Wednesday, 20 April 2011

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Today is gallery day, so normally I'd be putting up a picture. The theme this week is 'My Blog' which is a tricky one...but there's nothing like a challenge is there? I'd decided exactly what I wanted to put up - a picture of the person that inspired me to start 'Don't panic RTFM'. She writes for a living, we worked together for a while, and now she lives in the States with hubby and offspring. It was her encouragement that got me going...but I've hunted high and low and just can't find a picture of her. So instead, here's the link to Nappy Valley's blog.

The Boy popped home the other night in between Adventurous training and going off on Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award in Wales. As ever it was an exhausting experience. That's not to say it wasn't certainly could it not be? He makes what would otherwise be a pretty gentle, quiet, even refined household a vortex of fun, noise and oooomph. He is like a cuckoo in the nest.

Although he was back for just a few short hours, one of his tasks was to start putting back in his room all the things that had been moved out whilst it was decorated. And it was a very, very telling time. Here is a picture of his bathroom cabinet. Can you count the number of face washes and deodorants he had previously hidden around the place.

Is it any wonder that my automatic response to any thing he asks for is 'No' on the basis that I know he doesn't need it. He is in truth more like a magpie....

I once had a letter published in The Times. Somewhere in the dark, dusty cob-web strewn loft the newspaper is waiting to be thrown away. I wish I could remember what it was about, but I can't really. It was quite a palaver. I wrote the thing; no I had crafted it and then faxed (!) it off to them. A while later, I had a call from them to ask whether it had been published elsewhere. When I said no, they asked me not to send it anywhere else. It felt like quite an honour, and I was pleased as punch when I bought a copy of the paper the next day. I showed it to all my friends and colleagues before carefully storing it for posterity. I have a feeling this was pre-Murdoch days, when The Times could still claim to be The Thunderer.

These days it's all a bit different isn't it? Sure there are letters pages, but most interaction with the press is by comment at the end of an article. But instead of carefully nurtured thoughts crafted into well-drafted pieces all we get to see are torrents of abuse and vitriol. A long comment is "This is shit. You are a moron" and that's after it's been moderated. I do feel that whilst the ability to express views and opinions is a basic human right and fundamental to a successful, functioning democracy, the ability to do it instantly in the interweb is just plain destructive. Once the preserve of drunken pub conversations, abusive commentary has become the mainstream. Perhaps it is the case that it is only the aggressive, uneducated, the Saturday night louts that have the time and adrenalin to put their fighting talk on line. It is absolutely the case that hurling abuse at your fellow man and womankind does not make for a happy, harmonious environment just one where the poison of negativity aggressiveness that permeates the very fabric of the society we live in.