Unplugged? Unconnected?

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/bloggers-unplugged/”>Bloggers, Unplugged</a>

I don’t have a chance to “make it happen” so I can have a rest from writing – heavens, a rest from writing would be like a break from breathing.

Seriously though, I get enough unscheduled breaks courtesy of my Internet provider. Little billets-doux saying, “You are not connected to the internet” or “Safari can’t find the URL – check your spelling and try again”.

Then of course there are the umpteen other things that need to be done; some of them need to be done at a particular time. Outings and shopping and meetings and rides, not to mention meals and snacks and household chores – washing and ironing, baking and cooking. I’m now retired: how did I ever find time to go to work?




North and South

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/non-regional-diction/”>Non-Regional Diction</a>

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.

Thing abaht yer own local dialect/accent/regional speech or whativver is, that ye don’t know when yer doin’ it. Ye talk like ye’ve allas talked an’ it’s ‘ard ter get it dahn on papper. (Spell checkers are even more than usually useless when you try to write in dialect.) A man in our village says “Ah’m ban yan” and asks if other people know what he is saying. If you’ve been around long enough you might realise this translates to “I’m going home” in standard English.

Of course it’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Accent rather than dialect and just like Professor Higgins in Pygmalion a careful listener can differentiate between local accents from places only a few miles apart.

Trouble is local accents don’t stay local once kids start to move away for work or study. This is especially noticed with the long vs short “a” sound – yes there is a better way to express this in phonetic script but basically it is whether you say “class” so that it rhymes with “gas” or so that it rhymes with…I was going to put “glass” or “grass” but both these are pronounced differently by northern and southern English speakers.

Children from the same lingusitic background and upbringing can talk quite differently once they have moved away and adapted their speech to a greater of lesser degree to the surrouding speakers. A case of practicality not snobbery – if you are a teacher or an officer in the forces or serving customers in a retail store you need to be understood by the people you interact with. Thanks to social and geographical mobility there are plenty of people now who sound like furriners in their home town.



Not Being on Facebook

I’ve eventually found out that the only way you can see a page – anyone’s page – on Facebook is if you join. The only way I was able to find this basic bit of information was by asking someone who is on Facebook.

In other words they won’t even tell you that you can’t find out anything unless you sign up! How’s that for secrecy?

It’s as though the WI – or any other membership organisation – were to refuse to tell you anything about the organisation, the meeting times,  venues etc unless and until you had joined and paid your subscription! OK I know Facebook is free to join and “subscribe” doesn’t have quite the same meaning in computer-speak as it does in everyday life. If I subscribe to “The Oldie” magazine or “The Lady” I pay an annual fee and get them posted to my home.

As far as I have been able to find out I would be required to provide my name, email address and date of birth to join Facebook. (Some doubt about whether the date of birth is relevant, they claim it is to prove that you are who you say you are. Can’t see how that works. Adding – or more likely subtracting – 10 years from my age doesn’t really invalidate any other data given.  If I ever did join I’d certainly put my age down as 99 just to see what the system made of it!)

What worries me is that Facebook end up with a massive list of names and email addresses. What do they do with these? What might they do with them? Sell them to retailers? The date of birth will give sellers a good pointer as to what sort of ads to target at an individual.

Quote from Facebook Log in page:

For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

Perhaps I am being paranoid.  I think not. Anyway I am used to being the odd one out. I don’t have a television either!




Facing Down Facebook

I have long felt that Twitter is for Twits – or possibly Twats- and I’m now coming to the conclusion that Facebook is for Fracking Twits. At one time I was thinking of getting myself a Facebook Account, then I looked into it in more detail – as far as I could – and decided it wasn’t for me.

  • Facebook insists on being given you real name and email address.  – compare this with a blog such as WordPress where I can be whoever I like:  Lass from Lancashire, Threewheelergran, Esme, Willamina Shakespeare if I want. I don’t have to proclaim my identity for all to see and reveal my email to scammers, hackers, trolls and other nasty pieces of work.
    I read a recent article about various groups of people objecting to giving their “real” names on Facebook. The objectors included Drag Queens, Native Americans, LGBT people especially those undergoing gender reassignment, and teachers who didn’t want their pupils or the kids’ parents to know all about their private lives. I don’t belong to any of these groups but I can see their point.
  • It’s very difficult, or at least I found it difficult, to get to see a sample Facebook entry without actually taking out an account. I don’t like to sign up for something without full info available. I found a Facebook website which told me in detail about how marvellous Facebook was but not how a non-user can look at a Facebook page. I did eventually find a help screen but all the requests seemed to be people wanting their date of birth removed from the system: it appears this isn’t possible.
  • They seem to ask for (presumably a photocopy of) your passport, your photo driving licence, your bank account details, a recent utility bill etc just to prove you are who you say you are. More “proofs of identity” than you would need to take out a mortgage or open a credit card account.
  • This business of Facebook pages being only available to other Facebook users is my real gripe. I’ve seen umpteen organisations and websites where the viewer is invited to “like us on Facebook”. I might like them if I wasn’t required to like this dodgy organisation Facebook to do so! If I could just look at say Little Wittering Women’s Walking Club and Cake-making Society or Man United FC without having to enroll in this ominous entity called “Facebook.”
  • Facebook is picture-oriented and I am a words rather than a picture person. After an important occasion or event I am more likely to write or read about it than gather a file of pictures. Perhaps it is my age!
  • I’ve had another try to find out about Facebook . I even went to their Help page where there is  place to ask questions. I tried it – No answer. Tried again –  ditto . All I need is a one-word response: Can non-Facebook subscribers look at Facebook Sites? Yes or No. They won’t tell you unless you join Facebook!

I might be losing something by leaving Facebook alone but I am worried by the complex instructions for editing a Facebook page and the thought that I might easily publish something to the world that I had intended only for a select group of my nearest and dearest.


Note: Fracking – I don’t like using asterisks eg f***ing and “fracking” seems a good alternative pseudo-swear word. Fracking is an unpleasant and dangerous activity that currently threatens some areas of Lancashire not far from where I live. Seems appropriate.


Writing Advice

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/doubters-alert/”>Doubters Alert</a>

What commonly accepted truth (or “truth”) do you think is wrong, or at least seriously doubt? Why?

One of the favourite axioms of creative writing teachers is “show don’t tell”. 

I beg to differ.

If you adhere to this rule you can’t write “John was a foul-mouthed bully who hated animals.” You have to describe John swearing at his kids, hitting  them and kicking the cat. Now this may be useful in some areas of writing but there are plenty of cases where it doesn’t work and isn’t required.

You can spend pages and pages establishing what kind of character your protagonist is by the roundabout way of showing him or her behaving in a particular way, when you could get the same result with a couple of well-chosen adjectives.

And example off the top of my head. “Jenny was a mature lady, well-educated and well-travelled,”  This tells us what we need to know as readers supposing Jenny is a minor character in a short story or novel. We don’t have to see her collecting her pension, reading Proust and returning from a trip to China, to show that she is mature, well-educated and has travelled widely.


Lingering longingly, lovingly lazily

Linger I love to linger, look up at the sky,
gaze down at the garden. How lucky am I.
The view from my window invites me to stand
And look at the fields, a picture so grand.
I can drift off so easily, watching each cloud,
The trees and the hedges, the birds singing loud.
I ought to be busy, there’s work I should do
But right now I just linger…I’m thinking of YOU!


An instant sort of poem – the very opposite of lingering. Written quickly without much editing, just to get back in blogging after break.