Thursday 8 November 2012

Eliza Gets Lost in Docklands


A text from Cass, who has been catching up on my blog. 'What dya mean there's nothing to do in the country in the evening? Only last night I drove 30 miles in the pitch black icy weather to collect daughter from school which took up the 18.40-19.40 slot, came back to feed nourishing leftovers from weekend to husband, drank half a bottle of Malbac [sic], sat down by fire to catch up on Sunday papers and read all about the wonderful and new restaurants, plays and concerts all about to open in London and passed out on sofa with the excitement of it all. now awake since 5.30 when husband left noisily for work and feral cockerel crowing all night long. nothing to do?? I'm exhausted.'


'Ha ha!!!' I text back on receipt of message. Though I would not have found it quite so marvellously humorous if I'd left my phone on and been woken up at 06:44 with a ching

'You're laughing at me now,' Cass responds. 'I feel your busy London smugness. Bet you've only just got out of bed.'

You see, social media, emails, texts - all so open to misinterpretation. 'Laughing with you darling, not at you!' I text back as I race to catch the tube to WTM, having indeed only just got out of bed.

I am just musing on the editorial thrust of my thrilling new travel blog, Eliza Goes Global, when I realise we've pulled in to Canada Water. I jump out to catch the DLR, only to discover it's the wrong station. I wait for the next tube and jump out at Canary Wharf for the DLR. Except it's the wrong branch. I wait for the next tube and finally alight at the correct station, Canning Town. Well honestly. It's like reading a novel in which all the characters begin with the same initial. How can any normal human being be expected to remember who's who and which station's which?

Breathless, I slide into my seat at the Social Travel Market session on Bloggers vs Blaggers and ostentatiously pull out my iPad and iPhone. Oh yes, I know the form now. I've hung up my notebook and pen. Today I'm not content merely to ingest the information being fed to me by the speakers. No, I am multi-tasking on multi platforms, writing my blog, checking my emails, listening with only half an ear. The rest of the room is engrossed in tapping out soundbites and tweeting them to various WTM hashtags, whence they are relayed back to us on a screen. It really is marvellously productive. Or marvellously time-wasting.

The final session showcases six bloggers who have come up with amazing money-making innovations. I sit back and prepare to be amazed by the things these young people dream up. The first is a series of print travel guides. The next is a trip from which they'll blog and make a TV series. Then there's a digital travel magazine, a guy who's getting sponsorship deals and one who's offering a personalised travel agency service. Amazing! Talk about reinventing the wheel. Only instead of specialising in one spoke of the wheel as one did in days of yore, they're busy chopping down trees and planing and sanding and test-driving and marketing and selling the wheel - and getting paid far less than when one was just a spoke.

Hmmm. Eliza might decide to Stay At Home after all. Though of course it has been marvellous preparation for my star appearance this weekend with Liz Jones, Zoe Margolis and Tim Dowling at the Mumsnet Blogfest, when Fi Glover will be asking such pertinent questions as, 'Why should anybody be interested in your life anyway?'

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