Monthly Archives: May 2013

Social Media Panic

Following the Sally Bercow incident, many anti-twitter people will be waving their little flags and jumping up and down about the evils of social networking. (At this point, insert a huge, heartfelt sigh).

I’m going to keep this short……

In social media, remember that nothing can be deleted – it still exists somewhere. Remember that anyone can access your accounts (no matter what privacy settings you have created). Remember that you should look at your media and wonder what an outsider would judge you as based on your photos, tweets and updates. Remember that you should NEVER say something on social media that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

If you remember all those things, then social media can bring you information, education, friendship, advice, a shoulder to cry on and great joy. It is not evil per se. Just some people who use it unwisely make it so occasionally.

Advertisements

TV News

I’m sure that everyone was appalled by the events in Woolwich yesterday. One man’s life was ended in an abominable way and my heart goes out to his loved ones. The death itself was atrocious but the subsequent TV coverage really got me angry. If this man’s family happened to be watching the news as they hadn’t been informed yet, or if they are to see it at a later date, I can’t imagine how that would compound their suffering.

We live in a time of great technology. This means that almost all of us carry a device which can capture images and videos as well as phone people and send them messages. This also means that horrific photos and videos can be transmitted and made public in a split second. In yesterday’s event, the two attackers seemed to crave attention, openly asking people around to video them. They didn’t run from the scene but waited until police arrived. One or two amazingly courageous people (women, I might add) challenged them and tried to talk them down. Others stood at a distance and filmed the goings-on. Within minutes, those images were transmitted worldwide. 

What really got me hot under the collar was the news at 6 o’ clock. They did warn the people at home that there were distressing images but my argument is that some things should not be shown at that time of the evening  when young children are around (or any time, actually). I found it really upsetting as an adult and would have been mortified if my grandchildren had seen that. But there was worse.

The commentator reporting from the scene committed the ultimate sin as far as I’m concerned. He said that the two attackers were of ‘Muslim appearance’. Comments like this add fuel to the fire of those of limited intelligence who brand an entire group of people based on a minuscule number of insane fanatics. It is estimated that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world – one quarter of the world’s population. Islam is a peaceful religion and almost all Muslims in the world would be as appalled as you and I about what happened yesterday.

When Anders Breivik killed 77 people in 2011, did reporters comment that the man’looked like a Christian’? I don’t think so. The BBC reporter was very unwise and unprofessional to come out with such a comment. The TV reporting and video from the skies was unnecessary and bloodthirsty. At times, the Press needs reminding that these events are not to be sensationalised and that somewhere there is a family who loved that victim and will suffer until the day they die having seen those images and heard sensational reporting of what happened to him.

Furniture

At one time, when you bought furniture, you went to the store, had a look around, saw something you liked and then bought it. It was then loaded into a lorry and delivered intact, placed exactly where you wanted it.

Not now.

Now, you go to the store, look around, find something you like and make a note of the aisle and shelf where it is stored. You then get a huge trolley and manhandle a box (or series of boxes) on to said trolley, push it to the checkout and pay for it, manhandle the bulky items to the car park and then try every possible arrangement of seating in your car in order to fit the boxes in there. Once home, you extricate the boxes from the car, get them into the house and clear a large floor space. You then have to get a series of tools from the garage in order that you might create this amazing table / wardrobe / bookshelf.

This is where men and women discover their differences. Mr Whinge would just take a cursory glance at the instruction booklet, fail to make any sense of it and just plough ahead with the three-dimensional jigsaw (usually ending up with something which would have one panel upside down and have to be dismantled again. I, however, being ever so slightly OCD, would lay all the pieces out and count them to ensure they were all present (and therein lies another story) and correct, then meticulously assemble the item, taking three times longer than Mr. Whinge, getting stuck on the floor because of arthritis, sweating, cursing and sighing in frustration at the pieces that won’t go together ‘properly’.

I think the older I get, the more I realise that flat-pack furniture is not some huge puzzle for adults and ‘fun’. In future, I think I will pay about three times more and have something of higher quality and ready assembled.

Money

Can anyone explain why when you have no money you see loads of things you’d like, but when you have some money available to spend, you don’t see anything you like at all?  I suppose that’s why banks do savings accounts then.

