They say if you can’t beat them join them! How often have we heard that little ditty but if I recall I wasn’t attempting to join or even begin to emulate the literary greats when I enrolled on that Memoirs Course, in fact, I didn’t give it much thought at all.
Actually, I will be honest each September when enrolment was required for the coming year, for all those amazing courses offered by U3A, I normally made myself scarce, why was that? It really is a little sad and I will tell you why, because on reading through the prospectus, all the courses seemed to be so ‘high brow’, no light relief to be found anywhere. I know the majority of you will beg to differ, I can offer no defense, save, possibly I’m a little bit of an ignoramus!
Then, quite unexpectantly, as life has a tendency of doing, it all caught up with me, yes, better late than never! I had, what does one say, a light bulb moment, decided that I had better put my best foot forward and show all those ‘blue stockings’ that maybe I could become one too. After so long, what made me change my mind, well, I will tell you, jumping out of the page and socking me straight between the eyes was a course, entitled Memoirs!.
Now, this awakened my senses and that little genie sitting on my shoulder whispered, give it a whirl, because you really do have some amazing tales to tell. After contemplating for a moment, I thought, yes maybe, just maybe you are right my friend.
My head was in a whirl as I attempted to marshall my thoughts and reign in those little grey cells that were scattered far and wide, my goodness they had been up to no good for so long. Yes, possibly I did have some memories tucked away somewhere just waiting to see the light of day. Without further ado, I signed on the dotted line and readied myself for the initiation session. I was there on the dot with knocking knees, spinning head and was more than a little apprehensive.
Unbeknown to me, as I was signing on the dotted line, dusting down the old grey cells and getting ready to meet my fellow scribes, I was embarking upon a journey, that even in my wildest dreams, was going to be simply unimaginable and would surely take my breath away. In fact, I was climbing aboard my very own magic carpet, Persian of course!
I was soon to discover that yes, I did have a few tales to tell, tales that on occasions seemed to electrify and fascinate my audience. To my utter amazement, this was to be the start of my wander down memory lane, a route so littered with diversions and pot holes it was a wonder that I survived the first hundred yards!
This was not the birth of the blues but the emergence of the ‘girl wearing pearls’ recounting her story which has proved to be a fascinating tale. One which has gathered momentum along the way and morphed into quite an extraordinary adventure, in fact, I have found it very hard keeping up with her!
And so it was thus the ‘girl’ had taken off at a rate of knots with me clinging on to her coat tails, my goodness I need a pair of running shoes, a secretary and also somebody to soothe my furrowed brow, what is happening?
A very gracious fellow student who hailed from America was so mesmerized that she suggested that these offerings, I think, about 5 Essays at the time should be posted on the Internet as a Blog. Excuse me, what is a Blog, I whimpered from the other side of the room?
My ignorance and naivety of all things technical would surely be a massive deterrent. To even think about embarking on anything so fanciful would, I think, be utter madness and as I was soon to find out would also get me into a great deal of trouble!
My nickname isn’t ‘Maples’ for nothing, and I quickly found myself googling away madly just one word and that was ‘ Blog’. I unearthed little snippets of information, all quite incomprehensible and, quite naturally, had no idea on God’s earth how to turn these little pearls of wisdom into a mysterious thing called a Blog!
I did have a go at calling the United States of America, where all things technological originate and managed to make contact with an ‘expert’ on all things Bloggified. Quite naturally, he had no idea what I was talking about, kept saying did I have a domain address, press this, look at that and do something else!
Ha, he was fighting a losing battle and he surely stopped completely in his tracks’ when I divulged that, in fact, I was a ‘silver surfer’ and he could well have been talking in Latin for all the sense he was making and please this was costing me a fortune!
Think he was about to say that I was speaking to the wrong organization it should be someone from an outfit in Hawaii where the true surfers hail from, OK, smarty pants I have news for you I have done that sort of surfing in Hawaii, now I want to have a go at this new fangled Internet surfing lark It was quite obvious I was fighting a losing battle and had found myself up the proverbial creek without a paddle. Where do I go from here?
Surely, I couldn’t be defeated this easily, must think up another plan, thank goodness this didn’t take too long. With fingers crossed I prevailed upon my good friend Christine, she being chief, scribe, in charge of our scribbling group; I was certain that after hearing my dilemma, dear Christine, would step into the breach with her usual efficiency which she kindly did with her natural grace and charm.
Halleluiah, our first session was about to commence, I think though that, perhaps, it was the blind leading the blind. Whatever it was two very determined ladies who found themselves sitting in front of my computer trying to decipher the amazing world of Bloggery, quite adamant that they were not going to be defeated.
It did take some time, in fact, quite a lot of time and once again realization dawned that one wouldn’t be able to progress without, yet again, dialling up the US of A, trying to explain my plight. This time, though, I was not alone, as I had Christine as backup crew.
It really was an uphill struggle especially as again I was asked all those technical questions for which I had no answers. To this day, I have no idea how we managed to nail it but nail it we did.
I think, after about two hours on the phone, seven goes at giving this poor chap my credit card details, we were collectively tearing our hair out. At the same time, we were desperately trying to conjure up suitable names for the Blog and also the Web Site. To say pandemonium reigned would be an under- statement!
We bid adieu to our new best friend in America, whilst sipping the largest Gin and Tonic this side of the Atlantic and toasted the emergence of the of a ‘Girl Wearing Pearls’ only to be found if you ‘tip toed into the bloody abroad’, preferably holding her hand!
This escapade took place two years ago, with my first Blog hitting the stratosphere in March, 20l4, how it ever got there, to this day, I will never know.
I was soon to discover that it did as I began receiving the most amazing comments from total strangers dotted around the World, I was mesmerized. As I was so very inexperienced at this game, I had no idea how anybody found the Blog, or indeed, how many wandered through the pages. Actually, I was so green that I even asked one friend if she would email to let me know that she had seen it!
Being a little more clued up on all things technical she rolled her eyes heavenwards and sighed, Jan, there is a ‘Stats’ page attached to your Blog which will tell you everything you want to know and more. It was my turn to roll my eyes heavenwards, dashed home and fired up the computer. Oh, my goodness, another learning curve, I had no idea where to start, could hardly spell the word statistics, let alone anything else!
A secret, I seem to only get by with a little help from my friends, this time, it was dear Steve who came to the rescue, it didn’t take him long to get the show on the road and there dancing before my eyes was the most amazing information. Detailing , how many people had looked at the site, how many pages had been read, from which countries they hailed and even the percentage of time they spent reading my musings. My goodness, these Stats were all about me ‘the girl wearing pearls’!
I was dumbfounded and to make this discovery even more amazing the Stats were continually being updated, do I need to tell you, that this was now my most favorite ‘ go to’ page on my web site! Oh, my goodness will I be in danger of becoming a Bloggie bore and heaven forbid even find myself developing a big head, now, Jan, that will never do!
It’s now two years later and I am in no doubt that I have become a Bloggie bore but what the hell, the girl wearing pearls is firmly established and from day one seemed to be a very determined lady, with a mind of her own, on occasions its been hard keeping up with her. Along the way she has garnered quite a fan club, with many, many people dropping by. To date, over two million having doffed their caps – What a girl!
She has now been cajoled and encouraged to morph her tales into a book, which is being eagerly anticipated by many. Hopefully, many more will say, after reading the book, my goodness some of those adventures of the ‘ girl wearing pearls’ were both amusing and amazing, but they were surely not for the faint hearted!
It might also pose the question would I have been such a loyal camp follower, who knows.? And, as they say, the rest is history!
I will shortly have an amazing announcement to make – Stay tuned and take care x