Blog Statistics Versus Instagram Statistics: Numbers and Examples of Instagram Gratifying Feedback; New Dryburgh Instagram Follower, Name and Conversation Provided; Possible Voyage to Australia and Malaysia in 2024; Purist Defined: Dinner Party A Success; Liberia History Fascinating; Photos of Moosewood Cookbook; My Face Painted in the Manner of the Scottish Flag; And Dryburgh Abbey 

I wax eloquently, and recently rather continually, about my blog statistics, however, I am seeing that this is futile and rather meaningless. (Warning: It does not mean that I am going to abandon this preoccupation, this obsession with my numbers.)

My Instagram ‘statistics’ take a different form. It is not the sheer number of my followers, which is pretty impressive considering I do not ‘work at it’. Moreover, I routinely block scammers and offensive people which serves to lower one’s count). At this moment I have 1,071  followers but the number of followers shall not be the topic of this conversation.

I responded to an Umrah reel, showing the pilgrimage in all of its glory.

Me: Thank you for this!!! I just came from Mecca. My first visit! I became a Muslim at the age of 77. Better late than never.

That comment has received 125 likes. I find that utterly amazing and rewarding. It brings me greater joy and a greater sense of recognition than the likes I receive for my own posts and reels. That is not entirely true, come to think of it. My very clumsy reel made in the dark from a Mecca hotel room garnered 281 Likes but 4,362 plays. That is impressive, come to think of it.

The topic of another reel was a young woman, first appearing in Western clothes but then being beautifully dressed by women putting her in an abaya and hijab. I responded.

Me: How beautiful I do wishI had someone to dress me and tie my hijab. She looks beautiful in her abaya and hijab. The contrast between her Western clothes and her new beauty was striking. Thank you for that. It was beautiful. And the joy in her new appearance.

Forty two  people liked this comment.

One man responded that I should have Muslim women dress me. I said.

Me:  Oh, I see you said any Muslim woman. I no longer wear a hijab and abaya at home but do in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries when I travel there.

Both the man and two others liked the comment.

I commented upon a reel in which Omar Sulieman spoke of the wonderful relationship between the daughter of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) Fatimah and her husband Ali. It was delightful, I simply HAD to respond.

Me: My goodness! My Muslim name is Fatimah and I certainly am funny. Another reason to be proud of my Muslin name and of my recent reversion to the Islamic faith.

That comment received 95 likes which definitely brought a smile to my face.

I am very impressed with many of Mufti Menk’s daily messages, particularly this one.

If there’s something you want, you have to work for it. You can’t just sit back and do nothing. When you have put in effort, exhausted your brains on how to tackle a certain problem, then you can sit back. Rely on the Almighty for the results. If it’s meant for you, it’ll be yours.

I responded: That is so profoundly true. First we must put in the effort. Just praying for something cannot bring blessings and gifts from Allah. Why should laziness be rewarded? And sometimes despite efforts what you want is not for us. Allah is all knowing.

These are but a few examples of my positive comments to the inspiring Instagram entries of others – the recognition by others is extensively rewarding to me. Instagram can be negative and evil, but do remember Good always prevails over Evil, as promised by the Quran.

This is a secular fun post, coupled with my response. It was posted by a brand new follower, my second cousin Garry Dryburgh.

He: I’ve managed to navigate through the chaos at Sydney International terminal. Checked in eating breakfast, now ready to get my 14.5 hour flight to Vancouver.

Me: Travel is not fun. I have specialized in travel to the Middle East. Business class is the only way.

He not only liked it – later we had a very lengthly conversation via Whats App. I promised to come to Australia and meet my long lost Dryburgh relatives at some point in time, probably 2024. He posted again thanking my cousin Carol-Ann for her hospitality and spoke of a hilarious conversation with Alexis McBride. I, of course, responded to that.

Me: I do love being called hilarious. By the way, my blog statistics show that I have only 2 readers in Australia. I am expecting an improvement soon. Hahaha. No excuse because it is an English speaking country after all. 

