The Blog of Many Colours

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Times and Tides of a Beachwriter is brought to you today by Pink and Grey, suggested by Lyndsey at The Happy Book Blog. You can visit her blog here

https://thehappybookblog.home.blog/2019/04/27/353/

When Lyndsey suggested that colour combination my first thought was of galahs, Australian pink and grey cockatoos, their plumage a soft grey and rosy pink. They are found in most parts of Australia and have apparently adapted very well to the change in habitat brought by European settlers.

What other birds feature that colour combination? Wood pigeons are clumsy birds that splash all the water out of the bird bath and nearly break tree branches during their clumsy mating, but their plumage comes in delicate shades of pink and grey, blending imperceptibly.

Carnations have foliage that is almost grey.

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Out in the wilds or in the city,  grey rocks and buildings can turn a rosy hue at sunrise and sunset and if there are clouds in the sky at sunset there will be changing patterns of pink and grey. If I’m on the beach at low tide I try to capture the setting sun reflected in  in water that barely covers the flat grey sand.

For humans the two colours in their delicate shades make elegant outfits, or if you like to wear dark grey suits, splashes of bright pink look good. For the men? At a wedding the best man and ushers can look very smart in pale grey suits and pink ties.

So pink and grey, two hues created by mixing other colours, look good in nature and fashion.

Next week it is a bold primary colour that features, RED.

If you would like your favourite colour mentioned, put it in the comments.

… and here’s a book cover that has the shades of sunset…

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More Sunshine

Thanks to Nora of JOY journal for nominating me for another Sunshine Blogger Award.

You can visit her happy blog here and read her answers to the interesting questions she was given.

https://noraedinger.com/2019/05/15/sunshine-blogger-award/

Here are my answers to the questions she posed for me and the other nominees.

Why and when did you start blogging?

Originally on Goodreads, but I realised everybody else was on WordPress and I felt left out. I have been Tidalscribe since September 2016, my first blog had one Like!

 How do you manage your blogging schedule?

I try and schedule ahead, especially if I will be away, but ‘ahead’ might mean posting well after midnight.

Do you blog on more than one platform? Where else?

I write a Beachwriter’s Blog on my website that is mainly pictures.

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

What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

Meeting bloggers from all over the world.

What don’t you like? 

Keeping up with all the posts I want to read.

What advice would you share with new bloggers? 

Use WordPress, write about anything that interests you and hopefully others. Only blog if you enjoy it, not just because you want to sell your books or crafts. Don’t mention your latest book in every blog! Write less rather than more. Long blogs can be interesting or a story you want to read worth bookmarking for later, but often later never comes. Text spaced out with a few pictures is easy on the eyes.

How do you stay motivated? 

I love writing fiction and non fiction and haven’t run out of ideas yet…

Is the graphic design of your site an important part of your blogging?

Not really as that isn’t one of my technical strengths; I just hope my photographs will keep it looking bright.

What is your favourite quote? 

Anything from Winnie the Pooh

What are you looking forward to doing this summer ? 

When it’s half term next week we are renting two cottages next to each other in Somerset with Team H. Should be fun with little boys of 1 and 3. Then a visit from Team G from USA and finally up to Ironbridge to see the new home of Team AK. If you have never been to Shropshire it’s worth a visit.

What would you like to happen with your blog by the end of 2019?

I shall probably stay with the same format of Wednesday main blog, Friday Flash Fiction, Silly Saturday and occasional Sunday Salon with book and other reviews. Hopefully I shall continue to grow genuine followers and if the occasional person accidentally buys one of my books, even better.

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Not every blogger likes being nominated for awards or has time. Some throw it open to all their followers, so I shall do the same. If you would like to accept the challenge

Here’s what to do!

1- Give a big thank you to the person who nominated you so others can find them!

2-Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you.

3-Nominate other bloggers and ask them your own set of questions!

4- Let the nominees know about the nomination in one of their posts.

5-List the rules and the Sunshine Award nomination on your own site.

6- Let the fun begin!

Or if you prefer put your answers in the comments.

I thought it would be fun to have quick fire questions.

