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Monday, 16 December 2013

Alpha? Beta?

I have been doing a lot of reading about the whole Alpha and Beta Female thing recently, and it has made me wonder which one I am. Which heading do I come under?
Some of these articles paint Alpha females as aggressive bitches who will not take no for an answer, they have them pencilled down as Lawyers or CEO's who have minions running around after them, happy to be at their beck and call. They are independent women who fend for themselves.They are in the drivers seat and no one else is taking the wheel.
Betas on the other hand have been likened to that sweet nurturing family girl, who loves cooking a nice meal for her man, who is agreeable, soft, pleasant but also a bit of a doormat. She is creative, has imagination and flair and is also full of love. She is often in the care profession, working hard and earning little. This girl lets her man call the shots and she seems to know her place in the world.

 But lets look at this more realistically. Are there any woman out there that fall 100% under one catagory? Is it really that cut and dry? Are we all that stereotypical? Do you have to be a Lawyer to be Alpha, Do you have to be in the care profession to be Beta? Does Alpha = Bitch and Beta = Sweet.
If this is the case then I am definatly a Beta, as I work with children and am a caring individual. But on closer inspection I can also see some Alpha qualities thrown in. I live alone and am self reliant. I am the one in the drivers seat as my boyfriend is a non driver. I have had a more supervisory role within my profession once upon a time, and I am determined that one day I will climb that ladder again. If I want something badly enough I will go after it, but I wont become an aggressive bitch to get there. I am quite confident, look after myself and I generally know what makes me happy.
I do have some Beta qualities also thrown into the mix, such as the being creative, being close to my family, and earning peanuts. I love to cook too but this is mainly for myself, not because I want to fatten up my man. I can be afraid of confrontation and will often avoid arguments at all costs. I will help where needed and have been described as 'nice' and 'sweet' and 'lovely' on more than one occasion.

So looking at all these stereotypes, I have no idea what I, or many other women in this world fall under. So let's ask ourselves, Is it in any way possible for us to be both? Alpha with a bit of Beta thrown in for good measure? Surely each woman has a different mix of both, some swaying more towards one or the other, some with equal amounts, some with hardly any of one in at all.
 I personally compare it to a cocktail mix, many different blends, with many different ingredients. All unique and all individual. It is fun to try different ones but once you find one that is right for you, you know it's right.

 Also in my experience people can change. That girl who is likened to a doormat may suddenly crack, and next thing you know she is taking nobodies crap. That Bitch Boss From Hell may walk in crying one day and announce she has split with her partner and has no idea what the hell she will do. The roles may change with little or no warning, and that mix that once worked well is now suddenly redundant.

So if and when you, or I, are asked which one you are, I personally would say "Both!" or maybe we could coin up a third catagory, such as "Alphabeta"...Then again, maybe not, I do not want to sound like a children's brand of spaghetti or like a dodgy translation of a word which describes where each letter in our language is contained.
One thing is for sure though, If I do come across someone who firmly describes herself as an Alpha, or meekly whispers that she is Beta, I won't believe her, well not 100% anyway.  I believe there is nobody out there who is 100% one or the other. We all have soft spots as well as stubborn streaks, it just depends where each ones are hidden in every one of us. It's what makes us all unique.

Anyway must run, I need to go cook my mans dinner then demand he does all the housework for me.



Saturday, 16 November 2013

No rest for the wicked?

I don't know about anyone else? But I have trouble relaxing. I often get told by my boyfriend, friends and family that I should slow down sometimes, but this is can be like the equivalent of suggesting I try to stop blinking, or stop getting my hair cut and coloured in the mad ways that I am often known for.
 I am the sort of person that has quite an active social life, who likes to see my friends as much as I can. I also like to keep in touch with my family to the best of my abilities. I have a full time job, which luckily I love. A gym membership I try to use, and a car that, although reliable, needs maintenance and care from time to time. I have debts (although in no way huge) that need paying, as well as the rent, bills, and groceries. I have a fella who likes to spend time with me on a regular basis, and I sometimes have a part time babysitting habit that can be a lifeline as well as a means to keep my cocktail cabinet stocked up.
 I also like to class myself as a person who is happy to muck in if the need arises, who can and will help if called to do so. If someone in my life is struggling because they can't get something done or need some assistance, I will often not hesitate to jump right in, even if I am tired or have planned a quiet night in for myself. I am not, as a result, very good at prioritising time to rest, relax and wind down without my active mind finding something to do or something to think about. I cannot have a night in watching my favourite box-sets without finding a chore, or checking my emails, or browsing though Facebook.

