Catching up and talking to the wall

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I must start by thanking you for your kind and supportive comments about Agnes. It feels as though it/she(!) has taken over my life recently and there’s no sign of a let-up. I naively thought that once we published the website, I’d have time to get back to other aspects of my life but I had no idea how time-consuming it would be trying to get it noticed. It feels as though we are talking to a huge, impenetrable wall. I don’t think either of us realised how difficult it would be to get publicity and we are feeling a tad despondent. After all, what’s the point of creating a fabulous resource for teenage girls if they don’t get to hear about it or find it. I know; it’s only been a week… (Impatient and naive!) I’m not going to bore you with tales of us trying to decipher the dark art of search engine optimisation and Google indexing, or our Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and emailing exploits but let’s just say that it can lead to serious overload and slight mania. So, as soon as I’ve hit the button on this post, I’m shutting my laptop, stepping away from the stats and the mad world of social media and taking some much-needed time out for the rest of the weekend.

There are very few photos to show you due to a battery malfunction (I forgot to charge my phone and my camera battery…) and the fact that I haven’t stopped to properly look at much for a while. The photos of the gloriously frosty winter-wonderland that appeared here last Monday are from a friend’s phone. We don’t often get a hard frost here so close to the sea and it was a rare treat to see the land gilded with ice. The dogs loved it, sniffing furiously and running about. It was also slightly misty which added more ethereal atmosphere to our walk. I’m hoping that the deep cold has also worked its magic in the garden, killing off any nasties. There are so many plants that have survived past winters – including geraniums that have been going strong for three years – that I don’t mind some frost damage. I much prefer this proper winter weather, bone-cold and icy, to the mild, wet and windy winters of recent years.

There have been some other big things going on here recently. My middle son has been off school for the past three weeks with glandular fever. At one point I was seriously worried it was something dreadful but thankfully it’s not, although glandular fever can be pretty debilitating nonetheless. He’s spending most of his time in bed and I’m doing my best Florence Nightingale. You’d think that, and the fact that he hasn’t seen his girlfriend for weeks, would be enough to encourage him to get up, so he must be feeling rough, poor thing.

It was David’s birthday on Thursday and he was home a day early which was lovely. We had a special birthday dinner and cake (Nigella’s Birthday Cake – the favourite in our house). Again, I have no photos. We’re going to see La La Land this afternoon, then to a friend’s party this evening so it’s a weekend of good things.

I’m not going to say much about what’s going on in the wider world but my son has just told me that the new president has made his inauguration day a ‘National Day of Patriotic Devotion’. Seriously?! Have you seen the Bad Lip Reading version of the inauguration? It’s hilarious. Find it on the internet if you haven’t seen it and want a giggle.

Have a lovely weekend x



28 thoughts on “Catching up and talking to the wall

  1. I can imagine it must be difficult to get Agnes noticed amidst all the clutter out there. But I suspect you will find a way. I hope your son recovers soon–poor thing. In the meantime, pace yourself, put your feet up once in a while, and have some fun.


  2. It’s lovely to hear from you. Your weekend plans sound perfect.
    My world has been quite upside down the last few weeks, but I’m very interested in Agnes. Hope to check it out very soon with an eye to recommending it to the families I work with.
    I’m so, so heartbreakingly sorry about the evil person now in office. The Orwellian horrors are haunting my every waking moment, and that’s part of why I’ve been so preoccupied lately – much of my energy is spent in the resistance movement.
    I’ll sign off by saying that reading your post was a moment of healing. Thank you.


    1. So glad you enjoyed reading the post. It must be unsettling in the extreme for you at the moment with the bonkers stuff going on daily. Hang in there. Keep roaring 🙂


  3. So sorry your son’s ill, it sounds nasty, I do hope he recovers soon. Glad David had a good birthday, and I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Good luck with Agnes, I can imagine how hard it is to promote something in the beginning. Hopefully once it gets a bit of momentum it will snowball. I shall mention it to my friends with daughters – the ones who are the same age as my eldest are 12/13 now, so just approaching those teenage years. CJ xx


    1. Thank you, CJ. I’m sure it will be read more widely once the Googlebots have finished indexing the site. It was a moment of sheer frustration but I’m much more sanguine now.


  4. I’m sorry to hear your son is home sick. Hopefully he gets some of his energy back in the next week or so. If he’s anything like my kids were when they were younger you’ll know he’s getting better when he starts getting cross and demanding. 🙂

    Good luck with your new site. I had a look at it when you blogged about it last week, and I thought it was a wonderful resource. I am going to tell my friend with a teenage granddaughter about it. Give it time. I’m sure your reading audience will grow quickly.


    1. Ha ha, yes Kristie – he was grumpy over the weekend, went back to school yesterday! He is exhausted but hopefully will make it through the week. Thanks for your kind comments about Agnes.


  5. Your frosty morning looks so beautiful, I too missed some good pictures because I on a dead battery and forgetting where I had put the charger! I’m sure Agnes will take off sometimes it takes a while to get known. Hope you have a restful weekend. Sarah x


  6. I hope your son is improving quickly, glandular fever sounds awful. I have just shared Agnes on my Facebook page, I am sorry it only just occurred to me now! As for the world beyond the UK, I can only think of one word in connection with Mr President. Unhinged. Have a lovely weekend. x


    1. Thanks so much, Christina – that’s really good of you. Yes, unhinged is a good description. It seems to be getting crazier as the days go by sadly.


  7. I hope that middle will be better soon. Happy Birthday to your husband. Good luck with Agnes, I hope that it goes well. I will try and remember – but please don’t hold me to it as I have nothing near me to take notes on and a terrible memory right now – to mention it in a blog post or two and will ask others to do the same to try and spread the word. A few backlinks can only be a good thing cant they!


    1. Links from trusted, popular websites are the thing to have, according to advice from those who know. That would be fabulous, Amy (if you remember :-)). Thank you.


      1. Hi Sam, I have taken a liberty and done a whole post for tomorrow. I have sung your praises and the praises of Agnes. I have taken the opportunity to have a further – really good rootle! – around the site today and added some links in my post of particular pages as well as links to the main site. I was delighted with what I read, some of the advice could well be taken by grown adults as well as teens. It is so well written and such great advice. I was also surprised to see the breadth of subjects covered. It really is a great resource and I hope it will get lots of use! Hope you will not mind about the whole post or the fact that I have shamelessly asked for some links for you, I have made it clear that it is me asking – because it is – and that you are not a money making enterprise as I thought that was important. Any problems please do let me know!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My sister, mum to 3 teenage girls, was thrilled with the site and will definitely share it with all her friends who are also mums to teenagers. I am sure that this site will spread through word of mouth and I think you will see a gradual growth in readership. Be patient!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The site looks brilliant Sam and there is so much content, I can only imagine the time and dedication you and Charlotte have given to this project. It does take time to build awareness, but I wouldn’t worry, the content isn’t going out of date and will remain relevant, just give it time to grow organically which I’m sure it will. In my experience teenage girls are very good at sharing resources so the word will spread. Out of interest what has the feedback been like from your target audience? Search engine optimisation is one of the darkest arts in my experience.


    1. I value your opinion, Sarah, so thank you very much for your kind comment. The feedback from teenage girls so far has been positive – they love the content, like the fact that it’s written for them, that it’s not patronising and that it’s not visually bonkers. Those I’ve actually spoken to were keen to share it and tell their friends. I dearly hope it will be used and valued by its intended audience and if anyone else gets something from it, well, that’s a bonus. Trying to get to grips with SEO is not for the faint-hearted.


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