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The Great Facebook Debate

The Ex and I have an ongoing argument about social networking. He says things like, ‘Facebook has ruined the art of conversation’, or ‘People should keep in contact by phone. I mean, how can you tell if a person’s really okay if you can’t hear their voice?’

I say stuff like, ‘What about the disabled or sick who rely on sites like Twitter or Facebook for keeping in touch with people they might otherwise never see,’ or ‘I’ve made loads of friends through these sites, that I would never have ‘met’ through conventional channels’.  And it gives members of my family the perfect platform for verbal abuse. Who am I deny such perfect vehicles for vitriolic communications?

A bag with a smiley face design that bids the ...

Image via Wikipedia

On Saturday evening The Ex and I were re-hashing the same old argument. It went something like this:

The Ex: ‘So, have you heard from Eldest Son since he’s back at uni?’

Me: ‘No, but I know he’s fine ‘cos I’ve seen his comments on Facebook.’  Too late, I realised my mistake and tried desperately to suck those flammable words back inside my treacherous mouth, but the little bastards refused to be contained: like mischievous toddlers escaped from the playpen, they were free and out to cause chaos.

The Ex, spluttering: ‘What d’you mean, you’ve seen his comments on Facebook – you can’t tell anything from those; he could’ve been writing those status updates from the Bristol Royal Infirmary – with one finger because  the rest of him was in a body cast!’

Plaster cast on forearm/wrist/hand. Picture ta...

Image via Wikipedia

Me: ‘Had that been the case I’m sure he would’ve posted that on Facebook. In fact he would’ve exaggerated it to wind me up by saying  a cute nurse was typing because he’d lost all his fingers.’

The Ex: ‘You’re missing the point. You can’t tell from the written word whether he’s happy or stressed or hanging from a noose in his flat!’

Me (smugly): ‘I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be able to reach his laptop if he were hanging from the rafters. And I’m also confident that he would phone me if there were a problem.’

The Ex: ‘Aaah, but you don’t know for sure. I’m surprised you haven’t phoned him.’

Me: ‘I’m trying not to Mom all over him.’

The Ex: ‘Even so, he should have rung you.’

Me: ‘It’s only been a week! I’m sure he’s fine, just busy catching up with mates and stuff. And we don’t normally communicate much at the beginning of term. It’s more in the last few weeks when he’s starting to run out of money. Or when I get concerned about his bowels, and have to ring and ask, “Have you eaten any vegetables this term, son? I know, I’ll send you some money – you can buy frozen peas. Peas are easy, peas are good for you. I like peas.” ‘

Small PEAS logo.jpg

Image via Wikipedia

 And peas have a social conscience.

The conversation burbled along, and as soon as I put the phone down, it rang again.

Eldest Son: ‘Hi Mum, gotta problem. Well, not so much of a problem, more of a query. Do I put the lid on the casserole dish for pasta bake, or leave it uncovered?’

Ha! I was right! But, just to be on the safe side, I slipped in a few subtle questions: ‘So…. ummm… where are you at the moment?’

Eldest Son: ‘Well, where do you think I am? I’ll give you a clue: I’m trying to put my tea in the oven, if only someone would tell me whether it needs a lid or not.’

Me: ‘Yes! Put a lid on for the first twenty minutes, then grate some cheese and leave uncovered for the cheese to brown. Now, where are you?’

Eldest Son: ‘I’M IN THE FLAT, OBVIOUSLY!’

Okay, so I can cross the hospital off the list. I know the NHS are making cut-backs, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have the patients making their own dinner. Especially ones wearing an all-over body plaster cast. Now I just need to make sure he isn’t suicidal: ‘Now, where exactly are your feet?’

Eldest Son: ‘Same place they’ve always been, mother. On the end of my legs.’

Me, sighing: ‘Yes, but where exactly are they in relation to, say – the floor, or the … umm… ceiling?’

Eldest Son: ‘Have they put you on wacky drugs or something?’

Me: ‘No. I’ve just been talking to your father.’

Eldest Son: ‘Oh, right. That explains it, then.’

Funny face!!

Image via Wikipedia

So, my question to you is this: Are social networking sites the work of the Devil? Are they causing a breakdown in communications? Are we being too lazy by relying on sites like Facebook or Twitter to keep us in touch? Or, do you think that they add to the whole communication process? Do they play a valuable role in keeping us connected to both people we love and the outside world?

I would love to hear your comments. Please, add your opinion to this ongoing, never-ending debate of ours!

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Cry if I Want to…

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Yay! Go, me! It’s my birthday!

