wings and things

Facebook friendships

Over the last few months I have become Facebook friends with many of the staff at the nursing home where Anthony lives. Some of the staff have ‘friended’ me and I, too, have actively ‘friended’ others. This means that my blog (which automatically connects to my Facebook) is accessible to the very people who look after Anthony.

This is a little bit scary because I feel like I’ve made myself vulnerable. On the other hand, it is the most wonderful thing to be able to connect with these fantastic carers outside the context of the nursing home. The Facebook connection is virtual, yes, but also very real because I see many of these beautiful people every week and sometimes every day!

I didn’t deliberately plan these Facebook connections; it just kind of evolved and now I feel enthused to connect with as many staff at the nursing home as I can. I want to thank them personally; I want to acknowledge their amazingness; I want to know about their lives, their woes and joys.

I want to hug them back. So, to the staff at Anthony’s nursing home (yes, he thinks he owns it), many many many thanks! I think we can use Facebook to communicate.


This, that….


Well I got back from Perth last week and the first thing I did was to rush to my new beaut vegetable garden and also check the chooks. I fed and watered both with a sense of quiet glee.

The second thing I did was to go inside and log on. When nothing happened I didn’t panic since all the green lights were indicating merrily that the internet wasn’t too far away.

Six hours later, having spoken to six different technical support people, all of whom were amazingly patient, kind and positive (with the exception of one woman whose sighs, when I didn’t understand her click34xcableetc instructions, became thunderous on loudspeaker) were confident.

At one point, during this ungleeful, longwinded experience, I rang Ming who said that when he got home he’d sort it out in a jiffy. Well he tried, and even spoke to other technical support people, to no avail.

The Ming then said, with great compassion and a generous hug, “Maybe you’re just not intelligent enough, Mum….?”

I let his observation linger for the ten days during which I had no internet except via my phone. When I began to get the 5s mixed us with the Ss, I gave up.

Anyway, yesterday the replacement modem arrived at the post office and Ming picked it up, brought it home, connected it and voila!

So what am I supposed to do now? I can’t possibly answer all of the zillions of emails and comments and facebooky stuff; I can’t possibly catch up on ten days of my blog friends’ blogs; I can’t even catch up with what I was going to do before I lost the internet because my blog kind of reminded me of what to do.

I survived my ten day blip of no internet, but the person most affected by my off-the-internet-radar status was my beautiful mother. Meg and I have a strong internet relationship via email and Facebook, but she is more attentive to messages than I am, so, when I lost the internet, she was the first to miss me.

And today is her birthday. She is 81, looks 61 and acts like 21. So today Meg came to the farm to see the vegetable garden then we went to a local winery for lunch. The secret surprise was that Ming and A. would join us and that was a fantastic thing!

It’s great to be blogging again. That internet blip taught me something really profound: I need the internet!

One of the hardest things for me now is having fun – the guilt of it. Lunches with friends, learning how to garden with new friends, figuring out the future, altering and/or discarding things in this old house, renewing ….

and the other….



Ming was allowed to come home today, three days after his surgery which was a fantastic surprise (we were told he’d be in hospital until Christmas Eve). I’d been staying in a hotel for a couple of nights and coming and going to the hospital, but checked out yesterday, planning to visit Ming then go home to the farm to feed and water the dogs, birds and alpacas, only to be told he’d be discharged today! So I quickly rang a friend to see if she could do the animals and checked back into the hotel for another night.

Yesterday Ming was still attached to the pain+antibiotic drip, a catheter, and a blood drain thingy, oxygen, and he could hardly get out of bed and walk a few steps, but today he was free of the various tubes and fighting fit – amazing! It is 8pm here and we got home around an hour ago. Ming is in a lot of pain but has three kinds of painkillers so is now in bed.

One of the painkillers has a strange side-effect – Mummy love! It is so hilarious; on Tuesday evening when he finally came out of surgery, he kept looking at me woozily and saying, “Oh, Mummy, give me your hand, hold my hand, I want to have a cubble (cuddle), you are the best mummy in the whole wide world, oh I love you so much” etc. If I let his hand go for a moment, he would yell, “Mummy, I need your hand! Muuuuuuummmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!”

