The End of the Affair – Memes

By on February 19, 2018

Memes – why I am just so out of love with them

Memes are the killer of rational thought

I used to love a good meme – they used to make me happy and be full of nice things like kittens doing cute stuff, people being inspirational or just plain funny.  Now memes are full of anger, used to stir up hate and wind people up.

The internet is amazing, it gives us the ability to research all sort of wonderful facts, why then do so many people spend so much time posting up a shed load of absolute bollocks and try to pass it off as fact?

Seems legit

No, the EU is not giving all our money away to people in other countries, no Muslims are not training hamsters to go on suicide missions at the local PetsAtHome.  Seriously, no matter how much you hate the EU, fear Muslims, or hate hamsters, just because someone creates a fancy pants meme that happens to fit into your worldview doesn’t make it true.

Most of the really idiotic memes involve racism, sexism or people whining about what they think other people are getting and they aren’t.  Although just 3 clicks away are the actual facts of the matter for some reason people prefer to believe the worst about just about everyone else on the planet that isn’t them.

Welfare has its share of memes – people banging on about the millions of pounds asylum seekers or illegal immigrants receive in buddha memebenefits, whilst pensioners/army vets or whatever get bugger all.  This did the rounds so many times that the Government even produced a paper refuting this.  If the welfare lifestyle is so fabulous and people are that jealous how come they haven’t quit their job? Because fundamentally they are not stupid and know this is not true.  All they had to do to avoid feeling hours of angry bitterness was count to 10 and then click on hoax slayer or UK Gov and find out.  But no, let’s go off half-cocked and wind everyone (including themselves) up.

Muslims –  Anything really from ‘banning Christmas’, ‘banning easter eggs’, to forcing us to eat Halal food.  All of these are untrue and again a quick internet search could clear that right up before anyone gets all hot under the collar and then shares that feeling to everyone they know online.

Pseudo-Science ‘Woo’ – Memes involving cures for cancer, onions in shoes, various bogus ‘remedies’ (which are almost always promoted by someone with a vested financial interest) circulate almost constantly.  From the anti-vax stuff right up to and including ways to resuscitate yourself by coughing, sniffing a sweaty sock and standing on the roof singing Nearer my God to Thee.  I mean if someone wants to give themselves whipped cream enemas as a preventative treatment for erectile dysfunction who am I to stand in their way?  It won’t work but it gives us all a laugh.  However, some of this stuff is pretty dangerous and could cost someone their life.

So, the meme has lost my affection.  For now at least, until I see the next one with a puppy in it!






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The Mammogram – A Menopausal Delight

By on February 16, 2018
mammogram breast cancer ribbon

Mammogram – what should I expect?

Why should I have one?

A mammogram is one of the central pillars of breast cancer detection and alongside regular self-examination can detect breast cancer really early giving one the best chance of a cure.  In fact, the Mammogram breast examinationmammograms they do now can detect early signs of cancer even before you can see or feel any change in the breast itself.

If you live in the UK and you hit 50 you will get invited for a regular NHS mammogram every 3 years.  The mammogram is not compulsory but as an ex-nurse and someone who believes in medicine and the scientific research that underpins it, I would urge you to seriously consider having one when you are offered it. I know there are a lot of bogus health websites out there so I would urge you to check out something that is actually based on real science as opposed to ‘woo‘.  I mean please feel free to place an onion marinated in cannabis oil in your shoe or wave a bit of rose quartz around but do it while you have a proper check up.  Have a look here at this super helpful page by the lovely folks at Cancer Research.

What to expect

I received my letter bearing the joyous news that my Valentine’s Day gift from the NHS was getting the chance to once again place my tits inside a cold x-ray machine which works in a way similar to a workbench vice.  I’m probably not selling this am I?  Bear with me.

So, Valentine’s morn I kiss my spouse goodbye and head to the mobile Breast Screening Unit which looks like the rear end of an articulated lorry and is conveniently parked in the car park at Morrisons so you can go shopping and buy yourself a nice cake or something as a treat for being brave in the unit.  I digress, having been distracted by thoughts of cake.

