Thursday, 24 May 2007
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Friday, 18 May 2007
My Amazon parcels were delivered today by a very very nice man and his wife who dropped them off with a smile and a very pleasant exchange. I always get a smile off the post man too. Is it that I am a naturally smiley person..... or is it the fact I answer the door still in my nightwear?
You have a chance to decide which sort I wear, 1. this or 2. this
Leave a comment and I'll see exactly what sort of a girl you think I am!
(and I'll post about what I got on Wednesday 23rd..... wonder why?)
Tuesday, 15 May 2007
Monday, 14 May 2007
Sunday, 13 May 2007
Cookie comes home with the best behaved child in the class... and this weekend it was the Princess! So, we had to entertain him (yes, he is a he despite the dress & pink socks) so he joined in very happily with all the things we did this weekend.
A teaparty to welcome him to our house.
An early bath (Friday night is video night) and a chance to try on some new Tigger pyjamas.
Watching the last day of the football... apparently, Cookie is a keen Wigan supporter, so he was very happy by the end!
Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Thank you to Andsewtosleep, Alison at Foxgloves in the Breeze, and Gill at Lucy Locket. I'm sure I'll find a way to express my deep gratitude at this momentous event.
And I thought I'd done such a good job of keeping my head down and staying quiet.
Never mind, better luck next time.
Right, seven weird things about me.... er,..... um,... em.
1. All my names make up pretty much the whole holy family except for Jesus. (Jo=Joseph, Anne= Mary's reputed mother, Elizabeth= his Aunt and Mary= His mother. I always joked I was going to take Jesus as a confirmation name and in the end didn't take any because 3 is enough and who would want more than 3 and, anyway, my initials are great just as they are JEM, get it? And, yes, I have trouble using Joanne as my name because Joanne is a little tubby girl with her hair in big bunches who cries a lot. Jo is a capable and very humorous woman. The power of a name. (Damn. And I've gone and given that power to you all. Never make it as a spy...)
2. I always dreamt I'd marry a farmer and have a large kitchen with an Aga and lambs warming in the coolest drawer. (That's live lambs that need feeding, not a nice roast dinner which I can and do cook nowadays) Then I married a lawyer whose idea of hell is anything with four legs that actually moves and for whom a farm would be an unneccessary waste of decent building land. The man has no soul, but he has read Austen and Bronte and he is possibly the only person I know who can beat me at Trivial Pursuits so I'll put up with the dead dream & stick with the living vision of brains and cuteness combined. (I think he's cute; you wouldn't. OK?) And, no, I don't have an Aga, but once a year I get to stay at a cottage that has one, so I get my fix from there.
3. I can go through a game of Trivial Pursuits only using the brown (art and literature) squares and an occasional pink one. I like books. ( alot) Now, I know that liking books isn't weird, but to the extent to which I take it, it is. I would rather be able to buy another book which I may/may not read than pay for the food that day. Actually, if I can afford both, I will do, because I like food too. I probably don't spend on clothes or going out, instead.
4. When I am ill, I watch the film Outbreak. It helps me feel better to know that there are worse illnesses out there & I'm sure I haven't got Ebola, Dengue or any other Viral Haemorrhagic Fever. I also enjoy being ill if I'm not too ill, and I don't have to do anything and I can relax and enjoy a comforting day. But I do not like being sick. Not one bit.
5. I always save the best bit of my food til last. And I eat biscuits strangely. I eat the biscuit part of cream biscuits first, and then eat the cream part after. I get quite messy and it's not something I do in public. Also, I adore eating Tunnocks teacakes, but I have to eat them in the same order; chocolate, biscuit, any jam and the marshmallow last. Yes, I know.
6. I caught hayfever off my husband. I swear, I never had it as a little girl and then I married him and... Wallop! Itchy eyes, tears of pain and a prescription for ..... something. And I love flowers, well, the idea of them. I think I'm allergic to tree pollen, but I take the stuff straight away & just thank God I didn't get it when I had to sit exams.... with sympathy to anyone who did. Urgh!
7. I like changing babies nappies... I'm sorry, I do. And it doesn't matter if they're my baby or not. I don't have a sensitive sense of smell, poo is poo and if a baby is dirty I won't let them sit in poo for an hour waiting for it's Mummy. Besides which, when the nappy is off is the best time to blow kisses on its tummy... and babies tummies are irresistible, aren't they? This goes along with me being a baby whisperer. I can get any baby to calm down eventually, most babies to calm down almost at once, and put a baby to sleep. I also can persuade children who've never left their parents to stay with me while Mummy goes shopping/decorates her house/ goes to sleep. I should be a child-minder, but teaching pays better and has holidays. So, here I am waiting for the grandchildren (and my eldest is 9; I don't want any babies until they're much older, please. I'm not that desperate.)
So, there you are, 7 weird things. And I'm supposed to, what? Tag four people? Do I know that many people who haven't been tagged? Ok, here goes. I tag
Sarah at Everything stops for tea
Sue at Random Blethers
Lizzie at Kindred Spirits, and
Valerie at Un Arc De Ciel dans le Lavabo
Have fun, girls & I'll be reading your tags, soon!
