Saturday, 5 December 2015

More than Words...

I’ve been through the clichéd experience of ‘finding myself’
recently, but before you start thinking I made a choice to go through this experience- no - I was dragged, kicking and screaming.  And, my version of ‘finding myself’ was not a search for the meaning of life, or long restful days meditating, or travelling, or any of those quite nice pathways to finding oneself.  My version of finding myself was instigated by my life just imploding, and me actually trying to find myself out of the scattered remnants.
When one’s life is shattered it quickly becomes clear what is truly important and what drives one to despair.  My loved ones have the capacity to lift me up and carry me through hard times and the power to totally destroy me.  Sometimes strength simply must be found from within; no-one can or should carry you forever. 
I have learned how much I depend on my loved ones and how much they depend on me, but this is not the full lesson.  The full lesson is that while my loved ones have the power to wound me with unkind words, I too have the power to hurt them with mine.  So when I felt hurt by words and festered away on them and let them boil in my mind, I took the time to imagine someone dear to me feeling the same way about some words I may have said. 
When you know your own intent, and inside feelings it’s horrible to think that someone may be affected by your words in a way that you never intended.  Assumptions are made that loved ones know you so intimately that they know more than words, they know the 'inside you' so they could never misunderstand your intent.
So how can I avoid making people I love feel bad?  I don’t want to bruise anybody’s soul. I’m especially bad at talking first and thinking later,  but if I censor myself will I still be the same person?  And who am I really?  Am I who I think I am, or who others think I am?  For instance I've heard quite a lot that I am 'harsh' which makes part of my insides ache, but I have to accept having heard it enough times that that must be how I come across.  So this must be a word about who I am even if I don't feel like that inside.  
What can I do with the bad things said to, or about me?  What do these words look like all together?  It’s easy to fall into the trap of blaming others for hurting you, but by contrast, defending yourself vehemently when the finger of blame is pointed in your direction. 
In an attempt to be my own guidance counselor I decided to write all the words about me down.  Luckily I'm blessed enough to have amazing friends and family who also say nice words about me, better words than I'd use to describe myself.  I gave myself a reasonable amount of space on a big piece of paper and started writing.  At first it was slow going, I wondered whether I could successfully fill the space.  I wrote words I thought about myself, words other people had said to me, words that are labels applied to me, bad words about me, and good words about me.  By the time I was finished I realised I had filled the space but could have carried on. 
There are a lot of words about me, and I didn’t feel bad about them at all.  They are part of what makes me a whole and truly authentic being. Having just nice words about me would be nice, but it would be only part of the picture. Words can hurt, and words can heal, but they are just words. They are words about me that tell a story, and I’m happy with how my story is going.   

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Business Workshop...

Today I attended a business workshop organised by the Bank.  It’s
not my thing really to attend workshops and I can say that after 18 years of business it’s probably the second one I’ve ever attended.  I sort of got bullied into going by my very persuasive bank manager.  She’s a congenial woman and won me over with her non judgmental ways when she first met me and my husband.  On paper our portfolio probably looked good(not so much anymore) and I imagine she understandably expected to be meeting a more suitably attired couple  than me and my husband who were dressed in shorts, t-shirts and jandals.  Her shock was over in the blink of an eye and since then she has only ever treated us with respect which we return in kind.  Well actually I guess my emails could be seen as slightly offensive but she tells me that she laughs out loud at them and seems to take them in the spirit they were intended.  Jo’s been kind and helpful over the years, bless her, and consistently emailed me about attending their ‘biz’ workshops (see the way the shorten business to biz to make it look cool and fun?),which I feign interest in and then never sign up to.  This time she caught me off guard and called me.  She applied ever so slightly more pressure than usual and pointed out it was about cash flow and profitability.  I tried to fend her off by telling her that I was actually pretty fucking good at managing cash flow but that I just actually needed cash in order to do that.  She stuck to her guns and then delivered the final blow- there’d be wine and food for free.  Sign me up I said, after all I was in no position to parry with Jo, she held all the cards.  I made sure she understood I wasn’t going to turn up dressed like a generic business idiot and act all professional and inhuman- I’m not selling my soul for profit, I’m a human being!   
I’m not really sure what to expect when I turn up to the golf club for the workshop.  A lot of what I do expect is there.  The staff from the bank- not just the normal staff, the upper echelon- their uniforms are clearly higher quality signifying their higher importance.  Name badges and a list of attendees are neatly lined up on a table (complete with white tablecloth) by the entrance and I’m greeted by overly enthusiastic smiles of the staff.  The standard set up of tables and chairs with glasses and a jug of water on each, and the nervous tension of a bunch of strangers accumulating in groups in the room.  There’s coffee available to the side and eventually some sweet accompaniments.  I’m fortunate to sit down next to a pleasant and friendly girl who’s fresh into business but not a ‘climb to the top at any cost’ unbearable type.  The speaker starts making herself known by confidently approaching and making polite but purposed chit-chat.  Is it our first time she wants to know, and if so why.  I honestly tell her- it’s not really my thing.  She fixes a confident and challenging gaze on me, slightly tilts her head to the side and asks “why is it not your thing”?  Bitch!  I know her game.  She thinks I’m going to squirm and laugh, or look away and say something stupid like “oh I don’t know”.  Well she’s messing with the wrong lady.  I look straight back at her and  take my time to respond, I want the pause to linger in my intent gaze.  I confidently deliver my response “Workshops are just not my vibe”, which is the softer version of “eat shit bitch”.  She nods, says “OK” and turns away- she knows immediately that it is now futile to try and win me over.
The presentation begins with an introduction by another of the banking hierarchy, an old guy resplendent in his high quality, well tailored shirt and trousers in the bank colours.  The Bitch’s name is Shaz- short for Sharon.  We’re told that she used to be a personal trainer and that she would be making us exercise today (groan- I hate that shit at conferences). Over to Shaz.  Well Shaz comes to the crowd like a boxer to the ring.  She’s talking the talk and garnering the attention of an enthusiastic crowd. She’s from the UK and not from a good part she tells us, she’s proud, like hers is an amazing rags to riches story.  She does have the look of a polished ordinary stone, the aggressive very straight front teeth with short fangs either side, and the prominent sinewy muscles shown off so well in her quite tight uniform.  Shaz clearly likes to wear her uniform tight, the buttons of her shirt are straining and her skirt hugs her personal trainer turned banker body which she concedes is now under exercised.  On closer inspection one can see the tattoo, on her lower right calf muscle, showing through her stockings.  She wears a statement ring on her left ring finger.  It’s a thick band probably nearly a centimetre wide studded all over with what looks like diamonds.  I’m picking they are diamonds because this bitch means business; she wants people to see she’s kicking ass.  Still, she tries to pull off the ‘I’m cool and casual at the same time’ look by teaming her uniform with glossy purple flats and by wearing her blond hair in a casual bun.  She tells the crowd she’s managed pubs and nightclubs in the rough part of the UK so don’t mess with her.  I don’t doubt she’s tough and could be scary, but I’d rather she punched me in the face than use her powers for the soul less work she’s doing now.
Shaz starts talking about business profit and cash flow which is all pretty straight forward and boring.  I have to admit she’s a good, clear speaker that can keep an audience focused. Occasionally she chucks bags of jellybeans into the crowd for clever questions and answers- she’s shit at throwing.  I soften towards her when she talks about how creative people like her look at a spreadsheet for a bit and then go “nah, I’m bored I’ll check out Facebook and see what’s happening” , I can relate to that.  Shaz keeps banging on about delivering a ten star experience.  She brings it up every twenty minutes or so “are we all having a ten star experience?” She raises her arms as she says it and the vibe gets a bit like an Amway conference, I’m almost expecting some inspirational music to start-‘Simply the best’.  At the end of her talk she gets us some forms to fill out, feedback on the workshop we’ve just attended.  She reminds us that we’ve just experienced a ten star experience, I give her an eight.

