You see it often; someone who has been absent from your twitter stream, suddenly back. You just have to ask, “Haven’t seen you. Where have you been?” And the inevitably answer comes, “I’ve been having a break from Twitter.”
Good old Twitter. You don’t have to pick up its socks, have that serious talk or even need to help it when it’s sad. So why do so many people decide to temporarily, or permanently, break up with it?
Here are some of the reasons I know and some which I just figured out myself
And my favourite reason why you have a break from Twitter is
Planning on visiting the beautiful #yarravalley during the winter months? Why not make it an event and book in for one of Helen’s Hill Cellar Door Winter Fireside Wine and Food Evenings.
Dates for the dinners are:
June 11th and 25th - 7.pm
July 9th and 23rd - 7.pm
August 6th and 20th - 7.pm
The dinners will show case Helen’s Hill & Ingram Rd wines with food prepared by
Stuart Harvey, Chef of Vines Restaurant @ Helen’s Hill, in their modern Cellar Door beside the open fire.
The dinner includes canapes and a glass of wine upon arrival, three course meal with six matching wines, tea, coffee and ‘goodies’. As part of the evening, there will be a short bu informal chat by the owners throughout the evening on winemaking, viticulture and related wine issues.
There will also be fun but enjoyable quiz for every one to take part in and the lucky winner will receive a prize of two bottles of wine, of their choice. You’ll also get a bottle of wine of your choice, from their Ingram Rd range of wines for you to take away.
The cost is $85.00 per person.
Special dietary requirements must be advised one week in advance.
Bookings - 03 9739 1573 or firstname.lastname@example.org
That beautiful place, the Yarra Valley. The place to escape the grind of city life and lose yourself amongst the vineyards, eating enough food to service a small nation. Well, it’s not all just eating and drinking. The Yarra Valley has seen a new sprouting of sophisticated shops, particularly in the main street of Healesville, which was previously the haunt for an overabundance of opportunity shops.
One of the newest in the patch is Artist’s Lounge, which showcases the wares of many local artists. For me, it is part grandma’s cupboard, part eccentric playground – it brings you the feeling that, while it’s easy to walk in there, it’s hard to get out.
So many beautifully created things to catch the eye as well as the mesmerizing displays of art supplies (previously sorely lacking in the area) will tingle your spine and push you to create something. Anything!
It’s a celebration of inspiration, with interesting pieces at every eye level. The feel is warm and understated. It will surprise you. Make sure you take a look next time you’re in town.
Artist’s Lounge is part of the Three Stories group – a well-known art gallery found on the road out of Healesville, towards the Black Spur.
Opening Hours : Weds-Sun 10.30am – 4.30pm
222 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville Vic 3777
03 5962 5150
Friends are a funny thing. I’ve been thinking a lot about my friends of late; who they are, how long I’ve known them, the things we share, laugh about, talk about. Most of my life I have truly tried to do the best by my friends and part of that is about being kind, honest and open. For me, the anchor point to a friendship is being able to communicate and understand each other, without judgment.
There are so many email chain letters going around about friendship that it does my head in. I don’t need to be tugged into the feeling of friendship by looking at pictures of puppies or two friends sitting on the end of a pier together. There are also a multitude of websites that will talk about friendship quotes, being a friend and sharing friendship stories. For me, and it comes back to a basis for how I live my life, friendship is about your intention to care for and love another person.
Nearly three years ago I decided to pack up my two very small children and leave a marriage which was soul destroying and destructive. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do mainly because I was making a decision on behalf of two small children which would take them away from situation where the family was at least physically united. It was a difficult time for me and has taken me a long time to feel back in my skin and satisfied that my life is again back on track.
The time was very emotional, often leaving me in a black hole of feeling where it was safer to not feel anything; I can do this by entrenching myself in doing things, most of which I am glad to say turned out productive. The sense of relief from leaving was immense. I knew that I would one day gain that sense of true self and today I am glad to say that is how I feel. But the journey was a rollercoaster and, looking back on it, one of the main things that stands out is that I didn’t really talk about it with my friends. And that period has set a precedent.
My marriage was a continuous drama. I hated that part the most. Nothing was ever settled. Nothing was ever easy. There was a battle for control and defensive language filled the room of our house. Walking away meant for me I could seek some peace in my life. Going back out into the world as a single parent, I didn’t want to talk about what happened or what I thought would happen next.
