Friday, 15 June 2018

My 15 Best Books

I have been thinking recently what are the best books I have ever read?

So here is my list of 15 best books, that I have read and would recommend to everyone, in no particular order.

  1. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (About young gangsters in Brighton in the 1930's)
  2. Weaveworld by Clive Barker (About a magical world in a carpet, sounds ridiculous, but it's not, just dark, powerful and a tale woven so well it stays with you forever)
  3. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (About female friendship, feminism and art)
  4. A Prayer for Owen Meany  by John Irving(About a child who believes himself to be Gods instrument)
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Through the eyes of his six year old daughter we see Atticus Finch as a hero for the fight against racism)
  6. Orange is Not the Only Fruit - By Jeanette Winterson ( a coming of age tale for a young lesbian)
  7. Chocolat by Joanne Harris (A story of a single mother who comes to a small traditional French town and changes peoples perspective a little with persuasion and a little bit of magic)
  8. The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards (About a doctor who gives away his downs syndrome daughter to a nurse at birth)
  9. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay (The real diary of a junior doctor - I read this in 24 hours, un-puttable-downable)
  10. Three things about Elsie - By Joanna Cannon (The story of an old ladies descent into dementia, through her eyes)
  11. Dracula by Bram Stoker (Because I love a vampire and this one is the original and the best)
  12. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (I love this because she wrote this at a time when most women had to change their name to get published she published as herself at only 20 - oh, and I do love a Gothic novel)
  13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (About a boy with Asperger's and being different)
  14. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Another vampire story but covering some other more disturbing social problems, including paedophilia, bullying, social isolation)
  15.  Generation X by Douglas Coupland (Disillusioned generation X'ers tell stories of a broken world) 
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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Curse of Love Island

I like to think of myself as reasonably bright, articulate, well educated....

So why do I like such dreadful telly?

You should see my excitement when Big Brother is about to start, or America's Top Model, or Love Island...and then the horrible feeling of slightly hating myself for watching this nonsense.

I used to tell myself that Big Brother was an anthropological experiment. Which it was to begin with, but now, not so much. Now the people who go in are plastic fantastic and pretty superficial, whereas to begin with, there was a fireman, a nun, a carpenter, just normal people.

And Top Model, I tell myself, I watch purely for the photographic elements....I am 100% kidding myself.

And everything is so heavily marketed with ridiculous amounts of product placement.

Still hating myself.

Now the people who go in are all potential glamour models/porn stars or people who have had a tiny glimpse of fame. They are fame hungry and just want to become celebrities.

Moving to disgust at the time I waste on this.

But its Love Island I'm most troubled that I watch.

Did you know 82,000 people applied for Love Island, that is ridiculous. What is wrong with these people, I suppose it's a free holiday, that's emotionally crippling and based purely on how you look.

This a picture of myself, and daughters on holiday in Turkey because I don't want to risk any type of copy-write infringement - so this is the closest thing to Love Island that I could find, the only difference is the bodies are normal and the people in the picture are happy and self confident.
I am horrified, whilst I watch an A & E doctor have all his self confidence crushed slowly and systematically out of him, simply because he is slightly fairer than some of the others and doesn't ripple with muscles....He's cleverer than all the others put together, he saves lives for Christ sake, he's a f**king super hero, and he's been pushed firmly into the 'Oh he's so lovely' friend zone. *Head Slap*

Oh God, this wouldn't happen if we all just switched off, I am awful.

And yet, every night, I send my husband to his man cave and watch these self obsessed individuals talk about themselves, whilst not listening to a jot of what the other person is saying.

What is wrong with me?

And the worst of it is, I know I am not the only one, people I respect off the telly are watching it too. Friends are watching it, it's all anybody talks about. None of us know why its so bleeding addictive, but it is.

Make it stop...

And it messes with all my high minded principles. It's about body beautiful and not brains, I'm sure it's sexist and demeaning to both the men and the women, its sending all the wrong messages to our children and finally and clearly most importantly - WHERE IS THEIR CELLULITE?

And so sadly, I finish this post, with the story of Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection in the pool. So in love was he, that he couldn't look away and so died just staring at himself.

I fear this is what will happen to all these selfie obsessed, body beautiful, millennials. They will just forget to look away from their mirrors and phones, and suddenly there will be no more relationships, or friendships or children....#justsaying #selfie #bodyobsessed

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Monday, 11 June 2018

How to keep the Happy

Today I did my first job application in nearly two years.

It was like flexing old muscles, tight and sore, but once loosened they are ready for a jig.

The language of business, came out of me like I had been at work yesterday, all there tucked away not forgotten, just hiding.

But, I am not going to lie. I have mixed feelings about this, I am applying for a part time job as the rest of the time I will be a student, studying for my Masters Degree. Am I going to be able to do both? Yes, the job I have applied for would have less demands on me than my previous roles but it would still be demanding and I would want to give it my all.

I only know how to give my all, I have never really understood how someone can come to work and only half do the thing, what's the point, you are there, make the most of it, by giving your all you have pride in what you do and a pride in yourself.

And I am nervous about starting my degree, I haven't studied for 30 years, this is going to be a real shock to the system.

Chances are I won't even get an interview, never mind be offered the job, so I am not sure why I am worrying.

I don't really know why I am surprised that all that business speak came flooding back, it's the language I have spoken for the last 25 years. Its who I was, but is it who I want to be, going forward? I don't know, I have changed A LOT in the last 2 years.

I have felt free, relaxed, happy. I have felt healthier than I have in years, I have had loads less money, but still been OK and got by. I feel like I have made a stronger connections with my children. I feel like I know what they want, need and care about. I have spent more time with my husband.

I have been really happy.

And I don't want to mess it up, but financially, I have to be realistic, I have to do something part time. But what? I liked the look of the job I applied for, so maybe that, but if not something else. Something that doesn't interfere with my happy. Got to keep my happy.

To be continued.......

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