Finally it’s time for the promised free drinks and food, and it’s well worth the wait.  With my glass of Sav I wash down a beef with blue cheese sauce slider, a crumbed prawn, and deep fried Camembert.  There was more food, almost as much as you could want and perhaps the best finger food I’ve ever had at an event such as this. I have a very enjoyable chat with Jo and the new business girl I met at my table.  I take the bank pen and name tag home with me.  Fuck Shaz, she tried to out bitch me but I met her bitch and raised her one.  I’m up for another Bank workshop though; they’ve got the money to cater the best food around, even if I do have to listen to Shaz the bank bitch. 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Cover Letter

I've been running a very enjoyable experiment lately and I think the results of it may lead to a great book in the future.  After being self employed for 18 years I've decide to cast my net out and see what new things I could do employment wise.  I don't want to pretend to be someone I'm not to get a job so I've decided to portray myself exactly as I am in hopes that someone will feel my vibe and snap me up.  It hasn't happened yet but the process has been very enjoyable.  Here's a sneak peek at one of my cover letters, let me know if you'd like to see all of them in a book in the future.  There's fourteen so far...( the yellow highlighted parts are where I have changed names in order to protect identity)

Mysterious date

Big Corporation

Generic Spectacle shop- Customer Service Assistant

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to apply to be considered for your advertised role as Customer Service Assistant.  I came across your advertisement on Internet Job Site and hope that you will take a small amount of your time to look at my CV and consider my suitability for the position.

I am a reliable and sure sighted worker who does not discriminate against those that are struggling with deficient eyes.  With smiles and understanding I will select with a flourish just the right set of specs for my poor sighted fellow human beings.  Customers that walk in like they are playing a game of pin the tail on the donkey will leave like they are strutting their stuff on Saturday Night Fever. 

 I’ve got skills, they’re multiplying, but I’m not losing control.  With 20/20 vision my experience includes accounts management, payroll, contract negotiations, memo writing, website development, sales, customer service, inventory control, dispute resolution, meeting organisation, social gathering organisation and many other tasks.

I think the nature of this role you are advertising really suits my skill set especially my communication skills and my aging and degenerating eyes.  I have gained strength, confidence and resilience in my years as a business woman which has ensured that along with parenting I am now a battle hardened human being. I adapt easily to new environments and get along with people well.  I like to think I am pretty fast at picking up new skills too.  I would be wide eyed with delight if you would consider me for this position as I believe I have the foresight to deliver high quality advice for your clients.   I am an easy going and fun girl who doesn’t mind being bossed about.  On the other hand I am also good at working independently since I have been my own boss for most of my working life. 

I have enclosed my CV, which is a real representation of me. It shows some of my skills (I gather you don’t want to know about my amazing cooking and parenting) but I believe I have the skills to take on most challenges, I’m resourceful.  

Thanks for reading this far, I hope to hear from you and maybe do some talking,

Yours faithfully

Plum Lovely
Brown eyed Girl

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Chewing the Fat on Diet

I've talked about the fanatical 'Paleo Diet' and how it's consuming peoples fascination with what they put in their mouth holes before.  If you missed it and want to laugh at these food freaks then click just here and read all about it.  Who could miss the onslaught of helpful diet tips and trends which seem to ooze from every available media platform, reminding us that if we change our ways we too can become happy, slim, fit, glowing, and successful, pretty much any thing we could ever dream of.  From Insty to Facebook to Pinterest, you can find more information about clean eating and weight loss miracle cures than you could ever need - pouring out at you. 
 But just like the ice cream ads you see on the sides of buses or on TV these diets are almost always advertised by hot, young, slim models(fat people just don't look as alluring licking ice creams).  One is led to believe that they have found the answer to the pesky fat issue and are now living the dream life.  The truth is more likely to be that they have just always been that way, rather than the more unlikely idea that they are more disciplined than their fat, lazy, more unsuccessful counterparts.
 Time and time again what's noticeable with these amazing new diets is that more often than not they are touted by people with a rudimentary at best knowledge of nutrition and diet. What they do have a huge helping of is confidence and narcissism all wrapped up with some technical terms like carbs, protein, gluten, portion control, trans fats, ketosis, detox, and other smart sounding words. They know very little about these terms which they toss around like a big expert diet salad. These tactics are all designed to make the deliverer appear to be some kind of expert and also to make a quite simple situation appear so complex that one could not possibly choose what to eat without consulting a self proclaimed expert.  

