Winter Weekend West – Part Three – Tin Coast

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After finally finding and checking into Primrose House we were offered birthday cake. Then came that B&B tradition of the first night; setting out for an evening walk and finding somewhere to have dinner. We took the coastal route round the harbour, looking for the Tate Gallery first to see how far it was and check opening times. St. Ives was buzzing, it was half term Saturday and everyone was off to parties or heading for dinner. In the dark we took a circuitous route round the narrow roads and when we found the gallery there was no information board outside. After finding some places full we settled on a fish restaurant hiding above a fish and chip shop, it was pleasant but pretentious. What I had was basically a piece of plaice on top of some mashed potato. When we got back to our B&B the chocolate birthday cake was still out on the table, so we took another piece up to our room. We looked up opening times for the Tate on the internet, closed on Monday, so tomorrow it must be. We wouldn’t have to move the car yet.

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On Sunday the sun was out and the beach and harbour made a good walk after our cooked breakfast. The low tide harbour looked like a beach and the people walking on it seemed in no hurry to leave as the tide came in and fishermen clambered into their boats ready to sail off.

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We have been to St. Ives several times and I am always amazed at the bright turquoise of the sea. From inside the Tate Gallery you can see the beach framed like a picture. The building is bright and white inside and out, airy and pleasant and of course there is a cafe and shop. You can have a look round the gallery here.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives

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Our evening meal we had already booked at a hotel back near our B&B, a Sunday roast. If we had just stuck with the main course we would have thought it a good meal. Having wondered if we could manage a pudding, would it be greedy etc. we needn’t have worried. Cyberspouse’s jam rolly-polly was merely a thin slice of Swiss roll with a jug of custard, while my lemon tart a thin sliver of pastry with a smear of lemon curd.

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Monday was the day of the Tin Coast. Cyberspouse wanted to show me mines visited when he and his friends went on their photography trip. We would have to drive the car back up that narrow steep road. Our host assured us one hardly ever met anyone coming down, but if we did the protocol was those going up had to back down. We were nearly at the top, the main road in sight, when another car started coming down. I closed my eyes – I wasn’t driving . An expert bit of manoeuvring and we were squeezed onto the driveway of  someone’s house.

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The Levant mine was still closed for the winter, but apparently has a restored working beam engine and the mine itself went deep under the sea. The rugged scenery alone is worth the visit. Then we drove a little further on to Botallack, even more rugged and I realised the perilous path trodden to get to the good spot Cyberspouse wanted for his tripod. As I don’t like heights I went no further and could hardly bear to look. I have since discovered, when we saw our friends, that his wife also refused to cross nature’s bridge of terror when he took her.

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https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/levant-mine-and-beam-engine

Cape Cornwall was different again with rolling grass that made you feel like running down, even rolling down the grass like children do. Perhaps if adults acted with the carefree abandon of children and dogs it would be good for their mental health. We wondered who the monument on top of the headland was dedicated to.  The answer was baked beans. Or rather Heinz, Guardians of the Countryside, had purchase the land for the nation in 1987 to mark their centenary year and presented it the National Trust. By now I was ready for a nice cup of coffee, sitting at the bench in the sun outside the little cafe at the end of the toilet block. But when we got back down it turned out they were only getting it ready for the weekend. So it was off to St. Just for a traditional Cornish pastie.

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You can see more pictures of our trip at my website.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-five-beach-writer-s-blog/

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Silly Saturday – How to Cheat at Journalism

TERROR GRIPS QUIET CUL-DE-SAC AS BODY IS FOUND

Report by Charli Dickenson for Sunnytown Gazette

Police were called to Primrose Close, Sunnytown this morning following reports of a suspicious death.

Mr. Ron Wood was just returning from fetching his newspaper when he was shocked to see blue lights flashing. Talking to News South at lunchtime he said it was normally very quiet in their neighbourhood.

Mrs Anne Fletcher told Sunnytown Gazette that she had been out walking her four year old Labradoodle Rosie in the Sunnytown memorial recreation ground when she was startled by sirens. On returning to Primrose Close she was very worried to see an ambulance and thought it might be Mr Trotter at number six, with his heart.

‘Then I saw ambulance crew going into number nine, I don’t know her name, I think it’s her son who comes once a week. Then a police officer, in one of those yellow jackets, says do you live here Madam and I said number three, what’s happened and he replied he wasn’t at liberty to say.’

Mr. Bert Todd who lives next door to the bungalow being investigated thought it might be an incident involving plutonium and said they had never had plutonium in Primrose Close before.

Police later confirmed that a ninety nine year old woman had died in her home at Primrose Close of natural causes.

