Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Facebook, Friends and Breaded Mushrooms.

People have a lot of things to say about facebook.  Some love it and dip in and out of it many times each day, carrying it with them in their back pocket. Some enjoy it as an occasional activity to keep in touch. Others are signed up and enjoy having a peep and are happy to leave posting to other people.  Some open an account and that's the end of their relationship with facebook.  Plenty are quietly disdainful of it, considering it for the plebs and a waste of time and others still are not only disdainful of  facebook but also of anybody who lowers themselves as to admit to enjoying it.

Me?  I love it...and here's a little story to illustrate why.

For part of John's medical rotations we had to live overseas for a year.  During that year we made some of the closest friends we have.  On our return home, we had promised to keep up the friendships and distance was going to be no obstacle.  In the back of my mind I had a little fear that they would visit us once or twice, we might visit them once in a blue moon (travel being cumbersome and expensive with a lot of small children in tow), we might telephone from time to time and gradually it would flitter out in spite of all our best intentions.

Well that was  ten years ago now and the friendships all stayed strong but contact and day to day interaction just wasn't there as much as we would all have liked.  Visits were the exception and to telephone you needed to factor in an hour of time.  As you know, when you speak to somebody after several months the conversation goes something like this:

Well, any news?
Ah no, same old same old,
Same here,
How's your Mum,
She's's your Dad?
Ah he's great...How does X like High School?
Ah she loves about Y?
Ah he loves it...

You get the drift though the chats maybe weren't quite so boring as that.

It was a bit sad.

Then facebook came along.

I opened an account because my cousin told me to and left it at that for a long time, I didn't really 'get it'.

Then I built a farm because my sister needed neighbours so she could buy more crops and that was the start of my real interaction with facebook.  I deleted my farm some months later when I realised that I could have  grown a beautiful real vegetable and herb garden in the amount of time I'd wasted growing and harvesting nothing. It was one of the biggest reliefs of my life to be released from the burden of constantly having to harvest crops and milk cows that didn't exist!!
I still loved facebook though..I loved the banter, the craic, the funny videos, the sad videos, the status updates.  I even liked the pokes, although I still don't really understand how a bunch of people in a room came up with the idea...
"Hey! I know!! We can let people POKE each other...It'll drive them'll be HILARIOUS!!!"


Well back to my overseas friends.  One day early this year I checked my facebook to find a message from our very very dear friend requesting prayers for his wife (who is also our very very dear friend) who had been admitted to hospital with unexplained and very severe pain in both her legs.  What followed over the next few weeks was extremely worrying for everyone involved and when we went for some days without hearing anything I'd fear it was because of bad news. I didn't want to be constantly messaging them so I relied on another dear friend to keep me in the loop. All we knew was that the pain wasn't going away and they could find no cause.  
One day John, who is a doctor, surmised aloud his fear that it may be something coming from the brain.  My heart sank to my feet as he is definitely not an over-dramatic person (like I tend to be :-) ).
Lo and behold, the next message we received was the hospital were doing a brain scan on my friend who I knew I loved, but only at that moment I realised just how much.  How often it takes the thought of losing something to recognise just what we have. 
After a long and anxious few days the result came back clear and the final tenuous diagnosis from the hospital was some sort of unusual virus that would eventually pass.  It was some time after that that a very weakened and worn out version of my dear friend was well enough to return home.

So what a relief.  However, before this had happened, my friend had been looking forward to going on a retreat with her Mother and her sisters and now she just wasn't up to going.  She was broken hearted to be missing it but had instructed the others not to miss it too on her account.  So she prepared for a weekend home alone as hubby was working and her teenage children were away.

I felt so sorry for her.

Then I spotted this status:

 Reservation at 7pm, am informed that the red is open and breathing, potatoes are "chipped", onion rings, gigot chops, breaded mushrooms and garlic dip - ooooh, can't wait. He's got "The Edge" for us to watch too - ha ha, brilliant! Granny needs to go on Retreat more often! xx

Her Dad had telephoned her to tell her he'd cooked her dinner.

