Friday, 23 February 2018

The Me Too campaign

But not me, I'm afraid. Am I alone in being sick and tired of all these "celebrities" whinging about a pat on the knee? Soon, a man won't be able even accidentally to touch a female back or shoulder without being labelled a "sex pest" (awful tabloid-speak). I've had my fair share, and some of it was unpleasant, but I've lived to tell the tale.

I've counselled many people who were victims of sexual abuse, and it destroys lives and families. Some of the tales I've heard beggar belief, and I've wept over at least one. It is appalling, and I would be the first to condemn it. But these protestors in their posh black frocks diminish the severity of real sex crimes by putting themselves in the same category. Some of them may have suffered genuine abuse, so this doesn't apply to them, but for the most part, these experiences sound relatively trivial.

Come on, girls! Whatever happens to real, stand-up-for-yourself feminism? A slap or a kick where it hurts should sort the monster out. And as for you guys, I feel sorry for you, as from now on you really are going to have to watch yourselves in case you find that you're accused of something you are completely unaware of.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

A whinge about crusts

You know those tiny crusts on the ends of sliced loaves? The odds are, they won't get eaten, as they're too small to be of any use. This infuriates me.

So I phoned Hovis, a major offender, and complained to them about the ridiculous size of their crusts.  I was told that as the loaf had to be exactly 27 slices (or something) that was the only way it would work. In vain did I tell them about waste, lack of foresight etc. My words fell on stony (or in this case, stoneground) ground. They can manage a good size with their multi seed loaf, so why not with others? I hate waste, and there are just so many breadcrumbs you can use.

What do you do with your crusts, apart from feed the birds? Now, be honest...

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Valentine's day and surprises

Valentine's day has for many years been what my late mother called "a commercial racket". Today, the shops are full of pink/red cards and those red roses that flop as soon as you get them home (do men now KNOW this? And they'll be way past their best by Wednesday, even if they don't flop).

But the prize goes to my beloved son-in-law.

"So, do you want flowers on Valentine's day?" he asked my daughter. To which she (reasonably) replied: "you don't ASK me! THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT!"

 As she later explained to me, not only has be spoilt any surprise, but now she looks greedy if she says yes, and won't get any if she says no. He's put her in a lose-lose position.

And my own dear husband? Well, he's just told me, joyously, that a son is planning a "surprise" visit on my birthday.

I am FURIOUS!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Old book, new look...



This is the new look for what used to be THE BIRDS, THE BEES AND OTHER SECRETS, which comes out later this year. I was sorry to have to abandon the title, but it was attracting the wrong sort of attention...The publisher and I have spent ages trying to come up with something better, and we've ended up with a compromise (title).  I like the clean, clear look, and just hope potential readers will too...

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Writers' displacement activities...

...or rather, mine. So far this morning I have done the following (rather than write):

Necessary:
Shop for lunch.
Buy two birthday cards
Wrap two presents
Put on a wash
Email publisher

Not so necessary:
Have coffee
Buy daffodils
Phone a friend (she was out 🙁)
Chat to husband

Unnecessary:
Arrange daffodils (above) in a time consuming way
Remove ALL the fluff from the tumble drier filter with a small knife
Check emails 15 times
Chat to husband again
Write this

I have succeeded in doing no writing at all. I'd call that successful displacement 😀



Thursday, 25 January 2018

No flowers by request...

...look like this, and I think it's terribly sad. People speak of "wasted money", but buying beautiful flowers for a funeral are the last thing friends and family can do for the dead person. In a way, many of us need to do just that; to express our feelings in this way. I'm all for charitable donations, but they can be given in addition - why not? At my late husband's funeral, we had mountains of flowers, and they meant so much. At my mother's, we had lots of sprays and bouquets, and everyone took some home.

So, at my funeral - lots of flowers, please (no wreaths. if you don't mind), and please take some home when you go.

(I was put in mind of this while attending a funeral last week. The coffin was a woven  one, with lots of flowers interwoven along the edge, and a huge bouquet on top. I'd like to go to my Maker in a basket, too. It was beautiful, and much less bleak than a coffin.)

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A subtle platform for bullying...

...is the art of choosing teams. This was alive and well when I was a kid, and needless to say, I was always picked last. And I haven't forgotten it.*

But it still happens. In an age when the PC brigade have declared that there must be  "no winners or losers" on sports days, picking teams still goes on in games and PE lessons. A child I know, who is being bullied and left off party invitations (that's another thing. What kind of parent allows his child to invite all the children in the class to a party, except one?), and  who is actually good at games, is always last to be picked for a team. And he minds, very much.  Why can't teachers just divide the class themselves, rather than leaving it to the children to decide? Of course  the least popular will be left until last. It's a no-brainer, isn't it?

It's hard to police bullying, for kids are subtle and clever, and a lot goes on out of sight. But surely, in a class situation, where there is an adult in charge, teams at least can be left to that adult, and not to the kids themselves.

*I was actually appalling at games. My instinct when confronted with a ball has always been "missile! Duck or run". But that's another story.