Sunday, 7 May 2017

A – Z Reflections post 2017 … Aspects of British County Rare Breeds ...



To be part of a group of Bloggers who participate in the A-Z Challenge has once again been a huge pleasure … I do write my posts in advance, as I like to be relevant to my theme and give posts that others will enjoy …


With the new approach I seemed to be lucky – people found me … and I had lots of valuable and interested comments …


I don’t think, I’m ashamed to say, I went out looking for new blogging friends – they appeared and I grabbed hold! 


The daily list – thank you Heather for putting that up every day – I was always in the late 50s to early 70s number scale … I didn’t use it for anything else …


I do miss the whole Linky List – and the concept of checking out the next five on the list, each day … or scanning through and remembering people from earlier days, or finding interesting new sites …


Rare Breeds - various


As I prefer to write to blog I do not fit into the other blogging mediums … Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc …






Gerard ter Borch - c1652-4:
Girl Milking Cow in a Barn



My aim for the A- Z is to give anyone who finds me, or who is one of my regular followers – some content worth reading … I’m not blogging to get lots of followers – it’s nice, but not my priority – good friends, interesting blogs makes me a ‘happy girl’!





The usual gripes … but we can all get over those …

I’m not sure I’ll do the challenge next year … there’s too much social media … I totally enjoy the interaction of other bloggers


Rare Breeds Show outside Chichester on a beautiful
July day in 2015 - see I did do my field research!
Thanks Lee, Alex, Heather, John, Jeremy and all active co-hosts – I appreciate the way the A-Z challenge has continued …


I was going to highlight some bloggers – but will do only one, who I would consider is essential reading in this day and age, and that is Nila of Madly in Verse  - her theme was Arabiana.


Nila's theme reveal - Arabiana 



You could not in my opinion have a better person to guide you through as Nila describes it a smorgasbord of Arab cultureart, architecture, design, films, history, music … and ‘whatever else fits the letter of the day.’"  There's lots of music and youtube clips ... just enjoy ... 





I've linked you to her introductory theme … the whole 28 or so posts are magnificent – an open door to learning about the MENA region (I have only just looked that up!   Middle East – North African region) … but do enjoy and do appreciate the MENA …



However – if anyone needs inspiration for new blogs to visit – please feel free to visit the comments on my blog and go visit from there … some have put their links, others the name will link you across … my commenters are all brilliant – thank you each and every one of you …

Rare Breeds Survival Trust link to their site ... 


Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

63 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Blogging is my main focus, so I can understand not fitting with the other mediums.
Nila is great! She was one of my trusty Minions last year and good friend.

Elephant's Child said...

I loved your A-Z, and Nila's . In both cases I read, I wondered, I learnt. A gift.
Thank you so much.

Jz said...

I'm not on, or interested in joining, any of the other mediums either, so I get that.
But I'm hoping you'll change your mind and play along again next year, anyhow.
I really enjoyed following along. :-)

Sue Bursztynski said...

I enjoyed your posts and your comments on my blog. I agree about the other social media platforms. I just blog, though I am on Twitter, mainly to get information on areas that interest me, and links to posts. My posting is fairly regular, around two or three times a week if I can, so I hope you'll drop in.

bookworm said...

I enjoyed your blog, Hilary, and will keep coming back from time to time, whether or not you decide to do A to Z next year. Thank you so much for your support of my blog (I also enjoyed Nila's blog very much. Great minds!) The Unknown Journey Ahead agingonthespectrum.blogspot.com

Ann Bennett said...

You had a great theme and most interesting blog posts this A to Z. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and comment.

I agree about Nilanjana Bose's blog. It was incredibly informative and important for us Westerners to read. What I have enjoyed the most from blogging is the international aspect.

Thanks for all your good posts. I look forward to keeping up with you this year. Cheers, Ann

Jo said...

Glad you had a good A to Z Hilary. You certainly taught us something about rare breeds in Britain and what is being done to preserve them. Thanks.

Liz A. said...

Yeah, I wonder how much of the social media sites drove blog traffic. I didn't see an upswing (but that's mostly on me).

Nilanjana Bose said...

I am totally speechless Hilary!

Thank you! for the mention!

I am also one of those non-heavy users of social media, so I get what you're saying. I do hope you will change your mind about not participating next year though :)

I've enjoyed your posts so much this year, thank you! I always do, they make the blogging experience richer for me, and I am sure I speak for many of your readers too. And thank you for the support during the A-Z and over and above it. Appreciate it truly!