Now this would have been okay if (a) he had a private room, and (b) he had a quiet voice. But he was in a shared room with three men who were all chuckling every time Ming yelled out, “Mummy, hand – where’s your hand?” After a couple of hours of this I started to get a bit embarrassed and sick of holding his stupid hand! His nurse was laughing hysterically (but quietly) at his antics and, as Ming got sleepier, she helped me remove my hand from his so I could escape to my hotel and have a well-earned wine.

My hand is still aching from his grip – so funny!

And so absolutely wonderful!

Note: Thank you so much to my WordPress and Facebook, and other friends and family (especially my own mother) for all of your prayers, wishes and messages to us. I haven’t had time to reply properly but please know how much your comments, care and love is appreciated by Ming and Muuuuummmmmyyyyy!


Who are you and why are you so nasty?

I have a rather nasty taste in my mouth at the moment because I have been reading about some people’s taste for nastiness, or cyber-nastiness to be exact – well that’s what I call it anyway. A few moments ago I saw a lovely photo on Facebook (yes I am back on it!) of a black man reaching his hand out to a white baby.

I liked the photo and its caption and found it heart-warming. So I was surprised to read some very nasty comments and interchanges in response to the photo. Various critical points were made by some and phrased politely, but other people became quite hateful in their comments.

Lately I have been seeing more and more of this on the internet – people voicing nastiness with such ferocity it is breathtaking. Of course, with Facebook and WordPress and other social media sites, there are rules, but obviously this is almost impossible to monitor unless someone is being obscenely abusive.

The thing that most bothers me about this trend is the anonymity with which nasty comments, statements, opinions etc. are made. I read a couple of news feeds and often a human interest article will be attacked by certain readers and then readers will attack each other with no respect for the fact that we are all real people. Many of the nasty things written on social media sites would never be said face-to-face because in real-life, real-time situations, there is usually an expected decorum. Not so on the internet. Anybody can pretty much say anything they like to anybody else behind the safety of their computer or phone screen.

But why? Why do so many people expend so much time and energy on being nasty on the internet? I was the recipient of some rather nasty commentary on my friend’s blog the other day. The person commenting was not known to me so I was flummoxed by his passionate diatribe against my rather innocuous comment and he proceeded to crowd my friend’s post with long-winded speeches against me, and against my friend who rose to my defense. I responded a few times then gave up because I realized everything I said just seemed to fuel his irrational fury. I would love to recount the dialogue but respect my blogger friend’s privacy so suffice it to say that my initial comment had nothing to do with politics, race, gender or religion – ie. it was not an attackable comment!

The experience was a learning curve for me, so I am glad for it because it has made me even carefuller of my words than I already was – ha. But the main thing this experience showed me was what cyber-bullying might be like for a young person. One of the things this particular bully did was to make assumptions about me and to label me; when I didn’t immediately reply, he equated my silence with guilt; when I did reply, he launched another sermonesque attack. Even though I was astounded and felt extremely misunderstood, I wasn’t hurt – more bemused I guess.

But if I had been 12 or 15 or even in my 20s, I would have been profoundly hurt and affected. And this, I think, is what is so worrying about social media for our beautiful young people. If you read of cases of cyber-bullying and its effects on so many young people (including suicide), it is easy to brush this off as a passing phase, a bizarre incident, or ‘my kid isn’t on Fbook so s/he’s okay’.

I am not saying that my above experience was a case of cyber-bullying exactly. After all, I am an adult and I can take it. But if I had been a kid, I would have crumbled.


I just deactivated my Facebook account – what a relief!

I have never taken to Facebook as much as I have taken to blogging, however over the last few weeks I have become more and more obsessed with checking up on my family and friends to see if they are okay, to find out if they are happy or sad, to ‘share’ information that might be helpful etc. But this morning I realized that the level of anxiety I experience before going to FB is too horrible. I.e. What if I have said the wrong thing? What if they don’t reply? What if they are sick of me commenting on their situation? What if they just wish I would go away?

But it’s not just my insecurities that have influenced my deactivation decision; I am sick of the advertisements, the miserable media reports, the posts from people I have never heard of, the disturbing images, causes, and cries for help from people I cannot possibly help. One of the many strange things about FB is its strangerness.

I will probably hop back onto FB in the near future but at the moment I’ve just had enough – not of my family and friends of course – just of Facebook itself and its paradoxical facelessness. After all, I do have a phone number, and an email address, and have a bit more animation than my gravatar.

Also, I might now be able to get to my mountain of paperwork – bills, tax return etc. I’ll just check my emails first haha!