Now I have met this man only a handful of times so I don't really know him very well.  What I do know is this.

(1) He is a big man.

(2) If he catches you cheating on the annual Easter-egg rolling competition (with huge prizes of things like 21p or 76p if you're really lucky) you will never cheat again!!

So this is really why I love facebook...because I knew my friend was having dinner with her Daddy.  I knew the bottle of wine was open and I knew she was going to have a lovely evening.  I never would have known that if I had telephoned her three weeks would have been.."Ah, no news...same old, same old.."

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome To My New Blog

Well after several months of wishing I had another blog I've finally taken the bull by the horns and started. A good start is half the work and speaking of work it seems to me I've put a lot of work trying to find the world's most amazing template to apply only to revert to the free one that came with Blogger when, with my eyeballs hanging out of my head, I finally admitted that my editing prowess is a bit less than I fancied. So this nice sky and grass will do until I get my paws onto someone who knows more than me. I'm just excited to get something ...anything...onto the blog so I can set the ball rolling.

So what's this about another blog? Isn't one enough for anyone? If you already know me it needs no explanation but if you're new here, I've linked my other blog here in my blogroll. It's all about an amazing journey I've walked this last two years after receiving a grim and worrying diagnosis for my unborn little girl. I started it partly to keep everyone who needed to be in the loop informed and partly to focus my own thoughts. In the end it took on it's own life and became something more than it actually is if that makes any sense.

In the process, I rediscovered my love of writing which had lain dormant since I left school, where writing English essays was far and away my favourite occupation. My mind has been spinning with things I want to say and not just say but say in a way I never would if I was actually talking. Oops!! I've mentioned the T word!!! Talk, talk, talk....I love it!!! I grew up in a large family where talking was the default...nobody ever went to bed for fear of missing something interesting. In fact when I was working, many's the time I passed the last bed-goers on the stairs as I was rushing to catch the bus!

So the bottom line is, communicating is what I do best, or at least what I like doing best.

I love being a Mommy (or Mammy) to my six children, each of who is so different and individual.

I SUPER love babies...anything you need to know about babies...ask ME :-)

I love crafts of all sorts and dabble into different things as time the moment I'm busy knitting ribbon scarves as I'm taking a stall in a local craft fair this Christmas. If I have time I'll make some cards. At one stage I was running a super-tiny cottage business of selling my handmade cards-though they were sooo gorgeous and individual if that I had charged for my time per card nobody could ever afford them!!

Then I had a super-tiny business making gift baskets with the idea that they'd contain things people actually wanted to receive. My favourites were baby gifts containing little 3 ply cardigans, sweaters or matinee jackets which I knit from my mother's old patterns from the 50s and 60s along with unusual baby goodies I found online.

Well anyway, all my businesses cost me huge amounts of money and time to the point that my husband, John, was quaking in his boots every time I announced that I needed to restock my supplies. The truth is, I'm no business woman but I had a great time and then after a (long story) gap of six years, precious Louise came along and is now a busy little toddler who would be only too delighted to get her hands on all my 'supplies'. So knitting it is for the moment, much to John's relief.!

I love cleaning (sad, I know)

I pretty much like organising, though it's not my natural temperament.

I know the internet pretty well and where the best and loveliest sites are and how to get the best 'stuff' at the best price.

I love John.

And most of all I love God and that is what I hope is the guiding light of everything I do, even if I fall far far short.

So what I hope this blog will be is somewhere where people can dip into if they feel like and maybe glean from some of my life's experience or learn from my many leaving a toddler to streak while I'm struggling to apply a template to my blog and of course she peed on the floor two times...

And I really hope it makes people happy, even if only for a few moments. I've observed over the last few years the sharp edge so prevalent on online interactions. Humour is often cutting and comments on forums, blogs, YouTube etc are often forked tongued. You won't be finding any of that here.

I hope you enjoy it, leave a comment and maybe share it (or I'll have no readers :-) )

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