Happy Halloween 🎃 

During the day, I don’t believe in ghosts. At night, I’m a little more open-minded. ~Unknown 

Happy Halloween! 

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20 Of My Favourite Autumn Quotes

As you may know if you have been keeping track of my blog, I love autumn. It is by far my favourite season. There are no words to explain how this time of year makes me feel. And I especially love October, which is the pinnacle of the autumn season. The month is packed full of my favourite things; my son’s birthday, the smell of woodsmoke, the golden fire in the trees, the falling leaves. And, of course, the jewel of the autumn season – Halloween. 

I have to admit, everything post-Halloween pales into insignificance until Christmas, and November almost gets forgotten. But it is technically still autumn, and did I mention how much I love autumn?

Of course, I’m not the only one, as I found recently while searching the internet for quotes to post on my Facebook page. There are so many literary quotes out there that capture the beauty of the season perfectly. And so, instead of finding my own words to describe how wonderful autumn is, I’m going to give you 20 of my favourite quotes.

  1. “No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace, as I have seen in one autumnal face.” — John Donne
  2. “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” — Unknown
  3. “I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” — Lee Maynard
  4. “How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” — John Burroughs
  5. “Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” — Terri Guillemets
  6. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  7. “I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.” — Unknown
  8. “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” — L.M. Montgomery 
  9. “Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.” — William Cullen Bryant
  10. “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall…” — Oscar Wilde
  11. “My favorite color is October.” — Unknown
  12. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” — Albert Camus
  13. “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then Autumn would be the magic hour.” — Victoria Erickson
  14. “Autumn is my time. I am the most radiant and full of energy when the leaves are falling and there is a ghost of change in the air.” — Unknown
  15. “And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and Autumn was awakened.” — Raquel Franco
  16. “There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by moonlight.” — Unknown
  17. “Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.” — William Allingham
  18. “Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.” — Robert Browning
  19. “I know the lands are lit, with all the autumn blaze of Goldenrod.” — Helen Hunt Jackson
  20. “It looked like the world was covered in a cobbler crust of brown sugar and cinnamon.” — Sarah Addison Allen

How To Launch Your Facebook Page Effectively: Page Etiquette 

There are no rules set in stone when it comes to Facebook page etiquette. However, there are many unspoken rules. 

When you are starting out and hoping to rely on the generosity of established pages to help your page grow, it is good to have an idea of how to request this successfully. After all, you don’t want to annoy the very people whose assistance you need.

When I was starting out, as I mentioned in my first post, I had no clue what I was doing and basically bulldozed my way through my pages first few months of existence. Until a page owner very publically admonished me. Yes, I learnt the hard way, and that was probably good for me as it made me stop and think.

Now that my pages are mildly successful, I do see other baby pages making the same mistakes I initially made. There is a very fine line between introducing yourself politely and rudely using another, bigger page to ‘pimp’ your own, and this is what I am going to explain to you now.

Page etiquette

So, you’ve started your own page and you’re wondering how to get it seen and gain followers. What better place to do this than on somebody else’s bigger page. It is sure to get noticed there. But there are certain routes it is best to avoid. 

What not to do

  1. Posting your page link or post to a pages wall. This is seen as extremely presumptuous, and also quite rude. You aren’t asking a page to help you; you are taking advantage of their existence. Always ask; never assume. It is the pages decision what content they wish to share, so be mindful of this.
  2. Posting your page link or a post in the comments of a pages post. This is even more irritating. What are you hoping to achieve? Yes, you may gain a few followers who notice both of the above, but you also run the risk of pissing off the pages admin. And page admins are generally part of a bigger community who talk. You don’t want to be blacklisted, so don’t do the above.

