Bowery Mural

Relationships - in a social media sense

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Relationships.  Friendships.  Acquaintances.  They’re all funny old things aren’t they? 

I mean have you ever been in love?  It’s a big question I know.  Some will answer a big fat YES straight away and others will take time to think about it.  I’m the latter.  I’m not talking about any old love though.  You know that all encompassing feeling of emotion when your loved one gives you that look, makes you a cuppa tea, when you get that fluttery feeling every time that person walks into the room and not just at the start of the relationship, little things you catch yourself remembering at odd moments that make you smile.  You know that kinda love that you see in movies where it’s just perfect and happy and everything is right with the world (well in your world).   You know the kind I’m talking about right?  No?  Neither do I.  It struck me today whilst I was deep in thought making the first cuppa of the day, and after reading an article on social media relationships (real or fake borne out of social media), that I don’t think I’ve ever been in love.  And d’you know how i know this?.. when I drove out of the village and suddenly stopped as my wee Ryan was waving to me from his garden gate.  I realised that just now he is the only thing that comes anywhere close to the feelings of real love for someone I think I’ve ever had.  Of course I love my parents and my family and my friends but that’s in the kind of parents, family, friends love that we all have experience of.  He makes me laugh, and not just laugh, proper belly laughing where you jaws ache.  He can bring me to tears with his touches of tenderness towards his little baby brother.  And I swear he has the wit and intelligence of people twice his age.  And so this is how I realised that I’ve never had that feeling before with a significant other.  In the one long term relationship that I’ve had there was love - of sorts!… but not the kind that I’m talking about.  It was probably more infatuation, which turned into habit, that turned into resentment and finally ended up being, well, nothing…

Anyway, that wasn’t what I was going to talk about.  Making the first cuppa tea of today, I was deep in thought after reading the article that someone re-tweeted on Twitter.  The author was on about relationships in ‘social media’ (Twitter, Facebook, blogs plus more I suppose it meant), that these relationships aren’t real or that somehow they don’t matter or that you are being used or are using the people you communicate with (more businesses in this case, I think!).  And then I thought, hang on, wait a minute, that isn’t strictly true.  Is it?  I have blogged for over two years now and there are people who comment on my blog occasionally that I have never met and yet somehow I feel that there is a relationship there, a friendship, a connection.  So my first question is this, do you think it’s possible to be friends with someone whom you have never met in your entire life and perhaps you never will?  Is it possible to feel their pain when something doesn’t quite go in the right direction?  Or to feel so happy that something has gone totally right for them?  I mean, in the days before the internet there was such a phenomenon as pen pals, who would put pen to paper and write letters to each other having never met before, and never having the intention of meeting either but this was your ‘pal’.  So how can people you ‘follow’ on Twitter not be your ‘pen pal’?  Here’s what I think…  I think that you can build relationships via the web.  If you are anything like me (a little bit shy and reserved) these are people you probably would never have come across in your real life if you didn’t have the internet – a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter page.  I see these outlets (for want of a better word) as a place to find things out (Twitter, Facebook), to express my thoughts and ideas (my blog), to connect with like-minded people (Twitter, Flickr, my blog), to hear the latest product news (from companies) and to keep in touch with friends and family (Facebook, email).  Talking of companies, yes there are companies out there who are using this whole social media thing for their own ends, to sell their products and maybe that’s how businesses are evolving these days, perhaps Twitter is the new junk mail?  But me, I see Twitter as the new pub, the new hangout, the gang hut, the maths corridor at the back of the school where me and my pals used to hang out, eat lunch and drink Irn Bru whilst talking about boys.  I suppose what I’m really saying is that yes I think you can build relationships via the web, and as in real life face-to-face connections there are good and bad relationships and for the bad you always have the following options:  ‘delete as a friend’, ‘unfollow’ or ‘block’.  Talking about Twitter specifically I’m not into the whole you follow me so I automatically follow you back.  Everyone I follow is there because I am interested in what they have to say in their Tweets, whether that be actual people, celebrities or companies.  Hopefully people that follow me are interested in what I have to say to but I guarantee there are followers who I know are not one bit interested – companies, ‘I can get you more follower’ peddlers, get rich quick schemes and even the person/company that followed me because I spoke about bacon! Weird.