1 Desk top or lap top?

2 Walk or cycle?

3 Town or country?

4 Ship or plane?

5 Dress up or down for an evening out?

6 Living person you would most like to meet?

7 Dead person you would most like to meet?

8 Gardening love or hate?

9 House or high rise living?

10 If offered a seat on the first commercial flight to the moon would you go?

 

 

 

Friday Flash Fiction – Wander With Wanda

Is it Fiction, is it Friday? This week I share the blog of a writer introduced to me by Baz the Bad Blogger … I take no responsibility for what she may say…

WANDA ON WEDNESDAY

The Woman Who Tells It How It Is

THIS WEEK – WANDER WITH WANDA

This week H3 and I have been travelling and visiting, with all the unpleasant mingling with people that involves; and that’s just H3’s relatives.

At the inevitable motorway services we encountered that condition I am fortunate not to suffer from, ‘Indecision’. It gives me indigestion when people hover as I eat. We knew they were a posh family because the fortyish woman with long legs, tight jeans, designer boots and jacket addressed an expressionless facelift woman as ‘Mummy.’ ‘Daddy’ stood with arms dangling, slender fingers deathly white, a medical condition perhaps, certainly he did not look robust enough to cope with young grandchildren. There was a toddler in a wheeled contraption and a boy of pre-school age.

In an unusual moment of grandmotherly sympathy I said ‘Plenty of room here’ motioning to the table next to us and the pair of empty chairs at our table. H3 frowned at me.

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Yes, we are to be a grandmother, the daughter waited till the twelve week scan to break the news. I told her not to expect me to baby-sit, as with the puppy when she was nine, ‘You wanted it, you can look after it.’ Of course it’s about time, I had told her often enough not to leave it too late; she’s older than Meghan. I had even tactfully asked if there might be a problem, wouldn’t have been surprised if her so called ‘partner’ was not up to the task. H3 already has a couple of grandkids, in New Zealand thankfully.

Anyway, back to motorway services. How hard is it, in a building full of tables and chairs, to find somewhere to sit for three adults and two kids? A staff member was summoned to clean the table and Grandma steered the baby vehicle behind us. A high chair appeared and was wedged in behind H3’s chair, toddler was inserted and boy enveloped in an arm chair and given a plastic box of healthy fruit portions. His mother dashed off to the loo with the question of what to eat and drink and who was to fetch it, left in the air.

It came to me then that the whole ‘family motorway operation’ is an insurmountable problem; the unfamiliar high prices, the atmosphere of rush, the jumble of counters and tills leaves even normally functioning adults in a quandary.

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The mother returned with news of a better table spotted just as Granddad tried to move the high chair a fraction; the tray came off surprisingly easily in his frail arms and he nearly toppled backwards.

‘Come on Darling,’ mother to boy ‘we’re going to another table.’

‘I don’t want to move’ followed by an ear piercing scream.

Perhaps he had one of those syndromes, or maybe he was just a brat. By now H3 had his impending migraine expression and I had indigestion. I leaned in to make a witty remark to cheer him up.

‘Shsh, they’re sitting behind you, they’ll hear’ he whispered.

Further conversation was impossible as the toddler, upset by her brother’s tantrum, decided to join in. H3 made a play of looking at his watch then stood up; he did not want to be rude and look as if we were escaping from them.

 

 

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H3’s relatives took us to a well known family restaurant chain which I had not visited since the days when the daughter was little and it was H1’s idea of the perfect family outing, no wonder I divorced him. At the bar for drinks, while we waited interminably for a table, we found ourselves in the middle of an old boys’ reunion. Memo to self, never attend a reunion when you get past a certain age, even if you are hale and hearty you will be cast into dark despondency by the sight of former lively colleagues with walking sticks, stoops and tremors.

‘Hello Dave mate, how are you doing?’ translation ‘Oh my God, I hardly recognised you.’

Our table was on the other side of a flimsy trellis from a children’s birthday party, could it get any worse? Yes, our very attentive waitress, did not allow the confined space to deter her from appearing like a parrot at my shoulder every ten minutes to ask if everything was all right… and all the while H3’s aunty trilled how she always came here because she liked the salad bowl.