What you should do

  1. Send the page a polite inbox message asking to ‘share 4 share’, or S4S. This basically means that they share you and you share them in return. Okay, as a baby page, your share probably won’t have nearly as much impact due to the smaller audience, but it shows willing. You have to give to receive in all aspects of life, so this is no different. Try to avoid asking pages to share you without offering anything in return, unless you are close friends with the admin and this is agreeable with the both of you. 
  2. Post on the pages wall asking for a S4S. This is most commonly used, and also very effective. 
  3. Be proactive and share the page first, remembering to comment on the relevant post – ‘shared’ is short and sweet, yet effective. A lot of pages will share without commenting, and this can often be overlooked unless you keep a close eye on your notifications. So a simple ‘shared’ comment will let them know that you’ve visited.
  4. Target like-minded pages. It is pretty pointless asking a page about Disney princesses to share your BDSM page. It isn’t appropriate, for a start, but also many pages owners, myself included, only like to share similar content. After all, they know their target audience, and they know what will work best. Remember: it is always the pages decision what they want to share and when they want to share it.
  5. Create your tribe. Find yourself a list of favourite pages who are willing to return shares and begin to regularly share a post from their page. By also liking and commenting on their posts, you are slowly building a rapport and creating a page community of your own. This in turn gets you noticed by other pages, and slowly your audience grows. 
  6. Always return a share. This is particularly important, especially when starting out, as pages are inclined to share you regularly if you acknowledge their support. Again, it’s all about creating your community and you will do this best by retaining a friendly and polite approach. Check your wall, inbox, and notifications regularly so you don’t miss anything. If, as mentioned above, the page who has shared you doesn’t have the kind of content you would generally post to your page, share their page link instead. Then at least you have honoured your side of the bargain.

I hope this helps in your journey as a new page owner. Good luck!

Coming soon: Understanding page reach 

Book Review: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

I haven’t read a Karin Slaughter book in a few years, but after devouring two offerings this month (this and Criminal) it has definitely reminded me of why she is one of my favourite authors.

Set in Atlanta in the 1970’s, Cop Town is a gritty tale told from the viewpoints of Maggie Lawson, police officer with the Atlanta Police Department, and Kate Murphy, the rookie she is partnered with. There is a killer on the loose – the Atlanta Shooter, who has already taken the lives of four police officers in identical killings. The book opens with the brutal murder of Don Wesley, partner to Jimmy Lawson, Maggie’s brother and fellow cop. Ex-footballer Jimmy, nephew of bullish Terry, also a cop, is the Golden Child of the Atlanta Police Department, and can do no wrong. Or can he? Something isn’t right, and Maggie and Kate are determined to solve the case despite the scorn of their fellow counterparts.

Right from the off, we are thrown into the turmoil of the era. Atlanta in the 1970’s is not a nice place to be in if you aren’t a straight, white male. Fresh from the Vietnam war, the majority of the police officers are old school and strongly believe that the police force is no place for a woman, especially one who is widowed, moneyed, and Jewish (Kate). Maggie doesn’t fair much better, even with family in the force, and doesn’t appear to have any support from them.

 I must admit, this book paints the police force in the ‘70’s in a particularly unforgiving light, rife with drinking on the job, police brutality, evidence tampering, bigotry, sexism, and racism, amongst many other things. The male police officers in particular are awful, and the way the women accept the treatment inflicted upon them by the men is extremely frustrating. 

Despite that, Karin Slaughter has written a corker of a book, and Maggie and Kate are excellent heroines, and extremely well-written characters. Following on from Criminal’s dabbling in the 1970’s, this is a fast-paced and enthralling police procedural, and I hope to see the girls in later books.

FriYay!

My favourite day of the working week, at last! And this Friday is particularly momentous as it heralds the beginning of my long-awaited week off work. Yay! I’ll have more time to blog! 😁

I also have a busy weekend ahead, filled with family and food and one or two alcoholic beverages. I’ll need a week to recover! 

Have a great weekend! 💜 

How To Launch Your Facebook Page Effectively

A couple of days ago, somebody asked me how I had almost reached 60,000 likes on my Facebook page, A Little Bit Of What You Like. She was impressed with the format I used, yet bemused as to why her own page was struggling. 

In fact, A Little Bit Of What You Like is actually my ‘baby page’. This is what us multi-Facebook page owners call our smallest page, the one that has fewer followers and does not attract as much traffic as our bigger pages. Funnily enough, A Little Bit is my second oldest page, launched on November 2013. In contrast to the most recent addition to my Facebook page stable, Fragments of my Mind, launched in February 2015 and having just exceeded 190,000 likes, A Little Bit is indeed small fry.


