Friday, 24 July 2009

Follow Friday and twitter subjects

Its that day again #FollowFriday where everyone goes mad and recommends the people they have found most interesting in the last 7 days. Its a wonderful concept but hey sometimes it just becomes a list of names with no thought put into it.

When you think about it #FollowFriday is like a mini Honours List where the naming and giving,is in our own remit.This is unlike the real honours list which is packed with lots of undeserving people and sometimes the occasional worthy.

So why would I recommend someone to #followfriday another tweeter?
  1. Someone has been helpful during the previous week.
  2. I've enjoyed their tweets.
  3. I agree with what they are doing.
  4. Their service is one I would want to promote or help them promote.
  5. The person has become a friend.

I'm sure if you are reading this you could add to the list at least another two or three reasons and perhaps that might make a suitable comment at the end of this blog.

So the crux of #followfriday is for me the act of giving and or recommendation and to help someone achieve an aim. Not a bad thing as so much today costs its good when we can do something with no thought of gain.

The main drawback to # followfriday has however become 140 characters as its impossible to list all the people you'd recommend and say something about them. This Friday I thought id do my definitive list and let you all pick it over.

1)@pubandbarnetwork Perry and Linda extremely hardworking on behalf of pubs and totally to blame for me getting involved in Twitter.

2)@FletchMcgull @Carolinechambers @babssaul These were 3 of my first real local followers & followed made me feel welcome and helped me integrate into twitter and i've seen them look after lots of people in the same way.

3)@niftynits @Kent_IT for being themeselves and supporting the Hoodeners Ashford meet.

4) @suvvo @ Keith_lynn whilst both are fairly local they hadn't really heard of the Hoodeners Horse but were up for a twitter and a pair of nicer guys you couldn't wish to meet, not of course you understand that i've met @suvvo but some people you just know!

5) @markhorner one of life's gentlemen and good company almost as hard working as I pretend to be and a much appreciated supporter.

6) The Trumpettes 1 & 2 these two lovely young ladies deserve much encouragement and assistance,as they have made the Twitter board a place that seems quiet if there not twittering.

7)@Pannage who I have met once at a Hoodeners Twitter lunch. He couldn't make the first one but unlike most he went out of his way to say that he couldn't. Doesn't Twitter much that I've seen but always pleasant to chat too.

8) @yummit one of the first foodies to follow us and who we followed back always interesting.

9) @tomaitkins celebrity chef and alround great guy took the trouble to respond to a question I had of him.

10)@canterburygeeks He attended a Hoodeners tweet lunch and we discovered we drink in the same pub at different times of the day 20 miles away and have been doing so for 14 years and never met.

11)@TheSourceress This is one busy lady always doing something. Here is a typical Dm from her "I have published my list of tweeting restaurants, thank you for taking part. You can see it here:"

Hey if i've missed you off the above list then I apologise in advance as its not easy being an author. lol

The Tweet lunch at the Hoodenershorse had a record attendance last Friday and the next one can be accessed and you can put your name down by going to this link! Friday 21st of august I look forward to seeing you there. Its an amazing phenom as every one makes a tremendous effort to get on with each other.

My visit to Lords last Monday went extremely well as England won before lunch and we had a couple of beers to boot. My experience of the high speed train from ashford was brilliant except in future will not 3 trains morning & 3 trains afternoon waiting 2 1/2 hours for a train defeats the object even if the journey only lasts 37 mins.

Ok so that it for this edition comments may be welcome I'm not sure till I read them If you like what you've read please Rt the blog address for me! If you don't like it dm me with suggestions (polite)!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A broad mix

What a day Friday promises to be this week in the first instance we have a mini Tweet meet at the Hoodeners Horse Great Chart Ashford Kent Lunch Time 12:30 - 2:30pm all welcome within reason. This is the 2nd one we have done and looks to be going to be attended by at least twice as many people, at the first meet last month June there were four of us.

The Roll of Honour Babssaul, Niftynits,Kent_it & myself.

