The Ticking Clock of Routine and Twitter Friends

The weekend didn’t get off to a good start so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that by Sunday afternoon my mood was heading steadily downwards. We were supposed to be travelling to the north-east to visit my step mother-in-law in her care home but the snow that greeted us on Saturday morning put paid to all plans for venturing out. The day took on a yet darker tone later in the afternoon when Sunderland lost its latest Premier League game. Yes I know it’s only a game but football is a huge part of life in my native north-east, born out of an industrial heritage when Saturday afternoon at 3pm represented a release from drudgery and was anticipated with a religious fervour. We rarely beat Tottenham in any case.


I ended the day losing myself in the French TV drama Spiral. Although hardly a mood lifter I love the dysfunctional characters within the police team as well as the Machiavellian machinations that appear to underpin the French judicial system.


Sunday arrived and the snow had turned to crunchy, slippery ice making me feel less like leaving the house than the previous day. Thankfully, a frantic check of the fridge and freezer revealed that we didn’t need to trudge into town to stock up on essential supplies. I spent most of the morning and early afternoon monitoring my social media feeds and hunting for stories to share on the various GMKIN platforms. By mid-afternoon my thoughts turned to a task I’ve performed every Sunday for almost twenty years – making up my daily drug doses for the week ahead. Sometimes this allows me to switch to auto-pilot, not have to think about anything and relax in a familiar task. However this time it was different. The whole process seemed to take forever and this regular, comforting activity became an unwelcome clock ticking my life away.


Perhaps my mood was influenced by the weather or the inevitable defeat of my football team. Perhaps it was down to Seasonal Affective Disorder or early signs of Blue Monday (what nonsense that is!). Anyway by late afternoon my energy was low and my mood even lower so I turned back to my GMKIN duties and re-engaged with my Twitter feeds. It was there I started to follow a series of tweets from a remarkable woman, Alison Cameron (@allyc375) as she described her eavesdropping of a conversation heard in a London Café. Her black humour, clever observations and a brief exchange of tweets lifted my mood. Later in the evening Anne Cooper (@anniecoops) shared her latest blog on ‘the power of making connections‘ and it made me realise that the connections I’ve made on social media platforms, especially Twitter, frequently amuse, inform and alter my perception of the world around me although in this case they had also changed my mood.

Monday has arrived, my energy levels have been restored, my mood is bright, confident even and this blog has been written because of that. Outside the ground remains covered in icy snow, my football team are entering yet another relegation battle but my daily tablets have been taken and I feel alive.





5 thoughts on “The Ticking Clock of Routine and Twitter Friends

    • Thanks Brian, I really appreciate your comments. With regard to Sunderland, it’s in the blood I’m afraid. Where I come from you’re either red and white or black and white and I’ve always favoured the underdog 😉

      There used to be a Sunderland fanzine called ITHICS which stood for “It’s the hope I can’t stand” which pretty much sums up life as a Sunderland supporter.

  • Being from Manchester Rob, I totally understand, like a lot of places football or depending on where you are from, even rugby, is in the blood. Like I said I’m Manchester, so either Red or blue. Of course I’m Red. But growing up in the 70s, I’m no glory hunter.

  • Great blog Rob. I can totally relate to the ‘ticking clock’ scenario. I feel like that at times my life is completely took over by such mundane tasks and hospital appts. and appts for my daughter. Whole chunks of our lives can be consumed. and yet we don’t have a choice but to keep on going. A very thought provoking blog!

    • Thanks Helen, it’s good of you to say so. It’s no exaggeration to say that the connections I’ve made using social media, especially Twitter, have changed my life. So many kind and helpful people! And a lot of it is down to Cristina asking me to speak at an event last year supporting GMKIN. I owe her a lot.

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