Here’s hop­ing it’ll be a chatty new year for us

Harefield Gazette - - YOUR LETTERS -

ONE week into 2015 al­ready. The year is just rush­ing by – ha – but I hope it’s not too late to wish you a very happy new year. Peo­ple of­ten ask me whether I ag­o­nise over what to write each week, but with 300-plus col­umns since 2008, writ­ing Bm@il is more of a chat with fam­ily or friends than writ­ing for strangers.

Lo­cal gossip, cur­rent af­fairs, things go­ing wrong – th­ese keep us all pre­oc­cu­pied and colum­nists, whether writ­ing for na­tional, lo­cal news­pa­pers, blogs, or the parish mag, just have the chance to share this with more peo­ple.

I’ve writ­ten about a weird va­ri­ety of things, from in­fu­ri­at­ing train jour­neys to not be­ing able to find a tra­di­tional plough­man’s lunch in pubs – with a whop­ping great pick­led onion and NO meat.

And you have emailed back to sym­pa­thise, dis­agree, of­fer so­lu­tions or tell me off, like when I fed bread to the ducks, which is ap­par­ently a se­ri­ous no-no.

Th­ese hic­coughs in our lives can be an­noy­ing, em­bar­rass­ing or in­fu­ri­at­ing at the time, but the re-telling can even­tu­ally be amus­ing.

When I wrote about the time I gnawed my new den­tist’s fin­ger when he said ‘light’ to the nurse ( I thought he was say­ing ‘bite’ to me), it di­luted the agony. Well, maybe not for the Uxbridge den­tist, whom I haven’t seen since.

He may have been nearer to home – my rea­son for chang­ing – but I soon scarpered back to my old prac­tice in Hayes, where I re­main.

Re­mem­ber­ing th­ese in­ci­dents, I was in­trigued to read an ar­ti­cle headed ‘Young­sters air­brush­ing re­al­ity with Face­book lies’.

On­line com­mu­ni­ca­tion is fab­u­lous and I’d never go back in time, but rewrit­ing his­tory on so­cial net­works or pa­per­ing over bad in­ci­dents by ly­ing to make them­selves look good is a bit too Or­wellian for com­fort.

False lives en­cap­su­lated in page after page of grin­ning self­ies strikes me as weird and will cer­tainly con­fuse fu­ture his­to­ri­ans.

A prob­lem shared, how­ever, can bring un­ex­pected re­sults. Last year, res­i­dents, fu­ri­ous like me that their lo­cal cin­ema was re­fus­ing to show qual­ity films, raised their heads above the para­pet and even­tu­ally changed the Odeon’s mind-set.

Some­times there are happy end­ings. We don’t al­ways have to in­vent them.

Keep in touch! Email me at bmail­bar­ and catch up at www.getwest­lon­ au­thors/bar­bara-fisher/.

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