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One day my eldest daughter and I were discussing an old film that I loved (The Sting).

We were sitting in her living room. I was facing her, describing the film, She was fiddling with her phone.

Suddenly my attention was caught by the large TV which had been playing classical music in the background. It was now starting to show the very movie I was talking about.

My mouth fell open. I turned back to my daughter in amazement.

‘Look!’ Almost shouting in my excitement, pointing at the screen. ‘That’s the film! What a coincidence! How extraordinary!’ I shook my head in disbelief.

It was my daughters turn to look disbelievingly. 

‘Mom’ She sighed patiently ‘That’s me. I’m STREAMING it from my phone’.

Streaming? I looked from her to her phone to the TV in total confusion.

I jumped from a generation of posting letters and talking on telephones that were wired to the wall, where praising yourself was seen as arrogant, into an era of smartphones, whatsapp, Facebook, WordPress and self love. 

Saturday 2nd feb.

This morning my very good friend is going to play tennis.

She voices her reluctance to get out from under the warm covers (It’s freezing out), but I know she will.

She’s that sort of person.


Before we sign off (We are communicating on WhatsApp.) She asks me how it was going with my new bike

I am ashamed to tell her it is not.

You see, unlike her, I am quite laz….

(I was about to say lazy/idle/indolent/slothful/inactive/inert/lethargic/listless/lackadaisical/good for nothing/bone idle/dull/plodding… take your pick)

Luckily I catch my inner critic just in time and tell her to be quiet.

But it is difficult.

For a start my inner critic and I don’t know each other very well.

(As I’m concerned we have only met recently! Though she insists she has known me since I was a baby.)

I’m confused.

‘Self praise is no praise’

That’s what I was taught.

Sixty two years of the knowledge that admitting to being good at something, could invite disaster on your head.

Bringing the attention of the gods on yourself was not a good idea.

They did not like competition and if they felt a mere mortal was getting uppity they would surely bring her down a peg or two or, worse still, knock her off her pedestal.

But now, seemingly, I have not only to talk about my good qualities, but to write a list of them too.

AND read them out to myself every day.

And if my inner critic sticks up her ugly head and interrupts, I have to wallop her on the head with my notebook.

But she is persistent.

‘Why are you sitting there tapping away? what makes you think you can write anything of interest’ whack!

‘Hardworking? are you kidding me? look at the state of this place’ whack!

‘Positive? where’s the book your suppose to be writing so?’

‘Kind? I don’t call wandering through woods alone kind, unless you plan to hug a tree or avoid crushing weeds as you step’.

‘Resilient? well that’s easy when you have a roof over your head and a job and enough food in the fridge’

‘Energetic? if your so energetic, why aren’t you out and about on your new bike?’

Whack whack whack!

(That last one hit a nerve)

With the yellow bike things were easier.

With the yellow bike I didn’t need therapy.

She just made me get up and out.

If I even LOOKED out the window, like a dog who see’s its owner holding its leash, she would be metaphorically scratching at the door and off we’d go.

But the new bike? She just stands in front of the fire looking shiny.

Goodness is that the time?

And look its dark out already.

What a busy day I’ve had!

‘You call sitting tapping away on that laptop being busy?’