Crash and burn


8 & 9 October 2014

Wednesday was a stormy day in more ways than one. Despite heavy rain when I got up I somehow managed to dodge the showers on my way to work. Foolishly, I’d promised to start at eight all week which meant it was a very long day. Thirteen hours later I finally walked back through the door.

Once I’d had a coffee, because I can’t walk through the door and not have a coffee, I thought I’d multitask and proofread the blog post I’d prepared for Wednesday evening while I ate my pasta, simple eh?

As it turned out, not so much. When I tried to log onto my blog all I got was a white page with


Scary! A prickle of panic ran up my spine. I tried closing everything down and starting again but the same thing happened. I tried logging in through the WordPress My Blogs page. The same thing. I even tried Googling my blog but that came up with the same result. It was gone, all of it. The one teeny tiny saving grace in all this was that, less than a week before, I’d backed it up on my Mac but, if I couldn’t get onto it, I couldn’t restore it.

There was a rather fraught and panicked email to the LCN help team who host my blog and then half an hour of checking my emails for a reply that didn’t come. I went to bed feeling worried. More than two years of my work, all the lovely people who comment and read, gone just like that. Ok so it wasn’t the end of the world. No one died. Even so, I wasn’t exactly a happy bunny.

There was a tiny hope that order would be restored in my blog world at some point in the future. But this is also a cautionary tale. Back up! Back up regularly. Back up every day! Do not take the techy geeks for granted. They make the wheels in the background go round so the writers and dreamers don’t have to worry about all that code and clever stuff. Let’s face it, if I had to worry about that there would never have been a blog in the first place.

Thursday morning I was up bright and early and one of the first things I did was check my emails and my blog. Nothing had changed. The techy bods had not replied, the blog was still AWOL. It wasn’t the best of starts to the day. When I left for work, just after seven, my mind was whirling with the thought that the blog really could be gone for good. What would I do? Could I bear to start over when I’d come so far. What about the people who read it, they’d be seeing the same message when they tried to look at it. Would they wonder what had happened? Would they really care? After all there are thousands of other blogs just as good as mine, better even. Would my little offering even be missed?

Walking along the boardwalk I had a swift and beautiful reminder of the important things in life. The most amazing sunrise across the water, all crepuscular rays and clouds lined with gold. There was a swan at the water’s edge and gulls in the air. As I walked the sun slowly rose through the clouds. Photos were taken, of course. There was still a tiny hope that I would be able to share them at some point. Tiny.


It was another long, manic day, filled with lost property and bus disasters, not to mention a man who may or may not have been attacked on a bus, he wasn’t entirely sure. Despite the glorious sunrise there were showers so heavy the world outside the window disappeared from time to time. In the afternoon the sky was lit up by lightning and the air rent with thunder. It was hard to concentrate with all the noise and flashes going on.

At home, tired and still worried, I checked my emails again. There was a reply from the helpteam geeks, well one of them anyway.

I have raised your issue up to our 2nd Line Support team. Once I have more information on this I’ll contact you with an update.

It wasn’t exactly hopeful. With fingers firmly crossed I checked the blog again. Maybe the second line geeks had worked a miracle since the email was sent. Sadly, they hadn’t. Nothing had changed. The tiny bit of hope that it would ever be fixed shrank. It was now a microscopic thing, too small to be seen by the human eye. If you ever read this it will be a triumph of hope over expectation.

On Friday I got an email from LCN.

Our engineers have looked into this thoroughly for you and unfortunately it would appear that your WordPress installation was hacked and malicious code inserted into many of the files. Unfortunately, this is going to require a complete reinstall. Normally we would be able to restore the data for you however the only snapshot with your site available already has the malicious code present.

So that was it. All gone! At that moment I could have wept. Of course I still had the backup but did I dare use it? What if the malicious code was in there too? Would it even work? Let’s face it I am about as techy as a two year old. Scrub that, a two year old probably understands more about this stuff than me. Ok, so I studied Computer Science at college. I could write BASIC programmes. Does anyone even use that stuff any more? These days it’s all well beyond my poor little frazzled brain.

So basically, here I am starting again.


Published by


Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

22 thoughts on “Crash and burn”

  1. I am so sad that all your hard work has been wiped out by malicious people.. I will still enjoy reading your adventure on your new blog… 🙂

    1. Thanks Amanda. All is not completely lost. I will be slowly adding the best of the old blog but it’s going to take some time. 🙂

  2. All who read this post will sympathize with you, Marie. And your publishing this will serve as a reminder to all of us to back up, back up!

    Still, you see the silver/gold lining in this reversal. I love the line: The most amazing sunrise across the water, all crepuscular rays and clouds lined with gold. The faithful will follow you to this new site as I have done. Be encouraged with that bright thought, my dear.

    1. thank you so much for joining me here. That sunrise felt like a sign to me. There is always a new day. I hope may cautionary tale will stop others going through what I have

    1. There was a time when I thought about giving up. It all seemed so hard. If I had though they’d have beaten me and I’m way too stubborn to let them do that 🙂

  3. I can’t understand what people get out of doing things like that, but I guess it takes all kinds.
    I build all my posts in Microsoft Word and then upload them when I’m ready. But, after I upload them I still keep the original so I have every post all the way back to the first one, with photos included. You might want to think about doing something similar. It’s actually quite easy.
    In any case, I’m looking forward to watching this blog grow.

    1. From what I now understand they do it to send out scam emails. I imagine these are some kind of money making con. The ones sent from my blog seem to be something about free Starbucks coffee cards. This blog will have a complete back up every week and I’m keeping the original text in word and the photos on my Mac. At some point I guess I’m going to have to get an external hard drive to store it all. I’ve also added two step security to my WordPress account because, apparently, this is how they got in. Thanks for following me over here 🙂

  4. Oh Marie, I’m so, so sorry for all this. What a nightmare. Yes, worse things can happen but this is bad enough. I’ve signed up to this new blog and I do really hope you can still retrieve your old posts. So glad to see you up and running. The thought of losing my blog turns my blood to ice….guess what I’ll be doing today, without fail? If it’s any consolation, I absolutely love your sunrise photos and the quote on the last one. So very true.
    Hang in there 🙂

    1. Thanks for popping in Sherri. If one good thing comes from this I hope it’s that all the wonderful bloggers I follow will back up their work and not end up in the place I have. The sunrises were a message to me I think. There is always a new dawn.

  5. Marie, this is very scary and it truly sucks. Why people get a kick out of hacking non-commercial websites is beyond me. I’m hoping that the Karma wheel is spinning their way, and I’m glad to see you back on track. ~James

    1. Thanks James. I believe the reason behind it is to send out scam emails, in all probability conning people. It’s a sad world at times but a salutary lesson for anyone who has a blog. Back up! Thanks for stopping by. I’m hoping to get some of the best of the old posts back up over time and to keep going in my new home 🙂

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