Best always,
Nila

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Alex - I know you're not happy with other aspects of social media ... so am glad you agree. Nila' subject - was superb ...

@ EC - thanks so much for a wonderful comment ...

@ Jz - another non social media participant ... am happy I was around ...

@ Sue - I can see some value in FB and Twitter on occasions ... but not full on in a blogging challenge. Thanks so much for commenting and being supportive here ...

@ Bookworm - thanks so much - that's good you'll be around as I blog ... yes, Nila's blog was an amazing series ...

@ Ann - thanks so much: I enjoyed my subject - and thus am so happy others were happy reading too.

Nila's blog was totally amazing and as you say informative and important for so many of us, who have never visited the area ...

@ Jo - appreciate your thoughts ... and yes Rare Breeds are now in my head ...

@ Liz - it's be interesting to know how many extra comments people got from the extra work involved via social media ...

@ Nila - well, frankly, your blog series was amazing - so much there for us all to learn from, absorb, inform ourselves ... want more ... it was very good indeed.

I don't get the value of social media - but other aspects of it worry me hugely.

Well mutual admiration here - I just love being able to visit blogs and learn something ... as long as there is value - then, like you, I feel enriched ... but honestly your Arabiana series was just wonderful ...

Thanks so much to you all for visiting, commenting and I see we're all on similar wavelengths ... which is good news - cheers Hilary

suesconsideredtrifles said...

Hi, Hilary. Yours is one of the blogs I hope to catch up with soon.

Sue from Sue's Trifles

Keith's Ramblings said...

I cannot imagine the amount of time you put into creating your series Hilary. It was informative entertaining and interesting - I now no more about rare breeds than I did a month ago! As for next year - don't become a rare breed yourself!

Amble Bay: Reflections and other things

Sylvia van Bruggen said...

It was such a delight to get to know you through this challenge. I really look forward to reading more of your blog from now on :)

Thank you for your visits and encouragement. I truly loved it and am very grateful!

Kelly Hashway/Ashelyn Drake said...

I've never participated in the challenge. I find it a little overwhelming. I do like reading some of the posts though.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It seemed like there were far less participants this year, but that was probably a good thing.

Vinodini Iyer said...

It was great connecting with you during the challenge, Hilary. Although I did not have much knowledge on your theme it was great to learn something new on your blog every day. I do hope you change your mind about not participating in the challenge next year. Keep blogging and stay connected. Congratulations once again on finishing the challenge beautifully!

FinnBadger said...

I like your reflection post - and I loved the approach you used for the challenge.

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Blogging is still my favorite. I think the relationships grow. I'm starting to like twitter. It has a more party feel with quick interactions, which leads to quick feedback on an idea.

Emily Bloomquist said...

Thank you, Hilary, for a wonderfully informative month on rare breeds. I enjoyed coming here each day and learning something new. Next year, I hope to write some (all?) posts in advance, also.

I use Facebook daily to stay informed of the lives of my family on another continent so I can't imagine life without it. If I lived near them, it might be another story.

Twitter is the main tool Ecuador's 911 system uses to inform of road closures, etc. so I am a heavy Twitter reader. I did not tweet much until April, though. Now, I have a few followers and will continue to tweet out new posts.

Thanks again for a wonderful month. I look forward to seeing you on the We Are The World blogfest.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador | A to Z Reflections 2017

Christine Rains said...

Wonderful you met new friends. I do wish I had more time for it. I sometimes can't keep up with the normal daily social media rounds, and I do love visiting blogs the most. :)

Out on the prairie said...

I enjoy roving through a few new ones.It brings about great friendships and offers new interests

Rhodesia said...

I always love your posts Hilary, you do great research and I always learn something new. Take care and have a good week Diane

Deborah Weber said...

I'm sure I don't need to tell you Hilary what a fan of yours I am. And this series was no exception. I'm totally with you - I identify as a blogger and find social media simply not where I want to place my time and energy. I find it kind of reassuring that a number of your commenters seem to agree. In any case, I do hope you'll choose to play again next year, and hope some inspiring topic catches your fancy and you simply won't be able to resist. :-)

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I didn't get to participate and missed it, but it couldn't be. Your A-Z's (and posts in general) are one of my favorites to visit.

Joanne said...

You and Nila both presented awesome writing, lots of info, and bonus pics, maps, etc. Hilary, you are a blogging gem. Kudos to you. Carry on! I shall keep reading

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I didn't get to visit as often as I wanted but I enjoyed the visits I made. All your posts are so interesting and educational. I am familiar with Madly In Verse. I think I found her during last year's A to Z. Her posts hit on many familiar topics my daughter has discussed with me.

cleemckenzie said...

