Evidence that all my ideas for purposeful activities are gradually drying up

Someone who has accessed my blog got here by googling 'How to make Christmas last all day'.

Should someone tell them?.......

People type the strangest things into Google, though, and I love playing the game in which you type the beginning of a question in and see what other people have asked before you.  I shall try it with 'How to make Christmas ...' and see what comes up ....

So, stay there a minute.  I'll be back with thrilling news, I'm sure ...

.......BORING, or what?  All I got was 'how to make Christmas .......... crackers, cards, decorations and cake.  How tedious.  I wanted something like 'How to make Christmas bearable when surrounded by relatives' or 'How to make Christmas pudding calorie-free'.  No joy.

Except that the last one was just 'How to make Christmas' and that person needs to know that this has already been done, but you need a baby, a manger, a virgin, a man in a teatowel, some stars, shepherds and wise men.  And a full inn.  And a despotic king or two.  But it's a big ask, was done fairly effectively the last time, and it would probably be better to just get on with some knitting or something.

I'm going to try the game again, only this time with just 'How to make .....'  Maybe that will be more fun.

For this, I got 'money', 'pancakes', 'bread' and 'cider', in that order, perhaps indicating that if you have no success at the first one, you can at least sit and stuff yourself/drink yourself to a place of resigned acceptance of the situation.  But, again, I was disappointed.  Does no one ask 'How to make your husband into a Johnny Depp lookalike?' or 'How to make striped pyjamas look alluring?'

Now I'm going to try 'How to ...'

This time I got, in this order, lose weight fast, write a CV, make money, draw.  I love the way it says 'lose weight fast' and not just 'lose weight'.  Like, in the next two minutes if possible?  Interestingly, this time 'make money' comes after writing a CV and it doesn't usually come in this order in real life so maybe this is about how to FORGE fifty pound notes once the interviews have dried up.  Then, fourth, we have 'draw'.  Ah well, I'm as fat as a whale, I don't have a job, I'm skint, but, boy, can I rustle up a nice dog picture when I feel like it.

Now I'm just going to type in 'How'.  If you have fallen off your chair with boredom by now, I quite understand.  But I am jolly well going to avoid my pile of marking for as long as possible.

I've got 'Howdens Joinery Suppliers' who put new kitchens in for people.  Then I've got 'How I met your mother' ... which seems like the strangest thing to type into google considering you would already know how you did it, but further investigation shows me it's the name of an American sitcom.  Context is all.  Then I've got 'howrse' which, as its description says, is 'an online horse breeding game'.  Each to their own, I say.  Then I have 'Howard Marks' who was a notorious hashish dealer - he probably makes his money out of online horse breeding now.  But then there's just 'How' which is the most poignant entry into Google - the desperate cry of someone who doesn't know quite what they want to know, but you have to start somewhere....

Okay, I'll go back to the marking now before I give into the temptation to type in 'what to do when you don't want to mark'.

No, I'm really going to HAVE to try that.  Hang on there....

Nope.  No one's tried that one before.  Until now.  I feel a real sense of achievement, being the first.  So much so that I will have to go and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake now to celebrate.  The marking can wait.


  1. Add to that, how to tie a tie, how to train your dragon, and one to blow them all out of the water...howitzer for sale!

  2. Well, you've sorta answered that one, Fran. Actually, I could supply an endless - ENDLESS - list of things that are preferable to marking even if they're not as enjoyable as blogging. The shorter list would be - things that are less fun than marking - like having teeth extracted, unblocking the toilet and ... actually, that's about it.

    Speaking of marking... I have a small pile of it just to my right. Grue. (I like to keep repeating this word in case you forget it. I'm a teacher, ye ken.)

  3. Great experiment, made me giggle. My first visit but will be back :)

  4. Does no one ask 'How to make your husband into a Johnny Depp lookalike?'

    - Tried this one, got messy as we were working from the Edward Scissorhands photo.

    Great post as usual, Fran.

  5. I'm always disappointed that "How" doesn't bring up "how high is a Chinaman". But I guess that's just me.

  6. I love that game. If you really want to despair at the state of humanity, type in 'Is it wrong...'

  7. I tested Google to see if your new entry would come up, so I slowly typed in "what to do when you don't want to mar" but at this point, nothing came up. It must take a while, or more than 1 entry, for Google to start suggesting it. I was surprised that when I got as far as "what to do when" the suggested completion was mostly "your [sic] bored". I selected that, and thought Google missed an opportunity by not suggesting typing strange phrases into Google to see what comes up.

  8. I swear google is slower now it gives us all these options. I wonder what 'why' brings up? Or just I wonder what? Do you know what I am doing right now? Why does everything sound like a question for google?

    Why is the sky blue, is a raven like a writing desk, did I get married too.

    The last one!! The mind boggles. A buy one get one free' trial?'

    I wonder what's for dinner, became of me, he meant by that, happened to him.

    Aw. This actually makes me feel quite sad. Apart from the dinner thing, unless google also offers chef services.

  9. Martin H - why do I feel so happy that I made you go and google that?!

    Isabelle - you're right - anything else seems preferable - but I did get on with it in the end for another 3 hours so I'm pretty happy with myself. Now I just need to google 'What to do when you've finished marking and feel you have no other identity?'

    the Alexander Residence - yes, do come back! Thanks for your comment.

