The Owl and the Pussycat

Courtesy of YouTube

Featuring Fum, a black cat, and Gebra, a kind barn owl who have established a unique friendship!

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Down Memory Lane

Rummaging through the archives…

On a day when I lacked any real motivation, my mind began to wander. After deciding not to pursue a planned trip, I thought about various jobs that need to be done around the house. Gradually I put these tasks behind me, mainly because they all required far more effort than I could muster. However, I am planning to sell some collectors toys from my youth on eBay and these I knew to be stored in a large box in the bottom of a wardrobe.

Having managed to extricate the box from surrounding clutter, I began to rummage through the contents as one does. My initial reaction to certain objects was ‘why on earth have I kept that?’ and it’s fair to say at this point that I did manage to throw out a few things. However, I digress…

Nokia 1995 and 2009!

One of the artifacts nestled in the bottom of the box was my first mobile phone made by Nokia. This certainly wasn’t one of the very early brick varieties but nevertheless is still far larger and chunkier than the average landline handset in use today. Prior to the advent of smartphones, the typical mobile handset reduced in size dramatically, thereby making this first phone look like something out of the ark! Of course, there was no such thing as GSM and digital networks, but the old analogue service did have some advantages. During the mid nineties, I made frequent day trips to northern France, and so long as one was in an elevated position, one could phone people in the UK on the normal tariff. There was none of this roaming nonsense of today whereby you automatically log on to a local foreign network and pay through the nose for the privilege!

But back to the box! There were pocket diaries going back over thirty years. Looking through names and addresses in them, it was surprising just how many people had crossed my path but are now but a distant memory or have simply faded into obscurity. It got me wondering what some of the people are doing with their lives. Are they in good health? Do they have families? Are they still alive? I soon started day dreaming about travelling back in time in a Tardis and then following their paths… sometimes it would just be nice to know these things!

There was also a large bag containing old coins, notably our pre-decimalisation currency and the now defunct individual currencies of what has become the euro zone. Memories came flooding back of having to change currencies at every border post! Also at the bottom of this large box were some photographic slides which I’d completely forgotten about. Most old slides lie in purpose-made files but these stray slides were still in a projector slide magazine. Sadly they never get viewed nowadays as setting up the projector is a major operation, assuming of course, that it even still works! The digital age in which we now live makes everything so much easier and accessible, yet at the time, 35mm colour slides were seen as the forefront of photographic technology. A sad reminder that time doesn’t stand still but passes by at breakneck speed!

Finally la pièce de résistance… none other than my school reports. The least said about those, the better!

Twitter Love

This is possibly the most sentimental posting in my blog to date so you’ve been warned…

It is now two and a half years since I first joined Twitter. To be honest, I had never been a fan of social network sites as most appeared to be primarily aimed at the very young or those with seemingly too much time on their hands! It was therefore with some trepidation and cynicism that I set up my Twitter account and for the first year, I struggled to attract many interesting followers or indeed establish any lasting rapport.

This fact was mainly down to me as I only tweeted periodically and despite being generally computer savvy, I never fully grasped how Twitter worked. That can only be attributed to laziness on my part, but eventually I was lured by the #followfriday hashtag and decided to click on a few named recommendations. At this point, I was venturing into the unknown without any pre-conceived expectations but to my surprise and joy, a few people responded to my following with a welcoming ‘hello’.

From that point on, I began to attract more followers as they themselves were already following the people now following me. We all know that this is a mushroom effect, and eventually it levels off. For my part, Twitter is not a numbers game, as it’s the quality of the people who follow rather than the number which is sacrosanct to me. Whilst I soon built up a loyal band of followers, many of whom I tweeted with on an almost daily basis, I hadn’t realised the number of people who actually took an interest in what I posted. However, over seven months ago, I posted a casual tweet about my mum being involved in a serious road traffic accident, and I was overwhelmed with messages of goodwill and support.

Such a response immediately made me see Twitter in a new light. It wasn’t simply a means of passing general comment and humour, but a family of people who actually cared about others and were not afraid to show that. People whom I follow embrace all ages, backgrounds and diversity and it is that which makes Twitter so special. Those closest to me on Twitter will know that my life isn’t a bed of roses, and whilst I have no wish to burden others with my problems, there are some lovely people who are always there for me to chat and offer their love and support. No names shall be mentioned but if they’re reading this, they will know who they are… and it’s probably YOU!

When we come into this world, most of us are brought into an extended family. As we grow, we automatically become a part of that family but that does not necessarily mean that we enjoy their company. Furthermore many families become fragmented, either because of work or disharmony. People therefore choose friends to form their ideal family, but often these also fragment because of factors beyond their control. To me, good friendship is the most important thing in life and it disturbs me when so-called friends desert you in an hour of need. I have always strived to put friends first but in real life this has rarely been reciprocated.

And so back to Twitter! I firmly believe that I have a true family of friends here and it would be no understatement to say that Twitter has changed my life… for the good I hasten to add! I’ve already met several wonderful people as a result of this social networking phenomenen and I love you all more than you might imagine. My aim is to meet many more in the months ahead as Twitter… you rock!