Sunday, 14 October 2012

G is for Gender.

Weddings are not my favourite type of social occasion. I like birthdays, I awesome all over Halloween parties and mazel toff to anyone having a bar mitzvah but weddings I find a bit … mehhh.

So when the dainty wedding invitation landed on my door step, with a dinky red heart sealing the envelope, I couldn't help but think I was helping the bride out. She may have her something new, something old and something borrowed… but I could cut out the middle man for her. I was feeling blue.  

I of course perked up when I discovered that I would be spending the evening in the company of a free bar, but I didn't have a plus one to take and weddings are a breeding ground for family resentment and tension. There is always a little summin’ summin’ that gives the guests a topic to talk about as they queue up for the cold buffet that has been sitting out for so long a film has started to form on the chicken wings.

As expected, this day was of course no different. At the wedding, the groom’s sister was dressed as a boy.  And a scruffy boy at that. Trainers at a wedding are like number two’s in a swimming pool - an absolute disaster and a catastrophic misjudgment.  This guest was now the hot topic of conversation with many a hushed whisper being had under the over sized fascinators.

In all honesty, the reaction of the other guests surprised me. We are not in the 50’s anymore, we are in the 21st century, we have WIFI for crying out loud!  So why were people so put out by it? I had a feeling it was less about the Reebok classics hugging her feet and more about the merging of the “his and hers” boundaries. 

Later in the day, I was filling my plate with said chicken when an old woman tapped me on the shoulder. My initial reaction was that she was going to inform me that eating as you actually travel round the buffet table was not the correct etiquette, so I was pleasantly surprised when she told me that I looked “lovely although surprisingly like my mother” following it up with a nod towards the door “unlike some people. In my day girls wore petticoats and pantyhose”. I knew without looking who would be at the door.

I was not sure what to reply, I had a mouth full of chicken and I wasn't entirely sure what “Pantyhose” were. I was also not best pleased with the mother comment, who at this point was dancing with my stepdad like a peacock attracting a mate.

I really didn't see the issue, granted the trainers were a big no-no, but as the night progressed it was clear that the older generation had more of an opinion about it than us young’uns.  As Carrie Bradshaw would say “I couldn't help but wonder” if maybe this was just the next stage of social evolution? Less than a hundred years ago people were defined by the colour of their skin; in a hundred years from now will gender just be a box you get your pet robot to tick on important forms? There’s no denying that the lines between XX and XY have become increasingly blurred in recent years – guys wear make-up, girls wear suits. Men date men and women date women, heck some people even date both (hopefully not at the same time, that’s not really a question of sexuality, more a question of greed) and it seems to be a logical wave of progression.

Saying that, raise your hand if you have a grandparent who is still partial to a racist comment at Christmas.

*raises hand* (Sorry Nana)

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Birth talk: Yay or Nay?

Lets establish one thing - I am not a prude. I also quite like babies. (not just for breakfast but to play with and coo over) I have three perfect little nephews and I enjoy nothing more than playing 400 rounds of "Whats the time Mr Wolf" on a Saturday morning. 

I find the whole pregnancy thing extremely fascinating and rather similar to the Internet: beautiful and extremely clever but the actual ins and outs of how it all works are way above me. I want to know the necessary and nothing more. 

However , in a world where sharing is caring , I do have a slight issue with people (women) sharing their birth stories whilst I try to nurse my morning cuppa and prepare for the day.

It all happened a few weeks ago .....

It was a regular weekday morning , I had arrived at work , eaten my breakfast , chit chatted about the important things in life like the Kardashian's , the price of petrol and the fact that I seriously needed a new pair of tights. Standard.

I innocently went upstairs to retrieve a file , leaving my two female colleagues happily working away at their computers. I grabbed the file from my advisors desk but as I was half way down the stairs I heard a female voice I did not recognise...

