Thursday, 15 March 2018

Five more things that make me grumpy

As always, I remain grumpy.

Here are a few more things to add to the list of infuriating things that make life just a little bit more difficult. If you would like to read some of the other things, here are just a few examples - here, here and here
  1. As I write this I am in a telephone queue waiting to speak to Ikea, not to complain but to just get some wheels for my office chair, that I foolishly didn't buy at the time I bought the chair. First grumpy thing, is hold music, and the inane things that they say during your hold duration. So far Ikea have played me Mamma Mia (Obvs), and then randomly, Just a small town girl, this is interspersed with  'thank you for holding'. Earlier this week, I had to call the doctor for an appointment. First challenge is to actually get through to the hold music, which at the doctors is generic nothing music as they haven't the money to pay the royalties for real music, this is interspersed with tales of booking appointments online (you can't, there are never any available there either) After 20 minutes of this your forehead will be on a table and you will be weeping. Oooh Ikea have just changed to Waterloo... exciting (Imagine my face as grumpy cat right now)!
  2. Number two is how people speak to old people in hospital. My Dad had a brief visit yesterday to hospital and my Mum spent the last few months of her life in hospital. Both my Mum and Dad, I would say, had/have above average intelligence and are both articulate and bright. Sadly, both my parents became hearing impaired with old age but couldn't 'get on with' hearing aids, so you do have to speak loudly to them. I get that, but it doesn't mean you need to treat them like children. Now my Dad has dementia, however, I find the more I speak to him (as clearly and loudly as I can without shouting) the more engaged he becomes and the more he remembers. I will talk to him about current affairs, television programmes, mostly past events as that's what he remembers better, but he still has an opinion and a voice.
  3. People who have indoor cats or take their cats for walks on leads. I was recently, given a rather lovely 3/4's ragdoll kitten for my 50th Birthday, he is loving and gentle and actually seems pleased to see me (most un-cat like). But, do I keep him in? (He is now 8 months old, so old enough to be going out) No of course not, he is a cat, with cat instincts, he loves it outside. Keeping a cat inside, in my opinion is cruel, I don't care if it's a fancy breed, they should be allowed outside to climb trees, chase birds and chew grass (to those who don't have cats the chewing grass thing helps them to throw up their fur balls). Release your cats and let them be free.
    Gus, My gorgeous boy, sitting on the coffee table - WHERE HE IS NOT ALLOWED!
  4.  Student Loans make me grumpy. Why, because they are pointless. Well not pointless exactly - let me explain. A student gets a loan, its a big loan, probably the biggest loan they will ever get apart from their mortgage. It's a loan that gets bigger and bigger, and until they earn over £21,000pa they don't pay for it, then they pay, I think, and don't quote me on this, about 6% of their income, every month to Student Finance England. Now, unless they become super high powered they will never, ever, pay the whole thing off. In fact they are probably just about covering the interest on all that money. But, and this is the thing, those young people (and soon to me as I return to being a student at 50) will have that loan hanging over them, what if the law changes, what if you suddenly have to pay off more. It's like a great big dangly, made of money, sword of Damacles. Rubbish.
  5. Finally, for today anyway, the crap that I get through my letterbox. Why, oh why, oh why, in this time of  recycling and ecology, do I still get so much that is just rubbish, to go back into the recycling? I get estate agent fliers telling me they could sell my house, take away menus, fliers from local supermarkets, and all the plastic charity bags....gah. Marketing people, I am talking to you when I say, I will not be selling my house with a particular estate agent because they put a flier through my door, nor will I go to the supermarket that does, or  the takeaway. In many ways, it screams desperation. And you are wasting countless trees by printing this nonsense. I live in a digital world, if I want anything, I can find it on the internet, similarly, I can check that something on the internet first for customer reviews so I know it's not pants. So, marketing people, it is not the 1970's any more, when it was OK to break the environment with our vast amounts of hairspray and wasteful paper usage. Stop bothering me with this and think again. 
I thank you as ever for reading my ranty ramblings and look forward to seeing you again next time. As ever, if you liked it, please like and share. xxx

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Women, women, women

On International Women's Day, I write this to empower and to apply to yourself.

I am a woman.

I am a mother, a daughter, an aunt, a wife.

I am a woman, who likes men, who likes women, I am a feminist, I am tattooed.