What could happen if one was to eat the wrong thing?! Maybe one would die young, get bloated, feel lethargic, suffer from thin hair- the list is endless... Take a deep breath and relax everyone, let Plum put you back on the right track. Now I know what you might be thinking- oh she thinks she's an expert now.  Well- I'm not- but what I do have under my belt is five chemistry papers(one of them food chemistry) some psychology study and a pretty decent dose of common sense and great arts of observation.  So feast your eyes on my words of wisdom and free yourself from fad diets forever.

Here are a few things I learned about our body weight- its highly heritable, highly unlikely that you can successfully maintain a significant long term weight loss, and not true that overweight people are of any weaker will than slim people.  In other words- slim people are not more successful at self control around food than overweight people and nor are they necessarily healthier.  Click the links if you are outraged and craving proof.  I'm not going to go into it here because - the truth is out there.  I know the heritability factor will have some of you dining out on ideas of how crazy I must be so I am going to knock that one off the menu right now.  If we accept that our genes control our, eye colour, hair colour and height, then surely we must be able to accept that maybe they're going to have an impact on our big butts, guts and thighs right?  And if you're not going to ask someone to fight their genes for height and become shorter or vice versa then you also shouldn't expect someone with a genetic tendency to gain weight to change the recipe of their complex metabolic system and magically become thin either.  
Now I know you're thinking 'oh well, has everyone got the gene for obesity then since half the world is suffering from it'?  OK smarty pants- if you have a complex gene structure that results in you easily gaining weight (which by the way would be a damn good thing if food supplies were not reliable)it's still not going to be able to express itself in an absence of abundant food.  That's right- you don't just see half the starving people in third world countries wandering around all obese with nothing to eat.  But if you take a population (and this has been studied) out of that environment and into one with abundant food supplies you would see that some of them would remain of slim build and some would get fat. 

So, what is the problem then?  Well according to all the aforementioned health gurus its very likely to be one of these evil things- gluten, carbs, sugar, dairy, inorganic meat, just meat, toxic liver, processed food etc, etc.  And how can we fix it all? Chia seeds, protein, fasting, detox, coconut oil, eating out of jars(wtf?), paleo diet, blah, blah, blah...Lets get one thing sorted out here- sugar is actually what the body lives on, ever heard of blood sugar levels and how important that is?  Without sugar your brain is going to starve to death( I think that's part of the problem for some of these anti sugar guru's). 
 Don't get me wrong- I'm definitely not saying go and load yourself up on highly processed sugar but what I am saying is that those of you who think that you are all pure and clean because you 'quit' sugar - you're full of sugar baby and your body is licking that gold star energy up.  If you think mincing dates up and using them is replacing sugar- you're wrong- those things are sweet because of sugar.  Processed sugar is just food processed enough to remove only the sugar- so coconut sugar is sugar from the coconuts palm, rice malt syrup is sugar from rice you get it?  It's sugar, and processing simply takes care of the job that our body usually does in order to access the sugar.  We love it for a good reason- our body's need it to live and it's a natural part of all plants. 
It's not a great idea to eat greedy portions of sugar in most situations but as usual there are some exceptions.
 Pure sugar is pure energy so if you're giving birth and so exhausted that the idea of dying seems a luxurious prospect I can assure you that a glucose pill in the mouth will provide a surge of life to the body and brain and a surge of something slimy, and screaming from the nether regions.  Also if you're climbing a mountain and you need energy then that's an awesome time to crack open a packet of lollies and feed your tired body some instant energy.  In these situations sugar is king and I suggest throwing your slow release carbs and lettuce or kale leaves to an office worker to maintain their comparatively low energy requirements.  
I guess a few of the more faithful Paleo followers probably think I'm something akin to a Satan worshipper right now! Don't worry about them- they're brains are probably dying from a lack of sugar... I should mention as an aside that I am not saying go out and eat sugar with reckless abandon.  If you are eating processed sugar you are gaining a huge hit of energy without any of the nutrients and fibre that formerly encased it.  Also if you think using a ninja blender or some thing that pulses all your food into juice is great for your health you may want to consider that you have just got that machine to do the work of your mouth and stomach for you.  Also if you can't eat an orange, an apple, a bunch of spinach, some chia seeds, avocado, a kiwifruit and coconut water in one sitting then you probably shouldn't juice it to fit it all in either.  

Lets take a look at the animal world- of which we are a part- and see how they manage their diets.  Now an important thing to point out at this stage is what a diet actually is.  It is what you eat, which means we are all on a diet.  Congratulations- you're great at sticking to a diet!  So back to the animals.  Animals in the wild, (I'm no expert on this particular area but as I mentioned I'm observant) they don't appear to have any issues with eating what they want when they want. There doesn't seem to be any particular problems with obesity either.  Why not?  I think its the lack of shops to be honest.  It is a bit of a bummer that they can't just walk through and order a burger when they're hungry or bored. 

