2013 in Review

Perking the Pansies recovered from a difficult birth at the murderous hands of the Turkish censors, thrived through the terrible twos and survived the transitional threes, ending the year with 60,000 hits for the last twelve months. Thank you to everyone and anyone who’s passed by and glanced at my random witterings. Most blogs burn out after two years so I must be living on borrowed time.

As the sun sets on 2013, in the best Hogmanay tradition, I give you the year’s top ten – a pick ‘n’mix treat of bum cleavage, Turks at the barricades, a shot in the arm, a tender coming out story, a sexy rugger bugger, a book to send you to sleep, an old-time boozer, an olive tree planted in a foreign field and a scratched itch.

Plumber’s Bum

It was the picture wot won it.

Turkey Troubles

A revolution in the making?

Tom Daley: Something I Want to Say

Saying it before someone said it for him.

Gareth Thomas, Dancing on Ice Drama

Who said ice-prancing rugger buggers can’t read?

Life in the Old Blog Yet

With thanks to the nice people at WordPress who featured me on one of their big hitting sites.

Turkey, Surviving the Expats – Out Now!

Keeping me out the workhouse.

God Save the Queen’s Head

A Chelsea classic and old watering hole of mine.

From Little Acorns...

A small corner of Turkey that is forever John.

Seven Year Itch

A soppy tale from Liam.

Turkey, Who Will Blink First?

And we all know who did in the end, don’t we?

For some inexplicable reason, this was the most popular image of 2013, featured in Let’s Hear it for the Brides.

Nine Elms
The Thames at Nine Elms

And I shouldn’t forget the perennial favourites from previous years that keep coming back again and again like a bad case of thrush.

Gran Canaria Sex Emporium

Proving that ‘sex’ really is the most searched for word on Google.

Now That’s What I Call Old

A humble little post about a spectacular discovery in eastern Turkey that just keeps on giving while the archaeologists keep on digging  – 8,000 hits and climbing. Who would have thought?

Expat Glossary

Oft quoted and oft plagiarised (and not always with a credit, tut tut)

Goodbye to the Turkish Living Forum

The few spoiling it for the many. A real shame.

Turkey Street RecliningAnd what of 2014? All I know is that Turkey Street, Jack and Liam move to Bodrum will be out early in the year. Will it be as successful as the first one? Who knows? Not me. Whatever happens, come rain or shine, a happy and prosperous year to all my pansy fans. Thank you for staying the course and for your remarkable support. I’m touched but then, I have been for years.

The Yellow Brick Road

jack-the-hack-_writingtipsThe blogging gospel according to St Jack, Chapter Two…

Posts can be written in batches and scheduled to be published over time. Try to post at least once a week, though. It’s good for what’s called search engine optimisation (SEO). Don’t be spooked by this. This is just how Internet search engines index and rank your site— it’s all done in the background. Over time, posting regularly will push up your assets better than a Playtex 18-hour girdle.

More…

Spanner in the Words

WordPress (the organisation that hosts my blog) has got its knickers in a twist over comments. They’ve introduced some unheralded changes to the comments function and now there are more bugs in it than an old cow pat. Some people who try to comment on Perking the Pansies either can’t at all, or have to sign in to some long forgotten WordPress account of yesteryear. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. It’s all very irritating, causing much fury on the user forum and tut-tutting in the Scott-Brennan household.

I’m sure they’ll unscramble the mess soon but in the meantime, please do persevere with your thoughts, either by choosing your Facebook or Twitter ID (if you have one) in the comments box or commenting on posts as they appear on Facebook. As a last resort, you can create a WordPress Account which will allow you to comment on my blog and others hosted by WordPress. It’ll only take a few minutes off the rest of your life.

