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Morwen Oronor

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May 4, 2011 at 4:38am

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Friendship and the internet

March 18, 2010 at 3:10am

When I spoke about getting a broadband internet connection, people used to ask me why and what I would use it for. Mostly people who don't use the internet, seem to think it is this bad thing that you 'buy' from a telephone supply company and that allows you to keep in touch with children who live far away and possibly, if you are really clever, to do internet banking, which of course is very dangerous because, they say "the bank has your personal PINs and the employees will be able to steal your money" and it doesn't help that news stories about the odd child who gets into trouble because o indiscretion on the internet blow the idea of "stalking" out of all proportion.
But what they don't know, and what they don't do, is to allow for, or even stress, is the friendships that result from having access to the web and from the membership of social networking sites.
When I first got 24-hour access to the web, I used it yes, to do internet banking and emails, but to also do research for my studies, as I was still actively pursuing my university qualifications at the time, and it was easy access to material I couldn't get at local bookstores or our local library; but then I also started joining messageboards. On one of these I met my two best internet friends, who I know will be friends I'll keep for life, Petal and Heart. Between the three of us we searched for a permanent home where we could stay in touch without having to sign up for the complexity that is Facebook and that was when I stumbled across Runboard.
In the first week here, I found some of the other people who I now regard as good friends and who are still active members of my board, Kaunisto and Leo. And further there were the Runboard staff who I would also love to meet in real life but as that's not likely to happen, for which I am a little sorry but the chances of my being able to travel to America are very slim, so to Lesa, Corey, Rick, Erika and Queeny and Barbara, Miss Piggy and others who are 'new' old members of AG, the chances are that we may never meet in person but I still think of you as "friends," and not in the Facebook sense where your friends are just the people who ignore your daily updates.
But I digress, I really wanted to say how this week that I've been worried about Petal being in hospital has made me realise how real interent friendships are. People who don't understand how it works and how these friendships develop, tend to dismiss them as being "not real" because, according to what these people say to me, "it's not the same as talking to someone on the phone or seeing them in person" and that's where they're so terribly wrong.
These friendships are every bit as real as the ones we make in real life. To me they're even better because, even though you might not be speaking to your friends in person, and sometimes don't even know what they really look like, they are there for you whenever you need them, more than the ones who you have to drive out to see, or wait for a convenient time to talk to one the phone, your internet friends respond to whatever you post directly without all the other social baggage that comes with going out to see them and, now, that Petal is really ill in hospital I really know that my life will have a huge hole in it if I lost her.
So to all my internet friends, cheers. And may our friendship continue to thrive.

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March 13, 2010 at 5:57am

It's funny how we enjoy weekends and time off for ourselves when we are young and have busy lives.
Then we retire and suddenly every day is a weekend day yet we still enjoy the weekends more than any other. For me Friday afternoons is 'me' time. The house is all clean and sparkly after the cleaning lady's been and Barry's off at bowls, so the dogs and I park off in front of the TV to watch whatever we like to watch and chat a few zzzz's while we're doing it.
Then on Saturdays Barry has a late sleep then a big breakfast and he goes off to collect the mail and visit some friends who look forward to his weekly popping in. When the weather is cool, I might tag along but mostly it's my time to catch up on blogs, and websites where i post and generally to do what i want to do whether it's reading or sleeping through the afternoon while he watches Saturday sport.
Sundays are more like preparation for Monday, the same way they were when I had to be in an office on Monday morning. I might do some laundry or some special cooking and then watch TV in the afternoon with Barry.
So why is it that the routine is so fixed that we just don't do everyday things at the weekends and weekend things during the week, why do we still stick to the same routines we had 10 years ago? Strange.