Here’s another question:  Would you miss someone you connected with if they suddenly disappeared?  I most certainly would and I’m not afraid to say it.  I would miss my favourite bloggers if they suddenly stopped posting.  I would miss my favourite Tweeters if they stopped Tweeting.  And it’s not necessarily that i know any of these people because I realised last week that I’ve only ever met 2 people i follow on Twitter.  I’ve met one of my favourite bloggers.  There are people on Twitter that i’d love to meet but probably never will due to geographical location and status – I mean Lance Armstrong is never gonna do a Tweet-Up bike ride around Stirling now is he?!?!  Maybe he will!  I can but live in hope.  There are a few people that i’m hopefully going to meet at the Twestival tomorrow evening and I can add them to my people i’ve actually met list that will soon appear on my Twitter page! 

And so these are just some of my thoughts on this whole ‘social media’ and building relationships thing.  (By the way when i say relationships what i mean is friendships, connections, acquaintances).  No big revelations or dictatorships here.  No siree.  Just me, my thoughts and probably too much information at the beginning of this post, but you know me, once i start i go off on tangents.

Anyway i’m interested to hear your thoughts.  Leave a comment whether you agree or disagree.

Ange xx

PS music update (cos i’ve not done one in a while) Linda got me the GLEE album for my birthday and it’s been on in the car for the past 2 weeks.  It’s actually pretty great.  I’ll loan you it if you want :o)

Strangers in the night

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Hello!  It's been a while.  Now let me see... what's happened?...

Well my birthday came and went without much fuss.  In fact with a little less fuss than i'd have liked and I spent it wandering around Glasgow shopping (birthday money), then home at night.  My two gorgeous little nephews got  my lovely silver earrings and they are just what i needed.  Linda got me the Glee soundtrack (yay!!) and a chocolate orange (not just for Christmas!).  It was lovely.  And I got a book about Nepal and a nepalese pendant from Roofus down in Laandaan taahn.  Me and Linda went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the Vue last Tuesday, but before that we had a nice tasty dinner at Frankie & Benny's which is next door to the cinema.  It was my first 3D movie and felt a bit weird at the start.  Wasn't sure whether or not i'd be able to keep my own glasses on but the 3D ones fitted nicely over them.  It was a good movie, well as far as a childrens fairytale's go.  But there was a trailer for a 3D Toy Story movie.  it looks ace and is about when the children grow up and take the toys to a sort of rest-home for old toys.  There were lots of retro toys including the Fisher Price Telephone that we all had i;m sure.  It looks good.  So another year added on to my ever increasing age category.  Boohoo...

I have finally joined The Peak gym and went for my induction and a 1 to 1 consultation with Jamie (spin bike Jamie).  He was very lovely and has made me up a good programme that - wait for this news! - so far has allowed me to run without any pain.  I know, it's great eh!  I'm not pushing it further than i need to just now but so far it's looking good.  The gym is very hi-tech too.  There's little tv screens on each machine and you get a pen drive that holds all your programme details on the system and logs your workouts.  It's going to be good I think.  Spin bikes is great as ever.  I never thought i'd like it as much as i do.  anyone else out there who does spin bikes, give me some suggestions for good songs to spin bike too?  we're being asked in class.  

My sister returns to work tomorrow after 6 months maternity leave.  It'll be hard leaving the two boys  but i'm sure she'll do fine.  And it's a Friday so she hasn't got ling to wait for the weekend off.  Connor is growing at some rate.  He and Ryan are turning into a right little double act.  He's not scared of Ryan's constant jumping around, squeeling and laughing.  In fact in quite the opposite his eyes light up his legs go and he tries to follow Ryan around the room.  Ryan's always going in for kisses from is little brother and i know he look after him as he grows.

(I have a really cute picture to insert here once i figure out how to get it from the iPhone to the 'puter).

I continue to be surprised and amazed by the internet, a few people, my family friends and myself.  I like it.  

So who's been watching the Sport Relief programmes?  Eddie Izzard's amazing marathons, Up th eCreek with Fred MacAuley and dougie Vipond and tonight's £1m bike ride.  I feel like i should be doing something but i've left it too late.  Never mind the next few months are going to bring me adventures - i'm sure of it because...  

Finally...  Drum roll please...drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....ta-da!!  I'm picking up the long awaited bike on Saturday!!!!  I cannot wait.  I got a phone call from Neil at Freeflow Bikes last Friday to explain the delays.  He too has been frustrated at the wait, then he gave me the good news call on Monday.  Only 2 of these bikes are in the country (i think) and one has my name on it!!!  Finally!  It's such a sweet bike though it's kinda been worth the wait.  So on Saturday this little beauty will be mine, all mine.  The Cube WLS Access SL.

Next week will be an exciting week for a few different reasons.  I'll keep you posted.

