Patience is a Virtue

Remember this?

Irish Independent 18-03-2008

You will remember my Post about it and the follow up Apology Huh! I know you eagerly await the outcome so let me recap.

I emailed a letter to the Editor of the Irish Independent because I took exception to the photograph of Grandad & I with Martha Rotter of Microsoft at the Irish Blog Awards 2008, appearing directly under a heading ‘WEIRD WIDE WEB’. I copied my email to my daughter Elly. What is so weird about blogging or the fact that I a sixty-one year old woman and Grandad, who is in fact, a few years younger in age and by a month in blogging time, pass our time with this hobby? Both of us for our pains are rewarded regularly with comments. The wonderful faithful readers range in age from over 80 up to 18!

Yesterday afternoon as I worked about the house I heard the ping announcing an email. It is like the phone ringing, you want to know the details right away. This is what I received minus the email addresses and phone numbers which I removed:

From Marie Boran –

date Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM

subject FW: eThursday

Hi Grannymar,

I have read your blog post ‘Apology huh!’ and to answer you: I didn’t email you because your daughter, who alerted me to your letter requesting an apology from the Independent in the first place, said she would pass on the email directly to you and that you might be in touch.

As I said in the email, I didn’t create the caption ‘Weird Wide Web’, it is a pre-existing section for non-business related technology headlines. In the spirit of openness feel free to publish the email which I sent your daughter on your blog because as I have already said, I am not ageist in the slightest not would I ever wish to cause offence.

To clarify, the letter requesting an apology that you sent to the Independent would never have reached me because Silicon Republic is a separate entity that provides the independent with its technology news.

Yours sincerely,

Marie Boran
Tel: +353 (0)1 XXX XXXX

‘I didn’t email you because your daughter, who alerted me to your letter requesting an apology from the Independent in the first place, said she would pass on the email directly to you and that you might be in touch.’

Why would I be in touch? I did not know, and from the layout of the page it is not clear that is responsible for the content on the page. In fact there is a thick blue line under our photo separating it from the large advert and the article ‘Why don’t we do digital dinner?’ written by Marie Boran.

I didn’t create the caption ‘Weird Wide Web’, it is a pre-existing section for non-business related technology headlines.’

If the offending heading with the word WEIRD was pre Ms Boran, then I was correct in the first place addressing my correspondence to the Editor of the Irish Independent.

The second e-mail was sent to Elly (coincidently on my sixty-first Birthday) and not to me, therefore it was not mine to print here on the blog without permission.

Last week I phoned the Irish Independent and asked to speak to the Editor. I was informed that he was away and asked if I would like to speak to his deputy. She was not interested in hearing what I had to say she sounded condescending and her manner was almost rude. She informed me that it could take THREE weeks for the Editor to read an email???? Yes I did say three weeks!

On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 9:58 AM, Marie Boran – wrote:

Hi Elly,

Sorry for any offence caused by the heading ‘Weird Wide Web’ – that’s the section where eThursday does anything different ie not business related, but I can see how this caused offence to your mother. Tell her that I apologize sincerely and that I find nothing ‘weird’ about older bloggers and I am not ageist in the slightest.

Just to reiterate again, I didn’t write the caption ‘weird wide web’ – it is a standard label that is part of the eThur layout and was there before I even worked there but in order to get the blog awards and the fact that your mother won, into eThursday, I had to work around the standards that already exist.

I did write the text ‘Senior citizen bloggers known as Grannymar and Grandad tied for the award of the best personal blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2008’ but I do not see how this is offensive.

I will let the editor of eThursday know that your mother found it offensive to have her picture and name in the ‘weird wide web’ section and wants an apology printed.

Marie Boran.

I replied to Marie Boran’s email to me saying that my anger was not with her as a person, but with the use of the heading above our picture. I noticed there was no picture the following week under the heading and the nuns she mentioned and pictured in the main article were well away from it! But then they were using mobile phones and nothing to do with blogging! 😉

Did I get an Apology? I’m not Elly!

On one hand we are told that 60 is the new 40 and on the other we are past it and ready for the scrap heap! It is almost worse than being an adolescent!

14 thoughts on “Patience is a Virtue

  1. Darren

    That’s nothing close to being an apology!!!! What a condescending reply that is. I’d be more furious with that than the initial offending piece.

  2. elly

    Silicon Republic provides several pages to the Indo about tech, it’s clear on the previous pages that that is the case.

    I’ve edited this post and removed Marie Boran’s email address, that should not have been posted.

    I’ve held my tongue on this long enough, and I’m sick of hearing all about it. Marie tried to do a nice thing for you by getting a pic of you and Grandad into the paper, it’s not like many of the papers carried reports of the blog awards. The only space in which she could place your pic was by that heading.

    It’s not calling you weird, it’s just a place where they put snippets of unusual things happening on the web. And I’m sorry, but 2 senior citizen bloggers jointly winning one of the top Irish blog awards is strange/weird/unusual – bloggers of your age maybe make up 0.1% of the blogging population???