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Fewer people are buying paper newspapers these days and local newspapers are also under threat. If you have bought a local newspaper lately you may well have lost the will to live, or at the very least wished you hadn’t bothered. You could go on line and look at the same news for free, but that is even more depressing if it features comments by the public; the public being those who have nothing better to do or no one else to listen to their opinions.

The comments usually look like this, only ten times as long.

Comment deleted.

The Sunnytown Gazette does not tolerate comments that are abusive.

Another shop brake in, oviously the yusyool yobs from..

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People over eighty shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

Hanging’s too good for them

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Are the days of real journalists and press photographers over?

Newspapers just have to wait for readers to send in their own photographs or report instantly from their mobile phones as incidents are actually happening.

 We are all journalists now, but to be a top journalist you have to have a blog. Bloggers are the new press, but we don’t have to worry about keeping our editor happy. Whether you present daily reports on your dog or political commentary on world events you are a journalist. Your blog is a newspaper with colour supplements, far more interesting than the heavy Sunday papers.  But we still share something with the printing presses of old, we are usually up late at night getting the next edition out.

 

 

The Game of Life – 42

Warning: Do you dare to play the game of life? If you don’t want to read about illness and death or you dislike dark humour please avoid this blog, but I hope you will continue to visit my Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday blogs.

The Number Game

Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know Douglas Adams said 42 was the answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Geeks everywhere are still trying to prove that. But it is the number of our wedding anniversary last week and also a multiple of three. Three can be viewed as a significant if you want to play the number game; for Christians there is the Holy Trinity, for artists there are three primary colours and for photographers a picture of three is viewed as superior to a picture of two. Three colourful boats in a harbour are more satisfying to look at than two boats.

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My parents both came from families of three siblings, had three of us and we had three children, though our children have no intention of continuing this trend. My mother was 93 at the weekend, thus making four generations with ages in multiples of three. Mother, sister, three children, four grandchildren ( if you count 0 ), great niece and myself are all in multiples of three – for a few months at least. I’m twice the age of my youngest child, eleven times the age of my granddaughter – WHAT! My mother can’t believe she is 93 and 31 times as old as two of her great grandchildren… where is all this leading? Absolutely nowhere, I’m just leading you up the garden path…  though you could try working out my age…

There are numbers and patterns throughout nature; scientists like deciphering patterns and mathematicians love making sequences while the rest of us just get on with life.

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The Bridge Between Life and Death

The second dose of the second type of chemotherapy has not interfered much with Cyberspouse’s life, so with the weather forecast springing optimistic we ventured west to St. Ives, Cornwall – 198 miles, another multiple of three – our first away of the year, for three nights. It was thick fog all the way down, but our two full days there were fine weather. Day two was devoted to old mine and coast landscapes already visited by Cyberspouse with his photography friends. Beautiful scenery with black jagged rocks, turquoise seas and snow white surf, but he didn’t tell me about the walk of death. To him it was a wide footpath he and his mates had crossed before, to me it was a perilous bridge too far with a lethal drop either side likely to result in a major operation by the coastguard, air sea rescue ( yes the one Prince William used to fly with ) lifeboat, mountain rescue and Devon and Cornwall Police to record the major incident.

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The photograph doesn’t really do justice to the danger. I don’t like heights so I stayed back to dial 999 and anticipate how I would explain to police, press and family – no he didn’t want to end it all dramatically,  he just wanted to take a photograph. There was much precarious playing around with the tripod, but no incident. I have to confess that when we walked round the cliff on a safer path the grassy ledge he had been standing on looked bigger than from the bridge view.

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You can read more about Cornwall in my Wednesday blogs.

 

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/winter-weekend-west-part-one/

 

 

Winter Weekend West – Part One

February may not be thought of as a holiday month in England, except for going abroad for sunshine, but there is plenty to do on a long winter weekend. We headed west through three counties and thick fog to reach Saint Ives on the north coast of Cornwall, nearly at the most westerly tip of England. A three night stay gave us two days of fine weather to enjoy photo opportunities, a blogworthy bed and breakfast establishment and too much inspiration for just one blog.

Cornwall has its own language, flag and nationalist movement. In the past it must have been very remote from the rest of England and in 2014 Cornish people were granted minority status under the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. But if you are in a holiday town you are more likely to be continually bumping into Londoners and others seeking the good life. Perhaps the locals are busy going out in their fishing boats rather than sampling fish restaurants.

Incomers are not new, Saint Ives famously has attracted artists since the nineteenth century with the quality of light and beautiful blue seas. Now the town is also well known for its Tate Gallery, squashed between housing association flats on the promenade. Inside, the light and airy building comes into its own, with a beautifully framed view of the beach, which my photograph doesn’t do justice to!