I am certain that this inability to relax is not borne from the fact that I hate my own company, as I often like to have time to myself in my little pad. Nor is it due to the fact I have a hyperactivity disorder (well as far as I know). The main reason I have such a busy lifestyle is because there is one word in the English language I have so much trouble saying, and that word is "No."
Now don't get me wrong, I am not a mug, but I am one of those people who have a fear of missing out. If I say "No" to that party invitation, will it be the best party ever? If I turn down that babysitting job, will another girl go, who is less qualified or experienced, who will then walk away with a gigantic tip and be adored by the family forever more. If I say "No" to my loved ones, will I then hurt their feelings and spend the next few weeks shadowed in guilt, saying "Sorry" a million times. If I say "No" to that person who wants my assistance or help, will it then make me a "Very bad person" who is totally selfish and inconsiderate.
Deep down in my heart I know these things won't happen, or that if they do actually occur, there will be other opportunities in the future that will come my way that will allow me to amend myself. But sadly that does not eradicate that fear, the niggle that the "No" will equate the missing out on something that could be really amazing. It does not make one of the shortest words in our vocabulary any more easier to say.

But another thing I have realized is that this problem is in fact quite common, especially in us womenfolk. As a gender we are known for our juggling and multi-tasking. We can hold a conversation on the phone whilst ironing, and usually whilst doing this we can have one eye on the TV or sort of listen to the music playing in the background without it causing a distraction. We can cook a meal for our family or friends, whilst chatting away to them and drinking a well deserved glass of wine. We can read a book whilst running the hoover around or tidying up the mess. We can easily make, and drink, a cup of tea whilst doing the washing up. Also we won't throw a hissy fit if someone is talking to us as we try to park or pull away in the car.

I think in life, us women have to be able to do at least two things at once, or otherwise things would not get done at all! Asking your reluctant fella to do the washing up whilst the football is on would be like getting blood out of a stone! Doing the washing up whilst your favourite TV programme is on, well I am certain we have all done it on more than one occasion. Now I am not taking this opportunity to put down men and their lack of juggling skills, but I am using this as a chance to applaud to us women who have made it an art form. It to us, is as instinctual as breathing. Luckily it comes naturally and we don't even have to think about it. So let's give ourselves a clap. And also whilst we are here I want to give the loudest round of applause, a cheer, and take off my hat, to those women who do it all with children thrown into the mix. I don't have children myself, although I do work with them, so know how challenging they can be. I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart, I do not know how you do it, you deserve the biggest medal that there is!


Monday, 14 October 2013

I am a party animal, so sue me.

Regular readers of my blog and my friends will know that I have a bit of a reputation for liking a drink. It is also well known that I can throw rather epic cocktail parties at my little pad from time to time. Now considering this statement I would not class myself as a neighbour from hell, nor would I call myself a nuisance. But it seems my dear next door companion has other ideas!

In our block of flats we have a single occupancy rule that means we can't have another person living with us. This includes parents, other halves and children. But that does not in any way mean we can't have guests, sleep overs or parties.
 Without sounding like a big head or a cocky individual, I have a fair few friends and a rather good social life . These friends and I sometimes like to socialize within my flat, as I have quite an impressive cocktail cabinet contained inside it. It can also make for a relatively cheap night out as the requirements to attend my parties are just to bring a spirit and a juice as well as a happy persona. Things can get quite lively quite quickly, and it is always nice to know that people come away with hazy happy memories as well as funny stories to tell. Admittedly things can get a little loud when I do have a gathering, as my small portable stereo is pumping out the tunes from my ipod, and my guests are chatting and laughing quite animatedly. But you also need to consider that my flat is quite small, so the maximum amount of people I can have in it is ten at a push. Also I know there is the issue of thin walls, but unfortunately there is not a great deal I can do about that.

