Saturday, 10 August 2013

Lost In Transit

A quietish week at Hedges Towers. The hurly-burly of the Town Green has subsided and it is now down to playing a waiting game. I have put certain structures in place in anticipation, and will appraise you of developments. Meanwhile on Sunday BH and I were invited to a lunch party at a couple's house we'd only been to once. Normally something to look forward to, and we do, once we've surmounted the Actually Getting There scenario, which we go through so often in our nearly 38 years together that it has now evolved into a script with its own rituals, worthy of a John Osborne play. It goes something like this: (we have been driving around for some time)

Me (eventually): You're lost, aren't you?

BH (edgily): No, I know exactly where we are.

Me: Well, so how come we aren't there by now then?

BH (testily): We're going in the right direction.

Me (because I've started): Why don't you LOOK at the map?

BH (pointedly): I HAVE looked at the map.

Me: Then why is this the second time we've driven down this road?

BH (thru' gritted teeth): Maybe YOU'D like to map read? Maybe YOU'D like to drive?

Me (crossly): Just check the map, okay? Because I don't think this is the right way.

Eventually we stop, the map is checked, the car is turned round, and we arrive at our destination. I think that this is another of those 'men are from Mars women are from Visa' things. If I need to go anywhere new, I have to do a pre-visit recce to make sure I know exactly where I'm going. And I still get anxious ....

Checking the diary, I see it is almost a year since @carolJhedges joined Twitter. I did so mainly because having uploaded Jigsaw Pieces and nearly died in the attempt, I needed to disseminate its presence and sell a few copies to make the whole ghastly experience worthwhile. Twitter has been getting a bad press recently due to the misogyny and racism that its anonymity seems to bring out in certain warped individuals, and I did do the Twitter silence on Sunday, after tweeting my support to the relevant individuals concerned.

My experience of Twitter has been positive though, despite having some very unusual followers: dogs, hotels, radio stations, pubs, lizards and last year, Lechlade Music Festival where one of BH's socks was apparently performing with The White Stripes. Don't ask. What makes Twitter such fun for me is encountering individuals with a sharp, razor-like wit. Foremost among these Twitwits, and now in the category of good friends are @LynnGerrard and @fruitbatwalton There seems to be nothing they can't render funny. Or bizarre. Or frequently both.

I also like Twitter when it turns into a free show: there is a group of American crime writers who meet up every lunchtime (1.00pm UK time) and just bounce chitchat off each other. Nothing special, but they have me in stitches ... check out @Charles_E_Wells. It's like watching an American sitcom, only on social media. I have also been struck by the very great kindness of other Twitter people. @Vallypee, a writer who lives on a barge in Rotterdam, @HapRochelle and @RosalindAdam to name but three. If I feel upset or worried, they are there with sympathy, virtual coffee and tissues, as are many many others. You know who you are. Space dictates that I can't name check all but you're probably reading this blog post right now.

Through Twitter I have learned how to grow veg, how to download images from the internet, and how to self-publish. There seems to be an expert out there for every occasion or eventuality. I've been recommended books I'd never have read before, and enjoyed some wonderful poetry. I've had access to brilliant blogs - catch @TerryTyler4's blogs on Twitter bios of famous past writers; I've come across recipes for luscious mouth-watering cakes and listened to some amazing bands.

And I'm absolutely sure that, in the extremely unlikely event that my 2CV were ever to break down on a lonely country road in the depths of Winter, while I was in the middle of labour, there would be people on Twitter only too willing and able to help. Wouldn't you .....

Next week the PINK SOFA welcomes a very special guest: Matt Adams, editor of The Herts Advertiser will be visiting the blog. What's it like to edit a local paper? And be pestered by activists like me? All will be revealed.


42 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Last things first...in answer to your question...Of course I'd help you!!...with the money from the tickets I'd be selling I'd buy you a slice of cake...( obviously I'd sell the rest of the cake but should YOU want more, you'd be given a discount ).
    I too am a great fan of Twitter after having loathed the notion of it for quite some time...a bit like my old Granny loathed the introduction of decimalisation back in the early 70's before becoming assimilated following her 'Edward Heath and the restraining order' incident.
    Twitter has opened up a new world to me...through this medium I've mingled with some amazingly talented people whom I never would have previously and YOU Hedges are certainly amongst those.
    I would definitely be quite lost should Twitter suddenly vanish from my virtual world...not unlike the lovely BH getting lost in the physical world...( I blame YOU of course for distracting him! ).
    So...well done for yet another amusing and thought provoking post...and also for being the most entertaining Wazzock I could EVER hope to meet...



