Kissing For Idiots

May 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Posted in Emailing, Kissing, Texting | 2 Comments
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If you hang out (can you do so beyond the age of 23?) in the cool set in my home town, a continental kiss (a peck on each cheek, if you’re not cool enough to know) is an obligatory greeting. Only one member of this set is actually French, but those are the rules: it’s the tactile equivalent of calling everyone ‘Darling’.

Carole Midgley’s article on textiquette in today’s Times 2 is what lead me to write this post. If you are unsure whether or not to ‘X’ at the end of a text, or are interested in why we may or may not follow this practice, then read it.

I am firmly of the ‘Darling’ camp: shamelessly, I scatter my missives with ‘X’s and ‘x’s like a polyamorous canine, marking my territory. Even my boss gets a textual kiss, although were she not female, I very much doubt that that would be the case.

Midgley has her own rule for ‘X’ing: only to family and people with whom she has sexual relations (can one utter that phrase without thinking of Monica and Bill?). I would add that you shouldn’t give a written kiss to anyone you wouldn’t kiss in real life (a peck on the cheek, of course: I’m not talking about a full-on Frenchie). But then, I’m much more likely to ‘X’ the page than your face, as I’m not the world’s most tactile person.

There are no rules, basically. My niece doesn’t ‘X’ me, but fittingly, all my exes do.

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You can misquote me on that

February 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Journalism, Literature | Leave a comment
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Fellow Twitterers, family and friends will know that I appeared in Good to Meet You in the Guardian on Saturday. I was thrilled to appear in this column; it’s one of my favourite parts of the Saturday Guardian.

I wasn’t so thrilled, however, to discover, when my insomnia nudged me awake at 3am Saturday morning, that my photo had been posted sideways on the Guardian website. Yes, I admit to being vain, but reader, I resembled, and do still, as they’ve failed to align it correctly yet, one of those feature-distorting fairground mirrors. Luckily, I look reasonably sane in the print edition.

What’s more, not only did they make out that I’d said that my father had stopped buying the Times (I didn’t; I said only that he subscribes to the Guardian now), they also quoted me as saying that J. B Priestley came from Deal. I never said that: I mentioned only that he had lived here.

Now, I’m not a journalist, and apart from having an aptitude for writing, I know nothing about how to produce a newspaper. (I did start a journalism course, but I quit it because learning shorthand bored me.). However, I do know that media content, whether it is online or printed, should be as professional and accurate as possible. Is it too much to ask that the Guardian responds to my request to align my photo correctly? Apparently so, as I still look as though the photo was taken sideways about an inch away from my face.

I love the Guardian, but I’m not very happy with it at the moment. And you can quote me on that.

Clear the snow on your property! It’s your civic duty

February 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Snow | 2 Comments
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Why is it that we are the only household on my street to have cleared the snow from the pathway to our front door, as well as the pavement outside? Are you waiting for the council or the snow fairy to do it? Or do you think it’s going to melt soon? I’ll see you at the ice rink in hell, shall I?

You would not have relished being one of the people I admonished en route to my son’s nursery Monday. This journey took me fifteen minutes instead of the usual five, dear reader: all because my fellow Deal residents are too selfish and lazy to clear the snow away from outside their properties.

Robert Crampton, I salute you. The council won’t clear this infernal snow, so we should do it ourselves.

Happiness is….

January 17, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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….not a warm gun, not at the moment. Happiness is hard work, hoping my boy will get well and building bridges, as my sister says.  I believe Matthew Syed spoke a lot of sense in The Times today when he said: ‘Which kind of happiness do you care about? Do you want great memories or great experiences? Do you want a brilliant plot or a great ending? Do you want a story with meaning or one with beautifully constructed sentences?’

I was tempted by those beautifully crafted sentences. But in the end, I think that experiences are more important than happiness.

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