44 articles Articles posted in Rant

What (Pregnant) Women Want

I’m well over half way through this pregnancy now, with just under 17 weeks left until I give birth, and although this pregnancy has been a doddle compared to the last one, there are still things I’m struggling with. Being diabetic means that I’m on a strict diet, so as well as the usual regulations, there are extra things that I can’t have any more. I’m already fantasising about what I want to eat and drink when I’ve given birth, and the list seems to grow every day. Here’s just a few of them:

Orange Juice

glass-of-orange-juice

Fruit juice is one of those things that you think is super healthy, but is actually laden with sugar, meaning that it’s a big no-no for me, especially if it’s the one with no bits as that’s got all the sugar and none of the fibre, making it even higher in the glycemic index. However, you can begin to understand just how much I’d love to drink an ice-cold glass of fresh orange juice! I’m craving citrus, the same as I did in my last pregnancy, and not being able to indulge is torturous!

Pâté

Pate

This one is a real bone of contention with me, to be honest. The Food Standards Agency tells pregnant women to avoid pâté because it’s possible that it can contain listeria. However, in 2011 there were just 147 cases of listeriosis in the UK, which is just 0.0002333333333333333% of the populations – can you see where I’m going with this?! My chances of actually getting listeriosis from pâté is spectacularly low, but because I’m a paranoid lunatic, I still won’t take the risk, despite craving it in a major way.

Sushi

sushi

Sushi is probably my favourite food in the whole world, and although current guidelines say that it’s fine to eat if it’s been frozen, I can’t seem to get confirmation from anywhere that I’ve tried to buy it from whether it has been or not. This means that although I technically can have sushi, I’ve not been able to and I reeeeeally miss it!

Cake

marshmallow10cake

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific here, but I just want cake. All of it. Any cake. Or patisserie of any kind. Profiteroles, maybe? I don’t like custard tarts, but I’d go for one of those like a hungry greyhound goes for a rabbit.

(image courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half)

Cheese

brie-cheese

I do love me a hunk ‘a cheese, and while I know I can still have the boring ones like cheddar and whatnot, what I really want is a massive pile of crackers, a board full of brie, camembert and stilton, some interesting chutneys and possibly a glass of wine. Not just cheese of cheese’s sake, but the whole awesome experience of proper cheese.

And now I’ve made myself really hungry and craving a ton of stuff that I can’t have.

 

Ranty Friday – Selfish Parents

smoking childIt’s Friday, which means Mummy Barrow is telling us all to get Ranty again, which is quite appropriate as I’ve had this post brewing for a few days, but didn’t know where to start.

The other day, I was in our local shop, buying some ham. I got to the counter and there was a man in front of me buying cigarettes; he bought quite a few boxes at once and as the lady at the till rang it up, I blanched at the cost of smoking. I smoked way back in my late teens and early twenties, but gave up before I fell pregnant with Sausage, and the price of tobacco products has gone up a lot since then.

When I got to the front of the queue, I struck up a conversation with the cashier and casually mentioned that I didn’t know how anyone could even afford to smoke in this day and age. The cashier was young, probably early to mid twenties and mentioned that she was also a smoker.

Let me just say here, I have no issue with people who smoke; it’s a personal choice and as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, I don’t care what they do. I know they say “an ex-smoker is the worst” but I’m not judging the actual act of smoking.

The cashier went on to tell me that she lived in one of the flats (there are two high-rises near the shops) and that her and her partner both smoked with the kids in the house.

(blood pressure starting to rise…)

She then said “We smoke on the balcony these days because my youngest has got asthma. We used to smoke indoors but in the nicer weather it’s easier to go outside”.

(blood pressure steadily on the up…)

The final thing, which completely floored me was “I really should try and give up. My partner and I spend at least £70 a week on fags and my kids have to go without somethings, but it’s just so hard. I go without dinner some nights, just so I can have fags”.