I have to admit, since it’s recent revamp, A Little Bit is my secret favourite. It is also my most low-maintenance page, and my prettiest.

I began my Facebook page ‘career’ in late 2012, with my sexy page Undisclosed Desires. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and my page was quite honestly a mess. I had got it into my head that I could communicate with my crush through the photos posted on my page as I was unable to communicate with him in real life (another story!) But it quickly became obvious that he was unlikely to even stumble across my little tadpole in that great big sea of Facebook. By this time, I was already hooked and it didn’t really matter anymore. I was a fully-fledged Page owner, and I wasn’t giving up my page without a fight. 

Posting away merrily, unfamiliar with the Facebook Page Community Standards, I was rapidly hit with a succession of reported posts based on the material I was posting. Too sexy, apparently. These reports lead to bans on both my page and my personal profile, and eventually my page was unpublished for constantly violating the Community Standards.

As I said earlier, I wasn’t going down without a fight. 

Within hours of my page being unpublished, I had created a new one – Undisclosed Desires 2. This time, I knew what to expect, and I knew how to make my page grow. Through the power of networking, my fledgling page hit over 1,300 likes overnight, in its first day of existence.

So how did I do it?

Getting your new Facebook page off the ground.

  • First of all, decide on your page name and general theme. Obviously, this is your own platform to do with whatever you will. However, it is a good idea to be original. When creating all three of my pages, I firstly checked Facebook for pages of the same name. After all, you want your page to stand out, and that probably won’t happen if there are numerous other pages going by the same title. It also needs to fall within the Community Standards, so think carefully about your subject matter. No hate speech, nudity, racism, or basically anything offensive.
  • Secondly, choose your profile picture and cover photo. Same as with your personal account, your page will need both a profile picture and a cover photo. These are both used in your page preview, and play a big part in attracting followers to your page, so choose carefully. Memorable and relevant are two options I would definitely go with to create a bigger impact. Using an app such as Phonto to personalise your cover photo is also a great idea, and very distinctive.
  • Create content for your page. Before putting your page out there, you will firstly need to post. I have seen baby pages attempting to promote themselves, but with nothing to promote. A profile picture and a cover photo alone are not enough to attract a fan base. People need a reason to click on that Like button. If there are no posts, what is there to like? So as soon as you have published your page, start posting your pictures, videos, status updates – whatever you like. Fill up your wall with content, as the more you post, the more you’re likely to be seen.
  • Network. The best way to get your baby page noticed is to approach other pages and make yourself known. If asked nicely, most pages will share you to give you a boost. This can be in the form of sharing your page link, which is basically a preview showing your profile picture, cover photo, and a Like button (as seen below)    or by sharing a post from your page – another reason to create a variety of content beforehand. Sharing a post, or picture, from a page is the best and most effective way to boost that pages visibility and attract more followers, as it generates a better ‘reach’, which I will explain in due course. However, there are certain unspoken rules to follow when approaching a page asking to be promoted.

Coming soon: Page etiquette 

    

Monthly Overview – September

Yet again, it’s been a while since I posted, and my posts have recently been very few and far between. Again, I do not have a reason, apart from supreme lethargy. I have little motivation, energy, or enthusiasm for anything these days, and I definitely need to give myself a good kick up the backside! I am also behind with my monthly overview as we are now well into October. I have no excuses. Life has been particularly heavy-handed recently, both on my purse and on my emotions. I definitely seem to be having a stroke of bad luck. 

As with my August overview, I am hoping that, by listing my achievements and short-term future goals, I can boost my enthusiasm levels, but even now, a few lines into this post, I am racking my brain for one single achievement. Yes, it has been that bad. I can’t complain as I have a home, a job, a family that support me. Yet nothing seems to be going right. 