 

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Imagine my relief at the end of the week to be alone in a First Class lounge at Heathrow Airport, or so I thought until I heard loud voices. Buying a first class ticket does not make you First Class, common was the word that sprang to mind. When an attendant brought my coffee and croissant I gestured to the couple who were now complaining to another member of staff.

‘Nouveau Riche?’ I whispered.

She stifled a giggle and nodded.

Other passengers sighed with relief when the couple’s flight was called, except for those on the same flight.

We all sat in silence with newspapers, books and lap tops, but sometimes it can be too peaceful. Mr. Important Businessman sat opposite me and methodically opened his lap top and briefcase and inserted earpieces, looking round with an expression that said Do not disturb, important e-mails to answer, vital documents to read.

Within seconds his head drooped and he was fast asleep, woken only half an hour later by the call for my flight. He sat bolt upright in alarm, then glared accusingly at his lap top screen, he managed to swallow his pride enough to ask me which flight had been called; he was on the same flight.

I gathered my belongings calmly, I had written and scheduled this blog five minutes before the call. I enjoyed imagining him arriving utterly unprepared for his meeting of world importance.

Read more flash fiction and stories of all sorts including two novellas.

Only $3.26 or £2.49. also available in paperback.

 

 

 

The Blog of Many Colours

Times and Tides of a Beachwriter is brought to you today by the colour purple, chosen by Sandra. You can visit Sandra’s blog here.

https://acornerofcornwall.com/

Purple is no ordinary colour, too frivolous to appear on nations’ flags, but too important for ordinary folk; it has long been a colour of royalty and the church. Red, yellow and blue are the primary colours, but in practice red, yellow, green and blue are the main colours. Were you in a house or team at school? Four teams in those four colours I expect. If you wore school uniform it was probably navy, grey or green with red or yellow… I think purple is less favoured for school.

But colours bring different images to all of us. When Sandra suggested purple my first thought was Cadbury’s milk chocolate, that purple paper wrapper, then the opulent shiny purple foil with the promise of pure pleasure waiting to be unwrapped.

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My next thought was flowers, purple is the only colour that makes petals look like velvet. Purple pansies are my favourite. Irises have just come out this week in my garden, decadent in purple and yellow. Cyberspouse plucked one to take into his ‘studio’ and this is the result of a little digital manipulation.

 

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You can visit his Facebook page here.

https://www.facebook.com/photogog/

Colours are also trademarks. The first time we took three weeks off to journey up and around Scotland we stayed in a cottage for the middle week, but the rest of our trip was an assortment of bed and breakfast and Premiere Inns. Along the way we bought a few new clothes and my purchases included a mauve blouse and a purple fleece. When we arrived at our first Premiere Inn I realised that not only did I look like a member of staff, but I matched the whole place. Yes, Premiere Inns are purple; from the large sign that guides you to the building to the interior decor; purple carpets, purple spreads and cushions on the bed and purple information leaflets.

Though I may love yellow and dusky pink, purple seems to feature in my life rather a lot. Cyberspouse designs my book covers and the personal favourite of my novels has a cover that matches my glasses…

Friday Flash Fiction – 800 – Dream Machine

Seth tried to hang on to the memories before he opened his eyes; a whole film in technicolour. He had dreamed a whole movie, a brilliant idea for a novel if he could recall it; write a best seller with film makers flocking to his door… that would be a dream. If only he could connect his brain to his computer, time would not be wasted sleeping, unless it was the fact that he was sleeping that produced the ideas. He jumped as his phone vibrated under his pillow and played that irritating tune. Every morning he vowed to change the tune and every evening he forgot. Whatever the melody, it didn’t alter the fact that he had to get up for work.

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The school Seth taught at bore no resemblance to the one in his dream, where young minds were nurtured and different talents exposed to produce a team of world changing teenagers with Seth sharing a little of the glory, or quite a lot as he was made Prime Minister. Who would play him in the film? He snapped out of his reverie and looked at the surly faces staring at him… and that was just the staff room. Seth put his empty coffee cup down and stood ready to face the afternoon.

