GE2017: 6 things we’ve all thought at some point…

polling station

Ah, the 2017 General Election, it’s been described as ‘the most important in my life time’. I mean, it was called that by the woman who called it and wants to be elected Prime Minister but, you know, it is probably actually quite important.

And I think we all know that. At least I hope we do. Seems like there’s more choice than before, when the parties all seemed like they were basically saying the same thing and their leaders basically looked like the same man at different stages of the aging process…

ccb

Three men? Or the same man slowly aging?

Still, it’s been a bit shit of late, hasn’t it? You know, the world? So in an effort to do the ‘there’s more that unites than divides us’ thing I thought I’d pen a hilarious post on the election’s hottest issues… But I couldn’t be bothered so I wrote this instead… bad dum bom cha!

No, but for serious, like: while it is no secret who I’ll be voting for on Thursday, this post hopefully has a wider, humorous appeal. So whether you’ve made up your mind before it all began or are still not sure who to vote, I’m sure you but needs a laugh.

*subliminally messages: ‘vote labour vote labour vote labour’ – you can’t see this but it is seeping into your psyche…

Nah but seriously, here are 6 things we’ve all thought about at some point during this campaign… haven’t we?

1. Something about Corbyn’s appearance

It will not surprise anyone who’s ever read my blog before will not be surprised to learn that I love me a bit of Corbs; what can I say? all that “funding schools and paying nurses a decent wage” shit  but even I spent months longing to take him to a decent barber and sort that scruffy beard out.

Comedians up and down the country have been trying to come up with the best one liner to describe the just-not-quite-statesman-like feel of Corbyn’s appearance. My personal favourite comes in a Rants and Bants YouTube video which states “he looks like divorced geography teacher.” I mean the words nail and head come to mind!

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn: The People’s Divorced Geography Teacher

And does anyone else feel a little swell of maternal pride when he turns up on telly with his tie done up properly nowadays? No? That one’s just me then…

2. Something about Theresa May’s shoes

may shoes

Dem shoes tho…

There are various things you may have been thinking about Theresa May’s shoes during the election campaign:

‘Oooh, nice shoes…’

‘Her feet must be killing her in those, put on some flats dear!’

‘Isn’t it great that a woman can enjoy fashion and still be taken seriously in politics?’

‘They look expensive.’

‘Why is everyone always going on about her bloody shoes?’

On her scintillating, charming and not at all robot-human hybrid simulating One Show appearance, May herself even boasted that one young woman told her that her shoes “got me into politics”… I mean, really? Because, like, don’t get me started. I mean shoes got you into politics… I mean, who even are you? I can’t even…

That said, I do love a nice shoe…

I can’t help thinking, though, how someone who buys shoes like that so regularly, perhaps as a way to ‘treat herself’ can really get what it’s like to know be able to afford one decent pair of shoes for a job interview. I mean, Corbyn’s ‘divorced geography teacher’ look isn’t going to get him on the cover of American Vogue (still can’t quite believe that happened)  but I like the idea of having a Prime Minister who sees Marks and Spencer as the posh place to buy a suit, rather than Saville Row as the normal place to but one… But I digress! What else have we been thinking…

3. Hold the phone: I’m in love with the co-leader of the Green Party!

This just in: the co-leader of the Greens is a silver fox.

dreamy greens

Hot damn! I don’t know about the planet, but my climate is certainly changing…

Jonathan Bartley is eloquent and dashing, although I’m not gonna vote Green there was a moment there, staring into his beautiful, earnest eyes when I wavered. #JokingNotJoking

I mean, come on ladies/gents who are inclined that way… Amirite??

4. That whole ‘strong and stable’ thing was a mistake.

We live in the age of hashtags, memes and auto-tuned YouTube videos that turn awkward soundbites into catchy, humiliating ditties – now is not the time to say the same thing seventeen times in one interview/speech. I mean, your veins could run blue with Tory sentiment but surely we all agree on this one. A case in point:

5. ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION!!!

