diamond geezer

 Monday, February 25, 2008

dg's postbag

I'm always impressed (and slightly surprised) when somebody who reads this blog sends me an email out of the blue. Sometimes they're asking a question, sometimes they're making an observation, sometimes they're just sending a brief note of appreciation, but I do try to reply to all of them. So today I thought I'd say a big general thank you, because your emails really do add a special extra dimension to writing online. And I thought I'd share with everyone else just some of what you've been missing.

• My recent post about Lyle Park reminded Sharon about her Silvertown childhood. "My main memory is that it was never quiet. Living on the main road there were always lorries going past our front door & the day was interspersed with the regular changes of shift at the factories that were all along the road back then (the late 50's). The docks were always full of ships & the roads were often full of sailors from exotic locations; dark skinned men in turbans, Chinese in their blue Mao suits & Russians with their funny sailor hats."
• Ed wrote to TfL about the ridiculous East London line replacement bus services, and forwarded me their rather lengthy reply. "We looked into the possibility of running a cross-river boat service but it was clear from very early on that this wasn't a feasible alternative." And, what do you know, one of the four buses has just been withdrawn through lack of use.
• Paul sent through links to two fantastic Flickr collections of vintage London photographs - one from the 50s and a bigger one from the 60s. Yes, "the past is another country - a much better looking one."
• Dora wrote with an unusual request. "In one of your entries you said you got a letter with the postmark South East Anglia. Where was it from? This postmark has also greatly irritated me as that is where my Valentine's card was posted from apparently!" Alas, I was unable to provide a precise answer.
• Marc sent me an Out of Office Auto Reply - "I am out of the office on a bus route survey all day." Am I in the wrong job?
• Ian emailed me the secret link to some photos he took in a subterranean location that I'm not allowed to mention. That's Ian's blog I've just added to the sidebar, by the way.
• Eleanor wrote to correct an inaccuracy in something I wrote 18 months ago, regarding the big house in Croxley where I went to nursery school. "You mention that Madame Tussaud sculpted her waxworks at the big house in New Road. She didn't! She died in 1850 and the Tussaud that owned the house didn't move in until 1901. It was her great grandson!" An enlightening email correspondence followed. It's educational this blogging lark, innit?
    I'm often annoyed (and mildly pissed off) when some PR weasel sends me an email out of the blue. Sometimes they're offering me a freebie, sometimes they're after a reciprocated link, but usually they just want me to plug some website or service that they can't get sufficient publicity for. Sorry guys, I don't do that. So today I thought I'd annoy my recent link-beggars by mentioning their projects but not linking to them. And I thought I'd warn future media desperados not to waste their time asking.

• Dan was keen for me climb aboard his online monetization platform by recommending advertisers' products and services. His email kicked off by reminding me that "earning money whilst retaining your blog's integrity is a tough balancing act". And you know, Dan, that was precisely why I turned you down flat.
• Ken wondered whether I'd agree to link to his new content-lite London website for visitors on a tight budget. "Please feel free to mention it in your diamond or london geezer blog." Er, no.
• Andrea hoped that, as a "key-blogger", I might be interested in "web-ready assets" to plug her nationwide tourist portal. She hoped wrong.
• Claudio wanted to offer me an advance behind-the-scenes tour of a major infrastructure development project somewhere on the outskirts of London. This special pre-visit was a very exciting prospect. And then Claudio asked me to email him my scanned passport details. And you know what, suddenly I lost interest.
• Jim requested that I swap links with his travel fashion blog. Alas, Jim, I wouldn't be seen dead in tweeds.
"Hi," said Amy. "We just posted an article - 10 Resources to Help you Find and Purchase Blood-Free Diamonds. I thought I'd bring it to your attention just in case you think your readers would find it interesting." You be the judge.
• Kim sent me an e-flyer for an East End music hall knees-up taking place in five weeks time. I fear there may be numerous follow-up reminders.
• Lev emailed from New York to ask whether a "smart and active individual such as yourself" would like to "help show American travelers what the non cliché British character is". I failed to dignify his request with a reply.
• Steve works for the marketing division of a major mobile phone company with a new phone to plug. He wondered whether, as a "thought-leader", I might be interested in being "seeded" for a free trial. Cruelly I left him to search elsewhere.

• Dear PR merchants: further info here

<watches inbox>

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