Times are Changing

I’d have started today as I start many Mondays with a bit of Prince, but the chance of something by Prince, who was very anti-Youtube, staying on Youtube for more than a month is nigh-on unbelieveable.

In a bit of a funk and soul mood, here’s Booker T and the MGs instead

It is an utter blog catastrophe not to be able to rely on a plethora of Prince tracks when you are looking for something to start your Monday off right and I know I’d have worked my way though the classics and the not-so classics. If you ever needed proof that a weird little short guy could ever be hot, well, Prince was it. Kylie called him sex on a stick and that he was. He sat in my teenage record collection with Janet Jackson, the pair of them a weird, incongruous couple beside Depeche Mode and the Smiths. And talk about genius. Plus, he never got to that point where he was a bit sad and embarrassing like Michael Jackson or Madonna, even in his skin tight pants and heels. In fact, those things just made him even hotter. He sang Gett Off in his gran’s hair net and he was still hot. Nicky Minaj has a lot to learn. And my favourite album? Lovesexy. Favourite track? Anna Stesia.  It’s a tough call between that album and 1999 or Purple Rain, or Sign Of The Times or about ten others. Ahhhhhh. I can’t choose. Much Love Mr Prince Rogers Nelson.

Anyway, the week starts a little better than the crazy chaos of last week, when I had a ridiculously long to-do list. I’ve still got four or five big things to do. Strangely, a post I wrote on another blog a month ago ended up going viral last week – over 100000 reads in two weeks, which is CRAZY! Still, I had a few follow-ups to do for that, which is great. The best thing is that it got shared and pinned by a lot of shelters across the globe, which is kind of cool. It was just about how taking dogs home from shelters can be really stressful for them. In fact, there was only one piece of negative feedback, wondering why ‘anyone’ would think a dog would be happy to leave the shelter and wondering why I hadn’t thought of it before. Duh. I guess all those “before/after” photos of sad-looking dog looking ecstatic to have been adopted just got me thinking that maybe a dog might be happy to come home from the shelter. You can’t please everyone. Mad to see it being shared by sites on Facebook with thousands of fans. I’m glad it hit a chord anyway, and if it means just one person is a little more patient with their new arrival, if just one person is a little less gung-ho about everything they want their new dog to experience, it’s all for the good.

Of course, it’s also GCSE season, and hits on my teacher blog go through the window at this point in the year as well. Nothing like last minute revision, is there? I love those questions the night before the exam – this year I’m doing another chatroom pay-to-join lesson the night before the exam: it’s usually pretty popular. I charge only a small sum for the revision lessons but I get lots of people joining which makes it worthwhile. Having seen just how many teachers are leaving the profession in the UK, coupled with endless changes from the government, I’ve never been so happy to be independent. It’s a high-pressure arena these days with very little by way of reward. I do love blogging though. I love the unpredictability of what works – you just have no idea what’ll float the global boat. Well, you kind of do. I know sad eyed dogs, small dogs and pedigree pooches will get far more shares than the happy-looking hefty muttleys, which makes me very sad. But my old dogs get a fair few shares too and that’s great.

In fact, there was a bit of a Facebook scrap last week on a professional pet photography group I’m part of (I know! I’ve got simply no sense of my own lack of importance or talent…  though somebody asked me to join, which was pretty cool) A photographer in the UK (a pretty fabulous one too, if you ask me) posted a pet photo for a shelter and asked if she could have a little marketing help in promoting it, as her posts weren’t getting the shares they should. Well, as the girl who made Bob The Dog global, with 140,000 shares and over 10 million views, I thought I could offer insights (in how not to do it) The trouble was, I couldn’t help feeling that the photos were very, very similar in style to a very famous pet photographer’s. Before I did our ‘Back in Black’ project, I’d asked Fred Levy (of the Black Dog Project) if I could. He was super gracious and even gave me a leg up, some tips and a share on his site. I’d asked if she’d contacted the original photographer. Turned out that she had and the original photographer had essentially said yes, but don’t take it to the media, so there was really no way the photographer could even ask for the shares, which was a bit of a shame. I did think that she should have gone in her own direction with the idea – nobody is flattered by complete copying & she’s a talented photographer – but the reaction from the original photographer – also a member of the group – was a little sharp. Still, her reaction is not only to be expected, but forgiven. She works tirelessly to promote pit bulls and she deserves not to have her ideas ripped off. Still, she was a bit mean about the other photos. I’m no photographic judge, but they looked fabulous to me. There’s no need to be a snippy primadonna. Once, I went to a paid training day, where the “trainer” presented my work, my research and even my photographs without any reference to me – I did mention it to her in private at the end and I was surprised by just how little shame she seemed to feel for directly ripping me off. Still, she’s always going to be a barefaced thief and I didn’t come across as a snippy primadonna. I tend to think that the world – like Google – is very good at sussing out original ideas and rewarding those who come up with them. Pretty sure Prince would agree with me on that.

Anyhow, this week is another week of meetings a-go-go. Friday I might as well just give up on. Yesterday, I managed to get a little ahead of myself just enough to spend an hour reading in the garden: everything is far too wet to mow still. It was a bitter wind out there – April has been a lot of a wash-out, it must be said. So much for warm springs. They definitely feel like something from the past. It’s a good four years since we had a warm spring. I should just get used to it. Thank God for electric blankets!

Enjoy Booker T, grab a bit of Prince and enjoy your Monday!

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