Does Anybody Know?

Do you know what “cdn.ampproject.org” means? Is it something I should be worried about?

emailsNow…I rarely check the statistics page that WordPress provide. I find it unhelpful when it comes to me just enjoying what I am doing. But I was working on one of these nomination posts just now, and one of the questions the blogger had asked of me, required me to look at my statistics page to find things out about my blog.

Anyway…I became distracted seeing that two of the referrers to my site were crushedcaramel-wordpress-com.cdn.ampproject….(I could not see the rest because it wouldn’t fit on the page).

Anyway, I clicked it to see where it went. It took me to a white page that is not my WordPress Reader, neither is it my blog (which happens to be a kind of royal blue background. It says Crushed Caramel. It certainly is one of my posts. But it seems to be in a format I have never seen before.

statsI know nothing about technology and the internet…but I wondered if anyone else knows what or why or how this “cdn.ampproject.org” is linked to my WordPress post? Have you seen this before? Are any of your referrers similar? Maybe this means nothing to you, or maybe you are one of those techno-genius types and could explain this mysterious anomaly to me.

This is the link / page I clicked on. It has a very different address to the rest of my WordPress posts. And I don’t know…it makes me a little nervous. I am going to bed now…but if anyone does have any helpful explanations, I would be so grateful to you for advising me.

https://crushedcaramel-wordpress-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/crushedcaramel.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/spent-the-whole-of-sunday-sticking-you-together/amp/?amp_js_v=0.1&usqp=mq331AQCKAE%3D

 

Those Who Hide What They Are

DISGUISES. I was thinking about this theme for a post and I was not sure exactly which direction to go in. So, I thought I would think a little bit about internet security.

When I checked the definition of disguise – it was along the following lines:

“to alter one’s appearance or conceal one’s identity”

incognitoI was thinking about how important anonymity has been to me while I have been blogging on WordPress. I have written about lots of people and events in my personal life. But I do all sorts to maintain my privacy. I change names. I am very obscure about locations. There are all sorts of things I would never share on my blog for security reasons.

In addition, I only feel comfortable talking about my personal life, within the privacy that being incognito brings. That is important to me, and I also seek to protect Jack’s identity.

In a way, I conceal my identity with a disguise. I do so with a clean conscience. I am very security conscious. I have absolutely no intention to mislead of deceive others for sinister reasons.

But that made me think of everything I have read about internet security. There are people who disguise who they are for malicious, sinister reasons. I think that most bloggers are sensible and have that sense of caution with regards to personal information. But I am very conscious that there are some very young bloggers and others who perhaps are a little too trusting.

incognitoI don’t to be gloomy here, or frighten anyone, but I would appeal to anyone blogging and sharing information from their personal life to be careful! Be cautious! There are people, perhaps bloggers, who are disguising themselves, not for security reasons, but for sinister reasons.

It is so easy to find yourself drawn to bloggers who are friendly. Most of that interaction is fine. But please please be careful. The internet can be like a big city. There are lots of people, most of them just enjoying themselves. But others with ill intent. And those who do have sinister motives are usually very very clever at disguising themselves. They might be men pretending to be teenage girls. Or people pretending to be all sorts of things they are not, in order to get your attention and try to win your trust.

caution.pngSomeone might have a sad story and be asking you for money to help them with their problems. They might ask you for personal photographs, or lots of personal questions. They might say they are lonely and that they feel especially drawn to you, that you seem very special.

In fact…maybe I am a tad suspicious, but any stranger who starts telling me I am “special” or giving me an unreasonable amount of flattery – my alarm sensors immediately trigger.

careful3.jpgDisguises are not always bad in themselves. People wear disguises for fun like at fancy dress parties. They wear disguises to remain incognito to protect their privacy. They may seek to maintain their anonymity because they are security conscious. Here on WordPress there are many bloggers who prefer to remain anonymous for all sorts of reasons. They may want to express their creativity or their feelings without others from their “real life” identifying them.

But the worst disguises are those worn by those who pretend to be something they are not in order to deceive, degrade and damage. Some disguises are worn by those with very harmful sinister motives. Some cleverly hide what they are, presenting themselves as something entirely innocent, when the reality is, they are seeking an opportunity to take advantage of someone trusting and vulnerable.

There are some lovely bloggers out there. They are usually very sensible and cautious themselves and are unlikely to ever compromise your security. But please remember that there are some internet users who are basically predators.

