I know that by posting something like this I am prone to open myself up for attack, but I am genuinely interested in hearing the ‘other side’ of my argument on this subject.
I don’t understand women-only groups.
I am quite loud online (I hate the word ‘prolific’ – I just think of myself as being noisy), I have met quite a lot of people in various circles. Although I suffer from chronic shyness (ARGH! STRANGER DANGER!!), I have found that a swift couple of vodkas and a huge deep breath (and probably a little too much laughing) gets me through these initial meetings, and I then really enjoy myself, and love meeting such a wide variety of people.
Due to me spending so much time online, and often meeting people in ‘real’ life, I seem to be invited along to quite a lot of stuff.
Today is a case in point. I received four email invites today. One for a local group, one for a blogging group and two for general networking / ‘thought platform’ (??) opportunities.
And each one of these four was for a women-only group. So, I wont be going to any of them.
I like women, I think they’re great. I do think that in certain areas they seem to be over-shadowed by men or not taken quite as seriously, but I honestly believe that women-only groups in these situations serve not to empower women, but to prove that they ARE different to men. They highlight the differences rather than proving the similarities.
I’m not saying that there should be no women-only groups at all – I can understand groups where women want to talk / act freely, especially for religious or cultural reasons, but for example one of the group meetings I was invited to today is supposedly to give women a stronger voice in media roles and has many ‘prolific’ women speakers.
Surely women already think that they need a stronger voice, so you’re kind of preaching to the converted. Wouldn’t it be better all round if all of those women were just meeting with a group of people working within the media (apparently including bloggers I’m guessing, otherwise I have no idea why I was invited!) whether they are male or female?
If there is some kind of re-education about gender equality needed, then why aren’t the men being included in this?
Perhaps I am completely missing the point, but then I have never even seen the point of ‘girls nights in/out’ either. As far as I’m concerned, if I fancy a party, I want to ask my friends along. that may turn out to be all girls just due to circumstance, but I have never felt the need to seclude them from proceedings.
Come on – I would love it if someone could really tell me why I am so very very wrong on this matter. I am totally for girl power (I’m in no way an anti-feminist) – but I’m all for boy power as well – if they’ve got what it takes!
Seeing as Twitter has been around for almost 6 years now, I guess it is hardly surprising to find a book almost entirely composed of tweets between two people. In fact, it is probably more of a surprise that it has taken this long – although I am not altogether sure that it’s the first…it is just the first that I have come across!
The Twitter Diaries begins on New Year’s Eve when a society party in New York held by Peter Mignon enables is the setting for a meeting of 30-something Brits Stella Cavill (wannabe shoe designer to the stars) and Tuesday Fields (sports reporter).
Over the next 365 days, they talk about everything – love, life, their careers, family and pop culture.
This should be totally up my street – I am an avid tweeter after all (22,000 and counting!) and in the main, it was fun, light, frothy stuff.
However, there were a few little niggles I had. Eg: EVERYTHING was done by Direct Message…so in theory, not exactly tweeting. And considering it was all done by DM, there were a fair amount of Retweets (RT) going on, which you can’t do within a DM. It would just be a standard cut and paste.
Also, there was a lot of stuff about existing tweeting brands, which (as I am not a celeb-follower or a brand guru, I didn’t particularly get). There was also a lot made of a twitter feud between Peter Mignon (@PM_TV) and @LordTw1tter which I assume is Piers Morgan and Lord Sugar – especially as the authors were introduced to each other by Piers Morgan! (And yes, if you were wondering from one of the authors’ names, she IS his daughter!)
As I said – light, frothy and very ‘now’…especially as the year it’s set in I believe is 2012, and we’re not even halfway through it yet.
This isn’t a new idea by any means. I remember the small trilogy Chat, Connect and Crash by Nan Mccarthy that came out in 1998 about two people who had met in a chat room, and then of course there are countless email-based books – probably one of my early favourites was E by Matt Beaumont in 2000.
But this is an enjoyable enough summer read, that you could speed through in hardly any time at all – and then follow the main characters on Twitter!
It’s been a funny old day – and I only realised when I popped onto my blog page and noticed my Tweets stripped down excluding any with mentions in them.
This has apparently been my day – there must be something in my water…
However, i DO still think that I’m funny. Just occasionally!
Further to my previous post, here is another time that my (lack of) height always becomes an issue – in an ‘audience’.
This is my view of David Lammy MP last night at the House of Commons.
Luckily, his voice carried incredibly well – which is good, because he had some good stuff to say about the riots, what had obviously happened in his constituency, some lovely words about what we had all achieved etc.