“Well, I recognise the importance of (INSERT ISSUE HERE) and there are many causes of (INSERT PROBLEM HERE), but what we’ve said is we’ll look at (INSERT ISSUE HERE). But what’s important is that you can’t have the growth that supports (INSERT ISSUE HERE) with a strong and stable government and this election there is a choice…”

*screams into pillow*

It’s not just Theresa May, though during the last ‘debate’ she was particularly spectacular in her evasiveness so much that I tweeted this:

And then there’s that remarkable, eviscerating ‘interview’ with May in the Plymouth Herald that says it all.

6. Something patriotic

Oh yeah, lefties have patriotic thoughts too!  As an adopted Mancunian who grew up near Woolwich and travelled through London Bridge everyday for many years as a teenager, I’ve been pretty moved by recent horrific events. And I love my cities. And I love Britain – I frickin love it. If for nothing more than the genius hashtags that came about after each attack: if you want some top-drawer stoical humour just search #BritishThreatLevels, #ThingsThatLeaveBritainReeling or #IsisClaims.

You’re welcome.

But yeah, we’ve all felt protective and angry and proud of our home I think. So that’s interesting and sort of comforting… In a weird way. #OneLove

So, is it just me… or were you thinking that stuff too?? Let me know in the comments section, start a lively debate on my Facebook page or tweet me @aileenaquinn. Oh and… REMEMBER TO VOTE!!!

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P.S. If you’re as yet undecided in which case you might like to use this nifty tool to help choose.

P.P.S. *NB: or you could just vote Labour, all the cool kids are doing it.

Lies, damn lies and mental health promises…

theresa-may-mental-health

PM Theresa May saying nice-ish stuff about justice and mental health in an almost convincing manner.

Talk is cheap. Something I’m sure Theresa May is aware of as she continues to embark on her programme of saying nice-ish, sensible things whilst backing them up with fuck all.

Today it was all about the ‘shared society’ (very different from the ‘big society’, you understand) and reforming mental health services. Today she uttered the ground-breaking words that will, no doubt, go down in history:

“For too long mental illness has been something of a hidden injustice in our country, shrouded in a completely unacceptable stigma and dangerously disregarded as a secondary issue to physical health.”

Well, thank God a political leader is finally talking about this… If only we’d had someone like Theresa May in a prominent cabinet position for the past six years… Oh wait… Continue reading

It’s my pussy and I’ll cry if I want to…

 

This fucking guy?

 
Buckle up, this is a sweary one…

I don’t know what I find more enraging right now, the hateful bile that spews forth from Donald Trump and the loathsome people emboldened by this victory, or the barrage of overwhelmingly privileged ‘liberal’ white men telling me that I’m naive to be in shock that this guy won, telling me to stop moaning and “do something”, telling me it’s all the left’s fault for not ‘making the argument’. Fuck you. 

You know whose arguments and experiences are under-represented and under-valued time and again? Women, ethnic minorities, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people and every other group whose safety and rights have been threatened by this result. 

So may I suggest it is you who are the navel-gazers? May I suggest that your ‘doing something’ could be to shut up and make some space for those who don’t shout quite as loud as you? May I suggest that you consider the expression of fear and anger is not the same as ignorance or naivety? May I further suggest that the patriarchy and white privilege are ingrained in our lives that you are actually enacting them both right now without knowing? 

  
When you deny the place of emotion in a debate you place it an exclusively cerebral sphere – one that is very difficult to fully inhabit unless you can go untouched by all the destabilising bullshit. 

So, congrats, you wrote your opinion piece on how to organise while the rest of us were experiencing the fear and empathy that comes with knowing a modicum of what it is to feel vulnerable (and I acknowledge I really do only know a fraction). Now shut up and listen for a minute!

I will not be shouted down from calling out racism and misogyny when I see it writ large in this way. When people hear a candidate call Mexicans rapists, call for an all-out ban on Muslims entering the country, deny that there is a problem with unarmed black men being killed by the police and do/say nothing when they are endorsed by the fucking Ku Klux Klan; when they hear him continuously assess women on their appearance and willingness to submit, and openly brag and sexual assault; when people see this and make the decision to STILL VOTE FOR HIM, because they think America needs “shaking up” or out of their own self interest, then however thoughtful and kind and well-meaning they may otherwise be they are also prepared to overlook this hate speech, this promise of descrimnation: it doesn’t matter enough to them. 