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The town has layer upon layer of higgledy piggledy old buildings and narrow lanes clinging to its steep hills; a tourists’ delight. When we see modern tiny houses being built we think them ridiculous, but minute old dwellings most of us find irresistibly cute. Wandering around the maze of lanes we saw  a door only two foot wide at the top of steep steps and one building where a few steps took you below ground to two tiny front doors crammed at right angles; they were holiday lets.

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Out on the moors there is plenty of space; the attractions for visitors include the old mine workings and the rocky coast where unbelievably blue seas with snow white surf pound black rocks. Fans of the Poldark books and television series will be familiar with the Cornish scenery and it is as fantastic as it looks on television. Winston Graham the author was not a local by birth, but did live in Cornwall for thirty five years from the age of seventeen.

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https://www.visitcornwall.com/places/st-ives

Silly Saturday – How to Cheat at Photography

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A hundred years ago this girl and her cousin managed to cheat at photography, even Sir Arthur Connan Doyle was taken in and was convinced these were real fairies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cottingley_Fairies

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With the advent of digital photography everyone can have a go at cheating, not just the enthusiasts lurking in the dark room.

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The experts and enthusiasts are still around; they like playing with big lenses and buy expensive software to digitally manipulate their images – sometimes beyond all recognition.

http://www.photogog.com/inmymindseye

Visit Cyberspouse’s website to see some creative work.

 

39982808_671374146565963_2316413924456529920_nBut those of us who only point and shoot with compact cameras and smart phones can still produce strange pictures.

I don’t actually phone anybody with my smart phone, I just use it to put pictures on Instagram and send photos to family and friends on messenger. One day I discovered you can write on the pictures. On Instagram you can turn your picture black and white or brighten it up, share on Facebook, then download to your computer and use it for your WordPress blog. On WordPress you can crop pictures, reverse them or turn them upside down.

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We bought an ipad to Facetime two continents, but I discovered you can take photogaphs with different effects.

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A saucer of floating flowers.

 

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The hot summer of 2018.

 

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But you don’t have to rely on magical equipment – this is the Odeon cinema taken through the bus window on a rainy night.

 

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…and this is not my nice tidy garden shed, but a picture of the side of the garden centre’s truck.

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A puddle.

Visit my picture gallery to see more pictures or spot some cheats.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-three-picture-gallery/

 

 

 

 

Silly Saturday – How to Cheat at Travel

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Visitors from all over the world come to visit this place, Windsor, Royal Berkshire. What to some is the holiday of a lifetime is a train trip of six minutes – if you happen to live near Slough railway station. You cannot get lost because there is only one stop, the train travels all day long between Slough and Windsor and Eaton Central, curving round to cross the River Thames. The elegant station was built so Queen Victoria could come by train to Windsor Castle.

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The station is busy with tourists and has plenty of restaurants and designer shops, so you will feel as if you are on holiday. Windsor Castle lies before you as you step outside, but perhaps you will be having so much fun on holiday in the station you won’t bother.

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But if you consider it is not a proper holiday unless you cross the sea, why not sail to Southampton.

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Take the ferry from the little town of Hythe in Hampshire. Check first on line to see if there are any ocean liners in dock, you will get a great view from the little ferry and it is much cheaper than going on a cruise.

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Hythe Pier, 1881 A strong, light iron pier, 2,100 feet in length…

The railway is the oldest continuously operating public pier train in the world. You can walk, cycle or take the train to the end of the pier and the ferry takes only ten minutes. Stroll out of the ferry terminal and you can explore parts of the old city wall or walk up the road into the centre of Southampton. If you want to shop or go to the cinema there is the Westquay centre with Ikea close by. There are large parks, museums, a university, the lovely Mayflower theatre and a concert hall.

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But if you want to feel as if you are abroad ( and you are not lucky enough to already be Swedish ) just stay all day in Ikea and stroll amongst the wonderful ‘rooms’ pretending you are visiting your Scandinavian friends. Buy all sorts of things you didn’t know you needed and have no idea what they are, but just like reading the interesting Swedish labels. When you tire, visit the restaurant which also has views over Southampon Water and the ocean liners. Soon it will be time to embark for the return trip across the waves.

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Enjoy more travels at my website.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-five-beach-writer-s-blog/

Silly Saturday – Unaward Winning Wildlife Photography

The new bird feeder has been a great success, though police were unable to identify the culprit from CCTV pictures.

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It can be dangerous for the wildlife photographer out in the New Forest far from civilisation.

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And the camera crew may spend weeks on location letting the wild creatures get used to their presence.

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Any suggestion that some shots are not genuine is strongly refuted.

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When animals have young to protect there is a great risk they will attack the photographer.

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A rare sighting thought to be unique.

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A camerman may spend hours waiting patiently for a shot of a rare bird.

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Police have issued a new picture of the bird feeder vandal.

