I was hoping the weather would be better today. I’m feeling full of beans again and I was all set to go out into the garden but it’s rained all day so I haven’t bothered. I’m afraid I’ve used the excuse of not feeling great over the weekend to be a fair weather gardener – but it is so much more pleasant in the sunshine!
I’ve managed to clear out the box of stuff in my study that I swept off my desk and it feels so good to have all that put away! A lot of it was paper – letters that I needed to do something with (diary dates, reply to, looking something up) so I’ve sorted those and the rest of it was boxes of things that didn’t need to be in boxes.
One of the boxes had these in them. They’re called Beebombs and they were a Christmas gift from a friend. You may well have seen things like these before – native wildflower seeds packed into some kind of earth or solid compost shape and the idea is that you plant the whole thing and then see what comes up. I’ve got a couple of places in the garden where these can go, but I wanted to wait until the weather was a bit warmer before I planted them.
These are all the seeds that are packed into these bombs – there’s a lot of them! I don’t think there’s anything in there that will be a disaster if it self-seeds in the garden (although do let me know if you know differently!) and it would be nice to have a few more wildflowers in there.
Unusually for me (any day, not just a Sunday), I’ve watched TV with small daughter most of the afternoon. There is a reason for this!
Last night, we watched the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma. It’s about how social media has taken on a life of its own and how easy it is to become addicted to it. As a family, we do spend quite a lot of time on on social media – I, for one, wouldn’t be able to help nearly as many people knit socks without it and I have no intention of giving it up, but it was still an interesting watch as the people interviewed in the documentary all worked for the big social media companies at some point and their viewpoint was fascinating. In the end, the accepted view is that it isn’t going to go away but we should be mindful of our use of it as we give so much of our data away often unthinkingly … that is something that does worry me and I regularly have to remind people in my Facebook groups to be careful of what they’re sharing.
One of the really interesting things, though, is how we are offered different information through search engines even if we type in the same thing as someone else. Just to try this out, my husband and I both typed “climate change” into Google and mine came up with a list of adverts before some BBC news reports whereas my husband just got the BBC news reports. Clearly, the algorithm knows that I am likely to click on an advert if I like the look of it whereas my husband doesn’t. Apparently, you’ll also get different information if you live in a part of the world where climate change is high on the agenda, or if it’s a place where nobody believes that it’s an issue – and yet we all think that we have all the facts available to us. We do … it’s just that an algorithm has chosen what facts it thinks we want to see. That’s a bit unsettling. I don’t like to think that the information I’m choosing to look up is being curated on my behalf.
As part of the documentary, there is a storyline of a family who are all social media users and the teenage boy at one point agrees to give up his phone for a week in exchange for a reward. “What would you give me?” asked small daughter. “Would you buy me anything I wanted?” Ha! We weren’t falling for that one, as convinced as we were that small daughter wouldn’t manage it.
“Why don’t you try it for 24 hours first?” we suggested – not because we don’t want to buy her a reward, but because we all knew it would harder than she thought. So far, we’re on 23 hours and she’s managed it – but she did have a lie in and the clocks did go forward today losing an hour – and we have watched two films this afternoon to distract her!
Ironically, the first was one that small daughter chose was The Truman Show – a film about a man whose whole life is a television show and how he is manipulated in the process to make money for the TV company and to provide entertainment. It really didn’t seem a million miles away from social media algorithms manipulating what we see on our timelines to make sure that we stay on the platforms … she was quite spooked out by it and given that the film was made in 1998 and yet elements of it exist in everyone’s life today, it’s really not surprising. Then we watched Crazy Rich Asians, which was a proper feel-good film and quite restored her equilibrium.
Extended TV time was an ideal opportunity to get some knitting done today. I haven’t felt like it at all over the last couple of days (perhaps the knitters’ equivalent of the “£50 note test” to see if you’ve got a cold or flu – if you’ve got a cold you’d pick up a £50 note on the floor but if you’ve got the flu you just don’t care if it’s there or not 😀) which is really not like me but I’ve been back with my needles in my hands today. I’ve been working on the heel flap of my Mermaid’s Tail sock (I think the fact that I left it in the car contributed to me not knitting) and I’m glad to be at that point. I am actually further on than the photo, it hasn’t taken me all afternoon to do that bit! Small daughter breaks up for the Easter holidays on Thursday so if I get my skates on, I might actually be able to finish the sock by then in my school run knitting time!
Finally, for today, I wanted to show you these. They’re a couple of cards from the Emma Ball website – I spotted the first one on Instagram and loved it immediately, and the second one made me laugh (even though I’m not quite as messy as I used to be and I do have to tidy up from time to time otherwise I can’t think straight – although perhaps not using the cardboard box method in future!). They’re both going up on the wall in my study (not on the desk, you’ll notice!). And I’ll be remembering to dance whenever I see those penguins with deely boppers on 😀
See you tomorrow!
PS It’s taken me so long to finish the blog post that small daughter has managed a whole 24 hours without her phone. You’ve never seen anybody pick up a phone so quickly when the time was up! I asked her if she wanted to do another six days to go for a week without it … you can imagine what the answer was! 😀