Pictures vs Words

A game of two halves this week. Among the ink usefully spent, various modest contributions to the sum of human knowledge – but a good deal also wasted on other people’s zero sum games.

Such is the human experience; as much effort often spent on impeding each other, as on creating something new or sustaining something good. But there were good things – and two of them are encapsulated in pictures.

First a creative impulse one lunchtime to cut and paste some enthusiastic comments into a simple picture – what sums up the UK? Here’s what people round the world think.20140503-095349.jpg

And people round the world also liked it – 50 odd retweets and favourites and 500 plus likes on Facebook. This simple picture generated well over a thousand words, and the great majority positive. Just goes to show that most people like something nice to smile about on social media – especially a picture.

The other image is a restoration job. History is lost every day, but if you have the good fortune and responsibility to look after a piece of it, so you should. Our little piece of English history looks better cared for than ever.


These two simple pictures will last in the memory far longer than any of the nonsense this week. And that makes me smile.



Is there a better thing than writing? While I’m not with the 20th century British philosophers who said language is all there is, I am with Aquinas. He’d say that, along with body and soul, language is a defining part of the human experience.

20th century norms made writing a minority sport – one for the professional. The rise of social media in the 21st century means we can all have a go.

I find if I don’t get the chance to write something, the day feels unfulfilled. And if (rarely) I’ve a moment with nothing I have to do, writing – or reading someone else’s writing – is the first thing I want to do.

For twenty years – from university to my 42nd year – I didn’t write anything for my own pleasure at all. Thank goodness for the invention of iPhone as my carry along notebook. I couldn’t be happier than when tapping out a bit of text with my right thumb.


20111102-202736.jpgSomeone sent me a cartoon of one dog commenting to another dog ‘I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless incessant barking.’ Social media is a bit like that – one hand clapping. Which is why it’s so nice to get the odd comment and ‘Like’.

Another dog woofing back makes all the difference. So many thanks to to those who have.