Waiting

This one is dedicated to Kelly….

Why is it that when you really want to do something pleasant but you can’t until something else has happened, that ‘something else’ takes forever? It’s that old adage ‘a watched pot never boils’ isn’t it? Like when you want to go to bed but have to wait until the washer is finished so you can switch it off. (I never go to bed and leave the washer or tumble drier on……I’ve seen so many cases of fires breaking out.)  Or it might be that you are waiting for an important call and the phone on the table in front of you just doesn’t spring into life no matter how hard you stare at it? I actually don’t find it easy to wait for things. Once I have decided to do something, I need to get on with it straightaway. Waiting for the postman (or should that now be ‘postperson’?) when you are expecting an important letter, waiting for BT to actually put a phone line in for you, waiting for the item you ordered online which then turns out to be out of stock and not available for five weeks – these are all enough to make my blood boil.

Some types of waiting really don’t annoy me though. Waiting for a doctor or to see a consultant is one example. I regularly attend a rheumatology clinic where the doctor is always over-running. People in the waiting room groan and grumble and are sometimes downright rude. The thing is, she is a good doctor. She gives each patient the time they need to fully discuss their problems. She doesn’t adhere to the strict time schedule that some guy in a crisp suit, sitting behind a leather-topped desk has organised for her. I know that when I finally get in to see her, she will give me whatever time I need – that may be thirty seconds or it may be twenty minutes. Because of that, I am happy to wait (and have waited over two hours before) because she cares about her patients.

That sort of waiting is a good sort. Which type of ‘waiting’ gets you annoyed then?

Hosepipes

Has anyone got a hosepipe that actually works? They are one of the most annoying things on the planet (apart from clothes hangers).  First of all, they need the right fittings for your tap. This could be an adapter thingy, a screw on thingy or a push on thingy with a jubilee clip.  Chances are that no matter what you do, as soon as you turn on the tap, it will still leak out of some tiny gap.

Next we have the hosepipe itself. It might be thin plastic, thick plastic or one of those nylon fibre flat ones. Depending on the type, you might have to unreel it completely before use. Even at this point, it can kink, stopping all water flowing through it until you retrace your steps to find the offending bend that shouldn’t be there. Don’t dare look down the end of the nozzle though to see where the water has gone.

Your next issue will be length. Will it actually go from the tap at the back of your house right round to the bay window at the front to water your hanging baskets? You may have to join two lengths. You will need a male part and a female part. Try as you might, however you introduce the two, they will disagree and send squirts of water all over you. When you give the hosepipe just one little tug to make it reach where you want to be, you can be sure that the two parts of hose will separate and shower you with freezing cold water.

Finally, you have to wind it all in, full of water. It is probably covered in slimy mud. It is stiff with the cold. Your fingers are numb. The hosepipe has become your enemy and you must defeat it and show it who is boss! In the winter it needs nurturing in case it freezes and once it has wheedled its way into your life it will demand all manner of widgets to make it happy – a sprinkler, a long extension rod for high up squirting, a brush for car washing, a jet nozzle for blasting dirt away.

Yet, we like nothing better on a summer’s day than standing in our verdant paradise, hosepipe in hand, watching the pretty flowers get drenched and seeing rainbows in the jet of water.

Eurovision

Hmmmm. Where do I start this one? It’s the programme you either hate or love. But love it or hate it, you can’t resist taking a little peek and then get hooked. There’s something about the ridiculousness of it all. I never know whether to take it seriously or not.

I do have friends (well, one of them) who absolutely adore it and hold Eurovision parties. In fact, this particular friend has actually gone to Malmo this year to see it live. I sincerely hope she is having a whale of a time – I’m sure she is. ‘Hi, Anna! I’m waving at you’. Personally, I can take it or leave it. I’m watching tonight as I’m ironing upstairs with the telly that only has Freeview. My preferred channel would be ‘Home’ – My Flat-Pack Home but that’s not available on Freeview so the choice was some films which had already started, Eurovision or Embarrassing Teenage Bodies. Hobson’s Choice really.

So, I wonder how the voting will go this year – the year when our government have made it clear that they want to be different to the rest of Europe and maybe not even part of Europe at all. I’m sure that this won’t stop the people of Europe voting for us. No, really, it won’t ….will it?