Alarmingly the end of the year is closing in and as usual I can't believe where the time has gone. But that's getting old for you. It's been an interesting and sometimes difficult year but one of the most unusual developments has been my unlikely involvement and subsequent chronic addiction to Twitter.
Having scorned the whole idea for ages as being something people with too much time on their hands do, I was finally swayed by a friend who is madly keen on it and I began slowly dipping my toe into what turned out to be an insane, ongoing drinks party, full of the most diverse and sometimes eccentric people in the land.
The land of Twitter is a strange one. It takes time to get the hang of how the rules go and it also takes a measure of boldness and front otherwise I found, you never get anywhere. Having starting 'following' some people (and this whole follower/following thing has slightly the wrong connotations for me) slowly people started to 'follow' me back and then some conversations ensued. Those of only 140 characters of course.
It's easy to get the wrong end of the stick on Twitter and I've witnessed many misunderstandings and fallings-out as well as friendships forged and a lot of mutual support and kindness. The Twitter pendulum swings both ways from thoughtful and well mannered, to, well.. the opposite. There have been times when the self-important inflated egos of some has been difficult to take, and indeed in the 'real' world I would not bother to hang around these people, but I've learnt to take the rough with the smooth and the net result has been that I have been fortunate to meet many highly entertaining, thought-provoking, kind and funny people. Some actually in the flesh it turns out.
Having already 'done' internet dating many years ago and met my husband via this approach, I was not shy about the idea of talking to complete strangers online, which sounds pervier than it is oddly enough, and sometimes meeting some of the people from Twitter has had that frisson of excitement in terms of what will they be like? Will we get on? And, I'm pleased to report, so far so good, obviously not with an eye to romance though!
My new gardening school business would have taken a whole lot longer to organise and set up without the amazingness of Twitter, within weeks I had been able to contact, meet and eat cake with a number of really great people who have been central in me being able set up the school, even to the point of once asking into the Twitter ether if anyone knew a certain well-known writer. Within minutes I had the phone number of his agent. Magic!
Once I got past the annoyance of naked ladies following me, spammers galore and a lot of dross, it seems that there is a community of solid and good people, who often take time to find. I keep updating who I'm following to include a diverse range of interests, otherwise the whole gardening world can get a little tedious with a lot of Twitter accounts being used to constantly flog garden tat no-one wants.
I would be lying if I said I don't get annoyed at times by the cliquey-ness of the gardening world as they all seem to know each other and it's hard to break into that circle but generally with some exceptions, most have been welcoming and inclusive and a lot of fun. Being self-employed and often working on my own, I find that being able to dip in and out of these conversations is really good for keeping me going particularly on deadly dull days in the winter when I'm often confined to the drawing board or doing my accounts. I've also managed to waste entire days on Twitter and been told off countless times by various members of my family for being 'obsessed'. That does not however stop my teenage daughter for using Twitter to berate me on my mothering skills, or my husband to request cups of tea when he is in a different room.
They could well be right. My name's Emma. And I'm a Twitter addict.
Thank you for reading my blog and have a great Christmas, even though it seems the entire country are either stricken by the lurgy or snowed in, or both.