Percolated happiness coming right up

It’s a drip feed, isn’t it? Happiness I mean. Not just happiness, all feelings, all emotions. A sort of osmosis from outside influence.

Peer pressure

We are so easily swayed these days, by adverts, by song lyrics, by reading a book or watching a decent film. Open your Facebook account and be instantly irritated by someone you have never actually met, feel emotional and sad at someone else’s bad luck, or warm and fuzzy from a cute kitten/puppy video. We’re all total suckers for it, really.



So there I was, minding my own business, when HAPPY MELLY suggested I get happy for a week; Go Positive they said. Easy, I thought. I’ll just post ‘nice’ things, and curate some positive stories. I can do that. Simple.


Hard work

It’s not, actually. My social media (personal and pages accounts) are full of some really bad shit, and I hadn’t truly taken note. I found myself SEARCHING for good news stories, and really, it was pretty trying. Forget the newspapers and media pages for a start. My ‘friends’ do like a good moan! Avoidance of 😦 reactions is also harder than you think.


So, I gaily skipped and scrolled past the RIP posts, the dead dog posts, the FFS posts and the general angst. No Angry, Sad, or even Like  (your angry mood)  responses from me – nuh-uh. I’m not on your bus, sister.

Feelgood factor

Then something odd happened. I found my finger hovering back over those Bad News stories, looking for something positive to say. That’s better, I thought. The OP would ‘like’ my comment, and I’d feel even happier.


9 September at 11:27 ·

All done and not a word of thanks from management. Not even a goodbye. Thankfully students were grateful for my efforts. #wontbeback




Carol Byrne The students are the important ones, your raison d’etre. Good that they were grateful 🙂

Like · Reply · 1 · 9 September at 12:33


I started to do the same OFFLINE. What’s all this? A new me? No, probably not. That would take some sort of miracle.


But a slow, drip-feed of happiness? Yes. like the best coffee, a sort of percolated happiness. It tastes pretty good too…want a cup?

7 Things I dislike on Facebook

Will I tell you 7 things you don’t know about me? Er, no. Not that I mind YOU knowing about my slightly interesting, occasionally hair-raising stories of my murky past – but, dear Stranger, because Keef the Identity Thief might just be reading over your shoulder. Horrors, he might even be a ‘friend’ already.

Identity theft word cloud shape

Which brings me to my point, and the title of this blog. Hmm, perhaps it should be ‘Would the Real Carol Byrne/Jenny Bloggs Please Stand Up’

1.  I dislike...the way folk are clearly uncomfortable with themselves. You know what I mean. Why does an online diary, one without a lock that you want the whole world to read, have to be given such a soft focus? Why does everyone have to pretend to be better, wittier, more interesting than they really are? It’s a sort of Wishbook, where we get to tell everyone how great we are – rather than how shitty our lives often are.

2. I dislike…doctored photos too, especially the plethora of mindless selfies.. Even my own perfectly pretty, often spotty, 16 year old has to use a zillion effects on her never-ending instagram shots. As someone said, let’s hope none of these kids go missing – we’ll never be able to distribute a photo anyone will recognise.

Yes, I used to look like this – but I sure as hell won’t ever again! And that’s alright.


3.  I dislike… the illusion everyone has that the whole world agrees with them. They’re YOUR friends, idiot. So when you throw your dummy out of the pram and then boast that everyone agreed with you on something – well…..unless you’re friends with me, you might not like me telling you you’re wrong 🙂

4. I dislike…the Chicken Licken approach. you know, The Sky is Falling Down, “I read it on Facebook so it must be true and I have to be the first to tell everyone else….” Urban Legend? Probably. Run it through Google first, you eejit.

5. I really dislike...The term Hun. Even typing that word makes me cringe. What’s that all about? Do they mean Honey? Then that’ll be Hon – and, actually,  call me that at your peril. Hun. It’s not an endearment. Also, it’s a NOUN.

6. I dislike...the random sharers. Dog – must share. Soldier – must share. Cute whatever – must share. If I share a dog that’s been badly treated it’s not to make you go awww. It’s because I like true justice and hope some of my friends in low places might just know that person and go and slice their bollocks off. Really. Stop spamming me. At least when I spam you I’m at least trying to sell you something 🙂

7. I dislike…the Blessed are We who are Special Brigade. If I see another fecking Halo on a smug emoticon I might flip. Keep your blessings to yourself, try doing something for someone else instead of telling me. If you love your son don’t share the picture, tell him, or make him his favourite meal or don’t nag him for a week – or something. I find it all a bit sad in the way some Facebookistas insist on telling us how lucky they are, how wonderful their mundane life is. I always get the feeling it actually ain’t – a bit like, if they say it enough….it might come true.

Disagree? So,go right ahead, unfriend me at your leisure – I really don’t mind.:) Yes I’m a grumpy old misanthrope – but at least I’m being honest, right? 

Next time you sit in front of that flashing cursor on the status bar – think before you type. Or better still, log off and go hug your son/dog/cute kitten. 

Reconnecting and Lost Connections

This year seems to be my year for meeting up with old friends, virtual friends, and new friends.  The trouble with social networks like Facebook and Twitter is that you assume people are exactly where you left them, not yesterday, but in my case,oh, 20+ years ago.  Why my life would muddle on and I still expect others to be in the same place I’m not quite sure!

Sometimes, I leave it too late, and have been incredibly saddened by the discovery of ‘way too young’ deaths of once close friends, you just don’t expect it.

I’m the sort of person who doesn’t really do girly, or close groups of female friends, I’m really crap at ‘staying in touch’, I just think if a relationship is good enough, you will always pick it up again, and be able to laugh and share a beer as though you had only met up yesterday.




Although, looking at that hair bear bunch – inc me –  in 1979, perhaps I should leave well enough alone!

This year I went for a long morning walk and a natter in Ireland with Denise, we last chatted in 1985, but had no trouble picking up where we left off. Or recognising each other! We had so much to say we forgot to take a photo.

In Berja, Almeria, last month, lunch was taken sobremesa style, with Elaine and Tomas, not seen since 1991. Again we talked so much we forgot to take a photo, there’s a pattern here, yeah, I kissed that Blarney stone!

On the 3rd of August, I’ll see Sue, my Facebook friend and sharer of posts extraordinaire, we’re going to see Anna Kemp and her exciting open air teatro project in Laroles –  I look forward to meeting her too!

Next week I was supposed to meet up with Kiersten and Richard of Spanish Highs, but the best laid plans have been waylaid – understandably – by a personal crisis so we shall simply take a rain check as they say in the movies and re-schedule. Murtas will still be here! So looking forward to it too.

Kathy, I won’t see you again – but you’re always here somewhere, I miss your mad ways, your great ideas to get us out of an hour or two at work, your friendship, and of course falling out with you every five minutes.♥

So, I wonder who I’ll meet ‘in the flesh’ next? You’d better lock that door!