Twitter focus change

As time goes on, I’m finding Twitter much more enjoyable than Facebook.

But I’ve noticed a change – or, maybe, it’s something to do with how I’m interacting on Twitter – I’m not sure.

People have followed me in the past and I’ve looked at their profiles and not bothered to follow back. After all, I’m not really what you could call a “serious” Twitter user. I’m not really interested in numbers of followers or, that much, in who follows me. I don’t normally tweet very much, just doing the occasional retweets.

But then I started promoting Altern-i-life, the musical film that I helped to fund through Kickstarter. An I was tweeting and retweeting several times per day. And I saw that I was getting more notice and that more people were following me. And I decided to change the way I interacted by automatically following back. Then, after a little while I would see some had unfollowed me (so I would unfollow them since they weren’t that interesting) or my feed would be filled with rubbish or things that I didn’t like, so I would unfollow them first.

But, what I have noticed is some people are using Twitter as a way to promote something they’ve done. I first noticed it with Matt Haig who wrote The Humans. He, unselfconsciously, promoted himself by retweeting short (Twitter) reviews from people who had read the book. It seemed an interesting book, so I bought it. As you may know, I prefer a “real” book, made with paper and this was one of them. It became my favourite book of 2014. I absolutely loved it. So much so that I bought 2 copies (one in Italian) for Best Mate and F as presents and encouraged someone else to buy it.

As a result of that, maybe, I’ve been followed by other authors, each one promoting their book. Some are self-published and others not. And I’ve also been followed by musicians (singer-songwriters), some of whom have “given” me downloads of their stuff. So far, no one has had the impact of Matt Haig (so much so that I will definitely be buying his new book, out very soon) but I’m sure that, somewhere along the way, I’m going to find some more interesting stuff and something like “The Humans” (either song or book) that I will go “Wow!”

But, this was not what I thought Twitter was about, so, for me, it’s an interesting change of focus.

I still follow the people that I know IRL, those that are funny or give me information that I want to know about and, a very few, with whom I disagree with their politics or thoughts but who are interesting enough to keep me hooked. But now I have a load of people on my timeline that also have something to “sell”. If they are engaging enough, I keep following them anyway, even if I’m not that impressed with their product. After all, you never know!

Not really in the UK

Of course, London is not really “the UK”. It’s like its own country. Still, it has many things related to the UK.

It seems as if people fall into three groups: Eastender-type people, foreign people, pretentious pricks.

Eastender-type people speak estuary English. That’s like English for people who never went to school. They also dress as if they don’t have mirrors at home and select clothes which, quite obviously, don’t match anything else in the world, thereby creating an image of having selected things from a jumble sale. Basically, they don’t seem to give a shit.

Foreign people are everywhere. Of course, by “foreign people”, I don’t really mean foreign, what I mean is that, even if they, themselves, were British born, their parents or grandparents came from somewhere other than the UK. The mix of cultures is obvious. I don’t have any problem with it – it’s just noticeable and completely different from Milan. F said that it seems as if all staff in restaurants and bars are not English – and I think this is true. Certainly, we seem to come across “an Italian” in nearly every restaurant or bar. It was noticeable that there were a lot more “Muslim” women around, wearing some sort of head cover. Milan, on the other hand, seems to have very few.

Pretentious Pricks fall in to two categories. 1) Hipsters (although there seemed to be less than in Milan.) 2) People who look like someone from the 30s or 40s. Same haircut, same “look”, normally as camp as Christmas. Speaking with received pronunciation and being loud everywhere. Or “business men”, on the phone or a laptop being “business-men-who-are-very-important” – with received pronunciation or speaking like a cockney. All of these people seemed very much up their own arse.

On the other hand, there was BEER, TEA and full-English breakfast. Pubs with tables sticky from spilled beer; weather which was bright or cloudy or raining or different – every few seconds; wind; police or security – everywhere; drabness and colour in equal amounts; overflowing ashtrays; expensive public transport; and, of course,


No, not the one that people call “beautiful” even if she isn’t – it’s just compared to every other member of the royal family, she is!

No, Kate Bush. The live edition. The two-and-a-half-hour extravaganza of singing and music and choreography. It was truly fabulous. She was fabulous. The whole set was fabulous.

Oh, yes, and we went up the Shard, which I think is an ugly building – but the views of London were stunning.

So that was London.

Would you like a great evening of entertainment and fun in Milan? Don’t miss this!

We had booked tickets before.

Obviously, had we known that we were going to lose Rufus, we would not have gone but, in a way, it was nice just to be able to laugh and enjoy something.

And, it was wonderful, spectacular and fun.

I’m talking of the musical Priscilla (pronounced prishilla here). F was a bit worried. He hates these things being translated into Italian (apparently Mamma Mia was in the original language (good) whereas Grease had everything translated – even the songs (very, very bad, according to F)).

However, he had a voucher from his last birthday (not the one a few days ago) and it needed to be used. So we had booked for last night.

It seems some time since I went to a musical and they are incredible fun. The music was superb and I particularly like the three women who spent most of their time hanging from wires above the stage, singing their hearts out.

The costumes were unbelievably good, especially for the version of MacArthur Park.

It was only a few times where I didn’t get the jokes during the dialogue (the dialogue being in Italian – the songs remained in original language).

If you live in or near Milan, you should go.

And here is a link to a blog (in English) by the creators/producers, who brought the show to Milan

Only one thing. The theatre was about a third full. I am certain it would have more fun with a fuller theatre. Of course, it was a Tuesday night, not long after New Year but after the holidays, so maybe that was the reason. However, just before the curtain went up, we (in the cheaper seats) were encouraged to move closer – to the most expensive seats. In theory, we could have paid about €39 and been sitting in €79 seats! We both agreed that it surely would have been better to sell tickets at a lower price (even if only for these mid-week shows) so that the theatre would have been fuller.

We felt sorry for the company who put their heart into the whole thing. I think everyone in the audience clapped extra hard to try to make up for the fact that we were so few.

But it was really fabulous. Please go. I can guarantee a truly enjoyable evening’s entertainment and you should know every song.

I would give it five stars.

And here, as it’s one of F’s favourite songs (and one of the highlights of the show), is MacArthur Park –

(p.s. the version in Milan, to me, was even better than this one even if the stage was smaller)