About Me

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Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mum to an inquisitive and often rambunctious three year old girl and her sunny little brother. In a former life, I was a lawyer. I know which I prefer. On the odd occasion that I get some downtime, I knit, crochet, read, sew, sing badly, dance even more so, enjoy a glass of wine and watch bad TV, sometimes in varying combinations of the foregoing and not necessarily in that order of preference.

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Desperate Housewife

The broadband router died last Sunday.  I hadn't fully appreciated how much we used our broadband connection until we didn't have it.  Suddenly, all online life had to be conducted via my iPhone using our somewhat shaky mobile signal (I have no idea why our signal is shaky given we live in West London, but for some reason it is).  It turns out there is quite a lot of stuff that you either can't do with an iPhone or that is such a pain you don't want to do it with an iPhone.  Blogging, despite the Blogger App, is one of them.  The App is fine and, if you set aside an unfortunate incident the other week when, in an attempt to correct a typo in the header of a post, I inadvertently deleted a whole post but couldn't find a way to undo what I had done and had to ask the wonderful Blogger gurus how to retrieve it from the ether, it works pretty well.  But it is just such a pain in the rear trying to type on that microscopic keyboard with my fat little thumbs, and it is hard to read back and make sense of a post when you can barely see more than a sentence at a time.  Adding photos within text is also a bit of a pain, unless you have the foresight and patience to add them as you go through your post, saving after each photo, exiting the post and then returning (if anyone reading this knows a better way, do PLEASE tell me).

After a couple of days, even reading stuff on my iPhone was proving a pain - the text is just SO small.  It was then that I realised just how much of my social life I conduct online.  When Hubby is working late, as he did most nights last week, my main source of "human" contact actually comes in the form of words printed on a screen.  I feel tragic for saying that, but as the stay-at-home mum of a toddler, outside of playgroups, it can be difficult seeing people face to face.  Facebook, Twitter, email: these are my lifelines, and while I can access most of them on my phone, I much prefer to use the home PC, with it's lovely big screen, or, more usually, the iPad which allows me to lounge on the sofa but if significantly more eyeball friendly than my phone.

It all made me wonder how people used to cope with the isolation of early parenthood before we had the internet?  Maybe this is where the archetype of the desperate housewife comes from.  A quiet recognition that the early years cut parents (but especially the primary care-giver) off from their pre-parenthood lives and friends and that many, many hours alone with only a toddler for company will, no matter how lovely the toddler and how sane the parent may have been at the outset, send you a little bonkers.  I have always thought of myself as pretty happy to keep my own company and good at occupying myself, but I have discovered, since having Baby Bird, that I am far more of a social animal than I realised.  Much of my enjoyment of my own activities comes from telling other people about what I have been up to.  I may enjoy doing things on my own and I certainly love making things, which often takes time alone in order to concentrate, but I want to share those things with others after I have done them and I like to collaborate.  I think that is why so many of my online activities actually revolve around craft sites.  In fact, I don't know all that many crafty people in real life so most of my craft activities are focused online.  That was part of the reason for starting this blog - as a way to tell my online friends more about what I'm up to.  The internet also has the advantage that, vast though it is, it is relatively easy to locate kindred spirits, far easier than in real life I find.  Simply find a blog dealing with your interest and start commenting; check out the sites of other commenters and comment there too; find out where they hang out online - there's always some kind of chat-hub out there - and Bob's your uncle, a friendship circle just waiting for you, location no obstacle.  Obviously, you might be that lucky enough to find your town or city has a group catering to your interest but it can be tougher to find and it can be difficult getting a critical mass of people, plus if it turns out you don't like the handful of fellow enthusiasts in your area, you are back in the wilderness.  Online, you just keep searching 'til you find some kindred spirits.  I have yet to find an interest where they weren't out there somewhere.  

I'm rambling a little I know, but I've got quite a lot of thoughts running through my head all at the same time and I really just want to get some of them out there.  Suffice it to say, I was delighted when we finally managed to collect the new router from the Post Office at the weekend and even more so when Hubby came downstairs on Sunday to announce that it worked.  Of course, typically, now that my online life is capable of being resumed, I now have a week packed with visitors and evening entertainment.  Still, I'm not going to complain to loudly.  It is nice to get back to blogging.  I hadn't realised quite how much I was starting to enjoy it until it became a pain to do.  Hopefully I'll sneak in a bit more time here next weekend.  There's knitting, sewing and gardening to talk about.

In the meantime, take a look at Experimental Thursday for a little look at what has been happening in my kitchen over the last few months.  That's where you'll find out how the 52 Cookbook Challenge (referred to in my New Year's Resolutions) is going.

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