16 May 2010 (Sunday) - Tweeting from Pluckley

I joined Twitter this morning. I’m not quite sure why. I started a blog four years ago because all my mates were blogging. I was about the last to start, and I felt that by not having a blog I was missing out. I think I felt the same about Twitter – I was sure I was missing out on something. But now that I have an account and having had a look at the thing from inside, I’m not sure what I’m missing.

I’m not really that impressed with it. With a maximum “tweet” length of 140 characters, Twitter won’t come anywhere near to my requirements for a blog entry. It’s more comparable to Facebook, but for one-off silly messages I already have two hundred and twenty five people to whom I can transmit via my friends list on Facebook.

Having said that, I do find myself comparing Twitter with Blogspot, and recalling an email conversation (argument) I had years ago. I was bemoaning the rise of the graphic novel (read “comic book”). For those who’ve never read a graphic novel, they are novels in picture format for people who are too lazy to read a novel. I got the impression that Twitter is blogging for lazy people. However, the only people I know on Twitter (with one exception) all blog regularly as well as tweet (so much for that theory!). I understand you can follow the tweets of various celebrities, but I’d rather they had more to say than something which can be conveyed in the maximum 140 characters.

I can’t honestly see what Twitter does that other Internet sites don’t already do. I’m sure I’m missing the point of the thing somehow. Still, Twitter is definitely a child of the Internet – within two minutes of my joining, Twitter sent me an advert for a porno website.

You can follow me on Twitter if you should feel so inclined – look for http://twitter.com/manky_badger. The underscore is important. Someone called Martin Lyne has already grabbed the “mankybadger” name. And is doing nothing with it. Probably much the same as I will – I can’t see myself becoming Fireman Fritter…. But I’ll give it a go before dismissing it out of hand. I’ve rigged it to receive input from my mobile and to transmit my tweets to a panel further down this blog. So far I have tweeted half a dozen times. I might find a use for it yet, but somehow I doubt it.

Back in reality, once the Marsh Link train service finally got its act together to collect Steve (half an hour later than it should), five of us set off on a voyage of exploration. It’s only a year since we started going on cycle rides as a hobby, and already we’ve pretty much completely investigated all pubs in a radius of six or seven miles around Ashford. Today was effectively our last foray into unknown territory – via back lanes to Pluckley.

There was a slight altercation in Viccy Park – last Sunday I was somewhat disparaging about dogs. Perhaps I was a tad harsh, but today we met a dog owner who spoils it for all the others. Her dog was running wild, totally ignoring any and all instructions. And due to its insistence on doing its own thing, two of us (independently) very nearly flattened said mutt. Had it been on a lead, or trained….

Eventually we got into the countryside where we found the flaw in my route planning. Despite finding the aptly named “Bears Lane”, there was an awful lot of “up” involved in getting to Pluckley. But faint heart ne’er won and all that drivel, and despite being overtaken by Clyde in the Bulletproof Bomb at one point (really!), we arrived at the Black Horse in Pluckley three seconds later than I’d estimated (we timed it).

There are some pub websites that have slated the Black Horse in Pluckley, and last week some good friends of mine warned me about the place, but we thought we’d give it a go. And I’m glad we did. The service was friendly, and the food was excellent, and plenty of it. There was only one ale on, but MasterBrew ain’t a bad drop. We got our breath back from all the hill climbing, tweeted, and all too soon it was time to set off home again. I did have a sneaky snigger at Steve’s bum. During the week he sells padded bike seat covers. Today he could have done with one.

What was up on the way out was down on the way home, and allowing for pausing for a crafty half in Great Chart, the journey home was fifteen minutes quicker than the trip out. We were glad to get home before the rain, and sat down with coffee and cake (CAKE!!!).

Next weekend’s cycle ride will be on the Saturday, and we shall be going to Bethersden. Do let me know if you’re up for it….

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