Thursday, 21 September 2017

Nothing personal

Well, looking at all the comments on the post about my mum, there seems to be a general call for more personal blog posts. Which leaves me a bit mystified, since just about all my blog posts have some personal element.

I've explained all my various hang-ups at length, sometimes several times over - the lack of self-confidence, the doubts about my intelligence, my dislike of darkness, my aversion to "masculinity", and all the rest. I've aired my personal attitude to any number of subjects, from prostitution to celebrity. It's hard to see how I could be any more personal than I already am.

My daily life is pretty predictable, so there's not much in the way of exciting or unusual incidents to pass on. I doubt you're desperate to know what I had for breakfast, or how many traffic jams I've been stuck in, or how I once again mislaid my umbrella, or how some dodgy-looking bloke offered to clean up my guttering. But maybe that's exactly what you want to know?

I deliberately avoid discussing impersonal subjects like politics, religion, climate breakdown or terrorism, since (a) they're already discussed ad nauseam by the media (b) I'm probably preaching to the converted (c) or I'm likely to offend someone and (d) I've usually got nothing new to say. So I tend to drift into the personal anyway as I'm more likely to have an opinion that hasn't been aired a thousand times already.

So I'll leave you with a personal thought. Is it just me, or is life getting more and more complicated? So many forms to fill in, phone menus to negotiate, passwords to remember, ID documents to supply, fancy procedures to follow. Where will it end? I'll need an official permit to catch the bus....

Pic: Forgotten umbrella nervously awaiting its destiny

33 comments:

Bijoux said...

Hmmm, well the rest of the Blogger's I follow do talk about their daily lives, or things that happened to them in the past. I find it interesting to read about 'average lives' around the world.

Rummuser said...

LIfe IS getting more complicated but we can uncomplicate it If, that is the word for it, by reducing our needs and minimising our assets. I have come to the stage where my life is quite easy to live because I have less of just about everything.

tammy j said...

it's not just you nick.
it's terribly complicated.
and for one who loves simplicity in all things it's overwhelming.
there is a restaurant here that has a little computer on each table. you place your order and then the 'waiter?' brings it and then you pay with your debit or whatever card at the computer on your table.
I went there ONCE and have refused to go back.
they even reduced dining to a technical experience.
no thank you.
but I am like rummy. my home and my needs and desires are so simple and few that I don't have to engage very much in all of it. and i'm a happy camper! and I think you've always been very personal with us! xo

Nick said...

Bijoux: Ha, I can't win with you! I suspect my average life is much like your average life - eat, work, domestic chores, read, watch TV, watch rest of world with utter disbelief etc.

Ramana: I do my best to minimise my life. It's other people who insist on complicating everything. Booking a flight for example is absurdly long-winded. Ditto hiring a car.

Nick said...

Tammy: A computer on the table? I've never heard of that before. I wouldn't like it either. As you say, it turns a meal into a technical exercise. So the waiter just becomes the computer handler?

You seem to have perfected the art of minimalism. Your home must be enviably clutter-free.

tammy j said...

it is clutter free nick... but I still like to think it's beautiful and not too stark.
it's just that I live my own authentic life now. at first I used to live like someone who still entertained a lot like when bob was alive or even needed to seat people visiting or staying overnight. NOW ...
it's only ME! why do I need extra towels and sheets and furniture? and etc.
I don't live like that!
now I have just what I need nothing more. it's so wonderful! and liberating!
I have lived the new minimalism for a long time now.
I love the simplicity of it.
still love my books though. never plan to give them up. :)

Bijoux said...

I'm not trying to be difficult. Just saying that most folks do post about their daily lives, which I find interesting. I've never been to the UK, so I'm sure I could learn a thing or two about your culture.

CheerfulMonk said...

Tomorrow's post will be about getting a medical scan, but for now I will mention that this morning Andy told me that some new cars have their little microprocessors going all the time, which means if you don't drive it regularly the battery has drained down --- in one case in as little as five days. So if we take the train to go see our daughter, the car won't start when we get back. Fingers crossed that our present cars last longer than we do!

Helen Devries said...

Life is far too complicated...forms for something of bugger all importance, passwords.

I have a small book by the computer to record all the blasted things...though if the dogs ever chew it up then, from what I can see it is the work of a moment to change a password...so where is the damned security in that!

If i take my laptop to Spain Yahoo thinks I am an intruder and will not connect me...

Nick said...

Tammy: If only my mum was as minimalist as you! But she always stocked up as if the whole family was coming to stay. She could never quite accept that she only needed enough for one person.

Bijoux: I'll see if I can cobble together the ingredients of a typical British day! I have to say though, I can't recall any of my blogmates telling me what they have for breakfast....

Nick said...

Jean: The battery could drain in five days? That's bonkers. I hope my own car isn't set up the same way....

Helen: Indeed, endless forms to process the utterly trivial. My ever-growing list of passwords is ridiculous. Roll on the day when I can just look at the computer, or say something, and it'll confirm my identity instantly.

Jenny Woolf said...

My family members don't like to be identified on my blog, so I can't write too much about them, and can't usually show them in photos. I don't mind and hope others don't.

Ursula said...

Oh my gosh, Nick.