That is racism, that is misogyny. It is homophobia, it is islamophobia. It just is. I’m not demonising, I’m calling a spade a fucking spade. My Nan was a bit racist and homophobic, she was also generous and kind and polite, but she was a bit racist and homophobic too.

No one is saying that half of the US electorate secretly wants to reinstate segregation or uses the N word casually I the privacy of their own home, but it seems to me that some would rather not admit to the malignant undercurrent of racism and sexism that has allowed this shitstorm to occur. They are uncomfortable with naming the prejudices that are so blatantly at work here. And if this is the case then I might suggest that it is them who are naive and living in their own privileged bubble? 

A lot of people are racist, a lot of people are sexist – these people aren’t all poor, or white, or men but they do exist in their millions and I will be as angry as I like about it. I won’t shy away from using those words because they will offend and alienate people, I will scream them from fucking rooftops if I like because I’m enraged, and you should be too. I’m sick of those who have the power to speak not having the guts to call this bullshit out – the right aren’t afraid of offending people and they seem to be doing okay.

Look western society in the eye and see white supremacy and misogyny at every turn, then tell me to stop being so naive. I fucking dare you.

Still not enjoying it? That’s still okay.

mothers-be-like

Being a mum… Bleurgh.

That’s right, I’m back bitches, and how better to burst back onto the blogging scene after three months in the wilderness than a good old honest post about how much parenting blows sometimes. (I agonised over whether to add the sometimes to the end of that sentence, right now I feel like it’s most times)

Approximately two and half years ago (!) I wrote a post called ‘Not enjoying it? That’s okay.’ It was all about how when you have a newborn loads of parents with older kids say crap like “cherish this time, it goes so fast” and you smile and nod in a way that implies that you’re finding ‘this time’ truly precious, whilst internally you’re screaming “I FUCKING HOPE IT GOES FAST! GET THIS CREATURE OFF MY BOOB AND LET ME SLEEP FFS!” Or something along those lines…

So that post was all about how it’s okay to not enjoy parenthood from the outset cos it’s bloody hard and you’re sleep deprived and all that. It was an attempt at reassuring those many millions of humans out there who think they should be feeling things they just aren’t feeling. Well, I’m here to tell you, my ‘Bubs’ just turned three years old and I’m still not enjoying it as much as I think I should be. True story.

an average day's parenting - Word 15122014 205030.bmp

I made this chart a while ago, on reflection I think 25% was probably quite generous.

Some context: Dear Reader, you know when you feel like you’ve got your shit together and life decides to give you a good hard throat punch? Without going into any detail (this ain’t that kind of blog) this year my particular throat punch has resulted in becoming unexpectedly single after ten years, and consequently becoming a single mum. Now, things aren’t that bad; we share childcare fairly evenly and in many ways I’m happier than I’ve been in years. But still, FML. My life admin requirements have soared in recent months and, I’m not sure if it’s a direct correlation but enjoyment of parenthood has somewhat plateaued. #understatement

“I love my son… I’m a frickin’ lioness of a mother.”

Let’s get something straight from the start: I love my son. I love him fiercely. I’m a frickin’ lioness of a mother. And I like him, he’s a frickin’ joker. Sometimes we cuddle up on the sofa and watch a film and I’m all loved up. On the other hand, I like him a bit less when he comes up to me just as I’m trying to show the gas man how to read our electric metre and says, with a gleeful look in his eye, “I did a wee on the sofa”. But you know what I mean.

He’s a great kid, I wouldn’t swap him for any other kid (except maybe my friends little girl who hoovers up after herself, that is the dream). But loving my son is a very different thing from enjoying doing all the shit that comes with parenthood and sometimes, more frequently in recent months, I just don’t enjoy it. I don’t, and I don’t care who knows.

Being a parent is hard. And doing it alone is hard. Even if you’re in a partnership you can feel like you’re being stretched too thin, like you’re fraying at the seams with all the different directions you have to push your mind in. Money, work, family, friends, children, children, children, children, children…

Recently the classic “I’m a bad mother” thoughts have begun to enter my head. Why? Because whilst I’m bathing, reading stories (and doing all the voices) and singing lullabies to my happy, healthy son I’m longing to be downstairs with a Pinot Grigio. Because occasionally I get so wound up that I raise my voice a bit too loud at an unnecessary moment. Because, basically I am a human with flaws that I sometimes let my child see.