(head explodes, rage spewing everywhere)

Where do I even start?

If she wants to go without dinner so that she can continue to smoke, that’s her right and privilege as a human being with free will, but freely and in an almost blasé fashion, admitting that her kids go without because she wants to continue smoking just blows my mind. How can you put your own horrible habit above and beyond the needs of your children? I just cannot get my head around that. Looking at your kids and saying “You know what? I’m more important” is the ULTIMATE selfishness and makes me feel like these people don’t even deserve to be blessed with kids.

How can people behave in this manner? I simply do not get it. I feel so sorry for the kids being raised in these conditions, without a parent who’d put them first.

I’m not doing a Jamie Oliver here and condemning those in a lower wage bracket because of how they choose to apportion their income…if she wants to spend her money on cigarettes, it’s her money to spend, but surely in any family be they rich or poor, the needs of the kids should come before anything else?

Husband and I would go without anything if it meant that Sausage was provided for in the best way possible and I was under the (apparently deluded) impression that this was an attitude which would be shared by 99% of other parents.

Am I alone in thinking that this is terrible behaviour?

Click on the duck to see why Mummy Barrow is ranting about selfish plane passengers and all of the other blogs who’ve linked up this week.

MummyBarrow

Room 101

The epic and generally wonderful Mummy Barrow has tagged me in a meme (one which I was secretly hoping to be tagged in, if I’m honest) based on the TV show Room 101 and meme-ified into blogging history by Helen at Stickers, Stars and Smiles (who is also epic and wonderful). I love the concept of the TV show and am pleased to be able to finally watch it again after they got rid of Paul ‘I’m an unfunny skin-flute’ Merton, who I cannot abide but won’t stoop to waste one of my Room 101 spots on.

So, without further ado, here are the three things, or three sets of people as it transpires, that I would place in my very own Room 101.

People Who Don’t Pick Up Their Dog Shit

dog-poop-bagsWhy is it that some people want to own dogs but refuse to pick up their excrement? Is there anything worse than stepping in the freshly-lain cable of someone elses hound? Actually, yes, it’s worse when you’re walking your own dog and have stooped to pick up their shit, in the manner of all decent dog owners, and go on to step in something left by someone else. And don’t even get me started on the absolute mother f*ckers who bag it and then DROP THE SHIT FILLED BAG. I think I hate these people because they think that they’re beyond scooping, to which my answer would be “Well, don’t get a fucking dog then!”. If you want a dog, there are certain responsibilities that go along with it and scooping poop is one of them.

People Who Believe Everything They Read in The Daily Mail

daily-mailLook, I know The Daily Mail looks like a real newspaper; it’s made of paper and has something pretending to be news in it. Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities stop. The stuff that’s printed in The Daily Mail is generally, in a news sense, on par with what was left on the pavement in the point above. So why, oh why, are people still being sucked in by it’s jingoistic, anti-everything bollocks? Do you really believe that people on benefits are living the high life or that evil immigrants are taking over our country and breeding us out? Or maybe, just maybe, you’re a terminally outraged peanuthead and the crap in The Daily Fail fits in with your narrow way of thinking, helping you to feel justified in the fact that you’re a complete bigot.

People Who Say “I Don’t Like…” Before They’ve Even Tried It

refuse_food_16dmfpc-16dmfphI have one question for the people who do this: HOW DO YOU KNOW?

How can you possibly ever claim to not like something if you’ve never tried it? This mainly applies to food, because there are obviously legitimate circumstances that would let you know that you wouldn’t like a particular experience (deathly fear of heights? You probably won’t like base jumping then, and I’ll let you off of having to prove it). But if you’re THAT much of a baby that you’d rather not even put something in your mouth and taste it before you rule it out of your life completely, then you deserve to only consume lukewarm tap water and the protein-gruel that the eat on the Nebuchadnezzar  in The Matrix for the rest of your boring, dull life.

