Monday, 13 October 2014

Don't panic, put your minds to the problems

After tonight's news I feel I have too much to write about.

So I will turn to the most heart breaking.

Isis are holding a British journalist.

The death of nearly anyone in war is a tragedy, that is what the upcoming Remembrance Day means in my mind.

It means remember the tragedy of every lost life.

As I turn to world conflict bathed in death after death and a Western culture swimming in ego I find my eyes turning to a sky where I believe no God resides.

Stop using journalists as instruments of war. 

Send him home unharmed, he comes to tell and not kill.

Let him go in peace.

Forgive, cease fire, rebuild your land with a ballot box and not a gun that is all I feel capable of saying.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Are all men insane?

A while back I was coming home from a night out and a guy sidles up to me on a bike and says hello.

I look suspiciously side ways, after all: who tries to get a girls attention past midnight in the street?

Then I relax, he looks friendly and very young.

But then he starts scooting along next to me asking me whether I've got a boyfriend etc etc.

The age gap

"I'm too old for you." I say

"How old do you think I am?" He asks.

I consider him for a moment, "17" I guess.

He puffs himself up.

"I'm 19" he says.

"I'm a lot older than you." I say.

He asks me how old and I point out there's more than a decade between us.

Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to make him stop.


He continues to follow me on his bike.

Now insisting he could come in for a cup of tea.

How many times does a girl need to say no?

He's very sweet, but I am baffled.

He is young and clearly confident, why the hell is he chasing someone my age?

All the time

Add to this today I got a compliment on my legs while wearing sodding jeans on a sunny day.

Are all of you guys mad that you feel the need to approach women in this way in the street?

Couldn't you find a better approach?

Is it just this road?

It seems to happen here a lot, does this normally get you dates?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Dating shenanigans

This is another funny one:

Friday, 20 June 2014

Unspeakable Things - Laurie Penny Book Review

Laurie Penny has sent me a shiny new copy of her book to review.

It took me a week to read and I have taken a week to think about it to try to give it the review it deserves.

A brave beginning

This book begins with all the charged anger that I would expect from Penny.

She throws a gauntlet down to tamer forms of feminism and gets stuck in, even to the point of shocking me once and believe me that isn't that easy.

In all, this is a brutally honest book that comes out fighting: covering eating disorders, the feminist tradition, sex, the internet and female stereotypes.

Easily digestible, but with difficult ideas, bravo.

She refuses to offer a template for living, which is wise given that it is the message offered up so often to women.

And she is brave enough to encompass men into her thinking, wise to fight the men hating image.

Sexy lady

However, she observes that the only value a woman is allowed to have is her sexuality.

While I agree there is some weight to this argument I feel the way she has tackled it refuses to confront the problem sufficiently.

Women do manage to transcend to greater power Ms Penny, which is probably why the press try to drag them back down to talking about their clothes and eye bags.

She views unequal objectification and not objectification itself to be the problem.

Is not objectification destructive, and in danger of de-humanising everyone: after all you wouldn't be very happy if I was writing this review only of the cover of your book.

That is what objectification does, you of all people should know this.

Does looking at men like an object empower us or them?

Is this the area in which you really want more equality?

Parting shot

You say you want to re-write the old stories about work and power and sex and love, great.


Do not misunderstand me, this is one of the best and bravest books that I have read in a while and equally one that merits re-reading.

You unpack some uncomfortable truths about what it still means to be a woman in today's society and for that I can only applaud you.

I just sometimes feel I may have to fight against you in the same moment as I stand with you and believe me, I'd rather stand with you.

Do you want to burn the past or evolve it?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Do you want to makegood?

I was at makegood on Sunday.

Makegood is a festival of creators and new businesses who have been studying at the school for startups.

School for startups is a stand alone course that has been running for six years that attempts to prepare these businesses for launching their dreams.

The main event

The event had great positive energy.

There were 200 businesses displaying on the day and talks that went on throughout to do with elements of starting a business.

There were some very interesting new business ideas from a mainly young bright eyed bunch.

Among them were some beautiful craft start-ups and artistic endeavours vying for punters attention.

Pitching to the man

A panel of god like entrepreneurs held court at one 'talk' in time honoured fashion entertaining the proposals of the eager throng.

It felt like an old fashioned audience with the king.

Some of the things the panel of kings said made sense, some of it seemed grandeur laden.

I couldn't help noticing they were all white men and those attempting to gain audience spanned genders and ethnicities, not a promising vision of the power structure of the future.

I felt it was the women that presented the most interesting ideas, but I guess that's my gender bias talking.


I am now sporting some red nail varnish applied for free by nails and brows, which I have been quite impressed by as it has lasted three days of hoovering, washing-up and cooking, having only just suffered a chip.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

I have a dream

 I feel this is a more fitting tribute to Maya Angelou than I could muster in a discussion of her poetry.

Friday, 30 May 2014

A male feminist

Gotta like those male feminists...

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Everyday racism

On a trip to get some lunch I encountered this:

A man shouting at a woman in the street.

I did not see the beginning of the altercation, but this is how it ended.


Black mixed race (yes this is relevant) tall bloke shouting at a woman wearing a head scarf with at least one child.

Man: "You bloody immigrants coming here robbing my country."

Bloke looks fit and healthy and in addition is wearing some expensive looking ear phones over his ears.

The woman who is shouting back at him seems to only have the child on her person.

I doubt highly in this moment that the woman has directly taken anything from this man at all.


So let me get this straight.

You, the man who more than likely have faced prejudice and racism in your life to get to this point is concerned that this woman and child is going to rob from your country.

