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Blog posting number 150

October 26, 2011

Yes, I cannot believe the number either, but the WordPress counter tells me it is correct and adds some stupid gibberish ‘inspirational’ message to tell me, too.

It seems like over two years ago that, following a ‘full and frank exchange of ideas’ about how my new book should be publicised, Mr P eventually persuaded me (with great reluctance) to write blog entries. In fact, it was over two years ago.

The blog started as a record of how book sales were going – still very well, since you ask, but do buy now as there are not that many left and the Christmas sales rush will likely mop up most if not all remaining stock – but has now grown as an outlet for me to let off some steam about things I either care about or really don’t care about but want to discuss anyway.

Thinking of stuff to write isn’t that easy. I said from the start that my ‘private’ life is just that (and, for the record, no I don’t know anybody called “Fox”). Luckily, I’ve found I can keep most stuff private and still find a way of blogging so that the few hundred who read this regularly still keep awake.

Some of it of course involves Mr P. For those who still don’t know, Mr P – the real one – is a quiet and unassuming writer / publisher type who gets on with life from an office in East London. He is, though, rather proud that on my blog he is part James Bond, part Lothario and large part Mr Bean. OK, maybe he isn’t so thrilled about the last bit, but lawyers are pretty expensive and the first two cancel out the first for him (I think).

The rest is, as I’ve said, stuff that catches my attention. I also follow as most writers do the rule of “seasonality.” Read any daily / weekly / monthly publication and all are the same. You get your “How to Tan” articles in Summer, your “How to Tan on Skis” in Winter and your “How to Tan a Behind” in most magazines Mr P subscribes to… but (or should that be butt?) moving swiftly on…

It really is easiest to write that way, and as of now “The X Factor” provides plenty to write about. Really interesting how the majority of the audience is seeing through the fakery of the production now. What I find a little sad, though, is that there are some quite strong acts that are worth watching – just as viewing figures are falling. Such is life.

Also on topic, was I the only one (other than Nick Hewer – who, incidentally, one of my readers resembles, oddly) horrified by one team’s lack of mathematical ability on “Young Apprentice” on Monday night? As I posted in a blog entry a while back, I don’t understand why so many people are so terrified by mathematics – and felt then that something should be done about it. What scared me this time around was that all those involved in the TV programme trailed high exam passes in the subject.

Either our exams really are too easy, or there’s something wrong with the methods that are being taught. We learned mental arithmetic and time-honoured ways of doing “the four rules of numbers” that the teenagers struggled with. That was replaced in the years these teens were at school with so-called “simpler” methods that may be easier short term, but I’m told don’t require the same intellectual application and can’t be refined much with practise.

The old way may by harder, but at least I still know (without a calculator) that four threes are NOT twenty eight (they are of course one hundred and fifty, for those who are still interested). Not true either, but a neat way to finish this entry, isn’t it.

Thanks to all who have read all 150 entries, who buy the book it was set up to promote, and who continue to support everything I do. It really is appreciated.

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