So their diets can be quite restricted especially for the non omnivorous animals- they can't be picky at all.  The carnivores have to be at ease with their conscience over killing animals to eat, they've got no choice.  Imagine the poor philosophical Lion starving to death because he couldn't face killing a Zebra and wanted to keep it as a pet instead.  Also, imagine how it would look if you caught a Zebra for your Lion family and one of the cubs was like "I don't eat Zebra, the stripes are bad for my liver"... So their food choices are limited and they don't have access to an endless supply( but if they did have choices and endless supply I'm betting they'd get fat too).

What about exercise?  So the lioness's are dining out on baby Water Hog and discussing their bodies "I've really gained some weight, who wants to come for a run around the desert? I'm going to do 10km today and one day I'm going to do a marathon". "Well I want to gain muscle so I'm going to do cross fit instead so I can burn fat and gain muscle" says the super annoying other lioness(they all hate her now).  You might think that I'm not quite a full three course meal after this ridiculous analogy but sometimes things are better illustrated in an abstract way.  We are animals too and we are acting like dicks.  The Lions get their exercise simply as a matter of going about their work of finding and collecting food, and then they eat and then sleep.  Personally I like the way the Bears go about things.  I reckon feasting all summer, then sleeping all winter(fasting)and emerging slim and ready to party again next summer is a kind of utopia the Bear has somehow managed to be blessed with.

So why are we suffering from obesity? We are not wild animals, we are domesticated animals and domesticated animals get fat.  A quick
google image search of fat cats and dogs will paint a picture worth a thousand words.  Basically unlimited food supplies, combined with hardly any physical work to gain it.  Combine these factors with a genetic predisposition to gain weight and you've got a recipe for disaster.  So what's the answer?  There isn't an easy one unfortunately.  Well there is but it's the same dietary advice you always hear- stay active, eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, eat good quality  whole carbs and proteins, energy in vs energy out etc.  If you work in a job sitting at a desk all day you will need much less food than someone working in a hard physical job. 
 Exercise is anything that makes your body do work, you don't have to go to Zumba, or make the pilgrimage to the gym - those are structured costly exercises.  Exercise includes gardening, house keeping, washing your car, bike rides, walking, sex or basically anything that makes your body move. 

If joining the latest diet craze or buying the latest piece of exercise machinery is what will do it for you then by all means gorge yourself on them, but I suggest making a subtle change to your  diet or exercise regime every few weeks that you can turn into a new habit.  Small changes over time add up to big changes in the long run.  You'll know what it is for you, for me it would be- don't eat junk food on the couch at night- especially after 10pm. Or I could just release myself into the wild and live a fairly risky but ultimately slim life.

If I were to design a diet craze myself it would be pretty brutal.  I'd make sure my tribe grew their own vegetables, ground their own wheat, made their own bread and butchered their own animals.  They'd also have to make their own clothes, and walk to work and shops.  Maybe I shouldn't mention this- it sounds like the perfect diet regime. All I need now is an instagram account, some inspirational photos and a whimsical recipe book.  Now what shall I call it...

Monday, 20 July 2015

Ode to Pug

Oh precious, prolific, pants eater!
Curly tailed ,idiot Pug
Beige, brick shaped, bundle,
Eyebrows and horrible feet,
Curly tailed, idiot Pug.

How your bulging eyes
Stare into my stupid heart.
Your squashed, snuffling nose, so intimate
Curly tailed, idiot Pug.

Guilty packages left in wrong places enrage,
Yelping yaps greeting visitors annoy.
Muscle bound and ferocious
Curly tailed, idiot Pug

But your endless love 
Strokes a wounded heart.
Your wrinkled forehead 
begs questions and concern.

Grim days you are my guru wise Pug.
No holding back 
(or trying without success) boundless love.
Dependable, disobedient, comedic,
Curly tailed, idiot Pug. 

Warm, heavy body -pug hug,
My lap is your Mecca.
Curly tail wrapped round my wrist-
Pug bracelet bliss. 

Oh how I love my curly tailed, idiot Pug...

Monday, 6 July 2015

Pebbles Hooper- Now We've Got Bad Blood...

'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.'

I despair at what will become of you Pebbles because last week you exposed a bit of your soul and it smelled rank. Numerous layers of designer clothes will not quell the stench that has emanated from within. Last week when you claimed 'natural selection' had taken the lives of an Ashburton Mother and her three lovely children you stabbed your designer heels through the heart of a grieving community and enraged a nation. 

Parents everywhere responded to the tragic death of this well loved family, they can taste the fear of ever having their children harmed- your Mum and Dad probably feel it now as they watch NZ unfurl its wrath upon you for your spiteful words. When people feel sadness at another's tragedy it's called empathy, you didn't feel that did you Pebbles? What did you feel? Did you think it was all their fault and that they deserved to die because they weren't rich and clever(you're not) like you? Did you think they were poor, brown and dumb and therefore their lives were of no value? Indications are that Cindy George and her three beautiful children Teuruaa, Telyzshaun and Pio were lovely people. 

I don't want to make the mistake that you did and jump to conclusions about who you are but if I were to guess at it this is how it would go- I think you have grown up in a fake world, with fake friends and you falsely believe you are better than others, that you deserve your place in the world. Pebbles, rapists can wear designer clothes and have fancy jobs, so can pedophiles, con artists, murderers, lawyers, and socialites. If you believe that stuff is for special people you're wrong- clothes tell you very little about a person. 

The problem is that some people can only see the images and the outside stuff, they're blinded by it, while other people look into the eyes and see the soul. How is your soul adorned? You're only young Pebbles and there's still time for you to emerge from this empty shell refreshed, wiser, and with a heart.  The only good that could come from this situation is that a shallow, confused and uneducated girl could turn over a new leaf and have an internal makeover. Please don't do something gross like make a huge public donation- your money may impress your fake friends but it won't bandage the wounds you've cut into the grieving community in Ashburton. Don't appear on TV with a bleeding heart story about how bad you feel, and definitely don't make a designer t-shirt out of it. Start by cleansing your foul soul, feed it with life lessons from real people and learn the joy of giving without receiving.

