Addicted to page lurking

Where to get your nails done?

Where to get your nails done? - Credit: Getty Images/Comstock Images

An irreverent look at some of the different St Albans Facebook groups...

St Albans has its own breed, I swear. A cross section of the species is found on three online gems: Facebook pages for our fair cathedral city dwellers. Love or loathe them, they evoke a reaction.

St Albans Mums (SAMs) is hilarious. Repeated posts asking: “Who can come to my three million pound mansion NOW to do a Shellac manicure?” Someone says they had a great lady come to their FOUR million pound mansion today and their nails look amazing...

A woman once asked if anyone knows a great synchronised swimming teacher who can give her eight-year-old individual lessons. And who can forget the lady offering a tube of 99p toothpaste, which her kid didn’t like: anyone want it - free to a good home? Used six times and ‘only Wilkinsons’ but all welcome to collect. One mum replied that it would cost 70p in petrol. Needless to say nobody wanted to walk and the budget toothpaste garnered no further interest.

How hot is the Amazon Guy? Where sells Frozen cakes? Which is the best estate agent to buy a FIVE million pound home? I just don’t know where to find an estate agent! Someone replies. They too have no idea. But they do have at least SIX million pounds! Which schools are good? (The answer is all of them. In St Albans none can be bad)

And why does St Albans have second-hand selling sites? Take St Albans Little Beans’ Nearly New & Seconds Sale, for example.

It’s like Ethiopia having betting shops. Or is it because of the feast there needs to be a purge, by binning old toys? A guilty pleasure is making space in your cluttered home but the cost is your little ones’ heartbreak. Buy/sell bulimia then?

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You might assume the re-selling bit includes low prices: perhaps the seller is getting a nominally low amount for giving something away - providing an opportunity to a parent who can’t afford new items?

It can’t be that because weirdly they often sell at more than the current cost. So it must be all about posh recycling.“£5 John Lewis wooden shape sorter. Pieces missing. Currently in John Lewis for £5. Collection only. Pet/smoke-free home.” One rebel wants it delivered. One recommends a friend, tagging her in. Eight others ask if they can be ‘next in line’. The tagged in friend comes back three days later to say yes – after the original poster announces she sold it on another site. Proper entertainment that.

The funniest of the local pages though is predictable St Albans Past and Present Memories, which without fail (almost) features the following in rotation:

1) A picture of a snow-covered cathedral. Someone who moved away asks: “Is this today, Hun?” Everyone else smugly explains it’s two years old.

2) Someone slags off a local independent restaurant, gets lots of support and there’s intense momentum to boycott it.

3) A few days after, someone else slags off a different small eatery and gets slammed for damaging the livelihood of a local business owner, just trying to earn a crust. There’s no clue as to how this gets such a negative response.

4) Someone posts a banal quote/picture with a non-St-Albans theme. It holds little significance but is generally perceived as positive among certain personality types. It gets 107 likes in 20 minutes.

5) Someone else posts a similar one, which gets two likes and one comment (with 33 likes) from someone asking: “What has happened to this page? Why are there lots of posts that aren’t about St Albans?”

6) “Has anyone seen the state of the parks?”

7) “Where in St Albans sells bread/milk/Pritt Stick?” Four members saw some once in Sainsbury’s.

8) “Why do we need so many pound shops?”

9) “Why are there millions of coffee shops round here?”

10) Somebody comments that children should not be allowed in pubs. Someone replies that they are allowed in The Waterend Barn. Others say they should not be allowed in The Waterend Barn “because it disturbs the wonderful atmosphere and interrupts the classy clientele from enjoying their amazing food”. Tumbleweed, as many wonder when this was ever actually true of The Waterend Barn.

If you don’t follow these irritating but compulsive pages, have a look. Whenever I step away, the magnetic urge attracts me back. To stay abreast of St Albans happenings, there’s nowhere better except your friendly Herts Ad obviously. Besides, you can’t buy a tube of used toothpaste anywhere else.

Comment expressed here is an honestly-held opinion of Sally Swallows and not necessarily the views of the Herts Advertiser.