Category Archives:Thoughts

Aug. 16.

Something Else Sunday: The Creepiest Twitter Date That Never Was

ses-date-thI’m sure most of us have been there, with someone trying to chat us up, failing, and having us desperately trying to get away. It can be hilarious. It can be excruciating, it can be downright mortifying. But it can also make for a great story to laugh at afterwards. So, here is my story of my recent Twitter Date, that was never actually a date.

If you are young and good looking, chances are you’ve encountered this type of account on Twitter. Guy, not too many tweets, and just as few followers. For the purposes of this, I shall refer to him only as “Subject X” (even though that makes it sound like a twisted experiment). He was following about a hundred people, mostly of the good looking female variety, and he had 9 tweets, all variations of the “Hello Dear, I’d like to get to know you” kind. If you haven’t guessed it yet, he had one thing on his mind. Being up for a laugh, I decided to play along for a while, and followed him back. It didn’t take long for a DM to arrive, which read:

Subject X
Hi dear how are you doing its nice yo be friends with you on here…
you got a nice profile…where do you come from hope you dont mind me asking??

So far, so dull, but I answered, being truthful, but vague. I’m from Dublin, so I didn’t get more specific than that. He then asked me about if I am living with family (yes, but I don’t have my own family), before I asked him to tell me something about himself. This isn’t a one way conversation!

From that I learned:

  • He comes from Palm Beach, Florida
  • He is  in the US Army
  • Currently deployed in Libya “on a peace keeping”
  • He is single (well, if he is looking for a hookup, it does help)
  • He lost his parents 5 years ago in a motor accident
  • He was taken in and raised by his uncle, who is a reverend father

Right, nothing serious so far, I was sorry to hear about his parents, but was happy to see he is so positive considering the situation he is in. Standard small talk stuff. He asked my age, to which I replied mid 20’s (which is not far off), and the reply was maybe one of someone who isn’t mastering the English language, as he replied:

Subject X
wow you look matured and good i guess you have a boy friend

I would have never thought you tell a woman you look “matured”, unless you want a slap/drink thrown over you. I let it slide though. Things may be getting interesting. I explained that I was single, but was in a long distance relationship for 5 years (true). On being asked why it never worked out:

My girlfriend lived in Missouri, and 4,000 miles is a long distance to make it work out.

A pertinent bit of information there. My girlfriend. Did he pick up on that? If he did would I be writing this? Of course he didn’t. Instead his reply let slip some of the purpose of this whole conversation:

Subject X
okay i understand and tell me why since then you never want any relationship again can i ask you a question will you like having a serious relationship again and get married and have your own family some day i wish for that

Did I ever say I didn’t want any relationship again? Did I mention marriage and family? Is this what you are looking for, Subject X? Still I continued to play along, yet again not mentioning men or boyfriends.

I didn’t say I don’t want any relationship again. I just want the right person, and a family would be nice.

Alas he both did and didn’t pick up on the whole person thing. He is still convinced I am looking for a man, but did suddenly figure out that I was using the term “person” (he may be catching on – or not)

Subject X
okay i understand you tell me what kind of man would you like to have some day

I want someone with a great personality. Kind, funny, witty. Someone who I want to spend all my time with!

Subject X
wow thats very interesting and you really deserve such man well truly i want the same but its so hard this days to find the right one

Subject X
I enjoy slow or fast dancing, walking in the woods holding, hands, candlelite dinners, travel, shopping and watching movies, and playing romantic piano for that special person. I love snuggling and sharing passionate kisses with that special person.

So, he cottoned on to the person thing, and started using punctuation, though I question whether he likes walking in the woods holding, and also likes hands, or he likes walking in the woods holding hands. Maybe it is time to start ramping up the messages that I am not interested, and am really just winding him up. So, when being asked what I like and dislike, I dropped this little message in there:

I love spending time with my friends, enjoying good food and laughter. Friends are important to me. I don’t really like random pushy people.

