Monthly Archives

February 2012

My Pancake Day podcast…

… in which I sound like a bit of a tosser.

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Disclaimer: I had to do this as part of my MA. As an audio experiment. Honest.

Moan for Monday: texting sucks

I’ll try not to do this too often, I promise, but Monday is a great day for moaning. And here’s today’s theme… texting. I just hate texting.

Rewind five years and I was glued to my phone and texted all the time, replying to people swiftly and engaging in regular text convos. Now, it’s days before I can be bothered to reply and that’s not because I don’t like the person at the other end of the message, I just find texting tiresome.

I hate texting textThis is for several reasons…

Firstly, my phone is now used for so much more then phone calls and texting; I check emails, read the news, take photographs, do social media stuff, check train times, find directions… the list goes on. So texting is just another thing to do and it tends to take too much time. Which leads to my second point…

I’m rubbish at text speak, it feels wrong to truncate the English language in such a  ruthless way and I fear I’ll end up sending textual (that’s textual, not sexual, which may be a word I’ve just made up) messages that sounds like they’ve come directly from the chewed up fingertips of a teenager. I’m 32. So my texts aren’t always short and if they are, they probably sound rude.

This increased use of my phone is uncomfortable too. I get finger ache, knuckle ache, wrist ache and arm ache, no doubt due to my bad posture which just gets worse with a phone in my hand. If I stopped mid text and looked in the mirror, I’d probably see a hunched over, lady, shoulders curled forward, head down, arms and fingertips tensed. I tense while typing at speed, and it’s really not good for the old body. 21st century communication is bad for the skeleton.

So I much prefer email, it’s quicker, hurts less and messages can be sent to more than one person and replied to by more than one person. Texting to multiples means you get five replies but the other four people in the convo don’t. Not good for group discussions.

So I keep my texting brief, avoid sending pointless ones and don’t reply to “see you in five mins, I’m running a bit late” ‘cos there’d be no point. My mum, on the other hand, reads a text asking if dinner’s still on for Wednesday and while she says yes to herself she fails to communicate that yes by sending a text back. Bless.

Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky. How do you feel about texting?

Kate and Wills join the cocker spaniel club

Ralphie chewing a slipper on a sunbedI’m not usually one for blogging about the Royals, but it seems I have something in common with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

They’ve just adopted a black cocker spaniel puppy which means they’re signing up for a lifetime of happy bum wiggles, being beaten round the legs by an endlessly waggy tail, the mystery of the quiff that won’t stay down, lots of cuddles, squirrels chases, squeaky toys and a spot of bad breath. Excellent choice!

When I saw this picture of Kate and Wills with the new member of their family I thought, just for a minute, that Ralphie had upped sticks, packed his squeaky duck, a chewed up tennis ball and box of gravy bones and hauled his furry ass to Anglesea for a stroll on the beach with Kate and Wills.

To be fair, Ralphie has it pretty good at home (although he probably thinks he’s hard done by) but I’m not sure we could compete with royalty. Thankfully, the pupster in the pic is just a Ralphie lookalike and my cocker spaniel buddy is curled up on the single sofa in front of the bay window, on guard duty. His job, you see, is to bark at anyone who dares to walk past our house so Kate and Wills can sleep easy knowing they have someone to protect their turf. And poo on their floor.

Cybher – meet and greet

cybher 2012 logo

I’m really chuffed and exciting to be attending Cybher 2012 in May, the first all inclusive female blogger event of its kind in the UK. Woo! Not only will I revel in excellent blog company, learn some new stuff and hopefully put faces to the Twitter names I’ve been following for some time, I may well cover the event as part of an assignment for my Masters. We’ll see. I’ll be popping along with my fellow blogging friend Carrie Walton and thoroughly looking forward to a day which celebrates the fact there are so many fabulous female bloggers out there.

So here’s my Cybher Meet and Greet post *waves to everyone*…


Name : Robyn Bateman (formerly the artist known as Robyn Slingsby)

Blog :

Twitter ID: @robynbateman
Height : 5ft 9ins
Hair : Mostly crap and not nearly thick enough for my liking, prompting underlying fear I’ll one day go bald. Currently cut in a lopsided bob which I’ve since learned is asymmetric.


Five things you should know about me…
1. When I was younger I wanted to be the female equivalent of Linford Christie and be an Olympic sprinter. I then wanted to be an author (and still do) and then a journalist (tick).

2. I used to be a newspaper reporter then editor and got nominated for the Midlands Media Awards Headline of the Year a couple of times, but didn’t win.

3. I have an 18-month-old Cocker Spaniel called Ralphie who I love to bits. And he even has his own website (created for one of my MA projects, refer to point 5)

4. I was born and bred in Shropshire which I fondly refer to as ‘The Shire’. I then lived in Leicester for a year or so and am now in Milton Keynes, which isn’t nearly as horrible as most people think it is.

5. I’m doing an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University (via distance learning) and loving it. And Cybher may well form the basis for one of my assignments!


You can find out more about me by reading this blog (or my Journo Nest blog where I post about my studies) or by following me on Twitter.

If you would like to join the Cybher Meet and Greet, do a post and add it to the Linky here. Really looking forward to seeing you in May!

Oh, and if you already have your ticket make sure you grab your badge here.

Give us something: 100 ideas for your blog #3

Gift superman by JD Hancock via FlickrIronically, I’m writing this when I feel I have very little to give. Yes, it’s been one of those weeks. But this post is about the best gifts I’ve given and received. I’d like to say they’re not materialistic things but that would be a stretch…

When I met my now husband, it wasn’t long before his 29th birthday and we had (and still do) a shared passion for New York. So I dipped into my savings and took us off to the Big Apple for a long weekend, a dramatic gesture when previous dating experiences had seen me paying my half of dinner and little more. But this felt right and it really started our relationship off on the right foot. Holidays with new boyfriends can be a huge risk but we felt right at home, with New York and with each other. And it obviously worked because we’re now happily married, result! So, yes, that’s possibly the best gift I’ve ever given – and one I’m not likely to give again!

The best gift I’ve ever received? That’s tricky. The briefcase I asked for one birthday when I was a kid was pretty damn cool and, despite being under 12, I felt like a true mini business person of the early 90s. I can’t even remember what I kept in it, official and secretive documents no doubt, but I do know it was quite cumbersome to carry around and not nearly as practical as a rucksack. You can’t fit an apple in your briefcase!

Aside from that, getting our first childhood dog was a pretty damn good present. Dad hated pets so when my parents divorved my mum opened the doors to all sorts of animals – first hamsters, then rabbits and after that, guinea pigs. And then there was Henri.

Mum told us the night before that she was bringing a special visitor home from work so we’d need to tidy everything up when we got back from school. She told us no more than that so my brother and I were uber excited. Who could this mystery visitor be?! So, we tidied as we were told, and the house was spick and span by the time mum pulled the car into the drive. With a four legged visitor in tow!

We’d never for one second guessed that she’d be bringing home a puppy, despite the fact we’d spoken about it in the past. And that’s the night we met Henri the Cocker Spaniel, our play mate and mum’s loyal companion who was very much a part of our family for 16 or so years.


Inspired by No One Cares What You Had For Lunch: 100 Ideas For Your Blog by Margaret Mason

Picture by JD Hancock via Flickr under this licence