So should these factors be enough for me to stop throwing my parties? Should I give in to the woman who likes early nights and silence on a Saturday night? Do I bow my head down like a condemned woman who needs help because her idea of a good night does not always consist of staring at a TV screen whilst wearing her pyjamas and slippers? In the words of Diamond Head (epic rock band fyi) am I evil?
I personally don't think so, and I would also like to point out that the lady in question who resides within our block of flats is of a similar age to me, she also doesn't have to keep irregular or unsociable hours, nor does she have a small child living with her. Now I know that this in no way justifies me grumbling, nor does it make her choice to embrace the quiet life wrong, but surely from time to time I should be allowed to cut loose at the weekend, yes? And before anyone starts spouting out the law that states noise should be reduced by 11pm, my parties are usually wrapped up by midnight, and I always make a concious effort to turn things down at a certain time. I don't exactly throw them on a weekly or monthly basis, as my finances and liver could not handle that, but I do openly admit I throw a good handful of parties a year, especially during the summer months. But I would also like to admit that I am human, and that mistakes can be made from time to time and that yes, nine times out of ten I end up being a drunken hostess. But does this make me a bad person who should be shamed for being such a party animal? I think not.
I also want to point out that when other occupants throw parties (and trust me, once upon a time it was a regular occurance) I was never found banging on doors or making complaints to the landlord. If it was that noisy after a certain time I might have had a quiet word (and I think this only occured once, at 4am!) but most times I just put my chill out playlist on and wished I could join them. I understand that people have stressful lives from time to time, but surely how they choose to wind down is their business. It may be a quiet night in or it may be having a few friends round for a gossip and giggle. It is not always financially possible to go to the bars or clubs, and that sometimes having a gathering in your own home is cheaper and safer. You should not feel shamed or bad for doing this, and as long as you keep within the law, I think there is no harm in letting your hair down with your mates. I would totally understand if your neighbour was banging out the bass at 12am on a Wednesday night or had a habit of blasting the guitar on a regular basis, but is it such a crime to have your friends round on a Saturday night for a few drinks and giggles when you know for a fact there are no little ones or elderly folk in your building? I may be putting the cat amongst the pidgeons as I say this but I think not. And I think us party animals need to stand together. Yes you quiet souls are entitled to your peace, but surely we are entitled to our fun from time to time too? So next time you hear a neighbour having a party, think before you complain, is it really that unbearable? Honestly? Also you may want to remember that there is always another tactic you could employ, if you can't beat them, join them! You never know, you may just have fun!

Peace, especially to my fellow party animals ;)

Monday, 2 September 2013

I don't want to grow up!

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about the 'Peter Pan Generation', a group of 20-40 somethings who
refuse to grow up. It has also been likened to a mature adolescence and can be looked at as a sad state of affairs.
Someone who is in the grips of Peter Pan doesn't dream of getting married, doesn't desperately want children, and also doesn't see going out and enjoying oneself as something that can only be done in your actual teens or on high days and holidays.
Some Peter Panners still live at home, but some have flown the nest and have their own places, be it rented or mortgaged. Some live alone, some with friends, some with partners. Peter Pan wannabes are male or female, and they are more common than you think. I know a few that had children young and have decided to reclaim their youth now that said children are older.

I think people need to think why an individual may be a Peter Pan Generation member. Maybe when they were actually young, a freedom of choice may not have been theirs. Maybe they had a bad experience and do not want to risk the same thing happening again. They may have seen marriages around them fail and believe that it is not worth the trauma. They may have the attitude "Been there, done that, I don't want another go on the merry-go-round." They may have just decided that it is not for them.
I personally think all of these reasons are justified, and that people who live this way don't need judgement or well meaning advice from others. We need to think, are we put on this planet solely to be wed, reproduce and find joy in early nights, earlier mornings and Disney movies? Are we freaks of nature if we don't hear the biological clock, or turn into a pile of goo when a wedding procession goes past. Are we crazy if, as is the case with some of us, we have done it once, and really don't want to do it again. I honestly don't think so.

Marriage is a huge responsibility, and also a legal binding contract that means going to solicitors and courts if you want out. A child is something that can never be taken lightly, and can never be given back if you change your mind. As well as bringing untold joy, there is also untold responsibility, risks, sacrifice and compromise that makes up the whole package. Someone who has decided that it isn't for them should not be subjected to peer pressure, or made to feel abnormal for not choosing that path.
 It is not easy to go against the norm, and for some of us, it is more than a refusal to grow up. So if you do come across a Peter Pan Adult please don't treat them as if they are weirdos from another planet, because trust me, we are not! Most of us don't pass judgement on our 'married with children' counterparts, and all we  want is for them to be happy, so please find it in your hearts do the same for us, because everyone deserves to be happy surely?
Ok must dash now, Tinkerbell is waiting for me and my fellow Panners. I'll be back from Neverland soon, when inspiration strikes!