Random pushy people. Does that include those who randomly follow you on Twitter looking for a wife? Apparently not! So it continued. Can I cook well, do I like food? (Is he looking for a wife to stay at home and create care packages for him while he is out policing the world?) Yes, I can cook. I love scallops (a seafood), so I was surprised by the next question – Do I like seafood? (sigh – how much longer can this go on). Maybe it is time to make it so blindingly obvious that I am taking the piss. Come on Subject X, give me the opportunity! He dutifully obliged!

Subject X
oh really thats so great well i havnt been to Ireland before and dont know how it looks but i will like to Visit your country maybe sometime

Ireland is beautiful. Very green lots of fields, great people and some leprechauns.

Oh come on, if that doesn’t make him realise, nothing ever will! Guess what, he didn’t realise, or he does believe in leprechauns!

Subject X
wow i like the way you put those words and i will like coming there to build and start my own family??

Woah there! Now you’re freaking me out. You both didn’t get the leprechaun thing, and you’re coming to Ireland to start your family. Don’t you know the rules of dating (Twitter or otherwise), you never mention starting a family on the first date! I have to get out of this! But I also have to be polite, so I obligingly tell him he is always welcome to visit Ireland (everyone always is), except for the fact that he took it as an official invitation!

I needed an out. Asking me for pictures seemed ideal, and I did try to let him down gently…

There I am in my profile picture. That is me!

Anyway, it has been nice talking to you Subject X, but I don’t think you are the special person I am looking for. I can’t do another long distance relationship. Stay safe out there, and best of luck to you!

I don’t think it had the desired effect, and I may have broken Subject X’s heart…

Subject X
Hey why do you say this

Because you are not the person I want to spend my life with, but I don’t want any harm to come to you? I’m being polite.

Subject X
its okay dear i understand??

It’s late here. I’m going to bed. Goodbye, Subject X.

And so ends the story of the date with Subject X. I’m not against internet dating (I met two ex partners on the internet) but I’ll probably avoid these kinds of dates in the future. That said, if you know someone who would get on well with me, knows how to punctuate (and who wouldn’t discuss starting a family on the first date) or you want to share your creepy dating story, I encourage you to do so below! Come on, laugh with us, it’s therapeutic!


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Jun. 03.

Waffle Wednesday: A Learning Experience – Irish Bloggers Conference

ww-IBC-thAt the weekend I was so lucky to be invited to attend the second Irish Bloggers Conference, by the absolutely wonderful Anita of, and held in the delightful venue of the Radisson Blu hotel on Golden Lane. It would have been wrong of me to attend and not make it a learning experience, as the wealth of knowledge on stage was immense. I went armed with my notebook and camera to find out what was what.

Just some of the displays at the conference

Just some of the displays at the conference

Now, I will say that I probably didn’t use either as much as I should have. I am partly to blame for this, though I also assign blame to those who were speaking. You could spend so long paying acute attention to what was being said, that you plain forgot to take it all down. There were, though, a few bits that did make it in to my book, which will stick with me. The first part of the day was mainly about blogging as a business, and was led off by fitness blogger Rob Lipsett, who also has a line of gym gear. Three things stuck with me from his presentation:

  • Build up your name: Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Be unique! Be noticed. This is very true. If you have 50 people all blogging about the same thing, in the same way, everything looks far too identikit, like it is the exact same info on a different template. Make your content unique, make it interesting. Put your slant on something and claim it as your own. It will make it so much easier to recognise YOU!
  • Be good at what you do: If you are doing something don’t half-ass it. Know what you are talking about! If you are knowledgeable and passionate about something it will show in your work.
  • And finally, if you are looking to make blogging your business, DO IT! If you are in a 9-5 job that you are just slogging through, ask yourself WHY? Move from something you are just doing to something you are passionate about doing!

Conor Lynch of talked about monetizing your blog – making it pay for itself, and you. Luckily a link to his full presentation is available here, but the main thrust of his talk was about the main forms of advertising, how they work, and how to implement them in a way that will not drive away visitors. There was one caveat he had though. The most important thing you need to have before advertising becomes worthwhile is TRAFFIC! If you think that you can just slap some ads onto the blog and it will become a goldmine, it won’t. You have to work up to it first!