While I am visiting that ‘neck of the woods’ I might just visit Alix Residences located in Malaysia. The completion date of that edifice, named for me, is 2024 and I think it is just a hop, skip and a jump away. I an, however, geographically challenged, so not sure of that.

Hop skip and a jump away means a very short distance.  “This expression, dating from the early 1700s, originally referred to an exercise or game involving these movements, but by the mid-1800s was also being used figuratively for the short distance so covered.”

I have now been proven to be geographically challenged because I Googled the distance between Australia and Malaysia.  The flight time between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney is 8 hours and 21 minutes flight but only about five hours between Perth and Kuala Lumpur.  Perhaps it is back to the drawing board; lots of time for that. “Back to the drawing board is an idiom which means that you go back to the beginning of a process to start it again, because it is not working.”

Making plans for the future, even if not realized, gives meaning, gives hope to everyday existence. A recent call to Hilton Honors program brought a surprise. Called to get credit for my stay at the Riyadh Hilton because one receives points for perks and less expensive stays. I am planning to return to the Riyadh Hilton.The were SO helpful and there was a special offer. I can go to NYC anytime in the next year for 4 days and 3 nights. I signed up! Not been to NYC for years and do love it. Perhaps I shall go in the fall and see some autumn color when I am there. Do think I did that before, years ago.

Speaking of looking forward to things, I made an appointment for a 3/27 follow up appointment with the plastic surgeon for my hand. It should be fixed by then. Had the following conversation with MUSAG.

Me: I have an appointment with the surgeon of 3/27

He: 27th will be in Ramadan, right? I guess so.

Me: Yes, it is. I do not think that going to your doctor is against the rules of Ramadan. Although one never knows with some of these purists.

A purist is a person who insists on absolute adherence to traditional rules or structures. There are a number of strange synonym precisionist, perfectionist, pendant, literalist, stickler, traditionalist, doctrinaire, quibbler, hair-splitter, dogmatist, nitpicker.

I would not dare to have this conversation on Instagram. The dogmatists, the perfectionists, the sticklers, the hair splitters would be down my throat. “Don’t jump down my throat is an idiomatic expression – criticize with excessive and unexpected harshness. Also forcing someone who disagrees with you to listen to your opinions.’ There is an invisible wall built around my blog – those nitpickers cannot get at me.

Getting back to Instagram, the other night I posted a reel on Instagram announcing a successful dinner party. My first hostessing in years and years. Four guests, although technically three as the eight month old did not partake of delicacies served. Did discover that cooking for a ‘crowd’ comes back. Similar to the experience of getting back to ride on a bicycle. The asparagus were prepared from a recipe found in my Moosewood cookbook . The photograph of the cookbook did not get posted in a prior blog as was promised. It will be attached this time.

The guests were CAGED (Congolese Awesome Great Exceptional Delivery), his wife and their 8 year old son. We had an amazingly fun evening. She came to Canada from a refugee camp. Her home was Liberia, on the coast of Africa. That country has such a fascinating history – I urge you to read the lengthly Wikipedia account of its history.

Back to Instagram again, in a most unusual way. I inquired of my dinner guests.

Me: How did you two meet?

They: Through Instagram.

Me: Oh my goodness. You must be kidding.

They: No! We are being serious.

The other photograph is me with my face painted in the manner of the Scottish flag.

You: What does that have to do with this blog?

Me: Excuse me!! I spoke extensively of the Dryburgh family – Dryburghs are extremely Scottish. Ever hear of Dryburgh Abbey? Visited there twice, it is near Melrose and spectacular. If I can find a photo of it, it shall be included as well. I have recently discovered that Dryburgh is a common name, I never thought so when I was a child. I am thinking of changing my Instagram last name from McTwit to Dryburgh. McTwit was never my last name. I have no idea how or why that became my Instagram name – although it is funny, you do have to admit.