I now tag the following people to give me their entries to Room 101:

Michael at Essex Outlaw

Cas at Mummy Never Sleeps 

Clare at Seasider in the City

Stickers, Stars and Smiles

MummyBarrow

Ranty Friday – Feminine Hygiene Products

I am a woman just in case you hadn’t noticed. I have spent a lot of time in the company of other women. Let me demonstrate:

  • I attended an all-girls school from the ages of 11-17
  • I spent a good few years learning bellydancing in all-female classes and travelling around to workshops and performances
  • I used to play netball for my town
  • The majority of my friends are women and there’s a definite female:male bias in my family too, with dozens of female cousins and second cousins

Which is why this next statement may come as a surprise to you…I have never been offended by the odour of another woman’s intimate, female regions. In fact, I won’t stop at offended, I’ll go as far as to say that I’ve never so much been AWARE of the odour of another woman’s intimate female regions.

And that’s where I’m confused, dear readers. See, I’ve never seen extensive stashes of Femfresh or any other feminine washing products in the houses of my friends and family, but surely they MUST be using them if I’m not being overwhelmed by their ripe stench?

**If you haven’t realised so far that I’m writing with an enormous pinch of sarcasm, I suggest you stop reading now and go and read something which won’t offend the fluffy kittens that are currently taking up residence in your brain cavity**

FemFresh Monster

Women, listen up.

Evil FemFreshThis is an *actual* Femfresh ad campaign.
I know. It made me feel stabby too.

Femfresh is ridiculous. It’s a myth, peddled by companies to play on your paranoia and every time you buy one of their products, you’re perpetuating that myth. Have you ever been sitting around and thought “Wow, what’s that smell? Is it…my…fanny?!”? No? Okay, so if your nose, the nose which is presumably closest to your own foof on a daily basis, cannot smell your areas, the chances are that A.N.Other random passer-by isn’t going to be able to either. Unless they’re part bear. Bears have an amazing sense of smell, you know.

The thing that is really offensive about it all is the sheer range of products that Femfresh offer. Specialist “triple-action deodorising” fanny wash not strong enough to keep your olfactory-offender under control? Well, how about some handy portable wipes for keeping you fresh ‘on-the-go’? And if that’s not enough, there’s even a spray deodorant for your downstairs mix-up. With MOISTURISING SILK EXTRACTS, nonetheless. And finally, if you really cannot keep your quim under wraps, there’s a panty liner with ‘silver-care technology’ to really ensure you aren’t bothering anybody with your feminine effluvium.

The things is, men have privates too, but you don’t see supermarket shelves bulging with “Barry’s Patented Ball Wash” or boxes of silver-filled sheathes to encapsulate the bollocks, lest we ever catch a whiff of the breeze as it passes through their danglers. Sure, men probably wouldn’t buy ball-wash if it existed, choosing rather to embrace their manliness and let things marinate, but that’s not the point.

I would love, at this point, to make a cogent argument about how this is further proof of the demonisation of women and how we’re viewed as unclean and second-class, but this has gone on for too long and too many women have allowed themselves to be sucked in by this now. It’s become a vicious circle, we’ve played into the Ad-Man’s hands and made his job easy. We’ve run away with our paranoia and allowed ourselves to be manipulated. We don’t know right from wrong anymore. So, I’ll make it simple for women of all ages and backgrounds and end by saying this:

If your fanny is really that whiffy, GO AND SEE A DOCTOR. It’s not a specialist tuppence-wash you need, it’s medical attention and possibly some ointment.

The End.

MummyBarrow

Take Me Out – Misandry Gone Mad?

