Thursday, October 01, 2009


I am so angry about the whole Roman Polanski thing - not just the whole "raping a 13 year old child and then running away to live in exile" (which is fucking horrendous, needless to say) but the almost endless stream of support for him coming in from the "art" community.

Some people I formerly respected and now look at and think "wtf?!". I mean seriously - words escape me. What are they thinking? It's not hard: Rape = crime. Plead guilty to rape = accept the consequences.

Fun game: next time anyone refers to someone who signed these petitions, imagine prefacing it with "publicly admitted child rape apologist...".

X has a new book out? No. Publicly admitted child rape apologist X has a new book out.

Or, abandon all hope in the idea that human nature is a good and positive thing, get into bed and resolve never to leave the house ever, ever again.

Friday, September 25, 2009


After a promising start, the Lib Dems seem to have managed to ruin whatever kudos they had at their conference by being bizarrely incompetent. I'd say laughably incompetent, but it's not really funny, just incomprehensible. There must be some sort of leadership 101 which says "your colleagues, who are as democratically elected as you are, will not like to be surprised at your national conference". And yet? And yet.

Well, they did manage to unleash a nice attack on George Osborne. Which is always entertaining. Still, in the current turmoil, I do feel that they should be making more gains than they are. Although I felt the same way from 2003 onwards and they completely failed to capitalise on that, so I shouldn't be surprised.

In other news, I am thoroughly depressed by the success of some of the people I went to University with, even though my link to them is tenuous at best. One has just published a second book (I am still refusing to read the first one in case it turns out to be really good, even though it's trashy young adult fiction, and makes me want to fall on my own sword. Which sounds like a sexual innuendo but really isn't) and the thought of it makes me want to take to my bed and only emerge when I've managed to write a mind-blowing, feminist, literary bestseller of a first novel. Which is never going to happen. As I can't sustain writing a blog, a novel seems a bit of a stretch. Alas, the perils of being ambitious but terribly lazy. Being bitter and consumed by envy is my only recourse. That and crochet. Done in a bitter, envious manner.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I thought I saw Jarvis Cocker today in Carnaby Street (errr... I was working. Sort of). But it turns out he was probably too young to be Jarvis Cocker. Just some other consumptive looking hipster with dirty hair.

I am bizarrely upset by this. Although I've never actually wanted to see Jarvis Cocker.

I'm sure I'll get over it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yes, I am a feminist

Really interesting article - and a very heartening comments thread (unusually).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Holiday Spirit

Time to go away - to the land of crazy Conservatives and non-universal healthcare! Woo! But also the land of lots of food. Awesome.

Lots of feminist posts lined up for my triumphant return...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

What does David Cameron have against vaginas?

Yes, I'm talking to you David Cameron. Because this seems like a new low, even for you. Nobody thinks you're cool for using the word "twat" on national radio. Nor do they think that trying to defend this by having your people whine "twat isn't oficially a swear word" cuts any ice.

Seems like a bit of a mistake to have the leader of a party that's trying to shed its misogynistic image insult a portion of the population using a perjorative word for women's genitalia. Because a lot of intelligent women don't actually think there's anything wrong about our vaginas, that the word twat is a tawdry way to describe them and that using it to insult people makes you, David Cameron, a bit of an arse.

If you were really going for it, you might have used the word "cunt", which at least sounds a bit powerful. As much as I am reclaiming "cunt" for my own use, I wouldn't feel particularly happy hearing a potential leader of our country using it to slag off the electorate (or in fact, any swear word. Including "boob", "wanker", "dick" etc etc. The lesson here seems to be: slagging off
potential voters: EPIC FAIL

So fuck you David Cameron, and next time you feel the need to be cool, insult your own genitalia. Leave my vagina alone.

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Innings

Today was my first day back at work after the Illness and although I now feel like a zombie (am so tired my face hurts) it wasn't too bad as (a) most people were on holiday and (b) the rest of us spent the morning basically watching the cricket.

It was awesome. More like that please.

Obviously, not quite as good as being *at home* watching the Ashes, but still. Its got to the point where I've even started dreaming about cricket. Even though I know very little about it. Although more than some of my colleagues, which I am secretly proud of.

I just wish that more attention/prestige was given to women's cricket, which England happen to be very good at. You'd barely know that the women were also playing for the Ashes, unless you happened to be interested in it. Women's tennis seems to be getting more of a high profile and I think it's definitely time for women's cricket to follow suit.