Okay, so I am going to apologise right now, before this goes any further. This has all the hallmarks of one of ‘those’ posts, the ones where I grumble and moan throughout. It could very well go in that direction as I am in a particularly pessimistic frame of mind today, so let’s do things a little differently this time. Instead of listing my achievements, I am going to list my failures, the things that haven’t gone too well. Let’s call them ‘happenings’, for want of a more neutral term.

My recent happenings:

  • I bought a PC bundle for my son’s birthday in October. He has been asking for one for a while now, and I decided to be ultra-organised by purchasing it in early September with plenty of time before the big day. While this may be an achievement of sorts, what transpired later (this last week) wasn’t. The PC doesn’t work; Windows 10 refuses to boot, and my son has yet to use his birthday present (it was his birthday on Tuesday). I am currently waiting for the company I purchased it from to email me back about fixing the problem, exchanging the product for something that works, or giving me a full refund. All very stressful.
  • My cat Masai didn’t seem his usual self in early September and I decided to take him to the vets to get checked over. They immediately admitted him to do a variety of tests and kept him in overnight on a drip and with a catheter attached. It appeared that he had a very full bladder as a result of cystitis. He came home the following morning with a week-long course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and in a very bad mood. Poor thing.  Luckily, he is insured or else my purse would have suffered a lot more than it did.
  • My car went in for its MOT and failed. This happened in the same week as the above. As you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy with the way things were going back then.
  • Work seemed to be going okay.. that was until we were informed that we were being moved out of our cozy little room into the main office with all of the recruiters. I work as a payroll assistant for a recruitment agency. It is a fast-paced environment and we are often very busy. The quiet of the accounts office was ideal for getting on with our work. However, now we are out in the main office which is extremely noisy, with recruiters loudly talking on the phone and amongst themselves. Too much distraction. I honestly don’t understand the reasoning behind the move. It doesn’t make sense, and I’m not comfortable with it. Even more reason to find a new job.
  • My little blog hit 100 followers. Yay! Okay, now this is an achievement, although my lovely followers are now probably regretting their decision after reading my depressive ramble.
  • My smallest Facebook page, A Little Bit Of What You Like, is edging slowly towards the 60,000 mark, which makes me happy. It is by far my prettiest page.

  • Oh, and I nearly forgot! I completed the Memory Walk in Croxteth Hall Park, Liverpool, on September 3rd, and raised just over £100 for the Alzheimer’s Society. I even received a medal!


You may have noticed that I ended there with a couple of achievements, which is a result. I knew that by offloading my grievances, I would make room for those little gems to peep through the gloom. It’s sad that social media makes up a large portion of my achievements though, which isn’t entirely true. As I mentioned earlier, I have a home, a family I love. A job that I don’t really want, but which helps to pay the bills. And I walked for charity. Things could be worse.

Goals for October:

We are already well into October so my goals will be few. Looking back at my August overview, I didn’t really achieve any of the goals I set for myself, apart from the Memory Walk and the MOT (which didn’t go too well!)

  1. Get healthy. This is still a work in progress. I have cut out the bread apart from the odd sourdough sandwich, and I’m eating healthier snacks, such as oatcakes. Jogging will be resumed on Sunday mornings around Risley Moss. Slow and steady steps.
  2. Seriously think about my career. I’ve been talking about it for two years, ever since I took voluntary redundancy, but I’m still no closer to a happy work life. I know I have to work at it. I just need to motivate myself.
  3. Get this PC fixed. On Monday, I will be on the phone to the seller in an attempt to get it sorted. I am no IT expert and I certainly didn’t expect to purchase a product that wasn’t fit for purpose, so I’m determined to get a positive result next week. For my son just as much as for the sake of my stress levels.
  4. Organise days out for my week off. Half term week is fast approaching, and I have time off work to spend with my son. I’d like to arrange some fun yet frugal activities to keep us both entertained. I’ll try looking on https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/north-west/cheshire/warrington for some ideas. We also like to visit http://www.lymmvillage.co.uk/about/landmarks/lymm-dam for a walk and an ice-cream, and to feed the ducks.

So that’s my September overview – better late than never! Hopefully, October’s will be delivered on time.