On arrival I was greeted by a radiologist who took me into a tiny office, confirmed my details and asked a few brief questions; had I noticed any problems and that sort of thing.  After this you get put into a small cubicle where you take your top clothing off (so make sure you wear a top and skirt or trousers rather than a dress!) and your bra and then replace one top to keep you covered.  After a very brief wait, you are then called to the x-ray room where the fun stuff happens.

After you’ve removed your top the radiologist basically positions each breast in turn onto the machine.  The first film is a top to bottom view so the breast is flatted from the top down – a bit like a sandwich toaster.  After this they do the same thing but from side to side.  The whole thing took about 10 minutes and the machine itself is automatic so once she has it in place and ready to go all she has to do is press a button.  The machine whirrs, moves up and down the breast and then releases.

I am not going to say it is the most pleasant thing and the sideways view is a bit mean, but it literally lasts less than 20 seconds.  The NHS mammogram is free at the point of delivery and it does save lives!  You will receive the result within 2 weeks.

What I am saying is – go!  There really is nothing to worry about!


Video:  What it is like to have a mammogram by UK Cancer Research 




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Great Eighty Challenge – Writing Challenge

By on February 9, 2018

A colleague put me on to this amazing website, Third Word Press, where you are challenged to write something but only up to 80 words long.  You can win prizes if you win the challenge your work is included in an anthology which is distributed to the homeless who can sell them to raise funds.  Here is my submission for today:



Later, in the quiet of my room, I will cry my own tears. Later. Not Now. Now I have to deal with the faces; strange, disembodied and tear stained. They claw at my soul, expecting comfort; demanding it! My resources are spent. I am numb, pain-free, floating in space and time. No emotion. If I answer their needs they will diminish and later, in the quiet of my room, I will cry my own tears. Later. Not now.


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Let’s Stand Together On This One

By on February 5, 2018
Stand together

Trans Women should have the support of Feminists

I’ve heard some pretty sad things this week.

I watched this video on   BBC news, and it has been driving me mental for days.

Stand togetherNow I am in no way an expert on ‘gender issues’ (or anything else for that matter) and mostly I don’t care what gender someone is or isn’t just as long as they are not a complete arsehole all is good.  Everything is changing really fast nowadays but  I do try to get my head around it and sometimes I fail.  With that in mind many apologies for any offence with terminology or whatever as it is not intended, these are just my thoughts as they popped into my head whilst watching this video. The thing is the people in this video are people who I would consider should be experts or at least tried to educate themselves past some of the statements that came out during the broadcast.

If people are allowed to choose their own gender it is the same thing as you saying that chair is a giraffe and me not being allowed to contest it.

No, no it really is not. This was a ‘serious feminist argument’ apparently, I don’t even know how to answer this it is just so facile.

If people can self identify (their gender) they will change their gender all the time when it suits ie, men will abuse this to get into women only spaces.

No, no they really won’t. Why would any man who enjoys all the privileges of being a man that this society has to offer want to say they are a woman so they can…what, exactly? Go to a red tent meeting or join the WI? Get real, seriously.

They call it gender, I call it sex.

This from someone who I know was an active and vocal member of the feminist movement back in the ’70s when the whole idea that gender was not determined by biological sex was first being put forward so this came across to me as a pretty disingenuous argument. Surely, we need to stop using the words interchangeably and start calling things what they actually are.

This will allow men to dress as women and get into women’s refuges, rape centres and the like.

And? Again this comes across as if a trans woman is nothing more than a ‘man in a frock’. Maybe they are genuinely confused about the difference between transgender and transvestite. I really doubt this. I also doubt that they have never once seen a male gynaecologist or had a male doctor deal with their ‘ladies problems’. No suggestion of where these women should go if they need to see someone in a rape clinic, need a refuge, or are simply looking for a job for which they happen to be qualified. There are plenty of trans women out there in these spaces, you probably just don’t notice.