Sometimes you don't know what you are looking for and want till you see it. What I was looking for and want? That umbrella! It's gorgeous. It's so gorgeous I'd probably only take it out when the sun is shining as the wilder elements appear to trash even the sturdy, rendering mine, the Rolls Royce of umbrellas or so the logo tells me, useless.

U

Treey said...

Life has changed so much to how I used to know it.

kylie said...

When I was a kid my grandfather used to go to the gas company to pay his g as bill, the water board to pay for water and the council office to pay his rates. These days I can do all of that with a few mouse clicks, which has to be a simplification for anyone who is time poor, elderly or disabled. And that makes all of us.
As for the nature of your posts, no they are not personal. A little opinion might happen to leak out but mostly you are writing like a police report. "The deceased male person could not be apprehended"

Why is life complicated? did you forget a password? did it take you 20 minutes of fruitless new password requests and then you had to ring a real person who didnt know what they were doing? did you want to strangle them? maybe you thumped a hole in the door, such was your frustration?

Nick said...

Jenny: I don't usually write about my family, to avoid offence or bad feeling or whatever. Not that my mum will ever see my posts, as she's totally computer-averse.

Ursula: It's a rather lovely umbrella. Which could easily double as a parasol. If it were mine, I'd be mortified that I'd left it behind somewhere.

Nick said...

Treey: You're telling me. I can still remember having to make long-distance phone calls via the operator. And then you could hardly hear the other person through all the crackling and interference.

Nick said...

Kylie: "The deceased male person could not be apprehended" No, I don't write like that. How very dare you. But perhaps I should try writing an entire post in officialese. "It was ascertained that the aforesaid comment was verifiably of an not entirely accurate nature."

I never have the urge to strangle anybody, and I never thump holes in doors. You should know by now that I'm a very non-violent person. I can imagine there are times when you might feel like strangling me though....

kylie said...

lol! i think you are projecting :P

Nick said...

Kylie: In that case you must be another very non-violent person....

Dave Martin said...

Sure, some things have become overly complicated and involve far too much paperwork. Other things have been made far simpler - renewing car tax online, paying bills by direct debit instead of writing out cheques and going to the bank. Swings and roundabouts etc...

Nick said...

Dave: Yes, I guess it's swings and roundabouts to some extent. But it still seems like complexity is gaining the upper hand.

Hattie said...

I'm sure I could not get along without the tech skills of my husband. My math is terrible, for one thing.

Nick said...

Hattie: I'm good at maths and seldom need a calculator. But my tech skills are non-existent, any crisis and I have to call in the experts.

Ursula said...

What music to my ears, Nick. In your reply to Kylie: "It was ascertained that the aforesaid comment was verifiably of an not entirely accurate nature." That is pure and unadulterated Jeeves. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

For light relief and because I love it (and Fry and Laurie in their respective rolls), I am currently watching Jeeves and Wooster - from the beginning - AGAIN. Unfortunately, as of yesterday (Season Two), the name of the hapless Gussie Fink-Nottle has attached itself to my brain like one of those ear worm tunes. Particularly the "Fink Nottle" bit.

U

Nick said...

Ursula: I was never a Wodehouse fan. I jumped straight from boarding-school set books to feminist classics like Sexual Politics and novelists like Margaret Drabble and Lynne Reid Banks.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I think what we were responded to was a glimpse into your actual life. Your opinions and attitudes about various news events are fine, but they aren't YOUR life. There's a difference. Most of the bloggers I follow talk about what is going on in their personal lives at least some of the time. It's real and it's human. Your take on the not-so-private lives of celebrities, plastic surgery, crowded tourist towns and so on may be interesting to contemplate but your mom having to go into a nursing home is something we can relate to. It lets us know you are living a real life like the rest of us. So I'd take it as a complement that people liked that post because it was a post about you.

As for the world getting more complicated, yes and no. I have to say, I like being able to pay bills, buy things and manage money on-line. Other aspects of the complicatedness, not as much.

Nick said...

Agent: I see what you mean. I'll have to rethink what's personal and what isn't.

I look back nostalgically to a time when there was no such thing as spam, trolling or bogus emails about a problem with my bank account.

Treey said...

Just write about whatever you think of. That's all you can do.

Wisewebwoman said...

Interesting that you appear puzzled by the responses to the elder mother post.

To me, it came across as sharing from the heart rather than detached opinions about current headlines.

It was engaging. More please.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

www: As I said to Agent, I need to rethink what amounts to personal and what doesn't. I guess I'm not very good at sharing from the heart. It's about time I was.

joared said...

Life is more complicated now, I think. Also, change occurs so much more rapidly which challenges us to keep up with the times. I used to write long posts about one subject. I have gradually evolved into writing less frequently but address several shorter segments in each post that more closely mirror a few matters crossing my mind. One of my current activities might be selectively described, a memory might be triggered and references to pertinent issues impacting all our lives that have taken on unique significance, at least in my view, are presently what I usually write about. This sorta falls into what I've wanted my blog to be about -- a view of the past, present and future -- especially now as our future will be impacted by issues of the day, including political. I do mean issues and try to avoid using political party and other generalization labels people toss about in condemning each other.

Nick said...

Joared: It's alarming how political agendas and decisions can have such an impact on millions of ordinary lives and our personal hopes and ambitions. And so often we have virtually no control over those decisions, we just have to adjust to them in whatever way we can.