Posted: 31/10/2014 at 14:59
I spent years on the Beeb boards before migrating here and chats often went off topic. It's all part of conversations evolving and going into asides and jokes just as they do in the real world. Similarly, some close friendships are formed and also some dislikes.
I still come here because I find I still learn and sometimes have useful advice to offer based on my experiences of gardening here in very fertile soil but extreme winters and also in my previous garden in Harrow.
New people come and go all the time. They either stick around to share and learn or disappear when they've got what they wanted. There are givers and takers in every walk of life and every activity.
Some people form close bonds and meet up outside the forum and that's fine. It doen't make a clique. It just makes you comfortable and maybe leads to in jokes and a sort of posting shorthand that can feel exclusive to some. Such friendships can be of great value. I'm still in touch almost daily by email and occasionally meet with people I met on the Beeb years and years ago even tho they no longer post here.
Equally, there are one or two posters here whom I avoid, just as in real life I don't seek the company of people I find irritating or frustrating or stupid or selfish. It's also easy enough to spot a thread that isn't going to be of any interest and leave it to other posters.
You need a sense of perspective on the boards plus a sense of detachment and a sense of humour and shouldn't take any of it personally. It's virtual after all but good fun and, on the whole, is helpful to new and old gardeners seeking advice and support.
The best gardeners have always been sharers whether it be time, plants, knowledge or chat. Let's keep it that way and be grateful for those willing to repeat the same advice time and time again or to go and research solutionsand answers to problems they know something about..