"Oh they had to use forceps on me ... quite a lot of vaginal tearing"

Are you frickin' kidding me?! HOW LONG WAS I UPSTAIRS FOR?!

It turns out only a matter of minutes , that was all it has taken for this stranger to infiltrate our defences (the door) and erupt into the rather graphic story of how she gave birth.

I froze at the door... and made eye contact with my colleague Steph , searching for a sign that I was not alone in this pain. I was not disappointed. Steph returned my look of i-want-to-vomit. My office manager however , had recently given birth herself and looked totally engrossed in the conversation.

I made my way over to my desk , being careful not to interrupt the strangers tale of after births and placenta's. At this point I would rather have chewed my own arm off than taken a sip from my cup of tea which was sitting on my desk staring up at me.It seemed to have turned from builders tea brown to a murky shade of grey more commonly associated with dish water than a hot beverage. I pushed it to the side.

In my eyes , there are just some places where birth talk is just not appreciated. In a room full of mothers? Please talk to you hearts content. In an office , filled with people you have never met before? Please , just ask us about the weather and move on.

It turns out the birthing story woman was here for a meeting with one of the advisors , not just to ruin my morning. Soon she was ushered into the meeting room as we tried to get back into the swing of thinking about pensions rather than pregnancy.

I honestly have nothing but admiration for women that adjust their whole entire beings into becoming mothers: their bodies , their careers and their relationships all undergo a massive change in order to raise a baby. In a society where teenage pregnancy is witnessed as often as the common cold , it is reassuring to find 20 or 30 something women bringing up babies in stable homes filled with nothing but love and happiness.

I do not however , need to hear the graphic story of how little Timmy shot out your hippo-yawning vagina like an Olympic skier.

A hippo yawning or a birthing lesson? Forget "opening like a flower" this isn't the 50's  , you need to open that bad boy like this old fellow. 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

13 Questions I Want The Answers To

A few head scratchers you might want to google....

1. If a wasp is flying in a car that is doing 60mph , is the wasp flying at 60mph?
2. What was the first person who milked a cow really trying to do?
3. How would you know when you are out of invisible ink?
4. When do you become important enough to be considered assassinated and not just murdered?
5. Why are actors IN movies but ON television?
6. Why do they call a bulding a building when its already been built? 
7. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?
8. Do fish ever get thirsty?
9. Why do most cars have speedometers that go up to at least 130 when you legally can't go that fast on any road?
10. If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
11. If Mars had earthquakes would they be called Marsquakes?
12. Why are dogs noses always wet?
13. Why do they put holes in crackers?

I am NEVER using baby oil again. Ever. That just freaks me out. As for the cow person ... bad enough to even milk them udders...let alone drink what came out of them. Its a sick world kids. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

