This morning anybody working out in Fitness First in Exeter might have seen a pink-faced woman, sweating away on an elliptical trainer with an iPhone strapped to her arm and earbuds in her ears - laughing quietly to herself. That was me.
And no, I had not gone crazy. I was listening to the Wiggly Wigglers podcast.
It featured none other than me - although that wasn't the bit that was making me laugh. It was young Ricardo, aka Richard "Frugal" Fishbourne, referring to me as "charismatic", while Heather Gorringe insinuated that it may not have been my charisma that first caught his notice...
Anyway, you have to listen to it really. It's a brilliant podcast series - a glimpse into life on a farm in rural Herefordshire. You may come for top tips on how to deal with a rat infestation, but you'll stay for the sheer entertainment value of the banter between Heather, Farmer Phil, and Ricardo.
A very happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers. I expect that right now, as we approach dinner time in the UK (it is 6.30pm and I am sitting in a coffee shop as I write this) you still have your turkey dinner ahead of you. Enjoy!
As promised, I am publishing the results of my little straw poll to find the most popular title for my book about my 2005-6 Atlantic row. I received a magnificent 387 responses - a huge thank you to everybody who took the time to submit their views.
Here are the scores on the doors - in reverse order:
0.8% Fly Like A Fish
2.3% I Row
7.8% Savage Solo
8.5% Rowing Across The Atlantic
9.8% The Unlikely Adventurer
11.4% Notes From A Small Boat
20.9% One Stroke At A Time
38.5% Other (no, not as a title! your alternative suggestions - see below for the best)
- The Savage Rower
- A Change in Course
- The Savage Quest
- Me, Myself and 3,000 miles of Ocean
- Waves of Change
- Naked Determination
- My Life As a Bobber
- Away from the drips and into the drink
- Solo Savage
- Sea Savage
There were many other imaginative suggestions too - some amusing, some intriguing, and some, errr, well, the less said the better....
There were lots of suggestions of "Savage Seas" but this is already the title of a book. And another ocean rower, Maud Fontenoy, also published a book called "Alone Across the Savage Sea" - so this is definitely out.
"The Naked Rower" was also suggested - but this, too, has already been used - by my friend Rob Hamill, who with his crewmate won the first ever Atlantic Rowing Race.
But there are also issues with the current winner - One Stroke At A Time - that I have only just discovered. Copied from the internet...
Canoe Tripping and Life: One Stroke at a Time $10.75 - Barnes & Noble.com
Female Masturbation : Orgasm One Stroke at a Time $21.99 - Amazon.com
What can I say? It's all very unfortunate.... and the debate continues.
Meanwhile, much activity here. Jim Paulson, my new Director of Technology, is over here from the US for an intense week of meetings. In the pipeline: a new-look website including many features suggested by participants in my last survey, and also an iPhone app that will allow users to "Race Roz" in a virtual race across the Pacific. Details coming soon, but all very exciting!
The swiftest straw poll ever - just one question to answer. We've been looking for a killer title for the book about my solo Atlantic row. It's harder than you might think to come up with that title that will make the book leap off the bookshelf at your average bookstore browser.
So I need your help! Please go to my one-question survey and pick your favourite from our shortlist - or use the free format box to make your own suggestion if you think you can do better.
[Photo: I am staying for a few days with my friend Romy Shovelton at her 250-year-old farmhouse in Wales, where she lives with her Canadian husky, Qimmiq. We recorded a podcast today - coming soon to an iTunes near you - just as soon as I've had time to edit it - but I was busy today with a potentially very formative meeting at the Centre for Alternative Technology in nearby Machynlleth.]
A postscript to the online quiz: as well as the multiple choice questions, there was a free format comment box at the end, and this yielded some of the most informative feedback of all. The general points that kept cropping up were (in roughly descending order):
1. More photos and videos
2. Bring back the podcasts!!
3. "RozTracker" - a map showing where I am and where I am going in the near future
4. Centralization of content on rozsavage.com, rather than having to go to external sites for photos, videos, etc.
5. Make blog phone-friendly for easier reading on Blackberries and iPhones
6. Individual pages for each blog to improve ease of navigation
7. Excerpts from book read by me as podcasts
8. Improve the RSS feed functionality
9. Countdown to next departure date
10. More information on boat maintenance and details
As to actual content, this was more contentious, showing only that you can't please everybody, all of the time. The majority waned MORE stuff about my day-to-day life, but some people don't appreciate my more mundane ramblings. The overall message was that I should keep it personal - and not get too "professional". The Truman Show meets Life of Roz.
In the same vein, opinion was divided as to whether I should comment on environmental and political issues. Some people only want to hear about my activities - others are interested in my views as well. Personally, I can't separate the two. My inner world dictates what happens in my outer world. My beliefs govern my actions. So I tend to feel it's important to talk about my world view to explain why I do what I do - to show that there is method in my madness!
I'm presenting you with these results so you'll know that I have taken notice and will keep all your feedback in mind when revamping the site and when posting future content. But also know that if I can't please everybody, all of the time, there will be occasions when I choose simply to please myself. After all, it is my blog and reflects who I am, warts and all!
Thanks again for all the feedback. That quiz is now ended, but there will be more coming soon. Watch this space!
[photo: in obedience to requests for more photos - a pic of me (right) and my sister after our 5-hour caving expedition in the Lake District yesterday. I am still finding mud in unexpected places....!]