Pause, Paws and Mischief


Me and Jean went to the beach today. The tide was miles out and, if I’m honest about it, so was Jean’s mood.

She was raging over some horrible stuff she said she was eejity enough to read on Twitter, whatever that is.

Anyway, it was nasty comments about people who aren’t white and she said that they may as well be kicking me, in all my blackness, around the place too.

It seems potty to me that someone could think that a white dog is somehow ‘better’ than me, based just on our colours.

I’m not going to take this too seriously cos I have friends who are all sorts of colours and I know that colour has nothing to do with whether they are kind-hearted or good fun or anything really.

I couldn’t resist having a go at painting the beach red but I look like an odd kind of red setter perched on my rock:

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Redder than Red

So, I’m going back to my blackness and the ‘moody’ kinda pic that Jean likes.

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Black Me!

 

 

Is Your Blog Wrapped in Social Media?

The more blogs I visit and the more WP themes I explore, it seems that bloggers are tending to be more and more engaged with a host of social media platforms from Facebook to Twitter to … goodness knows what.

I’ve taken quite a step back from all social media platforms over the last year or so. I’m still on Twitter and I’ve set my posts to go up there but as I don’t engage with Twitter for anymore than about 5 minutes per week, I’m not fully at ease with having my posts going up there.

All this has made me wonder to what extent people see blogging as a stand alone activity or as something that is almost inextricably linked to a range of social media platforms.

I see blogging as being qualitatively different to other social media platforms and I like the intimacy of it ~ or the sense of intimacy.

Somehow, other social media platforms make me feel headachy with all the traffic racing by. I want peace and quiet and not to feel like I’m standing in the middle of a big city at rush hour.

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Where are you about putting your blog out there on FB, Twitter and the like? 

Sea Pinks or Timelines?

Economics has never been my favourite subject and I can’t say that I have brought much of what I studied of it in College into my everyday life. However, the simple, yet profound, concept of Opportunity Cost has never left me.

Coastal Path, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Coastal Path, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford

Yesterday, as I walked along the Coastal Path in Dunmore East here in Co. Waterford, I found myself thinking about it yet again:

Opportunity Costs: The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

In particular, I got to thinking about the extent to which social media has become such an integral part of life and of the endless hours one can spend on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and so many more.

I wondered about the percentage of people who will look back on their lives knowing that their end is near and delight in memories of time spent reading their timelines.

No doubt some people may be Facebooking or Tweeting with their last grain of energy but I suspect that Social Media won’t even enter the minds of the vast majority.

Yes, I would much prefer to be out walking along the cliffs in Dunmore East, soaking up the sun, taking time to touch the Sea Pinks, watch the seagulls gliding, gaze across at Hook Head Lighthouse, be enraptured by the layers and layers of colour, scent, texture … than living a life or a half life through social media.

I’d certainly much prefer to depart this earth to a memory of swaying Sea Pinks than of  timelines scrolling on and on and …..

Sea Pinks
Sea Pinks

 

 

Conversation of a Lifetime

Seat
Mount Congreve Garden, Co. Waterford

I came across a question yesterday on Twitter, with a picture of a seat overlooking an ocean,  that had me thinking long into the night. Here’s what it was:

If you could spend an hour on this seat talking with one person (past or present), who would it be?

While I was thinking about the possible contenders, I decided that the seat should be in precious Mount Congreve, but I found it very difficult to nominate one person.

Part of me wanted to have the pleasure of an hour with a personal loved one who has died but I decided that I couldn’t face seeing him/her walk away at the end of the hour.

The person I finally came up with was Nobel Prize winning poet, Seamus Heaney ( 1939-2013), whose poetry I adore and who made such a lasting impression on me when I heard him read at The Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2009.

Here’s one of his poems that I’d loved to have him read to me in that wonderful voice of his:

Scaffolding

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seems to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may have let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.

Seamus Heaney

So who would YOU choose to chat with for that one special hour?

Are You a Facebook Friend or Foe?

Lost yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever. ( Horace Mann)

I took the plunge the other day and deactivated my Facebook page. It had been coming for a while for a whole host of reasons. The last straw was finding that I had spent a couple of precious hours reading what seemed like a crowds of people shouting at each other across the road about stuff that I perceived as being more appropriate for the private domain.

And the last, last straw was the sense of ‘big brother’ watching over every single move I made. I simply don’t like the idea of Facebook, or anyone else for that matter,  tracking my every conversation and then pushing stuff right up against my face.

So, the moment of decativation came and the last I saw was a list of the people who would miss me. Interesting that top of the list was the last person who had messaged me ‘privately.’

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I’ve had no withdrawals since leaving ~ except for seeing some of the great art and photographs that are posted. I’ve found other ways to access these so that ‘need’ is sorted!

I’d love to know how YOU feel about Facebook? Is it a key part of your life, peripheral or just a ‘no-no.’

Must say I feel totally different about blogging, and indeed Twitter.

All in all, I’m pretty surprised by this whole turn of events, however mundane they may be.

 

 

 

 

 

Among my Souvenirs

I’ve struck lucky lately having ‘conversations’ with people here on WordPress. There’s something different about having that chat in real time, isn’t there?

Well, the same thing has just happened on Twitter. I just hit on a tweet which said: The No. 16 bus is great. Sitting beside an old man with a bottle of wine and an old record.’

I simply had to find out about the ‘old record’ and the response came straight away: It says ‘among my souvenirs’ on the back.

Needless to say, that had my flying to YouTube to resurrect the lines and half lines that starting playing from my memory. Oftentimes, when father and I were chatting, he’d mention something like sealing wax and I’d say how I’d love to smell it again. He would invariably say, ‘Oh, it’s among my souvenirs.’ 

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There’s so many kinds of souvenirs, aren’t there? Real, imagined, invaluable, sensory, lost, found and kept …..

 

 

Tramore Beach ~ Ebb and Flow

Tramore, Co. Waterford is probably the best-known seaside town in Ireland and the translation of its Irish name Tra Mhor is ‘big strand.’  I feel extremely privileged to reside in the town and to live just a few minutes away from the beach which has such natural appeal and beauty.

Tramore Bay towards the Metal Man

Yesterday evening,  a tweet from someone looking for solutions to writer’s block caught my eye and my response was: ‘  go to where there is water, ideally the sea, and let the ripples gently re-ignite your creativity. See it as cleansing!  The person tweeted back early this morning to saying:   love this idea, and will be running my bathroom taps asap! too wet outside to go out!!! thank you x.’

This little exchange was on my mind this morning as I headed down to the beach in Tramore. The sun was blazing, and the tide was out. It seemed to me that the three miles of golden sand were like nature’s page presenting infinite angles and ideas and touching every sense imaginable.

Expanse of Tramore Beach

I knew that the tide would be perfect for a swim at around tea-time and also that a whole new vista would present itself when I reached the Prom.  The comforting arms of the Bay, as I always think of them, Brownstown Head and the Metal Man,  seemed to be much closer than earlier; there were more people around ; and the  miles of sand were now covered with the full tide.

Enjoying the Surf

While I was thinking  of how the waves were  turning the page of the sands of morning,  the sky drew my eyes toward an intense rainbow over the Bay revealing a full range of colour which was almost too much to absorb.

Rainbow over Tramore Bay

Swimming in this bliss, I wondered if the bath had sorted out my Twitter friend’s writer’s block or if she should get on a plane or train and come to Tramore Beach tomorrow where I know that more and more wonders and inspirational beauty will unfold.