Monday, 25 October 2010

My New Friend

I have just returned home from a glorious thirty six hours with one of the most influential and inspiring people in my life.  As an unpublished writer, I have been constantly and regularly inspired by reading her novels.  Each novel has taken me and her characters on a journey of emotional turmoil, discovery and ingenious story-telling through her exceptional ability to transport the reader from their own lives into a world she has created, living amongst characters she has skillfully developed.  I have put pen to paper for many years, either by songwriting or by writing prose and poetry, but this lady was my main source of inspiration when I considered extending my repetoire by writing a book.  When I first joined Twitter I purposely put her name into the search bar and excitedly clicked the appropriate button to follow her.  Over a period of time we struck up a conversation and before long had become Twitter friends. 
I was soon to discover that not only was she an accomplished and successful novelist, she was also a delightful, amusing and warm Twitterist.  A small like-minded group of us soon became Twitter-close and with the help of tweets and emails formed genuine friendships that we hoped to augment beyond our computer screens.  We excitedly chatted about meeting up and visiting each other. 

When I stepped from the train at Bath Station, the sun shining impressively in the clear blue sky, it was with anticipation and excitement.  Her smile across the concourse was warm and inviting as I passed through the exit at the station.  We hugged and it was the most genuine hug I have experienced for a long long time. 
From that moment on, through the short journey along narrow winding lanes to her beautiful cottage which stood in a quaint English village, we chatted constantly.  She chatted, I listened; I chatted, and she listened.  We rarely stopped, such was our eagerness to discover and learn  about each other. Once inside her exquisitely decorated and adorned cottage, we comfortably wiled away the hours exchanging experiences in our lives.  I eagerly drank her words like an insatiable drunk, wanting more and more.  Her stories, some funny, some heartbreakingly awful, instilled in me a sense of awe and admiration for her ability to recount and impart incidents and anecdotes. She has a million stories to tell and tells them beautifully.

I will never forget the time I spent with her and feel honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to spend those few precious hours in the company of someone I hold in such high esteem.  The main thing I have brought home with me however is the genuine warmth and hospitality she generously gave me on my visit.  She is a best-selling novelist whose many books continue to be read and enjoyed the world over and she has made me extremely and unbelievably proud by calling me her friend.

Thank you ................LESLEY PEARSE...............I love you!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Networking for the under-twelves

Today I had to honour a promise I made to my eleven year old son; the promise of allowing him to have a Facebook account.  Facebook by its nature is a networking site and for several months Cain has been asking me if he could join.  Whilst he was still at primary/middle school, I used the excuse that he was too young and that none of his friends would be using it, so what was the point in him joining up as he would have nobody to speak to.  Things have now changed.  He is now in his third or fourth week at secondary school and the subject has obviously been discussed amongst his new pals. Damn.
So it was with great trepidation and reluctance that I sat at his computer in the dining room and logged into the chosen networking site.  With a little fibbery and adjustments to various stipulations, we finally logged into Facebook.  There was a point when it looked like I might have to receive all his messages on my iphone as they would not accept his email address.  After a little fiddling and fuddling, a new email address was created and I can now rest assured that I will not be receiving messages from Luke, Michael, Jamie and Adam along with the rest of the class at his new school. The mind boggles!
Restrictions in place, stern words of advice on appropriate behaviour given, my little man is now entering the world of networking.  Myself, his older brother and sisters have been added as friends so we will be watching every word that is written on his page. 
 God help anyone who steps out of line!