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A Year on Twitter

If your first year on Twitter was condensed into one week, it might go something like this:

Spend two hours thinking up a witty user name only to find out it’s already taken.

Settle with @wobblytits, something you will later regret.

Follow @stephenfry

Add every celebrity you see on the TV and stare at your monitor desperately trying to come up with something interesting to say.

Tweet “I’m having an egg sandwich”.

Sit back satisfied.

Realise Twitter is better if you follow real people so add everyone Twitter recommends.

Miss most of Dancing on Ice because you’re too busy tweeting about it.

You haven’t eaten for two days and you’re wearing the same clothes you were yesterday.

Get over excited when people start following you. One of them is topless but is a ‘social media expert’.

You follow them back.

Download the mobile app.

Your visits to the toilet increase as you hide in there tweeting because it’s starting to piss off your husband.

Go out with the few ‘real’ friends you have.

Spend most of the night checking your timeline and showing your friends the hilarious tweets.

Your friends respond with “Is that funny then?”

Sign up to The Social List, Klout, Twitter Grader and SocialBro and obsessively check your on-line influence. @TweetSmarter is your new bible.

You are unfollowed for the first time.

Buy a bottle of wine to numb the pain.

You are retweeted for the first time.

Buy a bottle of wine to celebrate and drunkenly tweet until 3 a.m.

Regret your tweets of Saturday night and desperately try to delete them.

Dinner is ruined because you were kicking ass in a hashtag game.

Your husband left you on Thursday and you haven’t noticed yet.

A Load of Old Rubbish

Hatherleigh market holds an auction sale every Tuesday morning. It’s where like-minded men can buy useless shit from other people’s garages to add to the useless shit in their garages.

Jeff loves useless shit so, as we’re on holiday, he made me get out of bed at 8am to ensure we arrived in plenty of time (A.M.???!! that’s ante meridian which is Latin for bastard early).

Before registering to bid we mingled amongst the locals, every one of us scanning the lots for a bargain. The stands were stacked with box upon box of ‘treasures’ (dusty boxes filled with a random assortment of 80’s crap) which included;

a pair of donkey stools (one of which is either ashamed to be there or not happy with what Wile E Coyte is doing to him)

They’re donkey stools. What’s wrong with that?

The Flashman Trilogy, George Macdonald Fraser’s best known work (probably what he got his OBE for).

Not sure if it’s the ‘bully’ or  the ‘coward’ in him which makes him ‘irresistible!’

You could even get ahead for Christmas with this wind up card for Alsatian lovers. I didn’t wind it but can only assume it barks the tune to White Christmas.

Amongst all this was a Wills’s cigarette enamel sign, a triumph as Jeff is a collector of such advertisements. He decided he had to have it at any cost (well, around twenty pounds).

So, I grabbed myself a large polystyrene mug of mellow birds and we waited for the auctioneer to make his way to the lot we were interested in.

I could barely contain myself as they moved closer, the stench of anticipation (and the lady of questionable hygiene standing inappropriately close to me) hung in the air.

Finally, Jeff was off with the bidding and I knew what it must be like to be a contestant on bargain hunt, but without the fleece. I stood dead still, afraid a twitch of the eye, a pick of the nose and I’m the proud owner of a set of place mats from circa 1987 depicting wheat in it’s many forms.

…. “fourteen, with you sir” [Jeff gives a confident nod] “fifteen, will you do sixteen?” [Jeff must have winked because I saw no movement but we were back on] “seventeen pounds over here” [Jeff stares at the notes he’s holding, I gasp in anticipation, a final nod] “eighteen pounds I have, any more? No? Sold to the man with the smug looking wife”

Jubilant in our success, we went on to buy a box of ‘old’ bottles and a ‘Lloyd Loom’ chair for eight quid.

I have no idea where I’m going to put the chair, or the sign for that matter, but it’s the bought that counts.

My First Week On Google+

Getting an invite to Google+ was like being invited to the coolest party ever. I couldn’t wait to get my account set up, stick a random picture on and then…. and then…. not much happened.

Then I realised, you have to ‘put people in your circles’, like ‘friending’ on Facebook or ‘following’ on Twitter. Otherwise, you’re just staring at a blank page with a really great picture of you own face.

Google+ suggested I follow Christina Trapolino; she seemed to know quite a bit about how to use this new social experience and had some great tips. I even joined in a couple of the discussions, but then people started to talk about Evernote and Meta something so I quietly left the conversation.

People were also talking about how the whole Google+ experience will be enhanced by posting great content and sharing interesting links. What are you an expert at which you could share with the rest of the Googleverse, they asked?

There’s the thing. If I have to make a list of things I’m an expert in it would include; procrastination, changing my energy supplier and making just about anything my husband’s fault. I have no great content, nothing to inspire people with. Should I get my coat and leave Google+, returning to the warm relative anonymity of Twitter?