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The crow family are so intelligent they take their own selfies.

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The team travelled to South America to get pictures of guinea pigs in their natural habitat.

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For more of the photographer’s work visit the gallery.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-three-picture-gallery/

Silly Saturday – No News

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We were hoping to go over to our correspondent… somewhere, but apparently there is no news today. However we will bring you an update as soon as there is some news.

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Now we go over to Sally for the weather… oh, I’m just hearing there is no weather today… If you’ve just joined us we’re receiving reports that there is no news today. Those of you who are following us on Twitter please let us know what is not happening in your area and send us your pictures.

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Tributes are pouring in for a writer who didn’t become a household name, but her husband thought it would be nice if she heard some plaudits for her work while she was still alive.

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Reports that Stonehenge had turned into fudge overnight turned out to be pure fudge.

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Traffic delays are not expected anywhere today

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and reports are coming in that nothing is happening in many places.

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Meetings were to be held, but there’s no point now.

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No one was called to 10, Downing Street.

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Businesses also reported a slump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us again for the lunchtime news when we hope to bring you some, in the meantime viewers have been sending in pictures of their pets.

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If you like looking at photos instead of the news there are pictures aplenty at my website.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/chapter-two-coastal-views/

Silly Saturday – Fifteen Favourite Facebook Fotos

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Sue has checked in to Toytown International Airport.

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Chocolate Moose has changed his profile picture.

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Wanda has changed her profile picture.

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When one door closes another one stays shut.

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We all need libraries – in our own homes…

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        Behind every cloud there’s rain.

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Donald Trump buys Stonehenge for new golf course.

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New Spiderman film, the 27th in the franchise, promises to be the blockbuster movie for 2019.

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The clock is ticking backwards towards Brexit.

 

 

 

 

 

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Government announces new technology to deal with drones.

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Know what you are getting when you book a cheap holiday flight.

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Hey guys, wish you were here, this is the view from our holiday apartment.

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Day 53 of our world cruise.

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Doctors successfully separate conjoined twin rabbits.

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Please share – our darling fur baby Tiny has gone missing.

Facebook Friends Forever

The first time I saw Facebook on the computer screen there was a picture of my sister-in-law getting her breast tattooed. My daughter was trying to show me what it was all about, but that was enough to put anyone off.

Christmas 2018 was my ninth anniversary of being on Facebook, I don’t recall agreeing, but one second we were upstairs on the computer, my daughter typing away my personal details, the next second there was a Facebook friend request from daughter-in-law downstairs. Five seconds later there was a friend request from that ghastly child in my daughter’s class; in her class from playgroup onwards through all the long years of school…

‘Why on earth does she want to be my friend?’

‘DON’T accept, she asks to be everybody’s friend as she hasn’t got any real friends.’

Love it, hate it or are you a shadow, watching what others are doing without ever appearing? Authors are exhorted to have a presence on line and a Facebook  Author Page, and it was a good meeting place at the start, joining writers’ forums etc.

https://www.facebook.com/Beachwriter/

Most of us probably use it to see what everyone else in the family is up to and it is amazing to have messenger groups for family and friends and exchange pictures and news across the world in seconds.

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It took me a while to figure out how to post pictures that I had taken with my camera and loaded onto my desk top computer; I was filled with awe seeing people tap mysteriously on their mobile phones and put pictures straight on Facebook. When I finally acquired a smart phone I immediately became addicted to keeping people up to date with scenic views or strange sights.

What are some of the other things we can do on Facebook? Know how late everyone else is staying up or how early your FB friends in Australia get up. You might be discovered by a long lost relative and wish you hadn’t. See lots and lots of pandas and even more cats. Sign many petitions to save the world, see lots of the world and plenty of places you will never see; but in return smugly post pictures of places they will never visit. Join your local community group and start a conversation that could go on for days  ‘I went in that new restaurant and waited an hour for my dinner and the staff were very rude’.27835424_1971591706203943_476442722_oPress LIKE when you see a funny cartoon and lots more funny cartoons will pop up. If they make me LaughOutLoud I share them; there are plenty of people out there who can’t sleep or are stuck at home ill and love something to cheer them up. Cartoonists can say in a few pen strokes more than writers can in a page, so thank you cartoonists.

Time waster? What is the most inane thing you have found yourself glued to? Press LIKE when you see a news item posted by your friend in the USA and a few nights later you may find yourself watching a car chase filmed by a news helicopter. Keep watching, marvelling at the freeways ten lanes wide, keep watching to see if the police will catch up with the driver. Call out to anybody else in the house to come and have a look, but they have already gone to bed. You promise yourself to watch for two more minutes only before you go and clean your teeth, but those freeways and endless bridges are mesmerising and still the police are keeping up but not catching… like Facebook it goes on forever.