it appears that you did get something out of it, namely a new book for your collection.

I must point out though that I have nothing to do with that blog nor any of the others I have added to my blog list over the years, nor am I responsible for their content. I merely report blogs I come across from whence one can mine art, illustrations, pictures, photographs or what have you or that perhaps in themselves facilitate as link resources or nodes pointing to other blogs providing interesting or useful content.

Anonymous said...

Of course I understand that the blogs you mention and link to are nothing to do with you....

And its perfectly valid to link to them.

I was not criticising you in any way.

But I thought I'd point out that its not a blog in the normal sense of the word. There is no original content, just stuff copied -- or let's be honest -- stolen from other sites. There are so many of these rip off sites endlessly recycling others' ripoffs :)

Compare them to your site which has original material, a site run by someone who spends a lot of time writing content. Now, yours is a blog!!

And long may it continue.

BTW - I find your blog lists on the right a very valuable resource when I am looking for stimulating material ;)

Rex Talbot

Toyntanen said...

Thanks for that Rex. Although I have to admit that this blog itself hasn't been what one could really call fresh for quite some time, in that it's been quite a while since I've specifically written a piece for the blog around the subject area that it is supposed to be all about i.e. the thoughts, inspirations and ideas behind the storylines and threads that run through the books I've written. This of course has mainly been due to the majority of my efforts having been dedicated to finishing the somewhat huge tome that grew from the conceptual seeds of volume 3 but also through a certain amount of despondency that set in when my PicassaWeb albums were wiped out and then for reasons I won't go into I had to remove the links to the Dropbox albums I created to replace them.

The latter, once I have finished the piece of work I've been commissioned to write, will be reinstated but that also brings me back to a point about blog authors - and Webmasters to some extent - copying content from each other. I myself have seen things, particularly things that I've scanned in from printed paper sources, turn up on other blogs and even websites. One notable example has been the collections of women's workwear, uniforms and, in particular, nurses, uniforms that I used to host on PicassaWeb and then through my Dropbox albums. These mainly came from old catalogues gathered over the years by my 'ex' while she had been preparing a book project based on the history and evolution of women's workwear, some older examples having even been acquired directly from the manufacturers and outlets themselves (many of whom are now defunct) and l originally uploaded them partly to assure their survival historically but mainly in order to illustrate and bring alive in the reader's imagination the uniforms and outfits I envisaged my characters to be wearing within the pages of the INSTITUTIONALISED series.

This seemed particularly relevant and important in the case of nurses' uniforms as: (1) There has been much change over the years and many members of my readership may not be old enough to appreciate the imagery I try to invoke. (2) The institution that was the British hospital matron, not to mention the ward sister, as authority figures might well be alien to much of my readership and this is particular important because: (3) Unlike most representations of nurses in fiction one comes across on the Web and in literature (other than in certain fem-dorm scenarios) the nurses in my work are depicted as authority figures in their own right and in my writing their uniforms, as described, are depicted in such a way as to try and underline that fact. The latter is particularly important to the story development and for the plausibility of the tale as this idea of uniforms defining stations in a hierarchy or pecking order forms a psychologically important part of the mechanism by which the subjects concerned come to be brought under the domination of others.

Toyntanen said...

Sorry, I digressed somewhat, there! The point I was trying to make was that quite a few of the pictures I've scanned from the rarer nurses' uniform catalogues have since popped up in various places including that good old site: Dyken's ' Nurses Uniforms Past and Present' (which I'm actually quite chuffed about - see the useful resources list in the right-hand sidebar for link) and the Yahoo group ' English Working Women'. The latter actually hosts pretty much the entire collection in one album or another - I can recognize them by the way they have been cropped from the original catalogue pages before being scanned, you see. None of this bothers me that though. In fact I'm rather glad to have been able to help out with Dyken's ' Nurses Uniforms Past and Present' in this small way and also - and this goes for all historical material that gets scanned and passed around the Internet - the more sites the material pops up in the more likely it is to be downloaded and copied to yet more people's hard drives and thus survive the years as a little bit of social history that might otherwise become lost the mists of time.

Yes I agree that copying content purely for the sake of trying to make money from people who then go on to link to commercial sites they are affiliated to, without adding any new content or value of the site owners own creation or contribution is cynical to say the least. But then again sometimes these sites do host material the one might otherwise have missed and I doubt they make much from the affiliate banners in any case -from my own experience. Although my blog is not exactly awash with banners as some of these sites are - I have always insisted that any affiliates I might host should be relevant to my readership - I can say that I earn very little from the ones that I do host. Every little helps the struggle, and financially I am struggling somewhat at the moment, but the income from the banners I host (although I can't remember exactly the amount right at this moment) is less than that generated by book sales through Lulu which, yearly, tends to be in the region of a few hundreds of pounds Sterling.

The problem there, though, is one of promotion as, other than through this blog, the only way that potential readers are likely to come across my work is through randomly perusing Lulu and their search engine is just not that good. I know I need to generate more visibility but I tend to be tied up with writing still more but once the commission peace in working on is finished I may spend a few of the winter months - assuming no prospects of employment turn up - trying to raise the profile of the series in some manner or other. It is why I am keen to encourage people to discuss the series on the various bulletin boards and forums that are out there - even if they hated it (never be afraid to be honest) - or write a few words of review if they come across one of my books on the web somewhere. If I could get sales up, then writing might become more financially viable and I could justify perhaps spending more time on the hobby (and it was always supposed to be a hobby).

Actually I did at one time have some really good reviews, particularly regarding INSTITUTIONALISED volume 1, on Lulu. But then the folks at Lulu messed around with their site and all but two of the less eloquent reviews disappeared - and I've never had anything like a sensible explanation back from Lulu. So I think I'll just take this opportunity to ask if any of the kind folk who placed reviews on Lulu in the past or who inputted a 'star rating' for one or more of my books would be even kinder and consider repeating it again on Lulu and perhaps repeating the rating you gave it of them - it would be doing me a great service, and be one up the snout from Lulu, whom I suspect have been becoming deliberately obstructive of late where spanking, domination, discipline and related subjects are concerned!

Anonymous said...

On the spanking library board they recently posted a link to a story about Christine Bleakley, a UK morning personality who donned her old uniform and went “back-to-school.”

The video is available online (she’s simply darling when she blushes, and complains about the short skirt!) as well as numerous pictures of Miss Bleakley in her crisp and proper English girls school uniform.

I started to write a fictional spanking story about Christine adventure, which occurs when she visits the Headmaster’s office at the end of her busy day. Remembering Garth’s great post about the girls in AN EDUCATION, it’s easy to see how such a “return” scenario fits in here. I’ll publish an excerpt as my next post.

Great to hear from you again, Garth!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Toyntanen said...

Not to worry folks! The last comment was only deleted so as I could re-post it as a main entry (so more folk would see it)- see above. Ta!


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