35 in Numbers

Three

The number of attempts it took me to work out my age. It also took two hands: ‘ 84, 94, 2004, 2014…’

Ten

Years of marriage under my belt. Got married in ’09 so can calculate hands-free.

The only wedding photo of me on my own and I’m so sweaty!

Two

Averagely lovely, maximum hilarious, high input children whom I love ten out of ten 90% of the time.

Searching for their mother’s patience

One

Lovely house that I live in and pay house insurance for and remember to water pot plants in.

Five

Sensible coats- one for wet rain, one for potential rain but not too warm if it doesn’t, one for chilly spring, one for deep winter, one leather jacket. *takes a bow*

For those ‘chilly in the shade’ days

3:1

Ratio of worthy books to trashy books I consume and I consider this rather impressive.

Two

Dressing gowns. Neither ever washed. One I bought myself for a birthday treat to manage the in-between temperatures.

Yes it’s actually three but I don’t wear the CK one so…

Ten

Years of secondary teaching.

Work/life balance

Dozens

Of wonderful friends. Truly, it should be our purpose in life to find people who are clever and funny and kind and supportive and then just limpet on to them until you feel those things too.

Two

Loving parents and

One

Wonderful sister

And a whole world still to see.

April Favourites: reads, feeds, frocks and food

Everything feels glorious in the sun, doesn’t it? But for me, these odds and sods have been my sun-soaked faves:

Telly

Last year I went to see Sara Pascoe’s tour, Lads Lads Lads. It was properly funny. So funny that I lost my voice that night and had to have two days off work. If you’re willing to risk that level of hilarity, the show is now on Iplayer

Reads

Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things. Find it for less than three quid here – it’s an excellent online secondhand bookshop. The book is brilliant- a dip in to exploration, botany, wealth and love.

Feeds

The Modern Mom Vlog is properly snortingly funny. When I watch her spoof videos on Insta I am struck with deep deep envy: I want to be that funny! Best line? ‘Now it’s Christmas, I can’t help thinking of another Mary. Like me, she had a son destined for great things…don’t think she was a home owner though…’

Threads

I’ve got a delicious new snakeskin skirt from New Look that I love. Even took a twatty OOTD snap. Who AM I?!

Grub

Easter Eggs. Obvs.

Hope you’ve had an excellent April: let me know in comments or on Insta which I am not massively in love with this month- feels all a bit showy and vacuous but am trying to use it to educate myself (if you want to do the same and then here’s a post on who to follow)

A Lazy Parent’s Guide to Easter

For my childhood, we were given a new book instead of an Easter egg and an egg hunt I once had for my birthday party was boxes SunMaid raisins hidden in a laurel bush followed by homemade sugar-free banana bread so I am determined to be indulgent and dosed in sugar but also put minimal effort as it turns out an unexpected side-effect of a hippy upbringing is chronic laziness.

Here is my guide to a chocolate-heavy, low-input Easter fest.

Step One

Buy all the tat from Poundland. £25 should do it. Mega bags of eggs. A set of bunny ears. A set of reusable plastic spoons. Paper plates with garish gurning rabbits on. A dozen water pistols in case the weather is good.

Step Two

Cook a sty-load of sausages. Crack open a fresh bottle of ketchup. Slice up some cheap, sweet hotdog buns.

Step Three

Put a note on the door pretending the bell doesn’t work and advising people to just come in. It saves you having to hover about and sets the ‘serve yourself’ tone.

Step Four

Put the kids in front of Peter Rabbit film whilst you get your sister/other adults to scatter eggs about in the garden. Sternly discourage the children from peeking as that’ll cut down the ‘hunting’ time and that’s no good.

Step Five

Rules. Ensure they know they have to find an egg, return it to the basket and then go and find another. It ekes it out.

Step Six

Sit back. Relax. Swig beer.

Step Seven

Get a couple of the older, more savvy children to rehide handfuls of the eggs in a never ended cycle of hiding and seeking. If the younger children lag, feed them a few eggs and pip them up again for another round. Keep relaxing.

Step Eight

When the novelty fades or the penny drops, it’s time for another game. Line them up line a firing squad, give each child a spoon and an egg and then tell them that the tree in the far distance and if they drop their egg they have to start again. This can occupy at least three days. Voila!

Step Nine

They’re pooped. They’ve covered at least 8km. They need carbs. Serve up those hotdogs. They’re nice and cool by now so no fussing. No cutlery needed. No washing up needed. Smug.

Step Ten

There isn’t a step ten. You don’t want to be reaching double figures if you’re lazy. You want to just catch the last of the sun’s rays and watch over-hyped, sugar-giddy children tear around the garden whilst you and the other adults graze on cold sausages and the smell of Spring.

March Favourites

Guys, I’ve had hundreds DMs asking me about the MIA March Favourites – I haven’t forgotten, hun!

So here, at last (emoji!), is the tat I loved in March

Podcast

This has had.me.howling. It is essentially two people laughing at their own jokes and you will love it. Please download immediately and snortle away.

Lipstick of the Month

Laura Mercier Extreme Matte in Control. Worn it to down to a nub and still adore it. It sticks through everything- put it on at lunch and it was still on after CrossFit that night- wall balls couldn’t sweat this bad boy off.

Book of the Month

I’ve just finished The Familiars and enjoyed it. It’s set amongst the Pendle Witchcraft trials and King James’ persecution of women under the guise of witchcraft. The protagonist is fun and smart and angry and I liked her. It’s well-paced and shows how grim and dull life was. Trigger warning- detailed descriptions of miscarriage.

