Category Archives: Media

A Christmas cat and snowman video

Husband and daughter have collaborated on a wonderful Christmas video. Enjoy the magic of plasticine and patience…

Here’s one I wrote earlier

12 reasons I don’t hate Christmas  My crying in front of the Christmas tree has been interrupted by the arrival of our online shopping order. Bags of quality produce to last us through the next few days of family, friends and festive-ness.

Step away from the shopping!  A heavy glossy Christmas shopping catalogue has fallen out of the newspaper. It’s from Liberty. I fear it.

Getting older and further away

Several weeks after leaving Facebook, my life continues on.


I had a decidedly non-digital afternoon tea with some delightful ‘old girls’ from my school. I’m not using ‘old’ in a pejorative sense. One of my companions had graduated from school in 1944!

My days are usually spent in the company of people my own age, or with children. It was quite brilliant to share shortbread with an entirely different generation.  No-one secretly checked their messages under the tablecloth. No-one leapt away from the table to grab their iPad to look up the EXACT name of their angina medication. And no-one posted photos of us with mouthfuls of date slice on FB.

I felt younger and springier. Hopeful that I would one day be a feisty senior with sturdy boots and a backpack full of cake, talking too loudly to the bus driver.

We shall be exchanging addresses and sending cards to keep in touch. Hooray!

Further away

I’ve been thinking about the ‘unreal’ friendships that I left behind on FB. I might have commented on photos of their 5 course Peruvian degustation meal, but I really didn’t know what was going on in their lives.  I never asked “How are you?” on Facebook.

Once, a friend received a disturbing email from her very good friend overseas. Lots of apologies for being a bad friend, inadequate mother and general life-failure. Alarming .

Even more sad than the actual email, was our first thought: “Is this real or a hoax?” How could we tell if it was some crazy spam or a genuinely troubling communication? It turned out to be genuine, and I felt so guilty for doubting its authenticity.

I treat email as administrative and functional. In this case, the medium (email) did not match the message (I am feeling truly awful and need a friend).

We have to ask “How are you?” a lot more often. And be happy even if we just get a 🙂  back.

Here’s one I wrote earlier

Love is not dead, it’s just resting.  How often do you tell your loved ones that they are loved? On a sliding scale, I think the most romantic medium are (with 1 being most lovely):

Here, Kindle Kindle Kindle…

Half a year is a long time in tech world. In August 2010 I smugly declared that people with e-books were usually ‘early- to mid-30’s male with a satchel’ (See News + Paper. Read all about it!).

Although I am a later-30’s female without a satchel, I now have my own e-book reader. Husband bought me an Amazon Kindle for Christmas. Despite my reservations about mindlessly sucking up every digital device or idea that flashes its USB ports at me, I do like my Kindle.

Good things about my e-book reader

E-books and my Kindle are quite charming because I can:

  • Carry a dictionary with me. Just in case.
  • Read with my sunglasses on.
  • Read a sample chapter of a worthy book, find it too dull, then not buy the book. No book wastage at all.
  • Drink single-origin coffee in cafes with cool geeks wearing grey v-neck t-shirts. (I just can’t help myself stereotyping trendy tech-heads.)

Bad things about my e-book reader

I still love paper because I can:

  • Leave it for weeks and not have to charge it.
  • Turn pages without that black/white screen flicker (although I did get used to that on my Kindle very quickly).
  • Choose a book purely on the basis of its cover art and font.
  • Know that it will always be compatible, fully supported and scalable. I am assuming that my kids and future generations will still have eyes to read and hands to turn pages.
  • Drink single-origin tea in book shops with cool nerds wearing black v-neck t-shirts.( I must stop stereotyping people …)

I am now happily embroidering myself a Kindle case. Craft + tech = Crach?? I am quite addicted.

Brought to you by the Interweb – Wall of books

If we all have e-book readers, then will we still be buying delightful fake book wallpaper?

News + Paper. Read all about it!

Sometimes I see someone with an e-book reader on the train. It’s usually being held quite self-consciously by an early- to mid-30’s male with a satchel. The body language is mostly “I am the Masterchef of e-bookery” and a little “I am only holding the e-book so high because this angle is actually most comfortable for my arm. Honestly.”

[Update: I now own an e-book reader! See post “Here Kindle, Kindle, Kindle“]

It’s hard to read an e-book or any book, over someone else’s shoulder. When I lived in London I used to catch the Tube to work. It was definitely Not OK to read another passenger’s paper. Even if you were standing so close that you could hear the rustling of their nose hairs when they breathed, you Could Not read their paper. I wonder what special sense allows us to instantly feel when someone else’s eyes are wandering over our headlines?

I had a newspaper subscription for a year. It was made out of paper. Its physical presence would remind me to read it, and so I kept abreast of world events and local issues. Now the subscription has ended and I rely on the free newspaper websites.

I don’t read properly on the web. I also rarely watch news on TV – it clashes with the feeding/bathing/wrangling of kids. I think there are some important election issues being debated, but those headlines don’t have any of the words that my superficial website scanning eyes seize on. Phrases such as “millionaire’s wife; chocolate pudding recipe; bizarre sex; children’s health; striped t-shirts” will get me clicking every time.

Today I bought a newspaper.

Brought to you by the InterWeb – How to fold a broadsheet newspaper

On the Tube, I admired the way stripy-suited City workers could precisely crease their papers lengthways at the exact halfway point, thus creating a long thin train-friendly paper. See instructions on how to fold a broadsheet newspaper.

Is life better if it’s on a screen?

Yesterday we went in to the city to take a look at the Chinese New Year celebrations. We found ourselves at a rather damp market, watching ‘cultural performances’ of varying quality. The troupe of little girls in gold and pink sequins performing cute military-style arm gestures was adorable. The women doing Chinese Salsa were less impressive. How can you possibly combine Latin passion with Chinese distaste for public display of emotion?

The kids were fascinated by the costumes and dancing. However, instead of watching the real, live actual people on stage, they kept gravitating towards the huge screen showing the same performance. They were standing in front of the stage, beneath the camera that was filming the performance, watching the screen… Why is the screen always more compelling than the stage?

We go to restaurants with televisions more often than is fashionable. I am both relieved that there will be something to keep the kids sitting still, and offended that they find the screen more interesting than me.

Brought to you by the InterWeb – Chinese salsa

I Googled ‘Chinese salsa’ and came up with this story on page 3 of the results: Chinese company makes soy sauce from human hair. If it’s on Google, it must be true.