I was rather sad to see it go; it was big and furry and rather sweet in an ugly kind of way, and it wasn't doing anybody any real harm.
After that, I cleared out my inbox by deleting all the "Girl's Own" mailing list messages, having just unsubscribed from said list. For a while I've felt that I didn't really belong there, and then I received this by email:
over the past couple of months, in off-list conversations, at least a dozen - maybe more, I certainly haven't been keeping track - of the more interesting & longtime GOers have mentioned that you are a bit too opinionated on *every single topic* that comes up & that you always seem to have to have the last word. Some of them are even becoming reluctant to post because they think you're going to pounce/belittle them. Part of this may be an age thing - I think most of the more active GOers are 40+ (35+ anyway) & for many this is the only list they're on and the tone *is* generally pretty collegial. Their reaction - even *my* reaction - is rapidly becoming 'Oh god - *her* again.' To be really blunt, you're getting up people's noses.
*Nobody* really thinks the list should be all sweetness & light and we should just be talking about the 'nice school stories' and if you scroll back through the archives you'll find plenty of threads (inc lots of mine) that are fairly controversial/serious. But *not all the time.* I'd strongly suggest that you back off a bit and really listen to the tone of your posts. You'll find you do come across very strongly, not on important stuff but on topics that are really irrelevant fluff that nobody gives a damn about, and it makes you seem very aggressive. So give it a break. This list *is* mainly to talk about GO books and every single OT thread doesn't have to be relentlessly pursued, chewed & battled over.
Well, they're right; I do have opinions about all sorts of irrelevant things, and I tend to be quite outspoken, and I'm not good at confining my conversation to the wide-eyed vacant lists of "books that are really nice" (and occasionally, more controversially, "books that are horrid so I don't read them") that a lot of people seem content with. I've blethered on about housework and baking and times-tables (though I haven't started any off-topic threads as far as I can recall, just joined in with other people's) more than I have about books recently because whenever I mention a book the conversation immediately stops. Probably because I use big words like "character" and "style", and don't burst into inconsolable tears if somebody doesn't like my favourite author.
The person who sent me the email quoted above suggested that if I was bored I should run a book discussion. I'm not "bored", I'm just being driven out of my mind by the drivelling inanity which makes up 90% of the list's content, and utterly mystified as to how the interesting and intelligent 10% of contributors have managed to put up with it for so long. And the last thing which is likely to help with that is to be forced to set a load of primary-school homework questions ("In Clichés in the Lower Fourth, do you think Emily-Jane is a nice person? Should she have told tales on Malvina? Why does Miss Bobbins give her a ticking-off?") for the sort of people who think Enid Blyton is intellectually challenging.
On the whole, I miss the spider more.