Eighth Deadly Sin

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-eighth-sin/”>The Eighth Sin</a>

An easy one this – the most annoying, inconsiderate and infuriating habit is using a mobile phone or i-pad when in company. At a social event, however informal, maybe just two or three friends having coffee together – you shouldn’t find one of the group ignoring the others and carrying on a conversation or a text messaging session with someone else, probably someone not even known to the rest of the party. It is only polite to say something like “do you mind if I take this call?” and move away from the rest of the group.

You sometimes see people sitting in a cafe or restaurant and communicating with the person sitting next to them by text message for goodness’ sake! I remember years ago in an office we used  to send each other trivial email messages, things like “Going to the pub for lunch in half an hour?” But this was for a a reason, or rather two reasons: 1 some of us were only just starting to use email (I said it was years ago,didn’t I ?) and needed the practice. 2 in a room with other people trying to work it wasn’t fair to yell across the room.


Life Without Computer ?

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/life-after-blogs/”>Life After Blogs</a>

I admit I am old enough to remember life B.C. – before computers. I even once wrote an article in my local paper called “No Micros for Me” in which I explained why you really didn’t need to have your very own computer! Incredible isn’t it? A bit like something I read about the really early days of computing when some portentous person said he didn’t think computers would really catch on, but if they did England would need perhaps 4 or 5 machines in the country! Now if you count laptops and i-pads and smart phones I think most households – at least those with children – would be able to come up with 4 or 5 computer-type devices.

But now I really find it difficult to imagine what I would – or more likely could – do without a computer. Writing is the first thing: I can no longer produce legible handwriting.    I do virtually all writing on the screen.  Some time since, quite a long time, if I’m honest, I began to work straight to the screen – and I found I could do it! Easy-peasy. And I can alter and edit and change and correct so much more easily.

But it’s not only writing that I use my computer for. If it were only writing, I could replace my computer with a word processor or an electronic typewriter – with a memory function of course. No, I also use my computer to look things up, check facts, not only stuff like the date of Rabbie Burns’ birth and death, but personal things like details of appointments with my doctor or dentist, family birthdays and contact details for all sorts of people.

If I want to know what tomorrow’s weather will be like, I consult the metrological office website, if I want to go to the theatre or cinema I look for details of what plays or films are on. I can then book tickets online.

I shop online – from the ubiquitous Amazon – but also other places too.  For me email has replaced snailmail whenever possible. Why type or write a letter, print it out, find an envelope and stamp and walk in my case half a mile to the nearest letterbox? I can put my words on screen, edit them and press send and off they fly. The recipient will receive my letter immediately and can read it at their leisure. I even have the advantage of a copy in my “sent” file so I can check what I said and whenI said it.

No life without a computer -now – would be going back to the dark ages.





Learnng Style

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/learning-style/”>Learning Style</a>

What’s your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

I’ve always thought of myself as a words person rather than a pictures person. I prefer to have information written down, either by me or someone else such as a teacher/lecturer.  I think this is partly due to my age. No, I don’t mean that because I am old I need to have written reminders even of everyday things like  “buy potatoes, return library books, clean sinks” etc.

I grew up B.C. – before computers when it wasn’t easy to take a quick photo of anything and everything. No smart phones, no i-pad or tablets (other than those you swallowed) and definitely no Facebook. I enjoy reading books but find I can’t always retain what I have read – this doesn’t matter if it’s only the name of a character in a novel our reading group is reading, but if I am trying to learn, say, a foreign language it is more important.

The subject studied makes a difference of course. Practical hands-on subjects lend themselves more to group instruction and demonstration by the teacher and watching how other students are doing. I’m thinking of practical classes in areas like cookery, flower arranging or painting – whether you are painting pictures or walls!

I suppose writing classes come somewhere in between. You are given a topic or a prompt, you write something and then you read it to a group and discuss it with fellow-students. On the whole I think this is probably my favourite way of taking in information and getting new ideas from those around me.









Lancashire County Council are planning – or do I mean scheming – to close half of the public libraries in the county. 

Incredible? Yes. Not their fault? So they claim. It is all to do with central goverment cutting the cash allocated to local authorities. Each year they are allowed less and less, while the services they have to provide cost more and more. David Cameron calls it “Austerity” – some of us can think of more accurate and less repeatable names!

Here is something I wrote about this situation in a hurry one Sunday morning. I don’t know where it will go …yet.

There are those who cannot read
Because they are blind:
They have braille and talking books.
There are those who cannot read
Because they are dyslexic
They have special classes.
There are those who do not read
Because they don’t like stories, plays, poems,
Anything that is not dry and factual.
There are those who cannot read
Because they have no schools, no teachers, no books.
Bare existence all they can hope for.
They have my prayers and my Oxfam donation.
Then there are those who cannot read the books they want
Because they live in Garstang
And their library will be shut
By Government edict.







<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/happy-endings/”>Happy Endings</a>

We’ve all heard the one about the man who says quitting smoking is easy, he’s done it twenty times.

Smoking is one of the big QUITS – there are schemes and articles and hints on how to do it plastered all over doctors’ surgeries, health centres and even chemist shops.

But no, I can’t honestly claim to have quit smoking – I just never started. When I was a student – many, many years ago and before smoking was generally condemned and smokers were treated as pariahs – I might have started on the habit, but I didn’t. I tried one cigarette and didn’t like it. It just did nothing for me, so why start? Even in the days of student grants – yes, you were actually paid to study and didn’t graduate with a massive debt hanging over you, even then I wasn’t well off and there were plenty of things that came further up my priority list than cigarettes.

The things I have stopped successfully were all quite sudden and “cold turkey” if you like. After my first child was born I decided to stop having sugar in my tea.  A very minor change but one I could manage and get a certain satisfaction from.  Forty-something years on I would find sugary tea slightly distasteful but could drink it if I had to out of politeness.

I stopped drinking coffee in the same way.  This was more of a considered decision prompted by reading about the bad effects of too much coffee and noticing how hyper I became after a caffeine intake. No big fuss. I just did it.

All the other bad habits I’ve tried to break – eating fewer sweets, giving up cakes and biscuits etc have come to nothing probably because I tried to do them gradually.  Reduce from three biscuits to two to one … it just doesn’t work for me. It has to be an all or nothing effort.






Midnight Ramblings

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/stroke-of-midnight/”>Stroke of Midnight</a>

Where am I at midnight?
On this so-called special night
Last of the old year, first of the new?
Not outside in the cold, the dark
I prefer to walk in the light
To see the field shining bright under snow,
Or this year under water
A drowned landscape.
At midnight where I want to be
Is warm and snug
Curled up in bed
With YOU.