Men will dress as women and pretend to be transgendered so they can get in our toilets and either a) rape us or b) get off on listening to us pee.

This was not in the video but I’ve heard this over and over again.  You know what?  A male can hide in a toilet or just about anywhere and rape you.  It isn’t likely to happen in a pub toilet.  You are actually more likely to get raped in your own home or by a male relative or friend that you know and trust. Plus, you know, transgendered women are actually women. Has there even ever been a case of a transwoman raping another woman?   I’d love to know. I’d hazard not because we would certainly have heard about it by now.

And if men want to get off on listening to you pee they have found a multitude of ways to do it up to and including planting cameras in public toilets. I think to go through the whole rigmarole of living and identifying as a woman for years on end, might be taking it a bit far just for a thrill that might last 2 minutes until we get wind of it and kick the holy crap out of them. Also, how many women might be sitting there listening to you pee? Best not take a piss at all.

These women are not real women, they have got to adulthood experiencing all the privilege of being a male and we have experienced a whole lifetime of oppression.  .

OK, first off, no they have not had a lifetimes experience of being born female but then I haven’t had a lifetime of experience of being born into a male body and feeling like a woman. I can, however, experience some sort of empathy by putting myself in their shoes. I cannot understand why some so-called ‘feminists’ are taking such a hard line on this. How hard is it to show some empathy and understanding?

Feminism is about ending sexual discrimination based on biological sex but also inequalities based on gender. We know we often get the shitty end of the stick as women who were born female, imagine then the double whammy you’d get as a trans woman and show some bloody empathy and – better still – some solidarity.

Let’s just stand together.  An injury to one is an injury to all.

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Invisible Woman (Poetry)

By on February 3, 2018
Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman


I am an invisible woman.

Age makes me invisible.

Men no longer call me from buildings or cars.

Men no longer try to touch me uninvited.

I like this.

I enjoy my invisibility.


I am an invisible woman.

But sometimes people see me.

These people want my humour,

My wisdom, my experience.

These people pay genuine compliments

and give heartfelt invitations.

I like this.

But mostly I am invisible.


I am an invisible woman.

I work behind the scenes.

Facilitating others.

The lack-lustre drudge of my life

reflected in the vibrancy of theirs.

But all of this is hidden.

I am mostly invisible.


I am an invisible woman.

Sometimes I am screaming inside.

Sometimes I want to be recognised.

Just for a moment

to pull back the veil and be seen.

But mostly I am just invisible.


I am an invisible woman.

Sometimes like today people see me.

Sometimes they realise where I am,

who I am, what I do.

They appreciate and value.

I like this.

I like the brief moments when I am seen.

But mostly I remain invisible.



More poetry


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The Myth of Choice

By on
Formula 1 choice

Thoughts on the F1 Grid Girls/Darts Girls

aka Save us from the Born-Again ‘Male Feminists’

Essential to the race?

For the record, I’m not bothered either way about the removal of F1 grid girls or any other women carrying signs at sporting events. I personally believe this is a ridiculous practice and does nothing to add to the sports which these days a lot of women also follow as fans.

What is gripping my turd this morning is the number of mainly (but not exclusively) men who mostly give not a jot about real equality banging on about choices for women as if lugging a sign around is actually the height of female achievement.  They are puffing out their chests and acting like they are some kind of born-again feminists (BAMF) while at the same time condemning  feminists of the actual female variety as being rabid and removing women’s choices, males who have consistently supported equality and have been vocal in support of this particular development are ‘pussies’ and so it is essential that they – the born-again male feminists (BAMF)  –  stand in defence of female autonomy. Obviously, if they get to gawp at some tits and ass that’s a bonus.

So suddenly we have all these male voices being raised in support of women’s choices and how all these terrible feminists (and pussy-males) are just ruining life for these women. One chap got quite upset when I suggested tongue-in-cheek that F1 keep the grid girls, added a few well oiled ‘grid boys’ and equalled it up that way. Apparently, there are already men in F1 who are called ‘drivers’. But being a girly I obviously didn’t know that.

