Thursday 11 March 2010

I think my mother hates me

I received this e-mail today.

"Hi Nota
Just to thank you for your Christmas card it has just arrived. We live in Cyprus and you have to pay a different rate to come here. A first class English stamp does not work. Any way thanks again
Love Mum

Wednesday 10 March 2010

April 1st

I read this on Civil Society and as someone who lives in Essex, I couldn't resist it:

New charitable project challenges perceptions of 'Essex girls'

A charitable fund set up to tackle the stereotyping of Essex girls has raised £38,000 six months after its inception.

The Essex Women’s Advisory Group (EWAG) describes its aims as to "empower girls who live in Essex to broaden their vision, self-worth and belief, and hopefully to inspire them to reach further, higher and live the dream of an enhanced future regardless of stereotyping".

It has been set up as an endowment fund within the Essex Community Foundation.

Project leader Daphne Field, 70, said she established the group after becoming aware that girls from the Essex area - such as X Factor contestant Stacey Solomon - suffered from the 'Essex girl' stereotype. She told Civil Society she wanted to challenge the inaccurate public perception.

"It's a shame because there are so many successful people in Essex but many are labelled as dumb because of where they come from," Field said. "When, in reality, there are 'Essex girls' in every county in the country."

The group has already raised £38,000 which is benefiting women’s refuges in Essex, Essex Girlguiding and girls in the local Prince’s Trust. It raised half from a fundraising banquet and the other half was matched by the Community Foundation's grassroots grants scheme.

The group also plans to attract Essex businesswomen and artists to advise and mentor girls in the area.

It is planning a 'Day for the Girls of Essex' at Hylands Park in July.

It's caled EWAG...I can't believe someone isn't pulling my leg a county populated by footballers and their wives and girlfriends, you wouldn't call a charity to broaden people's perceptions EWAG...would you? Would you? Or perhaps you would if you are an Essex girl...

So anyway if you're unfamiliar with Essex girl stereotyping, try this link here. Of course, I don't approve of this sort of's purely for research purposes

Tuesday 9 March 2010

My life as I see it

I read all sorts of blogs for all sorts of reasons, and I've been doing it long enough to forget how I found some of them. One such is 'My life as I see it', which is always a damned good read...well written, quirky, often insightful and fun. Rashly, Tony has for a second time asked me to guest I have and here's the link. But don't spend too much time reading my post, there's plenty more on his blog that are entertaining and worth spending your time having a read of.

Monday 8 March 2010

An alcoholic weekend

On Friday I had hoped to be at the Iraq Inquiry...I had been reassured that my ticket was in the post, and if it did not arrive, arrangements would be made to ensure I would get in. But the lines of communication went quiet and my pleading was to no avail. I went down there and was stonewalled, I went to the Secretariat office but there was no one there and I returned to the Inquiry building, but nothing going. The security guard was a jobsworth, and not willing to help even though I had any number of proofs of identity with me. I was in a foul mood for the rest of the day. Of course, the only link with the title of this piece is that my strongly held view is that we went into Iraq because Tony Blair was drunk on power. I'm resentful about that, and resentful that a simple matter of delivering me a ticket could not be wonder our troops don't have the equipment they need.

Saturday night we went to see Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. When I say we, I mean I saw it, but the boy saw only most of it as the night before he had stayed at a friends and as far as I can gather got to bed at 7.30 in the morning having played X-Box all night. It was a stirling performance by all concerned...and James Earl Jones was every bit as impressive as you would hope. In fact all members of the cast delivered their lines with aplomb...Adrian Lester though, as Brick - the alcoholic of the play - was probably the weakest...but then he has a particularly difficult part to play. Before he play we went to Joe Allens - a restaurant that in the '80's was a real hot spot...may be because it was the first of its food in a themed environment. But they say you shouldn't revisit, and indeed they're right (whoever they are)...and whilst the quality of food restaurants has come on enormously in the last thirty years, Joe Allens hasn't budged an inch. Our other observation of the night was that whilst west end theatre is almost exclusively a white middle-class past time, the audience was at least 25% black. With this being the first all black cast for Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, there was a simple explanation. We had a lively discussion about this...and whether it was a good thing because it was broadening the potential audience for theatre (enjoy this and then you'll go and see more), or was it a low-level racism whereby people will only go and see actors of their own colour....

And last night we went to see the now Oscar winning Crazy Heart. An alcoholic country singer who finds redemption. Bridges was superb, but the film is average.

So alcoholism makes for great plays and films...that is a great place for it to be...a story somewhat removed from reality, that we can watch, digest and comment on.

It was heart breaking, therefore to come back and catch up on some of the blogs I follow to find that the very brave, even saintly, Addy lost her alcoholic husband Greg to the ravages of drink over the weekend. For her and her daughter this must be an unbearably awful time, and no doubt full of contradictions. I wish them all the very best.