Enjoy blogging – but be cautious. Be safe! Remember there are some out there who are very clever at disguising their true motives.

____________________

 

This post was my response to the writing prompt from Sarah Elizabeth Moore

Writing Prompt #42

A Bit More About Blogging

former.pngI worked on this post over several days, in my leisure time…something that will make sense by the end of this post 🙂

I have had a busy week, with Jack and then a lot of work to catch up with. But I really wanted to work on a post in response to the questions from Dr Tanya, the creator of Salted Caramel, who has asked some more great questions about blogging. Take a look at Dr Tanya’s original post below:

https://saltedcaramel670.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/what-does-blogging-cost-to-your-personal-life/

Cost of Blogging — Questions

Does it infringe upon your leisure time?

such funErm…well, I wouldn’t say “infringe”.

Generally, I would use my leisure time to socialize with friends. One of the reasons I wanted to be back in London is the social life outside of work. I have many dear friends here in London. Of course, recently a special someone has snapped up most of my leisure time.

relaz.jpgWhen I am back in the little nest on my own, and have finished my house-work etc, I can choose how to relax before it’s time to go to sleep. There isn’t much on television I would enjoy, so normally I would turn on my lap-top and check my e-mails and write to family and friends, or phone someone I wanted to chat with.

I often use time in the evening to read other posts from other bloggers. But I have found there are so many posts there, I can’t get through them if I only check my WP Reader once a day. So I also check my Reader in the morning when I am eating breakfast and drinking coffee, and also when I am having a lunch break.

bloggingWriting posts is a whole different matter. Two days a week, I only work in the afternoon, So I usually am at home in the morning doing housework. So after I have done what I need to do, I sit down and write posts – numerous posts. During those two mornings I will write several shorter posts and work on longer posts (like award posts, or parts of my Annabelle Riley story). I then schedule those posts to be published at other times. Occasionally I find myself with other leisure time at other times in the week and can type up a short post.

Because I have such a huge catalogue of content in the e-mails I have sent to friends and family, it speeds things up massively that I can copy and paste and then edit my post to make it suitable for blogging. It speeds up writing enormously.

Worse still, does it distract you from your work/studies?

helping arnoldNope. Work, both unpaid and paid, is more important than blogging. I have been trained that work is work. You give work your best.

I work around forty – fifty hours a week on average, although my hours vary…some work for money, to pay my rent etc and some work on a voluntary basis in connection with the charities I work with. All the work I do receives my full attention. I don’t use phones or laptops for any personal use (with the exception of when I am cooking – it is nice to listen to music when I am cooking, and when things are in the oven, I might be able to do other things, such as reading posts on WordPress).

Is it taking a toll on your personal relationships?

pjsMy family and friends are very important to me. I spend time with them, or communicating with them, frequently and regularly. Often it is the e-mails I have sent to family and friends that form the basis for posts I publish on CRUSHED CARAMEL.

Blogging is something I do when I am on my own. The reading I do before bedtime. The writing I do those two mornings when I wouldn’t be out socialising.

Has your health suffered?

former.pngSince I received head injuries (when I was the victim of a crime some years ago) I have not been able to spend my leisure time the same way as I used to.

In the past I played basketball, went to a boot-camp, ran at least three times a week (one eight mile run and two four mile runs) and I did a huge amount of socialising. I was travelling all over London and beyond to parties and live music events. I was going away almost every weekend to stay with friends, and trying to squeeze in lots of hiking and cycling and anything active and outdoorsy – climbing trees, wild swimming, sports days – I loved anything energetic.

I miss that lifestyle. Having to rest could easily drive me crazy. I need things to keep my mind busy.

curled up on sofaBut I am not able to do what I used to. I still have a healthy social life. I like to make sure I spend two or three evenings (or other times) out with friends (or indoors with friends). But I need more rest than I used to. I have crazy headaches at times, and I also have black-outs and difficulties breathing at times.

So, I needed restful things to do in my leisure time. My life-long habit is writing letters and e-mails. I have a lot of material in my e-mail accounts that I can adapt to posts for my blog. I also have been writing a book for my little niece. Blogging is something I can do while I am resting. I have found it very enjoyable.

Have you gained weight?

Woman jogging and listening musicSince I stopped doing all the sport I used to I have gained some weight. But that is not due to blogging.