    I copied your blog post to Marie initially because Silicon Replublic own that section of the paper, so it is unlikely that she would have seen your letter to the editor of the Indo. When I got a response I sent it on to you so that you would have an explanation of what had occurred. I said that you could contact her directly and told her that you would likely do that. You completely ignored this avenue and decided that it was more beneficial to rile up your blog commenters and generate more material for the blog – at least, that what it appears like.

    After 3 posts about this one tiny pic can we finally set this issue to rest?????

  3. elly

    And it’s also bullshit that you say you didn’t know that Silicon Republic wrote the eThursday section of the paper, that was clearly stated in one of the emails I copied you on:

    “Since eThursday is done by Silicon Republic, I thought perhaps you would be
    interested in the email below that my Mum (grannymar) sent to the
    Independant re: last eThursday.”

  4. Grannymar Post author

    Hi Darren & Elly

    My post today was as an update since several people asked me to let them know how things would work out.

    Elly you always say what you feel about things and I am used to that, even when at times I don’t agree with your point of view. I was expressing my point of view and never expected that the entire world would see things my way. After all this is blogging. I learned early on through discussion boards that you attack the subject and not the person. My original complaint was addressed to the ‘The Editor’ and not a person by name. I only used a name in today’s post since I was given permission to do so. I did say in reply to Marie that I didn’t blame her personally, and I don’t!

    ‘Silicon Republic provides several pages to the Indo about tech, it’s clear on the previous pages that that is the case.’

    I only read the one page of the Independent that day so was unaware of the above information. When I received the copy reply it told me things were in hand, and expected that with time I would hear from the Indo.

    As far as I am concerned the subject is closed.

    Elly I will always love you, even when we disagree!

  5. chrisb

    Grannymar I’m not going to get in on the debate! However, I Think I’m surprised that the percentage of senior bloggers is so low. It is not weird it’s wonderful that people who were brought up before the ‘teckie age’ can embrace technology and keep themselves entertained and make friends world wide through blogging!

  6. Grannymar Post author


    The young folk at times forget that we come from a pre ‘teckie age’. Only thirty one years ago when I left Dublin, a computer was like a large built-in wardrobe and housed in a dirt free room and few people knew how to use them. We learned to overcome the language involved and cope with the constant changes and updates. Most of all we learned to have fun at our fingertips.

  7. K8

    Yes I’m a fan of peace too, but also of excellent blogging material! I’m glad you made an entertaining mountain of this mole hill 🙂

    ‘Weird’ isn’t such a bad description though. To quote from ‘Stand by me’:
    ‘Do you think I’m weird?’
    ‘Sure! But who isn’t?’

    Without weirdness the world would be extremely boring.

  8. Darragh

    Grannymar, this whole thread is wonderful. Fair play to you.

    You stood up for something you believed in

    Elly and you obviously have a great – and adult – relationship where you can talk about these things in this way and not be offended. It really appeals to me that you have this because it’s similar in ways to the relationship I have with my mum especially when she tries to ask me techie things.

    You’re dead right – this is a whole new – post techie – world for a lot of people. I really admire people who can master it – I still struggle to find my feet. But as Elly has said, Marie was trying to do a nice thing giving it coverage, when she didn’t need to. Every day I read about bloggers frustrated with mainstream media in that it’s impossible to get their voice heard and I’m sure your blog benefitted from at least a few vsisitors thanks to the article.

    It is a very unfortunate headline to write but I think you do have to recognise that it is a little “weird” to know that there are people from all ages and backgrounds out there giving their opinions, not just the computer geeks, and more power to them. In one sense by the title of your blog you have set yourself up as a “blogging granny” and so that label will stick. Personally i think it’s something you should be proud of!

    I’m rapidly learning there are ways and means of approaching people, of getting them on side, on choosing your arguments and of blogging wisely. While I appreciate the update on it I’m also glad you’re able to laugh it off too. That’s just what it deserves.

    It was a fantastic post and comments, and I’m really grateful you’ve posted about it.

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Hi K8 & Darragh

    It’s decided. Weird is now officially added to my list of names! They include:

    Dan’s daughter
    Mammy’s name, well since my mother and sister had the same name, people didn’t bother to try and remember mine Not using the name out of respect for my sister.
    Mary Kate, a nickname my father called me at times
    Mags )
    Nag ) names my brothers called me
    Jack’s wife
    Elly’s mother
    Mrs P

    Eleven names, thats enough for a football team. Don’t call me all of them at the same time, or early on a the morning! 😆

    Grannymar is how I like to be known.

  10. Grannymar Post author

    Elly I forgot


    Only need one more!

    Granny Welcome back! Where have you been? Is Grandad still hogging the laptop?
    Time you gave us another weird and wonderful post.


A penny for your thoughts...