On what basis?

Because she's wearing a head scarf.

Does that somehow make her a criminal?

I'm fairly sure that scarf has something to do with religious adherence, not crime.

Well this is embarrassing

Stop making 'your' country look like a disgrace.

I'm pleased that no one else joined in with you.

He may have said our country, I was not recording apart from in my mind.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Southwark housing quibble

For those of you that have yet to vote today in the Southwark area, here's something to consider.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour in the Southwark area have a disagreement over council housing.

The Liberal Democrat councillor said: "In Southwark, with almost 20,000 people on the housing waiting list, Southwark is in desperate need of new affordable homes. 

Unfortunately, the current Labour-run council has sold-off or demolished 935 homes since 2010, making the situation even worse. 

It has also failed to build new homes to replace the ones we’ve lost, with just 33 new council homes built since 2010...

They have also pledged to end the housing sell-off, and kick-start a new programme of house building. They will fight for a better deal from developers to make sure they are providing affordable homes as part of new developments."

When challenged on this Labour responded with the statement: "The Labour council has the largest council house building programme in the country...

This is despite the council losing almost £100m funding under Government cuts supported by Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes. 

Mr Hughes also cut funding to build affordable homes (from about £128k per home to £25k per home) and backed the Government re-defining 'affordable' as 80% of market rent.

The Liberal Democrats ran Southwark council in coalition with the Tories (2002-2010) and did not build council homes even with higher (Labour) Government funding."

Labour also quote that Labour has repaired 7,000 empty council homes to let for local families, while the Liberal Democrats have sold off or demolished 9,000 council homes.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Wong Fu kick arse!

Wong Fu make brilliant YouTube clips.

I think this is my favourite so far.

Blow those stereotypes.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Happy Neighbours

Watching the UKIP debate is beyond unsettling to me.

If you're feeling similar, here's a story for you.

I was lucky enough to have a back garden when I was a kid.

There was another kid in the back garden next to me, her family was Sri Lankan.

We got on.

Only neither of us could see over the fence.

We discovered that if she climbed up on the stone work on her side of the fence and if I climbed up the metal frame of our swing we could see each others faces.

So we would talk in this precarious manner and occasionally get to the point where we felt we should enter one or others house.

My memories included playing Pontoon and her mainly winning, often while listening to American country music.

As far as I'm aware Dolly Parton has no real link to either Sri Lankan or British culture, we both liked it.

We also both talked about Monica Seles while playing tennis when Wimbledon was on, she's not British either.

We didn't see that much of each other later in life, because she went to a private school and I went to a state one.

This seemed to involve people doing things like advancing her classes, not something that was done in my school.

We lost touch a bit and I went on to study elements of international politics, including the conflict in Sri Lanka knowing her and a Sri Lankan guy that I had met at school made me more interested, ignorant as fuck most likely, but interested.

I found myself very ill after leaving uni and I clearly remember on one of these occasions her coming over to visit me, with Christmas cake, only not the kind that my Gran and mum made, way more squishy and amazing (sorry Mum, my Mum does make lovely cakes).

Seeing a familiar face at such a difficult time meant a lot to me.

She's really successful now and so I get to see her even less, but she enriched my life, she did not detract from it Mr Farage.

Unwittingly she made me more engaged in a debate about conflict resolution, she may never have put pounds into my pocket but my exchanges with her were happy ones, they made my life better.

Being confronted with another culture does not destroy it, just means that we have something to share.

She was my neighbour, France and Europe are ours.

Could we bother to climb up on the swing rather than throwing rocks at the bloody fence.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sexy nerd

This girl has loads of really amusing videos on YouTube, I defy you not to smile.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Monday, 21 April 2014

More lovely boys on the internet

These guys are restoring my faith in male kind.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Women are all powerful!

This is hilarious:

All women can read your mind!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Zen fighter

This guy is brilliant:

Thought provoking.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Calls for UKIP councillor to resign

A new petition on is calling for the resignation of David Silvester the UKIP councillor who claimed that passing of gay civil union had brought the floods of recent weeks.

Mr Silvester's statement has angered Sarah Butcher of Henley on Thames so much that she has set up a petition calling for his resignation.

On Friday 17 January, Councillor David Sylvester (UKIP) wrote an open letter to the Henley Standard, blaming the legislation of the same sex marriage bill for the floods that we are currently experiencing in the UK.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Godlike power of sexuality

The Henley-on-Thames councillor David Silvester thinks that allowing gay marriage has wrought the destructive floods of the past weeks.

Needless to say that this is beyond ridiculous, to such an extent that UKIP have actually expelled him from the party.

After reacting with sheer confusion that global warming theories could not instead be considered by this bloke, I was put in mind of Crowded House.

Maybe it was his awkward way of crooning: "Everywhere you go you always take the weather,take the weather, the weather with you."

Channel Four story.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Flooding? Get over it.

It's flooding, storming and hailing and so the government thought, let's cut the Environment Agency.

This piece of news from Unison suggests the beginning of a comedy sketch:

Council officer: "Flooding?

You might need the, oh no sorry, it's gone."

Member of the public: "What's gone?"

Council officer: "It's part of the Environment Agency, can't remember what it was called now, it would have been handy, probably..."

Member of the public: "Th-an-ks..."

Sorry, comedy is not my strong point, but this news is somewhat bordering on the absurd, don't you think?

I am watching the shores of this isle be buffeted beyond belief and they're cutting the agency whose job it is to handle this kind of emergency...

Words fail me.