Pebbles, I feel so enraged about what you said that I hoped you would die from the fumes of your designer nail polish so NZ could laugh at the irony that 'natural selection' had ended you. But, I chastised myself for thinking such a thing, and I would hug you with fervor if you could rebirth yourself and become a nice person.

To the family and friends of Cindy George and her her beautiful babies  who so tragically lost their lives- I hope that these comments are but nothing to you.  So great is your loss and grief that you will be seeking nothing but comfort from those that love and care about you and your lost loved ones.  The small community of Ashburton will stand strong about you. 

Rest in Peace- Cindy, Teuruaa, Telyzshaun and Pio.


Monday, 22 June 2015


Sorrow is a gatecrasher to an otherwise ordinary day,
A blunt knife to the heart,
pain and pressure,
no quick end to suffering.
Sorrow squeezes the chest, an awkward quickening to the breath causes gasps for air through a swollen throat. 
Sorrow dulls the eyes, steals the light, leaves a hole in the soul,
Loneliness and fear are its bad crowd. 
Sorrow grips the forehead, deadens the limbs and drowns hope,
Sorrow pulls downward to an unknown destination. 
Sorrow taunts joyfulness, hope and relaxation. 
Sorrow paints a frown and sketches lines,
Sorrow flourishes in unreturned love, co-stars with regret and celebrates with tears. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Letter to my Children

I decided to write this while I cried in the shower.  Two of my kids are teenagers and things haven’t been so smooth running lately.  We try and have really open conversations about things to sort them out and often we can, but one of the most heart wrenching things that often gets yelled at me in the midst of an impassioned argument is that I don’t care for, or love them. 
Enjoy those family moments.

Please don’t think I don’t love you...
My heart fused to your existence while I writhed in agony and bore you into the world, straight into our home, we lived through that together.  I met you for the first time and all my dreams about what my kids would be like were immediately exceeded.  I learnt about a new love that day, 

Please don’t think I don’t love you...

I spent days gazing at you and caressing your skin, spent hours awake at night holding your tiny body close and feeding you with my life giving milk.  My life ceased to be important to me once you were born, I knew in an instant I would die for you.  I still would.

 Please don’t think I don’t love you...

I’ve comforted you from your bad dreams, held you close to me in bed when you were too scared to go back to yours.  I’ve run to you and you’ve run to me when you were hurt, there was no-one else then that you wanted to help you, and I’ve held back my tears to be strong for you even when my heart was breaking. 

Please don’t think I don’t love you...

I worried endlessly about whether you were okay at Kindy and then at School.  Were people being nice to you, did you have friends?  Were you sitting all alone at lunchtime?  These things all seemed worse than when they actually happened to me when I was a kid.  What about play dates?  Are those parents trustworthy enough to look after my most prized possession?  Endless thoughts of how you could get hurt whirled through my mind.  They still do.

Please don’t think I don’t love you...

How could I predict when I was having the last time?  How could I know when my last kiss or hug at school was going to happen?  How could I savour the last time I would lie on your bed and hug you till you fell asleep?  How could I know the last time you would run to me crying looking for the comfort only my arms could offer?  How could I know that I would stop being your hero?

Please don’t think I don’t love you...

Now, how will I know when it’s our last family holiday, our last family meal, or when I’m no longer needed at last?  How at the age of 40 have I only just realised that my own Mum loves me this way too?  My heart still beats for you. When you’re sad I grieve, when you’re happy I feel joy, when you’re in danger I feel fear.  My love for you BURNS fiercely inside me.

Please don’t think I don’t love you, I will always love you, more than you can ever imagine.

Me and my Mum- she'll kill me for this photo!

Monday, 18 May 2015

HIS-TO WRECK-TO-ME (Hysterectomy)



I appreciate the freedom that I have as a woman in this modern society.  I am so grateful that I am legally entitled to have equal rights with men and I worship the strong women who came before me that blazed a trail towards this goal.  Thank you to the women, and any men whom also supported them.  Were I born many other places in the world I might have been in a far different predicament and many aspects of my life could be grim indeed.  So I am grateful and blessed for my rights, but I still notice the stupid shit that gets whispered about on the down-low, or laughed about in the work place- the everyday sexism that lurks about, and it makes me feel RAGE!!!!! That’s right – your sexist thoughts and words makes me RAGE- and not because I’m on my fucking period, Man, just because I’m angry about being treated unfairly because I have a womb.   Well, in the mean time while we wait for society to make its slow change towards gender equality- I’ve got a solution- but it’s drastic.
Take my womb away please

For the amount of squeamishness that men act out when menstrual periods are mentioned they sure don’t mind bringing it up as a belittling statement towards their co-workers.  “She’s got her period- she’s acting like a bitch”.  Well I usually like to respond like this “Do you know that she’s got her period?”, “ Have you checked that she’s bleeding?”, “ Did you see her blood?” and “What’s your excuse when you’re having a bad day or a bad moment?- Nothing- you’re just an arsehole at those times aren’t you”?   It seems like if a woman is not behaving sweetly towards her co-workers she must be half crazed by period madness.  Maybe she is or maybe- just like other normal functioning humans- she’s just angry.  So, stop thinking about our bloody vagina’s and start coping with conflict, just like you would with anyone else.  We don’t wonder if you’ve got a bulging ball sack when you’re angry- dick.

