Facebook and Procrastination

What is my biggest fault?

My tendency to procrastinate.

Facebook makes this worse.

When I wake up in the morning, I get up, turn the computer on and check Facebook…

typical facebook view ... 62 notifications...

typical facebook view … 62 notifications…

I have 764 “friends”, when I joined Facebook, I collected a lot but I have been more restrained recently. Having so many friends generates inevitably many notifications, which need checking.

Then there are the games, I have enjoyed and wasted a lot of time on many games in Facebook…farmville, Song Pop, some drawing game, Scrabble, Pirate Treasures and recently Pool Live Pro…. I will get mildly addicted for a while then move onto another game…

Screenshot from 2015-06-01 09:01:32

Pool Live Pro

In the pool game I find myself playing with other procrastinators from Turkey, Albania or Serbia. I have learnt a lot of Turkish swearwords!

I spend a lot of time uploading photos to the numerous albums I have on Facebook. Sometimes an hour or two each day! I always carry my camera and when I upload the photos to my computer, I categorise them into which album or group I should post them.

Groups. That is another distraction. I am in several Facebook Groups related to diecast collecting, cars, art, comedy and a host of other subjects….

My Facebook view today (2 June 2015)

My Facebook view today (2 June 2015)

I hate to think how many hours a week I spend on Facebook but I think it is more than the time I spend actually working…I really should cut down. I’ll just have one more game of pool with some Turkish stranger….

Did You Miss Me?

Did you miss me?

Did you even notice I was gone?

I have spent two weeks away from the Internet, as someone who wakes up and logs on, gets home and logs on and regularly sees their life frittering away on Facebook and other Internet sites, this was quite a feat.



I went to Kobuleti, a Black Sea resort in Ajara, Western Georgia. I purposely left my electronic notebook at home and avoided Internet Cafes.

"Bounce" on Nokia phone

“Bounce” on Nokia phone

At first I was a little bored, I even played the games on my very basic Nokia; no smartphone it only has three games Snake, Beach Rally and Bounce. That didn’t entertain me for long. I went to the beach and made towers of pebbles…a kind of stone age entertainment.

Pebble Tower, Kobuleti Beach

Pebble Tower, Kobuleti Beach

I took four books in English and read all four, I had to slow down on the last because I didn’t want to be deprived of reading matter. I also took three books in Georgian and managed to get through a simple biography of the Georgian painter Pirosmani, with my wife’s help.

Holiday reading. 4 books in Englsih...read. Three books in Georgian...read the biography of Pirosmani.

Holiday reading. 4 books in Englsih…read. Three books in Georgian…read the biography of Pirosmani.

Reading about Pirosmani on the beach in Gerogian

Reading about Pirosmani on the beach in Gerogian

I took a sketch pad with high hopes of doing some drawing but all I managed were a few biro sketches in a little notebook.

sketches in biro

sketches in biro

Without the Internet, I wrote no blog posts and kept a physical (pen and paper) diary….I have a few ideas for blog posts from my trip (starting with this one).

Diary, Coca Cola and a collection of Galaktion Tabidze's poems at a beachside bar.

Diary, Coca Cola and a collection of Galaktion Tabidze’s poems at a beachside bar.

Facebook informs me:

“123 friends posted on your Timeline for your birthday.”

Facebook doesn’t inform me how I can see these messages.

I also came back to 93 notifications and 9 messages, my camera had 1309 photos, which I’m still sifting through. I didn’t hear any football results and was completely oblivious to world news events. It was weird.

The days were a routine of swim in the sea, relax on the beach, lunch, siesta, swim in the sea again, evening meal then a promenade along the beachfront. There were a few breaks from this routine, a visit to the neighbouring resort of Batumi and its botanical garden and an invitation to a Georgian feast (სუფრა) in the countryside at Ozurgeti. One day it rained and then there was nothing to do, except shelter in the guest house and read or chat.

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severly limited.

When it rains in Kobuleti options are severely limited.

Will the experiment change my Internet habits? We shall see. I should reduce my Facebook activity as most of it is doing very little to develop me as a person. I didn’t miss the Internet as much as I had imagined I would, there were times reading that I wanted to Google something,  like a picture of a 1938 Panhard Dynamic when reading Alan Furst’s “Mission to Paris” and I wanted to find more out about the Dominican Republic and the dictator Trujillo when reading “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz (that was the last of my books in English and I took my time, it was worth savouring…I have four or five book reviews to write up in the coming days). Would I do it again? Maybe for a week or two, but I don’t envision quitting the Internet forever.