I think you always ask yourself what is this going to turn out to be like and I can honestly answer it wasn't too bad, meeting strangers is always fraught with potential for embarrassing pauses, but when you feel you know them from talking on twitter it becomes real time face to face twittering. Well I think it used to be called talking but this is the 21st century c'mon catch up!

So we got the introductions over and done with and settled down to a bite to eat. The Homemade chips lived up so I'm told to expectations and as often is the case the size of the portions surprised. However what with Food, Real Ale and banter no sorry Twitter the time flew by and we left swearing we would meet again next month and that we had made new friends.

So to this month people should arrive around 12:30 doesn't matter if they arrive early I know a joke and can tell it 15 times if I have to. After which I expect introductions of the "Much Mwhah MMWhahing kissy kissy variety" ,just thought perhaps i should shave tomorrow. Anyway we will then get drinks decide on a bite to eat and get to know one another over a period of time. I must admit I'm looking forward to this one.

After the dust settles I have a little time to get ready for the 20/20 Hoodeners Horse vs Great Chart Cricket Match in the evening at which the pub normally gets beaten but everyone swears they have a great time. Normal food service continues at the pub whilst the regulars are just down the road hitting the little red ball. Weather forecast is horrible for Friday perhaps this year we can get a draw.

On other fronts the prospect of Swine Flu coming to a place near you looms ever larger and with over 10,000 diagnosed cases and assumed 100,000's of people infected the predictions of 100,000 new infection daily from September looks frighteningly realistic. A Vaccine we were told is weeks away but 60 million doses have been ordered.

Today it materialises that to be effective two doses need to be administered and that means half the population will be unvaccinated. The priority cases being the elderly, those with asthma , the emergency services , those in the health service, those in government et cetera I'm sure you get the picture. The fact is I'm more worried about what swine flu will mutate into as that is likely to be the deadly one.

On the gym front yep still going and had lost some inches around my middle, discretion and modesty and the fact its hard to tell prevents me from saying in excess of 4" and as a result I bought some new trousers. It was getting embarrassing walking around the golf course holding my shorts up with one hand and trying to swing the club with the other.

So evidently although I have been slow to get onto the weight loss path it is clear I'm now there as having gone out and bought 3 pairs of trousers of a lesser waisted variety (smaller that is), at certain points of the day those seem to be vertically challenged in the way a Brian Rix English Stage farce would be. In other words I can't keep my trousers up.

Yes its 8 months now even the gym can't believe it, food retailers are going out of business because the new me eats less a lot less and wait for it several major lager brewers are thinking of further redundancies due to an unexpected downturn in trade. A one man recession that's me.

All in all I'm extremely lucky I've decided because ignoring for the moment the obvious family comments which some people use to try and make their selves seem like well rounded people, I work when I want, do what I want as I like my work ( self employed), have trusted friends and no one could convince me that i would be able to earn money doing what I do for a living.

The Secret and what works for me was I told myself early on I was lazy and would have to work harder to achieve what others seem to achieve routinely. However when the evidence is weighed up I often find I'm working twice as hard as other people but not noticing as I regard it as the cost of Success. Interestingly it gives me a margin of error at times that other people don't have because if I have problems I work harder to solve them.

If you've just read this and are still awake please read the real ale blog below and come and visit us at the Hoodeners Horse.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Hoodeners Horse Real Ales August to October

Real ale is a throwback to a previous time when beer had less chemicals and was served warm. It has spawned many and varied local breweries all trying in the current climate to survive. All said and done a well presented, well kept Real Ale is as much a part of what makes Britain Great as seeing the England Football Team lose on penalties at some tournament!

To get a feel for Real Ale Brewing in Kent, I went looking for some information on micro breweries and this is what I found This lists 12 open breweries in Kent although I believe there are more and 19 that have been closed or merged. This shows that in an era of ever greater industrialisation and the concept that bigger is better the micro real ale brewer still survives.

