Tuesday, 9 April 2013

R.I.P Britain's strict grandmother

When I was a young child and had been particularly naughty, my parents would threaten a sentence at Gran’s house where she would sort me out. This used to put the heebie jeebies up me and I would immediately start obeying my parent’s orders so I wouldn’t have to go. Now that I reminisce, I find it quite funny that I was so petrified to stay at my loving grandmother’s house – and she really is lovely – but I guess it’s because, despite her lovable nature and sense of fun… she did NOT take any crap.

The reason I tell you this…

 As I watched the social fall-out from the news of Maggie Thatcher’s death yesterday and tried to grasp a better idea of why she was so loved as a Prime Minister by some and despised by many more I came across a video clip of her in the house of Lord’s telling how the then President of the European Commission “wanted the European parliament to be the democratic body of the community, he wanted the commission to be the executive and he wanted the council of ministers to be the senate” to which she did not agree and quite simply barked, “NO, NO, NO!”.

(This reminded me of my Gran telling me off and now that I think about it they look quite similar…)

She then goes on to suggest that the Labour party would give up a degree of the country’s independence by agreeing to a single currency in line with Europe… a premonition perhaps?

This video clip speaks volumes on the type of leader she was. She made her decisions and she stuck with them. She had a mighty back-bone to go with her iron fist and I’ve never seen a Prime Minister like her in my lifetime so far. Sure, her politics didn’t benefit everyone but no Prime Minister realistically has that power.
It is very easy to remember a person’s failings. For example, my sister will never let me forget that the scar on her forehead is from when I hit her with a ‘skydancer’ when we were children. However, the good that people do can often be overlooked. I believe the same rule applied to Lady Thatcher. Yes she introduced the Poll Tax which was devastating for a lot of families, she took the children’s milk away and many people feel that the Falklands war could have been avoided… but she also reduced the country’s debt and turned us from one of the poorest in Europe to the third wealthiest. I personally don’t think we’d be in the economical state we’re in now if she were still in power.

Let me make it clear that I am in no way a right wing girl… or a left for that matter. My political knowledge is very limited and I simply agree with some ideas and disagree with others. I just feel that on the eve of her death, there was a little too much celebration and not enough respect for one of Britain’s most influential leaders so far.

R.I.P Margaret Thatcher – Britain’s strict grandmother.

                                   Kayleigh's Gran?
      Margaret Thatcher?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Equal Marriage

If there's one thing that I've noticed from the victorious result from parliament on the subject of equal marriage, it was the amount of my friends in same-sex relationships who stated to the world 'I will one day marry the person I love'. And it is this statement that makes me realise just how much prejudice there still is against homosexual people in a otherwise quite 'modern' and westernised world.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the outcome because I honestly believed that a winning majority of politicians would rule against same-sex marriage because of their old fashioned views fueled by their religious connections...

I was, however, disappointed to learn that a Winchester Conservative politician - let's not name any names - voted against equal marriage but this is the same individual who voted in favour of the rise in tuition fees so he's not exactly flavour of the week anyway.

How has it taken so long for a large chunk of the population to be  entitled to the same nuptial rights as everybody else anyway? Why have I always had a special entitlement to be wed to the person I love - if that person is the opposite sex to me? It makes no sense really, especially considering - a study conducted by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 45% of marriages will end in divorce before a couple's 50th anniversary anyway. Correct me if I'm wrong but, was getting a divorce at one time not thought to bring shame to a family... and we've managed to break down that stigma.

I believe it's because, every single person either knows what it feels like to be stuck in a  relationship with the wrong person - or at least emphasise of how that feels. But, not everybody know what it feels like when you love somebody of the same sex. Unless you are gay, you can only begin to imagine what sort of hate and prejudice you would need to face on a daily basis.

The ruling on equal marriage in the UK is a huge step in the right direction for humanity. That's not to say that there isn't a lot of bigoted people in the world and we still need to do a lot to ensure that the younger generation are able to go forward and extinguish hateful language/actions associated with prejudice of all kinds.

I hope that the term 'civil partnership' will become extinct as more and more of the gay community are able to legally cement their love in the same way as everybody else. Why should they have to use a term that automatically estranges them?

A friend of mine said she was once asked, 'How old were you when you realised you were gay?'