A few months ago, I became aware of the programme ‘Take Me Out’, mostly because of a million tweets with the hashtag #nolikeynolighty every Saturday night, so I decided to check out what is was all about. For those of you who have never seen it, Wikipedia explains it a lot better than I can:

The objective of the show is for a man to gain a date with one of thirty single women. The women stand on stage underneath thirty white lights, each with a button in front of them. A single man is then brought on stage via the ‘Love Lift’ and tries to woo the women in a series of rounds, playing a prerecorded dating video, displaying a skill (such as dancing or playing a musical instrument), or playing another video in which the man’s friends or family reveal more about him. At any point during the rounds, the women can press the button in front of them to turn off their light (their area of the stage will turn red if they do so). If, at the end of three rounds, there are still lights left on, the bachelor will turn off all but two of the remaining lights himself. He will then have a chance to ask one question to the last two women, before choosing which woman he wants to go on a date with by turning off one more light. If the man is left with 2 lights at the end of round 3, then he will just ask his question to the two remaining women and if there is only 1 light left at the end of round 3 then he will go on a date with that girl without asking them his question.

For a while, I really enjoyed watching it. I got involved with the Tweeting and even had something I said retweeted by Leah (one of the 30 girls at the time) when I said she had a head like a fifty pence piece. I was being bitchy, but she seemed to take it in good humour, so it’s all good. I loved seeing the dates, mostly because (as was the curse of Blind Date) they’d usually get to their date destination and realise they had NOTHING to talk about (I have a morbid fascination for awkwardness, I think) and I even started to get to know the contestants who’d been hanging around dateless for a while. It seemed like Saturday night telly from when I was a kid – all that was missing was an hour of Gladiators beforehand!

 A couple of weeks ago, though, Husband made an small, innocuous comment that really got me thinking about the show and I’ve not watched it since because of it.  He said “Imagine if this show was the other way around?”

What he meant was, imagine if there were 30 blokes and one woman choosing instead.

At the moment, they have one lad come on at a time and the girls make salacious comments, pass judgement on the bloke, watch him perform like a circus animal in some cases and basically treat him like a piece of meat.

So. Imagine if it was the other way around. 30 men, sizing up a single girl, making her jump through hoops deciding whether or not she was good enough for them. Would you still watch it? Or would the whole situation not seem a bit intimidating, belittling, degrading?

Maybe I’m taking it all a bit too seriously – most of the people on the show are young, single, out for a good time and just want a chance of a free short break and to be on telly. In that respect, I get it, I do. But there is a real issue of inequality going on here. The format of the show is obviously very deliberate in that the man has to do the hard part so that it doesn’t seem distasteful or misogynistic, but what is it they say about the goose and the gander? Why is it okay for men to humiliate themselves but not women? Isn’t it funny how most people know the word ‘misogyny’ but far less know about ‘misandry’. **

I’ve written before about how equality goes both ways, or at least it should, and I think in this case the bosses of ITV need to drag themselves out of the dark ages. I can’t watch the show any more without having hallucinations where there’s 30 lionesses on stage fighting over one gazelle in a clown costume, it’s just too cringe-worthy.

What do you think? Am I taking it too seriously, or is this type of sexism a button-pusher for you too?

**Ironically, the WordPress dictionary didn’t even recognise that word…

(I’m linking this up with Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday Linky)

MummyBarrow

Mumsnet, a Hospital Visit and A Community-Sized Hug

This has been a funny old week in the Parent Blogging community. Saturday saw one of the years biggest blogging conferences, put on by Mumsnet, and for a while everyone was abuzz with chatter of what went on at the conference. Then, on Sunday, the Daily Mail printed an article by She Who Shall Not Be Named, a woman who apparently has no desire to endear herself to anyone, condemning us all as mindless drones who live only to serve their Husbands (who are obviously the only breadwinners in the house) and while away the time (which let’s face it, we have TONS of because parenting and looking after kids is such a doddle) with cupcake baking and crocheting.

I’m not even going to justify her pathetic jabs with any sort of specific rebuttal to the claims she’s made about us as a whole because I have another theory. This woman is well-documented as saying that she doesn’t have any friends and struggles with interpersonal relationships. I think her comments come from a sense of teeth-grindingly intense jealousy. When she attended BlogFest on Saturday, she will have seen hundreds of women, all from different places, all with different lives, different interests, with different amounts of money, different levels of education, coming together to spend time in a huge sisterhood. That’s gotta sting when you’re a friendless crone, right?