Saturday, 5 May 2007
“Within the short space of twenty-five years, the role of the middle-class woman has been profoundly altered. In the 1950’s a woman who worked was looked down upon as someone who did not “care enough” to look after her husband and children. Today, however, a quarter century (at least!) after the feminist revolution, a middle-class woman who chooses the life of the house-wife is often regarded as un-ambitious (and therefore less intelligent than her working counterparts) and generally lacking in self respect and female pride. the situation is complicated by the fact that with the higher divorce rate, more and more women have to work.
Thus many women are caught in a conflict between their desires to perform well the traditional role of mother and wife and what may well be an equally strong inclination to embrace the new professional and social possibilities that have opened up for women in our society.
Women who choose to stay at home may thus come under considerable (not necessarily conscious) stress for having opted for this traditional role. In her book, ‘The Cinderella Syndrome’, Colette Dowling captures well the emptiness and restlessness of some of these women. “Despite admitting a certain pride in their husbands’ positions and income, many women admitted to a certain eventless ness in their lives. they couldn’t quite break off from their bridge groups, though they described them as boring. In the empty house, when they weren’t shopping or entertaining or chauffeuring the kids, they read romances.””
Well, yes, I do read romances, but I also read serious history books, thrillers and anything else with the printed word on it.
What made me cross, well, sad, really, about this quote was the fact that one side or the other had to be lesser. House-wife or full-time employee, one has to be denigrated for the sake of the others pride and, usually, the minority gets castigated for being 'different'. This is not female liberation as I want it. I don't think our grandmothers, God bless them, in their flowery aprons and scrubbing the step, since that was the mark of a 'good' housekeeper, would have been too keen to go to work. They wanted someone to respect them because of what they were, not despite. The work we choose in society, paid or unpaid, should not be the deciding factor in whether or not we are worthy of respect. The fact we are human is good enough. Equality for the sexes does not mean making everyone go out to work, it means accepting that everyone is working for the greater good and that the unpaid childcare and domestic servant is as valid and useful as the highly paid chief exec.
That a woman chooses to stay at home for an extended period to raise the future citizens of the country should be a cause of celebration, not of denigration. Am I 'just a housewife'? No, I am a human being. I have a brain and ambition, but I have chosen to put both to use in unpaid manual labour. Does that make me a lesser being? Not in my children's eyes. It makes me their rock and their foundation. It makes me the person they know is there for them after school, the person that they know will have found them a treat for Friday, that will have sought out their favourite comics, their best food, their new clothes. In the eyes of my children at present I am special just for being their Mum.
I am in the fortunate position of being able to work part-time. I was also able to stay off work while the children were at home and I will be in the fortunate position to be able to work full-time at a job that gives me time off with my children when they are off (yes, part of my motivation for being a teacher was its child-friendly aspects; mother and teacher, my two great ambitions. That and a best-selling novellist, but that's on hold for a while), but not every woman has that luxury.
I don't think womens' libbers knew what they really wanted, or at least that those who were most vocal were actually speaking for the majority at that time. When they spoke of equality, they always spoke of women going to work, of equal pay, of being 'the same as men'. I am not a man. I have no wish to be a man (Urgh! Those bits on the outside! The hair!) I am a woman. I am equal to a man, but not the same as a man in the same way as a Van Gogh is equal to a Da Vinci, but not the same as. We are both humans, and that should guarantee us equality. We should both be working together to make the world a better place and accept that either is capable of great things. That some women want to work, that some men want to stay at home, that both sexes want to raise children in a world where the way you are treated is fair whatever the sex you are, the colour of your skin, the religion you follow. That true equality comes with acceptance not with conformity and that rights must be followed by a response. To quote from Uncle Ben, "With great power, comes great responsibility" I can take great pride in my role as a stay-at-home (mostly) Mum without needing to denigrate a working mother and I expect the same response back.
When a CEO can honour his mother as the woman who raised him and extend the same respect to the women who work in his factories for minimum wage, then we will have achieved equality. When a woman is respected for being a human being and a man is honoured for being a father then we will have achieved equality. When all men and women are able to say 'I am useful' and 'I am content' then we will have achieved equality. I just pary that it comes soon, and not when everyone, male or female, has been forced to work because that is the only way to achieve status.
What do I want? I want you to look at my role and say, "That is a good job to do." I want you to look at me and say, "Well done." I want you to feel the same pride in my end-products as I do.
And I want that whether I am male, female, black, white, poor, rich, disabled or not. I want equality, proper equality, not a one-size-fits-all-if-all-fit-one-size equality.
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
I have painted my bench and little picnic table. The garden has been weeded and the plants watered so that I can, this evening, take a cool beer out and enjoy the sunset through my trees. (must remember to take my hayfever tablets) I have got white geraniums to pot up and put at my front door and a red poppy, birthday gift from my Mum whom I dragged out to the garden centres today. I had a shopping trip yesterday and came back proud recipient of floral tins, wooden pegs (none better!) big shopping bags that will stop me using more plastic than I have to and a net canopy for the princess. Whoo! So much stuff on one little trip, but mostly from Home Bargain, so nothing cost more than £3!