Interestingly in that time, because I didn’t talk about what was going on in my life, many of my friends didn’t ask. I was glad for this. Those who did I responded around the edges of their question but quickly moved onto the other topics which made me laugh or caused my brain to think. The distraction was lovely. Through that time I also learned that you could just keep going and no necessarily talk about any of drama or the shit in one’s life. You could just continue. But the bigger lesson is that sometimes not to talk about such a big element of your world means you just don’t talk at all. When last year took a different turn for me, again I didn’t talk about any of it. And now I just don’t talk to some of my dearest friends.
The thing I’ve accepted during this time is that it is ok to move on from your friends. Life changes, as do people, and so do the notions of what binds your friendships together. Looking back over the last 12 months there are friendships that have gone to the wayside and will never be retrieved but not just because I haven’t been talking about my life but because of other elements which cause things to simply drift in another direction. But I have realised there are some friendships which I need to try and revive. And that is the work I am doing now.
How successful I’ll be, I’m not sure, but sometimes you have to let things be taken by the wind. You can’t control the lives of others who may want to move on but sometimes a call, a meal shared, an honest exchange is all it takes to raise the sail to a further lifetime of wonderful shared moments.
And for some of the supposed other friends, well, I was happy they fucked off.
Here’s my #ff for the week - in a story of sorts
When environmentalism was totally out of fashion, like when I was very young (and that was over 30 years ago), my mother always told me that the man chained to the front of the bulldozer may not be like us but he is doing an important job that we may believe in and never do.
Basically, she was teaching me an important lesson about people in the world. And from that time I have understood it to be this.
Let’s continue to use the environment as our example. If you had a scale from 1 to 100, with one being ‘doesn’t care at all about the environment’ and 100 being ‘full time active environmentalist’, I think I would fall in at about 80. Not because I don’t fully care but I am not fully active, so I don’t get the final 20. At eight, when my mother was teaching me this lesson, I think the most I thought about the environment was solely to do with my garden and the flowers I had planted with my grandfather. Then I figure I was about a 15.
For me, that man there in the forest was a pure 100. He was there representing me; doing the physical turn up, under the threat of arrest, chained there with his hippy clothes. But I didn’t judge him. He played a role in something I would come to believe in but even now, I still don’t think I would do what he had done. Yes, I’ve gone to protest marches. Yes, I have worked using the skills I have to stand by my beliefs and support the greater cause. But I have this true respect for those who are in the ‘100’ category for whatever they are doing.
There are some real 100’s in our world at the moment like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning and all of the Egyptian people in Tahrir Square. People like this make sure the rest of know of an issue because they are 100% behind it and they mercilessly work to communicate the issue. It puts all of us PR people to shame.
This week I wanted to use my twitter Follow Friday to recognise the people in my stream who do the work on issues which I believe in but don’t invest as much time.
For keeping the #auspol stream honest and right, upholding the dignified respect for those who need support within our communities:
@andy_downunda @ashghebranious and @cap_slog @grogsgamut
For those who speak out about specialist areas where people need support and recognition of their needs and where these people create awareness and continued discussion
@msjuju8 , @bridgetoflynn @modazla @ARCSI @asteris @lesliecannold @andrewheslop @neighbourday @fatherbob
For reminding us to have beautiful things within our life and to share them
@thomasmarzano @ninibaseema @paul_steele @wordwhispers
And for the driest, wittiest humour which brings us an awareness of being part of the bigger picture
@del_detriment @wolfie_rankin @frank_tireur
Yesterday, I was called a shithead by someone I hadn’t ever met. The previous night, I received a highly sarcastic message about my parenting ability. Again, from someone who doesn’t know me from Adam. I have also been indirectly called a ‘c’ by someone I had known from twitter. Fancy anyone calling a woman a ‘c’ on twitter. Fancy anyone calling a woman a ‘c’ at all.
Twitter can be like that; you are warned by the community that if you can’t handle the heat ,then get out of the kitchen. Twitter is a like a sweaty armpit of human interaction; it can be good for you but at times it really stinks. If you going to be on twitter you are likely to cop some abuse around the stream. If you’re brave enough to head into #auspol for the ongoing battle then you’re a bigger person than I. I admire the mates I have that do. The trolls there are extreme. Goes with the territory.
