The difference? Well, it was the three miles-or-so that I cycled along the tow-path while my GPS was no longer, it transpired, handle-bar mounted.... and the four-miles-or-so that I sweated back along the tow-path looking for it. (no it wasn't at the pub where we had lunch, it was on the ground near to a nasty pothole and no, I obviously didn't loop the fail-safe lanyard properly around my handlebars and, yes, I am therefore an idiot who deserved this extra 25 hot and sweaty minutes' pursuit.
Fortunately, I have considerate friends who, despite still smarting from my cougar-like ascent of Caen hill and consequently unassailable hold on the polka-dot jersey, agreed unanimously to wait for me.
Well, they said, in fact they thought they might keep going, they said, until they got to the next pub, they said, where they would wait for me there; and it was my round so don't be too long, will you?
Still, my carelessness gave them time to check their blackberries, upload their photos, post to their blogs, download details of nearby geocaches and text their tweets, for we are all - much to our children's incredulity - connected, now.
For isn't everyone? Seems to me 2009 is the year that forty-somethings finally found facebook. So for the older in tooth, but curious despite themselves, here are the seven stages in the adoption of social networking:
- ignorance... what's a blog?
- incredulity, derision and willful misunderstanding .. you mean several times a day, short messages, but who on earth cares that you've just finished the washing up?
- fear and suspicion... when I was their age we spoke to our friends, it can't be good all this screentime - and these people I heard of: they tweeted they were on holiday and their house was burgled
- unwillingly intrigued... well, apparently she saw it on facebook and so..
- toe in the water... No, I'm only on it to see what the children are doing..
- gentle usage - no, hardly at all, just a few status updates, but, wow, it's surprising all these old friends that find you, I hadn't seen her for nearly 20 years and out of nowhere she friended me
- immersion - so, I've got my facebook updates going out automatically as tweets, plus on the sidebar of my blog, I've got 129 friends, which is too many really, I'm going to start refusing
Here's where we went...
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