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    1. How kind. I think. I think you get out of Twitter what you put in....those who just promote or criticize probably don't enjoy it and eventually give up..More virtual space for the rest of us...

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  3. Carol - I agree so much with your comment to Lynn - you get out of twitter what you put it. I don't use twitter from my phone, just my little laptop - so I'm only there a couple of times a day. Even so, I've met some wonderful people (including you!) and had some of the most surreal experiences.

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    1. ..and then you move on to actually meeting people..and a whole new dimension opens up...

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  4. Reminds me of the time when my wife was map reading and denied the existence of Kidderminster.

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    1. Quite right too!!! I have to hold the map in the direction I'm going...... which is fun at roundabouts...

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  5. If only I had a smartphone... I'm the same as Jo, I only connect via the laptop or the office computer, so I tend to be on Twitter mostly when I'm working. Which just goes to show how much work I do. But I agree. I've met readers, been to events, got asked to speak at events and - believe it or not - even sold a few books. And I've made friends. I joined both Facebook and Twitter at the insistence of the publishers, but I enjoy them both now.

    I have fed the fish.

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    1. Very few people do...they are grateful....

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  6. As a representative of the dog world (Jack Russell) I (and I'm sure all dogs, no matter the breed)object to the use of the word unusual in relation to your Twitter followers of the canine variety.

    I will be organising a Barkathon in the streets of Harpenden, specifically outside Hedges Towers by the Herts branch of Pets 'R' Us at 2am this Sunday morning.

    signed

    Disgruntled Doggie

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    1. hahahaha. Get a life!! And my 2 cats are armed and waiting....

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  7. Siri will fix everything! Thanks for another few chuckles Carol. You never fail to amuse, enlighten, and other adjectives I'll bypass! Oh, and thanks for the mention. Quite honored! And tell gargle to climb back up into her gutter! She's bothering the patrons! :)

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  8. Men are supposed to be bad at asking directions too aren't they? I must be the exception to that rule because I'm for winding the window down the second I get lost in the car. I think I trained myself to do it during years as a news reporter when I never really seemed to know where I was going on various nebulous housing estates. People are only two willing to give directions I've found. Though, sadly, they are often quite bad at it too.

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    1. Gents...thanks for the comments... BH will NEVER ask...unless really really pushed..!!! You are the exception!

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  9. sorry guys, I just don't 'get' twitter. I know I'm thick when it comes to learning new things... but I have tried, honestly and I cannot get on with it at all.
    I suppose it might be because I think we communicate just fine through our blogs and dont really need it.
    And I'm not biased, I can't get on with Facebook either!
    ...and Lynn is right, Carol, you are one of the most entertaining people I have met in a long while!

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    1. Aww...thanks. as I said, I joined to sell ...and stayed for the fun!

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  10. I guess I've been too deep in my editing cave to have noticed the drama on Twitter. I missed it all. Wow. Then again, it's probably good that I missed it.

    I love the exchange between you and your husband. Too funny. I hate getting lost. Hate it. I have my GPS and I usually look up the directions ahead of time (online) so I know where I'm going. And like you, I still am nervous until I get to my destination.

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    1. The drama was UK centred - a couple of 'Feminist' journos and a politician got ''trolled''. Gad I'm not the only nervous traveller!

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  11. Thank you so much for the mention, Carol, but it is a mutual support system. You have been there for me through innumerable bad times.

    Right, pleasantries over, I am concerned. You don't have a sat nav? I thought everybody had sat navs these days. I didn't know that maps were still in use. What I'm really trying to say is, do you know the way to Luton Parkway Train Station? This is an urgent personal plea!

    Back to serious, I love the support and friendship I get on Twitter and I too have read books I never would have (like Jigsaw Pieces - excellent read) and I've become involved with many writing support groups, history groups, I could go on...

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  12. Trying again--my first comment got eaten. Is it me, or do others have problems with BlogSpot eating comments? Never happens with wordpress. Sigh. So, here again: My husband is just like your, only in truth I get lost more often than he does, so I really like maps and asking directions. Maybe that's the difference, he trusts his instincts more than I do, even when he's wrong. As for Twitter, I'm not connected yet, but becoming more and more convinced I should be. Thanks for the nudge. Hope this goes through or I'm giving up.

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    1. Your comments came through.....both of them. Blogger is a law unto itself, but it does filter everything to me. Keep commenting!!