One Week In Pictures

In the grand scheme of life , one week is a relatively short period of time. An 80 year old will live over 4000 weeks in their lifetime,  however in the here and now one week can feel like a lifetime. When I was a young'un the week before Christmas felt like an entire year, however the last week of the Summer holidays felt like the blink of an eye.
It is true that a lot can happen in a week, it is after all 7 long days and 168 hours . For this weeks post I decided to take random pictures everyday for one week of anything that occurred during my day:
Office Bingo! To get rid of the Monday morning blues , we played  bingo. If the song plays on the radio , you get to tick it off.  These were my choices on Monday - I ticked all of mine off except Chris Brown. Its little things in an office that keep you going!
Meet Steph - AKA Stephano. My work wife and bingo rival. Don't let them eyes mislead you - she once punched a baby and  in her spare time she likes to watch naked women.
I have discovered the "Confidential" stamp in the office. I swear they tried to hide it from me. Needless to say I will be using it on EVERYTHING from now on. It makes me feel important.
My desk. Always a mess and this week was no different. With lots of new business cases to  prepare for , my desk ended up looking rather similar to the state of my bedroom. (Note I have the essentials: Lip balm , tea and a Henry desk hoover. I'm not daft)
With Wednesday comes the weekly office quiz. Written by our office manager  "The Quiz Nazi", it is the highlight of every week. I won this week and choose my prize of a Hello Kitty multi coloured pen. I may not be 6 years old but I am a stationary whore. Multi coloured pens are cool and you know it.
This week I started to make my own friendship bracelets. I  wear  indie style bracelets everyday but they are starting to look tatty and instead of buying some , I decided it would be fun to make my own (I'm poor , don't judge). After two attempts , I finally finished one without fluffing it up and I am pretty pleased with the results! I am now ready for my Blue Peter badge. 
The reason why I am poor is the above. I crashed  my car  two weeks ago and wrote it off.  I am having to  buy a  new car  with 99% of my savings because Admiral are a bunch of chumps. The crash wasn't my fault , some old man pulled out in front of me but the liability battle still goes on. There is just SO much paperwork involved, coming home from work and filling out forms is utter crap. 
As Steph had never played Chubby Bunny before I decided to educate her. She teaches me how to be less politically incorrect and I teach her the important things in life. 
Such a pretty Chubby Bunny. I look at this picture and feel  slightly anxious that I will never  get married.
3pm is biscuit time in the office but this week we had treats that my Bosses' wife brought in. I would quite literally have babies with one of those Belgian Chocolate Tiffins.  
I am currently addicted to Ebay and I am selling everything I own . I have made £30 this month and now feel like Alan Sugar. The people that sell half used bottles of shampoo and second hand underwear make me sad. 
The introduction of the office swear jar. Two lists: One for 50p words and one for words worth £1. Most expensive swear jar ever. I can see my entire life savings sitting in that Oreo pot. We cannot decide what to do with the money once it is full - I said give it to charity as we shouldn't benefit from our own swearing , but then someone suggested going to the pub and the decision was made.
And finally,  probably the most exciting thing this week - I bought a car! Now my Punto is in the sky , I have a new loyal steed who I pick up in two days. Very excited not to be a bus wanker anymore after 3 long weeks.

So there you have it. My week in pictures. .I now have a car , make bracelets , am the proud owner of a Hello Kitty pen and am a few pound heavier. Not bad in 7 days.

Please Note: Steph "accidentally" hit a baby. The naked woman thing though is 100% true. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

2012 - The year of Great Britain?

Over a billion people will watch this years London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

And what has Danny Boyle decided would be the best design for the grand occasion? 70 grazing sheep and a cricket field.

The aim of the opening ceremony is to show Britain "through the ages" and will feature 13,000 props including a giant chimney , fake clouds , real farmyard animals as well as maypoles and a mosh pit. There is a part of me that wants to shake Danny Boyle by the shoulders and scream "What are you doing? the Olympics isn't about sheep!" but there is another part of me that thinks the idea is nothing short of genius; everyone loves a trip to the farm , right?

It is expected to be one of the largest opening ceremonies ever created and the pressure on the organisers , the athletes and the British people is really started to mount. After last years riots involving the cast of Jeremy Kyle and a 6000% increase in the sale of baseball bats , we need to regain some dignity and show that although us Brits love a buy one get one free offer , the "buy one and loot the rest" deal was a merely a minor blip.

London may be beautiful but is it ready for the Olympics?
However, the highly anticipated Olympics is not the only reason why the worlds eye is set firmly on Great Britain at the moment. Prince William and Kate Middleton's small , quiet wedding has also helped to draw focus to England , with people travelling all over the world to join in the celebrations. The weeks leading up to the wedding started the buzz around GB; union jacks were cropping up in every shop window and a mass production of Royal Family masks means you could bump into a Royal on almost any street in Britain. 

What a flattering neck line William!

Add the Queen's diamonds jubilee to the mix and you have 3 events that will be remembered in history all in the space of 18 months. Coincidence? Although I like to believe the Queen is an old dear and not some sort of conspiring ninja , there's no denying that recent royal events have boosted British morale that will surely have created more support for the London Olympics.