To which she replied, 'Well how old were you when you realised you were straight?'

Spot-on. We're all the same. Let's not allow ourselves to be identified by our sexuality.

Friday, 9 November 2012


Yes, you heard correctly. Ghost dog. This is exactly what I convinced myself I had encountered a few mornings ago when I 'awoke' in my boyfriend's bedroom from something climbing on the bed and sitting on my legs. The sensation was exactly the same as when my dog at home climbs up and goes to sleep on my legs. But as the only canine pal my boyfriend had sadly met his doggy demise a couple of years back - there was absolutely no rational explanation for what had happened to me.

You might be wondering what I saw when this happened. The answer is nothing. I was completely paralysed no matter how hard I fought to sit up. It was actually a really odd experience. I went to sleep and when I woke up again a couple of hours later I was still convinced I had a phantom doggy pal.

Later, when my boyfriend arrived back from work I explained what had happened and he advised me to look up 'sleep paralysis'. My eyes were instantly drawn to this picture...

The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781) is thought to be one of the classic depictions of sleep paralysis perceived as a demonic visitation.

- Picture from Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_paralysis

I was very spooked by this, as I felt it depicted exactly what I had felt the other morning - except I thought a dog was sleeping on my legs. Obviously, I'd rather have a dog than a demon sharing my bed...

Anywho - upon some reading I have established that the phenomenon of sleep paralysis usually occurs when REM sleep is disrupted and comes at a transitional stage between wakefulness and rest, which makes sense as I had woken before 7am for a wee and gone back to bed.

No ghost doggys at all... :(

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Oh please! I'm British Thank you...

Us Brits. We do like to beat around the bush don't we. With that in mind, here is a selection of phrases often dropped before an insult to minimise the offence taken by the receiver.

  • No offence but...  (I am about to say something offensive)
  • I'm not being funny but...  (I am about to say something which could be construed as 'funny')
  • With all due respect... (I have absolutely no respect for you and your views)
  • Forgive me but... (I'm using naivety to get my point across)
Why can we all not just say our honest opinions without the fear that the person you are talking to might not like it? Why must we justify ourselves with these pointless phrases before making a bold statement? I'll tell you why. The intense subconscious need we all have inside us to be liked. Whether you believe this point to be true or not, ask yourself this.

If you had a very controversial view on something and felt very strongly about it, be it; the government, immigration, religion - what have you...

WOULD YOU EXPRESS THIS OPINION OPENLY IN PUBLIC? ...well you might, but the likelihood is that you would respectively keep it to yourself until you were in quieter and more trusted company.
...and why...?

Because everybody has opinions and every opinion has an opposite argument and to air your own too often would invite your points to be queried and argued thus causing friction among your peers. Why do you think Winston Churchill had no friends?

The British public in general don't like to rattle any bones. We're all so polite with our 'thank you's and 'please's. I spent a weekend in Paris once and had spent a whole week learning such pleasantries in French and was quite perplexed to find their manners were not as apparent as our own.

Although, our P's and Q's have seen the light of sarcasm and cursing. "F**k off, please." "Err excuse me but you are giving me a migraine"

If you're feeling up to taking a little survey - next time you're out, count the amount of times somebody says 'thank you' to you. And then count how many times you believe they meant it - perhaps we throw the terms around and the people of Paris only say it when it is heart-felt. They are, after all, the most romantic people on the planet. Allegedly. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Face of Hate.

This man is Chet Walken. Chet lives in Texas and believes that people who aren't white are of a 'degenerate' race and believes the term 'nigger' is perfectly acceptable.

Chet thinks President Obama needs to leave the White House purely because of his skin colour.

Chet believes the earth can be no older than 8000 years old because the 'Lord' made the earth and put all his creatures on it. 

In short - Chet Walken, is a moron.

At first I thought the Twitter page could be a wind-up. Some sort of ironic gag poking fun at the ignorance of Southern Americans - as hypocritical as that might sound to the argument of this blog. However, as I read on I realised this was not the case.

This Family Guy clip comes to mind when witnessing his pure ignorance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE_OehRLH3s

Chet pretty much wished 23 year old Bolton footballer dead after his collapse on Saturday and tweeted " is a British nigger? I thought he was stinking up my beautiful ! In that case I care even less if he lives or dies" 

Wayne Rooney hit back at the racist 'christian' and 'conservative' Chet with the following; "u are a sick person. U should be ashamed of yourself. U make me sick. "

He has been using religion as a crutch for his racism but believes he lives a good Christian life-style.

