Dear January – a break-up note

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Dear January,

It’s not you, it’s me.

Wait, what am I saying? It’s definitely you. This is going to sound harsh, but seriously, everyone agrees. I just need to be honest with you, because it’s not working out. It never does, does it?

Every year it’s the same. I see you across the Christmas horizon and you make eyes at me. You send me articles about how this is going to be ‘my year’ and tell me about all the amazing things we could do together. We’ll join a gym, maybe I could go to that ballroom dancing class I’ve always wanted to try, or we could spend the weekends walking in the crisp winter sun.

I do try to remind you that this is a load of bullshit, and that every year we just end up in bed together. There’s nothing meaningful about what we have, and you know it. Duvets and leftover Christmas chocolate is our ‘Netflix and chill’. Well maybe ‘Netflix and duvets and leftover Christmas chocolate’ is our ‘Netflix and chill’; you and I do know how to plough through a box set.

Anyway, you’re insistent. ‘It’ll be different this time! You’ll keep your resolutions and I’ll drizzle less, I promise!’ You tell me take my Vitamin D tablets and it’ll be fine. Better than fine, this year we’ll be so good together.

But we’re not are we? I starts almost immediately, the back-tracking. “Oh we don’t have to start on New Year’s Day…” you say, “We’ll just finish that half a bottle of port and the chocolates from your Auntie Pauline.” Before I know it we’ve been together three weeks and all the good gym membership deals have expired. I think about going running but it’s so cold and so bloody dark!

And that’s another thing, every year you bang on about how you’re changing: “the days are getting longer now”. Are they, January, ARE THEY? Cos it doesn’t seem like it to me. What difference does it make to me if sunset is at 15:59 or 16:03? I’M IN THE FUCKING OFFICE ‘TIL FIVE THIRTY!

I’m sorry, I shouldn’t shout. But I’m sick of it. Especially this year, you’ve been worse than usual. You have! Five Mondays you’ve had this year, FIVE MONDAYS? What kind of fucked up shit is that? And there was all the sleet and hail and drizzle – Dry January my arse. I can’t take another day of this, it’s over…

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Have I met someone else? What difference does it make?

Yes, you do know him, but it’s none of your business…

Look, it’s just a fling, you know he’s my rebound guy; 28 days and we’re done. Well, 29 sometimes, but I like that about him, he’s unpredictable. He brings me flowers too… snowdrops, crocuses, even the occasional daffodil if he gets his frosts under control. And for a day or two round the middle he’s dead romantic… well, yes that can be quite depressing but…

Look, January, I’m not saying other months are perfect, and God knows I’m not either. But the thing is, you make me feel like shit. And I try to make excuses for you, tell myself I build you up in my head and so of course I’m disappointed. But the thing is, you are the actual worst.

No, I don’t want to look back at the instagram pictures of those two nice sunny days. I just want it be over. I need to move on….

I’d like you to leave now please. I never want to see you again.

Well, okay, yeah, you can call me at Christmas, but I’m not promising anything…

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28 times we hated Rob Titchener a little bit more…

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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

Always Check the Eyelashes: Your CBeebies Guide to Gender.


Ah, Cbeebies. A land filled with possibilities. Where lions and zebras can coexist as equals and trainee knights befriend cave-dwelling trolls. Where every community – even small Scottish fishing villages – is a multicultural, wheelchair-accessible beacon of diversity. Surely, this is the utopia of which we all dream?

I do love CBeebies. In fact more than this I attribute a good proportion of my parenting sanity to its existence #nojokeofalie. I love that they show women being scientists, fitness instructors, bus drivers, pirate captains, minibeast adventurers, post officers (is that a thing?), nurses, nursery teachers, cooks, stay at home mums… Ahem. Well, you get the picture.

Yes, in the realm of humans the confinements of gender have (almost, sort of) been stripped away, huzzah to that! However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I mean, we need some stereotypes, right? Otherwise how will girls find out that they’re supposed to be pretty and bookish? Or boys that they are headstrong and brave but ultimately a bit annoying??

More importantly, how will our youngsters learn to tell the difference? Imagine, a whole generation growing up not being able to tell whether a fictional character is supposed to be a girl or a boy? It would be chaos, people. CHAOS!

But fear not, Dear Reader! For I have deciphered the CBeebies gender-coding system (it doesn’t take a genius) that will have you sorting your Peters from your Lilies in 4 easy-to-follow steps. Disseminate this PSA widely, because God forbid we couldn’t tell which Cloud Baby is supposed to be a boy! Continue reading