I am woman living with cancer, living with a husband and living with my daughters, and despite the cancer, I am happy and fulfilled. (Cancer can't stop me, cancer is an idiot).

I am a woman, not a girl, not love, not darlin', not bitch.

I am a woman, who tap dances, who sings in the car, who likes music that is wholly inappropriate for her age (what can I say? Grime does it for me).

I am a woman, who is liberal, confident, open to change and new things.

I am a woman, who wants to inspire her daughters to be the very best and happiest they can be.

I am a woman, who is happy to see #MeToo & #TimesUp finally happening. In a time where we should be so far ahead of where we are with equality.

I am a woman, who can't be repressed or broken, life has tried and I have beaten it.

I am a woman, who won't bitch about other women's; size, shape, skin, life, choices, because I refuse to be part of that.

I am a woman, who won't buy gossip magazines, or red top newspapers, or beauty based magazines, as I don't believe in them, they do nothing but bitch or set unachievable goals and sell lifestyles that don't exist.

I am a woman, who loves her cats, her garden and growing things.

I am a woman, who likes to cook for her family, who can bake bread and make home made birthday cakes.

I am a woman, who can tile a bathroom, or put up a shelf.

I am a woman and proud.

Here's a picture of myself and my friends, all very strong and excellent women

For other things I have written about feminism you could start here

If you liked this, please like and share - Thanks xxx

Friday, 2 March 2018

The Decline of Jane

 I was thinking about my name last night, as you do. Standard.

What I thought was this. When I pick up my daughter from school I don't hear the name Jane being called, nor do I hear that my daughters have friends called Jane, and in fairness neither do I. I do have one friend called Jayne, but as us true Jane's know, that isn't a proper Jane.

Anyway, as I love a spreadsheet, and a stat, I thought I would find out if my instincts were right. Sadly they are. Thank you the Office Of National Statistics, you remain as always my security blanket of facts.

So here are those facts. Since 1904, the name Jane has risen in popularity and then declined. In 1964 it was ranked the 7th most popular name, the best it has ever been. I was born in 1967 so it was quite a popular name at this point, but by 1984 it had dropped quite dramatically to 84th most popular girls name.  In 2015 it was ranked 1205 most popular, not as low as 2011 when it reached an all time low of 1438. Here is a little graph I have put together to demonstrate the rise and fall of the name Jane.

Info provided by the Office of National Statistics
Jane, is of course a fantastic name, and one I share with some very famous people. For example;

Jane Austin - Novelist
Jane Fonda - Actress
Jane Lynch - Actress
Jane Goodall - Zoologist
Jane Russell - Actress
The gorgeous Jane Russell

Jane Addams - Civil Rights Leader and Women's Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Jane Addams - Nobel Peace Prize Winner

Lady Jane Grey - Queen of England (for 9 days, and then sadly beheaded)
Jane Campion - Screen Writer and Director
Jane Seymour - Actress
Jane Digby - British Adventurer
Calamity Jane - American frontierswoman and scout
Jane Kelly - Artist and Journalist

This is but a few auspicious Jane's,  there are, of course, many more. It is hardly surprising we are such an accomplished group of women when you realise that the name Jane means Gift from God. Obvs.

I am saddened when you hear the use of Jane in the context of a Jane Doe, I realise it would be insensitive to not give the victim (as it usually is) a name and when this was first used it was a common name, like John. Originally, they were both used in old English law for legal purposes, in a quite complicated process where a landlord wanted to remove a tenant, which was called an act of ejectment. They needed to keep the names anonymous (I don't know why) and so they used Jane Doe, John Doe and sometimes Richard Roe. These all have been used since then for lots of reasons in legal and criminal matters.

The other thing, in the 1980's, that didn't help us Jane's was, Plain Jane Super Brain off Neighbours. Darn her - and she wasn't even plain, she was gorgeous - but boy oh boy did I pay for that!

Not in the slightest bit plain Jane, off Neighbours
In general, however, Jane has been a great name, with great women filling the name out with their achievements.

I have enjoyed being a Jane, it can't be shortened or messed about with. There are few who can call me Janey, my Dad being one, as generally I find it quite derivative.

I think it is a strong name, for strong women, who aren't frivolous or fancy, hopefully, like me.

I would recommend it, it has done me proud.

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