By the time Yvette Cooper came to speak to us, I had managed to move forward. But to be quite honest, I think I would’ve preferred to hear David Lammy speak a bit more
(PS – although this was in the House of Commons, I do NOT want to get into any political discussion (hate it!) this is purely meant to be about my literal view point, not my political one!)
I mentioned in a previous post about the fantastic work that was happening at the St Mary’s Respite Centre and Pop-Up Canteen in Walthamstow for weary and hungry policemen
I went along Weds, Thurs, Fri and Sunday. I meant to go in on Monday & Tuesday this week (which was the last day it ran) but with everything that happened on Monday, I had actually just shut myself away and cried for two days solid!
I enjoyed every single minute that I was there – it was a fantastic opportunity to show the police how much the work that they do is appreciated, and to feel that we had managed to do something so good that it felt like it made up for the attrocities of the looters.
There was one two-hour stretch on Friday evening where we managed to serve about 250 hot meals to various police officers – including riot squad, dog unit and street pastors…the place was absolutely buzzing!
On Sunday, we put out a Tweet for more cake (police can get through a LOT of cake – as per this BBC article that our centre was mentioned in but not named). Every time a tweet for supplies was put out, we would get innundated with donations really quickly, so it came as a bit of a surprise when over an hour later we still hadn’t really received any cakes. It became obvious WHY pretty soon after that though – that was the time it had taken locals to BAKE the cakes!!
Oh no, no Mr Kiplings for OUR coppers, they get homemade lemon drizzle cake, malteaser cake, lemon polenta cake, apple muffins with fresh cream, blueberry muffins, aubergine cake, beautiful little cupcakes with E17 iced onto them. THAT was why there was a delay!
It’s been a totally uplifting experience – and I am in complete awe of the people who put so much work into it, rushing around handing out food and serving the police and generally giving a massive morale boost to everyone they came into contact with – so a special mention to Dean, Wifey, Frances, Jess, Faye, Carolyn, Mel, Ali, Ann-Marie, Amy and Hannah who were amazing! (I know I’ve probably missed someone important out, but I am emotionally-crippled at the moment, and I’m sure I will be let off!)
We also made the front page of the local Waltham Forest Guardian, which was nice!
And finally to just part of our amazing wall of thanks from the police.
Well, it’s been a funny old week for the UK, hasn’t it? Luckily, since my last post, there hasn’t really been any more trouble in London.
A lot of this has probably been due to the heavily ‘advertised’ huge police presence on the streets of London – 16,000 police have been enlisted across the capital – 10,000 than there were on Monday night, which I believe was double the usual amount as it was!
We still haven’t had any trouble in Walthamstow, but there has been a massive number of additional police (not surprising considering our close proximity to Tottenham (our house is less than a mile from where Mark Duggan was shot, to put it in perspective). I had heard that the local police (I can’t speak for others) have had their canteens closed over recent years (don’t know when exactly) and so our MP suggested to a local church group that they open their building as a respite centre to give tea and coffee.
The wonderful Andy jumped on the idea, and it just grew from there – it didn’t take much to convince our fantastic local community to donate both food & drink and their time. On Tuesday, the St Mary’s Respite Centre was up and running and serving many tired, hungry policemen (and other emergency services).
I managed to get along Wednesday night for 2.5 hours, making sandwiches, serving police and getting to know some of the others who I hadn’t met before – always great to meet community-spirited locals! I even managed to get a chance to chat to our lovely Borough Commander Steve Wisbey who told us what had been happening locally, and what plans for the immediate future were. It was great to have our minds put to rest – and he was a jolly nice fella too! It was great to be able to come home and tell The Girl what was going on, as she had found the whole situation ‘a bit scary’.
I went along again last night for about the same length of time, and this time saw more people that I knew, as well as others from the previous night – and there seemed to be even more police there tonight. It was a fantastic atmosphere, even when it got extremely busy and I didn’t have a momen’ts respite from preparing jacket potatoes, chilli, sausages or paninis (yes reall – we are THAT sophisticated in our charity here in the Stow!) I was surprised how much I enjoyed it all!
Last night the police wrote a load of thank you messages for us, which were really touching – especially a couple who wrote poems – it was great to feel that our efforts were so appreciated (photo of the board from Martin’s pics)!
I will definitely be going along again tomorrow, and probably on Sunday too. I’d love to hear if anywhere else in London has been doing similar.
Much kudos to the church group – especially Andy, Dean, Nic and Frances who have been tireless in their support, organising the volunteers, getting the word out, gaining the support of local businesses etc and actually making this happen – an amazing bunch of people!
Last night, I was extremely proud to be part of my community.
