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I’m a fan of Twitter, in fact I’m a big fan of Twitter. Since I have been @stevepear I have learnt about other country’s cultures and customs, picked up some great recipes and been introduced to some superb music…..and some not so good.

I’ve ‘met’ some great people who I can relate too, I’ve met some not so great people that have the blocked icon next to them now.

I’ve been given photography tips, cleaning advice (tea out of carpet is a nightmare) had an abundance of replies when I was in Covent Garden and looking for a Mexican restaurant and one particular afternoon, whilst stuck in a massive traffic jam was given regular updates as to how long the delays would be.

Permit  me to go back to the people thing I mentioned earlier. I’ve got to know some really lovely people. People I have similar interests or values too. People that have made me cry with laughter. Twitterers views on life, love and the universe that have had me doubled up with laughter. Even in a series of messages 140 characters long you can get to know how people tick, their thought process or sometimes just sometimes you can be completely baffled by how someones mind works, but its great fun.

There is another point though. You can be touched by that tweet that simple says

 ‘im having a hard time’

That is what I have been struck with this week. A tweeter who I have followed for some time now, was down, really down. I got the impression that some disappointment had befallen them, some series of unfortunate events had left them feeling sad, lonely maybe a bit dejected. It was sad.

So in my attempt to blow the dark clouds away in order for some sunshine to appear in their world I sent them this link.

You see what I think the songwriter is portraying, is that, we all have an impact on people. We all have our super human touch, we send out sparks in every direction, we touch people’s lives. Many times we may not know it, we may not see the results first hand. However we all have that capacity….how we choose to use it, is another matter.

My Twitterite never fails to make me laugh, they are clever, bright, honest and funny, and I appreciate them, so, as that’s what I felt, then I thought, nows a good time to tell them

Encouragement is a great part of the tool box we need in life. Make sure you use yours, some people will need to dust it down, put some oil on it as it would have seized up through lack of use, others will now exactly where to find it, due to its constant use.

The things we say, we decisions we make have implications on people around us.

 Everyone is worth something!

 

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Having viewed the results from your poll casting, all I can say is ‘Gee thanks!’ That was so decisive!!!

Nevertheless you have spoken and I will actually take no notice of what you have plumbed for and will sojourn forward with a mixture of both, its my blog and I can do what I want.

I am taking a leaf out of our recent general election here in the UK and give you more or less the complete opposite of what you wanted.

44% want to just read it

33% don’t have an opinion either way

22% would rather listen to my blog

I’m still left wondering…..whats happened to the other 1%???

It’s incredible to think that it was 5 years ago that such terror and horror arrived in the heart of London. Had it been a year earlier, it wouldn’t have affected me so much.

 London was a city that didn’t really hold much for me, i’d visited a few times, worked there for 9 months and detested it with a passion. Having grown up on the coast, this was way way out of my comfort zone and I remember feeling at the time of working and living there so alone, and longing for the weekends when I would come back to windswept beaches and quiet! That’s what it was that hit me the most, how noiseless Weston was compared to the bustling streets and the emergency service sirens that would scream ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY’ as they negotiated their way down busy roads; although to me initially they would not be telling me to stay clear, more of a ‘bad people up to bad things’ kind of warning. They filled me with fear for a while, like anything with a bit of familiarity you tended not to notice them after a while. Van Morrison wrote ‘Can you feel the silence…’ and yes you can! Of course being a carrot cruncher from the West and staying in the Capital, you can most definitely feel the silence and the extremes of these two so different of places.

The year of 2005 was so much different. I had a fabulous job, I couldn’t wait to get back to London if I came home for the weekend. I used to drive past the Houses of Parliament on my way to the office and every single time I would have a broad grin on my face. It was another world, I was older so appreciated it more. I was paid well so could ensconce myself in the culture. I had a better understanding of art, so the Tate Modern, National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery were new and exciting places to lose myself in. The Photographers Gallery just outside Covent Garden was a place I would visit and revisit every time the exhibition changed. These places were not just to view but they had become thought-provoking, they were now ‘wow’ moments. I remember having conversations with my good friend Ian and looking at him incredulously as he would extol the virtues of Tracey Emin and Banksy, he would laugh at my glazed blank expression and my constant utterings of ‘WHATEVER!’, but this was different, I kind of got it now.

