The M-word – Men!

This all began with an exchange between my niece and I. Principally laughing at our respective menfolk. Well, I say laughing, more an hysterical-I’m-going-to-wedge-a-blunt-instrument-in-his-head kind of laughing.

Anyway, the question was then posed by my niece “should I admire women who’ve had the courage to say f*** this shit, I’m off! And are they any happier in the long run? And where do you draw the “f*** this shit I’m off line? Why is life so hard?” (technically this was four questions, but she was on a roll and who was I to stop her?)

And so I replied “it’s so pointless the things that really wind me up. Mostly, I’m left seething with resentment, raging against his apparent fuckwittedness, while said male is in his blissful little bubble of ‘man world’ happy and carefree, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I’ve developed pathological levels of anger towards him (which is also deeply annoying. He doesn’t even notice I’m mad as hell!!) I’m the one left feeling like crap. I’m the one having a sleepless night. I’m the one feeling sad and lonely. I’m the one wondering if this is all there is?

I have my own theory on ‘f*** this shit, I’m off to Narnia’ and that is we lurch from one unfulfilling and unhappy relationship to another, looking for the one male who isn’t pathologically irritating, only to discover it’s an urban myth. Like a unicorn, or none-fattening chocolate, and that we should have stuck with the first one and saved ourselves a heap of angst and money.

Why, oh why, is life so hard indeed? I keep being told ‘life’s not all Walt Disney” Well I disagree. In my world every day is Walt Disney, and anyone disagreeing can just f*** off to Warner Brothers!

The M-word – Mediocrity

I recently received photo of a certificate presented to my great-nephew. It left me totally exasperated by the need to applaud the unremarkable and the mediocre.

Please allow me to explain before sending me to Katie-Hopkins-hell.

My great-nephew is just 3 months old. The certificate was for a Sensory Class Sports Day (don’t ask, I haven’t the faintest idea). I was left asking who’s this for? What’s the point? How did I make it through to adulthood without a sensory class? And am I now officially a cheerless killjoy?

It also reminded me of a school awards ceremony I attended recently. It began well enough – rational awards paying tribute to children in recognition of achievement and improvement ……..

But then it disintegrated into something a little bit foolish. An award for being smiley. One for behaving nicely in class. Another for doing their best…… and so the madness went on. Had it not felt so totally depressing I’d have LOL.

Can no-one see how this need for inclusiveness totally diminishes the currency of receiving an award? Is it not inevitable that this will lead to a deterioration of striving for excellence – there’d be no point, they’re going to get an award either way.

But the saddest aspect of all was the sure knowledge that the children involved knew perfectly well they were being rewarded for bugger all. How demeaning.

Lavishing facile praise upon a child who’s produced something mediocre does little for their confidence ……the child knows you’re giving them a croc of shit, because they know they could have done a whole lot better. I’ve seen it so many times, and instead of building confidence it has the opposite affect …..they lose trust….. in themselves, in you, and in knowing when praise is truly deserved

…….Personally, I blame the Americans…… they give a standing ovation for taking a big breath!

The M-word – Moisturisers

There are an increasing number of modern day phenomenon’s that awaken the grumpy old woman in me. Moisturisers are one of them, or at least the marketing hype and total bullshit which accompanies the sales of them.

I often ask myself do women actually believe this absolute shite? Yet it appears yes, many do. Sane, apparently intelligent women I’ve spoken to are willing to part with huge sums of money in exchange for this elixir and the promise of youthful, glowing, repaired, age reversed, shrunken pores, wrinkle free skin.

Really??? I find it startling that women can be quite that gullible, or is it desperate, that we can be so easily seduced and duped by falsehoods and hyperbole? It’s a f***ing moisturiser for crying out loud! It will not replicate your DNA, shrink enlarged pores, reverse ageing, remove wrinkles, or any other BS claim. What it will do is temporarily plump skin, it will smell nice, it will leave your skin feeling peachy soft, and it has the capacity to leave you feeling a little bit lovelier.

For the record, and in case you’re wondering, I use a facial oil in the winter and a lovely smelling moisturiser on the bits that need it in the summer. I’m a stickler for using face products relieved of chemically derived substitutes, or perfume. This is a personal choice based on an extensive knowledge of skincare ingredients, our anatomy, nutrition, exercise, stress, and other shit that affects how healthy skin looks.

Instinct and experience tells me that there are brilliant, naturally occurring fragrances (personal favourites are neroli, rose, geranium, frankincense, and ginger), many of which have been used for millennia to produce glowing, healthy skin.

Some hints to stop you from losing the moisturiser plot –

  • Apply moisturiser where and when you need it – if it ain’t dry it doesn’t need moisturising
  • Remember to moisturise your neck and décolleté (the boney bit below your neck and before your breasts) – from an ‘age give away’ point of view these are the first to shrivel like a prune
  • Use one with an SPF ……..yes, even in winter and dull days. Check out those with natural UVB filters such as minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, or propolis, walnut derivatives, or alder buckthorn
  • Be smart – it is a moisturiser not a miracle in cream form, irrespective of the claims made or whichever beauty editor/celeb is raving about it
  • Drink more water
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid sugar

The M-word Memory

It is said if you’re concerned you’ve lost your mind then you haven’t – when you truly have, you won’t give a monkey’s!

For several years my memory has taken on a life of its own, appearing to delight in creating mayhem and mischief without ever having to take responsibility for its actions. This began with conversations I’d be having, where halfway through describing something (with wit and animation, naturally), I would have no idea what I’d been talking about. I figured I was either getting bored with myself, what I was talking about, or perhaps the person I’d been having the conversation with? Who knows? All I do know is that it was deeply embarrassing…….because at the time I was making a very nice living as a professional speaker.

As this happened on successive occasions I decided to ‘embrace the moment and go with the flow’, just as stress management gurus instruct, so turned it into a comedy moment “sorry folks, temporary break in transmission, normal service will resume shortly” (I always wanted to say “I’m receiving a message from God” but decided it sounded funnier in my head).

Anyway, I have a theory on this phenomena, (of course I do), and it’s to do with my brain being full. Full from education, experience, trivia, stuff, recipes, song lyrics, old car registrations (??WTF?), where I put something in a safe place, other people’s name, my name …..so I decided it was time to ‘defrag’ my hard drive, get rid of stuff I haven’t used in years, de-clutter, and embrace minimal thinking (a bit like minimal living but for your head).

And do you know what? It made not a jot of difference! I continue to get to the top of the stairs and forget what I went up for, open cupboards and forget why, or, as happened recently, forget who it was I was talking to on the phone!!

So, here are some of my failsafe suggestions for getting a grip when your memory behaves like a recalcitrant child –

  • avoid putting things (coffee, mobile, important documents, files, cake, books, babies), on the roof of the car. You will forget. You will drive off with it on the roof. So instead, put them on the bonnet of the car
  • write it down or make a list – remember to take the list with you – ha! Take huge amounts of smug satisfaction on forgetting said list but recalling over 70% of it anyway
  • slow down a little – when I’m rushing I forget shit. Normally the important shit. Never the pointless, incidental shit that doesn’t affect outcomes
  • dodge interruptions – the phone ringing, child calling for your attention (includes the grown-up child), birds singing, butterflies, shiny things ……

Ultimately, getting stressed, frustrated or upset solves nothing. Laugh a little, breathe deeply, and do something else – I’ve found memory to be similar to a naughty child; ignore it long enough and it’ll come to you in the end.