I admittedly didn’t take any notes during Alison Canavan’s talk. We were all ordered to uncross our legs, clear our laps, and be in the present. The group meditation was a nice touch though!

The final speaker in part one was Anita Whyte of, who, though battling nerves, gave us two things. She has an app coming out soon, and one piece of advice: Interaction is key. Talking to people, sharing with people, interaction makes a big difference. The social aspect can’t be underestimated.

Artwork on display

Artwork on display

The second part of the day focussed on women in business & media (well, it was a mostly female audience, with the few men being questioned as to whether they were lost or being held there against their will, by the brilliantly funny MC Marcus O’Laoire). Sonya Lennon, of Off The Rails and Lennon-Courtney fame told us to not put all of our eggs in one basket. Keep building your profile. Keep looking for the next thing that you can get involved in. Basically to not expect one thing to last forever, but to keep adapting and evolving.

Writer and broadcaster Barbara Scully gave one of the standout talks of the day about women in media and social media (it’s owned by women and cats don’t you know). Again, I was paying too much attention to her to actually make notes, but a couple of things stood out.

  • Keep disciplined, making regular updates to your blog or social media. Watch the reactions to each post. Does something get people talking or clicking more than others?
  • With social media, particularly Twitter, get your name right from the start. Can you expect to be taken seriously with a name like @aurora111? – this is Barbara’s original twitter handle (Incidentally, I’ve always been @robyntmorton – I got something right!)
  • Know your facts: How difficult is it to say something incorrect and try to salvage the situation. You are better off checking your facts and getting it right first time.
  • Important: PUT DOWN THE WINE! Tweeting/facebooking/whatever after a few glasses may seem like a good idea. It may seem like fun, until the next day when you ask “Did I tweet that?” Think before you tweet!

Mary Carty of and Stemettes was talking about women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) and told us that “skills are the new safety.” If you don’t have skills, learn them. If you do have skills, keep improving them. And keep learning new things. Skilled people are always needed! She also told us not to wait on perfect. You will be forever waiting for the perfect opportunity.

Orla McDonagh, the Gym Bunny told us of two important things that are needed – Passion & Ego – before encouraging us to take pictures of a couple of slides that contained important information to keep considering (these are in the gallery below)

Gym Bunny

Picture 1 of 3

After the second break, where I tried to be sociable and passed on the delicious looking cupcakes that disappeared in about 5 seconds we had our final three speakers of the day.

Pete Wedderburn (the vet off the television, yes) talked about how he used old media and now new media to build the profile of his vet practice from having two vets not busy, to having many vets always busy. He also asked us to tweet about why exactly we blog, as he was interested to see the myriad of reasons (I blog for enjoyment, friendship and as a means of relaxation)

Timi Ogunyemi, the picture editor of Picture This talked about the 3 C’s (Communicate, Collaborate, Celebrate). I was more lost in his stage presence & glasses, but did manage to note that we should embrace creativity, and love what you do.

The final speaker was Darragh Dolye, a man who has a simple job description – to get things noticed on twitter. He led us on a 20 plus minute, 211 slide journey, that comprised many of memes and funny pictures, while telling us to know where different sources of traffic get to the blog (he is the reason that Robyn Rants and Raves now has a Whatsapp share button). When I wasn’t doubled up laughing, I did manage to take a couple of photos of his presentation, so, the best of Darragh Doyle is below, minus his naked pictures (yes, there were pictures of him, and lots of other naked people, in the presentation)

Darragh Doyle

Picture 1 of 16

The day finished with a fashion and beauty bloggers panel, including Anita Whyte, Nuala Gorham, Holly White, Joanne Larby, David Cashman & James Butler. One of the interesting questions asked was about dealing with negative comments on blogs and social media. I thought the answer given that negativity will happen (some people just hate seeing others being successful) and while you shouldn’t stifle it unless it gets really bad, do not engage with it. There will be so many more positive comments, and brands may be watching. If you lower yourself to the level of trolls, it does not reflect well on you.