Sunday, 18 August 2013

Is apart?

I recently heard about a trend in couples that seems to be catching on, where they technically don't live together. It was phrased as LAT or Living Apart Together, and I have to be honest, I am intrigued.
 I have always valued my own space, and as difficult as it can be in this day and age, I will try to snatch a few moments of alone time when I can. The couples I have read about that have adopted this lifestyle seem happy, and from what it seems, it keeps the romance alive if you are not bickering about the washing up and the overflowing bin that needs taking out.

I  have the advantage of my fella living upstairs from me, so it isn't a case of having to traipse across London with an overnight bag and a pair of matchsticks to keep my eyelids from drooping as it's been a mad day at work. We also have the added advantage of our almost adjacent flats having the bills included in our rents, so although it is in no way cheap, it is nice to (sort of) be able to afford to live this way for the time being.
But I also read that living this way can in the long term be a disadvantage, as then you never learn about compromise, adapting and moving forward with your life. You get so used to doing things your own way that in time it almost becomes impossible to change.
It has definately given me food for thought, as I have tried the whole cohabitating thing before and it obviously didn't work out. Would we be better off in society if we didn't live with our partners? Would relationships last longer if there wasn't the crazy need to coup up and settle down. Would my boyfriend despair of my bookworm tendancies, or would I wage war on his Playstation if we shared our living space. Or is this just borne from something selfish or from the refusal to grow up? Are we in the midst of a Peter Pan Generation trend? Are we so desperately clinging to our independence that we fear letting go will mean losing ourselves in the process?

As it stands at the moment, I am not sure which camp I am on. I will be honest and say it is nice to shut the door on the world from time to time, be surrounded by my own things and not have to worry that some of my little quirks will drive my fella to distraction. But at the same time I am not sure this is what I want for the whole rest of my life, living in a studio flat, with a neighbour (who isn't my fella on this occasion or we would have serious issues) who complains if I have a party on a Friday night. But for the time being the situation seems to suit, and as long as the rent doesn't sky rocket anytime soon, I suppose we should just enjoy this luxury. Once this time has passed we won't get it back, and there are not hundreds of 'bills included' flats out there for us to choose from. So all I can say on this matter is that for now... watch this space.......


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Not always a mans job!

How many of us have attended barbeques, be it of friends or family, to find a man stood at the grill, tongs in hand, chest puffed up, loving his role as 'King of the coals.'  How many of you have a boyfriend, friend or relative that will not let you go near the BBQ, let alone try to help, for fear it will make him look less masculine! How many of you have then chomped on a burnt sausage, or an undercooked burger, claiming the food is fantastic, when clearly it isn't!
Now I am not saying men are rubbish in this department, because some of them are not, my Dad does a mean BBQ, and yes, some of what I have learned has come from him. But some men just seem to relish the role so much that no one else gets a look in.

An ex of mine once came to a barbeque being held at my Mums, where I lived at the time. She let me invite friends over as we had a tradition of having BBQs, grabbing a cheap childs swimming pool, filling it with ice and water to house our beers and the like, and just generally having fun. We usually shared the responsibility of cooking, rather than one doing it all, and it made for a nice festive atmosphere.
 On this occasion, my ex took over the kitchen and bought (as well as insisting I bought) expensive food. He wouldn't even let my Mum go near, and it was her kitchen! When my friends came round and offered to help, he wouldn't have a bar of it, especially from the girls. He was in charge and that was it. As you can imagine, that has wasn't our most jovial barbeque!

This has since taught me that sometimes, it is not wise to let a man go near the coals, for fear they go all caveman. It has clearly become outdated about the woman being chained to the kitchen sink, so let's change another stereotype about the man being the master of the grill.
 I have cooked many a barbeque since my ex stole the show, and to date I have not given myself or anyone else food poisoning. The food hasn't been burnt or undercooked, and the compliments I have received have all been genuine. It's nice to know that if the weather is nice and I fancy a barbeque, I've got my small pink grill (yes I know, but the other options were a football style top or a disposable, so the hot pink won) can grab some food, beer, tongs, instant light coals and matches. I can call upon my boyfriend (who isn't BBQ macho, I am pleased to add) and/ or friends to join me, and we can hit the park! (Only problem is when the park security come along and make you put it out) It is refreshing to realise I don't need a man to do the job whilst I play the damsel, and it is also a nice way to give it a go yourself, as I never object to anyone helping out. So if the day is nice, and you fancy a BBQ, go for it! There are plenty of books and websites that teach you how, plus some people are also happy to pass on their tips. Don't wait for a man to offer, because you may as well get the chains whilst you're at it and attach yourself to that sink.
 Once you know what you are doing, it becomes a good excuse to get your grill out and indulge. Only thing is, if like me, you don't have a garden and so go to the park, you may want to check if you are allowed barbeques there. If it doesn't say, keep an eye out for the warden. If one does come along and ask you to put it out, you can always use your feminine charms, you never know, it may work wonders! And hence there is yet another reason why a man is not always King of coals my friends ;)