Now there’s the trouble of the womb.  Fortunately us chicks can have one of those and choose to use it to have babies or not.  Also, after we’ve had those babies we don’t turn into blithering, incapacitated idiots who can no longer function well enough to do productive work. In fact we’re still able to care for a brand new child while bleeding from the vagina and oozing milk from our breasts and still recovering from the emotional and physical trauma of birth.  Don’t bother asking a Mum if she can handle stress- she can.  Maternity leave now ensures that jobs get kept for us after we’ve had the baby too which is a great idea since not all women dream of staying at home (the hardest occupation of all- low pay and poor working conditions) forever to raise kids (This douche bag seems to think we’d all be happier if we did.  Probably the best thing for this guy to experience is a life sentence at home raising children for his crimes against women). Maternity leave is poorly understood by society.  Many people incorrectly think that women get to leave work, have their baby and then serenely while away a few months at home at the expense of their employers.  This idea is caused by ignorance.  Employers are not legally required to pay Maternity leave (though they may choose to)  but they are required to keep a women’s jobs available while she recovers from having her baby.

So, lucky women, we get Maternity leave- a hard fought for allowance in order to allow women the equal right of choosing to work and have children.  Great huh?  And the guys too are entitled to some maternity leave – in fact you can work it out amongst yourselves and decide who’s staying at home for the maternity leave and who’s going back to work- neat.  But hang on- the woman’s got a womb remember- she’s an out of control lunatic.  It would be important to ask her how she’s going to manage balancing work and home life when she applies for a job wouldn’t it?  Just in case the raving womb filled idiot hasn’t considered this before heading out to find a job.  It’s probably just best when you’re looking at hiring a new employee to forget about the problematic woman and hire the man.  All those problems like maternity leave and childcare won’t be a hassle for him since he will have that all sorted.  Once he’s ejaculated his well organised sperm into the womb vessel everything takes care of itself and he needn’t be troubled at all by his children, leaving him free to do the important, valuable work(you see when women do work for free its considered by society as not valuable and unemployed).  What a great guy!

An Employer should still consider the risk to their business though, men are quite a risky bunch in their choices of behaviour-after all they have this dangerous hormone coursing through them called testosterone that makes them prone to anger and violence. They could be a risk to your fleet of cars since they are more likely to drive at speed, they might smash things if they can’t control their hormonal urges. Because they have penises and testosterone they might accidentally rape someone whilst they are trapped in a fog of lust and anger, and there’s also the chance that they could become violent and hurt someone.  Do Employers consider the penis as well as the womb?  Enlighten me please if you have heard of this.  It seems relatively uncommon.

Here’s the solution you’ve been waiting for womenfolk.  Should you be concerned that your womb will get in the way of getting a job, because of the inconvenience you may cause by becoming pregnant, then don’t worry.  If you’re between the ages of 19-45 and you’re serious about your career- get a hysterectomy and put it on your CV.  That way your potential child bearing ability is no longer going to hold you back.  If you already have children and you’re a woman (it won’t affect you if you’re a man)you’re pretty fucked really.  I suggest these options- lying about them, adopt them out,  orl eave them with their Father and move in to a house on your own.  If you’re a man and you’re concerned about the impact your penis may have on your job opportunities then just chop that bad boy off!

Sunday, 3 May 2015




I’m a lazy busy person.  So- I get done what needs to be done- and for me that’s a lot of things.  It’s work, it’s washing, cooking, lunchbox packing, note signing, exercising, party planning, blog writing, studying, drum practising and in general managing the logistics of a family of five where no one else thinks about much more than what they need at any one time.  The rest of the time- I’m lazy- because I can be, and scarred into my memory are the toddler years where there was no downtime whatsoever.  In the weekends I sleep in till close to midday(while the organisers are doing organising and cleaning things- jokes on you bitches) and in the evenings I sit on the couch and watch trash TV till I fall asleep.  I like clean and organised houses and gardens though, and I reckon they’d be more relaxing to be lazy in.  I want one of those houses- I just can’t seem to do it- Is it because I’m so lazy?  Or could there be some other reason?

If I was half as busy as I am now- maybe my house would be amazing... That definitely could be it.  At the moment I’m the jack of all trades and master of none.  If there were no kids in the house then actually the place would be pretty spic and span for most of the time wouldn’t it?  And yet my friend has a toddler and her place is just a wonderful little Zen haven just begging for a mess grenade to be launched at it and I just want to wring her serene neck and smear my hands on her windows- bitch. She’s even made a website about how to make your life more like hers which is pretty amazing and you can check it out here.

Maybe it’s genetic?  Except my Mum is a cleaning psycho and her little house and cottage garden are testimony to the fact that genes are not helping my situation.  And Dad- well let’s just say- gated community and leave it at that.  My siblings are on a spectrum, none of them are high standard clean freaks but none of them live in squalor either (nor do I-mostly).  There’s still time I guess- I could end up with a neat as a pin house and glorious garden like Mum if the kids thing finishes and the genetics kicks in.

I’ve tried to take charge of this situation quite a few times.  There are the New Year’s resolutions, the Pinterest organising board, feasible schedules that I’ve put together, the family chorechart...  Basically I’ve got everything I need to get it all sorted but no success at acting it all out.  I’m organised to be organised but not organised enough to neatly act it out.  I’ve got a feeling it could be self sabotage.  It’s like holding an invisible cleaning gun to my head, taunting myself- it’s within your reach, you could have it, but you’re not going to bitch, just stare at your organising charts and have a panic attack bitch...

Now, just so you don’t think that I’m shallow enough to be yearning for my house to be clean in order to impress others let me reassure you.  I couldn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks of my place and I welcome anyone who disapproves to turn right around and leave.   My dear and lovely friends come to see me and quite possibly seeing super Plum Lovely not being perfectly prim probably gives them a shiver of delight and a shot of relaxation.  They also probably don’t give a shit at all since my super personable qualities probably transcend any feelings about house cleanliness.