Big. Fucking. Deal.

“Most of us are fumbling around, just doing our best not to completely fuck our kids up.”

The problem isn’t really any of that stuff; it’s my feelings about that stuff. I know that some people genuinely do love being a parent; it’s their vocation and for one reason or another they just take to it. But most of us are fumbling around, just doing our best not to completely fuck our kids up. We are loving them fiercely and trying hard but also occasionally wishing that this wasn’t our lives. Right? You can admit it, Dear Reader, this is a safe space.

Every now and then I have a momentary thought that I just want out. Out of this motherhood malarky. I can’t cope. I’m shit at it. Let me out!

The consequence of this split second thought is utter, corrosive guilt. It’s as if that very thought proves I am simply not qualified for parenthood. How could any loving parent think such thoughts? Am I the actual worst?

The answer, of course, is no. Those thoughts (and I think it’s safe to assume I’m not the only one who has them) aren’t directed at our children, but at our lives in general, at the relentlessness of it all and the fact that, in that moment, we really can’t deal with a small person shouting ‘I hate you’ in our faces. We just need some sleep. And some fun. Leave us alone! 

“There is literally no thought that can make you a bad parent. None.”

The thing – as this is a big one so listen up – there is literally no thought that can make you a bad parent. None.

It’s very hard to define what a ‘good parent’ is, but we could all list the traits of an objectively bad one: neglectful, demeaning, abusive. We are not those parents. We are simply not.

Because, whilst you may be thinking “someone get me the fuck out of here I can’t watch another fucking episode of In the fucking Night Garden” you are also making your child something to eat, playing whatever strange game is the order of the day and, yes, letting them watch CBeebies for a bit so you can clean up their mess/check your email/drink a cup of tea. You are making sure there is enough money so they can eat and be clothed and have stuff. You are probably doing a thousand things besides this, with very little credit for any of it. Women, especially I think, are just expected to do all this, you not gonna get a medal for motherhood, though it’s the hardest, longest serving job you’ll ever have. And on top of that, there’s some weird unspoken thing that requires you to ‘love every minute of it’.

Fuck that.

“The real wonder is that we enjoy it at all!”

When you think about it in that way, the real wonder is that we enjoy it at all! These small people are unfathomable and unreasonable in the extreme, but we love them fiercely. And they make us laugh. And sometimes it’s really really nice. Like, the nicest thing ever. In the whole world. But sometimes the nice moments seem rarer and the tense clock-watching-til-bedtime moments feels much more dominant. We’re tired and often lonely and we can’t love every minute, or even most minutes, however much we love our kids.

Well, all I can say is, that’s okay. And it’s bloody normal!

Isn’t it?

 

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Do you also not always feel completely in love with the whole parenting thing? Please share! The comment section is waiting for your outpouring of FMLs!

You can also tweet me or show me some Facebook love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another 6 things that prove the world hasn’t gone to shit…

Oh dear. The news.

Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary and the Department for the Environment and Climate Change has been scrapped, but astoundingly that’s not even close to the worst thing that’s happened in the past few weeks. If it’s not the ugly, power-grabbing underbelly of British politics then it’s racist abuse and attacks on our streets. If it’s not that then it’s the deaths of more innocent young black people at the hands of the police in the USA, or misguided, tragic attempts at ‘retaliation’ that also spread mindless violence. Then there’s more atrocious violence in Nice on Friday and Turkey not long ago (oh and the coup that seems to be occurring as I write this), as well as the continual bombing-to-shit of Baghdad by ISIS and the uncomfortable truth that we seem to care a little bit less when it happens there than in Western Europe or the USA. Then there’s the Chilcot Report, and all its unheeded reminders of the dangers of the ‘West knows best’ attitudes of so many powerful people. It’s enough to make you think that the world is unequivocally bad to its very core. Bleurgh.