Monday, 24 June 2013

A letter to my younger self

Well it is now 2013, I have recently turned 37. So how are things twenty years in the future? Well much has changed but some things have stayed the same. I will elaborate now and answer some (but not all!) of your questions.
 We always worry about our weight, that never changes, and we always pick holes in our appearance. But looking at you in this picture, yes that woman who stopped you in the street was right, you are too skinny! I am a size 10-12 and that's much healthier. I don't own a set of scales or count calories, because I remember how obsessed you were and I never want to go back there.
Anyway let's change the subject, because I am sure you don't want to hear about your weight.

That boy you fancy, (and yes he is just a boy) nothing comes of it. He is a tease. You could do so much better if only you believe it. Looking at him back then, and looking at him now on his Facebook page (trust me, in time you will know what Facebook is) I can't help but wonder what the hell you were thinking! I am so glad nothing came of that, or some of the other crushes you go on to have after him.
We get through college, and although at times it is a struggle, you stick out childcare and become good at what you do. Not many people we know have twenty years experience under their belt. There are a lot of changes in the Childcare world, but we are adaptable, we can handle it. We know our stuff

You do pass your driving test, but there will be three different instructors that teach you (not all at once obviously) It is a long road, and a slow process, but you do it. I am now a relatively confident driver who has done some long distant journeys, and although I don't keep it tidy, I love my car!

We are notorious for our drinking and our partying ways. Ibiza? Five times my girl, mostly for two week holiday stints. We have done many raves and all nighters, but don't panic, you do not stumble onto the narcotic path that others have, our stamina is natural. We live up our twenties in big style.

The 'deed' will not happen for a few more years. Although he was ok at the time, nothing comes of it. I won't say too much about him, But truth be told, you didn't fancy him much, and although at the time he breaks your heart, you soon realize you don't need to waste your tears on him.

I am a bit of a Rock Chick now, who loves going to gigs and festivals. At some point we will go to a Fest, and meet someone. I can't tell you too much, because I now know that what happened had to happen, for you to become me, Independent and self sufficient. At the time it feels like a miracle that he stumbled along, but things change. He changes. Let's just say we won't make the same mistake that others make, we get out. I will leave it at that, as in time you will know exactly what I mean.

So here I am aged 37. So what can I tell you?  I rent a small flat. The dream of having your own place comes later than expected, but it does happen. The horror stories fed to you are false. We love living by ourselves. We are proud that we are independent. We are not married, no children. There is a man in our lives and we are happy. The flat is quite quirky, we find interesting things to put in it and we often cet compliments on how it looks.
We drive and we still work in Childcare, we love working with children, but as it stands I have none of my own. They say that though, don't they? Nursery Nurses either get broody and have babies relatively quickly, or they become party animals! Take a wild guess which one you become.
 That dream you have about looking over my shoulder at a cash point and seeing that I don't have a lot of money is in fact a premonition. But when you do have it, look at my face, although there have been tough times, you can see I am happy and that I wouldn't change anything.
We are close with our family, and still see, or hear from, Sharon, Karen and Michelle. They will always be a part of our lives, no matter where it takes us. We make new friends along the way too, some that we keep, some that we don't. The people in my life now are genuine and I wouldn't be without them. There are some friends I don't get to see a lot of, but when you get to my age, life has a habit of getting in the way. They still mean the world to me and I am pretty sure they feel the same way. When we do get to see each other it's lovely.
 Unfortunately we always seem to attract controlling types, in one aspect of our life or another, but where as you gave into them, I am not so pliant. I am still a bit of a softie, but I am not a pushover.
Sadly, you can be a bit of one at times, but that will change, I promise.
We still like to live it up, but my stamina is not as good as yours, two nights on the trot almost kills me, how you go on to do two week stints in Ibiza is a mystery.
We are still very passionate about music, and you will be pleased to know I am not a telly addict (it's rarely on!) I don't think that will ever change. As I said there are some similarities but not everything stays the same.