It seems that the BAMF viewpoint does not extend to any of these women having wit enough to find another job. Or perhaps that F1 should maybe relocate them into other jobs within the industry. It is also worth noting that this particular choice is determined not by women but by the men in the industry that employ them – ‘the choice’ that these women have will vanish as soon as they no longer fulfil the essential criteria – youth and beauty – when they hit a certain age, or put on a couple of pounds they will be out the door. No one raises an uproar about these women losing their jobs then, oh no.  I mean no one wants to look at a chipped vase…

Maybe all these guys who are suddenly strutting around flexing their BAMF credentials in support of using women as objects to promote motor racing (or darts) should use this as an opportunity to push F1 to reassess what part women actually play in that particular sport. How many women racing drivers are there? What is the proportion of female mechanics? All these men who are suddenly so concerned about women’s right to choose to strut around holding a sign are remarkably silent about our right to choose to enter into traditionally ‘male’ careers or examining why women are so poorly represented within them.

Within a society where gender barriers still exist, how many women would even consider that to be an option that is open to them, or be able to find out how to go about breaking into F1? I know there are plenty of women racing drivers and mechanics out there – how many have managed to get through the glass ceiling into the male bastion of F1 racing?  Do the BAMFs mention any of this?  Nope.  They have raised their voices loud – but only to browbeat any woman (or man) who sticks their head over the parapet to question if we really do actually need this as part of a sporting event in 2018.

This is not about women’s choice, it is about an industry who is intent on utilising power relationships within society to turn a profit. As a friend of mine (a man) said, ‘F1 is basically Nuts Magazine come to life, it’s not really aimed at women, they are just there to act as a bit of décor’.

Some men see this as an attack on them, on their rights to look at women.  And yes, women are lovely to look at.  But time and place.  This is not about individuals looking at attractive, well proportioned young women or men, it is more to do with reducing women to a decorative function at male-dominated events perpetuating unequal gender relationships within society.  No matter how much you dress this up as a choice, this does not promote equality no matter how loudly you shout.

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Life | Relationships

When A Narcissist Threatens to Self Destruct

By on January 29, 2018

The Narcissist, Suicide and Manipulative Control

This is a blog about suicide, or more specifically, people who threaten suicide in order to get what they want. Now suicide is not a trivial matter – if someone is obviously distressed and talking about killing themselves one is quite correct to be concerned and try to get the relevant help for that person.  If this is you or someone you know, get help, do it now! Genuinely mentally ill people will talk about killing themselves, it is a commonly held misconception that most of those people who threaten it won’t go on to do it, in actual fact most people who commit suicide have mentioned it more than once before doing so.   That is what makes the use of suicide threats in order to control others or to gain their sympathy even more abhorrent.

I have lost count of the number of people who have come to me in the course of my life wanting to leave a relationship only to have that person threaten to top themselves.  Now, I’ve been on the receiving end of that myself so I know it is really unpleasant and as much as you may try to rationalise it out, you still think, ‘what if’? And wonder if you would have blood on your hands.  I actually had someone stand at the edge of a cliff once and threaten to jump off.  I left him there.  He didn’t jump.  After this all further threats failed, I  mean, I knew he wasn’t going to do it.  Why kill yourself if you won’t be around to gain the benefits of manipulating and controlling the other person? And even better, get what you want, play the victim and get lots of sympathy from those around you.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great places to watch people and I am an avid people watcher, I also love to figure out what is motivating others (I even turn that insight on myself occasionally too, although some would say not often enough!)  If someone threatens suicide on social media there will be a huge flurry of attention.  The problem is that people only ever see what is in front of them and they don’t really look for trends.  This is a real boon to someone intent on manipulating others and on appearing to be a victim.  And they do it over and over again.