I have gained some weight because since I was attacked, I have not been able to maintain the level of activity I did before. That’s because of the head injuries I received. The problem I have had is my brain not always telling my heart to beat faster. I am fine with walking, and swimming. But when I tried running (I used to love running!), I kept blacking out.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

annie drinking coffeeThe challenges to my writing are not so much ideas, it is more the effect of headaches. When I wake up my head is a brute! It can take me a while to be able to function properly. But the wonderful combination of ibuprofen and coffee normally aid my writing capabilities.

Well…some mornings I might not necessarily have any fresh ideas. But my drafts folder has posts that I have previously started when I had an idea but not time to develop it. So if I am ever short of ideas, it’s great to just peruse my drafts folder and pick something to work on.

Have you ever suffered from blog related stress or blogger burn out?

weekend nearly overHardly any. I accept that there is a limit to how much time I have (as do we all). Blogging should be enjoyable. If I cannot get through every single post that appears in my WP Reader…so be it. I hope I will live to read more another day!

We all have different circumstances and situations. We all juggle different responsibilities and obligations. Blogging should be something recreational (unless you are making a business out of it, or secretly trying to take over the world). So if it ever feels like a burden, maybe it is time to make a slight adjustment or be more reasonable about your limitations.

enjoy.jpgI respect all bloggers are doing what they want, what they can, what they enjoy. I would hope they are prioritising on spending time with family, friends, their work and their health. I would not want anyone to suffer because of losing balance. I especially look out for the posts that appear from bloggers who publish infrequently. It’s always quite exciting to see their posts. I think I make more effort to comment as well on their posts to encourage them.

I try to read almost everything from the bloggers I follow, because I appreciate their support. But it is clearly something I just would not enjoy at all, I might skip it. As with any other area of entertainment, I am selective. My mind is not a sewer. I won’t let just anything flow through it!

Blogging should be fun! Don’t let it be stressful! To keep it fun, never forget what really matters in life! Family, friends, work, your health!! Your life should be many shades of wonderful…and if you have some spare time, sit down write a gorgeous post and share it with us! Forget about your worries and strife over blogging – look after the bear necessities and enjoy! Have fun!!!

Suzi’s Saturday Shout Out

One of our fellow bloggers is brightening up the weekend with a great feature that will help us meet more fabulous bloggers. As autumn and winter grip the northern hemisphere there is no shortage of colour in the blogging world, all thanks to Suzi, the creator of My Colourful Life!

Well…you may have already seen it…but I received a SATURDAY SHOUT OUT from Suzi, the creator of My Colourful Life, as you can see from her fabulous post below:

Saturday Shout Out – Crushed Caramel

Don’t you love the graphics! Suzi seems to be very clever when it comes to eye-catching graphics. Thank you for featuring me Suzi. I was so pleased that some bloggers I had never come across before popped by to say hello!

Thank you

Well…have you received a SATURDAY SHOUT OUT yet from the talented Suzi? Send Suzi a message to ask her to include you on the hit list! It’s really easy. Read Suzi’s post below to find out what you need to do:

Saturday Shout Out

Have fun! Help to brighten up our weekends by making sure your blog is featured in Suzi’s SATURDAY SHOUT OUTS during the grey months ahead!

I Think I Am Falling In Love

Now I have not asked her permission, so I am not going to do the whole re-blog thing. I just wanted to mention that I am falling in love with the poetry I read from a blogger I recently started to follow. This is was the poem I read in my WP Reader this morning:

https://whiteravennet.wordpress.com/2019/09/25/everything-poetry/

More To Come!

shes back.jpgI came back from Australia with all these wonderful things I want to tell you about my trip there and my time with Goldfinch, and yet for some strange reason I still have not really sat down to write about what was one of the highlights of my life! I was sooooooo happy there with him!!! It’s all stored up in my mind and heart and I am sure it will eventually leak out into my posts. I think I have selfishly been enjoying the euphoria and contentment he breathed into me, before I share it with the WordPress world. Perhaps in someways in my head, I am still over there with him 🙂

bloggging6Instead something else has been occupying my attention. You may have noticed that I responded to a writing prompt from Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life. When I first saw Kim’s prompt, I had just a little seed of an idea. I sat down and began what I thought would be a short flash fiction post. You probably know I usually write much more about my personal life than fiction, so it’s always a bit of an experiment.

