Tuesday, 12 July 2011

My blogging self

I'm a bit bored (read: I have some work to do which I can't be bothered to at 10pm), so I am challenging myself to answer this blog questionnaire:

How long have you been blogging?
For three and a half years, although last year barely counts.

How many blogs do you regularly follow?
I’m estimating that there are 20 blogs I check in on, on a daily(!) basis.

Of the ones you read, how many are diary blogs and how many are subject-oriented?
Apart from Antirhythm, I think all of them are at least partially diary blogs.

Do those who know you think you are true to yourself in your blog?
I have never asked, but I think I am, sometimes to the point where I forget how words can be misconstrued in writing.

Have you found a functioning boundary for how private you want to be in your blog, or is that boundary continuously stretched?
Yes, I think I have managed to keep what I want private and on the contrary, the more people that know my blog, the more restrictive I find myself becoming. This is sad as I would like to share a lot more with my lovely readers.

To which extent do you blog for acknowledgement/affirmation?
I always tell myself I am blogging for me, but I lose my motivation when there are no comments, and I feel uplifted when readers comment.

Have you met people IRL after meeting them through your blog?
The only person I’ve met through my blog is Kajsa, but I have met many others through Ghanablogging, which I guess is partly through my blog.

Do you think it is damaging for some people to blog?
I think it can be damaging for those who do not realise the legal implications of what they write, e.g. the possibility of stealing copyright material or defamation. I also think younger bloggers may not realise that the blog will live on and be available to the world years after they ever intended it to be.

What are the cons of blogging for you?
I’ve realised friends who read my blog don’t contact me as much: they’re getting updates on my life through the blog, forgetting I’m not hearing from them. Other than that, it is at times too time consuming to maintain the blog.

Do you think you’ll be blogging in two years time?
Yes, possibly in a different format, maybe more business related and on another platform, but of course I’ll make sure to take my blog-friends with me if I do!

Monday, 11 July 2011


I'm standing at Vauxhall station waiting for a train from Earlsfield. My jacket's still a bit damp from this morning's rain, but now it's sunny and dry. In front of me, planes are appearing out of the sky.

Up they fly, drifting in and out of the clouds. It takes about one minute for each plane to pass above me, then it disappears out of my eye's reach, above the stations roof. As soon as on has passed, another appears in front of me. In between the planes, I hear announcements being made:

"The 10:20 London Waterloo train will be delayed by approximately 32 minutes. This is due to a suspected fatality at Wimbledon. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

As my own train's arrival time keeps shifting, 10:40, 10:48, 10:50, 11:01, it is only the sweet sounds of Adele that keep me calm, as I calculate how late I will be for my appointment. The train, finally, surprisingly shows up at 10:53 and I arrive 'only' 15 minutes late.

On my way home several hours later, with the melancholic "Someone like you" playing in my ears, the Evening Standard confirms that a woman in her sixties was indeed hit by a train and killed at Wimbledon.

Another day in London has just passed by.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mobile number portability is here

Today is a very exciting day. Being in London, I guess I should first mention that I know it is the 6 year anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings that took place in 2005 at four different locations (including my own former Tube station, Oval).

That, however, is not what I was thinking of, but rather, that today is the day mobile number portability comes into effect in Ghana! This means one can quit a mobile phone network and sign up to another, yet keep the old phone number.

I know to the outside world this may not sound like much, but let me tell you, you don't know the kind of crap we've had to deal with as mobile phone customers in Ghana. From today, the networks are going to have to get their act together to ensure they keep their customers. I am hoping we'll see some competitiveness in terms of pricing, price plans and improved reception. No longer will we as customers be held hostage to a network because their phone number is what we have on our call cards, websites, etc.

Of course, before getting too excited, this is not a case where one can skip from one network to another at a whim. I have been informed that portability will only be allowed once every six months, but anything is better than nothing.

So now, shall we start taking bets on who might be the big winners or losers of number portability? I don't want to get sued so I'm not even going to hint on who I think will lose, but I will say I am happy to stay with my main mobile phone operator Airtel for now. And no, I was not paid to say that.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Death on Facebook

Speaking of death, I read an interesting article on a topic I have considered many times. How does Facebook handle the death of its members? Remember my friend G? It's been three years and I still get birthday reminders on Facebook. I am sure I'm not the only one of his friends who sees these as a painful reminder of his death. Still, it would feel strangely cruel to defriend him just because he's passed away (in the same way it is difficult to erase a dead person's phone number from your phonebook).

In the article, Liza Campbell mentions how one of her deceased friends makes a new friend a good four months after passing away. I too have seen that happen.

I know many prefer for the dead person's Facebook page to still exist, as it becomes part of the grieving process to look at old pictures and updates of the deceased. Would it not be relatively simple though, to say that upon the receipt of a copy of a death notice/certificate, Facebook will at least disable the deceased's account from being able to make new friends and from having birthday notices sent out?

Or am I thinking in too simple terms?

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

The Rumour Mill

Two weeks ago, I bumped into an old friend, LC, in Gothenburg. After the initial excitement of seeing each other for the first time in 16 years, she told me she had some bad news; somebody we both knew, Mrs G, had passed away.

I, in turn, passed on the news to my mum and my brother (Mr. T). (LC and I knew each other because Mr. T and her little brother were in the same football team for over a decade. Mrs G, was the mother of another teammate). We all mourned together and were trying to work out how Mrs. G, who would be in her early 60s had passed away, especially as I had been informed it was a very sudden, unexpected death.

In the end we decided that, rather than Mr. T trying to approach his friend, which would be too blunt and awful (imagine, "hey, how are you? By the way is it true your mother passed away?"), we'd try searching for info on Facebook, where you can always find a clue to things, one way or another.

Well, as always, Facebook comes to the rescue. Today my mum abruptly interrupted me on the phone to say: " I have to tell you something, Mrs G is still alive!". And how we know? Mr. T search on his friend's Fb page, somehow managed to get onto the friend's brother's girlfriend's page were she had as her status: So happy after spending the Midsummer weekend with my boyfriend and his huge family. Then she goes on to list them and of course the list included Mrs G! And this was posted days after I received her death notice.

See how quickly people can be killed off and some of us spend (unnecessary) time mourning them? Still I guess it's nice to be able to spread the good news, like I did to my father five minutes ago, that, hey: Mrs G has resurrected!

Friday, 1 July 2011

KFC in Ghana?!?

I decided to take a break from some very intense drafting to check Facebook, and what do I see? Apparently KFC has opened its first branch in Ghana, on Oxford Street!

The news comes as such a surprise and I can't help but be excited. Not by the thought of eating their breaded, fried chicken in the heart of Accra, but as always, by the idea of something new happening. Of course I am also a bit anxious about what this means for us; will there be an influx of other unhealthy fastfood joints? How soon before we start seeing an increased number of US-style obese people on the streets of Accra?

Before my thoughts wonder any further, can somebody kindly confirm whether this news is true? According to this article, 4 outlets are to be opened in Ghana this year. Send me picture evidence, pleeeeease!


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