I love to find new people through blogging. I might never have discovered you and your amazing blog if it were not for the A to Z. And then I'd be missing the joy of making pond pudding and delighting my friends with how clever I am. All due to you, of course!

Lynda R Young said...

Finding new blogs to visit is definitely the highlight of the A-Z challenge.

Susan Scott said...

Hi Hilary, so enjoyed your A-Z and now your reflection post. Your blogging reflected your interest in preservation of animals and your research was excellent. I must still do my reflection post -

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue – thank so much for coming past and reading up …

@ Keith – yes it does take me a while … but I get a whole lot done at once … and then as I find things I add to the drafts, or change up and around … I’m glad the posts made sense … and thanks so much …

@ Sylvia – good to see you too –and I’ll enjoy hearing from you as I continue blogging on … take care of you …

@ Kelly – it looks like a lot of work, and to a point it is – but it’s very satisfying … it’s great you’re happy to visit and read though …

@ Diane – I think there were far fewer participants this year …

@ Vinodini - thank you so much … that’s one of the advantages of blogging people can learn. I’ll see for next year … but I’m delighted to have been here this year and met you and others … your subject ‘letters to your son at 18’ – were very appropriate …

@ Phillip – it was good to meet you … and I’m just glad you enjoyed the challenge …

@ Holly – oh good … yes I much prefer blogging and the relationships we get through it. Interesting description about Twitter “it’s more of a party feel with quick interactions, which leads to quick feedback on the idea” – no time to think and consider: which is sometimes necessary …

@ Emily – pleasure ... it was great to meet you and find out more about Ecuador – lovely country … writing posts in advance does help I think … more time for visiting …

I can quite understand you using FB daily to keep in touch with the family in the States – and I’d do that too; then of course Twitter 911 for the rapid response system for earthquakes, floods, tsunami warnings … that obviously makes essential sense …

Yes I’ll be doing the “We Are The World Blogfest: In Darkness, Be Light” …. And see you then if not before …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christine – yes it’s always good to meet new people … if I used social media – I think I’d be run ragged - but I’m sure you use it well and you’re more used to it …

@ Steve – it’s great we can find blogging friends through this medium …

@ Diane – thanks so much – I’m just delighted you enjoy coming to visit …

@ Deborah – I really appreciate this – thank you. As you say social media to me saps my energy on things I’m not particularly (or at all) interested in … blogging gives me pleasure. I’ll see re next year … but I’m not going away!

@ Teresa – thanks so much for being here and always being supportive …

@ Joanne – Nila’s theme about the Middle East North Africa region was so informative … and I so appreciate you including me with her … also wonderful that you will continue to be back to read my posts ..

@ Susan – you’ve lots going on – but I’m delighted you enjoyed your visits here. Yes – how wonderful you can discuss Nila’s points re your daughter’s educational visits to North Africa …that must make Nila’s posts that much more interesting … I’d love to be joining you …

@ Lee – I know Pond Puddings … we will never forget! That was a fun discourse … and brings back lots of memories of my Ma and the time we made it together… way back in the late 60s!

@ Lynda – participating in the A-Z is a great way to meet new blogging friends …

@ Susan – good to see you and thanks for your support during April – it was a subject that I know is so important for our future … and promoting the Rare Breeds Survival Trust gave me an opportunity to learn, while putting forward some viewpoints …

Thanks so much everyone – delighted to see you and I so appreciate your support for the wonderful work the RBST are doing for us … cheers Hilary

Sarah Zama said...

Hilary, I hope you'll change your mind and do the challenge next year too. it's always such a rewarding, boosting experience.

I can't say I 'missed' the linky list, but I do think it was a more effective tool then the comment section. But I understand the organisers have troubles maintaining the list. Sadly, I don't thgink I have a solution, but hopefully a few good idea will come from the reflections posts.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hi Hilary, Congratulations on another successful A to Z! You put your heart into everything you do, which makes it extremely difficult to blog almost every day for a month. I loved spending a few A to Z's with you over the years and I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to read more of your posts this year.

Julie

SENCO Cat Herder said...

Thank you for your most enjoyable posts as always over the entire Challenge and your frequent visits to my blog too - I feel Nilanjana and you are very similar in your passion for writing high quality blog posts. I also don't go in for social media but I am sure it is all about getting the word out there in whatever way people can. I won't lie - I'd miss you if you didn't come back to do it all again in 2018 so I'll keep my fingers crossed that a new theme comes to you that you won't be able to resist :)
Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

Sara C. Snider said...

