Category: Opinions and rants

Twit of the Day – silly swimwear buyers, sellers and designers

Being, as I am, on a holiday tip and also being, as I am, less slim than last time I went on holiday, I’ve been shopping online for bikinis. My criteria is simple – minimal tan lines and enough fabric to cover more than my pubic region. What most people would look for in a bikini, no?

ASOS seemingly has other ideas!

All those straps, you’d look ridiculous after a day of sunbathing!

Strappy bikini top

Good luck with wearing a low neck top after sunbathing in this.

Crossover bikini top

Silly bottoms.

I’m no prude but this is verging on indecent.

Strappy bikini bottoms

 

What happens when you wear a strappy top at night or a different style bikini the next day and you’ve got white bands on your arms?

Off shoulder bikini

It’s nice for clothes to be decorative and pretty rather than purely functional, but really?

I probably shouldn’t single out ASOS as I’m sure this kind of daftness is prevalent in many high street shops too.

Is it just me? Or is this just silly?

Twits!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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I feel like I’m in mourning

Dramatic? Yes.

Truthful? Absolutely!

I’m shocked, saddened and angered by the Brexit vote. I expected it to be close, but I didn’t think people would actually follow through with it and vote against stability, certainty and security.

It feels like we’re in freefall.

I’m genuinely worried for the future. We have no allies now. No-one who wants to back us up. Except maybe America if that buffoon Trump gets voted in (which I would say is a very real possibility). So we’re basically a terrorist target and I wouldn’t be surprised if Russia comes sniffing around as well.

Some interesting statistics:

HOW AGES VOTED (YouGov poll)

18-24: 75% Remain

25-49: 56% Remain

50-64: 44% Remain

65+: 39% Remain

I read an article earlier this week about an older man who voted based on what his 17 year old grandson (who wasn’t eligible to vote) wanted. As he said, the younger generation have a lot longer to live with the results. I think that was a very noble and wise decision (perhaps some other older voters should have considered doing something similar).

Here’s the split, in case you haven’t seen it.

EU referendum how the UK voted

I predict that there will be another Scottish referendum and they’ll vote to leave the UK – and who can blame them? In fact I think we’re taking a liberty calling ourselves the “United Kingdom” anymore because this decision is clearly going to split our home nation.

I don’t blame David Cameron for resigning,  but the thought of bumbling Boris as leader of our country scares me to death.

The MD of the company I work for is taking some solace in the Article 50 side of things; in that until it’s invoked (which David Cameron is saying he won’t do during his remaining term) then proceedings won’t begin and that buys us more time. I wouldn’t be so sure. European leaders are calling for a swift clean exit. It’s going to be an acrimonious split for sure.

I feel terribly terribly sad. Bereft, even.

And the price of wine is predicted to rise…

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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5 things about the EU Referendum vote, on An historical and potentially life changing day

I’ve posted before on why I think the EU Referendum is a bad idea. If you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, the summary is that the general British public are too stupid to make a fully informed decision. I realise that’s a sweeping generalisation, but as today has gotten ever closer I’ve been very alarmed by some of the comments and opinions I’ve heard from the average Joe Bloggs.

My vote is cast and I’m 100% certain I’ve chosen the right option.

UK EU referendum ballot box

For the record, and because I’m in no way ashamed or protective of my decision, I’m firmly in the Vote Remain camp. This is based on personal circumstances, commercial circumstances and what I believe is the right move for Britain. I truly believe in stronger together.

Some people hold their personal political beliefs very close to their chest, and I very much understand that. It can cause hostility. Last year I got into a conversation in a bar with a man I didn’t know following the General Election. We were chatting merrily about all sorts of things, and the conversation turned to politics. When I revealed that I’d voted for the Conservative party in the Election, he literally turned his back on me and wouldn’t speak another word. This was a man in his 60s! Very immature and extreme behaviour, but indicative of how strongly some people feel.

