Lent 2013

It’s that time again. A bit of self sacrifice is good for the soul. Apparently…..

Anyway, I’m making my sacrifices public in order to better stick to them. You lot are my witnesses, ok?

1. No chocolate. An oldie but a goodie. I have enjoyed a hearty final meal 🙂

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2. No sweets, cakes or biscuits. There is too much of this rubbish in my diet, time for it to go.

3. No sugar in my tea. I’ve been on this one for a week already, so far, so good.

Will you be giving anything up? And how are you?

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The 2013 List

23. Write a big, long list of things that make you happy
  1. Himself. (If you don’t like soppy stuff, I suggest you skip down the list)

I had been single for a long time when I met Himself. I had gone down several blind alleys in my pursuit of love, forgetting that these things have a habit of popping up when you very least expect them. For whatever reason, it fits. I feel comfortable with him. That might sound dull, but it’s really not. Occasionally I will look over at him and just be swept away by how much he means to me. Also, he finds me funny. A lot is said about how we all want someone who can make us laugh, but what I hadn’t realised is how lovely it is to be the person provoking that laughter. I really like the fact that I can make him laugh, that he finds me funny. The novelty of that hasn’t worn off yet.

  1. Boy and Girl.

As previously discussed here.

  1. Getting into a freshly made bed, preferably with sheets that have been line dried.

Self explanatory, that one.

  1. The perfect cup of tea

I am well practised in the art of tea-making and I know what I like. However, there are those occasions when the planets align, the water is the right temperature, the tea brewed for the right time, the right amount of milk (and sometimes sugar) is added and you have before you a cracking cup of tea.

  1. Cookery programmes

Not all of them – I cannot abide Heston, for example – but Masterchef: The Professionals, Nigella, Delia, Nigel Slater and Rick Stein all make me a very happy girl.

  1. Recipe books

I sit and read these like other people read normal books. It’s the ultimate in comfort reading as I plan a whole range of feasts. I never cook any of them right enough….

  1. Planning/organising

I love the anticipation of events, at least as much as the event itself. Checking, researching, writing plans. Love it!

8. Waking up in the middle of the night, looking at the clock and realising there’s still hours to go before I have to get up.

Another pretty straightforward one.

What makes you happy? And how are you?

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TW3 – 10/02/13

This week, I have been mostly….

* Answering more direct questions – specifically ‘what are those (tampons) for?’ I think I managed to strike the balance between honesty and keeping it relevant for a 6 year old.

* Doing (much) better than I thought I would on this grammar test from The Grauniad. How did you do?

* Being utterly fascinated by these pictures of North Korea, as seen in The Telegraph. I am a bit obsessed with the DPRK, one of my best Christmas presents was Nothing to Envy, a brilliant book focusing on people who’ve defected from the North to South Korea. I’d highly recommend it.

* Dog sitting.

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*Feeding my ongoing Marilyn Monroe fetish. It’s helping charity at the same time, so it’s not all bad.

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* Sweet loading. It’s a real thing. Honest! Lent starts on Wednesday, so I’m enjoying every last sweet morsel I can.

* Being a bit worried about the Decline in Dahl. I love Roald Dahl, the idea that a new generation of kids aren’t connecting with him is quite sad.

And how are you?

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Everyday Sexism – And why I can’t follow it anymore

Warning – Some of you may find this post triggering.

There is a Twitter account called Everyday Sexism, which I’ve been following for the last couple of months. Until today that is.

Various friends had been retweeting their stuff and it looked interesting. A chance to call out people/companies for lazy stereotyping, rubbish ad campaigns and so on. I duly got following and found it thought provoking. In the last few weeks, they’ve been encouraging their followers to report tales of sexual harassment/assault and tales of workplace sexism using various hashtags. It has been shocking, shocking stuff. The most awful stories of abuse, of victim blaming and of absolute rank sexism. It has been non-stop and I have reached the point where I can’t take any more of it, for a few different reasons.

It’s profoundly depressing stuff. At its worse there are tales of men publically masturbating over women, sexual assault, groping and an overuse of the word rape (it’s a joke word now, apparently) that I find repugnant. I applaud the bravery of the women who are sharing these stories and I share their anger at our criminal justice system which seems unable to deal with the perpetrators. I don’t want to read about it with the frequency I have been. For me, Twitter is a fun place, where I keep in touch with friends and occasionally learn some new things.