After Chet's timeline became inundated with abuse from Muamba well-wishers and other members of the British public, he suggested that people in the UK were 'pussies' for not appreciating his freedom of speech. Chet is inciting hatred everyday on his Twitter feed but outraged that anybody might actually be offended by his 'free speech'.

I cannot explain the frustration I have felt at reading this man's Tweets but I have come across a hashtag  which is gradually gaining popularity. Please. If you have already taken two minutes out of your day to read this blog then please take a further 30 seconds to contribute in seeing Chet's hateful Twitter page removed.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Udder madness!

"Breast milk, to be specific human milk, is the milk produced by the breasts (or mammary glands) of a human female for her infant offspring. Milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they are able to eat and digest other foods; older infants and toddlers may continue to be breastfed, either exclusively or in combination with other foods."  Unknown. (2012). Human Breast Milk. Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_breast_milk. Last accessed 19th January 2012

Perhaps one of the most natural events in the world is that of a mother feeding her newborn baby with the milk that her body has produced for that child. But what about a mother feeding another young mother's child? Is this socially acceptable? What about a mother expressing milk for her pals to taste? 

A friend of mine at work who has just given birth to a lovely baby boy, recently celebrated her birthday. While around friends under the influence of alcoholic beverages, she did exactly that. One by one the friends around her tasted her milk. When I heard of this I was quite disgusted to be frank but when I asked myself why I was disgusted, I couldn't really back up my opinion with a valid reason.

Most of us drink cow milk everyday; on our cereal, in our tea. It really is one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. What most of us try to block out is the fact this milk had to be squeezed out of a cow's wobbly bits! 

Why is it okay for us to drink another species milk which nature intended for its calves but the idea of drinking another human's milk past the age of two is absolutely 'disgusting' and actually quite a taboo topic.

I realise I've asked a lot of questions in this blog post and I don't have any answers for them but I would love to hear any opinions on the topic so please leave a comment!

Friday, 15 April 2011

"What do you do with a BA in Journalism...?"

...Write a review on Avenue Q of course!

If you've ever sat and watched Sesame Street with a younger family member and wished life were as simple now as it were when you were young enough to appreciate it - enduring hours of puppets mindlessly singing about letters in the alphabet and eating cookies - then Avenue Q is for you.

The story surrounds a young college graduate (puppet), Princeton, who has left college full of the ideologies one collects through early life. He wants to know what his purpose in life is and why he is alive. He comes to Avenue Q -a suburb full of sell-outs and nobodies - to begin a new job, however he's laid off before the first day!

In comes Kate Monster... the girl next door (puppet). The first character to say the word 'fuck' which set the tone pretty accurately for the rest of the show. Kate has a dream to open a school just for monster children as she feels they're discriminated against... Princeton and Kate have a heated debate about racism which leads nicely into a cheeky little number, "Everyone's a little bit racist" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovF1zsDoeM&feature=related Avenue Q manages to tackle everyday 'grown up' problems in a elementary - oddly sensible way!

Well to cut a long story short, Kate falls in love with Princeton who in turn falls in love with her but finishes things as he thinks being with her will stop him from finding his 'purpose'. Princeton has a one night stand with a slutty puppet, aptly named - Lucy the slut (so genius!). But when he realises there are many types of dream and you can find happiness in helping others they get back together at the end of the story.

The set is very cleverly done with only five or six cast members and countless puppets. The cast are very skilled are precise with their switching of characters and choreography. It can be hard to ignore the cast members at first as they are actually 'invisible' - grown ups like to use their imagination too! However, it becomes normal and the cast members also portray how the puppet is feeling through their facial expressions.

A nice little personal touch came in the form of a Pompey jibe which had the Southampton fans cheering and hooting.

An absolutely brilliant show. Luckily for me I went with a friend who works at the Mayflower and acquired a front row seat for £12.25 but I would pay full price to see it again tomorrow. I feel Avenue Q tackle just about every sensitive issue about growing up and leaving college and manage to put a optimistic spin on life's pissers!

Must see.

Everything in life is only for now...