After years of ruminating on my failure to launch any kind of cleaning or organising regime I’ve finally come up with a feasible excuse for my actions (or inactions).  Here it is- I’m creative!  It’s a good excuse this one- let me illuminate you.  I’m extroverted and easily distracted- not good qualities for diligent duties like spending fucking hours lining up boxes, baskets, blankets and bing bongs (I don’t know).   I’m not the kind of creative that can draw, or paint, or sew, or make anything except some pretty fabulous food to shove in your cake hole and dress a fat body to look slimmer. I’m a story teller and I’m creative at getting things done with the least possible effort.  I guess that’s why people always wonder how I can get so much done and not lose my fucked up little mind. Well the reason is – because I’m not doing all that other cleaning and organising stuff that they’re doing, I’m doing what the hell I want- probably sitting on my arse watching ‘Come Dine With Me’ while stressing about how I’m going to get my assignment done and coming up with creative ideas about how I’ll do it given that I’m using some perfectly good time doing nothing right now...

Every few weeks I do still have a go at whipping things into shape though.  I’m creative like that.  The family chore chart gets resurrected every now and again and the kids roll their eyes and state the obvious- that it won’t be in action for long.  The best time to get the kids to do jobs is when they want something.  “Yes your friends can come and stay- if you clean your room and make dinner” is a win-win situation.  And also I would be remiss as a Mother if I did not teach them how to cook and clean!

Maybe I also enjoy living on the edge just a little, a rebel against the system- rebelling against the chore of domesticity- a conscientious objector!  Yes!  That’s it!  I’m a creative feminist, rebelling against the torment and slow soul death of domestic life. I OBJECT.  I still would like a clean, tidy, serene house though; can someone help me with that...?


Friday, 27 February 2015


I'm surprised at the lack of discussion from males about the unfairness of their portion of the genital parts.  The female form is admired and desired by both sexes whereas the exposure of manly genitals is met with shrieks of horror and maybe a phone call to the police.  While women have a loud voice about finding comfort with their bodies and not being judged, assaulted or abused, the men are sitting in defeated content with their ugly dick in their mournful hands. 
What caused this horrendous disparity and why?  Why are men's parts the spider of the genital world?

I've never heard a peep out of any man about his dissatisfaction with his penis, despite the fact that the appendage he's attached to needs to be kept tucked snuggly away lest it cause offence. Even though the desire with which many men seem to hold for female nudity is not reciprocated, the majority of men seem to loyally stand by the size and power of their shameful tool.  This display of confidence is applaudable because unlike the accidental or purposeful exposure of say breasts (which would likely be met with pure joy and appreciation) the exposure of penis would likely be met with angry looks and sounds, disgust, fear and admonishment.  'Put it away you dirty disgusting penis owning man'!!! And yet there is no complaint about the control of their sexuality and how awful it is to be judged should they expose this beautiful part of their body in public.  Those humble men are just quietly taking it in their strides.  Well, why can't those things should look like puppies, then we would welcome their exposure with shrieks of joy and bundles of kisses, we could stare at their crutches just hoping to catch a tiny glimpse, and wonder about what our friends husband's one looked like and if we could possibly touch it.

puppy penis
There would be  many economic advantages to the puppy penis too!  Think of all the fashion opportunities.  Low cut pants so that we can see a tantalising piece of the penis puppy shape,  the fashion shows, the accessories, the puppy care rituals.  Imagine the awards ceremonies like the Oscars.  The guys fashion would be at the forefront, full camera pans of the body with a lingering on the crotch area and fierce competition to see which guy will push his puppy exposure to the extreme...  Lipstick advertisements would feature the man with the sexiest looking puppy penis draped tantalizingly on the glossy lips of the appreciative model.

The health advantages too would be exceptional.  Special clothing would be made so that the puppy member was held in just the right way to ensure optimal health, and maybe even to ensure a better overall look when clothed.  Men wouldn't need to check their bone for any blemishes, women would be more than happy to inspect them up close.  Watching TV would allow the perfect time to release it from its clothing kennel and stroke the friendly, eager dick puppy, and massage its delectable balls.  Ad campaigns to ensure each man was comfortable with his pants dweller would be funded by companies owned by women that know just what men want for their prickly pup.

There could be a downside though.  How could women possibly concentrate at work if a man did not conceal his porky pup properly?  Should they be allowed to go to work with one of those not properly restrained?  And what if the man was getting sexually harassed at work by some out of control woman who kept "accidentally" walking into the toilet at inappropriate times and constantly staring at the naïve mans crotch while he was trying to pursue a professional conversation.  Girls will be girls I suppose and how can they be expected to contain their delight when there is such a cute creature around.  Strip clubs could curb the desire to a degree.  At least then the men that wanted to could get paid to show what they've got and women wouldn't have to succumb to the desire to harass those men that aren't as eager.  Business meetings could be had there and over a long lunch and after a few drinks from pant less waiters the deal could be sealed with a private lap dance.  Men could attend the meeting too, women would learn to respect them even though they are at work with a penis.

Though women would love the puppy penis and men would love all the attention it got there would be good times and bad times.  Valentines day would be an eager display of products to decorate man's best friend but it would pay to be careful not to get a size too big- imagine what that message could convey?  And perhaps men would sometimes like more affection and conversation instead of all the attention being given to the cock pup.   A picnic in a nice location, along with some loving hugs should have him happily releasing the hound as well as feeling loved and valued himself. 
However, if the man had a really impressive pound puppy and other females were exhibiting too much interest, a quiet word with the man about being more modest could be in order.  A faithful man would downplay his assets  so as to appease his spouse, the women can't help being interested if he's put it out there.  Playing with his own proud puppy would not be disgusting- in fact it would be delightful to women to see him so eager to play with their favourite thing too.  A really open man would happily look at magazines of other men playing with theirs too so that together with his woman they could really enjoy the male form.  Better still allowing his partner to take photos of the puppy penis in all sorts of different poses would really satisfy their growling desire.

Alas, it is not so.  Men have the spider of the genital world nesting in their hairy pants.  Other ways must be found to entice the weary woman.  Money, charisma, good looks, amazing sporting feats etc.  Unfortunately no one wants to see them wave it around at protests, or cuddling up with their mates provocatively holding each others pink slug.  Spare a thought for the rejected genital next time you see it and before you start shuddering...

