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I had an interesting conversation with a friend this morning. She had listened to an OpEd piece on the BBC website and had shared it with her Facebook friends. It’s a short, 4½-minute piece in which a journalist talks about Sharing Too Much on social networking sites.

I thought it was an interesting and thought-provoking discussion.

I also think that the journalist is WRONG.

She discusses two recent Twitter incidents and explains why she thinks they were inappropriate: the woman who twittered through the process of taking the abortion pill; and another woman who, last year, twittered that she was sitting in a board meeting and having a miscarriage. Her contention – in case you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing – is that that is over-sharing and is not what the social networking tools are good for.

I disagree. On the latter point, at least. And on the former to, with caveats.

This journalist and her friends use Twitter and Facebook for funny things that happen during the day, stories about her kids, etc. Probably for rants about OMG I am late for work and OMG why do my kids always forget everything, as I did a few days ago. I use them the same way – they’re a good way to get things off your chest, get a bit of sympathy or a laugh, and move on. Of my recent Twitter/Facebook posts, the one that has had the most comments lately was the one that compared the relative hotness of two actors. Guilty as charged!

But just because she uses it that way doesn’t mean that everyone uses it that way, or that that is the only way it can be used. I’ve also used Twitter when I have research questions. Friends use it for quick brainstorming sessions; journalists use it to get access to people to interview. A local guy lost his dog and used it to spread the word (dog found safe & well, btw). Earlier in the year, I used it for a quickie media release. It’s not just about the trivial, as she seems to suggest.

That said, the problem of over-sharing is very real. Personally, I would draw the line somewhere between those two quoted women: one post is within my tolerance, one is outside it. Other people’s opinions will differ, but that’s OK, that’s why we have individual controls about who we follow and who we don’t.

Because that’s really what it’s about – individual responsibility, and personal censorship. Not in a bad, big black lines obscuring words kind of way, but in a judgement call about what is appropriate or inappropriate to share.


Posted by on March 11, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Day 1 – Saturday 10th January 2009

Last night, as we prepared to head for Lorne, for our annual 2 weeks at the beach, it was crunch time for us.

Not in a bad way, but it was time to revisit our plans for travel later this year and see what – if anything – could be firmed up.

Originally, two and a half years ago our plans were for a 6 week quick tour through Europe and the UK, with a possible final stop at BGGcon in 2008. Well I got the quick trip through Europe and the UK (although somehow I lost about 2 and a half weeks along the way … lol …) and Fraser got the BGGcon experience, but the girls kind of missed out.

Evolution 2 of The Plan involved me and the girls going to Europe for 6 months – to live in Germany, mostly, but also to do some travel. There was a possibility that Fraser might be able to come for some of the trip, but for how long was very very nebulous. One option was for him to come in June or July to enjoy some sunshine, then fly home (!) and come back in October for OMGESSEN! and potentially BGGcon. Expensive, but it tied in with his work commitments and reduced the amount of time that he would be on the opposite side of the globe from the three of us. And surely this wouldn’t be THAT much more expensive than the $40,000 we’d notionally budgeted for the quickie trip … would it? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 20, 2009 in family, grand plans, travel, Uncategorized


Sunday october 5th – full

Sunday was Family Day – first, I was to watch James playing football, then have lunch with Sheila and Michael. If there was time afterwards, I had an invitation to join the gaming fun at Jon’s place as well.


First, I needed to use up my internet time – having woken reeeeeealllllllly early, I chatted with the Bigster for a while, got dressed in my standard daytime clohtes – jeans, top, jacket and walking boots – and kicked off the day with some gaming fun. When Sheila and Michael arrived, I headed downstairs – to see them dressed rather more elegantly than I, and looking a bit worried at the jeans. I ran back upstairs and changed, then we headed off.


It had been raining overnight – bucketing down, apparently – the Ouse was a good 4′ above its normal levels, according to Michael. We took a circuitous route past the old Terry’s factory – Michael worked for Terry’s and is a dedicated amateur historian of the Terry’s factory and its operations. Apparently the plan is, pending planning permission, to turn the buildings into retirement apartments, with associated serviced apartments and a full nursing home. Michael’s plan is to live there.