‘Hey Seth, you’ve got a new kid in your English class, he’s in my form, Dad’s a scientist and polymath, seen him on television, goodness knows why he sent his son to this school, something about discovering real life.’

‘He was thrown out of his private school,’ said the head of science ‘too clever for his own good.’

Seth felt his hackles rise; they should be encouraging the clever kids, not putting them down. He strode down the corridor with an idea for the warm up pen and paper creative exercise.

The class was unusually quiet, gathered round the new boy who was talking enthusiastically, his long fingers gesticulating elegantly to illustrate his subject.

‘Without any discussion class, write for fifteen minutes imagining you could plug your brain into a computer while you slept.’

Unusually they settled down quickly. Seth sauntered casually between the desks, the new boy was scribbling furiously, words and hieroglyphics.

‘Isaac isn’t it?’

‘Yes Sir.’

At least the private school had taught him manners.

‘Named after Newton or Asimov?’

‘Both Sir.’

‘Do you enjoy writing?’

‘When it’s my favourite topic, good choice Sir, my father and I have just invented such a device. It didn’t go down too well at my last school, getting the pupils to volunteer; perhaps you would like to have a go?’

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So on Friday evening Seth found himself relaxing on a comfortable bed in a very pleasant room with electrodes attached to his head; he didn’t expect it to work, but he did have an idea for a new short story about a writer who finds himself  in the hands of mad father and son scientists. It was rather creepy being in the company of the two most intelligent people he had ever met.

‘Our initial aim is to discover if brain waves will translate into images or words or perhaps both’ said Isaac’s father.

Seth drifted off quickly. He was on board the International Space Station with  Isaac and his father and the attractive married science teacher he fancied; also bizarrely his mother and the middle aged lady who worked on the till at the Co Op. They had a fantastic plan for saving the Earth from climate change, if only he could remember what the plan was… he woke up with a start.

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‘Great, we’ve got some images already.’

Seth looked at the screen as he sipped a welcome cup of tea. A beautiful view of the earth, a view inside the space station, well anybody could get those images off the internet… but not pictures of his mother and everyone in his dream, the lady still in her Co Op uniform, the science teacher in a very short skirt and low cut blouse, floating around showing her figure to full effect. Isaac chuckled.

‘Hey Sir, you fancy Mrs Greening.’

Seth ignored the remark. ‘But we’re not talking, I’m not sure if we spoke in the dream, but we had a plan…’ he rubbed his temples ‘to save the earth.’

‘Let’s try the word document then’ said Isaac’s father.

Seth thrilled when he saw words come up on the screen, he’d written a book in his sleep, he peered closer, something was wrong…

I Captain odf the mosat brillainteam o severs sent up my mother fopr got to,mask me to get milkat the shops mrs greening saya her husband is dead so its okayforhet come up herthees the moonnt asbigasithoughtihave togobalc toearth itstime forscgool wonder if the shuttle is working todayknoitdoesb’tworkanymore ohohmyspacesuitdoesn;t fit ishallppbably implode otrisitsexplode ionspace………….

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For more stories, have a look in the book.

 

What Colour is Your Blog?

Often we round off writers’ group with a timed exercise, the other week it was the colour yellow and it was surprising how much came to mind. I thought

Hey, I could have a different colour blog each week!

So we start with yellow.

Yellow is the oldest colour, the colour of the Sun, watery in winter, golden at sunset and over the equator. The yellow sun mixes with the blue sky to make nature’s green and among the green leaves are the flowers that mimic the sun. Bees love yellow; they wear it and seek it out. I felt guilty when bees bumped into our sun lounge windows, attracted by the bright yellow of the lamps on the windowsill.

 

Yellow makes a statement, banish cowardice; let yellow represent spring, summer, fun and happiness.  It is also a designer statement, the stars on the European Union flag, the colour of smart raincoats, Ikea, our local buses, my website, my kitchen. When we ‘rebranded’ our north facing dining room we painted the walls yellow, went minimalist, replaced bookshelves with large plants and called it the garden room.