No, I won’t be driven off by people more intelligent than me, I didn’t let it happen at school and it’s not gonna happen on the Interweb. In an effort to drag the conversations down to my level, I start randomly adding people and dragging them all kicking and screaming into my ‘following’ circle.

Then it got interesting. Jo Caulfield posted up a picture of a dog in a waistcoat, I found @vivmondo (Richard H.on Google+) and someone called Simon Hill posted ‘Googley Oogley Woogley’ – maybe it was worth staying after all?

@vivmondo, aka Richard. H
Worth a follow on either platform

The trouble is, I don’t know how I want to use G+ (yes, that’s what we experts call it). I know where I am with Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is where I follow my friends, post photos of my dogs and tell people ‘I’m going to the pub’.
Twitter is where I say what I think, discuss The Apprentice whilst trying to watch it at the same time and get to read posts by some genuinely funny people. I don’t know anyone in my every day life who’s on Twitter and that suits me just fine.

And Google+ has too many decisions to make; what circle do I put you in? Do I post publicly or to my circles? Post to all my circles, a select few or an individual? If I put something I find funny on Twitter do I duplicate it on G+ and annoy anyone who follows me on both platforms? Arrgggh!

I will stay, for now, but Twitter is still my favourite site. If I say something stupid, it will quickly be lost in the streams and streams of posts – if someone bothers to search back 2 days to see it, that’s their own fault. It outdoes Facebook because my friends don’t post much and, when they do, it’s usually pictures of their children which isn’t funny (well, not always).

What’s your experience or expectation of Google+?

She Who Might Not Be Named

Please give me a name!

We ‘rescued’ this eight month old Yorkie over the weekend and she and our collie, Billy, are getting on like a house on fire!

Billy and the Dog with No Name

Meg loves her to bits but did point out to me that I now have an ‘old lady dog’.

We can’t decide what to call her – any ideas?

Day Drinking in Devon

Punch and Judy on Cathedral Green, Exeter

Jeff and I went ‘day drinking’ last Friday to celebrate his birthday. This is the best kind of drinking, of course, because it feels naughty and wrong.

As you know I have been on the Dukan Diet (see last post) but, after a just a short while of searching, I managed to find an article on the internet which said it was dangerous for me to be on it so it was imperative I stopped. The fact that it coincided with Jeff’s birthday is neither here nor there.

So, I was off for day drinking having not had a drink for three weeks; perhaps not my most thought out plan.

To ensure we didn’t just look like a couple of alcoholic losers, we began our session on Exeter Quay where there are a number of antique and retro shops. This gave the illusion that we were shopping and simply stopping for a drink along the way. As I was breaking my diet with alcohol, I also threw in a ‘burger board’ which we shared in the dark bar of The Ship Inn in Martins Lane.

Burger Board. Mmmnnnn!

It was a dry, warm day which was great because it meant I could wear the wedge sandals I bought two months ago in the misguided notion that we would have enough weather to wear them. Not only did they look great, they added around three inches to my height and, no doubt, made me look like a long-legged lovely. Jeff was doubtful, he still remembers the ‘knee high boot night out’ when it took me thirty minutes to stagger painfully along the high street in the name of fashion.

Your feet don’t look gorgeous after two hours

“New sandals? They’ll be killing you by tonight”. “No, they’re comfy because they might be high but they’re level. See?”

Having had my first drink at 3pm, by the time we arrived at Mama Stone’s bar at around 6pm I was pretty wobbly and my ‘comfy’ sandals had rubbed massive blisters on my little toes. Jeff was already smug at the fact that I’d almost broken my neck on a number of occasions as I attempted to navigate the many cobbled streets Exeter offers. For this reason, I fixed a smile on my face as we walked to the next bar and tried not to wince as each step removed another layer of skin from my swelling toes. No “I told you so’s” here.

Possibly the coolest place in Exeter

Of course, as Dr Dukan warns in his book, full of the evil liquid you are more likely to get the munchies (not his words, but that’s what he means). So, I decided a kebab was essential to round off our night and we ordered a large chicken doner – very bad decision. We ended up with a polystyrene box filled with overcooked chicken swimming in grease atop a stale pitta. I ate very little of it, but enough to remind me why I only fancy a kebab when drunk. It’s a bit like childbirth; absolutely awful at the time but after a few months you forget how hideous it was and think it would be a good idea to do it all over again.

I wimped out and changed to diet coke at around 8pm so we managed to last until the final train of the day (10.45pm for gods sake! They don’t do late in Devon) and were back in Copplestone by 11:30. Just a ten minute painful stroll home (still not letting Jeff know I was in absolute agony) and we were back in our house where I could kick off the offending footwear.


Perhaps I’m too old for day drinking?