Coincidence or not , it is about time Britain got some luvvin'. Apart from a few teeny tiny issues , like the fact no one has enough money...or jobs and our children weigh more than the cows their Happy Meals are derived from; it really isn't a shabby place to live. 

Lets hope team GB does us proud in the Olympics and Kate Middleton starts eating for two -  the bank holidays will just keep on rolling.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Highway Serengeti

It is estimated that 75% of the UK's population own a car.
98% of these people should probably down grade to a bicycle as a matter of some urgency.

Learning to drive is not exactly easy. Not only do you have to master the biting point , parallel parking and moving the car in a backwards motion without hitting things , there is the art of grabbing the gear stick NOT your instructors knee to accomplish. Awkward silence in the confined space of a Vauxhall Corsa can be very off putting.

The driving test isn't exactly a party either. I failed two of the little buggers, one for turning a corner too fast and one for clipping a lollipop woman with my wing mirror (She was in the middle of the road , what did she expect?!!) However , no matter of hours in a car that smells of failure and teenage sweat will prepare you for the wilderness that awaits you: normal , sane women can evolve into Artemis , goddess of hunting down anything that gets in her way, be it a small child or a slow moving lollipop lady. Give the Great British public a steering wheel and a horn and they feel invincible.
 Swearing , beeping horns , finger gestures and tailgating (Apparently also knows as "Drivin' doggy style"?!) are all key signs of someone suffering from CRR (Common Road Rage). Experts advise that when you are in the proximity of a sufferer , approach with caution and do not make any sudden movements; their actions are often unpredictable.

It is a global problem.

Men are also guilty of road rage and terrible driving , however it could be said that their bad road etiquette is displayed in a slightly different form. Arm them with a white van and they fall under the illusion that yelling "Oi Oi Saveloy" out of their window is a good idea. Have we really been through millions of years of evolution? I like to think Fred didn't attract Wilma by hurling sausage comments out of the Flintmobile. Someone needs to inform the male population that the size of their cars in no way correlates to the size of their manhood (step away from the monster trucks and into the nissan dealership...)
Fred "the cat-caller" Flintstone?
I believe that the brutality on the roads is down to the fact that British people always seem to be in a rush. Walk through London and it's like a city of scurrying ants. Perhaps we need to relax , wind the window down and actually embrace the countryside and cities we are fortunate enough to be driving through? Somehow I don't really see that happening.

 *Grabs keys , clips on crash helmet and bears teeth*

If you can't beat 'em , join 'em

Sunday, 24 June 2012

To blog or not to blog?

Welcome to Swings and roundabouts!

There are three very important things you should know about me:
1. I have a slight obsession for children's clothes that fit adults. (I am definitely, 100% not writing this in a multi-coloured onesie.)
2. I love all animals. Except anything with less than 2 legs and more than 4.
3. When I get excited or nervous , I repeatedly tap my shoulders.

There really isn't much else you need to know except the standard: I live in the UK , am 19 and 3 months old , work in the financial services by day , am an auntie , a sister and a daughter and the amount of KFC chicken pieces I can eat in one sitting is in the double figures.

The term "Swings and Roundabouts" has been a motto that I have used fairly often throughout the last few years as my life does seem to involve major highs (somehow passing all my college exams with top notch grades) and devastating lows (losing contact with my Dad) and I am a strong believer that those who "do bad , attract bad", so after I discovered that my number one choice of "Jodie's blog" had already been taken , it seem liked a fitting name for my new hobby.

I am also a bit of a country bumpkin , so expect posts dedicated to tartan blankets , the smell of horses and why i love flasks. I might even go wild and write about my love for tractors. (And hopefully some interesting things too.)

Its going to be b-e-a-utiful.

Jodie x

(P.s - expect swearing. I can help it , it's like a disease.)