Saturday, 20 April 2013

Thick as a ....

Samantha Brick has been at it again. The Daily Mail's favourite spoon-wielder whose entire job description is serving up any old crock of shit as long as it creates a furore. Or at least I hope that's what it is .... because all gods help her if she actually believes what she writes. See article. (Warning, does link to Daily Fail, approach with caution.)

And I use the word write advisedly.

Famous for claiming to be the most beautiful woman in the world ever or something, which she clearly isn't. Lady Thick-As-A this week declared that women should be constantly on a diet to be a PROPER lady, like what she and Joan Collins are. *Rolls eyes*

The epoch of female perfection. Apparently.
The Brick's theory of proper ladylike perfection has meant she has starved herself for most of her life after a puppy fat incident in her teens (she is now 42). Her chosen life partner threatens to leave her if she starts to incline the scales a tad to the right And The Brick thinks this is a good thing, simpering about partners as "weight loss coaches."  

Though if MY other half had threatened to divorce me if I put weight on, not only would I have been filing divorce papers before he'd finished speaking, I'd be having a really rather strong word about having to be the one half of the couple that only makes up a quarter of the whole (you've seen her husband right?) Oh, and reaching for an axe.

The Brick believes that women, proper ladylike women like what she is, must starve themselves because fat is failure. Employers prefer thin people to fat she states, confidently enough to make you wonder if there's a few Daily Mail executives dreading a knock from equal opportunities come Monday morning. 

Both men and women regard thin as beautiful she announces with a blind ignorance which also makes you wonder if she's ever met any real men or real women at all. Maybe she hasn't, because she's obviously far too busy staring at her perfect face and figure in the mirror.

That she celebrates her own lifetime denial doesn't worry me. She could live on Polos with slowly rotting teeth in unforgiving size 8 skinnys until she's shrivelled enough to be worn as an accessory on her husband's no doubt multi-tooled belt for all I care.

What I do care about is that she's allowed to share her shallow delusions and maybe, possibly, probably, make someone (most likely young, vulnerable, and desperate to believe a diet of Polo mints might make them attractive and successful) swallow the shit she dishes out.

After her lifetime of calorie deprivation, faddy diets and constant navel gazing Ms Brick is now, at 42 years old, a size 12. Which leads me to the first of three things that me and The Brick have in common as I am also a size 12. We are also the same height, though I am 48. I also, like The Brick, don't own a pair of weighing scales.

UNLIKE The Brick I have never been on a diet in my life (unless you count the Drink-As-Much-Wine-As-Humanly-Possible diet which I've followed religiously most of my life). Also unlike The Brick I have three daughters.

And I would rather burn myself at the stake than send them out into the world convinced that the most important thing about them is how much they weigh and what size jeans they take because I would be not just failing them but also the accumulated passions, talents and learning of every woman in history.....excepting Samantha Brick. Obviously.

*tuts at the woman*

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

What Maggie Means To Me....(the obligatory blog post)

I was 14 years old when Margaret Thatcher became the first woman prime minister of Britain but I was as interested in politics then as I was in doing my homework on time and that was: Not at all.

That she was a woman and the first woman to become Prime Minister only boggled my mind in so far as no woman had been Prime Minister before. I grew up believing women (at least in my strong Yorkshire family) were the equal of men at anything, it never occurred to me that others might think differently.

In 1990 when Maggie was ousted from her tenure, the longest of any Prime Minister in the twentieth century, I gleefully celebrated her passing but by then I was 25 years old, working on a local newspaper and politically opinionated and aware, thanks to Maggie.

During those eleven and a half years she was in charge of the world, my world changed. I started doing my homework (though that was probably more down to my mum than Maggie Thatcher) and went on to do an English degree. I even got the job I wanted, doing what I wanted and the post graduate qualifications I needed to do it (and that was definitely down to me).

Meanwhile, elsewhere ...

Women who protested against nuclear weapons were arrested for trying to make their message heard. A war that even though it was a long, long way away was broadcast live into our homes every night, a very real war with real people and death and horror and fear. There was war at home too with workers pitted against workers in a violent battle of the most stubbornest of wills. They were real people too and were as hurt and as injured as any other in battlefield conditions, the difference being that their entire families were on the battlefield suffering as well. Then there was the Poll Tax, it's attendant riots, Clause 28, bombs, rising unemployment, the privatisation of national industries and all the while the top tenth of the population held onto more than half the wealth.