Ange xx


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Well here's a thing.  I wonder if there will ever come a time when i can buy my own home.  I am in a quandary.  Places are so expensive or they are in the dog-bottom-never-go-near-it place that you couldn't really see yourself having a home there.  In my mind I've already decorated my living room and kitchen and I have a haven as my bedroom in this make-believe home of mine.  So now i am trying to save like I don't-know-what but that's in vain cos by the time I've saved enough for a decent deposit it'll be time for me to go into the retirement home (not really but you get the drift).  

Things are so expensive these days.  Everyday things not just new homes or new cars or new devices with that are prefixed with an 'i'.  My humble administrators job just doesn't allow me to buy all the things that I want and so here is another quandary.  I'm toying with the idea of making things and selling them but really that would bring in mere buttons and I did try eBaying stuff but no-one's really in the market for Friends' series 1-8 on VHS tape!  Now I know a lot of people may thing I buy all the time but what i buy is actually not worth that much.  I did buy 6 t-shirts during the pay month of February but 2 were £3.99 from H&M, 2 were $10 each from Threadless, 1 was £4.99 from Primark and 1 was £8.99 from River Island.  All in all not that much compared to someone spending £45 for a top from USC or somewhere like that.  By the way I'm not buying any more clothes - FACT.  Slap me if I do.

This leads nicely onto my lack of outings to the 'moutins' (as Ryan calls them).  You see there is much snow on them hills just now and I'm not totally equipped for it.  First I'd need an ice axe, then (depending on who you talk to) I'd need crampons of some sort and perhaps even new shoes/boots.  All other clothing I've pretty much got sorted but those axes, crampons, boots/shoes would cost a pretty penny and honestly I cannot totally justify it just now.  I mean I've now started paying for a bike that STILL HAS NOT BEEN DELIVERED YET!! (but I am assured it'll be only another 2 weeks).  So I decided a wee while ago that full-on winter walking would not be happening for me this year as it would cost too much.  I'll get sorted with the bike and stuff and then for next year I'll get the walking equipment sorted - for real.  Despite my great big childhood belief, I've found that money just doesn't grow on trees.  Anyway  I can always check here and here to see some great photos and read good stories about what is happening out there in the snowy mountains.

Here's another great big slice of honesty.  As well as being totally under-equipped for winter walking I'm also really scared to go for a serious walk up a hill because of these sore knees.  I've started to roll with the TP Therapy rollers again but I'm so impatient and want things to happen NOW.  Of course I know it will take time but it's so rubbish when you are scared to do anything because you are scared of the pain and the disappointment of the problem that's plagued me for about 2 years now still hasn't gone away or even eased up.  I've said this before but i think people think I'm making it up or exaggerating it but if you've ever had it then you'll know.  The spin bikes are the only form of exercise (and yoga) that I can do without it being painful.  I so want to run cos I know I'd be good at it - seriously I would!  Back in another post I spoke about deciding whether or not to join the gym at The Peak and I've decided i am going to do that.  It makes sense since the monthly membership is virtually the same cost as I'm paying to go to the spin bikes classes.  And this way I can go to any other exercise class I want to.  So I'm gonna do that on my day off on Monday.

Which brings me onto another thing... it's my birthday on Saturday.  I'll be ever closer to nearly being half way to 40 but thank god i'm not! (33! and how did that happen!!)  I never really mark my birthday with a grand party or such things so if you see me around just wish me happy birthday.  And leave my present at the front door ha ha.

In all that anxiety and worryness above there are a few things that are almost certain to bring a smile to my face.  Ryan.  He's just pure dead brilliant.  And is totally nagging me about when we're going up the moutins.  He comes to us for his dinner on Saturdays and last Saturday he shouted up the stairs, here's how the conversation went...
"Angie, come here... Angie... Come here" he shouts up the stairs
"What?"  i go to the top of the stairs
"you take me up the moutins?"
"not today, it's too cold"
"aye today" he says
"no, it's too cold and getting dark soon and we're going to have dinner"
"no, we're going to get dinner.  Granda says you take me up moutins".
"Aye but not today, next week, when the snow goes away"
"no next week, we go sleep on moutins"
"No, no, no, it's far too cold for that"                           
He stands there for a few minutes with a sad face and resigns himself to the fact we are not going up the moutins at 5pm on a Saturday evening!  I end up having to bribe him with a trip to the shop in the car and we come home and have our dinner.

I'll say this again too.  I like the Twitter community.  Where else could you immediately find out about things that are happening around the world and around your own town in one home page?  (maybe there is somewhere else that you can) but I like Twitter.  I'm not shying away from saying that.  I've been having late nights recently what with watching Winter Olympics and all that and work has been very busy and kinda stressy too and through it all there's been a few peeps on the Twitter machine that have brought a smile to my face.  And I thank you all.  It's also a great way to communicate with all manner of people you probably otherwise would never have heard of or be connected with.  Plus it's a bonus when they answer you back I mean how else would I have @edithbowman telling me she might be Banksy (she's not i don't think but that's not the point i'm trying to make here).  Anyway Twitter is great and it's always fun reminiscing with @markofrespect about the 80's and 90's.  This one is for you...