I have literally had people on my social media feed who threaten suicide on an almost bi-monthly basis, and always because someone has given them a boo-boo on their feelings by not doing what they want them to do.  This is particularly the case with interpersonal relationships, where one person kicks over the traces and then gets pissed off because the other person finally has enough – cue whining about how hard done by they are and threats of suicide.  And then all the usual people chip in with what a wonderful person they are,  how they deserve so much better, and what a complete cunt the person who has upset them really is.  Even if the object has distanced themselves, they will use any means possible to get the news through that they *really are* going to do it this time.

So what did I do?

Initially, I took the suicide threats seriously.  I took the person to get help.  He got help.

The suicide threats continued, so I looked for a trend.  Sure enough, when I tried to break free, the old suicide was back on the cards.  So eventually I stopped responding.  I gave him the number for the Samaritans every time he did it.  When I stopped responding, he stopped doing it.  Obviously, he could have topped himself and harsh as it sounds ultimately that was his choice, and there was little I could really do to stop that.  Frankly,  from their viewpoint, there really is no point of not being there to see your attempts to manipulate and control pay off.    I honestly believe that most of these manipulative dickheads are far too full of themselves and far too selfish to put themselves out of our misery.

So I look at these repetitive, ‘oh, someone has been mean so I may as well kill myself’ posts and fight the urge to ask if they want a knife, a rope or some arsenic.  But that’s because I am a bad person and probably a narcissist’s worse nightmare.


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I’ve Lost The Ability to Say “F*CK IT”!

By on January 27, 2018

Or, When did I get so gutless?

Now I know that last year, 2017, I was completely spoiled by the epic amount of world travelling I was fortunate enough to do.  I know am blessed in so many ways right down to the geographical location of my birth and my race (if not my gender!).  This alone opened many doors that would otherwise have been closed to me.  I have too many blessing to even list.  I am the first to admit that this particular blog post is pretty much a white, middle-aged, middle-class moan about “first world problems”. Frankly, most of the population of the planet has more pressing matters to attend to.

To my husband and friends who read this – no this is not about you!  Essentially it is about wondering why I’ve become totally gutless in my approach to life.

I suppose this is partly the menopause which – it is said – encourages one to sift through all your mental garbage bags.  As part of that process, I suddenly realised that most of my adult life, if not all of it, I have always done what needed to be done.  I have always taken on responsibility for meeting the needs of daily life for myself and others around me.  Oftentimes this means not being able to follow my own dreams but on the plus side, it means others can follow theirs by default.

I think that facilitating others is a laudable and generally very good thing.  If you are currently doing this, well done.  If you are currently being facilitated by someone else, well done.  Be sure to show your appreciation.  I am all for people following dreams, picking and choosing what they want to do.  I’d just like to have a fair crack of the whip myself.

I know that part of this is watching people walk away from various hideous aspects of their lives – be that a relationship or a dead end job –  and then looking and feeling so much better for it.  I can’t help thinking that I can only get out of this stagnant rut by leaping, creating a vacuum and letting that get filled.  Maybe I need a kick up the arse, some real motivation to change my daily existence.

Maybe my desire to just say, ‘fuck it’, hop in my van and only come back when others have sorted out the fall out would actually pan out OK.




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2018 Stole My Mojo

By on January 20, 2018

2018 stole my Mojo and I really need it back!

I had all sorts of plans at the end of 2017.   I was going to hit the ground running.  Sadly, mother nature arrived with a virus so the tail end of 2017/early part of 2018 began with a case of the lethargies and the sniffles.  My mojo well and truly left the building but that said, I anticipated its return and made my 2018 plans.

I don’t really do resolutions because I rarely keep them and why set myself up to fail?  Instead, I highlight a few mores and lesses I want to focus on.  This year I decided that if I actually focused on the ‘mores’ I was more likely to stick to the plan, plus the ‘mores’ would probably bring about the ‘lesses’ by default.  I am hoping this makes sense.  It makes sense to me.