The architecture around the Royal Exchange I would be bowled over by, the old bank buildings, Leadenhall Market, the Gherkin, the new Lloyds building, the Pru building in Holborn with its red brick turrets, absolutely breathtaking.

Dinner in Spittafields market, Wong Keis in China Town, Giraffe on the Embankment, Cafe Nero outside Liverpool St station, these were all synonymous with my busy but wonderful time of three years working and living in London.

You see the picture im trying to portray is that I had come to love the City, we had become good friends, I missed it when I was away, I had started to have memories of great times. There were places that had become more than a coffee shop or a good eatery, but that’s where I had had a conversation with a particular person, who more often than not, I didn’t know when I went in through the doors to order my extra shot extra hot latte, but due to my ‘i’ll talk to anyone’ policy, had left thinking I’d made a new friend.

That is partly why, it was so sad when 07/07 happened, it was now my London, it was a massive part of me, I felt protective towards it, I took it personally. The people who suffered such horrible injuries, the people who so sadly lost their lives the families that everyday from this day onwards would mourn, I felt so close to, they were part of my extended family. I think you have to have spent some time there to really feel it.

On the 06/07 I was driving back from a meeting in Birmingham and as I trundled along in the middle lane of the M25 late in the afternoon , a lorry pulled out and literally took the side off my car. The garage we leased our cars from was in Tunbridge Wells and for some unearthly reason they were insistent that I should go and pick a new car up from their garage. On reflection, what an appalling, ridiculous customer care policy. Here was our company leasing a dozen or so cars from them, and I had to go to them? When should I pick it up? How about the next day, yes that suited me fine, I would go to Tunbridge Wells, I guess about 40 miles outside London ready to get the new car first thing on Thursday the 7th of the 7th 2005.

Would I have been on the underground at the time? I don’t know. My work pattern was that I would get to my office for 6-6:30 work for a few hours and about 8:30 when the office started to get busy, would go and do store visits for a few hours. Sometimes I took the Tube other times I would walk.

I doubt I would have been on any of the Tube lines the bombs went off, but I would have been caught up in the fear of it all.

 I remember listening to BBC 5Live  and hearing a trickle of phone calls going live on air about bangs being heard in the heart of the City. I remember the dread of having report upon report being quantified, verified, confirmed by listener after listener.

It was horrendous. I couldn’t ring into the office, mobile phones didn’t work, you couldn’t get a signal. I couldn’t find out if my colleagues were safe or to let anyone know that I was safe. All I could do was sit in the resulting traffic jam for what seemed like hours and listen to the radio, and get sadder and sadder as the reports grew more vivid of the carnage affecting so many and created by a few.

Today 5 years on, there will be individuals, companies, families, complete strangers who will be remembering and mourning the death of someone they knew, someone they happened to come across, someone they worked with, someone they married, someone they gave birth too, someone they loved a little, someone they loved a lot…..

….and we would do well to remember them also.

With a few days off, I went back to Swansea South Wales and to this place in particular. I have great memories of  Three Cliffs.

My parents used to take us there for days out or even for evenings as we lived very close to here. I remember playing cowboys and Indians in the dunes with my two brothers; I would never be on the winning side, the price you pay for being the youngest.

 I used to fish here with my dad. We had picnics, played football, ran down this sand slope so fast we’d struggle to stay on our feet the closer we got to the bottom, which inevitably meant we would tumble-down the last bit and end up a crumpled mass of bodies, laughing and spitting out sand.

Years later I would go back there with my girls, but this time we’d go camping in the Sunrise camping park at the top of the hill. The thing that didn’t change was the amount of  laughs, smiles and energy spent on the beach.

Three Cliffs is beautiful, I’ve yet to meet anyone who disagrees once they have walked this sandy shore. To me its beauty is not just the view, the blue sea or the towering cliffs. It’s not even just the incredible sunsets or the golden sand with breath sapping dunes to climb, its more the memories, which are many and oh so beautiful.