For those who don’t know, Waltham Forest is one of only two London Boroughs without a cinema (the other being Lewisham, I believe). We had a lovely cinema up to 8 years ago. A beautiful art deco building where the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had played gigs and where Hitchcock had seen films as a boy. It is a Grade II Listed Building and the last remaining British cinema with its original Christie organ in situ.
However, in 2003, the then EMD owned cinema was in rather a state of disrepair, seemed to have restrictions on films able to be shown, was starting to smell rather heavily of wee and was therefore not as well-frequented (a bit like the Rose & Crown before that got taken over!). So, it was sold, to the United Church for the Kingdom of God.
Over the years, we have been told various tales of how the building is unsuitable to be re-opened as a cinema, but this has been challenged at every stage of the way. For the past 8 years, UCKG have petitioned to change the building use to a place of worship. Plans have even claimed to use the building as ‘a community meeting place’ with an apparent ability to show films. Are the majority of local people going to go to church to watch The Fast & The Furious 5?
So, 18th May was a huge day for local residents, as it was Decision Day -the planning committee of local councillors was due to hear the arguments from both sides at a public meeting at the Town Hall and reject or accept the planning application from UCKG.
Being a proud member of the E17 ‘Awesomestow’ Twitterati, I had been really happy that so many of us were empassioned by the plight of the cinema, and arranged to meet up to show our support on the night.
When I got there though, there were even more familiar faces than I was expecting – I saw friends I know from the pub, members of my Book Club, neighbours, and even teachers from The Girl’s school. Being able to mill around, mix in different circles and just recognise familiar faces in a huge crowd made me feel so ‘belonging’.
And there really was a huge crowd. But from both sides.
With the meeting originally taking place in the Town Hall, the plan was to meet on the Town Hall steps. However, the veune was changed, and the meeting took place in the nearby Assembly Rooms. this meant that the ‘Cinema crowd’ were outside the Town Hall, and the UCKG were outside the Assembly Rooms. And as they had generally had to come from further afield, they had a large crowd very early, which felt quite intimidating. Our lot WALKED from home generally and arrived in dribs and drabs, slowly forming a HUGE crowd of support, which was incredible.
But of course, when the doors were opened, all the UCKG were already there, and got in first. The hall takes over 1,000 people, but we were still left with about 2-300 people (guesstimate) outside, along with a couple of bagpipers, shouting our support through the windows to those within the meeting. Luckily, the social bar just outside the building opened and helped fuel our morale as we were there for over TWO HOURS chanting, singing, waiting for the decision, and checking our phones and Twitter feeds to find out what was going on inside.
And the result was unanimous – 7-0 to reject the planning application. It was a fantastic result for all involved (from our side of course!) and puts us one step closer to getting our cinema back.
After chanting “Save Our Cinema” for two hours, it was nice to chant “We’ve SAVED our cinema” and then the police moved in to hold us back as the UCKG people came out.Obviously they all had long journeys back home, buses to catch etc and so we were quite happy to shout”We live HERE, where d’YOU live?” for a while – at which point some of them seemed to want to have a dance-off.
Perhaps the greatest moment of the night was about 1,000 people waving “Byeeeeeeeee, cheerio, safe journey…” as they made their way home, and we all went to the pub.
Of course, UCKG still own the building, but there has been a Trust set up to try to raise the money needed to buy it back and refurbish AND the UCKG are extremely guilty of letting a listed building fall into a disgusting state of disrepair. It has had illegal raves, has been flooded, has been boarded up and covered in scaffolding for years and they have done NOTHING to look after it.
And they must now know how opposed people are locally to yet another church (I believe we have over 230 already!!).
So, the first skirmish has been won – and now the battle proper shall commence.
- BBC News Article
- Fantastic article from The Scoop – with videos! (one of which I am in…)
- Waltham Forest Guardian live feed from last night
- Waltham Forest Guardian article – UCKG defiant
- Save Walthamstow Cinema
- Waltham Forest Cinema Trust
- Some interesting reading about UCKG (I didn’t know this when I made this post originally)
And – last but not least, my favourite response from the UCKG
I am on call all this weekend, which has been a great excuse to NOT do anything about something that was happening in London yesterday.
I have managed to avoid all things Royal Wedding, which has made me a VERY happy girlie indeed. And what is making me EVEN happier, is the fact that the media (both commerical and social) can just go back to normal – hurrah! I no longer have to cringe while I read or listen to anything at all!!
I have managed not to see the dress, not to see anyone’s outfit, not to see the apparently ridiculous hat that one of the Fergie princess’ was wearing, not see Fearne Cotton and not see how miserable they were looking – but unfortunatekly, I have obviouslymanaged to HEAR about all these things, thanks to Twitter & Facebook!
