Auntie Mim’s name was really Alice but throughout her life she was known as Mim. They said it was because as a small child she would say me-mim-me a lot. She got a lot of attention.
Like all in our family she was fascinated by words. Her brother, my father, wrote wonderful letters and read and did crossroads. My brother not only did crosswords but made them as well. My sister has written and was a keen cross-worder until seduced by Sudoku. I write. My daughter and son write and love words. And so- on …
In the present day this blog is part of contemporary word-play, as is Twitter, which I have just begun to ‘play’. For the uninitiated this involves writing something in 140 characters or fewer and posting it (see sidebar here). Then anyone who reads it can respond to it in 140 characters or fewer. And so on. Anyone can respond to anyone.
They are all out there. There is a lot of verbal flotsam and jetsam floating about. But the ones I enjoy are cryptic, punchy, imaginative, speculative, fluid, quick. It’s amazing what you can get into 140 characters (ie letters, not words…)
Back in Auntie Mim’s day she was obsessed with this thing called Bullets. I can remember her hunched over a competition in either the People or the News Chronicle where you created cryptic phrases of under so many letters (can’t remember whether it was 140 but it was tight) creating cryptic phrases for the ‘Bullets’ competition and sending them away. She won prizes now and then.
In recent days, getting to grips with Twitter, my Auntie Mim came to mind for the first time in some years. It occurred to me that she would have loved the mental gymnastics of Twitter but would have been disappointed, I think, that there were no money prizes involved.
I thought you might be entertained by a few of the tweets cooked up by me in response to those of others. The other people are highlighted if you want to know what they said…
@paulmagrs Friendly Whitby ghosts mean I can be there in spirit, writing.
@nwndirector Alnwick Castle water falls beat all earthly dress, even Phillipa's
@daneetsteffens Truth is only the first step to understanding perhaps. Or understanding is a precondition for truth, more likely.
@normblog An old friend of mine had a party to decorate her straw coffin, thus introducing meaning to her funeral - but not yet...
I have to say, as a word-junkie, Twittering is fun. As I say, Auntie Mim would have loved it.