sarah in the ma advert

For some reason we are watching ‘live’ TV. Every now and then we do this, and it reminds me why I love TiVo – it’s so that I don’t have to watch adverts as they annoy the hell out of me!

Take this one for example that I have just been subjected to:

Firstly, if Sarah wants to be able to afford a holiday, perhaps she should go to work.

Secondly, she quite clearly tells the brat that if he doesn’t pick up his muddy goalie gear off of her beige floor, then he wont be GOING on holiday. And yet he doesn’t pick it up.  That would definitely save the cost of at least one place on holiday.

Money advice from me there.

leave our trolls alone

Awww, look at the ickle troll!

Since the media uproar about the whole ‘Twitter abuse scandal’ (which I wont validate with an explanation as this is not my point here!), the term ‘troll’ has been used incessantly.

In fact, just this morning, BBC Breakfast asked the question on their Facebook page:  “What do you think needs to be done to tackle Twitter trolls? At 0720 we’ll speak to a senior police officer about threats and abuse on the social network.”

Now, I have been ‘social networking’ on internet sites for about 20 years (Yahoo! Chat anyone?) and I am fed up with seeing ‘troll’ used in this way.

An entry on the ever amusing Urban Dictionary sums up how normal internet users view a troll:

1a. Noun

One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

1b. Noun

A person who, on a message forum of some type, attacks and flames other members of the forum for any of a number of reasons such as rank, previous disagreements, sex, status, ect.

A troll usually flames threads without staying on topic, unlike a “Flamer” who flames a thread because he/she disagrees with the content of the thread.

1c. Noun

A member of an internet forum who continually harangues and harasses others. Someone with nothing worthwhile to add to a certain conversation, but rather continually threadjacks or changes the subject, as well as thinks every member of the forum is talking about them and only them. Trolls often go by multiple names to circumvent getting banned.

For example, on our local newspaper website, there have been a number of stories over the years about the campaign to save our local cinema.  There is a troll on the site currently calling himself ‘Cornbeefur’ that flames on almost every story, but especially anything to do with the cinema campaign, using the same language all the time, mentioning people dressed as ‘darleks’ (sic) etc because he KNOWS that it is going to get a rise out of all the people that have been passionately supporting a campaign that he doesn’t consider worthwhile.

That is a troll, and I have to admit, I have trolled in the past.  I would be surprised if the majority of people that spend a long time on the internet haven’t trolled at some stage.  Have you never been contrary just to annoy someone whose views you don’t agree with? (especially those that you don’t know, so don’t necessarily care about their feelings).

So, now that there have been high-profile online abuse cases (forget all the internet abuse that has come before that, they weren’t marginally famous feminists, and therefore unimportant), the media are branding these people trolls.  They are not trolls, they are online abusers.

Although trolls aren’t fluffy, they are rather amusing if you can get out of your own arse long enough to see them for what they really are.  Threatening and abusive people are not really funny (although often blockable) they are exactly what they are.

Don’t take away our trolls BBC and other media.  Learn what social media is, accept what a troll really is, and report criminal harassment and abuse for what it is instead of making the internet (and especially Twitter) out to be some out of control crime-fest to those who don’t use it and have never intended to!

PS – this post is not intended as trolling.

when pride outweighs disgust

A typical young teen?

My daughter seems to be going through a completely skanky stage at the moment.  Her room is the grossest thing I have ever seen.  She seems to be allergic to washing and brushing her teeth and tried to ‘con’ me into believing that she has done these things.

I have been completely worried about it, although I do vaguely remember a similar period in my childhood, but after speaking to friends whose girls are more than a couple of years older than her, and it seems that there definitely seems to be this kind of period that girls go through, at the time when they most shouldn’t!

Anyway, that was a little background to my exchange with her this morning, where my pride kind of broke through my general disgust of her lately.

Me: “You’re wearing that jumper again! Three days I’ve pointed out to you that it’s got dirt down it, and you’ve put it on yet again! You’ve got clean jumpers in your room!”
Girl: “Nobody notices Mum.”
Me:  “*I* notice. YOU should notice!  How do you know NOBODY notices?”
Girl: “Nobody’s said anything about it.”
Me: “Not to your face maybe!”
Girl: “And why should I care what they say behind my back?”
Me: *dumbstruck* *slight awe* *love*
Girl: “See ya!”

the nigella and saatchi thing

The photos that shocked us all

Like most people in the UK, I was absolutely shocked on Sunday by the photos that appear to depict Charles Saatchi with his hands around his wife’s throat.

I phrase it that the photos of him and Nigella Lawson ‘appear to depict’ because we all know just how deceptive photos can be – but it certainly looks pretty damning.

I asked the question (again, probably like many others), why the hell was someone just photographing it, and why doesn’t it look like anyone at all (including the photographer) tried to intervene.

I saw many utterances on the subject saying “Don’t blame the people who didn’t help, blame Charles Saatchi for being a wife-beater” etc etc but bollocks!  I am also looking at those people (or at least ONE person) who witnessed this despicable act and apparently did nothing!

This brought home to me a rather harrowing moment when I was stood on the tarmac at Faro airport with the man that I had been uncontrollably in love with for many years and he put his hands around my neck and squeezed.

