#SaturdaySix (May 2018 Sunday edition!): JK Rowling’s stratosphere, heartbroken hostas, Sussex giraffes

Warmest welcomes to my #SaturdaySix for May 2018 – a monthly sextet of things that are inspiring me right now. And yes, I know this one is going out on a Sunday! Now: what is floating your own boat? I’d love to know – please drop me a line with your own current raves!

1: Entering JK Rowling’s stratosphere

What is it to be in JK Rowling’s stratosphere? Earlier this month, not one but two of my friends (each a Mr Jones) got to experience this within 48 hours of one another.

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On Friday 11 May 2018, my friend Sean Jones made a quite beautiful contribution to the #ShareAStoryinOneTweet hashtag:

“Walking into your foster parents’ house, heart thumping, doubts racing. You both were sat, hair brushed, little S fidgeting. ‘Who’s this?’ your foster mum prompted. ‘Mummy and Daddy’. The first time I heard your voice. My heart cracked and burst open. #ShareAStoryinOneTweet”

None other than JK Rowling came across Sean’s wonderful words, and retweeted them to her 14 million+ followers, adding her own words: 

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“I’m not sure I’ll ever write a story as good as this.”

Sean’s ensuing dialogue with Ms Rowling is just lovely beyond words.

Earlier that week (on Wednesday 9 May 2018), JK Rowling shared an excellent tweet by my friend Russ Jones, concerning the curious scale of the signature of one Donald Trump.

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Overnight, things got pretty crazy for Russ. On the Thursday morning, he tweeted:

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“Crap. Now I’m trending worldwide and a billion Russian bots and angry Trump fans are getting all shouty on my timeline.”

I’m pleased to report that Russ seems to have emerged from the other side of this experience all in one piece. It has also given him a new appreciation of what it is to be in JK Rowling’s stratosphere:

“If this is what @jk_rowling has to put up with daily, she’s risen even higher in my estimation.”

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Sean Jones and Russ Jones (not related, to the best of my knowledge) are two of the very best gents that it has been my honour to encounter via Twitter. That JK Rowling came across their excellent words and shared them with a wider world gives me hope that the forces of all that is right are still at large in this ever crazier world of ours. The good will out.

2: The giraffes of East Sussex

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Just one of the most joyous things I’ve ever encountered via Twitter. Followers of my fellow Crowborough resident Mr Nick Harvey will be familiar with his tweets depicting the wildlife that is perhaps* to be found roaming this quiet East Sussex town (for example, evidence right here of the kangaroos that are perhaps* to be found in the environs of Morrison’s supermarket).

South-east England experienced some seriously epic lightning last night. Mr Harvey was out with his camera, tweeting a picture of a Crowborough giraffe silhouetted by lightning. The media promptly came a-knocking. I love this thread of tweets on what ensued

First the Sun, then Sky News asked to use his pictures – and even better, Sky News actually did tweet out Nick’s giraffulent image. When I showed my wife this delightful set of tweets, she suggested that the term “girafffes in a storm” should henceforth be used to describe instances of a lack of journalistic fact-checking (eg “That’s a girafffes in a storm situation if ever I saw one”. I am very much liking this idea.

This is by no means the first time that the media have approached Mr H about using his pictures. I refer the honourable reader to Mr Harvey’s superlative song in response to a March 2018 request from the Daily Mail (be aware that the language of the streets is employed here to drive home his point).

3: How many more times?

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Comedian Bob Mortimer would listen to the first Roxy Music LP once a year. In a quite beautiful, gentle and reflective episode of the Adam Buxton podcast, Mortimer talks about his recent brush with mortality and the unexpected gift that it has given him. It allowed him to renew his appreciation for life and to reappraise how he spends his time. 

I love Mortimer’s point that if he continued in his old ways, he would only have a very finite number of listens to that first Roxy Music LP left to look forward to. He has the freedom to change this if he wants, to spend his time better. We all have such a choice, every day of our lives. How many times will you get to do what you most love to do in your life? There is a very finite number for all of us. Spend your time as well as you can. Make yourself and others as happy as you can, whenever you can. 

4: Heartbroken hosta

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An image that’s almost too perfect. Earlier this month, I spotted that a slug or snail had munched a hole straight through this heart-shaped hosta leaf. Concerned readers may be assured to know that this heartbroken hosta is staging an admirable recovery.

5: Pedantry in the wild

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Just yesterday (Saturday 26 May 2018), I was  amazed at the effort to which a pedantic train traveler (not me, I hasten to add!) at a railway station coffee shop had gone to slide the above-depicted listing out from behind its plastic cover, make their point, then return it! Full credit to my eagle-eyed wife for spotting this one and pointing it out to me.

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This puts me in mind one of my favourite ever Twitter jokes: “I don’t mean to be pedantish.” This joke was tweeted by the great Peter Serafinowicz way, way back in 2009. I’ve always wanted to find it again. At last I have been able to, courtesy of a fantastically helpful thread of tweets from Texas Resistance, which opened my eyes to the fact that Twitter actually has a rather excellent search engine.

6: The introvert’s buffer

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We introverts often need a little time to process things, to get our thoughts, words and responses in order before we share them with the world. My friend Julie Waddell came up with the perfect expression of this: the introvert’s buffer. Julie came up with this concept in response to my sharing a wonderful post from my friend Sabrina Baker, entitled Introversion is not a weakness. Please spare a moment if you can to read Sabrina’s words.

666: Eddie’s just getting started

This one goes to 666. Twitter is constantly giving me “If I could only tell my X-year old self” moments. The latest occurred last night. If I could only tell my 14-year old self that I would one day receive a tweet from Iron Maiden

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FOOTNOTES

* Or, at the risk of spoilering things, perhaps not.

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