The bloggers panel (I was in an awful place for pictures of this)

One more thing that was mentioned a lot, by numerous people, was about saying yes to opportunities. There must be a reason for someone offering an opportunity to you, so always, where possible, say YES to the opportunity. There may come a time when you have to balance which opportunities pay the bills or not, but don’t let opportunities pass you by. A Richard Branson quote was used to illustrate this: “If you don’t know how to do something, say yes – then learn to do it.”

It was a fantastic day, and as you can see, I took a lot away from it, which, hopefully, you can take bits of too. It was, at times, a bit overwhelming, and a bit of information overload, but it was a very worthwhile day (without even mentioning the goody bags, the Yamamori gift card that I won, or the drinks afterwards in 10 St. Stephens Green), and in the absence of a video of the full day that I can watch back, I will certainly be in line for tickets for the next one. Major kudos have to go to the team at Cool Events for the effort in putting together the day, which is most appreciated.



(Thumbnail picture credit: Irish Blogger Association & Holly Shortall)

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May. 27.

Waffle Wednesday: Things You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Trans Person

ww-logo-thThere is a video currently doing the rounds of internet land, that was originally made by BBC Three’s Free Speech programme, entitled Things You’ve Always Wanted To Ask A Trans Person (But Probably Shouldn’t) that has popped up in my timeline a couple of times in the past two days. It was on The Journal today (where I engaged in the comments, which are a dark soulless place – bad Robyn, don’t read the comments, you know that!), and it does pose an interesting question as to just what is and isn’t okay to ask.

Looking at some of the questions included in the video, you have to wonder just what some people are thinking in believing it is okay to ask these things. Let’s be honest, if you were to go up to a woman at random and say “Can I feel your boobs?” you’ll be lucky to get away with just a slap around the face. Why should someone who is trans* be any different? Likewise, how do you have sex? If that is your opening line, you better have much more than your charming personality to go with, because it alone is letting you down. There seems to be an attitude that trans* people are at best curiosities, and at works (as put by one commenter on The Journal) creatures, seemingly beneath basic human rights and boundaries. That is very much not the case.

That said though, I do believe that sometimes asking questions, in the right way, and at the right time, is acceptable. If you are asking for the right reasons, to learn and understand what trans* people go through, then I wouldn’t mind answering them, and I’m sure most trans* people would be the same. (Some questions may be off limits unless you are really close though). And so, if it helps anyone, here are my answers (though they’re probably nowhere near as good as the ones of the people in the video!)

  • When did you decide to be transgender? I never really decided. I just am, though to give something, I suppose I became aware of it in my mid teens.
  • Have you had the op? Medical questions, woo! I’ve been through so many ops now that I lose track of them, but the ones you are thinking about, no. Patience, grasshopper!
  • Which bathroom do you use? The one that is there when I need to pee. Which one do you use?
  • How do you have sex? In bed with the person I love. Get to know me better and ask again.
  • Are you a drag queen? No. I don’t have the makeup skills for the eyes and contouring.
  • Are you sure you aren’t just gay? Gender and sexuality are two completely different things, with infinite different stops on each scale. Variety is the spice of life after all. Wouldn’t life get boring if we were all the same.
  • Can I see a picture? If you know me well enough to see a picture, great. If not, too bad. There’s not much difference, except for my being much more fabulous.
  • Can I feel your boobs? Can I feel yours? No – then don’t be such a tit and stop asking stupid questions.
  • I can tell you used to be a man/woman – Well good for you, but the thing is I don’t really care. I am who I am and if you don’t like it, move along.
  • I never know what to call them – he/she/they? This is quite simple. If you see a woman you use she. If you see a man – he. If you’re unsure, they is gender neutral and works great until you politely ask. That should clear up and issues. If in doubt, ask. We don’t bite (much)
  • Do you think you’ll ever go back? Happiness is everything. Why go back to being unhappy?