Happy Birthday to Me!
Happy Birthday to Me!
I’m only Forty-Something, but I Look Ninety-three!  

   

Happy Birthday to Me!

Image by jo-h via Flickr

 

I stumbled down the stairs this morning and found what can only be described as a catastrophic explosive mess. The kitchen looked as if we’d been ransacked and burgled. It really should have been cordoned off with crime-scene tape – every work-surface was cluttered, every kitchen utensil I own was filthy and there were strange vomit-like lumps and splatters over the floor, up the walls and dripping down the cooker. And the washing machine. And the – You get the picture, right?

Hmm…had the burglar been sampling my cooking? Would I find him in a corner somewhere, cowering, covered in sick and clutching a plastic jug our family’s antique, solid-silver gravy dish?

And then I found the letter.

Dear Mum,

I attempted to make you a birthday cake last night. I fucked it up, but it’s the thought that counts, eh? 🙂 I used the cake tin to cook it in, but probably should have used common sense and realised it had gaps in the bottom,* so the cake mixture leaked over the bottom of the oven and nearly caught fire! Lol! That’s why there’s burnt Victoria Sponge in the bin, on the floor and pretty much all over the kitchen.
I’ve done a preliminary tidy-up
(You did? Ye Gods! What did it look like before??!) but I’ll sort the rest out in the morning. It’s probably a good idea NOT to use the oven ’til it’s been cleaned, either.  🙂
I’ve gone to Canada for a few weeks to stop you killing me. Give me a ring when you’ve calmed down.
Oh, and Happy Birthday!
I’m sorry!!
Love you loads!!  Nigel! XXXXXXXXXXXXX

 * Loose-bottomed tin that needs lining! 

What can I say? I taught the boy everything he knows. I’m so proud! 🙂

Am linking up with Cole at All the Small Stuff just for the lol factor: everyone has else has added delicious recipes! 🙂

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The Curious Incident of Next-Door’s Dog Barking in the Night…

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Koala asleep
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One night last week I was snoozing soundly in bed, all curled up and cosy, when I heard our dog barking. My eyes flew open; he never barks during the night. Or if he does, I never hear him.

You know, by now, how my minds works: ohmygod, we’ve got burglars! There’s a fire! Somebody’s stealing my car! Or the burglar’s trapped in a fire while trying to find my keys so he can steal my car…

And then I realised something – it wasn’t our dog barking, it was next door’s. Phew! Not my problem, so I was safe to carry on snoozing.

Wrong! I heard the bounce of bed springs and the creak of floorboards creaking (I’m sure our walls were built from Cornflakes packets; you can hear everything going on next-door, and yes, I mean everything, even the noises when he’s umm… entertaining – boing, boing, bounce, bounce, squeal, bang, bash, ahhhh!)

But where was I? Oh yeah, awake. And the neighbour hadn’t just thrown a shoe at the dog or politely asked for quiet, but he’d actually got up, therefore, by my reasoning, something was wrong!

So I asked myself the question a completely neurotic person should never, ever ask herself at 4 o’clock in the morning: Should I be worried? I mean, what could possibly be wrong next-door that might affect us?

Shocked Face [1]

Image by jnyemb via Flickr

Was there a fire? Should we evacuate? A burglar? An outside prowler? A rampant sexual predator? Was he heading for us? Our home? Our Car? Our oil tank? Was there a gas leak? Were we about to explode in our beds? (Thank God I don’t sleep naked!!) Subsidence? Were our semi-detached houses slipping down a mine shaft? Was there a flood? Was somebody ill? Passed out on the floor? Should I ring an ambulance? The police? The Army? What about George, Mildred and Penny on the other side? Were they in trouble? Had the dog heard a commotion from their side? Did they need help? A blanket? A cup of tea? Was it an earthquake? A thunderstorm? Lightning? Should I unplug the computers? Were we at war? Being bombed? About to be gassed? Was it nuclear? Did I have time for a wee?

Don't Panic Badge

Image by Jim Linwood via Flickr

It was no good; I had to get up and investigate. There was no sign of natural disaster or mass destruction downstairs, but Eldest son was sitting on the sofa watching TV.

‘What you doing, Nigel? It’s like half-four in the morning!’

‘Couldn’t sleep,’ he replied. ‘It was too noisy.’

See! I knew something monumentally awful was going down. There’s nothing more rewarding for a neurotic than having her worst fears realised! Was it aliens landing their spaceship in the garden?

‘Nah, it was Youngest Brother. I can’t share a room with him anymore, Mum, he’s so bloody noisy when he farts and snores in his sleep. It’s a wonder they didn’t hear him next-door!’

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