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When you stroll down the road your spirits are lifted when you pass pretty gardens and at this time of year yellow is in abundance. As daffodils fade tulips come out and wallflowers with their delightful scent. Dandelions are unfairly treated as weeds and are apparently good for you medicinally and nutritionally.

You can seee more flowers at my website.

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

 

 

 

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What is your favourite colour, suggest a colour and I’ll write about it next week.

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Understanding The Game of Life

Today’s Game of Life reviews a new anthology; Stevie Turner invited writers and bloggers to contribute. She gave them questionaires about significant life events. I slipped in to this at the last moment, thinking our wedding by the elevated section of the M4 motorway without any parents present would not be significant enough! However I was invited to join in. You can read about some  very different weddings in our family. If you want to buy the book all proceeds go to cancer charities. We are all interested in other people’s lives and this is a rare invitation to share some very diffferent lives from your own. Here is the Goodreads review I posted.

A simple idea; ask volunteers to answer a series of questions about a life experience. There are some experiences that most of us have, others that are certainly outside our realm. Even the same sort of experience will be different according to the person, where they live, the other folk in their lives. I loved the honesty of Abbie Johnson Taylor on becoming a carer – would she do it all again?  I enjoyed the positivity of Lucy V. Hay on being a teenage mother. Readers may find comfort in knowing other people have undergone the same. We may face events in the future and remember how others in this book dealt with it. But whether you are facing illness or an addiction, one of the messages that seems to be common is that there are some things you have to want to do yourself, you need to help yourself before others can help you.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44667522-understanding

 

To The Big House

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Nearly a year had passed since we last visited Jane Austen’s house, a year in which we had failed to return with our tickets that lasted a year; I hoped she wouldn’t be offended. As I forgot to actually bring the tickets, at least she would know our visit was genuine.

The weather was greyer and mistier than last time, but at least it wasn’t raining. With two nights away we had all day and this time we were determined to see The Big House properly.

Because Jane’s parents were fortuitous in giving away one of their sons to childless rich relatives ( and what parent wouldn’t be tempted, I wonder if they chose the naughtiest? ) it came about that Jane’s brother Edward Austen Knight inherited Chawton House and was able to provide Jane, sister Cassandra, their friend and their widowed mother a home on the estate for the rest of their lives. Cassandra and the friend ran the household so Jane could concentrate on her writing and this was the happiest and most productive period of her life, sadly cut short by her early death.

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We strolled around the village first on this damp morning, being nosey of course and admiring the lovely cottages brightened with spring flowers. At the house there were few visitors yet and I was fascinated with a very jolly, well spoken family; granddad with three generations of women who all seemed to have impossibly long slender legs. You may recall last year we met Jeremy Knight, third great grandson of Edward who now volunteers as a guide at Jane’s. My ears pricked when I heard the grandmother of the family ask another volunteer ‘Is Jeremy in?’ He’s just gone for coffee. ‘I’m his first cousin.’ Oh, did you want to go in the office for coffee? ‘ What, with the staff? I haven’t seen him for years.’

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When we did arrive at Chawton House and went first to the kitchen where they serve light refreshments, Jeremy’s relatives were there having coffee, I wonder if they did meet up with him that day?

You can walk up to the house as Jane would have done. You ring the doorbell and get a friendly welcome. We bought tickets that will last a year. The house is a study centre for women’s literature and you can also see the books Jane herself enjoyed reading or did not enjoy…

I was intrigued to dip into a copy of this book; certainly heavy going, but now I understand this scene…

‘Sermons to Young Women in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Mr Collins chooses Sermons to Young Women to read aloud to the Bennet sisters on the first evening that he spends with the family (I. 14). This is an important clue to Mr Collins’s character, since by the time Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, Fordyce’s views were outdated and restrictive. Lydia Bennet is particularly unimpressed by Mr Collins’s choice of reading material: ‘Lydia gaped as he opened the volume, and before he had, with very monotonous solemnity, read three pages, she interrupted him …’.’

https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/sermons-to-young-women

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There is plenty to enjoy looking round the house even if you don’t pause to read. Imagine the family in the dining room, or gazing out at the views. Take time to wander the gardens as well. The primroses were out and we walked through ‘the wilderness’ and to the church close by where the family worshipped and Cassandra and her mother are buried. Jane  Austen’s last few weeks were spent in Winchester, where her family hoped  for a cure. She is buried there.