As I said, there are some questions there that should really never be asked. I know curiosity may get the better of you, but stopping for a second and thinking whether you would reasonably ask a cisgender person the same thing will give you a pretty good basis for asking or not.

I must also say thank you to BBC Three for putting together the video, and for their respondants for giving such excellent answers!


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Mar. 07.

Something Else Saturday: In Search of a Good Deal

ses-deals-thEveryone loves a good deal. Money off, or something extra thrown in, we all want some of that. And that led to the rise of the deal sites. We see emails from them every day, sometimes several times a day, but are any actually worthwhile?

In my current situation I need to make money work as hard as possible for me. If I am looking for a manicure or a pedicure, or occasionally a hairdresser, I will check out deal sites and see what is on offer. It used to be that I would go to the same beauty salon all the time. I was a loyal customer, as the prices were good, and the service excellent. Unfortunately they closed down and since then I have moved about a lot. I haven’t had any bad experiences, but I have heard of them. Can you really get a good service in a good salon when you are paying only a fraction of the usual price, and the salon are only getting an even smaller fraction of that? Should you expect high quality salons to advertise on deals sites, or only salons where the price may be good, but you wouldn’t normally go anywhere near the place?


The morning deluge of deals emails…


So, today for Something Else Saturday, I am looking for opinions on whether deals sites do offers that are actually worthwhile. Have you had particularly great experiences with them, or particularly horrific? Are they a good way of saving money, or should I spend the extra money, find somewhere and stick with them? Please do let me know in the comments!


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r white
Dec. 31.

Review of The Year 2014

Robyn RIt’s December 31st, there are less about 4 hours left in the year as I write this, and it means that I really should do my review of the year. I should go through each months, highlight my favourite posts, which posts got the most hits and so on, but well, I love all my posts, so I would be here until December 31st next year choosing. Instead, I’m going to do things a little differently…

I made one resolution at the end of last year, to blog more often, at least once a week, and I’m glad to say I’ve exceeded that, blogging 6 days a week as much as possible. I’m glad I did, because it brought me closer to my dear readers (without you the blog is just me waffling into cyber oblivion) and I’ve had some great opportunities to try new products and learn more about the beauty industry as a result. The main reason I’m glad I’ve blogged so much this year though, is that it has been a brilliant outlet and distraction. A distraction that was very much needed.

As many of you know from reading the Robyn Rants & Raves, I haven’t been well this year. Since my visit to the hospital near the end of 2013, I’ve been unwell. It hasn’t been pleasant. It’s interfered with my life for over a year now, and looks to stretch at least a little into 2015. It’s been a year of many hospital visits, countless procedures, and more waiting than is right for any person to have to put up with. I’ll just not mention the food. If there has been any year that could have beaten me, it is this year.

But it hasn’t. It has done one thing, that the endless optimist in me has to concede is the highlight of the year. It has had me prove to myself just how resilient and positive I can be. It has been difficult to remain so positive at times, I’ll admit. There have been times when I’ve just wished it could all be over, when there have been long waits, or things have not been going as they should, but I’d defy anyone to want to be unwell. But it is the end of the year and I am still here. I am still going and still looking forward to getting to the end of being unwell. It is said that it is only in dark times that you find out how strong you can be, and now that makes much more sense to me.

Now to 2015. What can be my resolution for next year? To be healthier? Sure that’s a given after this year. Something blogging related? Well, the main thing is to get back to regular blogging service, but after that I want to keep improving the blog and making it the best I can. That’s not a resolution though. If there is one resolution I can make, it should be to not lose the positivity I have found. Positivity is a tremendous thing, and it would be a shame to lose it.

And so, if you have read this, or indeed any post on Robyn Rants & Raves this year, you have been a part of my 2014, and I love you for being a part of it. And I wish you the very best for your 2015. Be positive, it will be a great year for you! Now stop reading this and go celebrate!


