Tag Archives: bbc

BBC buzz likes me

22 Sep

I don’t worry a great deal about the number of visitors my blog gets, I don’t go out of my way to market the blog, but I do keep an eye on my stats, just to make sure that people are still reading my blog and I am not wasting my time.

Last year I encountered an increase in visitors when Who Do You Think You Are? was being broadcast on BBC One last year, and this year was much the same. When I wrote about each episode my number of visitors jumped. I haven’t done the maths, but I would say the number of visitors probably doubled, which for my little blog is not a huge number, but still quite pleasing.

I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened yesterday, which turned out to be the best day ever for the number of visitors to my blog. I knew something was up when I checked my stats in the morning and saw that the number of visitors before about 7.30am was more than the usual pre-WDYTYA? daily totals. The numbers continued to rise throughout they day, and as you can see from the graph below the total ended around four or five times the average.

Stats graph

The reason for this was BBC buzz, which had automatically found my blog posts about WDYTYA? and was displaying links to them alongside the programme information on the BBC website. It appears to be a new feature, and it apparently likes my blog posts.

If I was a professional blogger I would have done something to take advantage of all this new traffic, and I might have done if I wasn’t at work, but it has been a real eye-opener, and makes me think about what I could achieve in terms of visitors if I really put my mind to it.

Victorian Pharmacy: a look back

13 Aug

Last night saw the final episode of the BBC television series Victorian Pharmacy. Over the last four weeks (actually five because they missed a week) I have found the series both enjoyable and informative. The only difficulty has been trying to relate it to the lives of my "chemist and druggist" ancestors.

It has provided a good general overview of an interesting period of development. I would have liked to have seen a bit more depth, perhaps doubling the number of episodes, but having ancestors "in the trade" would make me say that wouldn’t it.

I must admit I was rather sad to see them leaving the shop and driving off in a horse and cart, I hope we see more of the Victorian Pharmacy in the future, perhaps a Christmas special like the one they did for Victorian Farm last year.

Another good thing about the series is that it has lead to more information on the subject becoming available. For example, there is a book accompanying the series, which has some great pictures and recipes (which are clearly marked so you don’t end up trying something harmful).

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has a new page about the series including a link to a pdf of articles about the series from their journal Pharmacy Professional.

The other good news is that there does appear to be a DVD of the series in the pipeline, according to the BBC Shop the release date is the 11th October, so plenty of time for it to be added to my Christmas list.

It seems like there never has been a better time for someone interested in the life and work of chemists and druggists!

Not enough time for TV

15 Jul

I don’t watch much television at the best of times, but starting a new job has really limited the amount of spare time I have to waste watching television.

I still haven’t watched the latest US episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (Susan Sarandon, last Monday), tonight sees the start of the new series Victorian Pharmacy and the latest UK series of Who Do You Think You Are? starts next Monday.

To top it all I have just bought the DVD of the fifth UK series, I am beginning to wonder when I am going to get chance to watch that or any of the other four series that I already have on DVD. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I am just thankful that the latest programmes are all being broadcast on the BBC, so I will be able to catch them later on the BBC iPlayer.

It is really annoying that for months, when I was out of work and didn’t have to get up early in the morning, that there was nothing that I considered to be worth watching or staying up late for. Now when I don’t have the time, all the interesting stuff starts. Just typical!

After the Victorian Farm comes the Victorian Pharmacy

11 Jul

This week sees the start of a new four part series on BBC Two, that has captured my attention more than the forthcoming new series of Who Do You Think You Are?

According to the BBC website the series Victorian Pharmacy is a “historical observational documentary series which recreates a Victorian pharmacy”. For someone like me with druggists in my family tree this should be really interesting.

The programme was filmed at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Ironbridge, Shropshire (a place that has long been on my list of places to visit) in a reconstructed pharmacy. Even though the series hasn’t started yet there is already a book of the series available.

The first episode is scheduled for Thursday 15th July 2010 at 9pm on BBC 2, and is a “look at the world of the pharmacy at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign in 1837.”

Who Do You Think You Are? – Latest British celebrities revealed

21 Jun

In preparation for the next series of Who Do You Think You Are? (due for screening at the end of July), the BBC have announced the line up of celebrities appearing on the programme.

This gives me the chance to play the game "Who Do I Think They Are?". The rules are simple, take on genealogy blogger and one list of celebrities and see if the genealogy blogger has heard of any of the celebrities.

For those of you playing along at home here is the list of celebrities:

  • Bruce Forsyth
  • Rupert Everett
  • Monty Don
  • Jason Donovan
  • Rupert Penry-Jones
  • Dervla Kirwan
  • Alan Cumming
  • Alexander Armstrong
  • Hugh Quarshie (according to Wikipedia)

I’m afraid I didn’t do very well. I have heard of five out of nine of the celebrities (Bruce Forsyth, Monty Don, Jason Donovan, Dervla Kirwan and Alan Cumming) but that probably says more about my celebrity knowledge than the fame or celebrity status of any of the celebrities.

Picture Postcard Parade: On Beachy Head

27 May

What better way to spend the coming bank holiday than a visit to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex? Well it will probably be raining this year so it might not be so good this year, but people have been visiting Beachy Head for pleasure for decades.

On Beachy Head

I’ve no idea if this was a bank holiday, or what time of year this photo was taken, but there are certainly plenty of people exploring the cliff top and enjoying the views, more so then I was there recently.

The people on this card are perhaps a little close to the edge, they are certainly closer than I got on my recent visit. Nothing spoils a good walk more than falling off a cliff or the cliff falling away from beneath your feet!

This card was published by Valentines, and although the postcard has been used, the bottom half of the date is missing, so I can’t see when it was posted, but I would imagine it dates from around 1910.

Coincidently the first episode of the latest series of Ramblings on BBC Radio 4 features Clare Balding exploring Beachy Head with a group of disabled ramblers. The episode is currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

Running out of steam

6 Apr

I don’t know how it happened. Yesterday I barely touched my family history and this evening I haven’t even opened my copy of Family Historian or my family history folders.

Am I suffering from genealogy burn out?

Last night I found myself idly flicking through my files, clicking on individuals in Family Historian, almost at random. I could see plenty of work to be done, and I did add a few details, but I just couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to actually do any serious work. Even the GEERING family have lost their appeal.

Tonight was even worse, I didn’t even make the effort to do any research. Now I am starting to feel guilty, perhaps I should stay up late and force myself to do some research or some organising, but it is getting late and I should be going to bed.

It wasn’t that there was anything else that was more interesting to divert my attention today (it’s only an election after all!). I did listen to an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4, Between Ourselves which was about the life and work of two Coroners, which in a way was family history related, although in a modern context.

I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t do some research tomorrow, so I think I will have to chain myself to the computer and force myself to climb back up my tree and start swinging through the branches until someone catches my eye. Hang on, I think I can hear my ancestors calling now…

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