I don’t believe in trying to influence people’s voting choice as it is a very personal decision. But when people are quite blatantly being uneducated and voting for ridiculous reasons I admit to “pointing things out” (you may have noticed, if you read this blog regularly, that I’m rather opinionated and vocal!) The husband, on the other hand, has been quite vociferous in his disdain for people voting in the opposite camp to him (even his own Mom!) and last night he seemed to be on a one man social media political tirade. Having said that, he had a horrendous few years where he got involved in a forced company buyout and making redundancies during the last recession, so he’s keen to avoid the threat of another economic downturn. His methods might be questionable (the phrase “uneducated idiot” has been used more than once) but his intentions are good.

Here are 5 things I’ve either thought, heard or read during the lead up to the referendum:

Thought: Boris Johnson – great as a guest presenter on Have I Got News For You, not great as a Prime Minister (also, as commented by a friend, how can you trust a man who can’t even control his hair to control the country?)

Heard: Various stories of people who want to retire to Spain but are voting out (WHAT????) Or even people who have second/holiday homes in Spain but also intend to vote out “because Spain needs our income for their economy so they’ll be kind to us”. Good luck with that.

Read: “Not everyone who votes out is racist, but everyone who is racist will vote out.” I’m alarmed by how many people are using immigration as their sole reason for voting out. All immigrants seem to be put into the same category, when of course there are massive differences. Leaving the EU won’t stop illegal immigration because, by it’s very nature, people don’t need permission to do it. Also, economic migrancy is different to fleeing-your-home-country-due-to-war migrancy. And many migrants who come here are non-EU members anyway (e.g Syria). There seems to be an opinion that we’ll leave the EU and there’ll be no more “bloody foreigners” coming in. Ridiculous. Also, why is it that people who come to the UK are immigrants, but when British people move abroad they’re ex-pats?

Thought: Many people who want to “Take Back Control” (and if you watched the BBC debate with Boris Johnson and Gisela Stuart on Tuesday night you’ll fully understand why that statement grates on me – it was uttered every other bloody sentence) actually dislike the Tory government. So by voting out they’re relinquishing their secondary support network to stop the Tories doing exactly what they want in the country, as the Tories will have sole control. There’ll be no European intervention around maximum hours and human rights, for example.

FACT: If we leave, the EU member states are under no obligation to negotiate favourable trade deals with the UK. There seems to be this arrogant notion that Europe needs to trade with us and will be fair. Really? Put it this way, If someone told me they no longer wanted to be my friend, but they’d come on a night out with me when they wanted to, I’d tell them to bog off. Europe is more likely to make an example of us by making life difficult in order to discourage other member states from leaving. The company I work for does a lot of business in Europe. In contrast, when we ship to non-EU member country Norway, we pay 25% duty. Multiply that by 27 other EU member states and that becomes a big problem to UK businesses who currently have a large European market. And that’s assuming that they don’t impose even higher duties and trade restrictions.

In truth, anyone who enjoys holidays and travel, works for a company who trades in Europe or enjoys the current low mortgage rates from the Bank of England would be a hypocrite to vote out, because you’re making life more difficult for yourself. There is no evidence to prove that leaving the EU is good for Britain. Our Prime Minister thinks we should stay, leading Captains of Industry think we should stay, and the President of America; arguably the most powerful man in the world, thinks we should stay. Pretty compelling.

More to the point, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump think we should leave. That in itself is all the evidence I need.

On that note, I’m off to collect my holiday Euros, which I bought in advance for fear that the unthinkable happens and the exchange rate goes tits!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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Anger management and Pretty Woman

Remember the scene in Pretty Woman where Vivian and Edward are in the bath, and he’s talking about being angry?

“I was very angry with my Father. It took $10,000 in therapy for me to say that, I do it very well, don’t I? I’ll say it again. Hello, my name is Mr Lewis and I’m very angry with my father”

Pretty Woman very angry

It doesn’t take therapy or thousands of dollars or even having a bath with Julia Roberts for me to realise I’m an angry person. I go through phases, and sometimes it’s completely irrational, but there you have it!