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Dec. 06.

Something Else Saturday: The Christmas Tag

ses-tree-thI’ve been tagged by two people to do the Christmas Tag, namely Amy from Red Lips;Red Hair, and Sam from All The Buzz. As I love these ladies so so much I really couldn’t say no. It’s very simple. There are 10 questions about Christmas, and I answer them. Easy peasy!

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?

Usually, with so many people crowded into the house at Christmas, it is very difficult to watch anything, as someone else grabs the remote every 5 minutes. That said, I do like Die Hard (It’s set at Christmas, so it’s a Christmas movie) and I also enjoyed The Santa Clause & Home Alone when I was younger.

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas eve or on Christmas morning?

Open presents on Christmas Eve?!?! HAHA they’re usually only being wrapped on Christmas Eve! That’s how organised I am! They never stay wrapped for long though, being opened again on Christmas Morning.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?

As children, we would usually be awake at about 4.30 on Christmas Morning, inevitably waking up the grinchy uncle who had only gone to bed within the previous hour. Somehow we would occupy ourselves with Christmas Stockings for 60-90 minutes, while trying not to wake grinchy uncle (again) before waiting on the stairs for my dad to clean up reindeer droppings and eventually declare the sitting room open.

4. Favourite Christmas food

The Christmas Pudding, which is generally made in batches of 6 in the house. One is consumed when it is just made. One a couple of days later. Two more are sacrificed over the 25th and 26th, with another one around new year’s. One may survive long enough to be hidden and be left to mature in a bottle of whisky for a year, before being eaten. Yum!

5. Favourite Christmas gift

Being an almost Christmas baby (December 18th) I was very lucky to be given, as a combined 21st birthday/Christmas present from my parents, a ticket to the middle of the United States, so I could spend Valentine’s Day with my then girlfriend, who was 4,068 miles away.

6. Favourite Christmas scent

The combined smells of Christmas Pudding and my mum’s sage and onion sausagemeat stuffing cooking. It makes everyone gather in the kitchen, which is really too small to allow people to gather, so we are all promptly thrown out again.

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Our Christmas Eve Tradition is very simple. Stay out of the kitchen, lest ye get smacked around the head with a wooden spoon. Aside from that, usually go and collect grinchy uncle from the airport (except for 2010, where I drew the short straw and had to drive through the snow to collect him from the ferryport. He’s a professional driver, while I had not long been in possession of my first car).

8. What tops your tree?

A bird box, but don’t tell Coillte. Seriously though, a star tops the tree. The same one that has done for about 2 decades now.

9. As a kid, what was the one extravagant gift you asked for but never got?

With so many kids in the house, extravagant was never an option. We never asked, and were never disappointed!

10. What’s the best part about Christmas for you?

A combination of the food, as I do really REALLY love excellent food (just ask my waistline), and the family getting along with each other for a while. Having everyone together, and happy is a great thing!

And there you have it, my Christmas Tag. Once again, thank you to Amy and Sam, and as I can’t think of anyone specific to tag that hasn’t already done it, I’m going to leave it open. If you like what you’ve seen, go for it!


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Nov. 05.

Waffle Wednesday: A Frustrating Hospital Update

ww-bedthAnyone who has been following me on Facebook or Twitter, or who has been reading Robyn Rants and Raves for a while knows about my adventures in healthcare, and mid to late October saw another chapter written in the ongoing saga. Unfortunately it has not been a good chapter.

If you didn’t already know, I spent 5 weeks in hospital late last year, after discovering a problem with my kidneys and bladder (we’re rapidly approaching the 1 year anniversary). The bladder has been sorted, and in March we discovered the cause of the kidney problem – a polyp causing an obstruction. It was minor, and they were willing to wait and take a look at it again in July.

July turned in to October after 4 cancellations, but in mid October they finally got me back in to look at things again, and it had gotten worse. It is now a more serious problem, as it is completely obstructing the kidney.