Lunch was at a gorgeous restaurant whose name I don’t have handy – an old 15th century manor house. Fantastic service and wonderful food – I couldn’t order anything but the roast beef with Yorkshire Pudding, of course (it was gorgeous). When the dessert menu arrived, I had to laugh – they had a Banoffee pavlova.  Banoffee is the English word for banana and toffee, which isn’t a combination I really see in Australia. Pavlova of course is an australian dish – but what really sold me was the description:


“a layered tower of crunchy meringue, bananas, fresh cream, toffee sauce and Cream of the Wolds vanilla ice cream. O.M.G!”


It really was OMGBanoffeePavlova!


Then, because we were getting carried away, we tried out 3 different dessert wines: Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora (this is australian and yum, as dessert wines go); Southbrook Blueberry wine, from Canada (the first sip tasted like cough medicine, the second was better but not a favourite); and an OMGwine to go with the OMGBanoffeePavlova, Swan Valley Chocolate Reserve from Australia. OMG. This wine includes natural cocoa extract. It’s like drinking boozey chocolate. Wow.


Next stop was Castle Howard, the home of the Howard family and the setting for both the 1981 TV adaptation and the new movie of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.


After a major fire in the 1940s, in which an entire wing was restored, the house has been slowly restored, and is open to the public. It is, without exaggeration, absolutely stunning. It has it all – sweeping lawns, fountain (during World War 2, the house was used as a girls’ boarding school and the fountain was their swimming pool – that’s how big it is), TWO lakes, … There are also guides in every room, to tell you about the history of the house or about the items in there.


My favourite story was from one of the bedrooms, where a collection of glass animals was displayed. Each was probably about 30cm long and 15 or so high. These were brought over from Norway around 1775 and are “conversation pieces” – when the family was entertaining guests, a selection of these would be scattered around the table, each about half filled with wine. The challenge for the guests, working together, was to extract the wine from the animals.


First, they would pick the animal up by the tail and try to pour the wine out of the opening in its mouth – but an airlock would form, and nothing would pour.

Next, they would try to shake it to break the airlock – and cover themselves with droplets of wine, but still not really put it into their glasses. The only way to really get the wine out was to put your mouth to the animal’s and drink directly from it.


Another animal in the set – for a popular party game – was a pig. In this case, the guests also had to try to extract the wine – but this time the only way to get it was to drink from the pig’s bottom.


Of course, that is the glass animal that I have a functional photo of.


New this visit – for Sheila and Michael, as well as for me – was an exhibition of photography of Castle Howard, by one of the family. The photos are absolutely beyond superb. I bought a print and a couple of postcards to take home – if they had had a book of all of them, I would have bought it too.


Of course, Michael being Michael, when I say “I bought” I mean “he insisted on buying for me” – I’ve never yet managed to pay for anything with him around.


The weird thing I noticed as we walked around Castle Howard was that my feet started swelling really badly – they’ve not been this bad for a year or more. It seemed odd that they would do it while I was actually getting exercise, too – they were at the “hurts to bend” stage, which may be because I’m not used to the swelling anymore or may be because they were REALLY swollen. Possibly salt from the gravy or roast beef, or something from the wine. Looking back, I didn’t have a lot of water on Sunday, which may have triggered something.


Back to Sheila and Michael’s for photos with Sarah and James and a quick goodbye, before being dropped back at the hotel. By now it was nearly 7 so I sent Jon a message that I wouldn’t be making games that evening, checked my emails, and repacked my bags before settling down surprisingly early (around 10) for the night.


Posted by on October 7, 2008 in Uncategorized


Holy moley

We nearly drove home that way last night.

I did drive home that way on Friday night.

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Posted by on April 20, 2008 in Uncategorized



Auction in an hour. Fretting.

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Posted by on April 12, 2008 in Uncategorized


January game day

After a late Friday night playing games (Alhambra and Pillars of the Earth), where we had let the girls stay up because their friends were visiting, we had a slow start getting to Eurogamesfest on Saturday. Once more, mad props to my mother who gladly babysat both girls for us for the entire day.

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Posted by on January 6, 2008 in games, Uncategorized