Back in December, shortly after the Paris attacks and the UK’s decision to join in the bombing of Syria, I wrote a sort of ‘reasons to be cheerful’ post listing some actual good news stories that had been lost amidst all the horror. I thought that we could do with another one of those right about now. So here they are, 6 more things that prove the work hasn’t completely gone to shit…

1. Tanzania and Gambia just voted to outlaw child marriage.

On opposite sides of the African continent two governments have moved to put a stop to child marriage once and for all. 

Unlike the UK and many parts of the USA, parental consent is no longer a factor that can weigh in and ‘approve’ of marriage at an earlier age (nor should it be!)  – neither boys nor girls can marry before they’re 18. This will make it much easier for campaigners to save young girls from forced marriage, which can only be a good thing!


My favourite bit about this is how the Gambian president, Yayha Jammeh, affirmed his commitment to enforcing the new law:

“If you want to know whether what I am saying is true or not, try it tomorrow and see…”

Bad ass.

2. The United Reformed Church just voted to welcome same-sex couples to get married in their churches. 

This is one of those things that simultaneously shouldn’t be news at all and is actually AMAZING news. Slowly the church is cottoning on that loving who you love is something to be celebrated and marginalising LGBT people is probs not what Jesus would do.


Just last week the United Reformed Church voted to allow local churches to welcome gay couples to get married in their churches. Nice one.

Talking of churches…

3. One church in Tottenham has turned itself into a shelter for men that even charities won’t help.

A few years ago, one random church in Tottenham decided to put its money where it’s mouth was, literally. After every service the congregation stack the chairs away and give the space back over to its main purpose; a shelter for 50 destitute men. Many of them also donate 10-20% of their income to keep the shelter running.


These men are some of the most troubled people in our communities, sometimes addicts and thieves, sometimes dangerous – many charities and government services won’t touch them. By some miracle of bravery the church provides a space for people most of us would be afraid to walk past on the street, and they see results. A recent study estimated that For every £1 invested in Highway House, £5-£8 is returned to society due reduced strain on public services. Boom.

4. The Eiffel Tower has new wind turbines, and they are beautiful!


Clever engineering types have installed wind turbines on the Eiffel Tower and they are powerful enough to power the whole first floor (restaurant and all that jazz). Very clever, and very beautiful. Somehow they’ve also managed to make them look good and not interfere with Form of the iconic structure, daaaarling. (This video isn’t the best but you get the idea)

5. This guy…

Responding all of the racist, xenophobic bullshit that followed the leave vote, one lovely man posted this note through his neighbour’s door…

6. These guys…

Okay, this video isn’t new, but since there will inevitably much prejudiced nonsense spoken about Muslims and Islam after the Nice attack (#YouAintNoMuslimBruv), if you haven’t already seen this you really should…

This is the British version,  but check out YouTube for Dutch, German, Chicago versions and more. I defy you not to smile!

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Share the love, let me know some more good news in the comment section, tweet me or like my Facebook page.

‘Calm down dear!’ Mansplaining Brexit.

It’s almost two weeks ago now that a few colossal bellends managed to persuade half the country that voting leave would ‘stick it to the man’ whilst also making the NHS filthy rich. Sigh. A lot has happened since then. Mainly, two of most colossal bellends of them all have sort of just thrown their hands in the air, said ‘well, it’s nothing to do with me’, and then sloped off to write newspaper columns and go to dinner parties with their other Brexit-proof friends.

But it’s not them I want to talk about. Of course Nigel Farage is a cowardly plasticine-faced liar. Of course Boris Johnson is an over-privileged nonsense-monger who wouldn’t know a working-class protest vote if it pissed on his pasty. These truths were pretty self-evident to me from the outset, so this has been more of a confirmation than a disappointment to me.

nigel face

Ole plasticine face in all his glory.