    Brigid - that made me giggle! Love that film, though. I was more thinking 'Chocolat' I have to say.

    Steve - yep, that's just you, babe.

    Katie Anderson - am going to do that right now. What are we like, wasting each other's time like this so freely?

    Kate on Clinton - witty comment! That made me laugh. I also laughed at the fact that so many people write 'when your bored', spelling it wrong. I could suggest some spelling revision if their there they're that bored.

    Jane - why is a raven like a writing desk? Did you find out? I'm on tenterhooks.

  10. Love this and I'm so sad that like jayne above, I had to try 'why'. And then 'what'. 6th down the list is 'whatsapp' (??) followed by 'whats on London' (with no apostrophe. Of course:-)

  11. Katie A - ah, see what you mean! That's like typing in, 'Should I murder my next-door neighbour because he played his music too loud yesterday, or would this be a bit over-the-top?'

  12. Following in your esteemed footsteps, I googled , 'what to do when you don't want to market' and it told me to just get out there and sell - and I did today - at the OUTDOOR market - at which (they lied to me!!) there was NO marquee!! - and I made a lot of money, ha, ha, hurrah. So in answer to your question on my blog 'Am I quite sane?', well I'm not, but it's quite profitable being bonkers! Get on with that marking now, otherwise I'll think you're like Miss M, who never marked a single essay of my daughter's in Year 11! (daughter got an A....)

  13. You are probably occupied with your marking now. Meanwhile the rest of us are wasting time asking Google daft questions. Thanks Fran!
    What sort of cake was it? I'm asking you, by the way, not Google. :-)

  14. An attack of the same was quite profitable today , in that it resulted in some ironed clothes , Banana bread for the resident Dustbin , meticulously Julliened carrots for some soup and two reattached buttons .
    My Year report will be written tomorrow ..... probably ..... after I've Googled ....

  15. Vintage Tea Time - I only said you were insane because I was in awe. I don't even look out of my front door if I can help it in this weather, and there you are on a stall. Glad you made money. Obviously other insane people came out to buy stuff. And grrrr to Miss M who doesn't deserve the name Miss.

    Christine - I actually DID get on with it, yes, while you were all typing why, where, what, how, when into google. As for the cake, I swapped that idea for rice pudding and have just eaten a bowl of it the size of a small continent.

    SmitandSon - it's amazing what gets done! I can see why you did the Julienne carrots so meticulously (how long can i spend on this and get away with it .......)

  16. Blimey Fran, you are blatantly undertaking what I call 'work avoidance techniques'. I.e. you have work to do but instead are spuriously typing random search strings into google! Get on with your marking girl! You will feel so much better when it's done *wink*

  17. P.S. That was probably the only time I have ever advised someone to do something sensible. It was reading the 'how to make Christmas pudding calorie free' result that made me realise you had to do something more constructive!

  18. I think you're my new role model. I can't begin to tell you how much time I'll spend doing that. Googling, not marking

  19. Did I just leave a comment? Or am I going mad? I might ask Google now you've put the idea in my head.

  20. I may have to google how to avoid marking as well - that's a very good idea!!! :)

  21. I really miss the Google stats on blogger. They've been down forever. It's so fun to see what crazy phrase will bring someone to my blog.

  22. Brilliant. Not only did you waste time, but then you entertained us about your time-wasting. Not something just anybody can do, Miss.
    How I Met Your Mother is very good, btw. And my daughter loves googling, 'Why is...' Today's #3 response to that is 'why is my poop green.'

  23. I'd do just about anything to avoid marking. That's why I have such a long blogroll!! Have you googled yourself? What happened? I'm too scared in case it makes me disappear in a poof of smoke!

  24. I find this game is a lot funnier when you don't know the context.

    I just typed in "Why can't I" and got "...own a Canadian?"

  25. Oh hours of fun to be had with google searches.

  26. Annie - I did feel better, you're right, once I'd done it. But I was happier to do it once I'd played silly beggars for a while. It didn't make it feel so 'I have no life'.

    What She Said - I am such good role model material, leading others to a wasted life. If only there were more role models like me.

    Jemi - the possibilities are endless and you can avoid marking for as long as you like. Except that you may end up, should you leave it too long, googling 'alternative careers'.

    Karen G - I've still got my stats, so I don't know if that's a general thing.

    Deborah - people are obviously eating a lot of spinach these days.

    MummySquared - the most entries I have on google are for a place in Wales with my name. It's not encouraging.

    The Japanese Student - isn't EVERYBODY asking that question???

    Jenny - hours of fun, and a totally purposeless existence. Joy.

  27. Why waste yourtime Googling when there are so many other ways to lead a non-purposeful life, Fran? Perhaps, oh say, writing a book of famous last words of living legends, or a dissection manual for frogs to be used in the fifth grade, or a book of all internet sites that start with the letter"J." Context is drastically over-rated along with "Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes."

  28. That post is fantastic. Great idea!

    Someone found my blog by typing "hot stuff." Who searches for "hot stuff?" Do you know them?

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