Apparel of the Month

I need this

Drama of the Month

Removing a bird that was stuck in our chimney- a true moral dilemma with Team Light a Fire vs Team Young Ornithologist Club member. In the end, we used compromise and a duvet covet to liberate an ungrateful blackbird. And I didn’t phone my dad for advice which means I am a grown up now *takes a bow*

Desire of the Month

Our lawn is riddled with moss which taunts me and I am dreaming of a scarifier which means I am my dad now *takes a long moment to reflect*

The Five Fs of why Fleabag is so Effing Perfect

The Family

The discomfort and delight of having people who knows you absolutely. It’s wincingly sweet- like the ringing of a finger on the rim of a glass.

@bbc

The Feelings

Gasping grief. Slapstick hilarity. Excruciating disappointment. It’s a feast of feelings and each one twangs somewhere deep in a memory.

The Freshness

Something like television-something as everyday and mundane as telly-has done something new and invigorating. All the mega budgets and well-trod tropes and sets and sex of Hollywood haven’t managed do anything as triumphant and perfect as Fleabag.

@bbc

The Frankness

It’s not ‘brave’ or ‘clever’ in its portrayal of people: it’s just unflinchingly insightful. It should be recorded and sent in to space because it captures everything human. But without being pretentious or self-consciously deep.

The Fitness

The characters are charged with sex, emanating anger, repression, disappointment, power and fear. It is as rich and sexual as a hot chocolate pudding. And when he says ‘Kneel’. Holy. Hell. The series and I both peaked.

@bbc

Mum Hyde vs Mother Jekyll

Every night, after a story and once the light is out, we debrief the day.

The minutia is painstaking.

‘So I woke up…’

Mostly it’s about the inferior quality of school jacket potatoes or Pokemon Chat but, occasionally, he slips in small details that make me have to still my breath and battle my instincts.

‘A boy in the park asked if I wanted to fight’

Play.It.Cool.

‘ I said no and he called me pathetic’

Do.Not.React.

‘So I ran away’

Under the warmth of his duvet and the glow of his nightlight I imagine this bully and I rip my claws in to their face and tear hunks of flesh from his spineless body and roar at the thundering sky.

Instead, I smooth back my son’s hair and run the back of my fingers over his silk cheek.

‘You did the right thing, my boy’

Words for Equality

Please consider this a working document and refer back for updates, corrections and new entries.

Ableism

Discrimination against disabled people. Or, sometimes, it’s even just excluding or not considering the needs of people who aren’t able-bodied.

Ally

Someone who fights alongside others for equality.

BAME

Black, Asian, minority ethnic. British use

Body-acceptance

A movement that encourages and celebrates coming to terms with your body. Anti-diet culture. Similar to body-positivity.

Cis

Straight people who identify as the gender they were born as.

Cisterhood

A word that criticises the type of feminism that only identifies or celebrates the achievements and struggles of being a cis woman (often white)

Different from TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) whose excluding of the trans experience is deliberate.

Further information: follow the articulate and irrefutable Rebel Lou

T-shirt from Ruby Rebellion

Cultural Appropriation

Wearing something or using phrases that are a strong signifier of religion or culture. For instance, white people with cornrows or secular people wearing bindis. If you’re unsure, have a look at the account Ask a Person of Colour for examples and clarity.

Intersectional Feminism

A type of feminism that considers how inequality affects different people- for instance, a white middle class women has different experiences than a white working class woman.

From Instagram

Male Gaze

The notion that most media is produced for the male view- especially pornography, adverts and films. The portrayal of things through a straight male perspective -often represents women as objects of sexual pleasure.

T-shirt from Black and Beech

Misogynior

The hatred and/or persecution of black women- different from misogyny and needs its own word because black women receive disproportionate amounts of online abuse, for example. For a useful listen, this podcast is helpful

Misogyny

The hatred of women.

Patriarchy

The system when men have disproportionate amounts of power- feminism is the tool we use to fight it.

From thefword.org.uk

Period poverty

A lack of access to sanitary products due to finances.

Person of Colour/Color

A person who is non-white.

Privilege

An advantage afforded to particular group- wealthy or white for example. A sign you have privilege is if you’ve never noticed you have it- tricky! It’s about seeing yourself represented everywhere (from TV to ‘flesh-coloured’ underwear) and never (or rarely) having to adapt your behaviour because of your race, ability, class etc

Further reading: Here

Reverse Racism

Doesn’t exist. You can have reverse prejudices but racism is a system across history and society with roots all the way back to colonialism. That is a system that benefits white people all the time so a fleeting moment of prejudice is not the same.

Further reading: Gal-dem Magazine

White Fragility

White people’s defensiveness in response to conversations about race.

Further information: Watch Stand for Humanity Stories on Insta but be mindful of her house rules.

White Saviour Complex

The trope in films and TV that white people can ‘save’ non-white characters and ‘learn’ something about themselves along the way. For example, the film Freedom Writers.

In charity, it can be when white ‘storytellers’ are used to narrate or ‘investigate’ poverty and identify ways that they can help. For example, Comic Relief.

For further information, please follow Stand for Humanity but watch her house rules first.

From The Guardian: Comic Relief

Woke

Politically aware and informed- especially in relation to injustices such as inequality.

I have written this as a privileged white middle class woman. I am not trying to speak over others but trying to raise up and amplify voices that should be heard. Please follow the links to find out more or comment to recommend.