Thanks for a great month, Hilary, and congrats on finishing the challenge! I also miss the linky list, though I can adjust to the new way of doing it just fine. I do hope you'll decide to do the challenge next year. I get the whole "too much social media" thing. I'm on those platforms, but I find it all very overwhelming sometimes (particularly during the challenge). I'd say, just focus on what works for you.

DeeDee said...

I loved all your posts, and all that information shared.
Congrats on completing the challenge

Click Here to see what Mrs. Dash Says

Jean Davis said...

For the most part I only use Facebook and my blog so I do get the desire to stay focused on the blogging aspect rather than all the other social options.

I enjoyed your animal posts throughout the month and learned about many breeds I'd never heard of. Loved all the pictures too!
Jean Davis, Writer of Speculative Fiction

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Discovered lots of interesting and fun tidbits with your posts last month! It was a different take on a theme and I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about the fauna of the United Kingdom!

I had not stumbled across Nila's blog, but it sounds really cool. I may have to go check that out...

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sarah – who knows re the Challenge next year- it is rewarding and boosts the ego – but I really am not that happy at the way (the ethos) it is going – totally appreciate the Challenge for what it was …

The list thing is troubling … but I like to be able to see all the bloggers in one fell swoop who are in the Challenge – and check new ones out … still we shall see …

@ Julie – thanks so much … the posts are always here – one advantage of blogging – we can go back and check through …

@ Senco – delighted you enjoyed the Challenge and it’s a pleasure to pop across and visit commenters. The theme isn’t the problem … it’s just do I want to do it … I’m not keen on the ethos that’s being brought to bear …

@ Sara – I adjusted and if people hadn’t come over then I certainly wouldn’t have met new bloggers – but we adapt – and I am focussing on what works for me … lack of social media!

@ DeeDee – that’s great to read … glad the information resonated …

@ Jean – I really should get more connected … and no doubt when the time is right – then I will! Focussing is important, particularly during the Challenge.

So pleased you enjoyed the Rare Breeds and that the photos I put up enhanced my notes in each of the posts …

@ CD – I do like to post different things … not the same sort of content others write up – so appreciate your thoughts. Also glad you learnt a little more about the United Kingdom …

Oh – wonderful … that my nudge to you about Nila’s blog has helped you take a look … so so worthwhile …

Thanks everyone … it’s a pleasure having you here and commenting … and I will see you at your blogs soon – cheers Hilary

Murees Dupé said...

I'm always astounded at the great topics you manage to talk about, and by your vast amount of knowledge. You always teach me something new.

Debbie D. said...

it was a pleasure connecting with you all last month, Hilary and I will be sure to return here. ☺ Your theme was fascinating and I learned a lot. That's always good value! So true about Nila's theme, also. Timely and educational. Social media can be both fun and way too time-consuming (says this SM junkie). There's something to be said about blogging for the pure joy of it and disregarding those accoutrements. Well done!

Pamela Wright said...

Well done on completing the month and for educating us on such beautiful and interesting creatures. Really glad I found your blog and will be checking in again soon.

diedre Knight said...

Your post is such a beacon of positive energy it's no wonder followers come like bees to flowers! Thanks for the welcoming comment after I so suddenly jumped ship. It meant a great deal to me ;-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Murees - I love the learning ... and posting different things, so am delighted you enjoy reading and being here ...

@ Debbie - that's lovely to know - new friends are always good. My theme taught me a lot too! Nila's - I need to spend some time reading ...so much to learn from her posts. Thankfully I'm not a Social Media junkie - I too would have difficulty drawing myself away if I was. Thanks - yes I enjoy what I do ... and love to connect, but don't feel the need to rush out gathering people in ...

@ Pam - thanks so much - I enjoyed my Highland tour ... and look forward to future posts with you ...

@ Diedre - well I think I'm lucky and very grateful people enjoy being here. It's good to see you - and I do hope things are easier and you are able to settle into a degree of normality.

Thanks so much for coming over and commenting - it's always good to see everyone ... take care and cheers for now - Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

Really good reflection, Hilary. I agree with lots and appreciate your insights. I too loved Nila's A to Z. I feel much more informed on a subject I knew not enough about.

BTW, your theme was wonderful. I love animals, appreciate rare breeds, and am now much smarter about both.

DMS said...

