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Covent Garden

I love Covent Garden. It’s all my favourite things in one place: pleasant music, good food, chocolate, street performers, tea, fashion outlets.

I like watching all the people, all enjoying themselves in their different ways. Some sit at any one of the cosy cafés, enjoying a cup of tea, an Italian meal, a good glass of wine or whatever tickles their fancy, while listening to the musicians, whom I find to be not bad at all.

I’ve watched the street performers and noticed that they seem to borrow a few tricks from each other, especially when it comes to attracting that extra penny. Some remain entertaining in spite of these common tricks, with others it just sounds old. Still, there all entertaining. After a while, I’ll probably have watched them all, and I wonder what will be left to enjoy then, seeing as they seem to perform the same acts everyday. Or perhaps it doesn’t matter to them and they don’t expect the same people to turn up several days in a row. I guess I’ll just keep going back and see.

Pinterest…to join or not to join.

Too late for me too ask, perhaps, as I’ve already joined. I was quite eager to do so too, and got very impatient when the promised invite wasn’t as fast in getting to my inbox as I had hoped. (why do they have that pointless feature, anyway?) I took the shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach with this Pinterest animal but once I had it down, I wasn’t so sure I still wanted it.

Everyone is going on about Pinterest, you see. Well, perhaps not everyone, but they say it’s the next facebook. On the surface it seems brilliant. Create a space where you show case things that pique your interest, find and connect with people with whom you have similar likes/taste and connect with them. You show case these things of interest on ‘boards’ – ‘pin’ them. If you come across something that strikes your fancy and it’s on someone else’s board you’ve got an option to repin it to you board, credit is automatically given to the source. People go to Pinterest for ideas on home decor, weddings, fashion, and just to see what else is out there. Some use it as a source of inspiration. Others for promotional purposes. You can pick up photos for your boards from websites as your surf the web with a ‘pin it’ add-on that is available to add to your browser, or upload from your device. You’ll need the app for some devices. You can have as many boards as you want, displaying whatever you want. Art, handmade crafts, knit work, architecture, name it, it’s all there. Sounds brilliant, right?

So I thought. Here’s what I’ve found. Once you pin an original creation, you can’t control it’s circulation or how it might be used. Sure, your name will be cited on the repins, but imagine this creation of yours – photo, art, whatever – goes around 2000 times (several things do go around thousands of times) you’ll have no idea where it is or who is using it for what, or even claiming it as their own. Yes, downside to the Internet 101.

A case in point; I, a Pinterest novice, go on to sign up, get told I’ll be sent an invite soon (what?!) and once it comes (24 hours later) I proceed to create an account and some boards, one of which I named ‘sites and travel’. I then went on to upload some photos I loved from some London sites. One of these is a photo of myself along the bridge from the Tate museum to St Paul’s cathedral. It’s a windy day with a dark cloudy sky, and St Paul’s looks quite magnificent against this background. I don’t look too bad in the pic, either. Pinned, said  Pinterest, once upload was complete. A few seconds later I received a notification. Someone somewhere in North America had repinned it to his church designs board. Hmm? Well, no problem with that, really, except it got me thinking. What happens if this photo goes around say, 20 times? It’s world wide web, after all. Would that be something I would be comfortable with? It is a definite possibility, you see, and the world is a huge place. I gave that a few minutes’ thought, and brought my uploading to an indefinite halt.

Reading up some more on people’s experiences with Pinterest, I found that many had had copyright concerns. Pinterest completely removes itself from all copyright responsibility, whatsoever. The users are responsible for how they use  what they use, permissions, etc. I can’t really fault Pinterest for this, but it gets you thinking. Repinning other users’ photos is a given, but what are you going to do? Email hundreds of people every before you repin asking permission, or will you just repin thinking, well, the originator’s name will show. What if it’s your product? You need to be ready to accept that it’ll go around and you don’t know where or how it will end up. If you’re in it for self- promotion, brands, etc, you probably won’t mind. For me the worry, I guess, is that with Pinterest the scale of photos going around is much higher than it is on, say, a blog, or twitter, or even Facebook. Which, actually, is also one of it’s biggest attractions for many.

