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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 ...

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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...

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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

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 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?’


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!!

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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!


The Cherry on Top of the Cake!

 Hurrah! Yippee! Yee-haw! It’s time for even more awards – well, at least one…

The very lovely Bernie from One Mixed Bag has honoured me with The Cherry on Top Award! How exciting? *Tiny squeals*

I just love Bernie! Get your bottoms over to her site ‘cos she’s funny! Just to clarify: That’s funny ‘ha-ha, not funny ‘peculiar’…

To accept this magnificent award I must list three things I love about myself. Umm….Erm….Okay, breathe. I can do this… C’mon, Bozo, there has to be something… How about your hair? Nah, that’s a complete pain in the arse. Your Bottom? Yeah, right. ‘Cos I really love my hippo-arse… Er…Okay, I’ve got it now…

  • To use one of Bernie’s terms, I’m a great Helper bee. If I can do anything to help make someone’s life easier, I’ll do it, and I’ll do it with a smile on my gob. Mostly…
  • I can see the funny side of everything and can usually make people laugh. Sometimes it’s unintentional, but it’s still a talent, right?
  • I’m a fighter. No, I don’t mean with fists or bitch-slaps, but in life. It doesn’t matter what gets chucked in my face – and I’ve had pretty much every imaginable kind of crap thrown my way – I’ll come out fighting. Usually after a day or two of wallowing around in my pyjamas, wailing about the unfairness of it all, but I do come out fighting!

Next, I have to post a photo that I love. This one is entitled Girl-Power! It’s a picture of The Ex, The Ex’s youngest Daughter and our Youngest Son. God, it would be sooo much easier to use names! Youngest Daughter came for a visit in September and the four of us went out for the day. On the way back The Ex got a puncture. After half an hour of the boys faffing around, Youngest Daughter just grabbed the spare tyre and got on with it! Me? I was sitting under a tree taking photos of it all!   🙂

Doing a woman's job...

Finally I must pass this award onto blogs I love. I always hate this part ‘cos I’m a no-conflict kinda gal and I just lurve everyone, but today I’m passing this onto three blogs that I have recently come across:

Alicia at McCrenshaw because she always writes with such honesty and freshness.

Kim at My Inner Chick. This girl’s got great attitude, plus she has some really chilling pages on domestic violence.

Lisa at Third Time’s a Charm for giving love and marriage a second go! What a girl!

Hope you’ll all go take a look and enjoy some of the posts I’ve been reading!

Aaaand…the Next Installment!


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On Tuesday the Knackered Car had a new fuel pump, fuel filter and fuel-hose-connection-thingy. Not sure why; there was no bloody fuel left!

The Ex drove it to my house again and asked for a lift back to the garage.

Are we experiencing deja vu? I think so.

Are you absolutely certain it’s been fixed?’ I asked.


‘Are you absolutely certain it’s not still pissing petrol?’


‘Are you absolutely certain it’s safe to drive?’


‘But what if you’re wrong? What if you only think you’re certain it’s been fixed? What if I drive you back and the Knackered Car is still leaking fuel and it catches fire and explodes in this huge, spectacular, Jason Statham-style fireball? We’ll both die a grisly death and the boys will be orphans! I can’t do it! Don’t ask me! Who’d look after Youngest son if we’re both flambéed?’

‘Eldest son. He’s legally an adult now.’

‘Yes!’ I shrieked, ‘but he’s four hours away! And it’d take another ten hours to hunt down which pub he’s in! And Youngest son needs feeding! Tonight!’

‘Mum, it’s fine,’ said Youngest. ‘I’ll just eat noodles ’til he gets here.’

Well that’s okay, then…

The Ex and I set off down the garden path. Youngest called a farewell greeting from the door:

‘Die, Mum and Dad! Whoops! I meant to say Bye…’

We made it there and back without frying. You probably guessed that much since I’m obviously here and typing… I parked away from our house and other parked vehicles just in case Knackered Car decided to spontaneously combust during the night.

And yesterday, on Wednesday, I leapt inside, armed with Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits, ready to collect Youngest from after-school-art-club and…

…the bastard thing wouldn’t start!

I give up, really!

PS And yes, it was just a sad excuse for another photo of JS!  😉

Knackered Car Recovery – Part 17…

Juuso Pykälistö (FIN) in his Peugeot 206 WRC d...

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Goodness! There’s so much to tell! I may have to write a series of mini posts today instead of one great, burbling long one.

Is that okay? Or is that cheating?

Hey! It’s my blog! Who cares!

Okay, first up – news on the Knackered Car Recovery story:

On Monday it was fixed – a new coil, distributer cap and rotary… something – arm? Blade? Clothes dryer?

Anyway, the Ex picked it up from the garage, drove to my house and asked me to drop him back to the garage so that he could collect his car. Got that? Good.

As I was driving, the engine kept spluttering and burping, bouncing us backwards and forwards so much, I stressed about who would look after Youngest son when we were both laid up with whiplash. Or concussion. Or both.

‘Umm… I don’t wanna be picky, and I know we’re making progress ‘cos we’re actually moving without the aid of a tow-rope, but are you sure they said it was fixed?’

‘Yes! The engine’s probably just cold and damp. Just give her some welly.’

(NB: ‘Give her some welly’ – a technical phrase, derived from Latin, meaning ‘Stand on the gas, baby!’)

I’ve already told you about Cornish ‘roads’, haven’t I? Think winding, pot-holed, narrow lanes. Or wide footpaths. Usually splattered with mud and stinky, sticky cow pats. And mountains of horse doop, still hot and steaming. And, quite often, a tractor will hit a hole and bump half the contents of its trailer across the road.

Go around a bend and slalom your way through seventeen cabbages, four cauliflowers, two hay bales, a gaggle of geese and one dead badger.

And give it some welly! Yeah, right!

Well, I tried but I’m really not cut out for rally driving. It was like, Rev the engine, scream the brakes, dodge the obstacle, rev the engine, bounce off headrest, lurch as car hiccups, bounce off windscreen, rev, screech, dodge, rev, bounce, hiccup, lurch, bounce, swear, rev, cuss, screech, make disparaging comments about your Ex’s ability to drive a car, shout, dodge, bounce, swear, make disparaging comments about the size of your Ex’s nose, swear some more…

 ‘Umm…I hate to be picky, but this car’s stinking of petrol…’

‘It’s because you’ve been revving so much. System’s got flooded.’

Oh. Okay.

It was dark when we got to the garage. The Ex asked me to pull up bumper to bumper, with my lights on, so that he could fiddle with a headlight bulb on his car.

Trouble is, the engine’s likely to cut out, so keep the revs up.’

Oh. Okay.

So there I was, revving the nuts off my car, and all the time, the smell of petrol was getting stronger.

I threw open my door, and gasped air like an old woman with a sixty-a-day habit.

‘Hurry up!’ I shouted. ‘Before I choke to death from the fumes!’

The Ex gave me a look. I just knew he was tempted to find another seven ‘urgent’ jobs.

‘If I die, you’ll have to look after the kids!’

Ha! That got him moving!

‘You’re right, Tiny. That petrol’s stinking. Pop the bonnet and I’ll take a look.’

‘Pop the what?’ I asked.

The Ex sighed, popped it himself and disappeared under that bonnet thing.

‘Oh God, turn the engine off!’ he shouted.

‘Why? What’s wrong?’

‘Just turn the engine off!’

‘Why? What’s the problem? And what’s that liquid stuff pissing all over the windscreen?

‘It’s petrol! Now would you turn the fucking engine off?!’

‘Okay,’ I snapped. ‘No need to swear…’

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