Reflections on why I collect diecast cars.


I have never studied psychology, so I don’t know how psychologically valid my reflections are.

I came to Tbilisi (Georgia) in 2009 with just two suitcases of my worldly possessions, in which I had just five diecast cars. Before moving I had sold or given away most of my possessions (including a couple of dozen diecast vehicles). Since arriving in Tbilisi my collection has grown considerably to around 500 vehicles with 15 to 20 being added each month.

The seeds of my current collection brought over from England in 2009.

The seeds of my current collection brought over from England in 2009.

I have had small diecast cars for as long as I can remember.  On my first birthday cake was a Matchbox racing car, so I’m told. Then there was a Matchbox Pickford’s Removal Van with sweets in the back, occasionally restocked by my mother.

Express Delivery Van (Matchbox)

Express Delivery Van (Matchbox)

The Express Delivery Van, I picked up recently has an opening rear hatch (unusual for recent Matchbox models to have any opening parts), which reminds me of that Pickford Removal Van. My earliest actual memory is being on a train holding a Matchbox Racing Car Transporter, I would have been three at the time. Collecting model cars…toy cars…is fine as a child but as an adult?

I don’t have any of the models I actually played with in my childhood. But I do have some of the same models picked up more recently at Car Boot Sales and markets.

The value of my collection is not monetary, but it is emotionally valuable—I’m not looking to profit from the sale of the cars. I usually take the cars out of their blister packs, which would reduce their value if I was looking to resell, but I want to hold the car to feel it in my hand and look at it from different angles. I do look for  bargains at boot sales also at Drybridge Market, I tend to know when something is way overpriced and when it is a good deal. One of the rules for investing in antiques is to stick to what you know.


Three Corgi cars from the sixties.

Two of these Corgis were bought at Drybridge Market the Renault 16TS cost  20 lari ($11.46) and the Jaguar E Type 22 lari ($12.60). The Ghia 6.4L at the back is my most expensive model to date, it cost me £25 ($41.82) from a collectors’ shop in York. The Ghia is one of the most common Corgi models of the sixties around 1.7 million were produced, it interested me because  I like the shape also the model has many features: opening doors, boot, bonnet, tipping seats, jewelled headlights and even a dog on the parcel shelf.

Collections allow people to relive their childhood, connect themselves to a period in history or time they feel strongly about, to ease insecurity and anxiety about losing a part of themselves, and to keep the past present.

The Thrill of the Hunt

Collecting is much like a quest, a lifelong pursuit which can never be complete. Hot Wheels have cashed in on the hunting nature with special “Treasure Hunt” cars, which are supposedly harder to find than the regular Hot Wheels. I have found only one Treasure Hunt vehicle, the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, THREE TIMES!

Ferrari Scuderia Treasure Hunt

Ferrari Scuderia Treasure Hunt

Recently I’ve been looking out for Japanese models in the Hot Wheels line up like the Honda Civic EF, Toyota 2000GT and Mazda RX7. Rummaging through boxes of Matchbox and Hot Wheels in toyshops there is always a thrill, when I spot a model I’ve been looking for. I have a long wants’ list.

Collecting may provide psychological security by filling a part of the self one feels is missing or void of meaning. When one collects, one experiments with arranging, organizing, and presenting a part of the world which may serve to provide a safety zone, a place of refuge where fears are calmed and insecurity is managed. My father died in 2011, and part of my collecting might be a way of connecting to my childhood, when I still had my Dad.

Also I came to live in Tbilisi because in this city I had found a wonderful wife. Now I no longer needed to search for a soul mate, there was maybe  a void to search for something else.  My wife tolerates my collecting but has no real understanding of my interest in diecast cars, she has given me a couple as gifts in the past a 1:32 Lamborghini Gallardo and a 1:32 BMW X5 (the first was fine but the latter is a car I loathe).

The amount of cars I have amassed here is like a kind of ballast holding me here.  I’m not attached to every single model and have given a few away. I have two grand daughters, the elder of whom is five and  might occasionally race the cars across the floor, but has no real interest in toy cars.