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  13. Carol, that conversation sounds suspiciously like the ones THE Koos and I used to have. I've learnt now. Before we go anywhere, I check Google maps, print a huge large scale version so we can see every tree and lamp post in the street we are going to, print a medium scale one to make sure we take the right turn offs when we are nearly there AND the map of the whole route plus the directions. This I might add is a system developed over several years that has saved our sanity and probably our relationship too :-) As for Tweeter, you are such a love! You have been a shining light for me there, and I probably wouldn't even bother with it but for you, and those other lovely souls I have met there and whose blogs I now religiously follow. Like Jo, I only do it on my laptop (hmmm, sounds naughty like that), a couple of times a day, but I love reading your sharp and witty exchanges with La Gerrard et al. Sorry, I keep forgetting the fish…they would die on my blog. I should have ducks.

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    1. Thanks Val - it is such a pleasure getting to know people.. I guess now all you do is point the barge in the direction you're going and follow the tide...

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  14. Oh Carol! Mr N and I have had many cross words in the car over a map. There is, however, another woman who now joins in - the Tom Tom lady. It's so funny when we both shout at her! I love twitter - and all the beautiful people I have *met*. I just have to limit the amount of time I spend on it! : )

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  15. Yaaaaay I'm mentioned in the list of unusual twitter folk! I'm the lizard ....BE AFRAID! BECAUSE WE SILURIANS ARE TAKING OVER THIS WORLD!!! WE MIGHT MAKE CAROL OUR QUEEN!! >:D

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  16. Lizard part was the best part I feel! Mwahahahahahaha and your hubby totally knew where he was going!! XD

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    1. So...that's 1 Lizard and 1 Dog commented. Just proves what I've said in the blog!! Twitter is an amazing medium!!!

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  17. I had a similar experience just last week on the way home from a day trip to Scarborough. We were half way to Whitby when the other half admitted that I was right and, more to the point, he was wrong and had to consult his trusty sat nav

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    1. hahaha..They HATE it when that happens.

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  18. Sat navs are great when they work, or as long as you follow them properly. One time I was looking forward to lunch with a friend. I arrived in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and the lady said "You have reached your destination." I have? No-o-o-o. I didn't even have my friends address with me and she had left her mobile in the loo where it rang out uselessly.

    How many times have I come off at the wrong exit of a roundabout? Too many. My kids love going round a roundabout three times. It's like being at the funfair.

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    1. Don't trust Satnavs!That lady sounds too smug, and she can NEVER have visited EVERYWHERE!

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  19. What joy to be able to swop ideas, banter, mutual support & tweets with fellow writers. People like you help take the loneliness out of solitary penmanship! Thanks Carol for all the laughs!! You're a real sport.

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    1. haha ..it's totally mutual, I assure you...xx

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  20. Great post! Loved the labour quote. I sought advice from midwives on Twitter when I was pregnant! My favourite tweet was from the Curly Wurly bot, when I mentioned I had to have two curly wurlys (well, I WAS pregnant). I had a few friends who wanted the bot to follow them too!

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    1. hahaha, glad you liked it.....tho the chances at 63 of the event occurring are...pretty remote!

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  21. Men won't ask for directions and women don't listen to them. This *wisdom* based on too many journeys with my parents! I'm completely reliant on the talking map on my phone ... though I don't always pay it as much attention as I should, I have a ridiculous optimism for 'this way will be just as good'!
    I love Twitter too, Carol - a great way to meet lovely people.
    With reference to the possible future call for help ... I'm not very good with blood and stuff but I can bring cake!
    Great post x

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    1. Cake would be good. I always carry a No 8 and a no 10 spanner - all you need to fix a 2CV!

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  22. Hi-ya. I wandered over from Rosalind's blog. I simply HAD to come meet the person who owns that spiffy-looking car! I'm glad you two were able to meet face-to-face and had such a great time together. I got a Twitter account a while ago at the urging of another writer, but I'm a pretty negligent user. No, scratch that. No "pretty" about it. I'm a genuine slacker. Still, it's nice to know other people have such good things to say about it. Maybe one of these days I'll street my tweeting muscles.

    Nice to meet you. Count me in as your newest groupie.

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    1. Hi Sue - we had a lovely day - Ros is such a nice person. BTW scroll down and feed the fish on your next visit..I post every Sat at 8 am.

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  23. They say that's why it took Odesyuss so many years to return from Troy because being a man he wasn't able to ask for directions!

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  24. Another entertaining and enjoyable post thank you Carol. I love twitter @NikkiiNola if I may please give myself a shout out Carol! Thanks for all the interesting people you have mentioned too, that I will add and look forward to getting to know and pass time with on there. And of course Carol I would rescue you pedalling as fast as my little legs will go on my push BIKE! (Little legs I am five foot eight! :)

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