Well….I now have published over thirty-five parts (I did count accurately yesterday, but I had a really late night and I have forgotten exactly how many posts there are)! The story of Annabelle has a habit of entangling itself with elements of my own personal life. But I have been trying to make her a fictional character as much as possible.

waiting on a benchI have not published anything for the last few days because I really wanted to make sure I concentrated on how to finish this story. I have grown to care so much about that happens to Annabelle. She is not going to have a Disney princess ending, I promise you that. But I am going to finish her story on a positive. Why on earth would we want to read anything with a miserable ending? I now know how it’s going to go! It feels great to know what is going to happen. I have three more posts scheduled for next week. Then I am going to give my attention to the grand finale!

I cannot believe how satisfying it has been to work on a longer fictional project! I know it needs a lot of editing to make it more interesting to a reader who is looking at it with completely fresh eyes and knows nothing about the personal life of Caramel that has inspired much of Annabelle’s tale. I have promised myself that editing my little novelette will be a great project during the cold winter months.

chilled.pngI was very nervous about a long project. Personally I think blogging on WordPress is more suited to shorter posts, entertaining or interesting or just plain delightful posts. I didn’t think anyone would have an interest in me focusing attention a long story about a fictional character. But it turns out that’s what most of us have been reading for donkey’s years!

I had huge encouragement to keep working at it from numerous bloggers, and found the comments from the following bloggers especially encouraging:

Paula Light

Ursula

Tom Burton

Jay-lyn Doerkson

Carol Anne

satisfying.jpg…and I have lost track of how many lovely comments I have received encouraging me to keep on developing Annabelle’s story! But thank you so much to everyone who has given me the impetus to continue. It’s one of the most satisfying things I have done since I started blogging. I am looking forward to tweaking the last few parts so that they nicely tie up the story lines for Annabelle and the other characters in her story.

This was the original writing prompt post from Kim, the creator of Writer Side of Life:

Free Creative Writing Prompts

I chose a prompt under the ROMANCE section: 3. Who is she waiting for? which came with the picture below:

kim's prompt
Photo by Thiago Matosfrom Pexels 

These are the parts of Annabelle Riley’s story that I have already published, and there are more to come (you will be glad to know the end is in sight!)

Lagging Behind

way behind.pngI am afraid that I might be upsetting a few of the bloggers who have kindly supported my posts. Perhaps I am coming across as neglectful or indifferent about other wonderful bloggers. So this post is to ask anyone who thinks I am overlooking them and not being courteous as a blogger to drop me a message to tell me. (lol – I may live to regret it! I am not asking for those messages where you demand that I follow your blog!!!) I am feeling as if I have totally fallen behind with all aspects of blogging due to my trip to Australia. Now, that is not something I worry about too much, because frankly, blogging is supposed to be fun. I am not going to beat myself up too much.

blogging3But I can see a considerable number of likes and follows from bloggers I do not recognise at all. So I wanted to say right now that I am a not a great blogger at all, I admit. I like to work on posts, some in response to prompts and some just about putting my own thoughts into words, but I am not in this for numbers or statistics. I don’t have any ambitions whatsoever regarding my blogging or writing in general.

However, I don’t want to appear rude or ungrateful for the support I have received and all of the lovely interaction with other bloggers which has made it so enjoyable. I have been following some bloggers for a long time, mainly because I like them, sometimes I like them more than I like the content of their posts in truth. I also follow a huge number of foodie bloggers because I love seeking out new recipes and I follow travel bloggers because of their beautiful photos and their accounts of places I would love to see for myself one day.

Caramel and GoldfinchIf you are new to Crushed Caramel, I am publishing a mix of posts about my life, family, friends, the man I love (Goldfinch) and the occasional works of fiction or even bad poetry. I try to keep things positive, light-hearted and family friendly.

I have been away in Australia recently (look out for Australia posts in the near future) and I have fallen behind in all aspects of blogging If you have liked or followed my posts in the last few weeks and you think I am being discourteous in not returning the support, please let me know, because I am finding it hard to keep up at the moment. Just say “Oy Caramel” and drop a link to one of your posts or something.

blogging5I certainly do not automatically follow everyone who likes or follows my posts. My WP Reader would be a nightmare if I did. And if I can see that you publish twenty posts everyday there is no way I am going to follow you. But I like bloggers who are nice people and I like to see posts that are happy, positive, interesting, fun, creative, thought-provoking, beautiful etc. So if you are one of those lovely types who wants to contribute to a friendly blogging community and who writes posts that make readers feel good about being alive, then oh definitely do drop me a link to your posts.