THE YEAR THAT WAS 2016 ON LLOYD MARKEN WORDPRESS

This post is the concluding chapter to my best hit adverts from earlier in 2016, which every four months would track changing statistics. First up the United States of America had the most views this year taking over Australia’s lead from the year previous. British views also saw a sharp uptick almost knocking Australia into third. Canada followed in fourth I’m pleased to see and Spain and Brazil battled it out for fifth with Spain ultimately proving victorious.

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Top 10 Most Views by Country

  1. The United States of America                                                                                     1,712 Views
  2. Australia                                                                                                                              1,145 Views
  3. The United Kingdom                                                                                                      1,120 Views
  4. Canada                                                                                                                                 312 Views
  5. Spain                                                                                                                                     181 Views
  6. Brazil                                                                                                                                     118 Views
  7. Germany                                                                                                                             117 Views
  8. France                                                                                                                                  103 Views
  9. New Zealand                                                                                                                     78 Views
  10. India                                                                                                                                      43 Views

 

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Out of 57 posts published for the year the following 25 got the most views. I’m happy to see so many views for the post on the Kibeho massacre. That story should never be forgotten and those who were there should always be thanked for what they endured and accomplished. In 2015 the blog started to grow with 1,609 views, 333 visitors, 23 Likes and 30 comments. In 2016 the blog received 5,673 views, 3,206 visitors, 546 Likes and 751 comments. This was helped in no small part thanks to the support and interest from my fellow bloggers.

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Top 25 Most Viewed Posts 2016

  1. Captains Reg Saunders of the Australian Army                                                   133 Views
  2. Lloyd Marken: Sunshine Blogger Award                                                                 104 Views
  3. The Heroes of Kibeho                                                                                                    97 Views
  4. Eye in the Sky Is Pure Perfection                                                                               91 Views
  5. The Hunt for the Wilderpeople Turns Up a New Zealand Gem                        87 Views
  6. South Vietnamese General Ngo Quang Truong’s War                                        81 Views
  7. 10 PICS FROM THE STICKS PART IV: FLAXTON MILL ROAD TO                       67 Views MAPLETON FALLS AND BACK AGAIN
  8. A Quick Word to my Sponsors                                                                                    59 Views
  9. Bad Moms is Pretty Bloody Good                                                                               59 Views
  10. Deadpool: Finally a Happy Ending for Ryan Reynolds                                        56 Views
  11. 10 PICS FROM THE STICKS PART V: LAKE BAROON TO                                      56 Views KONDALILLA FALLS
  12. Youth is Wasted on the Old                                                                                         55 Views
  13. Star Wars has Returned to Cinemas and Our Hearts                                           53 Views
  14. Suicide Squad Will Test Your Will to Live                                                                52 Views
  15. Batman Vs. (What the Hell was that V All About?!) 50 Views Superman Rant
  16. Sully: The Man in the Air                                                                                               48 Views
  17. Star Trek: Beyond Covers Familiar Ground                                                             48 Views
  18. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is Papa Foxtrot Gulf                                                          46 Views
  19. The Big Short: A Comedy to Get Angry About                                                        43 Views
  20. Finding Dory Fails to Find All of Pixar’s Former Inspiration                             42 Views
  21. Birth Days                                                                                                                           42 Views
  22. Love and Friendship: Too Sorely Needed Attributes                                            40 Views
  23. Brooklyn: An Old Irish Tale for Our Times                                                              40 Views
  24. A Brave New World with New Ghostbusters                                                           40 Views
  25. A Couple of Nice Guys to Spend Time With                                                             39 Views

One of the most interesting things I take away from the stats is that sometimes what I don’t think are my best posts still get interest if the subject matter appeals and in particular if there is very little on the web about something. Take for example General Ngo Quang Truong. Also if a film is popular a post about it will retain interest with examples including Finding Dory or Star Trek: Beyond.Whereas I’ll be sitting here hoping more Sully, Brooklyn and Youth.

Top 10 Most Liked Posts 2016

10. Love and Friendship: Too Sorely Needed Attributes                                               14 Likes

9. Lloyd Marken: Sunshine Blogger Award                                                                     14 Likes

8. Barce: Where Right and Glory Led During World War II                                        14 Likes

7. ABFAB Still Fabulous Enough Darling                                                                         14 Likes

6. Bad Moms Is Pretty Bloody Good                                                                                   14 Likes

20161030_1641215. 10 Pics from the Sticks Part VII: Mt Bithongabel and 3rd Times a Charm         14 Likes

Image result for superman the movie4. Suicide Squad Will Test Your Will To Live                                                                   15 Likes

16193. 10 Pics from the Sticks Part IV: Flaxton Mill Road to Mapleton and Back         21 Likes

Again

2. The Hunt for the Wilderpeople Turns up a New Zealand Gem                            24 Likes

Image result for captain reg saunders1. Captain Reg Saunders of the Australian Army                                                           51 Likes

For Your Consideration

Finally I’ll quick just give a shout out to the posts for better or worse that I take some pride in writing last year.