I have been lucky enough to never find myself in the position some of these women have found themselves in. Sure, I’ve come across my fair share of drunken arseholes, but generally they’ve been ignored and that has been that. A number of the stories have related to abuse doled out to women while they’ve been walking alone or out for a run. I run solo a fair bit of the time and  I cannot tell you the number of times I have walked home, alone, at night. In Glasgow , in Dundee, in Aberdeen . Previously, I haven’t given it a thought, but in the last few weeks, the experiences I have been reading about have been lurking in the back of my mind and I won’t have it. These are my streets; I have every right to be there. I don’t feel scared, I won’t feel scared and I will not have that taken away from me.

I’m probably most nervous about this next bit. I find myself rolling my eyes at some of the stories – ticket collector called the two males passengers ‘sir’ and called me ‘darling’, for example. Honestly? In the grand scheme of things, that is the fight you are picking? I call people darling, pet, honey, sweetheart, m’dear, quine, hen, whatever, all the time. Maybe it bugs the life out of them (speak now or forever hold your peace) maybe it doesn’t. Does this make me a bad feminist? Am I not showing the requisite solidarity with my sisters? Should I be birching myself while reading aloud from The Female Eunuch? I don’t know. What I do know is – as far as I am concerned – there are bigger fights to be fought and focusing on things like this just fuels the misogynist view that we’re all a bunch of complaining wimmin who should just learn to take a compliment/be at home with the kids anyway.

Maybe this all makes you think less of me, maybe you think more of me. The end result is the same – I am no longer following this Twitter account. However, if you think it would be of interest to you, you can check them out @EverydaySexism or www.everydaysexism.com

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TW3 – 03/02/2013

This week, I have been mostly….

*Moving house. 13th time in 14.5 years and I have got no better at it. What I have got better at is chucking stuff out. Boxes and bags of the stuff. However, thanks to sterling efforts by both me and Himself, I am pretty much unpacked. It feels really rather lovely 🙂

*Running for longer than I ever have before. I clocked up 7 miles today. Still lots more miles to go though.

*Answering direct questions from Boy and Girl, such as “Do you want babies?” and “What does gay mean?” I think we covered them well.

*Enjoying the start of the 6 Nations and basking in the reflected glory of an Ireland win.

And how are you?

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The 2013 list and (belated) TW3 – 28/01/13

List first……

21. Rearrange some furniture.
I move house in 4 days, I did little else over the weekend. Stand by for more of this kind of chat over the coming days!

TW3

* I said nipple to lots of people I didnt know. Himself needed nip guards. That’s actually what they are called btw.

* I drove all the way to Stonehaven to buy this…

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That’s not fudge. That’s gjetost, a norwegian goats cheese that is basically like crack to me. It’s awesome stuff! Try it now,  thank me later.

* I was terribly sensible at skool. Ahem.

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* Altogether I ran 12.5 miles. Almost what I’ll need to run in March. But all in one go. Seemed like a good idea at the time :-s

And how are you?

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The 2013 list

7. Write a completely honest post about how you’re feeling right now.

Parenting is hard.

Part-time parenting is harder.

Part-time parenting children who aren’t ‘yours’ is harder still.

Himself has a son and daughter, aged 8 and 6 respectively. I knew this before we got together, so I knew that if we were going to go the distance, I would have a role in their lives.

Some of the time they are with Himself, some of the time they are with their Mum.

Sometimes they make me howl with laughter, sometimes they can be unbelievably affectionate, sometimes they can be utter brats. Typical children really.

Having them in my life has brought about a whole new wave of emotions. Protectiveness – I will chin anyone who harms a hair on their heads. Worry (not a new emotion for me to be fair, just taken in a new direction) – Boy is autistic and I think a lot about how he will cope with the challenges life will have in store. I think about how Girl will cope with all that as well. Adolescence, hormones, boys (girls?)….it’s enough to make you want to have a lie down in a darkened room. Guilt. Oh the guilt, even when something as simple as a denial of chocolate brings forth tears of frustration.

Fear is a big one too. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of causing upset to either (or both) of Boy and Girl’s parents. Fear of proving that I am somehow second best, that I don’t know them or understand them as well. Fear of hearing those killer words ‘You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mother’.

Envy as well. Of the times I don’t have with them. Of the bits I’ve already missed.

However, there are other moments. The first hug. The first goodnight kiss. The first request for me to sing a bedtime song.

So, very hard. So, very worth it.

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