No, I am not miserable (as I said, I am actually very happy indeed – I will get extra money for having been on call for an extra Bank Holiday day, so thanks for that royalies) - and I wish them all the luck, just like I would with anyone getting married (with a few exceptions), but I couldn’t give a toss about the royals, and I don’t ‘do’ weddings generally. Although at least it was probably more interesting than when Charlie-boy married that God-awful bint 30 years ago!
Anyway, tomorrow night, I get to go to a party, which I am really looking forward to – and has nothing to do with any of it at all. Yay!!
Oh yes, and I finally finished watching Season 2 of House, so I can drag my arse into 2007!
“You came out of your mom looking like shit. She thought you were beautiful. Don’t know what scared me most, your looks or her judgment.”
Justin Halpern became a Twitter sensation when he started his account @shitmydadsays after moving back in with his parents after a failed relationship.
His dad is 73 years old (to Justin’s 28), retired and obviously very intelligent (he worked and lectured in nuclear medicine), and his insights into life in general are a joy to behold. He says what everyone else barely dares to think – and is a total potty-mouth with it (so don’t read it if an avalanche of swearwords offends you!)!
The book is extremely short (less than 200 pages) and s a lot of the pages taken up with random quotes, however, the real joy comes when Justin pads out the story behind where the quote came from and shows that his dad, far from being just a grumpy old man, is insightful, caring and obviously loves his family dearly.
We actually got the unabridged audiobook to listen to in the car on a long journey – and we were literally crying with laughter at some of the stories.
Funnily enough, last night I happened to stumble across an episode of what appears to be the TV show of it, and the dad is played by….wait for it…William Shatner?!?!?! No swearing appeared to be involved.
“Does anyone your age know how to comb their fucking hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their head and started fucking.”
“The dog is not bored, it’s a fucking dog. It’s not like he’s waiting for me to give him a fucking rubix cube. He’s a god damned dog.”
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was singing the praises of the wonderful Naked Wines in this blog entry. In fact, looking, it WASN’T that long ago at all. Since then, I have become one of their Wine Angels (and my dad has too!) and I have also discovered that unbeknown to me, I have a few friends who are aswell!
Anyway, so I ‘Liked’ the Naked Wines page on facebook (as you would) and just before Christmas, they had a competition to win £1,000 worth of wine.
The competition was done as a game of Consequences…I used to play it as a kid. One person writes down a girl’s name, the y fold the top of the paper over so the next person can’t see what they wrote, and the next writes a boy’s name. Then where they met, what he said, what she said and what happened.
I got some of my friends to join in, and didn’t really think much more of it – in fact, I can’t even remember who wrote which answers, but this was our final story:
A few of us decided to get together to…recreate the ceremony scene at the end of Star Wars (Episode IV – used to be Part 1!) (that was mine)
The party really got started when… the vodka began to flow (dunno who that was)
Before we knew it… we were all arguing, in a very animated way, about who would get to be Darth Vader, a role that came with the priviledge of having the largest light sabre (Jo, I think)
But luckily no-one… fell out of the tree as it would have been difficult to explain to the authorities. We all wondered who had let in that rabid dingo, who had the most to gain?? (nope, no idea)
Midway through the party…there was a knock at the door and there stood Jon Bon Jovi… (Hayley)
So we gave everyone a…hairpiece and a bottle of vodka and started experimenting with novel ways to wear said hairpieces. (No idea again)
Fortunately someone remembered to…log the details of the evening’s plans with the local mountain rescue service, who were standing by with search and rescue goats at the ready (Daniel)
The guys then suggested we…unwrap and get bouncing on the Wii (Lorna?)
But the girls refused to…dress up in meat-frocks because of all the stray dogs around (Me again, logged in as Andy, LOL)
And a couple of weeks ago, I was contacted to say that my story was one of the winning entries – and where would I like my £1,000-worth of wine!?
84 bottles, including 12 bottles of champagne were delivered last weekend! And we already had 21 bottles of wine.
When the guy was loading all the cases, I felt that I needed to explain that we hadn’t ordered it, and that it was in fact a competition prize!
We now can’t get into the ‘study’ and if the boiler breaks down again (which it did on Boxing Day), then noone’s goign to be able to get to it.
I suddenly seem to have a lot of friends as well
I love Naked Wines. We’ve tried quite a few bottles already – just for research purposes of course…
Just a normal girl
I recently turned 40 (eek - how did THAT happen?) I'm a Londoner - mother, lover and little kitty owner.
I do the normal London things. I'm really just pretty run-ofthe-mill!
Recently in my head
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Been In My Head
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