Some things that have made me angry recently:

  • The sentencing in the high profile US rape case (you can read yesterday’s post about it ICYMI). As more details come to light, including a defence letter written by Turner’s friend who claims it wasn’t rape, it was just alcohol and that the judge shouldn’t be so politically correct, the more angry I get.
  • Idiot drivers (to be fair this happens most days, I have a 30 mile motorway commute to work and the inability of some people to drive like a sensible human being astounds me regularly)
  • Rude drivers (seriously, you drive badly and then have the cheek to flick me the bird?)
  • Stupid decisions made by people who should know better
  • My appearance, more specifically why have I allowed myself to gain more weight than I would like but yet I still can’t stop eating (mmm, food)
  • The Stradivarius website for not making it clear how to return an order
  • Reports of restaurants and businesses still turning away Guide Dog owners from their premises (I work in the sight loss industry and it’s amazing and astonishing how many people still flout the law)
  • My arrogant downstairs neighbours and their annoying offspring who seem insistent on spoiling my peace and quiet
  • The people who think it was ok to break into my friends car and steal his possessions that he worked hard for
  • Life in general. Yes, sometimes I’m just angry with life!

Back to Pretty Woman, which most definitely does not make me angry. It’s my favourite film of all time, I can pretty much speak all of the dialogue when I’m watching it (which is a real treat for whoever’s with me at the time, obvs). Not so long back I posted a pic from the polo match scene on Instagram and my friend Ellen and I (Hi Ellen!) had a “quote off”. There was not one phrase or saying that Ellen posted that I didn’t immediately recognise and could place within the film. It’s an achievement I’m strangely proud of.

It’s a bit of a funny film really, when you look at it overall, because although it’s a romantic fairytale, let’s not forget that Vivien is a lady of the night and Edward pays her for sex. So, at it’s core, it’s a cheap tale of a rich man exploiting a young girl for sex.

But it’s so great!

I recently read an article on alternative film endings; details of what the director planned originally. The Pretty Woman one broke my heart to even think about! Can you even imagine?!

The screenwriter J.F. Lawton revealed that the original ending was “completely different”. Firstly, they don’t end up together; even worse Edward drags Vivian from his car, throwing her onto Hollywood Boulevard, where he first picked her up. He then chucks money at her, saying: “You’ll regret it tomorrow if you don’t take it. You’ll regret it the minute I drive away.” Lawson added: “The film ends with Kit [Vivian’s prostitute friend] and Vivian on a bus bound for Disneyland… with Kit anticipating a fun day financed by Vivian’s week with Edward, as Vivian stares out emptily ahead.”

You can read the rest of the alternative endings on the Glamour Magazine website.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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A shocking miscarriage of “justice” against women

There are so many things wrong with the story that I’m posting about today that I can’t even fully articulate how I feel about it.

http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/06/stanford-swimmer-brock-allen-turner-sentenced.html

In case you haven’t seen it or don’t have time to read it, let me give you a précis.

A student went to a party, got very drunk (by her own admission) and then woke up in hospital having been sexually assaulted by a student behind a rubbish bin. She had no recollection of the assault, or the perpetrator, but luckily two passers by had seen the attack and dragged him off, keeping him pinned to the floor until the police arrived.

So far, so standard, right? I mean that not all flippantly. But unfortunately this is not an unusual story. Too many males of the species seem to think that a drunk woman is fair game for them to treat as they please. Thank god for the passers by, who not only reported it, but actually got physically involved to ensure the attacker was caught.

Here’s where the story gets nasty, and the victim of the attack gets assaulted all over again. Despite an overwhelming 100% guilty verdict by the jury, the attacker was sentenced to just 6 months in prison. To put that into context, the maximum sentence the judge could have passed for the crimes he was found guilty of was 14 years.

Miscarriage of justice

The reasoning the judge has given for his leniency is that this was the attacker’s first crime, and that a lengthy incarceration would have a sever impact on him.

Yes, that’s right, the judge is considering the feelings of the attacker over the victim.

At this point it’s probably worth noting that the attacker is a white male, a privately educated student with a promising swimming career ahead of him. He hopes to become an Olympian.

It’s also worth noting that the judge is an ex student of the same university.

I don’t necessarily believe white privilege is a thing, and I certainly believe it’s bandied about recklessly and inappropriately by those wishing to excuse their own behaviour, but in this case it seems a worthy explanation. If this was a black guy with previous convictions from the wrong side of the tracks, I have no doubt that the sentence would have been more severe. But the crime would have been the same. The effect on the victim would have been the same.

