There are blessed few kids’ TV programmes I can endure. Most of them are arse-tripe. I’m sure kids LOVE them, but oh my life, are they arse-tripe. I do, however, value a special, golden few. They are less than arse-tripe. They are maybe guff-waft. Or ear-cheese. Y’know, something not so bad.
One of these programmes is Charlie and Lola. You know it. The one about the boy, Charlie, and his little sister, Lola. You’re already singing the theme tune in your brains, aren’t you? Sorry about that. But I really like this programme. The animation makes me go all dribbly, and in a good way. It appeals to my artistic side, and the side of me that hankers after dodgy fabric patterns. Sure, the characters are faintly annoying but there’s a hint of surreality and I have been known to snigger out loud (SOL?) on occasion at some of the ridiculousness. Also, that there theme music is a bit 1970s and hideously catchy, innit. Now you’re HUMMING it. You’re so suggestible.
But ANYWAY, the reason I mention it is cos Lola has an imaginary friend called Soren Lorenson. If you click the link I’ve just inserted you go through to his Facebook page. He has more friends than me. A fictional, imaginary person. THAT’S HOW FARKING POPULAR HE IS. Bastard.
I would like to confess that I, too, had imaginary friends when I was growing up. Yes – plural. Friends.
The BBC website for Charlie and Lola describes Soren Lorenson as Lola’s ‘confidante, her security blanket’ and ‘sometimes… Lola’s true voice’.
My imaginary friends were largely useless, being imaginary. There was one called Sally. She was the naughty one. And one called Mary. She was the good one. I s’pose you could say they were my confidantes. I had a variety of brothers in my childhood house and there would be NO WAY I’d confide in them, cos boys have fleas, innit. But my imaginary girl BFFs were always there for me. I remember Sally had copper hair and a brown checked dress. Mary was blonde with a blue dress (imaginative of me, must be that one Sunday school class I went to, FFS). They usually manifested themselves just behind me, and they were faded, like old photographs. I don’t think they had ‘voices’ as such. I certainly don’t think they were my ‘true voice’. Unless they harped on about Care Bears, or Enid Blyton. Which was mostly what I was obsessed with.
Why do people have imaginary friends? I wasn’t lacking in real-life ones. Sure, I was living in a mostly male household but I could dress any willing siblings up in my clothes and pretend they were a sister, and they were FINE WITH THAT (she says, laughing evilly). But I seem to remember being out and about and busy and doing stuff with people, a lot. A farking fine childhood, by any account. No complaints here.
But I could really do with a Sally or a Mary right now. Occasionally I get quite lonely, and if my (very gorgeous and super) real-life mates are unavailable then I tend to wander the park or haunt the soft-play café like a miserable wraith. If Sally or Mary were there, then they could keep an eye on Moo while I grab a cup of tea, or have a go on the swings, yeah? That would be OK, wouldn’t it?
No? Oh right. Cos they’re not real, I get you.
So did you? Have pretend friends? And why do you think that was?
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
THIS IS AN EMERGENCY BLOG POST.
IT SHOULD ONLY BE USED BY THE BLOGGER IN CASE OF:
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IN THE EVENT OF ANY OF THE ABOVE,
PLEASE BREAK SEAL ON CUTE BABY PHOTO AND POST BELOW:
ONCE CUTE BABY PHOTO IS IN PLACE
TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS TO RECOVERY:
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3) SWALLOW PAIN RELIEF DRUGS
AND WAIT FOR REINFORCEMENTS TO ARRIVE.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO BLOG FURTHER
OR CHECK TWITTER.
NOT EVEN FACEBOOK.
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
THIS HAS BEEN AN EMERGENCY BLOG POST.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR CO-OPERATION
AND HAVE A GOOD DAY.
‘…I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…!’
OK OK don’t panic, I’m not about to burst into song and go all growly voice like Joe McCockery or whatever his name is. I am tired, generally worried, and Eastenders is boring me so I thought I’d have a quicksy look at Twitter/FB and see what’s what, and, d’y'know? I am suddenly really, really grateful for social networking.
WHAT THE HECK DID WE DO BEFORE FB?
Now all the FB-haters will say, ‘Oh, we used to actually phone people and go out and see them before being online killed proper conversation…’ Weeeeell… did we? DID WE? I don’t recall the last time I actually phoned a friend just for a chat. Am I alone here? I’m not that great on the phone. I can’t hear properly (I swear I’m deaf like an old person). I like the anonymity and the editing capability of text and email. And email is a bit like getting post (another antiquated communication system. Who writes letters nowadays?) which is quite exciting unless it’s spammo.*
And hey! I’ve met some fabby folk online. Twitter is great for feeling connected to other people. When I started this blog (not so long ago) I never realised just how involving it would be. Naive, maybe, but I honestly thought I would be writing a post every other day or so, and somehow (probably with magic pixies and fairy dust) a gazillion blogonauts would read and revel in my awesomeness. Maha! Really, it’s more like a million. Honest.**
But, it’s hard work. You have to sell yourself to get an audience. I regularly BEG people to read my stuff on Twitter. I’ve debated having a FB page (which I still haven’t done, tho I fully intend to, I do I do) and I’ve read a plethora of other blogs in the hope they’ll reciprocate. Which they generally do, being a generous and kindly lot. But do you have any idea how much time this takes up? I’ve gone from having nowt to do but look after a baby (yup, suits some, but SHOOT ME NOW. I need brain stimulation, innit) to writing and maintaining a blog, plus the PR of said blog, plus reading other blogs to keep abreast of happenings in the blogosphere, plus writing film articles for a website (brewdrinkingthinkings.com) plus all the other writing projects I’ve got on the go (eep! Exciting! Can’t talk about! Yet!) PLUS still looking after the baby – uh, does that ever get easier, btw – plus somehow looking after myself and um, life, in general. Phewie.
