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“It’s totally wasted on the plebs.”

This week, I convinced myself that nobody was interested in anything I wrote. Partly this was to do with an article I penned for somebody else which seemed to be met with total apathy. It was a topic I thought was interesting, with a couple of ‘well, I didn’t know that’ moments, so I believed it would be of similar interest to others.

walking in Chile

When we set up our travel websites, the approach was to write for people like us; people who had an interest in multiple aspects of the places they visited. We know what travel websites we like; there aren’t many because too often content is churned out with little knowledge of the destination being written about. We booked a holiday to Chile purely because of the quality of the articles on Pura Aventura’s website because they sounded as though they were written by people who knew their stuff. It was written for people like us.

For nearly two decades I’ve known there were plenty of like-minded people about. This week I convinced myself there weren’t. The Universe conspired to create a crisis of confidence.

Incidentally, plebs as used by my peers when I was a teenager didn’t mean the same as the Roman definition, we applied it to folk who just didn’t get ‘it.’

‘It’ could be just about anything – a song, a movie, a political situation.

Walking on Jersey

But it wasn’t really the article which caused this crisis. It was a culmination of things. Another article about Walking on Jersey on our Buzztrips website was swallowed by Google, not showing up anywhere despite all the right SEO boxes being ticked. There are not a lot of website articles about walking on Jersey on the web, so we should have been on that first page. But the article was nowhere to be seen.

Even Google was no longer interested in what I wrote. This added more fuel to my crisis.

During the pandemic, when travel was kiboshed, our websites became like gardens that hadn’t been tended. IT moves at a rapid pace, so two years of neglect left one hell of a lot of weeds. Further investigation revealed something like 830 articles on the site needed their ‘breadcrumbs’ validated.

Know what that means?

No, neither did I. Which meant a quick YouTube course in the technical action required to deal with wayward breadcrumbs. When you manage your own websites, there is quite a bit of technical stuff involved, and I’d let that slip over the last two years. Maintenance to bring them up to date now is overwhelming, but I started chipping away, instantly making progress.

Rogue sheep

Then the water went off.

Sometimes when I bitch about something on Facebook, someone will comment “first-world problems.”

Well, I’d argue having to body wash from a basin and cart buckets of water around so you can drink and keep things hygienic isn’t a first-world problem, it’s a third-world one. And it’s a distraction. Plus, it added to the general feeling-sorry-for-myself bad vibes that were engulfing everything around me. Apparently the sheep were responsible for the water shortage; something to do with them vandalising a valve or something.

Bad vibes, The water supply

Having to slog to our neighbours’ utility room a few times a day contributed to a growing melancholy. Even being gently butted by Poppet, the goat who thinks it’s a dog, and having my leg hugged by Madge, the collie pup, didn’t make a dent in the dark clouds which had settled on my shoulders.

To add insult to injury, the binmen (ours are all men) left our bin untouched during their fortnightly rounds. The ironic thing is, for the first time in nearly a year, the rubbish was actually in a new plastic bin rather than in a refuse sack at the side of the road. The change must have confused them.

Bad Vibes, Netflix error

Then, as we settled down on the sofa to relax at the end of a disappointing day, feeling grubby and grumbly at not being able to wash or wash up properly, Netflix wouldn’t let me watch anything. It didn’t want to know me. When I eventually switched to Andy’s profile, it was fine. It was just me it had a problem with.

Nobody likes me, not even inanimate objects.

I started to suspect I was exuding so many bad vibes that they were affecting everything.

This morning, water finally started dripping from the kitchen tap. A ray of sunshine.

I only hope my confidence starts trickling back with it.

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Jack Montgomery

Jack is an author, travel writer, photographer, and a Slow Travel consultant who has been writing professionally for twenty years. Follow Jack on Facebook for information about his writing, travel tips, photographs, and tales of life in a tiny rural village in Somerset.

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Welcome to my Canvas

Some of the items on this site won’t be to everyone’s liking, I get that. Basically this is my place, my wee studio to mess around in – experimenting with words and thoughts. I’ll be chuffed if you enjoy it, but if you don’t, c’est la vie. As a friend used to tell me “it would be a boring life if we all thought the same.”

Jack Montgomery
A wine press,
On a farm at the end of the dirt track,
The Setúbal Peninsula,