Ok well I am going to say Goodbye now, and will wish you good luck and fun times in the future. If I get a letter from my future self in her fifties I will let you know what she said. I will also be curious about what she does to her hair! For me it is bleach blonde and purple, and although that may horrify you right now, I am still mortified you love the perm! Luckily that phase doesn't last too long! But for now, stay strong and stay being you, but please stop perming your hair!



Monday, 20 May 2013

One of the boys?

I am a woman with male and female friends. I would say that my friendship groups are quite a mixed bag. I truly believe men and women can have a platonic friendship with each other without the messy business of sex getting in the way.
 Women friendships and men friendships can fulfill many different needs. Nothing beats a night out with the girls at the weekend, but also a male perspective on things can really be refreshing at times. Both types of friendships have their pros and cons and I am fully aware of all of these.
But here is what I do not understand, these women or girls who only hang out with the boys. Chicks that insist that they are one of the guys and gravitate towards the men in the room. Women who wouldn't be seen dead hitting the shops with their girlfriends and who would never entertain the thought of inviting their best (female) friend round for a night of gossip and wine. This is the so called buddy that spends most of the night chatting to your boyfriend whilst barely uttering two words to you. She is a cross between a huntress and a damsel in distress. She uses her charm with the men to get what she wants, be it free drinks or all the attention in the room. If flirting was an Olympic event she would claim all of the medals in one fowl swoop. She has made batting her eyelashes almost as instinctual as breathing. She is a woman on a mission and I personally cannot stand her.

These women are usually known as men's women or boys girls. They look like us and are usually somewhere lurking within our friendship groups or work place. These are the females whom on first inspection are not easy to spot. But you can usually weed them out if you put the effort in. Organize a girls night out at your workplace and these girls will scoff at you as if you had suggested a day of dressing up as cartoon characters. The look of boredom is so apparant, and you have more chance of being rewarded a 'double the amount you already earn' payrise than getting these chicks names down on the guestlist.
But when someone organizes a boys night out in the workplace, just stand back and watch them sniff around like police dogs. Suddenly they go all 'detective' and try to find out where the lads are going. They think it will be 'fun' to turn up unannounced and surprise them. They go to great efforts with their hair and shower themselves with perfume, and why? To join in with the football banter and talk about the pros and cons of alloy wheels? Excuse me whilst I stifle a yawn.

Girls like this are a complete mystery to me. Now don't get me wrong, as I said, I like to hang with the boys from time to time, and I have been known to impress with my pint-downing party trick and my love of music from the metal genre. But this does not mean I want to gatecrash a boys night at the pub on a regular basis. I would feel embarrassed if I went out with my boyfriend and his mates and i was the only girl there. I would worry that I'd look like the possessive girlfriend who doesn't let her fella out of her sight, or some girl that is under the illusion that she is one of the boys, when clearly and genetically, she is not!

That said, I am not a 'girly girl' who likes all things pink, fluffy and glittery, but I am what is called a 'girls girl' who likes to spend time with her female friends chatting about work, men and so forth. 'Girly girls' and 'girl's girls' are two seperate things. 'Boy's girls' on the other hand, are just a different breed.
 I have often tried to befriend these girls, when our paths have crossed, but each and every time they have not been interested in me or my efforts to strike up a conversation. One woman in particular, who was a good friend of an ex, had a dinner party, to which I wasn't invited. She "didn't do girls things, or want girls there" so instead it was just her and about five other blokes. Fun. Hilarious. Gutted I missed that one.
Please bear in mind that this woman never met me, never spoke to me and probably wouldn't have recognized me if I passed her in the street. She had no idea who I was but because I was not male, she just didn't care! Only problem with that though, the whole "issue with girls" thing, is that, ok maybe she could have been a tomboy as such, but, and please excuse me for this crudeness, a quick peek into her own knickers would confirm that Shock! Horror! She is a Girl!!! so she obviously had a bit of a problem with herself!?