....And I wore badges of support and protest, marched and sat in. I argued and shouted and protested. It was what you did if you were of a certain age in that uncertain time. Politics were passionate and important. And love her or loathe her, Maggie inspired that passion with a primp of her overly coiffured hair and a tweak of a pussycat bow before dominatrixing her way through a cabinet meeting.

When she left Downing Street with a tear in her eye, I jeered and cheered. There might have been a bit of an air-punch and a "What? Really?" YAY!" incident when I was informed, sombrely, of her death by TeenTwin2 (one of whose favourite films is The Iron Lady *rolls eyes*) though I regret my enthusiasm as unseemly, in front of the children, now. Obviously.

So I won't be dancing on her grave or having a party or even shouting, for old times sake; "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. Out. Out. Out" today. And there will be no quaffing of celebratory champagne, mostly because the faces may have changed but the Tory policies remain the same. Having a party at the funeral of a woman effectively politically dead for over 20 years, isn't going to change that.

Voting is going to change that.

Maggie getting her hand signals to the nation mixed up

...BUT I am, now you've asked, just a bit fucking annoyed that in a time of austerity, funding cuts and benefit caps it's deemed perfectly acceptable to spend TEN MILLION POUNDS on putting the silly old bat in a hole. *tuts*

Friday, 12 April 2013

Tween Looks and What They Mean .... (NOT a Fashion Guide)

Inevitably once you are in full possession of your very own Tween, family communications WILL begin to break down.

Where once the house was so full of happy babble that you might have* considered stapling your child's mouth shut at the end of the day, a newly hatched Tween will instead merely grunt, shrug or sigh in response to all and any questions or, if you are VERY lucky, all three at once.

A Tween's preferred method of communication is with a look - an expression, a certain twist of the mouth and a roll of the eyes  - and that is supposed to convey their innermost thoughts, wants, wishes and commands. It is up to you, the parent, to divine their meaning .....

Ever helpful I undertook a covert operation and went undercover with a camera, The Tween's seven-year-old brother and high spy-level obfuscatory talk of biscuits. And I gleaned what I hope is a helpful guide to some Tween Looks:

Number 1:

The I'm far too engrossed in something far more important than you to pay attention to what you're doing but I know you're both up to something Look.

Number 2:

The No really I am NOT paying you any attention, I DON'T care what you're doing but I'm sure someone mentioned biscuits and didn't mention me Look

Number 3:

The Alright I'm getting really annoyed now, I don't care about biscuits. Give HIM all the biscuits. I don't care ANYWAY, even though they're MY favourite. biscuits. I hate you all Look

Number 4:

The I'm actually going to punch you if you give him all the biscuits, I LIKE those biscuits They are the ONLY biscuits I like, they're MY biscuits Look

Number 5:

The Death Stare ... (thankfully directed at The Boy who was entirely coincidentally holding a biscuit)... Look


Number 6:

The Oh, we can all have biscuits! Look.

Disclaimer: Biscuits not essential, replace with literally anything at all. *sighs*

*didn't ACTUALLY staple their mouths shut. Well, not often.....

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

.Give Me A Child Until He Is Seven ....

"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man" 

So they gave me a child until he was seven and I give you the man

A messy eater

And would-be rock star.

Puddle jumper extraordinaire,

With an odd fashion sense

And a willful disrespect for ancient monuments.

A train-obsessed

..ALL kinds of trains-obsessed..

Boy racer

Who loves penguins

... still

My Glorious Boy

I love you 
Mummy x

Monday, 1 April 2013

Feeling Good with the Feel Good Forum

The Boots Feel Good Forum is an online and on-air one-stop destination for all your health and beauty queries. Presented by Kate Thornton every Sunday (at 7pm on Real Radio and 8pm on Smooth Radio) with a range of experts to answer your questions, you can also catch up with the top tips on the Mumsnet Feel Good Forum any time you like.

I am not renowned for my beauty regime preferring what I like to call the natural look (and what everybody else probably considers the Dragged-Through-A-Hedge-Before-Breakfast look) but there does come a time in every woman's life when she needs all the help that she can get.

Eighteen months shy of my 50th birthday, my time is now, before I start hiding the mirrors and only leaving the house in the hours of darkness, but where do you go for help and where do you start in a market overladen with creams, unguents, serums and potions that promise the earth and cost just as much? I don't mind growing old disgracefully, but I want to look good while I'm doing it.

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