Anyway, I decided, I needed more things that would make me feel less stressed and happier:

  • More travel, at home and abroad.  This is a must.  That old bucket list is not going to tick itself off.
  •  I certainly want to maintain more personal connections this year and re-establish old ones in real life that I am connected with on Facebook.
  •  I am hoping more travelling will lead to more opportunities for photography which I really enjoy.
  • More focus on healthy living – better diet, more regular habits, time management, more exercise and better sleep.  I enjoy and benefit from these things but for some reason, they are always the first to go.
  • I also get mentally bored really fast so I want to get down and do some studying this year.


The saying is ‘less is more’, in this case, I am hoping that ‘more is going to be less’ and the less that I really do need is less stress!

  • More focus on a healthy lifestyle = less stress.
  • More travelling, photography, connections with folks I like and value = less stress


And my major LESS was work.  I work 24 hours a week in employment, but I regularly have to pull 12 hour days for freelancing and my aim at the end of 2017 was that this really does need to stop.  I can’t afford to give up the freelance work, especially if I want to travel, but I can organise myself better and start saying no.  This should lead to a lot less stress.

So, what has gone wrong?  I am stressed.  My mojo is still somewhere else, hopefully on a sun-drenched beach sipping a cocktail.

Essentially, the work thing has not panned out as I had hoped.  I have been pulling 12 hour days at least twice a week since the off.  I am now also studying for a degree in Psychology which is requiring a certain amount of time and I really want to do this, it has been on hold since 2012!   Rightly or wrongly, I mostly feel like my life has continued to be a series of incessant demands with no time to take a breath.

2018 is only 20 days old and I am still minus one mojo and mostly just as exhausted as I was before.  I am coming down with stuff like sore throats, mouth ulcers and a few days ago I had the first IBS flare up I have had in months.  I am grumpy.    My (almost) overwhelming desire at the moment is to pack my stuff, get in my van and drive off, camping up for a week and spending time in nature and sleeping.

It has to change and has to stop.  I have no idea how.



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First Impressions

By on January 5, 2018
first impressions

I am a big believer in first impressions and I have often acted on connections with individuals that felt positive on a first meeting. I’ve rarely misled myself on this. However, I am more reluctant to follow my gut when my first impression is one of dislike. Instead, I have to ask myself, is this feeling of instant dislike more to do with me that it is with them?

I rarely find myself in the situation where my first impression of someone causes me to actually recoil from them, but it did happen to me last year for the first time in many years. I decided to withhold final judgement because I honestly could not understand why they had been so brusque toward me or why they felt speaking to me like a disapproving ageing aunt was in order. Perhaps I imagined it? If I hadn’t (and I hadn’t, I just tend to second guess myself and give people the benefit of the doubt) perhaps it was a bad day. I examined my own behaviour. I had actually not directly interacted with this person, there was just a general group conversation happening and they had decided to be – well, weird.

So fast forward 6 months or so and just before Christmas I find myself in this person’s company again. Not by choice, I hasten to add, however, there were other people there I wanted to spend time with that I do like and so I approached it with an open mind and equally openly spirited, only to find that for some reason I remain persona non grata as far as they are concerned.

However, on this occasion I was sober and they were not and it soon became more than apparent as to why this is the case. I have rarely met anyone so insecure, mainly with themselves but of course, that then extends out towards others around them including any significant other they may have. There was a lot of trying too hard, wanting to be the centre of attention and fending off non-existent ‘threats’ to this.

I think the reason I felt such an instant dislike to this person from the first time we met is simply that I totally relate to all of those emotions and I have behaved in similar ways myself in the past – although (I hope) not to that extent because some of the expressions of control that were aimed at their partner based, I presume,  on their own fear of abandonment I found really difficult to watch.  I know that in the past I could so easily have become that person.

So now I don’t feel quite so angsty about them, mainly because I recognise that those feelings are there because they are mirroring a potential aspect of my own personality I don’t like very much.  I hope that they can develop a sense of their own self-worth and be happy with themselves and their loved one. It is hard – I should know – to learn to love yourself, to do that work and continue to do it because, frankly, you tend to backslide, or I do at least.

That said, I shall be trusting my first impression, I shan’t be totally avoiding them but I certainly will not be seeking them out!


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