Wednesday, 21 August 2019

An essential tool for family history bloggers

Is your blog print friendly?

If you have a Blogger blog consider installing a Print Friendly button for those who wish to save your posts or indeed for you to save your own posts to PDF.

Not all browsers have a reading mode to remove the annoying distractions found on many blogs, and not all readers will have a PrintFriendly extension installed on their browser. Many bloggers use Adsense to generate some income. The PrintFriendly button allows your reader to save a post without that extraneous content. It also removes the sidebar and any gadgets contained therein.
  1. In the Layout mode from your Blogger dashboard choose the area where you want to insert the Print Friendly button. On this blog, I have chosen to insert it at the bottom of the post in the Footer area.
  2. Add gadget - choose the HTML/Javascript gadget

  3. Head over to and choose the style of button you want to add.
  4. Select the features you require, decide whether to allow click to delete sections or not, then copy the code generated into the blogger gadget and save.
  5. Save the Layout and choose a post from your blog to view. It will now display your chosen button.
Here's how the heading of a PrintFriendly page appears from one of my recent posts. Notice the choice of text size and image size. Image size can be set to 0 to remove all images.

Once the PrintFriendly page has been generated, hover over individual paragraphs or headings to reveal the bin to delete any sections not needed in the print or PDF version. This only works if you made that selection before copying the code. I have it disabled on this blog.
Do experiment and test what works best for you.

To view an alternate PrintFriendly button head over to my family history blog, Earlier Years or view the PrintFriendly button inserted in the sidebar in Just at Tarlee.


  • If the button is installed in the footer area of the page, it displays at the bottom of all the posts you have chosen to have display. To determine how many posts show on your main page go to Settings | Posts and Comments | Show at most and select the desired number.  It will always display when an individual post link is selected.
  • If the button is installed in the Sidebar it is always visible, but will print all the posts you have chosen to display.

For your own use, consider installing the free PrintFriendly extension for Chrome and simply click on it when you visit one of those annoying sites with dozens of advertisements.

This post first appeared on

Sunday, 30 June 2019

Email subscriptions to blogs

Checking out Feedburner

A reent notification from Google had me scurrying to Feedburner to check out my email subscription settings on my blogs. The Blogger platform uses Feedburner to manage email subscriptions.
To check out your email subscriptions head to

  1. Click on My Feeds at the top of the page 
  2. Choose from your blog list to view the dashboard for that feed

From here you can see when and from which country your email subscribers accessed your blog.

From the Feed Stats Dashboard I chose See more about your subscribers. This indicates 0 reach on June 28 as there was no blogpost on that day. One can select the last 7 days, or month or all time to view the email reach.

At the bottom of the next screen choose Feedburner Email Subscriptions then Manage your Email Subscriber List

It was here that I found dozens of dodgy email addresses many subscribed on the same day or within 2 or 3 days. It is a tedious process to delete them one by one.

This sample was from 2017 and there were more instances of these type of subscriptions recently. 

You can also see the incomplete subscriptions, so if family members were confused by the process of subscribing by email, there is an opportunity to explain to them that the email they received from Feedburner was a legitimate step to follow in signing up to your blog.

Do you know who is subscribing by email to your blog?

This post first appeared on

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

A Scurry Hurry in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire County Show

What better to do on a warm sunny day than attend a County Show. Well accustomed to Australian shows it was interesting to view the similarities and differences with this very English experience. The county showgrounds are not far from St Albans where we had been staying, but with no public transport to get there, the traffic was endless in all directions. Cars parked in fields with a long trek to the grounds. Lush grass everywhere, no dusty areas or bare ground.

A variety of arenas provided the venues for horse riding and jumps, cattle showing and judging along with novelty events. Each arena had portable grandstands either end and marquees down one side. I saw no permanent buildings, rather those that could be transported to, or moved around for the next show or event. Show attendants clothed in dark suits and bowler hats were located at every gate as areas were opened and closed to allow passage of beasts or people. 

A new event to me was the scurry driving. We had wandered past a practice area where small ponies in pairs were attached to carts but we had no idea what was to come next. There were a variety of sizes of ponies, some Shetlands and some Welsh. Inside the Jubilee Arena a course was marked out with cones. The driver guides the ponies through these cones at speed and points are awarded for speed of completion and accuracy. The crowd cheered wildly at this skilful spectacle. At the back of the scurry (cart) the second person leant into the corners much like a motorcycle rider.

These pony pairs also had paired names so Pride and Joy, Suited and Booted, Bangers N Mash, Stand and Deliver, Morse and Code, Blink and Miss It, Fast and Furious being a few of those I remember. Fun all around.

Pony cart at Hertfordshire county show

Pony cart

Shortly after this spectacle the working shire horses plodded in. Two magnificent whites towing a brewery waggon demonstrated their skills by following voice commands to back up and manoeuvre that heavy cart. Others pulled ploughs and carts demonstrating skills and equipment from the past.

On to the cattle which were housed in large temporary marquees, no pens here but copious amounts of hay underfoot. Large beasts of a variety of breeds stood side by side in comparative peace seemingly untroubled by the stream of humans passing nearby.

After sharing a lunch in the sunshine we ventured into the sheep pavilion. Here was the biggest surprise of all. Vintage breeds looking nothing like many of the sheep we are accustomed to in farms in Australia were housed in small pens with ribbons on display.
Below is a collection of photos of these weird and wonderful beasts, some loooking more like goats than sheep, but sheep they indeed were!

We had a delightful day out with our daughter and her parents in law, it has just taken me a couple of weeks to finally get around to writing about it. Hertfordshire County Show was held on 25th -26th May 2019.