Ok bitchiness aside now, I do not want to appear judgemental here, as that is something I am not, nor do I want to tar tomboys with this brush. As I have said, I love hanging out with the fellas and am not adverse to the odd male 'topic'. But when it comes to watching football, or discussing Kylies bum in those hotpants, I have no clue or interest, I personally would rather be watching SATC and discussing Vin Diesels bum in whatever he is wearing. And the best persons to do those activites with is other women, surely? Not that bloke who is trying to kid himself that he was 'one of the girls'. Because let's be honest here, he would be the last one I would want to borrow lipstick off or go shoe shopping with right?........Now where is that Marcus, I need to borrow his mascara, hmmmmm...... ;)


Tuesday, 7 May 2013

DIY For Girls!

Being a woman who lives alone, certain problems can crop up. In the mad excitement of getting your own place, moving in, putting your own stamp on your home, it never crosses your mind that the tap may need fixing, the toilet seat may need replacing, certain pieces of furniture need building.
Now I am not the sort of woman who will play the damsel in distress and flutter her eyelashes when a shelving unit needs assembling. I find it very difficult to ask for help, especially from a man. I blanche when I hear the words "It's a mans job", as I feel that I am just as capable, if I put my mind to it, of assembling said shelving unit as any man that happens to be in my life.
 I am not here to start a Woman verses Man debate, and yes I know men have more physical stregnth than women. But when it comes to my own place, I feel a sense of pride that I assembled most of the things within it myself.
Yes I won't deny I have made some mistakes (eg my tv cabinet, a couple of the wood mdf parts are the wrong way round) but surely that is how you learn. Since my tv cabinet, I have assembled my futon, my bed and my CD rack (that strangely was the most difficult thing!) I fitted my new toilet seat myself, and also managed to fix a cupboard door. Those who may want to scoff at my efforts are very welcome to come round and view my handywork for themselves. My bed is sturdy, my futon is also, and my toilet seat is relatively secure.
 I have a DIY book that was written by a woman, for women, which I use on a regular basis. I also keep some tools in the cupboard. On my 'To Purchase' list is a drill, and I also have dreams of borrowing a chainsaw and attacking the bush that is outside my flat. I am not scared to climb a ladder, and I don't get anal about a bit of muck clearing.
Obviously if some 'big jobs' such as fitting a new bathroom suite were to crop up, then yes I would have to get the professionals in. There is a strong likelyhood that the said professionals will be men. Even in this day and age, most plumbers, electricians and builders are men, and most childcare workers are women. But there are a few that break the mould, such as our new (male) recruit at my workplace. Who knows, if I carry on the way I am I may end up at a building site, wolf whistling at any male that happens to walk past, looking mighty fetching in my overalls.
 In a few years time Workmen may be obsolete and Workwomen may be the way forward! Nurseries may be ran by fellas singing Nursery Rhymes whilst harping on about the joys of potty training. The role reversal may catch on! But until then I will continue to use my screwdriver and hammer in my spare time, whilst I harp on about the joys of potty training in my work time.
Thankyou for reading, I plan to be back very soon, oh and if you have a chainsaw about you, please let me know. Though if I do get my paws on one it may take a little longer for me to write my next post, as I will be too busy attacking the bush outside!


Monday, 4 March 2013

The art of Vintage

I have developed a new hobby, and if you had told me, when I was a fifteen year old stroppy teenager who loved sparkly skull rings, and various coloured stud belts, who would often have been heard saying "It all has to be shiny and new!" that I would become the thirty six year old woman who loves digging through the charity shops, who scours Ebay on a regular basis, and who is drawn to Vintage shops like a moth, I would have laughed out loud and most probably stuck my teenage nose in the air! But how times have changed.

It started with the odd piece of furniture for my flat, the secondhand bedside cabinet that makes my wardrobe and bedframe now go together (My bedframe is light wood, my wardrobe is white, my bedside cabinet is light wood with white draws, so now it looks more like a set!) The childs pink butterfly patterned fold down table that has my laptop, or half filled/empty cocktail glasses, sat on it, depending on the day/night of the week. The magazine rack that belonged to the sellers grandmother and was originally bought in the 60's. The cocktail trolley that the original owner decided he didn't want after about 10 years, so bought a 'space age' one in replacement, allowing his old (and my new) trolley to have a party filled life at my pad instead of wallowing as an unsold, unloved item on Ebay. The chair that once lived, un sat on, in my aunts garage but now lives here, and has people bickering to sit on it on a regular basis.... I could go on!

