Posts filed under ‘Facebook’

For once, I agree with Cameron?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am not as political as many. I know that I don’t like extremes, be they left or right wing. I would define myself as a liberal, not the Liberals in the current Government who have been diluted, their policies corrupted by constant compromise for (what appears to me to be) very little return.

I am not a huge fan of David Cameron. The economic policies of cut, cut, cut will, I feel, snip away at the infrastructure of our society. Before everyone starts howling at me I know there need to be cuts but there is surely a balance? I don’t believe that depending on the rich to generate all the wealth will work. There must be investment to allow small business to keep going, to keep schools thriving to provide us with a future workforce that is educated and motivated.

I will go no further than this. I am not an economist, I am not a politician. I am sure the paragraph above will annoy enough people so I should to move on to the point of this blog….

David Cameron appeared on the This Morning programme yesterday. He was interviewed by Phillip Schofield, someone I normally admire for his integrity. However, it appears Mr Schofield had a rush of blood to the head. He lifted a list of names of politicians/public figures from the Internet; people who had supposedly been embroiled in the abuse of children in previous decades. He presented the list to David Cameron and wanted his comments on it. Cameron sensibly left the paper without looking and talked about what needs to happen. What was Mr Schofield thinking?

My thoughts?

The Internet is a wonderful thing. Full of useful information, opinion and fun. I love doing research, reading blogs and sprouting nonsense on Twitter and Facebook. However, it is also full of opinion being presented as fact; it promotes conspiracy  theory as ‘the real truth’. When you read anything you need to assume that fact-checking will be required, either using your own common sense or actual fact checking.

I assume Philip Schofield considers himself a smart man, a responsible broadcaster, I know I have always thought so. He comes across as caring and sensible. I consider lifting a list from the Internet to be a dumb thing to do. It is a cheap trick. If you want to be considered a serious broadcaster, even in a magazine programme, then don’t resort to tabloid tricks. He may as well have worn a redtop bandana when he tried this. I am quite angry with him for doing this and reckon he knows he messed up. People will believe him to be right because it was Phillip Schofield, I hope he takes the time to put them straight.

With all the furore over the Savile scandal and repercussions rippling through Government and media now is the time for serious investigation. There are so many people out there who are living with the legacy of abuse. Why would we endanger getting to the facts by stirring up public opinion which may impact any future prosecutions? I understand that we need answers, I want them myself. However, I am prepared to be patient to allow the facts to be uncovered and allow the Justice system to work.

What we need now is not cheap sensationalism. I know this may be hard for people to accept but now is the time to be calm and wait. I expect there to be proper and diligent examination of facts and statements. I expect there to be arrests and charges made where the facts support this. I then expect there to be full and frank disclosure. I don’t think this is too much to ask but I know that this may take time. We need to stop the emotional stunts, this will do no favours to those who have suffered abuse. Give this horrendous situation the seriousness it deserves.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

November 9, 2012 at 11:24 am 1 comment

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am in a quandary. I have been mulling a long time about writing something more substantial. I could say time and energy are against me with a demanding but satisfying job and a busy life. However, there are words in my head and I want to try and get them on paper/keyboard.

I did start writing a children’s story a while back and showed a few chapters on the blog – Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. I know what I want to write and I know the Chapters I added into the blog need work. I have started on this but we are in the early stages.

The question is what to do? Approach a publisher? I know that most publishers are very risk-averse these days, book sales are dropping and new writers are finding it harder than ever to be signed up. This naturally brings me to the dreaded phrase in social media – self publishing 🙂

I don’t want to be the scourge of social media *weeps quietly* but I do have a inkling how this could be a good thing. If I go for self-publishing then I can make sure that at least 50% of any profits go to children’s charities. When I consider how much time I spend nagging folk to donate to charity then isn’t it time I put my money where my words are? Yes, I donate regularly, both monthly and by never passing a collection box, sponsoring etc. However, if I can raise money with my words then I am putting myself out there.

I will still blog, will still nag you all but there will be time spent on putting this book together and seeing where I go. Even if I only raise a few pounds then at least I have tried. I will use Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin and Google+ to publicise and we will see where we go.

Why post about this today? Simples. I work better when I give myself a deadline. If I say out here that I am going to write then the pressure is on and a little self-imposed stress can be good for one:) I will update periodically on progress but my initial deadline to me if to have it completed by next summer. Research is needed as well as re-writes and more chapters so this should be enough time to spend my weekends on this. Wish me luck folks, I most definitely need it.

Think of me looking like this!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am 2 comments

Social Media Exile

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I decided to take a break from all social media for one working week. Five days. No twitter, no Facebook, not even Linkedin, not that I call Linkedin social media. I am many people get value from it but me I just don’t get its (business bingo alert!) ‘value proposition’. The other impact was that I decided to be blog-free too and that I should feel guilty about.