I look forward to visiting Nila's blog. So glad you enjoyed doing the A-Z Challenge again! I know it is a lot of work. You did an excellent job on your posts and I enjoyed learning new things.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui - thanks ... I love Nila's A-Zs and must get over to re-read them more thoroughly. So glad you enjoyed my theme and that learning obout the British Rare Breeds ...

@ Jess - so glad you'll be going over to Nila's blog - it's excellent ... lots of amazing information there. Yes the A-Z is a lot of work ... but can be hugely rewarding, especially from the blogging angle.

Thanks so much to you both for visiting ... you too enjoy the rest of your week ... Hilary

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for another wonderful series of posts, as educational as ever. Nila's theme seemed to be in a similar vein, with the range of insights offered.

Elsie Amata said...

I think I'm like you, Hilary. I'm stuck in that world of being happy with blogging as it is: blogging. I'm not big on Instagram or Twitter and Facebook. I'm also not running around trying to gain followers. I like the small group that I have. That makes me happy. :)

Elsie Amata

A Cuban In London said...

Thanks for the little nudge towards Nila! :-)

Greetings from London.

LD Masterson said...

I keep trying to get comfortable with other types of social media but blogging makes sense to me. Twitter blows my mind.

Nas said...

Hi Hilary!

I loved your UK posts and read daily. Especially with my upcoming UK trip, I was very interested to soak in as much information as I could! Thank you so much!

Paula Kaye said...

A good review! You said it well! I hope you keep doing the challenge. You teach me so much!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nick - delighted you enjoyed the posts and theme. Yes - Nila's theme was superb ... just what we needed in today's age...

@ Elsie - there's only so much time - I like to be serious, but also have a good time ... not so much with the internet, but I'm happy to engage to a point ... The other thing is all of us have followers and those followers have followers - so as long as there's a connection we can spread our blogging wings.

@ ACIL - you'll love Nila's posts ...

@ LD - I do like to think round things ... twitter never answers questions for me ...

@Nas - that's brilliant to know my posts help you get a grasp of the UK. How wonderful you're coming to visit us ... just enjoy whichever part of these islands you are going to ... if down the south coast way (Eastbourne) let me know ... and perhaps we can meet ...

@ Paula - many thanks ... and I'm so pleased you feel I 'teach' you lots ...

Thanks to you all - lovely to see you here ... now have a very happy weekend ... cheers Hilary

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. I miss your a to z challenge posts and I miss writing them myself. Have a great weekend. Kim

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kim - thanks so much ... I've had so much extra information ... that I needed to filter out - before I put up my next post, just done that!

It is certainly strange not to be posting every day - but a relief ... still I shall be back to posting regularly, but irregularly!

Really appreciate you coming by ... cheers Hilary

Arlee Bird said...

AS always you did a great job with the A to Z Challenge and we're so glad you joined us again. Hope you can keep coming back. This year was an experiment that some loved while others not so much. I like a list also, but just not the kind of list we've usually had. Maybe we'll come up with something new and better for next year.

We want as many to be happy with the Challenge as can be.

Thanks for your Reflections and for your participation in the 2017 Challenge.


Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Kim Blades said...

Thats ok Hilary. Look forward to reading your next post. I wish they would come directly to my email address though. Kim

Click said...

Well done for completing the challenge. I started out intending to share links on Facebook as well but in the end it never happened. I only used the Challenge blog posts to share my links as well, I just didn't have the time or energy to post in all the different mediums. But I did include the #atozchallenge hashtag in the subject of each post so when it posted to Twitter it would be easily linked with the others.

Cait @ Click's Clan

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - thanks for coming by and leaving a reply ... I've no idea re next year - there were a couple of things that bugged me this year. I know you do your best re the Challenge and appreciate the work you all put in ...

@ Kim - sorry ... I'll try and remember to send them via email until I get the link worked out!

@ Click - thanks for coming by - good to meet you and see you. I don't use Twitter, so the hashtag bit 'worried me'! One day I'll catch up.

Cheers and thanks for visiting - Hilary

Kim Blades said...

Thanks Hilary.

Lynn said...

Hi Hilary - I was afraid I hadn't left a "well done!" comment here and from scrolling through the comments, I didn't! I am often interrupted when I'm blogging and I think I commented, when I didn't. Anyway - I do go on....Well Done, my friend! I enjoyed it very much.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kim ... no worries - a pleasure

@ Lynn - just glad you enjoyed the posts and the theme and thanks for the 'well done' ...

Cheers Hilary