I'm trying to find a women's team in/near Oxford that caters for complete beginners/the malcoordinated and it's really difficult. Apparently only men can join sports teams even if they're rubbish. Women have to be almost at a professional standard to even get a look in. While this is the case, it's going to be hard to encourage more women to take the various sports (e.g. cricket or football) ad make women's games more widely followed. It's really disheartening.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Infinite Illness

July has so far been pretty crap. I managed to catch swine flu (how? Why? No-one knows) and have been off work for two weeks. Which would have been great, except I was ill and thus didn't enjoy it. So - the verdict on swine flu: I wouldn't recommend it. It's like normal flu, except people make lots of pig jokes. Getting into the spirit of this, I was about to send a colleague the reply "you won't be laughing when I'm dead" but the SO pointed out that this wasn't as amusing as I thought it was. He totally *wouldn't* be laughing if I was dead though. Yeah...

So the first week was pretty rough, with the aching, exhaustion and the nausea from the Tamiflu (thank god they don't give that stuff out all the time). I managed to finish Infinite Jest though. I was going to take part in the Infinite Summer, but it turned out to be more like an Infinite Weekend. Admittedly, I read quickly, but it was quite convenient as the book is too heavy to commute with. A period of illness was what was required. And it was a great book and well worth reading. In fact, I wish I'd read it sooner. Apart from the Days of the Incredible Headache, I then read Pride & Prejudice a few times, watched the BBC box set (again, a few times. P&P is comfort food for the brain). Then I reread American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which is a particular favourite of mine and crocheted myself a clutch bag for a wedding I'm going to. I think it really ties the outfit together (in a Big Lebowski, rug kind of way) but the SO think it just looks like I got bored and crocheted myself a rectangle with a flower on. Too bad though. It's going to get worn.

To be honest, I am not great at being ill and doing nothing. As you can probably tell.

This week I was mostly working from home/napping. And then a spot of vomiting mid week, but otherwise recovering gently. Apart from work, I achieved nothing. Which just goes to show that my motivation depends on me being told not to do anything. The one bad thing about working from home is that it encourages colleagues to dump on you, despite your weak and fragile constitution (ahem). Which is why I will have to work through this weekend. It totally sucks and I would complain that I need my rest, but it's not like I've actually done anything productive this week *but* rest and I'm trying to avoid having millions of sick days on my record. So I should really try and show willing. Who knows what kind of disease I could pick up in November after all? Maybe the Plague.

Back to normality again soon though. Although now I'm starting to feel well enough to enjoy my time away, it's not so great. Catch 22.

Friday, June 12, 2009

That Friday feeling

To celebrate the incoming end of the working week (and what a week it has been!), I thought I'd post some of my favourite creative websites. It turns out my shin splints are stress fractures, so I won't be doing any running or jumping for a while. Just a lot of fantasising about making wonderful things, crocheting and no doubt stressing about weddings.

So, here is a website I use when I'm pretending that I am artfully stylish and don't have the attention span of a gnat. Especially the Before and After section. If I started a project like this, there'd be unfinished, fraying furniture all over the house. I'm very good at starting things, full of enthusiasm, then getting bored once it turns out it's not going to be quick and or easy. Which is why I love crochet. Because it is both. I recently finished a pink crocheted bolero - not that I know when I might want to wear a bright pink crocheted bolero, but that is not the point.

Then, when I'm looking for presents, I like to turn to Etsy. And then usually end up buying a present for myself, whilst I'm at it. It's all so lovely and unusual! Speaking of which, today I found a great jewelery designer - Laura Baillie. You should definitely check her stuff out, because it is wonderful. I'll certainly be revisiting her website (and blog!) over the next few months.

I'm sure the urge to create cake stands out of vintage plates and glasses will pass (I would never use a cake stand, nor do I have anywhere to store it, but apparently this is not enough to stop me longing to make one). It's probably seasonal. In about 6 months I will be pickling, preserving and curding like a woman possessed. Then I will make hundreds of mince pies. Last weekend I made over 60 fairy cakes. This has all been a bit of a shock to the SO, as for the rest of the year I lie around, legarthic, watching the grand prix and occasionally motivating myself for a trip to Waitrose. Maybe I just need some wine and an horse tranquiliser...

ps - I shall add the websites to my blogroll...

