Retreating back into the shed


I often wondered about the previous generation. They’d been through a lot; they’d lived through the war even if being in a reserved occupation meant they never got called up. By and large the ones I met were decent working men.

What struck me, looking back, is the way they lived their lives. Quietly, without a lot of fuss, and they often seemed to spend a lot of time in the shed or on the allotment.

Yes, they did stuff with family at times but they weren’t what you might call outspoken. You might occasionally get tales of the past out of them, you might occasionally get a curt comment on the current generation of politicians, but they were wise enough to leave it at that.

I suppose they realised early on what it’s taken those of us born later a lot longer to learn, nobody is at all interested in your opinion. Indeed the fact you might harbour such things is an embarrassment. So when somebody posts what might be described as a political statement on facebook or some other social media platform, you have to remember it’s not an invitation to debate.

Your expected contribution is merely to make some ‘right-on’ supportive comment.

When people are grandstanding or virtue signalling, from the left or from the right, leave or remain, it’s a largely solitary activity on their part and your role is limited to polite applause.

Once you finally understand this, then this whole social media thing starts becoming more ‘do-able’, just quietly ignore the social activist/political crap, and whatever you do don’t ‘like’ it because otherwise the algorithms will merely ensure you’re drowned in the stuff.

But at least nowadays when you do retreat to the shed there should at least be good enough wifi to ensure you can still see the cute cat pictures.


At least ensure the wifi is good enough to download this wisdom, but if it isn’t you can still buy it as a paperback!



As a reviewer commented, “This is a delightful collection of gentle rants and witty reminiscences about life in a quiet corner of South Cumbria. Lots of sheep, cattle and collie dogs, but also wisdom, poetic insight, and humour. It was James Herriot who told us that ‘It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet’ but Jim Webster beautifully demonstrates that it usually happened to the farmer too, but far less money changed hands.

I, for one, am hoping that this short collection of blogs finds a wide and generous audience – not least because I’m sure there’s more where this came from. And at 99p you can’t go wrong!”

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5 thoughts on “Retreating back into the shed

  1. The Story Reading Ape March 15, 2017 at 8:05 pm Reply

    It’s the claptrap on ‘social’ media that keeps me off it Jim.
    The only reason I have any media, is to upload my blog posts to them and spread them around.
    Socialising is done face to face (when I can lip read), in the comments under my blog and the blogs of others (like yours), or by email.
    Phones are a problem for me due to severe tinnitus – in my case a constant (and continuous) whistle that masks much of any telephonic conversations.😎

    • jwebster2 March 15, 2017 at 10:30 pm Reply

      Yes, I agree entirely with you. I don’t have the problems that you have so can use the phone. Wearing my freelance journalist hat, the ideal situation is where I email to fix a time for a telephone interview. (Travelling to meet them is rarely in budget) But it’s real communication with real people

  2. Kate McClelland March 16, 2017 at 5:25 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Kate McClelland.

    • jwebster2 March 16, 2017 at 5:43 pm Reply

      everybody has an opinion, which means they probably don’t need mine 🙂

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