About my Twitter anniversary

I have been rather quiet on social media recently due to a week away from home. My Twitter anniversary came as something of a surprise, when it was flagged up to me – not least because I have now been tweeting, twittering or otherwise being a twit for five years. (Photo from Twitter)

Figure five decorated with coloured scrolls and paisley shapes on a pink background

My reasons for joining Twitter may be found in an earlier post.

Why have I continued with Twitter for 5 years? The short answer is that I enjoy Twitter. Although it is known as a place where feelings run high and people are nasty to each other, that has not been my experience.

I follow accounts for news, writers, books, countryside, photography, heritage, nature (especially wildflowers and birds), people I have met offline, church, music, A to Z bloggers, over 40s bloggers and a few random accounts of bloggers. I also ‘follow back’ people, who seem to have something in common with me. Twitter analytics tells me that most of my followers are interested in dogs.

From Twitter I learn lots of things. I do not watch television at home. However the information I find on Twitter for news and weather keeps me up-to-date. My knowledge of the names of wildflowers and some of their characteristics has been helped by #wildflowerhour.

While I was away recently I watched several quiz shows on my hostess’s television. I was amazed how many answers I could guess correctly. I haven’t learned from TV. Twitter and books are my teachers!

When people tweet about TV programmes, I am not particularly interested, but I do become aware of the programmes, which are being shown. At one time I’d have had this information from the Radio Times. Nowadays it is available online.

I keep away from political debate. If something seems to be happening locally, which might be newsworthy, I do not Tweet about the emergency vehicles I have seen. The emergency services need to be able to work without undue attention. Afterwards I might write about something, such as a recent fire. I sometimes retweet other people’s tweets. There has to be a balance about how much one retweets and original posts. Many of my posts alert my followers to blog posts – either mine or those on the More than Writers’ blog to which I am a contributor. I sometimes interact with others, but not many people reply to most of my tweets.

Since I joined, Twitter has changed from 140 to 280 characters. I could usually say what I wanted in the original number of characters. I have just about become used to the longer Tweets. I also find the Add a Tweet facility quite useful as one can produce a thread of tweets all at once. I have begun to add descriptions to my photos for those with impaired or limited vision. Tweetdeck is very useful for Twitter chats, such as #wildflowerhour.

As I have followed more people on Twitter the number of posts I have liked compared to the number of my tweets (including retweets) has increased.

I perhaps spend too much time scrolling through Twitter. However I do not watch TV, so I regard Twitter as my entertainment.


What I read in September 2018 (Part 2)

Isa and May by Margaret Forster is the first work of fiction by this author which I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A huge amount of research must have been undertaken to provide the information for the dissertation the main character was writing.  This was biographical in nature resulting in a very thought-provoking book (borrowed from the library).





The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan is a debut novel, which became a best-seller. I borrowed it from a friend. The first page had me hooked. There are suggestions for reading groups at the end. The writing is particularly good. Not everything is spelt out to the reader. Some deduction was required early on and my surmise about the nature of Sunshine’s learning difficulties was confirmed.  She also had what is commonly known as a super-power! There is comedy, sadness, romance, tragedy, downright naughtiness and a wide variety of characters. I lost track of one of the characters, who appeared towards the end as if I should have remembered him from earlier. Mea culpa!


What I read in September 2018 (Part 1)

A Sky Full of Birds: In search of Britain’s Great Bird Gatherings by Matt Merritt

I think it is true to say that I have always been interested in birds. I am not a twitcher or even a regular bird-spotter, but when there are birds about I listen to them, watch them and try to identify them. In the first interview I ever had (for a posh school, which fortunately did not offer me a scholarship place) my reply that I watched birds in my back garden, did not seem to satisfy the panel. There was a pyracanthus with berries outside our living room window and blackbirds regularly nested in it and in the hawthorn hedge. Starlings flocked to the lawn. Sparrows and occasionally other birds were also to be seen. My mother waged war against the wood pigeons as she tried to protect her vegetable crops!

A Sky Full of Birds is another library book, which appealed to me for its subject matter and for having been short-listed for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize. Chris Packham’s endorsement, “Prose from a poet” proved to be correct. (I must remember to look at his A People’s Manifesto for Wildlife)

I found this book well-written and easy to read. I learned a lot more about birds and their habits. I recommended it to hubby, who agrees. My only disappointment with the book is that it does not have any direct link with the area where I live now, although I am within easy reach of an RSPB reserve (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and on a migration route for geese. The geographical area covered is mainly on the east side of the country. The Wirral and York are the nearest places to here as the crow flies!