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Run rabbit, run

I did the Race for Life this morning and managed to run the whole 5k, which I'm rather pleased with. I took up running for the first time in early January (on the C25K plan) and could barely run for a minute at a time. By early April I was up to a continuous 28 minutes. Then the injuries started. First a buggered ankle that necessitated a few weeks of rest. Then I put my back out decorating, which was another week or two out. Ever since then (probably because of the back injury) I've had terrible shin splints, which have been so bad that it hurts to walk. According to the doctor, I have apparently stripped the lining from my bones. Nice.

Given I haven't even attempted a run for a month or so, I was understandably feeling a bit down about Race for Life, which it looked like I might have to walk. I know it sounds silly, but it did feel like I would be letting the people who sponsored me down. However, the adrenaline and the soft ground came through for me. I took it slow and kept telling myself I could stop at any time, but by I reached the 3k mark, I'd decided I was going to try and run the whole thing. I ended up with a respectable 34mins - ideally I'd like to be doing 5k at sub30mins, but I'm more than happy with that time this time round. Maybe next year I'll be fighting fit and the last 500m won't feel like my heart was about to explode and my legs drop off...

Anyway, I know running posts are quite boring (which is why I've not rambled on about it before) but the alternative at the moment is politics, which is too depressing to think about and there are plenty of ignorant, opinionated people talking about it without me joining in. And, obviously, Race for Life is about Charity. I'm upholding the moral fabric of society. David Cameron would be so proud...

Friday, May 08, 2009

Insert Wine Here

I'm pretty much fed up with articles going on about women and their binge drinking. It's Friday, I want some wine - I might even have *two glasses* (because I'm that wild) and that will completely tip me over into binge drinking territory. And if any Daily Mail reading arsehole wants to come and chastise me for it, I'll then end up as one of the "women and violence" statistics too. Which I think secretly would turn them on a little bit. All they'd need to really get them going would be for me to be pregnant and eating a bit of blue cheese. Ooh - such a rebel!

On that note, I have to really restrain myself whilst commuting when I'm sitting next to someone dressed in a suit and reading the Daily Mail. How they accept that alarmist drivel let alone use at it as the Primary Evidence for all Opinions is completely beyond me. Sometimes I am tempted to ask how they can stand making themselves look like ignorant bigots in front of their fellow commuters, but it would make me look like a bit of smug bitch. Whereas, obviously, you know, I'm genuinely interested...

In some ways it's worse than the men on the train/tube who open up the Sun and openly stare at naked boobs for 15 minutes with weird little smirks on their faces. At least it's widely accepted that these men are socially inept freaks. The worst thing is that Daily Mail readers think they are being informed and respectable. There is nothing respectable about a paper that is practically a hate crime in and of itself.

Gah. I'm so grumpy.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Born to ramble

Several thoughts for the day:

(1) Marilyn French passed away over the weekend. An article here. It's so sad. The Women's Room is one of my favourite books - it really means a lot to me.

(2) It is obviously almost summer - the little bats have started flying around the garden again. I love the way they fly - so erratic but at the same time very graceful.

(3) I was secretly hoping someone in my office would get swine flu so I could have a week off work whilst being quarantined. I know this makes me a bad person, but in my defence, I was only hoping they'd get a *mild* case. Obviously, I have now ensured that should a terrible pandemic break out, I will totally be patient zero and die an horrible, lingering death. There'll probably be boils involved. You know, just because.

(4) Annie Lennox is totally awesome.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Is that your mother on the phone?

Early May is the time to celebrate my mother's birthday (for that, unsurprisingly, is when she was born). So, happy birthday Mum! Not that you read this blog, thank goodness. One feature of the event this year was my sister declaring herself to be a feminist. Hurrah! Apparently she got very into gender when researching her dissertation. Her own description of this epiphany was "Damn those men with penises" (men without penises apparently not so bad) but she hastened to point out that this was in a socio-historical context, rather than a straightforward men=teh evils way. Anyway, I'm not going to push her, but I'm pleased and excited that she's discovering feminist thought. Hopefully she'll start to form her internal narrative over the next year or so and then we can have lots of interesting discussions. Where I will attempt not to trample all over her views. Go me.

This whole episode is completely bewildering to my mother, who for years has treated my own feminism like a slightly socially awkward speech impediment. She was pleased when I announced my impending marriage (which probably merits a whole other blog post - do not get me started on the inherent contradictions in my decision to do this) - I think she secretly thought I was going to become a lesbian and join a commune. However, now that my sister has joined in, it's even more perplexing to her.

"What did I do?" she asked, as though maybe it was because she'd allowed us to eat too many e-numbers as children. Then: "Why did it pass me by?"