I have no idea at all what would have happened if two men hadn’t stepped in and dragged him off of me.  Well, actually, I do know what probably would have happened, but I don’t really want to think about it.  It DIDN’T happen.

Now, like Nigella, I am not exactly ‘a delicate little flower’ incapable of holding my own, but this man was the most powerful guy I have ever known (one of the reasons I was attracted to him in the first place I will admit).  I was also shocked, dazed, embarrassed, heartbroken and absolutely livid.

Of course, there is a hell of a lot more to my story, and I could bore people to death with it, but my point is PEOPLE STEPPED IN.  They saw what was happening and they did something about it.  I can honestly say that I am eternally grateful for that. Especially the poor guy who took a punch for his troubles.

But surely that’s human nature, isn’t it?  I’d like to think so.

So, yes, if what appeared to happen in those photos did actually happen, then Charles Saatchi is an evil, despicable, power-hungry man who deserves his dick cut off – but I would also quite happily lightly maim the photographer and any other witnesses who just sat and watched and did nothing to help or comfort a violated woman – no matter who she was.

a strange inheritance

I always seem to inherit odd things from people – I’ve never been one for taking jewellery, which seems to be the ‘normal’ thing for girls.

When my nan died a couple of months ago, we cleared the house…my uncle had died just a year before, and had lived with her all his life.

I loved my uncle so much, but he was a bit of an odd one occasionally, and only got worse as he got older (which is understandable).  We found all sorts of meticulous notes in the battery compartment in remotes (to say when they were last changed) or in the clocks (to say when they were last serviced) etc etc.

Anyway, along with Gemma, a battered old leather-effect pouffe, a crystal sweet bowl, a chest of drawers and a mantel clock I seemed to ‘inherit’ about 10 bars of Simple soap, 5 jars of Cadbury’s drinking chocolate and a vacuum cleaner.

Today, I opened up one of the packs of replacement bags for the vacuum cleaner…and found codes written on each one meticulously by my uncle in his neat script.

But what does it mean?!?!?

Can anyone crack the code?

fifty shades of gravy: the cookbook – i m pliant

Fifty Shades Of Gravy

I was contacted by one of the authors of this little book of delights due to my review of THAT book. (If you hadn’t already guessed, I M Pliant isn’t a real person…shame!)

This is a perfect stocking filler (ooer) or Secret Santa style gift – especially for those women who loved (or hated) THAT book.  In fact, when I showed it to a couple of the guys at work, they wanted to get it for friends.

As with all recipe books, it is split into sections – cocktails, canapes, light bites, big dinners and desserts.  Every single recipe has its own double entendre title. Posh Tart With Crabs, Gently Jerked Pork, Force Meat In The Hole, The Disappointing Chipolata, Game For Anything Pie…the list goes on 🙂

Every recipe also comes with its own description – which is generally highly entertaining…funny rather than erotic (a bit like Fifty Shades of Grey).  For example, within the recipe for “A Quick Hand Shandy” we have a fun tip: “As your Hand Shandy is in the making, daydream about jugs – try and serve up frothy pint’s worth in an old man’s style dimpled ‘jug’ glass or ‘working man’s tankard (sometimes called a ‘Wankard’).”

Many of the recipes themselves, far from being just for fun sound extremely tasty.  I quite fancy the idea of munching on Swollen Purple Bell Ends. Yum!

If I have any crticism at all, I think it would be that it seems to have been put together by blokes as the dessert section seems to be for the puns rather than the dishes which feel a little less inventive and yummy-sounding than the other sections.  But hey, it’s worth it for the laughs.

I thoroughly recommend it – maybe not as a pressie for your mum, but for that mate that loved THAT book and you felt obviously needed more in their life 😉

There are no pictures of the glorious products of these recipes, but then some things really are better left to the imagination. Aren’t they?

scritchy scratchy

Look! I won a whole fiver! (The fact the card cost £5 is irrelevant)

As I rose from my seat on the Victoria Line this morning at Highbury & Islington, I closed the cover of my Kindle, and a scratchcard that I had shoved into my bag for safe-keeping fell from the cover where it had become jammed.

I stooped to pick it up, when glancing down, my commute neighbour kissed her teeth and quite audibly announced “SINNER!!”.

I assumed that she was referring to my obviously disgusting gambling ‘habit’, so I looked her straight in the eye, gave her a massive grin and said “Oh hunny, believe me, I sin a HELL of a lot more than THIS!!”

As I moved towards the door with my fellow alighters, i couldn’t quite work out whether the comical expression on her face was horror, disgust or shock that I had challnged her ideals 😉

Whichever it was, it was well worth it!

reasons i want to be a boy (part 1)

So, I have come away to Manchester for work.  I was at work today, then out for a nice meal with a group of clients tonight and exhibiting at a conference tomorrow.

My (actually rather light and small) bag contains:  leggings, two tops, jewellery, jacket, trousers, boots, shoes, shampoo, conditioner, mousse, frizz-ease, make-up, perfume, pyjamas, knickers, socks, deodorant, small handbag, make-up remover cloths, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, hairspray…as well as the usual stuff in my regular handbag.

My lovely male colleague has a tiny backpack containing:  shirt, pants, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant.

That is all.

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