Why did I take this exile? I was saturated in the social media whirl, I needed a break to recharge my typing fingers and clear the confused mass of thoughts clunking round my head. I was starting to feel déjà vu in all my interchanges. In other words, I was boring myself. A person who feels boring is boring so I thought it best to take a little sabbatical before everyone else agreed with me. You can be angry, you can be sad, you can provoke, you can share too much or too little; all those are acceptable faces for the social media hive mentalities. However, boring is the one thing you should never, ever be. I am not sure that I have my mojo back just yet but am dipping my toe in the water again to see if I can raise a smile on my face or better yet, someone else’s. I will judge my performance in a few weeks.

I haven’t been terribly worried about ‘being missed’ while I was away. People have mentioned me but at its heart the world of social media is an immediate world. If you are there then you are at the party, if you are not the party continues merrily without you. This is a good thing. Certainly for facebook and Twitter with friending and following it is about there here and now. You are not there to cast your words into a virtual cloud and expect them to be admired, you are there to have a bit of craic and if you are lucky your words will resonate with someone else and a conversation will unfold. I am only talking about my own viewpoint and experience. There are many who use all social media for work, education, political discussion. I can be serious on Twitter and Facebook but reserve most of my serious for here.

So what did I get up to? Did I spend more time with family, increase my fitness, write a book, even read a book? I wish I could say yes, yes and yes but I cannot. I frittered my time away in other ways. I may have gained three stars in Angry Birds Seasons, 2011  and 2012. Oh the shame….. not:)

I did think though. I thought about this blog and what I want to do with it. There is the never-ending search for more readers and more people to donate to a charity and write to me. I could say this is nothing to do with ego but that would be tosh. Anyone who blogs wants people to read their words, to deny this would ring hollow. I want people to read what I write. More than that is my wish for people to write to me.

My plans? I am making a list. I want sponsorship. This is not for me. I want Companies who wish to advertise here and their payment to be donations to a children’s charity. If you know anyone who wants to advertise online please let me know. If you can think of Companies I should approach then please let me know. I am happy to write more to achieve this so any ideas are most welcome. You can of course message me on Twitter and Facebook and even Linkedin!

As for now, back to the party!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

June 19, 2012 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

Rambling, Ranting and a bit of Sport Relief.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Pre-read warning, this post has a few tangents. Please stick with it, I will have a point, promise…..

I watched most of the BBC’s Sport Relief programme on Friday night. I smiled, laughed and cried in the same measure. I donated, of course I did, I can’t really blog about giving without taking action myself. It was always my intention to donate but I do leave it until near the end every time, perhaps to focus on the watching first, I am not altogether sure.

One  thing that struck me as painful was a new slant I see on programmes of this type. In years gone by there were segments where we we would see a child near death through starvation, pneumonia or malaria. Through the ‘power of television’ we would then see the same child a couple of days/weeks later; they would be on the mend and a smiling presenter would tell us how our donations had made a direct impact on this child’s life.

The same thing happened when we were presented with the children living on streets, working from the age of two to help support their families with no hope of education or a change in circumstances. The next ‘cut to camera’ shot would be those children smiling in classrooms learning their way out of poverty with their families benefiting from some small sum to enable this. Cue happy smiles all around. Our guilt assuaged, we were able to smile too and move on.

Now? The ‘fluffy’ picture has gone. We see the sad and ill children but we do not cut to them getting an education or getting better.  We see other children benefiting from the classroom and other children starting to heal. The children working on rubbish dumps or making bricks were left there to work themselves quite literally to the bone. As for the children who were ill, we were shown shots of resustitation. Frantic efforts made by staff who saw too much death, they brought some children back from the brink but only temporarily. It was a powerful picture, the face of a devastated and exhausted health worker with a glimpse of the body of a small dead child. It was harsh to watch, we moved from the laboured breathing to no breath at all. I cried. I am sure many people cried. However, my tears do no good in this situation, I just hope my money does make a difference to some other mother’s child, I couldn’t help the mothers of those children we saw.

I know why they have moved away from the ‘cute’ shots. Society is ever-changing, the power of the internet means that we can see almost anything we want. Depends what we want to see. I have no desire to see an execution, no desire to see a child die. Are we now so jaded by multi-media that this needs to be the case? The celebrities are still there, they still cry too. Many people feel this is a poor use of celebrity (notoriety even?), that these are crocdile tears furthering a career and not a cause. I disagree to a large extent but have one comment. I don’t need to see a celebrity doing this to make me want to give, a reporter can have the same impact for me. But then we get to my next point –  are there some who enjoy seeing the celebs sadness watching the harsh lives or deaths of others? I would really hate to believe that, if that is how people think then we are in a sorry state as a race, the human race. For myself, it can be reporters, it can be celebrities, they all bring attention to the cause and that is what must be important.