This is an interesting question. I've always felt a bit left out, because other feminists seem to talk a lot about how they were inspired by the feminism of their own mothers. This was certainly not the case with me. And it's not that she's particularly anti-feminist, more that she just never thought feminism was an issue that concerned her. I don't think she'll ever really "get" why feminism is important to me, but I guess my sister and I have the chance to do things the other way round - perhaps, after a while, we might inspire feminism in my mother. And that would be just as good.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Revolution will be Widgetised

I don't quite know what the title means, but it was the subject line of one of the trillion of porn spam emails I received this week and I think it's probably the most awesome subject line for a porn spam email *ever*. I also got one about foot sex, which was entertaining, but not quite so surreal.

The last two months have been a little trying in various ways (despite the Easter weekend - hurrah for no work!) and I'm only just starting to feel a bit better. Or at least like I'm coping, which is something. The sunshine and the bank holiday fest that is next month are getting me through. Yesterday, between meetings, I sat outside a cafe in Paternoster Square, enjoying the sun and eating pineapple. It felt good. If only that was my entire job. Sadly, this is not the case - my *actual* job involves travelling for two hours to get to the office for 7.30am, only to discover on arrival that the meeting is cancelled and then still having to be fucking perky for the rest of the day in case someone decides to fire me. The gloom is only punctuated by small acts of pineapple-eating rebellion.

I am also getting sadistic pleasure out of the new, 50p tax rise on the miniscule 1% of the population who earn over £150k. Several members of my company are having the biggest hissy fits over this - why should they have to pay this tax? Why don't they tax the lumpen proles? What if they have to sack one of the nannies because they can't afford 3 *and* two homes and millions of foreign holidays - OH TEH HORRORS!!1!11! This griping has caused unrest among some colleagues who have suddenly figured out that a few of their peers are obviously earning one hell of a lot more than they are. Next pay day should be interesting, at least...

Perhaps Darling is in fact a G20 protester at heart - the budget has inconvenienced and terrorised the City far more effectively and potently than the G20 protests did. I just wish Labour had introduced it sooner, really.

Otherwise, all is quiet. Apart from the sodding Morris Dancers that invaded the City on St. George's day, no doubt all part of the Mayor of London's plan to make us all feel like we're English. It certainly made us all feel embarrassed and awkward, so maybe it worked. It was surreal and terrifying, like wandering through a James Herbert novel that had gone horribly wrong.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Dancing Queen

Thoughtful article on lap dancing and lap dancing clubs here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

One more thing

I just watched that completely freaky Justin Timberlake video where he's dating ScarJo and then she cheats on him, then he chases her in his car and then her car blows up and he's standing over her dead body. Whilst smugly singing about "what goes around comes around". What? You can *kill* the person who cheated on you through dangerous driving/obsessive stalking and then say that they had it coming. Because they're a cheating woman. Or they *were* a cheating woman until you turned them into a lifeless corpse. This is a really unhealthy view of women.

I mean, really.

Mr. Timberlake - you are kind of fucked up.

Girls on Film

Here is a good discussion on female characters in chick flicks. I've been thinking about this for a while, not just because of the obvious woman-bashing film that is He's Just Not That Into You. No, I think ever since I saw the train-wreck of a film that was My Super Ex-Girlfriend - possibly one of the WORST films I have ever seen. I almost felt violated.

No, seriously though. It was completely shite and I can't believe Uma actually signed up to it. What was she thinking?? It could have been called "How I hate women and can you believe that at some point I've probably gotten laid?". And I'd be all like, no, really - I can't. Because you repluse me.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Just in case having a vagina has made *you* unable to figure out what is appropriate to wear to work. Lucky, because I was planning to wear my bondage suit and gimp mask.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Holy Crap - it's snowing! Cue immediate doom and catastrophe.

The much promised snow has arrived and to celebrate, the whole of the South East has plunged into hysterical chaos. I shit you not. London is carnage - enter at your own risk. Let's face it, if you *do* go in, there is no guarantee you'll ever get out again. Alive. Or at least for a few hours. You'll probably be hungry anyway. And a bit cold.

The day started promisingly. Get to station and find train only 5 minutes late, despite coming in from the Cotswolds, which seems to have some sort of doom-ray effect on train scheduling at the best of times. A commuter comes off the phone - he has discovered that there is No Tube. There is some muttering, people with lap tops look this up. He is fear-mongering - there is Some Tube. Or, to be precise, the Victoria Line. Which is notable because it is *absolutely no use* to 90% of the commuters on the train. But, there are also No Buses. Muttering gets louder and a bit more hysterical. Some people exit the train at the next stop, having happily discovered they don't need to go to work. Then - Paddington station is closed! Oh, the panic! Where will we end up? Stranded at Slough? Luckily, this only refers to the underground, which is pretty helpful. Will have to walk to the City.

