Re-Acquainting With The Past

As much as social media can unearth the ill-thought out rantings of the negative, confrontational, uninformed and those bereft of humanity (and that’s just me!!), there’s numerous examples of it also forming a platform for good. A greatly uplifting medium that provides a catalyst to situations manifesting positive user benefits.

For instance, over the past 2-3 weeks, after posting memoirs relating to my upbringing in Low Fell, Gateshead on Facebook, I’ve been re-acquainted with several people I’d not had contact with for four decades. Members of two community groups created by/for residents from that area; the targeted demographic audience for my narratives.

Individuals who at some point and in varying degrees touched on the fledgling years section of my life canvas – Leaving metaphorical footprints of fond memories in my subconscious. People who’ve forgiven, or maybe just forgotten, this sometimes divisive child who resided in Dorchester Gardens all those years ago. A kid who fitted in, but whose capricious mind oft filled him with notions to the contrary.

A nipper whose racing mind, full to the brim with epiphanies of erratic insight and humour, told him these ideas were lunacy and shouldn’t see the light of day. Subsequently, the creatively good notions wandering his immature neurological corridors remained predominantly suppressed, alongside the less erudite musings.  Occasionally, slipping out to mixed audience reviews, but mostly remaining stored in a cranial filing cabinet labelled ‘For Your Eyes Only’.

A behavioural scenario that remained in place for decades. The offbeat notions only regularly rearing their head when his mid-life crisis (MLC) arrived on the scene. MLC spurning stereotypical fulfilment by purchasing a fast car or tattoo of Che Guevara. Instead choosing to give these suppressed thoughts their neurological liberty: random ideas released onto an unsuspecting audience. A much-needed undertaking as part of GJ Strachan’s implementation of ‘Project Oh F*** It!’.

This a strategy long overdue, but as a consequence of procrastination and risk aversion had remained on the same ‘unused’ shelf as his self-confidence, skin tag removal techniques and enrolment forms for the Jedward fan club.

Anyhow, no harm done, that has now been dealt with (apart from filling out the Jedward fan club enrolment documents). It’s been heartwarming to see my narratives acted as a catalyst for numerous friends/acquaintances of yore being reconciled. Ah, the wonders of social media.


Social media long dividing opinion. WWII prime minister Winston Churchill was known by many as a rousing, insightful orator and leader of the country. However, his speechmaking legacy will always remain tarnished by his misreading of the positives of this communication channel when, in 1944, telling assembled press at Chequers, “Facebook’s a right load of s***e, tha nas!”

An uncharacteristically short and vague summation by the accomplished speech writer, said to manifest from Churchill’s displeasure that Conservative politician Anthony Eden refused to accept his ‘friend request’. Not to mention his growing disenchantment at Lord Halifax’s constant Candy Crush trolling.

Well Winnie, whatever your opinion on venturing through the app signified by a blue background and white F it’s fair to say my recent experiences go to prove it can provide a renewed sense of community. However, I do get your annoyance at being constantly invited to join a game of Candy Crush,

To close, yesterday I was saddened to hear of the passing of close family friend Neil Brittlebank after a short battle with cancer. A man who’ll be greatly missed by many, in particular the villagers of East Ardsley, Wakefield where he spent the majority of his 80+ packed years on this planet. Over four decades full of events that left him with a wealth of interesting and whimsical tales. Anecdotes and company I’ll miss terribly.

RIP Neil Brittlebank

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