In a final attempt to understand the attractions of Twitter, I abandon all my usual tweeters (alas Dave, I will no longer know when you are having your tea) and choose a selection of A-List celebrities. Chief amongst them are Albert Einstein and Samuel Pepys - and before anyone posts in to tell me that both of these are dead, I already know; but in a virtual age when a fat man and his dog can walk the Oregon coast road without leaving West Yorkshire getting Samuel Pepys to tweet is small beer. Einstein is a bit of a prig as a tweeter, eternally coming out with motivational sound-bites : today's was "Three Rules of Work : Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" (Tell that last one to Gordon B, Albert, I am sure he will appreciate it). Sammy Pepys is a much livelier fish : I have just received the following from him : "I met Sir John Robinson, still a vain prating, boasting man as any I know..." If you go to the Samuel Pepys Diary website you can sign up as a Twitter follower, but there you can also find extracts from his diary for the day in question. This is much more my cup of tea : this is Samuel Pepys' Blog rather than his twitter account. In today's entry he is moaning about a letter of complaint he has received from Sir William Warren. The thing I admire about Pepys is that he is never happier than when he is moaning about someone or other. Warren is complaining about the two year delay in the payment of his accounts, so what does Pepys do? Does he compose a lengthy rebuttal to the charges? Does he pen a groveling letter of apology? No, he simply writes in the margin of the letter "Returned as untrue" and sends it back again!
Oh I love this approach and I salute Samuel Pepys for having discovered the way to deal with unsolicited junk mail years ahead of his time. I have already re-posted a glossy advertising flyer from a double-glazing company with "returned as untrue" appended in black felt-tip pen. The next time the Inland Revenue write claiming that I still owe then £2.37p they will get the same treatment. And somewhere I have letters from all the main candidates in Thursday's election, most of whom will be getting their letters back with suitable annotations.