Now after all this time of furniture finding,  my interest has started to wonder to the clothes! I don't think I will find myself in an old fashioned teadress (not that I am slating those who do wear them, there is a knack to finding and wearing such a dress, and sadly I do not appear to have it) But I have found the odd bargain that now has pride of place in my wardrobe. Items such as an MTV knitted tanktop, an Oasis denim skirt, and a mens Metallica tee-shirt that I cheerfully cut the sleeves and neckline off to make more boob-friendly! I could not frown at the fact that each item cost me less than a fiver, and it is also nice to know that when I go to the pub, it is very doubtful I will come face to face with someone who is wearing the exact the same item, causing instant mortification!
As a result I have now caught the bug, and am currently on the hunt for a funky vintage coat. Something unique and well made (that isn't fur I must add! Have sadly come across many of these in my searches) I also wouldn't frown at another vintage bag, like my tassled Deisel one I have had for years and still use on a regular basis. I also still keep looking at the furniture, often browsing on the moroccan pouffes I have come across on my beloved Ebay. I have not found any of these items that have jumped out and grabbed me just yet, but that's the joy of looking, you never know what gems you will stumble across in the search. I am sure I am not going to become someone who takes to raiding her Nan's friends wardrobes, or who digs through the skips, as this, it seems, is for the elite. I am just a beginner here. But as passtimes go, it can be fun, and rather inexpensive, it also is nice when someone compliments one of your finds or asks where it is from.

 I will always take my somewhat vintage crochet multicouloured hat off (which has been likened to a teacosy!) to those who have made this an artform, my finds are most probably paltry compared to thier extensive collections, but you have to start somewhere hey? You never know, by the time I hit fifty four, I may have found the coat of my dreams, and maybe even discover the knack of wearing a teadress, although I am sure I will cover it with studs and accessorise it with a skull scarf (some things never change). Who knows, I may end up living in an old house, with a couple of vintage ghosts as friends. I could take a liking to driving an old brightly coloured Beetle whilst listening to cassette tapes. I may end up being a middle aged-ish eclectic eccentric soul who screeches her beetle to a halt beside a skip and dives in headfirst! Who knows? Fifteen year old me would never have imagined doing the things I do now, maybe fifty four year old me will look back and scoff, muttering at her shame that I was such an amatuer whilst I was in my thirties, only time will tell. But as it stands now, you will not see my silver doc martens poking out of a skip as I raid other peoples junk. One womans trash is another womans treasure, but thirty six year old me won't be digging quite that deep to find it! ;)


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Shaking off the blues.

As I have always said, I aim to be totally honest in my blog writings. This one will be no exception. If by writing about my recent battle with Depression I can inspire someone else to get help, or even just contribute in a tiny way to ridding the world of the taboo surrounding it, then it will be worth laying my soul bare for a bit.
So Depression, how can I describe it? Well, to me, it was like something that sucked away at my personality like a vampire sucks blood. It was slow in it's attack, but once it had me in it's grip I sure knew about it. I was slow to realise that I had stopped doing all the things I enjoy, like listen to music, cook, have cocktail parties, exercise, talk to people, see the world (so to speak) take pride in my flat and buy quirky items for it. On my days off prior to depression I would go out, hit the shops, mooch around London, go to the gym, you know, generally get out there. Whilst in the cloud of it I would stay indoors on my days off, curtains closed, in my pyjamas, not even wanting to get out of bed. My creativity hibernated, hence the long gap between blog writings, and I felt contantly tired, upset and/or snappy.
Luckily I had a good support network around me, and managed to seek the help I needed to get better. I went to the doctor, who prescibed me antidepressants and I decided there and then to make the much needed changes in my life to help me back on my way to happiness.
 I can honestly say I am on the mend now, and I hope to be off the antidepressants very soon. It has made me realise that nothing is worth being unhappy about, and if the road to recovery means walking away from something you once held dear, then so be it, it doesn't make you a quitter, or weak, or a coward. It just means that you realise you deserve better, and will take the necessary steps to achieve that. I will never take my happiness for granted again, but also I won't put up with things that make me doubt myself as a person either. If I feel something isn't right, I will no longer put up with it and shut up. It's taken me awhile to get here, but I managed it. Hopefully all those who suffer the same condition will find a way also, by surrounding themselves with the love and support from those around them. I will always be open about my fight, and by doing so I hope others will be open too, it is nothing to be ashamed of. If we rid the taboo, hopefully the stigma will go with it. Anyway peeps, that's enough ramblings for one post. I want to finish by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May it bring you happiness and fun times. Here's to 2013 ;-)