Happy Birthday, Perking the Pansies

When Liam and I came to Turkey, we intended to retire early, put our feet up and watch the pansies grow. With a ridiculous amount of spare time on my hands, I decided to amuse myself by starting a blog. Maybe it would delay my inevitable descent into alcoholism? At the time, I assumed I would end up talking to myself.  Twelve months, 400 posts, 2000 comments, 6,000 spams and 120,000 hits later, Pansies has just reached its first birthday. To celebrate this minor miracle I’d like to share what I think are some of the major milestones (Pansysteps).

08/10/10 – In the Beginning

Perking the Pansies was launched onto an unsuspecting public. God help them. I knew nothing about this blogging business, how it worked or what would happen. This was my debut post.

24/11/10 – Are You Mad?

I knew something was up when the blog exceeded 12,000 hits. Shit, someone was actual reading my inconsequential, irreverent ramblings. I started to understand blog promotion and search-engine optimisation, joined Faceache and that tweet, tweety thingy to build a virtual social network. Well, it beats actually talking to people.

04/12/10 – Clapped in Irons

My blog was banned by the Turkish Internet police just as it was taking off. I was expecting a knock at the door by a scandalised conscript in latex gloves, demanding to conduct an internal investigation. I nearly gave the whole thing up in despair.

10/12/10 – Pooing on a Paddle

After a frantic, fretful week, Perking the Pansies shut up shop at Google and moved lock, stock and barrel to begin life anew at brand new WordPress premises. Fear of imminent arrest subsided. This naughty little number was my first post on the revamped, re-launched site.

14/03/2011 – Hold the Front Page

Perking the Pansies was featured in the Turkish national press along with a select group of illustrious fellow jobbing bloggers.

01/04/2011 – Bubba’s Gobbler

Perking the Pansies reached 50,000 hits. This was my April Fools’ piece. It was partly inspired by thumbing through the gaypers in a Soho watering hole.

06/04/2011 – Perking the Pansies – Bound and Ungagged

The blog has spawned a little book which is about to go off to the publisher. The book covers some of same terrain as the blog but with much more spice, bite, depth, pace and pathos (Well, I hope so).

10/05/2011 – So You Think You Can Write a Pop Song?

This was the first mega post attracting big numbers. Pansies were bursting out all over the place. My pansymap ended up resembling a nuclear attack on Western Europe and North America. All very Cold War.

24/07/2011 – Amy Winehouse, RIP

This is by far my most popular post, 4,600 and still growing. I think it just caught the mood. It also caught the attention of some wanker who left a vile comment. I don’t generally censor comments. Free speech and all that. However, I didn’t publish his nasty little words.

17/08/2011 – I’m Coming Out

Perking the Pansies reached 100,000 hits and I exposed myself to the world. No, I didn’t get arrested or receive a congratulatory brick through my window.

Many happy returns, Perking the Pansies. Make a wish and hope you make it to the terrible twos.

Gaygle It

Last December Perking the Pansies was permanently blocked by the Turkish internet police. I threw a hissy fit at the prospect of a firm hand on my door knob, a frisk by a frisky conscript and instant deportation. It all turned out to be a storm in a çay cup. My inconsequential contribution to the blogosphere was simply caught by lazy censorship that uses a scatter gun approach to punish the innocent and the guilty alike. Perking the Pansies became, as the Americans say, ‘collateral damage‘. I had to abandon my old site hosted by Google and move lock, stock and barrel to WordPress. A couple of days ago I noticed that the page hits on my new site overtook those of the old for the first time. Nowadays I need only the slightest excuse to make merry so I raised a glass in thanks.

I’m endlessly fascinated and bemused by the search terms that bring some surfers to my website. I’ve already mentioned ‘Yalikavak Sex’  and ‘Gay Hairy Turkish Men’ but there is also:

  • Porn Torkish
  • Gumbet porno
  • Turk Gay Sitesi
  • Thermal Bloomers
  • Sex Sitesi
  • Gay Calis Beach
  • Middleaged Sexpats
  • Gundogan Gay
  • Lyrics to I’m as Gay as a Daisy

A definitive gay guide to Turkey for the curious traveller seeking a little relief in the sun is sorely needed. Sadly it would be a thin digest and probably banned.