The leave vote was a disappointment. A huge one. A heart-breaking one if I’m honest. And not because if will effect me in any real way; I’m a white, educated, employed British national who owns a house – I’m pretty Brexit-proof too. No, it’s because it just fucking sucks. But you can read about why it sucks on a million other blogs, so I’m going to talk about something else that got my goat in the aftermath of vote leave…

Like many people who feel passionately about the value of multilateral diplomacy, diversity and the free movement of people, I was pissed as hell on the morning of the EU referendum. Accordingly, I took to Facebook and I think I think I spoke for many with my succinct status update, which went something like “fuck this shit.” That’s all I had to say at that point. Luckily though, others step in where my usually verbose nature failed me.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, enter the mansplainers. When others get angry or sad about Britain voting to leave the largest economic and political union of democratic states in the world, thank goodness for the voices of reason, those who tells us to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off; those who have no time for, you know, emotional reactions. *barely conceals rage*

They were all over the place! Everywhere I looked there was someone telling be to calm down! And no, they weren’t all men, but they were all mansplainers as far as I’m concerned.

Also, they were mostly men. White, British, privileged men. Left wing and feminist too, but still, like, sooo privileged. If that describes you then, you not, sorry but not sorry. Cos you guys need to know when to shut up sometimes, you have the floor for your entire lives, learn to pipe down occasionally.

There were three key arguments made by the mansplainers, and they went something like this:

“Calm down guys, it’s not helpful to call half of the country racist.”

Oh, isn’t it? Blow me down with a feather! There was I thinking hurling accusations of prejudice around at time of obvious division was a bloody brilliant idea! I mean, isn’t the best way to get across your differing political outlook just to shout ‘NAZI!’ really loudly at someone from across the street? It’s not? Awkward.

Of course this particular pearl of wisdom died down within a few days. You know, what with all the racism. 

The thing is that, as is usually the case when people dole out wisdom from on high, there was an abject failure to see the point. Leave voters weren’t all racists (I haven’t met anyone yet who thinks that they were, either), but the leave vote was seen as a win by racists; an implicit legitimisation for the shocking minority of bigoted, Britain-first garbage that has been rearing its ugly head since. Sorry leave voters, but shit just got real. This is the consequence of supporting a campaign that used refugee-fear as a persuasive tool. Deal with it.

nigel racist

The EU has failed us all, by taking in refugees. FFS.

“I think this a major lesson for everyone – social media is DESIGNED to be an echo chamber that reinforces your own biases.”

Yes, someone actually wrote this. On Facebook. Sigh. To be fair to the anonymous mansplainer there was a caveat about their own failings in this area but still, give me a break.

I saw  a lot of this around and about the place; the idea that the reason that we were all so shocked was we just listen to the ‘echo chamber’ of social media and treat it like a representative poll. Well, if you do that then – brace yourself – you are a moron. There’s a reason they’re called Facebook friends and not Facebook representative-samples-of-the-UK-population.

I wasn’t shocked because all my Facebook friends were voting remain (in fact I put an ironic status up about this before the vote and got mansplained to then, even after I’d explained it was a frickin’ joke!) I was shocked because the polls were close and I guess I just expected in the end that people would be cautious and vote for the status quo. Duh.

“One response is to simply throw our hands in the air, yelp in despair and give up. This is not an option. It would be irresponsible…”

This one comes straight from the pen of Owen Jones, who I usually love and largely agree with, but since the referendum result have found ever so slightly grating.

How lucky are all of us defeatist losers to have a figurehead like Mr Jones to shine a light in our darkest hour? I mean, I was literally going to give up on any idea of opposing social injustice or celebrating diversity ever again. I was just going to sit in my house and eat crisps and watch Love Island (which, by the way, will not be half as sexy when they can’t get Spanish visas anymore and have to film it on the Isle of Mann, brrr).

But I can still yelp in despair. Let me yelp in despair Owen!

“Okay, can the privileged white men on my Facebook feed stop lecturing people about ‘not demonising the disenfranchised’. Let us be angry for a day and stop being patronising fuckwits.”

Hmm, this may have been me. But I stand by it!

The very fact that there are so many people confusing the anger of Remain voters with some sort of haughty, middle-class disdain is pretty rich. I’m not saying that there was no class divide in this referendum – so please don’t mansplain the stats to me in the comment section, pleeeeaase – but what I am saying is that if all working-class people in all areas voted leave then how the hell would Scotland, Northern Ireland, Liverpool, Manchester and London boroughs like Newham have voted for remain?? How I ask ya?

