Monday, 26 October 2009

Giving Up

Hands up who loves daylight saving? Not so much? I’m writing this at 5.47am according to the cuckoo, and I’m surrounded by children who think it’s well cool.

A few weeks ago we were tricked into buying ’fun’ wall lights for our 4-year-old boys. It was one of those euphoric Ikea moments where everything seems possible thanks to coloured plastic and insanely cheap prices. It was a classic rookie mistake of the kind rarely seen here in Bootcamp North London, where the ruling adults work on a mainly arched eyebrow ‘I’m sorry, you think your opinion counts?’ approach. The lights have, of course, been turned on and off constantly throughout the night, resulting in entirely unnecessary sleep deprivation and rows that we should have just had in Ikea in the first place like normal people.

It’s not been a great week for nerve endings. For the past seven days I have mainly given things up, sleep included. Caffeine, carbs, alcohol, fruit, sugar – it’s only for a fortnight of autumn detox but you can probably feel the tension.

So far, the lack of caffeine has done nothing visible for my skin, ripped my no-headache policy to shreds and had horrific effects on my husband – who’s also indulging in the big Give Up. What it has done, along with the shocking lack of alcohol, is put life into high definition wide screen perspective. This has in turn shed light on cavernous corners of my life that were festering nicely in the semi-gloom of a carb-infested existence. For instance, you might think that after 20 insignificant weeks of blogging, and a many not-so-spare hours researching other people’s offerings, I’d probably be a social networking expert by now right? Well sadly not. And in particular ‘the point of it all’ is still a bit of a haze.

But now, with a clear head and no clear direction, I have had time to read some really geeky books about the whole world of Web 2.0 in order to fully prepare for my genuine ‘big moment’ in the 21st century. The irony of the fact that I had to get a proper hardback book to learn this is not lost on me. Neither is the fact that, because of a very 20th century postal strike I had to get on an actual bus and go to an actual bookshop to get my virtual-life instruction manuals.

The main bit of info I’ve picked up – I can’t use the word virtual anymore, it’s sooo Dotcom. This whole gig isn’t about pretend shops anymore. It’s about real people, real-time streaming, real friends in every portal. Everything, including Wikipedia, is Internet fact, not virtual fantasy.

Next on my reading list is a history of Twitter. Yes, a history. I bet no-one in the Valley goes eight days without caffeine. How else would they squeeze five years of social coding into every Earth year. Meanwhile, I get an extra hour of pain each morning and a cup of mint tea.


  1. This is bizarre a definite case of parallel lives - mines about giving up or rather things I have lost. I'm really liking your writing! x

  2. Firstly, booo to daylight saving. Secondly, you were able to write at that time in the morning?? With little people around? Wow. The getting dressed part almost flummoxed me.

    Thirdly, love the "euphoric Ikea moments" but if it is a whole family event then we do tend to do the row(s) "in situ" like you mentioned (while the children wait (im)politely for us to get on with it).

    Thirdly, irony - I heard on the radio this morning about an Internet Cafe geared at the senior generation who would like to learn about the computer and all the Internet whizzy - the contact details and registration were via the www.
    Fourthly (?, regretting this, I am losing count) - can you recommend the geeky book? I am interested. And am definitely wondering what the point of it all is. I read an interesting article about twitter yesterday. But I have to admit that I still really don't get it. I don't really want to be amongst the 1 million that follow Ashton Kutcher.

    Finally, is this Giving Up extending till next month? Slightly concerned about the alcohol and chocolate consumption at your place. I think I am more about giving in to these temptations, especially when I am "Abroad". XC