A bit of a catch-22…? I don’t know, I’ll let you decide. I’d like to know what you think of Pinterest. Are you using it, or are you one of those that took down their photos after learning of the copyright implications? (several people did) Or are you planning to try it out one of these days? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear your take.

The thing about London is…

  1. It rains too bl**dy much! It just never stops, and a tad more annoying is it often just goes on pattering; instead of making up it’s mind to fall reasonably and at once, help with this curious drought, at the very least.

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2. On the bright side, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do for leisure. And – wait for it- you don’t even have to pay for a number of them. It doesn’t get any better than that, I declare. My personal favourites:

    • Hundreds of free films at the BFI Mediatheque. if you’re a film lover, this one is a must-do.
    • Free (again!) access to most museums. My love for freebies must be shining through rather brightly at this point, I suppose, but hey, who amongst you can solemnly declare not to love not to have to pay for something every now and then? Raise your hands and I’ll show you a sayer of the non-truth.
    • The markets – Portobello market top of my list.
    • Tea at some fancy places (not free, most def!): the Athanaeum, Landmark Hotel, Hilton Park Lane, even the Savoy. Yes, you got me. I’m now just showing off! 🙂 Just have tea in your garden, I’m certain it’ll taste just as good. Tea has got to be one of my most favourite British pass times. Mum says I’m ageing. I just love my tea. Some people love coffee, I love tea.

3. The sales in the fashion houses just never end. If there’s any excuse for a sale, it will be used. And I aint complaining. End of month sale, Easter sale, end of season sale, April sale, spring sale, mid-season sale, feelgood sale, everything must go sale, sale, sale, sale. Just about the only thing one can thank the credit crunch for, perhaps.

4. You’ll find music/a musician just about everywhere. The underground, streets, anywhere that’s legal, someone will set up their equipment and proceed to entertain.

5. There are monuments everywhere. These people are big on history.

 

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Enlarging my thingies

Some of the information on me out there on the internet must indicate me to be male, going by the number of spam email I receive on penis enlargement and viagra sales.

‘Jamie Lynn is sexier than Britney, look at the desire in her eyes’ followed by a link directing me to http://www.spermtop.com Sperm in my spam, eh genius? I didn’t need to follow the link to know that it was going to be another one on penile enlargement or viagra.

Or ‘Ms… we can get you a discount on viagra with free shipping to your location’ or ‘girls love it big, you can grow your penis and make girls love you in bed’ and so many other creative lines to get me to want to increase my penis. Hellooo spammers, I’m female! Yes I love it big but am not looking to enlarge my thingies. We are fine, thank you for asking. And yes, Mr Man is really big and super gifted in that area so he needs no help there either.

I wonder who does these marketeers’ market survey and how they pick out their victims. Do they simply send out random emails to random email addresses and hope to get lucky? How many of the unlucky chosen ones actually respond? Perhaps people actually email back and purchase these products, otherwise these marketeers would have already abandoned this spamming strategy, I presume. As for me, I’ll continue to direct them to my spam folder. Will they ever get the point, do you think? I fear not.

Liking

I’m glad WordPress has a like button. It’s optional and I’ve been disappointed when I’ve scrolled down after reading someone’s blog to find they didn’t activate the like option. I’ve conclude that these people probably deactivate the like button not just to avoid notifications (there’s email settings for that, right?) but to get people to put their ‘like’ in words in the comment box.

I usually ‘like’ a post for several reasons

1. When I’ve really liked the post (you get what I mean). Of course I don’t always click the like button and that does not mean I didn’t like what I read, I may just get straight to the comment box.

2. When I feel under-qualified to comment. In these instances I want to show the writer that I’ve been to his/her pages and read their work and liked it, but

a) I just couldn’t find the right words to express myself or
b) the topic is above me, in a way. I understood what I read but I’m such a junior at it, or (I feel I) would appear such a junior as I’m lacking in ‘experience’ in a given area of life/discussion or
c) I’m rather afraid of sounding corny.

So I ‘like’. But mostly it’s because I truly really like.

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