I came to this conclusion yesterday night. If you’ve read my previous post you’ll know that I spent a large chunk of yesterday in hospital. I came home and plugged my phone in (fucking iPhone battery, mutter mutter) to find texts, emails, wall posts, messages and group posts from no less than a dozen bloggers who I’ve come to know over the past two years. Offers of help, offers of ears to bend if I needed to. One of them even tried ringing the hospital I’d gone to, to see if they could find anything out, so worried they’d been at my unusual radio silence.

Friendship is something that a lot of us take for granted and although I’m not lucky enough to have all of these ladies living just around the corner from me, although I can’t pop round for a coffee if I have five minutes to spare, although I’ve never met a lot of them on a face to face basis, I know I have a community of women who are rooting for me. If I need a shoulder to cry on or a place to ask for a cheer of ‘good luck!’ before an interview, they’re there. I’ve seen my community do amazing things, help others out when they’re in genuine need and have nowhere else to turn and it’s a very nice feeling to know that they’d have my back if I needed them.

And that, as far as I’m concerned, is why the lonely She Who Shall Not Be Named has taken such umbridge. Jealousy, pure and simple. If only she’d been a bit nicer, she may have made some friends too.

Thanks everyone. You know who you are.

Holding My Breath

If you read this blog regularly or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I’m a pretty ‘heart-on-sleeve’ kinda gal. There are very few subjects that I won’t write about; the way I see it – my space, my rules. I’ve always been the same and those close to me have often remarked that they worry my openness will leave me vulnerable as not everyone in the world is nice. The thing is, try as I might, I can’t help myself. It’s no coincidence that my Mum called me ‘Gob on a Stick’ when I was a kid!

However, just recently, there have been some things that I can’t gab about, either to readers or Real Life Friends, and it’s making me feel peculiar.

I’ve written before about how superstitious I am and how at times it’s felt like it’s taking over my life, walking along the street by myself, avoiding the cracks and saluting the magpies, but at the moment I’m under the curse of the jinx. There are things going on, both good and bad, and if I talk about them I might jinx them. I know how stupid that sounds, like by mentioning something I’m going to somehow change the course of future events, but it’s just the way my mind works. There’s logic in there somewhere – if I DON’T talk about it and anything goes wrong, I know I didn’t jinx it by talking about it, does that make any sense?

The problem with this is that I feel like I’m holding my breath. I’ve taken a deep breath in and I have no idea when I’m going to be able to exhale again. It’s a frustrating feeling that I don’t like very much. As a control freak, it’s not all that conducive to my usual way of doing things, you know? The stuff that’s going on is only partially in my control and it’s not that great for my frame of mind.

All I know is, once this week is over, I’ll know where I stand a little bit more and hopefully things will start to fall into our new version of normal. But until then, if you only get one-word answers out of me, don’t be too surprised!

What Has Happened to the Top 40?

One of my earliest memories as a child is singing and dancing with my Mum to ‘Reet Petite’ by Jackie Wilson. It was re-released in the UK in 1986, so I can have been no older than two or three but I adored it and used to get really sad when the plasticine Jackie would melt at the end of the video!

When I think about it, many of my memories centre around music. When I was 6, I remember watching my mum get ready for her evening bar  job, backcombing her hair and squeezing into some seriously tight Levis, listening to ‘Ride on Time’ by Black Box. Around the same time, my Mum started seeing my step-dad and I fell instantly in love with him when he let me have free reign over his record collection. I’d sit for HOURS on a Sunday afternoon putting on album after album, being oh-so-careful with the needle on the record player, listening to John Lee Hooker, Santana, Van Morrison, The Who, The Cure…he had so many records and it was such an amazing musical education.