Incidentally, the victim has done everything she can not to be a victim. She stood up in court and faced the scumbag who tried to take away her dignity and privacy that night and she read a 7000 word statement detailing what she has been through and how it has made her feel. That statement has been released publicly and you can read it here. I implore you to do so. It’s lengthy and at times hard going, but it’s honesty and rawness should be read my men and women alike. A sexual assault isn’t just something a woman can get over, whether justice is served or not. It will remain with her, in one form or another, forever. It will shape her future, regardless of how she tries to not let it.

What we are seeing here is another example of the feelings and rights of women not being taken seriously. Instead, the attacker – who’s name is Brock Allen Turner – has the law on his side, despite he fact that he broke it. The judge said he doesn’t believe Turner is a future risk. Really? Because giving him the message that he can rape a woman with little recourse for his actions certainly raises a green flag for him to believe that his behaviour wasn’t “all that bad”. Further not helped by his deluded and arrogant father, who asked the judge not to throw away his son’s future on the basis of “20 minutes of action” during his 20 years of life. I kid you not. “20 minutes of action”. If that’s not a living breathing misogynistic pig then I don’t know what is. He points out that his son, who likes to cook, hardly eats anymore, and will never be his previous happy go lucky self. Really? That’s a defence?

He also believes his son can play a powerful role in spreading the message about excessive drinking and promiscuity.

Let’s be clear here. There was no promiscuity. This was a predatory and non consensual attack. Let’s also stop any suggestion that the victim “deserved it” because she has been drinking. She did not invite this attack. She did not want or choose to be violated. She shouldn’t have to apologise for being drunk. She shouldn’t have to apologise for anything.

There’s a petition in place to recall the Judge on account of his appallingly bad sentencing and inability to understand the severity of not only the case, but his leniency.

Please sign.
Thanks, as always, for reading. x

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What a waste of money (Twits of the Day)

Budgeting is tough, as is deciding what to spend money on (and what not to spend it on!) When you’ve worked hard for your cash, you want the best return possible – whether that’s new clothes, a nice holiday, or good food.

What about on a bigger scale though? Public spending of taxpayers money? I’d certainly never want a budgeting job at local or national level, but still you’d think the same rules would apply. What’s the best way to spend this public money, that taxpayers have worked hard for, to contribute to the running of the country? Waste of money

(image from blog.mint.com)

Which is why the Conservative Party is my Twit of the Day for spending £9 million (yes, million) on creating, printing and posting a 14 page booklet to every home in the UK outlining the reasons why we as a nation should vote to stay in the EU. Baring in mind that the yes and no brigades have already been given an allocation of public cash to deliver their message and fight their corner, this is both unfair and a blatant misuse of funds.

I’ll just repeat that figure in case you missed it. £9 million.

Think of the old people in care who’ve had to sell their homes and livelihood to fund their aging needs in sub standard accommodation with poorly trained carers.

Think of the junior doctors who only want a fair wage for an amazing job but are being screwed over by Jeremy Hunt.

Think of the homeless people who will be sleeping on the cold wet streets because they have no roof over their head.

Bu that’s ok. Because it’s really important we all get pushed in the direction the “yes” brigade want.

Here are some more appalling wastes of public money I’ve come across recently.

Where I live, most of the roads have a 30 mph speed limit. Birmingham Council has spent £3 million to change a whole load of local roads to a lower 20 mph speed limit. This involves new road signs and not a lot else, as far as I can tell. Locals have been complaining that people aren’t adhering to the new speed limits. Know why? Because they’re not enforceable by the police. They’re a guideline. You can’t be prosecuted for not sticking to them, because they’re not law. Way to go with the that £3 mill, Birmingham.

Remember when New Zealand voted whether to keep the existing flag, or change to the silver fearn design? That referendum cost NZ$26m (£12m). And they kept the old flag after all.

Now I’m not an economist or an accountant, but really? Are government finance departments run by buffoons?

Actually, I think we all know the answer to that.

TWITS!

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

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