Only problem is that I have no idea how to walk to the City. My geography of London only exists through the map of the Underground. Someone helpfully directs me. Should take an hour. Hah! HAAAAH. 45 minutes later, am still delicately tripping along Oxford St as the pavement and roads resemble a giant ice rink. Give up and attempt the central line. Takes another 20mins to get on tube and am wedged into someone's armpit. This, I think cheerfully, is more like a normal day on the central line. Jolly good. Emerge to voicemail from a colleague telling me to give up and go home. At 10am. After an hour and an half of valiant struggling. Apparently colleagues in far away places like Marylebone and Clapham have decided they can't get in. Have small but violent fit outside of the Royal Exchange. Tramp back to tube station in vile mood and narrowly avoid being speared in the eye by icicles falling off the ledges of trendy glass buildings. Spend another 2.5 hours getting home again. Prepare to make same pointless pilgrimage tomorrow.

What is truly wonderful (or terrifying, depending how you look at it) is that everyone else tramping the streets of London is also having a similar experience, so the capital is like somewhere that has been infected by a virus inducing temporary but violent tourette-like outbursts. Awesome.

On the plus side, I took some great photos with my phone of the snowy City. If I could work out how to upload them, I totally would. But, you know. Meh. It's snow. In London. You can imagine it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Right and Wrong

RIGHT: I've spent the last few days waiting for this and how glad am I that it's finally arrived? Very. In fact, the last few days have been a wondrous magical ride of actual competent policy decisions. Maybe McCain did get elected and I threw myself under a bus after all...

WRONG: This. I am appalled by the actions of the BBC and think it is completely disgusting. We have now donated to the DEC and I suggest you all do the same. Not only as a huge "Fuck you" to the BBC, but because these people really need our help.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President!

Hurrah!! I'm so unbelievably fucking *happy*.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Business as usual

A sure contender for most pointless, pseudo-scientific, shitty research report of 2009.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Woo - Obama!

Just watched the concert in Washington DC. Obama is so great. Weird moment with "you'll never walk alone" and Bono is just an arse. Other than that, fab.

Just because I know you missed my constant and gratuitous Obama-doration. I like to think of this as a free week. Enjoy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Bin of One's Own

The Christmas holiday passed in a blur of flu (me), motorway travel (us) and norovirus (the SO's family). Despite this, a good time was - hopefully - had by all and it was a bit of a disappointment to arrive back at work on Monday to an 8am meeting in London. Gah.

Other depressing highlights of the week included:

(1) The deepening of the Gaza conflict. I've made a conscious decision not to write about this on here in any detail - there are other places that people can read more informed opinions and although this has never really stopped me before, this issue is such a minefield I think I should probably stay out of it blogwise. So I shall simply say that I don't support Israel's actions and leave it there.

(2) Discovering that my train ticket had gone up by approx £50 and the Sorry-for-Being-Completely-Shit FGW discount might be about to be scrapped. Apparently there is no punishment for being *merely* shit. You have to be Catastrophically Shit. Entertainingly, having forked out the cash for the ticket, the train then broke down at Reading. Although given it was the Stupidly Early train due to the horrible 8am Monday meeting, I was less than entertained at the time.

(3) Prince Harry. A man whose very existence is depressing enough, but always manages to make things worse whenever he opens his mouth.

(4) Having a desk-move at work and ending up without a bin. It's been a surprise to discover that a bin is actually an office essential for me and I feel bereft without it. How else to dispose of the sneaky chocolate wrappers/lunch receipts/embarrassing fibre supplement wrappers? Now my rubbish lies open to the scrutiny of others as it resides in their bins. And I should mention that one of my members has *already* commented on the rubbish I've put in her bin, so this is not an empty worry - although probably would be less of a problem if the person I was sitting next to was, in fact, sane.

(5) Talking about the interest rate cut at work and having a colleague brightly say "That's why David Cameron is talking about helping savers!" as though he'd single-handedly come up with an idea to save the world and that *if only* he was in power, interest rates would miraculously go up to 4.5% for saving purposes and 0% for mortgage rates. I couldn't really think of an appropriate response that wasn't "WTF??" and it was only the first week in my new team, so I let that one go.

Just got to hold on until Easter now...