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That’s Enough, Steve Carell

Let me begin by saying, I really like Steve Carell. He’s a good actor, I tend to like the roles he plays, he seems like an all-round good stick.

But he’s getting on my nerves.

So far this week, we’ve heard him doing voices in Despicable Me, Over the Hedge and Horton Hears a Who. It’s not an over-saturation problem as such, like with certain celebs. Like how, a few years ago, I got genuinely so sick to the back teeth of seeing Johnny Depp in EVERYTHING Tim Burton did. I know he’s good and all that, but I’m bored with him now. No. It’s because I have to try to work out a way to explain to Sausage why Gru, Hammy and Ned McDodd the Mayor of Whoville all sound the bloody same, without ruining the magic for her!

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Dirty Flaps and Other Things That Get on my Nerves.

Lately, I’ve noticed that there are little things which really niggle at me, minor annoyances that have been making the top of my head blow off like a volcano (well, almost…) so I thought I’d list them here as a sort of catharsis.

1. People Who Get To The Till at the Supermarket Then Act Surprised That They Have To Pay.

Okay, long-winded title which more or less explains itself, but what the merry FUCK is it with people who do that? You’re in a shop. Unless you plan on committing petty larceny, the chances are you’ll be paying once your goods are rung up. So why oh WHY do people wait until every last item is put away and the checkout operator is looking at them with keen expectancy do these numpties only then get their purse or wallet out. And don’t even get me started on Nectar cards/Clubcards/Advantage cards. I’m so sick of getting stuck behind some tit in a trance who contributes towards making my life at least 10% less efficient.

Look at my filthy flap.

2. Dirty Flaps.

Yep, I hate it when my flaps get dirty.

Okay, so I mean the flaps on the top of my bins. We have two bins, side by side in the kitchen, one for recycling, one for everything else (when the council bother to deliver red sacks, but that’s a different rant entirely) and no matter how many times a day I wipe them down, they always seem to be covered in schmutz. I don’t know what the solution is, but it hacks me off.

3. Discounts That Aren’t Really a Discount.

Last week, Husband took me out to buy me a new laptop and we went to our local PC World as it had a closing down sale on. I found a laptop I wanted which was an ex-display model and seemed to have a really good amount chopped off. Then the salesman came over and, Zombie Jesus bless him, he was very honest and told us that the original price of five hundred and something was only charged for about a week and that it was really worth £299. Right, so let me get this straight. The laptop was only ever worth £299 and has been on display for six months and you’re still charging £269 for it? Jog. On. £30 off for having a million sausage-fingered morons stabbing at it every time the shop opened? Nuhthanks….

4. Bad Drivers.

I know I blogged about this one before, but the fuckwittery I’ve encountered seems to be worsening. The other day, I was driving through a car park and stopped to let a person back out of a disabled space and the person behind me tried to overtake and almost ploughed into the side of the car backing out. I mean, really? Was that bloke in SUCH a rush that he needed to take that risk? I also had a grown man literally screaming out of the window at me while I had Sausage in the car for not pulling out quick enough (just for the record, I pulled out  plenty quick enough). What possesses grown people to behave this way?

Yeah. Course you were…

 5. Bourgeois Bigotry.

I’m not the biggest fan of the Olympics, it has to be said, but when twats like Aiden Burley MP start going on about the opening ceremony (which, incidentally, was absolutely bloody brilliant and I’m SO proud to have a director like Danny Boyle as part of British culture) being “too multicultural”, what they’re really saying is “go home, darkies”, without  actually having the balls to come out and say it. All I will say is, our opening ceremony would have been extremely drab and boring had we not Caribbean, Asian, African and all those other cultural influences mixed in to this melting pot of a country. Keep your veiled racism, it’s unpleasant and cowardly.  Oh and also, Aiden, you twat – the Rolling Stones are blues musicians – where do you think blues comes from? Black America, maybe? So you like multiculturalism when it’s served up to you by four fellas from Kent?