Monday, 2 February 2015

What is my name?

Recently I was thinking about using a pseudonym for my writing name and it lead me to experiencing a disturbing epiphany. There isn't a name I could choose from my family that would relate to the women in my ancestry, not one that actually belongs to a woman!  Take a moment to consider that truth...any name you choose will belong to the man that last "owned" that woman.  You may be thinking that I am a stupid raging feminist by now, you're probably thinking: "you can keep your maiden name if you want" or " I kept my name when we got married", but consider this- if you keep your maiden name your are simply keeping the name of your Father, face it- surnames are man tags.   

Your surname most likely doesn't relate to your mothers ancestral line since matrilineal surnames are not very common.  Your surname is most likely to be your Fathers surname, your mother had her fathers surname, until she got married and took your fathers surname or continued to keep her original surname.  You'll either keep your Father's surname or if you are a woman and you marry chances are high that you'll take the name of your husband.  So, to summarise- if you are a man you will most likely inherit your fathers name upon your birth, keep that name throughout your life and eventually pass that on to your children- awesome.  Solid ideas about where you come from, great for tracking genealogy, strong sense of identity.  If you are a woman, you will most likely be born with your fathers name, take the name of your husband upon marriage and your name will not be passed on to any of your children.  No fucking idea where you're from, difficulty tracking genealogy, feeling like you have a slave name! This bothers me- who am I?  Who were my foremothers? Where is my sense of pride and belonging to a long line of women way back into the past?

When I got married I willingly and happily took my husbands name.  There was absolutely no expectation from him that I should, but it was important to me that our future family be unified with one name.  I came from a broken home and knew what it was like to not share the same last name, and the difficulties with my parents divorce meant that I also felt a sense of shame about my Father's name and just wanted to be rid of it.   This is not a sob story segment about my childhood, I'm just framing up my reasons for leaping into taking the next man name on offer. For more reasons on why women choose to take or not to take their husbands names this article covers a few of these things as well as the writers own view on  changing names which is limited to keeping her maiden name and not the concern about her foremothers names.   Very infrequently is it considered that a man will take his wife's name upon marriage (although this man came up with a new and interesting solution with his wife which worked for them).  This would be seen as somewhat effeminate and almost traitorous to this man's proud name.  In saying that I must say that my husband claims that if I had wanted to keep my name he would happily have changed his name to mine(hero).  You see, the reasons that people choose to change their names to their husbands name is not really because men are forcing us to(although 50% of Americans believe that women entering heterosexual marriages should be legally required to take their husbands names), or owning us anymore- it's just an accepted social convention.  And, what makes this convention even easier to continue is that women's last names are so transient, usually only lasting for part of their lifetime, as well as the shocking truth that there are no women's surnames!!!! Fortunately the UN has a convention about women's last names- In 1979, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women ("CEDAW") which declared in effect that women and men, and specifically wife and husband, shall have the same rights to choose a "family name", as well as a "profession" and an "occupation".

My husband and his male family members use their family name with pride, even getting tattoo's with the family shield on it, their family name that they can trace way back to a place and time in England emblazoned proudly on their skin.  I have been bewildered by this seemingly arrogant sense of family patriotism, what were they doing, why are they so proud?  The answer to that question at the time seemed like it was just maybe testosterone, maybe just what guys do- they're so childish, but now after this epiphany I totally get it!!! Yes- fuck yes!!! What a celebration it would be if I was together with my womenfolk and we had our ancestral women family name tattooed on us and could celebrate this long line of women before us back to a place and time in the world and we could see the children that we grew in our ripe distended bellies carrying our name into the future.  The pride of having our children carry our names into the future and looking back upon us with pride too.  The thought of it is so potent and dizzying, I can't believe I've been missing out on it.  

And what sort of names would womenfolk have?  Well many of the surnames we see and hear today have very traditional meaningful roots.  Think of names like Smith or Cooper that actually relate back to a profession.  Once again awesome identity right back to your roots.  Of course some names are more prestigious than others and surely that would be the same for women's last names- let's not let this fantasy get out of control.  So here's some ideas of what our women's names would have been and could be- Maid, Whore, Barmaid, Nurse, Belle(beauty is always important), Washer, Cook, Seamstress now lets get modern: Architect, Engineer, Editor, Model, Athlete, Celebrity.  But these just relate to occupations which not all names do, some relate to places so: New York, Paris, London, Fiji, oh the possibilities.  Now lets just go for some shit hot, really cool last names just to be indulgent: Coco, Chanel, Ruby, Diamond, Jewel, Fashion, Beauty, Bliss, Cleopatra, of Arc, Coven, Love, Mankiller(oh I lol), Mantrap, Manhater...I'm really getting on a roll now. And what of the associated professions.  I come from a long line of...Rugby players, Farmers, Teachers.  What do I come from a long line of? Warrior Women, Midwives, Healers, Cooks, Seamstresses...?   Truth is it's bloody exhilarating thinking about having an actual name to follow through time though I guess Rachel Whore would be hard to swallow- excuse the pun!

So, I got to thinking.  What name would I choose for myself, what did I have that I owned, that was just for me, that secured me to some womenfolk in my family.  The answer to this question was swift and simple.  I would choose the names my Mother gave me- Rachel Joy(Joy is my middle name).  The reason this choice was simple is that there is a beautiful family connection in this name.  My Nana on my Mums side had this as her first name, my Mum has it as her middle name, and my eldest daughter also has it as her middle name.  If we were all to change our middle names to our last names we would share a name over several generations and that would be so sweet and wonderful.  We would be the 'Joy Family' and I might even be tempted to get that tattooed on my skin and celebrate loud and proud with my women! We are the Joys, we claim this name as ours for our women- hear us ROAR!!!!!!  And maybe bring some joy...