The doctors suddenly decided that things must be done. Within an hour of getting home from the hospital that day I had a phone call giving me a date just on the opposite side of the weekend to bring me back in. That didn’t happen, but it did happen that week, on the Friday, for urgent intervention with the aim of protecting the kidney. Even that didn’t go perfectly. They were able to complete one part, but not the other. Cue a weekend of sitting in a room doing nothing. A LONG long weekend of doing nothing over the bank holiday. On the Tuesday they decided that yes they wanted to try again, and did try the next day. And again it didn’t work out. So they sent me home, with the aim of trying again next week.

So, the current plan is to being me back in on Tuesday, with the aim of trying yet again on Wednesday. After that, I have no idea what will happen.

This is where things get frustrating. It is rapidly approaching a year since this all began. A year where I have had to put things on hold. A year of not being able to plan ahead, not knowing when the hospital would want me again.

Then there is the lack of communication. I have been taking quite an interest in my treatment. I find it helps to have some idea of what has been done, and what still needs to be done. The medical team this time around seem a little unwilling to actually discuss things, and in the most recent stay, I didn’t speak to my consultant, even to have him say hello.

And of course there is the feeling of going backwards. These interventions have been done before, deemed to no longer be needed, and taken out. Now we are putting them back in. This doesn’t seem any closer to a resolution.

To know we are getting closer to the job finally being done, to being able to get my life back on track is all I want. Physically I am better than I was this time last year. I can put up with the poking and prodding and sticking things in me to try and do something. Mentally, however, I am suffering. It is not easy being unwell. If you haven’t experienced it, I hope you never do. If you have, this probably makes too much sense.

My GP today said something to help, a little bit of good news to remember. At least the polyp is benign.

That’s it. Stay optimistic. Keep the chin up. I’ll get through it eventually.


P.S. This is also the reason for my sporadic posting in the past couple of weeks. Trying to juggle getting things ready for the hospital, being in there and blogging is difficult. I’ll try to do what I can though.

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Oct. 15.

Waffle Wednesday: Bloggers, Photographs and Unauthorised Use

ww-wafflethIt can be difficult, getting the perfect photo for your blog. The lighting may not be what you wanted, or the angle may be off, or no mater what you do, you just can’t get the colour to reproduce properly. We have all been there, and it is a pain. But then there are moments where everything goes perfectly for you, you get a great photo, use it on your blog, and you are very happy with yourself. But then, lo and behold, it appears on another website. A website that took your image, your hard work without permission.

I have been known to right click on various images on my blog, and thanks to Google Chrome there is a direct option to search Google for this image. Mostly, no matches come up, except for on my own site, and that is a good thing. A couple of days ago though, I did find a match from another site. It was a site purporting to be an image library. And there was an image of one of my manicures on the site. I was never approached about it. I was never asked. They just added it to their site, which on their “about us” page was telling people that it was a site of high quality images, allowing people to download the best one to suit their needs.

NOTD-FrenchExcuse me? A site took my image, and was offering it for people to download for their own use? I’m not having that. On their contact us page, there was a spiel about how the images are not free to use. That they should be freeware, but might not be, and so you shouldn’t use them. There was also a contact form for copyright holders to request the removal of images, or if they prefer, have their link added to the recommended links page (it was a very short list of recommended links). Annoyed by the fact that my image was there without permission, and not wanting my link to be associated with what could be a very dodgy website, I told them that it was to be removed. Fortunately there was no argument, and a couple of hours later I had an email to say it had been removed. Problem solved, and crisis averted.

Meanwhile, I started checking through every image I have on the blog. Most of them came up with nothing. I mean, who wants to reproduce images of my face, but unfortunately I found another one. One of my most popular posts has always been about the SS ’14 launches from Shiseido. In it there was a photo of their Face Colour Enhancing Trio’s. A photo that I actually made a mistake with, in that one of the included brushes was pointing down, while the others were pointing up. It turned out to be a very telling mistake, as I found the same four products in 1 photo, with the same mistake, the same dimensions, and the same filename, as my image. That’s too many coincidences. That is my photo, again being used without permission or credit. This time on another blog.


