The agony and the ecstasy of social media

So it seems this blog is all but dead. My fault. Facebook’s fault. I resisted, in the beginning. I hated the idea of Facebook (not least because that was what the New York Times called their personnel directory, which seemed insulting and…well, impersonal). But a few years ago I cracked. My excuse was that I needed to be on Facebook for marketing purposes, which turned out not to be wrong. Facebook has been a useful tool for that. It also has been a colossal time-wasting addiction, but I digress. And it has also eaten my blog.

Facebook, for better or worse, is an extremely quick and easy way for me to update anybody who cares or claims to care about all the comings and goings in the yard, the races, the results and just random tidbits (that would contribute to the time-wasting part). I have a pretty large following there, and I have been resorting to communicating that way instead of by blog, which some of you have actually noticed. To those of you who still check back here regularly, I apologize. And once again, I will try to do better. Meanwhile, if you’re not already signed on to Facebook, just do it. It’s really not so bad. And if you’re paranoid that signing up to Facebook will open your entire private life in every intimate detail to cyberspace, don’t be. Facebook only knows what you want it to know, so just don’t tell it anything. They don’t need to know your birthday, your address or anything else pertinent. You need an email address and a name. That’s pretty much it. Sign up, “friend” me (yes, Facebook has verbed the noun) and I’ll add you to the Gallop France group there and you’ll see everything that’s going on.

Right, so some of you are still resisting. For you guys (all five of you, so I hope you appreciate it!), here’s what’s going on in a nutshell: Hard Way has resisted retirement yet again, and ran a comeback race down in the country yesterday at the ripe old age of nine. He finished third of eight runners. I had hoped he would win, because to say the competition was weak would be the nicest thing you might say. But third still requalifies him for handicaps, and he probably needed the run after six months off. Despite rock-hard ground, he seems to have come back OK.

Gorki Park also ran his comeback race, finally, after nearly six months off, and he came 4th in a 20-runner handicap in Maisons-Laffitte. He looks like he should be just as useful this year as last. He’s grown up a bit and will stretch out in distance this year – if we can find him a decent race, which is easier said than done at the moment. King Driver, our other stable banker, is just back from a short break. He finished third at St. Cloud in mid-May, but chucked off his jockey (twice!) and ran loose for quite some time around the racecourse before he got down to work. That was him telling us as clear as he could that he was ready for a vacation, so he got one. He’s back in training as of tomorrow after having spent a month at the spa  – a stud just north of us that specializes in massages and has a great water-walker to keep the muscle tone while on vacation.

Melrand and Pahlavan also had short stays there, as did Risk Well Taken, an unraced two-year-old who went for two weeks after coming up with sore shins. Risks’s stay there was nothing short of miraculous – she came back nearly 20 kilos heavier and bulging with muscle. Our other unraced two-year-old, Impulsive American, was almost ready to debut when he picked up a virus of some sort, which will set us back a few weeks. Pahlavan and Ray of Hope also got it, but they all seem to be on the mend now.

Charitable Act has been retired; his iffy joints were getting the best of him so we decided to stop while he was still sound enough for pleasure riding. Greatest has also moved on to greener pastures, but is still racing and just finished 2nd for his new connections. We wish him well – I always thought he was a good horse, but we were persistently unlucky with him. Clearly, a change was in order!

La Mer seems finally on track after having just about every problem a growing horse can have. She is back galloping, and will hopefully run a maiden in Deauville in early July. Eternal Gift has finally come down in the handicap to a mark he should be able to win from, and he’ll get a try in Amiens on Saturday. Gut Instinct also should be able to win a small race soon, but she would be better on softer ground. She has some good entries coming up, though, so I’ll have to decide whether to brave the good ground or not.

That rounds up just about everyone, I think. And reading back, I see the other problem Facebook has caused. Since I no longer write much more than a sentence at a time, it seems I’m losing the knack. I’d better get back to it, or I won’t be able to write that novel I’ve been talking about for the past two decades!

7 thoughts on “The agony and the ecstasy of social media”

  1. Can we have more news about the shit pile round the back of the yard please? Some of your more mature readers need entertaining….

  2. You’re back! At least for now. Good to read the news. One of the pleasures is your writing, which has not yet deteriorated into tweets. Join Twitter and turn your novel will turn into a hashtag. If I join any of the social media it would be Twitter because I suspect people don’t always finish reading my sentences so it would help to practice a style that is the antithesis to Henry James whose sentences span pages at times (OK I’ll stop now).

    I tried Linkedin and they found every person I may have met in the last century and piled on with emails. No Exit, either, so I had to fill my profile with false data and leave it there. Minnie Mouse is probably still getting link requests. Facebook? When I need to market something, like a method for suicide because friending shouldn’t be a long term thing.

  3. Gina, I have shut down my face ache site due to the inconvenience of having to look at every bloody dinner anyone eats around the world also as a 50 year old man the adverts requiring my apparent “experience” for busty individuals were rather dull and having looked in the mirror a little unlikely! We all still love King Driver so hopefully he won’t take too much umbrage at losing a facebook jockey…..good luck and seriously hope to see you at the races sometime soon!

  4. Facebook is not something I do. Worse yet, your Facebook site requires one to be a friend to read it. *oh well*

  5. Alexis seems fascinated by the shit pile round the back of your yard. I suppose it takes all kinds. (people I mean)
    But I seem to remember; that follow up story would have little impact , without an up-date on the mother of all shit shifters; “Marc Tronco,” getting really stuck into it.
    Mark Zuckerberg should know all about shit shifting- as he created Facebook encouraging “where there’s muck there’s brass”.

  6. I understand too well the pains of a lackluster blog. Though mine is more out of lack of things to discuss that are original and creative. Best wishes for a more productive 2015!

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