I wonder if it ever occurred to the mansplainers that they were actually imposing a view on the ‘disenfranchised’ just as much as Farage and Johnson were. You don’t speak for them either, dickwads! And neither do I. I speak for myself, and myself is angry and confused and saddened by almost everything in the British media right now. So there. Now leave me alone and go and tell a woman how to put up a shelf or something.

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What do you think? Have you had the referendum mansplained to you one too many times? Or maybe you totes agree with the quotes I’ve put on here. Have your say in the comment section, tweet me @aafew or hop on over to my Facebook page.

The Archers Aftermath: 13 questions we’re all asking

free helen

Well, that’s it, despite my FOURTEEN suggestions of satisfying, Archers appropriate deaths for Rob Titchener that didn’t a) traumatise Henry or b) turn Helen into a stabby attempted-murderer, they’ve done both. Bloody BOTH. Not only this, but in the aftermath there has been literally nothing hopeful, apart from the odd magical appearance of Anna Tregoran (#TFITregoran). We’re all counting on you Anna!

Nope, instead of a nice, humiliating, satisfying end to Titchynob (as he’s affectionately known on Twitter) we have a horrible, bloody mess. And, frankly, more questions than answers. So here they are, or a few of them anyway, for the purposes of my own catharsis and your reading pleasure: 13 questions we’re all asking about The Archers. Continue reading

Of home births and hero worship.

Recently, it’s really struck me how we all (or at least those of us who spend too much time googling shit and carry around an abundance of middle class guilt) aspire to a certain kind of birth. Pain-relief free, in a birthing-pool and, ideally, at home. The natural way.

(Incidentally, this line of thinking partly started because of the whole Helen-home-birth storyline on the Archers, which has since paled into insignificance).

Before I go any further I should say – if you did give birth at home, then props to you. I ain’t no hater.

But I do feel like women who manage to do it all ‘naturally’ receive a particular, celebrated status. They are sometimes talked about in a way that I rarely hear women who had assisted births being described. “Such a hero”, “amaaazing” etc.  And I don’t think that status serves anyone. Because, for one thing, it dictates how you should feel about your labour. At home with no pain-relief? You should feel good! In hospital with an epidural and some ‘assistance’. Bad. Obvs. Continue reading

14 satisfying, Archers-appropriate ends for Rob Titchener…

Well, we all really hate Rob Titchener, don’t we? The Rob and Helen saga  has hit somewhat of a nerve among those who are used to tuning in to Radio 4 for 15 minutes of conversations about curtains for the church hall and the reassuring sound of lowing cattle.

rob and helen.jpg

Helen and Rob: it’s not okay

We’re all sensible, grown-up people (sort of), and really we want to see justice served. Rob should be exposed and held to account, preferably with a good helping of public humiliation thrown in. I’d like to see (hear) him shoved forcefully into the back of a police car by Harrison Burns during some sort of village green shindig, just so the whole of Ambridge can get a good view… and maybe throw a few pastured eggs while they’re at it. (my money’s on Rob for the hen house arson, by the way, for no other reason than him being a complete dick).

But we don’t want a trial on the Archers do we? It isn’t Brookside for goodness sake. No, we either want that all to happen in the background, and then for Helen to happily announce that “Rob’s got a 40-year combined sentence” (for fraud, coersive control, rape, sabotage, assault etc) in a few months time. Or… Well, we’d like him to die. Wouldn’t we? Continue reading

28 times we hated Rob Titchener a little bit more…

rob evil

Public Service Announcement: This man is the actual worst**

Is The Archers sending anyone else into a borderline-panic-attack state recently? Seriously, this shit should come with a trigger warning.

In fact, trigger warning. This post contains reference to eating disorders and domestic and sexual abuse. Sigh.

Catching up on Friday’s episode of The Archers, I was physically shaking. The Rob and Helen storyline is car-crash radio at it’s best/worst. It just gets more and more disturbing, yet I can’t look away. Actually, I might have to, it’s not good for my mental health.

So, in order to excise some of this trauma, I thought I’d share my anger/grief/fear with y’all. I’ve been on Twitter, so I know I’m not the only one with #RobRage. Please enjoy this rant/romp through some of the highlights of Rob Titchener’s most hateful moments. (put the kettle on and settle in, we’ll be here for a while). Continue reading