So now, a not so smooth segue to words, specifically the words in the media. There is a link to the rest of this post, I will get to it. A young Welshman was jailed today for posting racist tweets about the footballer Patrice Muamba after he collapsed on the field of play last week. When challenged by other Twitter users he compounded his previous utterances.

I disagree with what he said, this doesn’t go without saying because it needs to be said again and again. I will add though that in my opinion he was drunk and stupid. And here is my point – my warning about social media. In the days before Facebook, Twitter and all those other sites you would be with friends. When you are drunk and stupid with friends they tell you to ‘wind your neck in’ (that is what they would tell you in Northern Ireland anyway) and you would stop. If you carried on, your mates would take you home and leave you there until you sobered up and apologised to them. You do not get the chance to be sorted out so quickly on social media. Your words are out there and all it takes is a couple of retweets or shares and millions will see your crass stupidity. Those millions will screen-scrape and save that stupidity and it will get reposted out there, you can never forget it.

The court case has made some cheer and some frown. There is much debate about the difference between free speech and incitement. I would like to think this young man was not trying to incite hatred but his words were racist and that is against the law. If his words have allowed someone else to justify their bigoted ways then damage has been done.  He will have to live with his actions for a long long time.The horrible truth is that there are many people who post this kind of drivel every day but they do not catch the attention of enough people. I make no excuses for this young man or anyone else, I only know I would never want to cause offense to others with my tweets. Even live phone-ins have a slight delay so that we can filter what goes out on the airwaves. I know the point of social media is not to censor but wouldn’t it be helpful if they had an ‘Are you Sure You Want to Make a Complete Eejit of Yourself’ button that stupidity wouldn’t get out there so easily?

Please do not think I make light of either topic here but I will close with one last point. Would all social media users like to focus their words on changing this world to be a more caring and careful place? Can we have one day where you post only about how you can help one person? Why don’t we have a #changethisworld hashtag, is it too much fun to challenge?

I leave you with the BBC Sport relief website in case you want to check it for yourself – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sportrelief/

Thank You BBC and Sport Relief!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

March 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm 2 comments

Social Media, Angel or Demon?

Why do I do this? Simple, you donate to a childrens charity and comment on this blog about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley page….

I had a brief conversation on Twitter earlier this evening. The discussion centered around one person, gone from Twitter, who abused the trust of many people and caused great hurt. He was a charming person, I met him once when I went to a tweetup in London. We did follow each other and had some conversations but he was closer to many others on the medium. He met many regularly, taking their hospitality and kindness but repaid all this with lies and deceit. There are more specific posts on this person who I will not name. It only triggered in me some thoughts on the concept and possibilities of social media and what it can be or do……

I know I am me on social media. That may sound odd to some of you but social media is a place where you can be someone else. My picture is up there, out of date but it is me. I have my own name on there too. I use social media for fun; I do try to publicize the blog on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Linkedin but I don’t hide that, this blog needs readers and people to write to me so that I can fulfill my blogging aims. The rest of the time I use it for laughs and to learn things.

Many people, however, choose not to share their names and pictures. I don’t see a problem in that, a private life is just that and many like to keep their identities quiet for personal reasons. I know of people who have left social media as work colleagues/relatives have found them and made their lives uncomfortable. I also don’t mind that there are people who want to leave their normal identity behind and adopt a persona for their social media life, that choice is theirs.

Where the problem may lie is how people use that persona. Most people trust and give that trust freely and quickly, I know I do. I may be silly-optimistic but I like to think that people do not want to harm others. Yes, we all have been hurt by other people in life or Twitter, sometimes to heartbreak but is it fair to say that this probably wasn’t the intention from the start? I am sure there are some mean users of people out there but 99% of people work to be decent and fair. I am interested in your thoughts on this one, please write to me if you agree or disagree.