My film reviews for Youth (mortality), Brooklyn (my windswept and interesting younger sister), Eye in the Sky (war), Deadpool (comedy) and Eddie the Eagle (the drudgery of working live compared to dreaming dreams).

My short story Birth Days, which received some positive feedback which just meant the world to me.

Out of the 7 hiking posts I put up I am most sentimental about the one where Karen and I first discovered Mapleton Falls of which later we would take her grandfather to and hiking with my sister to Kondalilla Falls.1619

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My posts about The Heroes of Kibeho and Victoria Cross Winner Corporal Bryan Budd I hope struck a nerve. It meant a great deal to me that Sgt Terry Pickard who was Kibeho commented on it.

If you have a particular favourite please let me know and I will endeavour to maybe write more like that although in the end all writers are stuck writing what best compels them if they are to have any chance of amusing others. I feel very blessed to be part of my small blogging community, I don’t always get to read as much as I used to and wonder how they manage to keep up with my output. A particular highlight for me this year was receiving a Sunshine Blogger Award. Effectively the awards are chain letters but I don’t care – I was chuffed and tell everybody now about my award winning blog. I am very grateful and thank you all.

-Lloyd Marken

ABFAB STILL FABULOUS ENOUGH FUN DARLING

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Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French made the first sketch for AbFab 25 years ago about PR Manager Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and her best mate Magazine Editor Patsy (Joanna Lumley). Running as a BBC TV series for a couple of seasons Saunders bowed out with the show Absolutely Fabulous at the height of its powers in 1996. She then re-worked ideas for another show with the same cast into a revamp in the new millennium. Personal reflections recall that series of specials and telemovies not being nearly as good but time apart (a short series 2011-12 were the last)can make the heart grow fonder. The movie plays like a ramped up greatest hits of the show on a bigger budget with little new added and yet it’s fun to be back with these women in 2016. filmHaving started out as middle aged women behaving badly in a superficial youth orientated industry there was always something rebellious about the character and socially critical about the show but now with the characters creeping to the end of middle age they have become even more poignant with their fears and hopes. Maybe the fact that they have not grown up and daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha) is quietly still enduring them with her own daughter now called Lola (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness) and a new wet blanket of a man should be sad, don’t these people ever grow and learn from their mistakes? Yet they’ve survived, they’ve endured and they haven’t changed because they like how they live and there’s a kind of power in that. Why the hell do they have to conform with any expectations?

 

Fans of the series will find a lot of familiar beats in the plot, Edie and Pats find out they don’t have any money coming in anymore and Edie looking to land model Kate Moss as a client inadvertently pushes her into the Thames River where its believed she drowns making the two of them pariahs. Barring some fantastic pole dancing in The White Stripes cover of I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself

I have never understood the fascination with Kate but she seems to be a big deal in Britain and she’s a good enough sport in this film. In fact she’s only one of several amusing star cameos with Jon Hamm proving once again he’s up for anything. The fact the film comes jam packed with so many cameos is a reflection of the love people have for this show.

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Almost every single gag will be recognised from the series including Patsy getting in drag, Eddie finally breaking down and admitting all her failings and asking for forgiveness, Patsy spewing venom at Saffron about being an inconvenience,  Safi having to overcome a tough crowd by doing something extroverted and against her nature, mocking any new trend in the world of fashion and making fun of any new technological device. This time though it is done on a grand scale culminating with the girls heading out to Cannes in the south of France and featuring a neat little car chase. The originality and bite of the gags when first seen in the 90s may be more predictable here but there’s also a kind of warmth in the familiarity. It’s nice to have the gals back even if for one last glory run. You know it is fun to be in the Riviera, it’s fun to sing karaoke at a gay club, it’s fun to have women misbehaving past 60 and mocking the double standard for men of the same age and it’s fun to be taking the piss out of self-important fashion labels and celebrities. The whole film is just fun if not terribly inspired and with a glass of Tanqueray gin there are worse nights out to be had. If you’re staying in though grab a copy of the original series from the 1990s.

-Lloyd Marken

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