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

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See more pictures at my website.

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

 

 

Liebster Award

Thanks to Ribana of Popsicle Society for nominating me for a Liebster Award and I must apologise for taking a while to answer her questions. You can read Ribana’a answers to six intriguing questions here.

https://popsiclesociety.com/2019/04/01/liebster-award-2/

Find out more about the Leibster award here. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome and aren’t all our fellow bloggers like that!

https://theglobalaussie.com/the-liebster-award/

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Not every blogger wantS to do awards or be nominated, but anyone who wants to have a go, I’m challenging you to the five questions Ribana gave me.

Ribana’s Questions:

  1. What motivates you to keep going and chase your dreams?
  2. Would you risk your life for an extreme adventure?
  3. Are you happy with your life, with the place you live or would you change something?
  4. Have you travelled to Asia? How do you find it?
  5. Are you a sweet or savory person?
  6. DSCN0283AND HERE ARE MY ANSWERS
  7. What motivates you to keep going and chase your dreams?
  8. I always wanted to live near the sea; I achieved that, now I want to keep on writing, material success is very unlikely and not as important as the creative part. Meeting other writers in real life and on line keeps me motivated.
  9. Would you risk your life for an extreme adventure?
  10. The answer to that must be NO as I haven’t. I do love nearly being blown off the cliff top or getting as close as possible to pounding waves, but that hardly compares with climbing Mount Everest or rowing across the Atlantic!
  11. Are you happy with your life, with the place you live or would you change something?
  12. Yes I am, I never did get a horse, but perhaps I wouldn’t be very good at riding. I wish all the branches of my family were closer.
  13. Have you travelled to Asia? How do you find it?
  14. Alas I have only touched down at airports back and forth between England and Perth, Australia. Karachi, Bangkok and Singapore. One of my many jobs in previous incarnations was working in business class lounges at Heathrow Airport. Singapore Airlines were the best, lovely passengers.
  15. Are you a sweet or savoury person?
  16. Both, sweet treats are only a treat because they contrast with our main diet which should be savoury.

 

Silly Saturday – How to be Fantastic on Facebook

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It’s hard to believe, but there are some people who are not on Facebook. Think of what they are missing. These are some of the things I have learnt from Facebook. Cats and dogs can get on together. Lots of people like cats, lots of people like dogs. Horses like visiting people in hospital. Baby pandas just wanna have fun. Walruses like sleeping on submarines.

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You can also learn about people on Facebook, what they are eating at the new restaurant or what got stolen from their van last night. You can even find out about people you actually know. In fact Facebook is the only way you will find out what your family are doing – if you can decipher the cryptic messages and pictures. Are they still stuck broken down on the motorway. Is that their Pyrenean Mountain Dog puppy or their friend’s ? What on earth are they doing at Sheremetyevo International Airport?

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What do you post on Facebook? There is no need to bother catching up with emails and phone calls to numerous friends and relatives. If you want everyone to know your latest news just post an enigmatic message. ‘Another hot day on the Nullabor Plain.’ Soon you will be inundated with messages from long lost friends.

Hey hun, what’s up, didn’t the job in Northampton work out?

Or post an ultrasound picture of a black and white alien with the words ‘Tabitha is going to have a baby brother.’

Hugs hun, sooo pleased for you.

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But Facebook has more than one page to scroll down; if you are a writer you can have an author page, if you run your own business you can have a page promoting your fantastic products and services. The advantage is that everything on that page is yours, unlike the rest of Facebook, full of boring other people. The only drawback, probably no one is ever going to see it. But just in case anyone accidentally finds themselves at Your Page, make sure your profile picture is sophisticated and professional.

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