Camra that supporter of Real Ale beers and Old pubs has recently started a campaign for pubs to use Micro brewers as much as they can and now runs an accreditation scheme for pubs that support local brewers . The following link is to our local Camra web site which is looking much improved these days. Well done guys.

However because of beer ties some pubs can only buy in what they are offered from their pub Co and at the Hoodeners Horse Great Chart, thats the position we find ourselves in and where ever possible local breweries are used .

We signed up some time ago for Finest Cask which generally gives us a choice of 26 ales each quarter from various breweries and the skill is sorting out which ones could go well in the pub as well as getting the price right.

The Beers on offer over the next quarter in addition to our regular beers ( London Pride, St Austell Tribute & Bombardier, will be chosen from the following list and tasting notes will be available for any one who signs up to this blog as a member.

Bearskinful (4.2%) Beartown Brewery
Black Cat (3.4%) Moorhouses Brewery
Eye opener (4.5%) Stonehenge Ales
Ginger Pig (4.4%) Sprinhead Brewery
Heligan Honey (4.0%) Skinners Brewery
Meantime London IPA (4.3%) Meantime Brewery
Morland Original Bitter (4.0%) Morland Brery
Piddle Artist (4.2%) Wyre Piddle Brewery
Samba (3.7%) Leed Brewery
Samson (4.0%) Maxim Brwery
Sharp's Cornish Coaster (3.6%) Sharp's Brewery
Smiles Liquid Gold (4.2%) Smiles Brewing Company
Yellow Hammer (4.2%) o'hanlons brewing company

Look for further information nearer the time as to whats on and when by following "Hoodenershorse" on twitter.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

July Already

Over the last couple of weeks I have almost blogged 5 times as gems of ideas formed in my head about blog subjects and then flitted away in the same manner to which they arrived. You know what they say though that eventually a good idea wins out so here is the good July idea blog you've all been waiting for.

Swine Flu seems everywhere at the moment and the authorities seem to be allowing it to spread without check. Apparently the first few Tamiflu resistant cases are materialising and that doesn't bode well for the Autumn and Winter period when the Pandemic could hit big time and at the same stage already have mutated into something more deadly.

My own theory as to why the spread of Swine Flu in its current weak state is being allowed is that in the 1919 Flu Pandemic when millions died a similar pattern of infection was observed. A number of infections occurred spring and summer with the people who originally caught it not avoiding reinfection but having some immunity against the final full form of the Pandemic when it hit!

Today on Tweeter I saw somebody actually voice upset with the numbers of "Success" coaches on the system trying to flog life improvement courses, can't help but feel its their life we'd improve, oh and their bank balance.

Seriously though in investment terms when people invest so heavily in something its called a "Bubble" and its only a matter of time before everyone has a life coach in a cupboard at home as they are already Ten a Penny. I'm thinking of bringing out a book 101 useful different things to do with a Life coach!

For example how many life coaches does it take to change a Light bulb? Answer " Please follow this link and I'll show you how we made money by changing thousands of light bulbs a day" The light bulb of course remains unchanged and fused.

A Blog at this time would remain incomplete without a mention of Michael Jackson, a man who at the end resembled a sad broken person. A song writer of great genius, a dancer beyond compare who changed the face of modern music. A flawed individual who should never been allowed to control himself.

He was just about to face the greatest challenge of reinvention possible at age 50, to take part in a tour again and rise to the occasion, however his dependence on drugs was to be his downfall and put paid to any chance of that.

It would be wrong to ignore the preoccupation with children when talking or writing about Michael Jackson because whether or not there was something more to this than meets the eye, it was silly to put himself in such a stupid position. A position that marred his life and others. I for one hope that the concerts go ahead with the remaining Jacksons and other starts and video footage as a tribute.

Finally you might think I've left Labour alone this time but you would be wrong with the announcement that they will not issue spending plans prior to the next election they once again set themselves up for criticism.

What is it with these people? We know about spending cuts so don't lie about yours be honest and start to face Political redemption, lie and face political Wilderness!