Another blogger wanted to write a piece on the product, did an image search, and just helped themselves to my work. This irks me. Any blogger worth reading, to the best of my knowledge, takes great pride in their work. It is what makes blogging and the blogging community so great, because it is a person who is just genuinely passionate about a subject and wants to share their passion. So, to feel that one of our own didn’t have the courtesy to contact me for permission, or even credit my work, is a bit of an insult really.

Normally, I try to be polite, but I ran into several issues here. The blogger in based in Spain, writes in the Spanish language, and had no contact details on the blog, so I was left with two options. The first was to leave a comment saying that I was the copyright holder of the work, that it was used without permission, and that I needed the image removed. The second, which ultimately I have had to enact, is to approach Google with a copyright takedown request, as it is housed on one of their blogging platforms.

I hate having to do things like this, but at the same time I feel that my rights as the creator of the works should be respected. You can call me a moany bitch if you so wish, but I am really quite easy going on things like this. I love seeing people acknowledge my writing, my photos, my work as being excellent and that they want to use it, and well, I am completely fine with it. All I ask is that someone sends a quick email to say that they want to use such and such an image, for whatever reason, and that they’ll credit me as creator. Hey, if I can I will even sort out higher resolution versions of the image.

And finally, if you do go searching the web for images (and we all have) to use for something, I encourage you to acknowledge sources, be it a brand, an image library, or another website. If we do take the convenient way out, it is really only fair that we tip our hats to the ones that put the effort in to create the images for us.

How do you feel about unauthorised use of images? Do you regularly check and ask for images to be taken down? Do you watermark your images? Or do you think that people will just use them regardless and let them get on with it?


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Sep. 24.

Waffle Wednesday: Yet Another Hospital Rant

ww-hospitalthWell, it’s time for another one of those posts where I talk about hospitals (I’m making a habit of it). As you may know I was in hospital for 5 weeks before Christmas, than again for a couple of days at the end of March, and since then I have been waiting. Well I am going to rant a little about still waiting.

I was told at the start of April that I have an issue affecting one of my kidneys. It’s minor, and they wanted to look at it again before deciding what to do about it. So they gave me an appointment to repeat some tests in July. July came and went. All I got was a letter to say it had been rescheduled until the start of September. I later found out that it was because my consultant had been called away for a time. It happens. I wasn’t entirely happy but I persevered.

The start of September came. I got a phone call going through the standard 101 questions that would be asked time and time again, was told that it was going ahead and all was good. Then I got another phone call saying that the theatre wasn’t available for when I was scheduled and it was postponed again. I couldn’t really give out to the admissions secretary, as it was not her fault, but I was quite annoyed. I think that is understandable for me to be unhappy. Having it cancelled once is unfortunate. Having it cancelled twice is a pain.

Well, let’s figure out what is about to be said. It’s the 24th, and I’m writing this about an appointment for the 22nd. You can guess that it was cancelled yet again. This is just getting ridiculous. Again after being told it was all good and it was going ahead, I got a phone call. About 12 hours before I was due in the hospital I got a call from the on call registrar calling it off. He told me that he would have called me sooner but there was difficulty finding my contact details, and that because of a number of cases arriving in over the weekend mine was cancelled.

The trouble I have isn’t solely with it being cancelled again. It’s with what it is doing to my head. I am sick of waiting for this. I am sick of getting myself ready, being told that it is going ahead, only to have it called off. I am sick of what feels like being fobbed off with excuses.

Is it too much to ask for to actually get things done? To know that there is further work required or that it is something that can be left as is? I want to be able to get myself sorted out, back doing something, and not just waiting around waiting to do something.

All I know at the moment is that the appointment has been rescheduled for early October, yet still another 2 weeks away. Again I have been told that it is not going to be cancelled, but bitter experience has taught me that until I’m actually there, that being told it’s not going to be cancelled means nothing.


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