The red-tops often have a ‘shock-horror’ story on the Great Perils of Social Media. They imply that behind every avatar lurks evil personified. I agree that social media has been a gift to those who would groom the vunerable whether they be adults or children. I don’t believe in corporal or capital punishment but these people take me close. The online world is not easy to police and those who aspire to evil are always working hard to circumvent any controls. I have and do warn my children about this; they roll their eyes at their sad mum and mumble something that sounds like ‘we would be more worried about you’. Eh? 🙂

So, how do we protect ourselves from the perils of social media? Isn’t it simple? We be ourselves whether we show a picture and a name or not. Don’t send inappropriate private messages, those can be misleading. I do send private messages but only to people I have regard for. Be rude and funny, just don’t be truly offensive. I follow many people that others could find over-the-top but they are funny and sarcastic and I love them all! I have met people in real life, both in Northern Ireland and England. I think some of my family were worried when I sauntered over to my first tweetup in Derby but I had a fantastic time with a great bunch of people, many of who reciprocated and spent a weekend in Belfast. Last summer I also went to a large tweetup in Regent’s Park and it was awesome. I met people again, new ones too and I regard them as friends. Yes, we all met in public spaces and yes, it took a short while to warm up but then the craic and laughter was high-quality. I will do it again. This may not be to your taste, you perhaps think I am foolish. But know this, I am a sensible person and I act sensibly. I don’t want to look back at my life and think what I could have done, I want to look back and know what I did.

There are liars and cheats in all walks of life. Those who are determined to do so will inevitably have some success until they are found out. I know this, if it seems to good to be true then it likely is too good to be true. I will be me, I will be sensible and I hope that my trust when it is put out there will not be abused. I say be careful out there but don’t forget to have fun too.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

January 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm 4 comments

Happy Post!

A little reminder of why I do this. The premise is simple. You donate to a childrens charity and comment on this blog about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley page….

I was at a mini school reunion a week or so back. One of my friends was home from Australia for a short visit so a few of us met for dinner. It was good fun reminiscing and agreeing that we didn’t feel any older even when our children were taller than us.

However, one small comment brought me up short and I have been pondering it ever since. I post this blog on Twitter, Facebook and Google +, you need to get your blog out there if you want people to read it. My friend reads the blog from Facebook and said ‘Lighten up Lesley, it has been too dark for a while’. In my head I think that it is difficult to be light-hearted when I am trying to get people to donate to a childrens charity but in my heart I know Aileen could be right. I need to bring some light into the blog every now and then.

So the theme of this blog is what makes me happy. There are many, many things that make me smile but I will share a few today….

Travel. I love going to new places but I love going back to some places again and again. I may have mentioned this before but my favourite place is Rome and specifically two places, the Pantheon and the Palatine Hill. The Pantheon boggles my mind, such a feat of engineering from ancient times. Every time I go to Rome I go there, I love to simply look around me. As for the Palatine Hill it is harder to describe. All I know is that I feel peaceful there, I will not analyse it further and risk spoiling it for myself.

My thanks to Wikipedia

Cooking. When I want to think about something then I cook. There is something very satisfying about making pastry, if you haven’t tried it then you really should. Sweet or savoury, you choose, you will feel proud of yourself when you have a completed dish. In chilly weather like this soup is also great fun. Chopping vegetables and simmering gently gives the kitchen that aroma of nominess to come. Today it will be French Onion, one of my alltime favourites:)

Laughter. Although the blog is normally serious I confess I am not. Smutty jokes, wordplay and the odd prank will have me chortling.  My daughter has been a source of some inspiration all her life, she will not thank me for sharing but hey-ho, I will take the grief. The daughter is famed for some of her malapropisms and tangental views on life. She was branded the Malteser by her friends, blonde on the inside (apologies to blondes everywhere). The day she told my mother that her brother was ‘such a homophobic’ had my mother quite shocked. When asked what she meant she said ‘He always thinks the slighest wee pain means he is really ill’. I am glad to say that she now knows her hypochondrianc from her homophobic. She also held a firm belief for many years that you shouldn’t eat red apples as they weren’t ripe like the green ones. Eh???? Unfortunately, I know exactly where these tendencies come from. Me. People have been known to look at me quite oddly when I come out with one of my random thoughts. I remember watching Kiss of the Spider Woman, great movie. There is a scene early on when Luis Molina and Valentin Arregui meet. When Molina is asked why he is in prison he says it is for interfering with minors. I was very puzzled and said ‘Why would he be jailed for messing with men who wear Davy Lamps?’. Not perhaps my finest hour but by no means my worst.

My children. They have always made me happy, even at their most naggy and whiny, every parent out there knows what I mean. They are kind, beautiful and funny. They make me smile, I am proud of them every single day.  They are also sarky, lazy and thoroughly messy. I would say I wouldn’t have them any other way but I would love them to be tidy, please!

Lastly, new donations on the blog. I remember clearly the first donation from Lynn who donated five pounds to CLIC Sargent, I smiled for a week. Every new donation, every new charity, produces the same feeling, it never diminishes. I also love the wacky 8 year-old ambitions. So, come on then punks, make my day:)

Hope you like this post Aileen!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

December 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm 2 comments


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