New and unusual…

caterpillar 001Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Just curious. For the third time I had woken up to a whole day’s worth of page views before I had even put the kettle on for the first coffee. Yes, I know, that makes me a very sad person, the computer first… though that only comes after cuddles with Ani, of course. I don’t normally pore over the stats page, but I admit that, getting the little message that says ‘your stats are booming’ for the third time, and noting that average hourly views were up by over 1000%, I had to have a trawl. And was I any the wiser for that? Nope, not a whit.

Where was it all coming from? I had not attained that glittering chimera, the accolade of being Freshly Pressed… or if I had either WordPress were being inordinately quiet about it… or any notification had been cheerfully spammed. But then surely ‘referrers’ would show some kind of trail… No. Nothing there either beyond the usual suspects.

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The only thing I could think of was that there had been a system delay and a whole load of old notifications had come through at once. I hadn’t published more than usual, nothing appeared to be getting any more attention than anything else. No huge numbers of reblogs… in fact, no unusual numbers anywhere except total page views. The only thing that was any different was the number of old posts that were getting views. Maybe that was it. But why?

Weird.

It didn’t really matter and there was no way I was going to get to the bottom of it anyway. I had, however, from this unusual foray into the details of the stats page, learned other and potentially useful things. But, at this stage of the day, coffee was far more important. Coffee … and walking two mad dogs before an early start at work.

I was, therefore, a little pensive as I dressed. Which probably explains why I got several strange looks from other early morning dog walkers. Stranger than usual, I mean. I must have presented a rather odd appearance with my hair uncombed and the jacket, somehow, inside out, being walked in two different directions at once by dogs unaccustomed to walking together. Not that it matters, I have a reputation for being somewhat odd… being a newcomer to the village. I have only lived here fifteen years, after all, and it is only with the birth of my granddaughter here that I seem, finally, to stand out a little less.

283153_10150245511972852_3588941_nWe really are strange creatures. Anything at all outside the norm we tend to view with deep suspicion, even whilst presenting all the appearance of being warm and welcoming. I suppose it is a leftover from our original and instinctive survival skills. I see it echoed in the behaviour of the dogs. Give them something new to try and though they will not refuse, they want to have a damned good sniff first.

And like dogs, the unfamiliar can bring out unpleasant reactions in us, as uncontrolled extensions to the original survival impulse. … like the difference between a dog alert to the safety of its family…or the territorial behaviour that will make a dog snap at a child who tries to take its toy. It is the same impulse. One end of the scale serves a useful and protective purpose, the other is dangerous.

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Unless we become familiar with something, there is always a guard that goes up, whether we are conscious of it or not. If something is completely outside our ken, we will make snap judgements, usually from a distinctly defensive position, until we are better informed. If we don’t have the opportunity or take the time to get to know more, those judgements can stick, hidden below the surface, risking deepening into rigid distrust or prejudice and our preoccupation can lead us to make mistakes…and while some of them are just as silly as wearing a coat inside out, some may be big enough to be far more damaging, both to those against whom we direct them and to ourselves.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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28 Responses to New and unusual…

  1. Éilis Niamh says:

    Very true and well said, Sue. I’ve unfortunately fallen into that pattern before, and can’t think of someone who hasn’t. It seems that some of our fear of the unknown, particularly unknown or unpredictable people, is instinctual or genetically inherited or both. Quite a bit of the pattern is learned, though, and I’ve found that it is easier to deal with if I’m aware of myself enough to realize when I’m pulling away or getting defensive or scared in the first place. Doesn’t always happen fast enough to stay open unfortunately, but I’d like to think that’s very human. I’ve been on the other end where someone is unreasonably prejudiced or defensive toward, once or twice apparently even frightened of, me, and yes, that kind of response can be hurtful or damaging, or just incredibly baffling. Often such a reaction in either direction is so unfounded. I often wonder what humans would be like if the unknown was, on the whole, exciting to us, and we spent time genuinely seeking it out and learning from unfamiliar experiences and from each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I think we all have that inbuilt response to possibility… and all learn so pretty negative habits to go with it, depending on our experience of the world… which would indeed be a wonderland, I think, if we could see only possibility in new encounters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Intuitive as always, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Was thinking about your page view stats. I know that for myself, when I discover a blogger that I like, I often go back and read many of their older posts, not always reflected by a “like”…as I don’t want to appear to be stalking. ☺

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      The views could be that… but then, as my home page just scrolls, unless anyone clicks into an article ( which they don’t need to to be able to read it) it only counrs as one view anyway 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. jenanita01 says:

    Technology baffles me so much, I no longer ask the questions, as the answers are invariably worse!

    Like

  5. noelleg44 says:

    Great contrast – our reaction to the unfamiliar as humans and Ani’s go get em attitude to anything that she’s presented with that’s strange, caution to the winds. .

    Like

  6. WordPress stats have always been a huge mystery to me. I need to get Miss Marple on the case for us. I’m sure she’ll figure it out. 🙂

    I’ve had many a dog-walking morning wondering and pondering about my blogs stats, but I never come to any conclusion. I gave up ages ago on them and they occasional do try and come back to force me to look at them again.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I realised long ago that they make little sense… the only ones that really matter are reflected in those people who stick around and who you can get to know a little. This one did make me look though… that’s a hell of a hike in views!

      Like

  7. I have had that before and it seemed to be after using certain key words in my tagging..However, your blog posts are always worth reading and I am sure that people have read one and scrolled down for more.. I am only sorry that there are not enough hours in the day to catch up with everyone. hugs

    Like

  8. I’ve had the same experience – and it usually means either a very well-titled blog post – or a through binge-reader for the novel I have posted.

    If the latter, I love it especially, because it means one more random stranger was so compelled by the story they had to keep reading even when tired (it’s 160K words!).

    Like

  9. I LOVE YOUR BLOGS . . . SO I GUESS I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR1,000% INCREASE! (LOL)

    Like

  10. I don’t really understand the stats much at all! I do look at them of course, but do not try to analyze them.
    I love the fact that you are eyed by the locals as a little ‘odd’ still being a newcomer after 15 years! I have not gone out with my coat on inside out, but I have gone out in a pair of red Mickey Mouse pyjamas with black ankle boots that I got as a teenager for Christmas. I thought it was track suit albeit a fleecy one! Oh well!

    Like

  11. Susan Scott says:

    Glad to hear I’m not the only one who hasn’t a clue about that stats story. It’s true how quickly people make snap judgments and come to conclusions without realising that this comes from a (their) narrow view and does not encompass a larger one –

    Like

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