I’m not writing about my writing, though, I’m writing about the friendships that have formed since I’ve begun my journey into blog legend.*** And most of them I’ve found through Twitter. When writing, one of the best places to find an audience is this social networking site. You can accumulate instant buddies by following and directing choice comments their way. It’s a bit like stalking, but it’s really OK and no one is going to shout at you for standing around outside their house in the bushes (that only happened once, btw). Tweet on a regular basis and BAM! You’re part of a community. It feels good. It’s like being in a cult, but it’s really OK and no one is going to make you drink limeade laced with arsenic just because ‘God’ told them to.
Hmm. So far I’ve compared using Twitter to stalking and being in a cult. Not really selling it, am I? Oops, mahaha.
What I REALLY wanted to say was, I’ve met some supery-dupery nice people on Twitter/FB/the blogosphere. And some of them, I REALLY hope to be lifelong friends with. There’s connections that you just can’t deny. It’s addictive. I almost want to cry, it’s so beautiful.
Thanks, friends. Thanks. Love you forevs.
Ah jeez, I think I’m premenstrual.
*I got a great spam today. None other than BAN KI-MOON emailed me! To tell me all about the United Nations compensation fund that they owe me, apparently. Woohoo! I’ll get on that, straight away, by sending you all my bank account details. Not.
**This may be a lie.
***It will happen. Oh yes. It will.
I have a Facebook profile. I use it regularly. It is separate from my blogging persona. My blogging persona needs a Facebook page: it is a natural step to take in promoting my blog. My quandary is this: do I introduce my blogging self to my wider sphere of friends? Only a few know already (I only recently told my Hub). The reasons for my reluctance to reveal are many. Well, no, the reasons are few. I get a bit embarrassed telling people what I’m up to. And uh, people might read my blog. Yeah well, duh, I know they’re supposed to. Aargh. Headache. There’s only one thing for it: a BLOODY LIST OF PROS AND CONS. At the end of which I’ll have made a decision. not that I’ve decided already and I just need a subject to write about. Ahem.
- increased readership! Yeah, it’s not about stats, yeah yeah, I’m writing for me, yeah yeah yeah, who cares about rankings etc. Except, I would really like MORE people to read this blog. I put quite a bit of work into it. Why wouldn’t I want folk to read/comment/enjoy?
- Uh, I guess it’d be nice for my friends to know that I’m not just sitting on my arse all day watching Loose Women/60 Minute Makeover/Countdown etc and occasionally throwing the baby a bone to gnaw on.
- And it’d be nice for my friends that I don’t see very often to know exactly what’s going on in my life, cos we can’t always be chatting on the telephone or what have you.
- AND in a truly altruistic and totally philanthropic manner, my blog posts could, like, really help someone in a properly informative and meaningful way. Esp if that someone wanted to know about flabby farts and fabulous frocks.
- Uh, I’m friends with the in-laws on FB. My in-laws would read this. My in-laws would read THIS. AND THIS. AND – oh god, stop typing.
- Ditto my mum and my dad. And my brothers. Eek! My BROTHERS!
- Which would lead to me censoring myself, yeah? I would do it, even unconsciously, cos I’d know they’d be reading it, yeah? Egad and gadzooks. No more posts about farts or fanny batter, then.
- It would be another page to maintain and update. It’s hard enough to do the Twitter stuff, the BritMums stuff (which I’ve let slide, shamefully) let alone the blog itself. And I’ve got some exciting other stuff I want to work on very soon. NOT ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY.
- It would pretty much ruin any attempt at semi-anonymity I’ve had so far, which isn’t a terrible thing, except for, see points above. Urk.
- My friends would find out I write about farting, fanny batter, and frocks. That would instantly dispel any cred I might have had, ever.
Ach no, there are more cons than pros. I guess it’s simple then, yeah? The answer’s staring me in the face. Hm?
Best get a FB page sorted then. There goes the neighbourhood.
PS will gratefully take any advice from FB blogging profile veterans! Ta v muchly! Loving your work!
POST SCRIPT ADDED 11/05/11
Thought of something worse! What if I tell all my friends and THEY’RE SO NOT INTERESTED?? I’d be all, ‘Look everyone! I write a blog! Isn’t it great??’ and they’d go, ‘Huh? Yeah, whatevs. Ooh, a video of dancing cats! Hahahahha!’ and then I would die a tiny bit inside.