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March 12, 2010 at 5:47am

About eighteen months ago, a really unpleasant experience which involved my dog and a monkey, made me rethink the way I eat.
I decided that I would give vegetarianism a try to see how i would cope with my various health problems and naturally old age and the ravages it causes to the human body.
Since then I've stopped eating anything containing animal products although I have to admit that despite my revulsion for the way dairy herds are treated, I cannot quite give up milk and cheese, although I am only using animal-rennet free cheese now.
Why the revulsion for the treatment of animals, after all, aren't they necessary to our diet and aren't we supposed to be omnivores? The meat is there in the fridge in the supermarket anyway so why fuss about an industry that will continue despite the fuss that vegetarians and vegans make about meat-eating?
Because animals raised for the meat industry and the harvesting of animals is savagery. Well to me it is anyway and I am proof that if we eat the way our primate ancestors did, i.e. a diet consisting mainly of fruit, roots, nuts and other vegetation, resorting to killing other animals only when there is nothing else to eat, we show our true 'humanity.'
]The Cove is a movie that received the best documentary Oscar and it's subject matter is the secret harvesting of dolphins to feed the world's hunger for sushi.

]Death on an animal farm being shown soon on HBO highlights the treatment of animals being cultivated purely for their meat.

And then there is this:

Cheese is made by coagulating milk to give curds which are then separated from the liquid, whey, after which they can be processed and matured to produce a wide variety of cheeses. Milk is coagulated by the addition of rennet. The active ingredient of rennet is the enzyme, chymosin (also known as rennin). The usual source of rennet is the stomach of slaughtered newly-born calves. Vegetarian cheeses are manufactured using rennet from either fungal or bacterial sources. Advances in genetic engineering processes means they may now also be made using chymosin produced by genetically altered micro-organisms.

The killing of calves for their meat and then their stomach enzymes of the child being placed in the mother's milk for humans to dine on.
There are alternatives to animal rennet and more and more cheese manufacturers are using these:
]vegetarian cheese.

I'm not saying that people should stop eating meat. If you hunt a single animal and use it's products for your diet, this is the most humane way to get meat products, buying into the factory-farming industry is simply immoral, despite the taste and the idea that the meat is there in the fridge, is it really necessary to support this when there are natural and healthier alternatives.

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Old age and mental attitude

March 10, 2010 at 7:44am

Having just spent two days in the company of someone who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's I've come to acquire new respect for the 'blessing' of good mental health in old age.
It's really frightening to see the lack of understanding and vagueness on the one hand and the easy irascibility on on the other. I wonder if keeping one's mind alert and on a constant quest for learning with conscious effort to control flashes of temper helps in any way.
Does old age have to be a slow decline into illness and decrepitude or can one truly enjoy a positive level of health and will keeping one's mind active with constant new learning and logical discussion stave off the onset of dementia for a bit longer?
We know a couple who've been married for 70 years, he's 93, she just 90 and she's now had to take to her bed with severe movement disability and increasing mental debility. That sounds like a good innings especially that he's still in reasonable health apart from deafness, but to me the idea of a real decline to the point of being a broken shadow of your former self seems a little frightening.
I certainly don't like the idea of becoming that way at just 70, when otherwise good health could keep you in a haze of what is almost insanity and an extreme burden on your caretakers for a good few years.
i guess what I'm trying to say is that when we are still relatively young, it is so important to take care of a working brain and to keep the body in as good a state of health as possible to prevent the ugliness that is possible from taking hold of you.

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March 9, 2010 at 3:28am

One of the things that I really miss about living far away from my friends and family is that I don't get to see them very often. Where most people have their kids living nearby and over for dinner at least once a week, I have to be content with emails and visits once a year. But on the other hand, I get to fly up to visit them too and I do that twice a year, so I shouldn't complain. Not everyone gets to take a flight just for fun as often as I do.
So today I'm rather pleased; my sister who is also a good friend is down here on holiday visiting her children and as part of her trip, I get her staying with me for a day or two.
It's funny how, when we are children, we see our siblings as combatants for our parents' attention; then as we get older and build lives of our own, they become friends and we enjoy the time we have with them. This was really brought home to me when our eldest sister died of breast cancer 10 years ago. Now those of us that are left try to enjoy the time we have to spend with each other and are more friends than sisters but special friends who have a common bond.
So today and tomorrow I'll have my sister visiting me with her husband. We'll watch TV together, enjoy some pleasant conversation and our common interest in our computers, and talk about whatever is happening in our lives before she leaves again to visit another child, then home again.
And then in two weeks, it's a holiday weekend in South Africa with a visit from my son and his lovely wife to look forward to.

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Jan 7, 2008 at 2:09pm


South Africa




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