Social Media

Also fuelling my interest are the social media. On Facebook I am in a few groups of like-minded enthusiasts, who collect diecast cars:

  1. Pinoy Hot Wheels Collectors Club (PHWCC). This is a Filipino group with over 1000 members dedicated to collecting Hot Wheels. I often post pictures of my new acquisitions, and am inspired to look for what other members post.
  2. Hot Wheels Club (Philippines). Very similar to Pinoy group.
  3. Diecast Collectors Forum. A group of hardcore diecast collectors, who delight in showing photos of exquisite models in 1:18, often by AutoArt or Kyosho, where any model found under $100 is considered a bargain, as often they spend a lot more. My presence in the group posting much smaller cheaper models seems to be tolerated….update got kicked out of the group for posting a link to my blog… :/
  4. Matchbox e Majorette. Portuguese group for Matchbox and Majorette. Two of my favourite maunfacturers of diecast cars.
  5. MCCH-The Matchbox Collectors’ Community Hall. A group for collectors of old pre-Superfast (1970) Matchbox cars.
  6. Diecast Model Cars, Dinky, Corgi, Matchbox and More. Focusing on the British manufacturers of diecast models.
  7. Diecast Autoworld
  8. Diecast Collectors
  9. Matchbox Toys
  11. vintage automobile models ( diecast, plastic, tin and more…) for models made before 1985

I also have a blog devoted to diecast collecting aside from this main blog, as I realise my enthusiasm will only be of interest to a small niche of readers.

my diecast blog

I also use Twitter, Pinterest and Google + mostly for promoting my blogs.

Diecast cars

Diecast toys are tough they are made with an alloy called Zamak or Mazak, 96% zinc and smaller amounts of aluminium, copper and magnesium. Diecast cars to me are like miniature works of art, even if they are mass produced.

If you have any comments, I would love to hear from you.

Blog to beat procrastination?

I have a lot of unstructured time. My job as a private English teacher means I’m mostly teaching in the evenings and on Saturday. Today (Monday), for example, I don’t start teaching until 4pm. So I have a lot of time between getting up (8.30am) and starting work. I find Facebook sucks a lot of that time up: commenting, catching up with friends and playing Scrabble (and occasionally Song Pop).I have 652 Facebook friends and I’m in numerous groups, so there is always something to look at on my Newsfeed and before you know it hours have passed and nothing of consequence has been produced. One of the incentives for starting this blog was a need to structure my time more productively and also develop my writing skills and share some of the many photos I take. I have always had a tendency to procrastinate…and not make best use of my time…a trait exacerbated by Facebook and the Internet.

Some things I want to do:


1. Georgian: I have been in Georgia for 4 years and I can barely make a few sentences. I understand only the most basic instructions. I made a New Year’s Resolution at the beginning of 2013, that by the end of 2013 I would be able to toast in Georgian. I don’t think this will now be possible. I have learnt some words but the amount of time devoted to learning Georgian has been minimal.

2. Plank: I saw this on Facebook. An exercise called planking that develops the core. The idea is to build up from 20 seconds on the first day to 5 minutes or more on the 30th day.http://rawrebecca.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/944270_143491579174855_1235844063_n.jpg

I can’t do more than one minute. I do get some exercise walking to and from the metro station (15 minutes). I also swim once a week.

3. Drawing and Painting: I want to improve my drawing. In 2001, I would draw a picture or two each day, the discipline was good and my drawing improved. But I have let it slide. I would also like to try painting with acrylics. At weekends, I often play around with water colours with my grand daughter, which is great fun an activity I’d highly recommend for both adult and child.

4. Prepare Lessons: Doing this the day before would be great so I’m not rushing around at the last minute.

5. Blog. This blog, as I noted above, one of the reasons for starting this blog was to motivate myself to mke better use of my time. Also I hope blogging will improve my writing skills.


  1. Swim. We have started swimming at the Olympic Pool on a Wednesday Morning. Last year when I was teaching in the French school, they have their own pool and I was able to profit from this facility every Friday afternoon. I enjoy swimming and it is good whole body exercise.
  2. Phone Mum. Mum is living on her own in York since Dad died in 2011. I should phone her once a week. I will need to top up my phone. Our family is all geographically spread out, my brother is in Newquay and my sisters are in Slough and India, so I  it is difficult for us to see Mum…I go to England just once a year.
  3. Read a book. Before I joined Facebook I was reading six books a month on average, this has dropped to just two. I’m currently reading “The Idiot” by Dostoevsky, a rare foray into classic literature, usually I read crime or thrillers.
  4. Scan Computer. I should integrate this as part of my routine.

Well that is a start. Let’s see how well  keep it up. My life is full of this slightly American desire for self-improvement.

Another post about procrastination, seems I have competition 😉



The instant gratification monkey is apt to take over whenever I try to get down to doing stuff…