There are enough twitter etiquette articles out there on the interwebbys to guide the uninitiated through the minefield which is twitter interaction. I’m not about to write another. Here are my points:
Bit busy at the mo? Bet you are. Shopping centre appearances, elf management, opening letters. What a gig. Personally, I’m very pleased you have the job because God only knows where we’d find someone else to do it. Being so thankless and all.
Sorry to write during this busy time, and I don’t normally pen anything to you, but all I want for Christmas is the Australia I was once was proud of. Sure, there are parts of being Australian which are still nice but lately, Santa, I’ve been kinda disappointed.
It came to a head yesterday when a group of desperate people attempted to find new hope for their lives by boarding a decrepit boat, with their children, only for it to smash into rocks off Christmas Island. (I’m sure the irony of the island’s name is also not lost on you).
Santa, had you heard about this? People died, Santa. There are less children on the earth now. But worse, Santa, is the fact that some people in this country completely lack any compassion or empathy about this tragedy. They’ve made jokes about it. Some on twitter. I had to unfollow them.
It has been politicised by a man called Andrew Bolt and people actually agree with his point of view. There was also some faceless key Liberal Party strategist who told the US that the issue of aslyum seekers was ‘fantastic’ for the Coalition. Imagine Santa, if you possibily can, that any person could turn such an issue into a point scoring opportunity. Can you make sure that person and Andrew Bolt are put onto the ‘naughty’ list. Give them nothing.
Also, I remember when there was this big saga about the children overboard - again an aslyum seeker trumped up, politicised story woven with what history shows us were lies and spun inaccuruacies. That’s where this whole fear mongering mess started. Could you include Mr Howard and Mr Reith on that naughty list as well.
Oh, and there is this other man who continually holds the petrol can of emotion and fear to further push the Australian general public into believing that we need to ‘Stop the Boats’. His name is Abbott but you’ve previously told me he never made it to the good list anyway. He also has friends in the media who report shit in the most odd and twisted way and people actually believe it. They should all go on the list too.
Anyways, Santa. I’m rambling. Had a bit of a night out last night, being Christmas and all. What I would really like for Christmas isn’t just one thing. It is a combination of things to try and make me more proud of this country I live in.
I remember attending a very financially challenged inner suburban school as a young girl where I played with second generation kids who struggled on a number of levels. People gave them shit about their language, their clothes and their customs. But gradually we understood that the differences are what makes us all special. We have been enriched by these families in our communities; the Italians, the Greeks.
And over time we’ve invited in other immigrants and refugees sometimes because we ruined their country through participation in wars. But something in us as a people has started to say that we don’t want them. Do you think you could buy these anti- asylum seeker people an atlas so they can see how big the country is? Do you also think you can tell me whether the people (who think asylum seekers should be detained and deported) are the ones who are getting paid the lowest wages doing the most menial of jobs?
Can you let me know (sorry, I’ve ended up asking a lot) what these people are so afraid of? What is it that they think they will lose by letting people come to settle here? How will it affect their plasma viewing, aspirational voting, suburban lives? Can you provide a history lesson for each of them but be careful whose version you use?
Santa, can you make the rascist people feel the desperation of those who risk life and limb to come here? Or is that being mean?
Can you make Australia better than it is?
Thanks Santa. I’d be happy with anything.
Lotsa love always,
PS Do you remember when everyone called Nelson Mandela a terrorist? Well, there is a guy called Julian who is being held in the UK thanks to the Swedes. Can you make sure he’s ok as well. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
The outcome of my ‘Dear Barbara’ email to the Commonwealth Bank last week. I mailed them a rather humourous email asking them to not renew my ‘wealth package’ and that I was slightly put off about their robots hanging up on me when I rang the 13 number. This is the response I got, which I appreciate, particulary because I love the reality and sense of ‘humaness’ in it, and because I am a shareholder.
Thank you for your wealth package enquiry.
I’m sorry to hear that it hasn’t been the best year. I’ve processed a request for the package to be cancelled for you so you don’t have to worry about any annual fees.
As for the robots, thank you for your feedback. They’ve been a bit busy with the latest rate increase so they are trying to upgrade the capacity for the unexpected volume of calls.
Sometimes I think it would be a bit easier if I were a robot too, at least I wouldn’t get tired at the end of a long day.
It’s been a pleasure to assist you.