Sunday, 30 January 2011

Unexpected Loveliness

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

When people are not wondering whether social networks can bring down dictatorships, they are mostly grousing about how Facebook and Twitter are undermining the very fabric of society. It's virtual, see, not real; no one can really have five thousand friends; the whole shower is one big vanity exercise, la di dah. People are just spewing vanity out into the ether, and it is no good to man or beast.

Today is my birthday. It's forty-four, a rather blah number, neither flesh, fowl, nor good red herring. I do not especially get cross about getting older, but neither do I see huge cause for celebration. Yet today turned out to be rather wonderful, both in the real and virtual worlds. There was an enchanting family lunch. My sister made slow-cooked lamb in the Greek fashion; my brother-in-law broke out the good claret; there were jokes and excellent presents. But most surprising of all was the absolute delight I took in my Facebook page. There, quite unexpectedly, I found screeds of happy birthday messages, from godchildren, cousins, old friends. My lovely friend Stephen even wrote a POEM, right up there for everyone to see. Oddly, it was even better than getting cards.

I don't know why it made me smile so much, but it did. The thought of people taking time to send little bulletins of love out through the internets was inordinately touching.

I'm not sure if Facebook and Twitter will ever change the world. Just as in actual life, there is an awful lot of detritus and dullness and pointless whimsy. For the self-employed like me, they both carry the very real danger of high-level time wastage. Those of you who read this blog regularly will know that I am currently quite obsessed with the small things that make life worth living. The sending of a birthday wish is a tiny thing, when the streets of Cairo are in turmoil. But for all that, it made me want to sing and dance.

Tired now, so just a couple of pictures today, of the other things that make me want to dance and sing - dogs, and hill:




So, thank you, lovely Facebook people. And thanks too to the dear readers of this small blog, for your kind comments, your extraordinary fondness of the dogs, and your continuing support as I navigate my way through this interesting new medium.


  1. Happy Birthday- sending hugs, shayma

  2. Happy Birthday! I am approaching 44 too. I refuse to believe it.

  3. Happy birthday, Tania!

    I have to disagree, though, that 44 is bleh. I loved turning 44, for no reason in particular. This summer, I turn 45, which seems to have a meh factor times 10.

    I hope you LOVE 44. =)

  4. Happy Birthday seems so unoriginal in this context but never mind - many happy returns, hope you have had a lovely day.

  5. Happy Birthday! Glad to hear you had a lovely day.

  6. Birthdays are special and unique!
    A very happy HAPPY birthday to you, Tania and many more of them too!
    (Remember: "Age"is just a number!)

    Pat (in Belgium)

  7. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!!!!!
    So glad you've had a lovely day :)
    I agree wholeheartedly about the facebook birthday messages...I turned 33 the week before last and likewise was soo touched by the fact people had thought to take the time to do it...things like this make me feel lovely and warm and fuzzy :)
    Many happy returns Queen of the blog! and here's to many more!!!

  8. Happy Birthday. Your day sounds lovely x

  9. A slightly belated Happy Birthday. Glad to hear it was a good day!

  10. Belated Happy Birthday!

    Helena xx

  11. Happy Birthday and hope you and the girls had a wonderful day. I've always wondered about the whole facebook thing, but having had really quite a shit week and all kinds of crises of confidence, the extraordinarily kind things and advice people posted made me first cry with unpent emotion and then with gratitude at the kindness of others. It can only be a good thing.

  12. Happy birthday to you, from a reader in Texas!

  13. Dear Tania, Happy Birthday. The numbers just become pointless after a while don't they? I turned 42 last Saturday and I gave up having parties after the 40th.

    I thought Stephen's poem was a lovely touch xx

  14. Such lovely birthday wishes - thank you all so much. *HUGE SMILE*

  15. They are certainly bringing about change--not necessarily good changes, not necessarily bad changes. I think we have to take the bitter with the better and realize that privacy is disappear even without Facebook. Also, happy birthday.


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