Now the Winter Olympics.  I really got into the Curling and watched virtually all of the Team GB women's and mens matches (except the early ones that might have been on at 4am GMT).  I totally get the Curling now and it also helped that the GB mens skip, Dave Murdoch was very easy on the eye!  Skiing is another sport i've always watched on a Sunday afternoon for years so knew all the major players that were taking part but nothing pleased me more that seeing Bode Miller mature into an Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze medallist.  Totally deserved in my opinion.  Skier cross became kind of a cult sport and we were sat around the tv oohing and ahing at the mens and women's competitions.  Legs and arms and ski poles flying all over the place.  Plus Ed Leigh's enthusiastic commentary was funny.  Talking of which the two programmes Ed Leigh and  Graham bell did that was repeated on Saturday were just stunning.  Arctic Man and British Columbia.  The latter was an especially good programme about people who live in the wilderness in British Columbia.  The places were stunning and i'll admit at times there might have been some wetness around my eye areas.  Perhaps i should just give everything up here and move to the simple life.  It would be less stressy.

This is me, last day of trekking back to Lukla, run down cold sore on the side of my lip, nose end red raw with wiping and ribs sore under that Marie Curie tshirt.  Everest's dark profile high n the background.

We were talking in the office today (me, Linda and Brigitte), and Brigitte was saying that it's almost a year since I was getting ready to go away to Nepal.  It is too!  2nd April was D-Day last year.  I have very fond memories of that year of discovery and the journey i had.  And I'm missing the always having something else to think about and the planning and the listing of various articles and clothing and the countdown and even the teary eyed goodbyes to people before i went away.  I'm missing it a lot.  I don't know what to do next.  I'd really like to do something else but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to raise funds for charity, I couldn't ask you all to sponsor me again... could I?  There are a couple of little things I have ideas of flying around my head but no details will be released just yet.  

Sewing, embroidery and cross-stitching.  I had to go and buy myself a thimble though, my finger tips were sore!  I'm finding my feet with the embroidery just now but i'm a whizz with the cross-stitching and am talking requests!  Here's one I made earlier (Bobinson!)...

I'm excited for my new bike being delivered.  I cannot wait to get onto it and finally have my maiden voyage with the wind rushing through my hair and making my eyes water its that cold.

Ryan is really coming into his own and his personality is developing ini a great way.  I think it's due to the nursery he goes to.  We made some chocolate Rice Krispie cakes last week and he was so excited and told me about him making shortbread at nursery when it was 'Robert Burns Day', not Rabbie Burns.  He loved that day a nursery, singing songs and poems and baking.  Brilliant!  And... i cannot express how great he is with his baby brother.  There's no jealousy nor is there any hitting or any of that stuff and he is a credit to us.

Music.  Loads of different people I listen to.  But just now I love Florence and the Machine - Dog Days full blast on the radio driving to work.  Just a brilliant song.  And there's the usual Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters, Paolo Nutini, Muse, Jay-Z plus more.  (sorry couldn't figure out how to add the video in!)

Spin Bikes.  Monday night classes by Angela and Thursday night classes by Jamie, Andy & Malky.  They are very tough but when I'm done I really feel like I've done something for the good of my health.  Plus the bike computer says 22.3km done and 475 calories burned! and that's great cos my aim is to be on a one way ticket to size-10-ville and I ain't going back baby!!

Well this has been a marathon post.  It wasn't as moany-faced as I'd predicted in an earlier post.  And there are topics and stuff that i'd like to write about but it's best that i don't mention them in text on the internet.  Let's just say this past wee while has been a busy and a times really stressful so much so that i'm starting to get this ugly rash type thing on my right wrist that I get when I'm running at full pelt.  Any tips for not worrying, being less stressy and general well-being would be gratefully accepted.  But i'll get there.  Head down, keep going, it's the only way sometimes.

Thanks for reading people and for those who visit (from USA, Australia, Holland and all over the UK - stats say so!) and don't comment, go on leave me a comment, you know you want to (give me something to read).

Ange xx  

PS apologies on a second reading I've noticed I say things and stuff a lot.  But that's just me and i'm not changing it.

PPS i'll be starting a new project soon.  It's been done over and over again but not by me so I'm doing it.  It'll be called Year 33 and begins on Saturday 6th March...