Everyday heroes


There are some people whose getting up every day and carrying on with a normal life fills me with absolute admiration. If you believe in the magic power of three, it was the realisation recently that I had come across, or knew , three people in this situation that inspired me to get to my keyboard. I don’t blog as often as I should, but I believe that I should only write when I have something to say (unlike in my youth). I’ll start from the last one, as this is where my lightbulb moment came in.

I recently spent a week at a Northern Caravan Park. I’m not going to name it, as frankly it doesn’t deserve the publicity. (Somewhat bitter about being told there was wi-fi, taking three teenagers on the back of this, and finding it unusable. Also, the existence of a courtesy bus, that ran so infrequently it was practically useless). And the rude staff….

On one of the nights at the club-house we had a ventriloquist. Very talented, and very funny. He had recently got into the final of one of the reality talent shows, only to fail at the last hurdle. How hard must that be, to be so near to the ‘big time’, and then having to go back to the northern caravan club circuit, but doing it with good cheer, and good grace. I really hope it works out for him, in the end, and he goes onto greater things.

The second is someone who has a business growing and delivering organic veg in the midlands.( * If anyone wants details of a veg delivery within a one hour radius of Telford, let me know, and I’ll pass on the details).  Himself and his wife started the business together a few years ago. Sadly his wife was very ill for a few years, and later died, many years before her time. The last time he delivered he said he was finding it hard, because it would have been her birthday. He carried on in very difficult circumstances, doing the work of two people at least. He said he had no choice. I believe many people would have taken to bed with a large bottle of vodka, so not doing that makes him a hero in my book. And makes my everyday moans, about teenagers, and wi-fi, and being a single parent very trivial by comparison.

The last one, or the first, is certainly not the least. A very good friend of mine has a life-story that you would believe was fantasy if you had not been there to know it was true. Unbelievable things have happened to her, and her family, and yet she carries on, cheerfully, being a fantastic mother to her kids and holding down a full time job. I am in awe of her. She knows who she is.

Makes me grateful for my family, my friends, my job and my life.

My name is Parsley, and I’m a parking meanie….


Ok. So I don’t know if this is a peculiarly British thing,  but regardless, I like it. It’s a bit about rebellion. And a bit about hating to pay to park. I don’t know why I hate to pay so much. I think it’s to do with going shopping, putting money into the economy and then being stung for parking on top. Our local parking seems to be more expensive than many other parts of the country I have visited, and is doubly annoying because we don’t live in an affluent area. But other people must feel like me, as many times when I go to the machine to get my ticket, people have stuck their unexpired tickets back on the machine for people to use. It always makes me smile, and if I have an hour left, I do the same. It will be a sad day when all machines put your car reg no, and I can’t do this any more!

Beating the system, in small ways.


Recently I went to a car boot sale. I like car boot sales, I just have to resist the urge to fill my house with more junk. I have had some bargains though. Not that I desperately needed the mirror candle holder that lives on my bedroom wall, but still…

One of the best parts of the day was going into the car park, and the person I was with (who was driving) being given a ticket to park, with plenty of time left on it. Why is this so thrilling? Have I completely lost the plot? I have given the matter some thought, and settled on the following reasons.

1) Feelgood factor. Just another human-being being nice.

2) Getting something for nothing. Everyone loves a bargain.

3) Rebellion. No-one actually likes paying for parking, so it’s a bit naughty ‘beating the system’ in this small way. We can’t do it in big ways, generally, so this fulfills a small part of that otherwise largely unmet need.

We were able to pass the ticket on again on the way out. I have always believed in recycling!

Seizing the day….


I drove down a street today and was reminded of the last time I drove down it. This street is in an area largely populated by students from a local university. It was a nice day. Many people like to sit outside on nice days. Occasionally I do myself. Although if you live in a terraced house, with only the pavement in front of your house,  you probably have to want to do it more as you are much more in public. I have seen people put kitchen chairs etc out there to enjoy a sunny day in our unpredictable climate. Good on them, I say. On this particular day, a few. students (I am assuming they were) decided to avail themselves of the British weather. No kitchen or garden chairs? No problem. They had man-handled a sofa out there to sit on.

And they looked happy.

I just can’t imagine myself doing this…and that is a Bad Thing. I admire the ability to ‘seize the day’, and ignore the voice in the head that says, ‘You might knock the paintwork on the way out, the sun might go in, what will the neighbours think’. Children have the ability to live in the moment. At what stage did I lose this and start justifying why I couldn’t do this stuff? Why I had to do the ironing, or whatever, instead.

I need to try and get this back.

In the words of a famous mobile phone company, I need to ‘Be a bit more dog’.

Why Coronation St has sold all women down the river


Ok. So we know that the  recent story-line of Tina and Peter’s affair and Tina’s subsequent murder was designed to get ratings. Coronation Street over the last decade or so has had ever more unbelievable tales to get people to ‘tune in’. I know they were not on their own with this one, but being the loyal northern bird that I am, this is the soap that I grew up with, and it remained a constant in my life. In times gone by, it was an ‘everyday tale of northern folk’ and was famous for its somewhat gritty northern humour.

But the tale of Tina/Peter has left a very bad taste. We know Peter is a bigamist and a headworker who can’t keep it in his trousers. But it would be nice to think that bad stuff gets punished sometimes. Am I the only one to find it misogynistic that Tina has paid the ultimate price for her affair with a married man while Peter hasn’t? Doesn’t this have a horrible parallel  with women being stoned to death for adultery? And the Christian idea that all the trouble started with Eve being a wicked temptress and poor Adam didn’t stand a chance, the poor love…

And yes, I know that Rob actually killed Tina. Those scenes too showed him using force, before the later fatal blows to get his own way. I would argue that it somehow normalised this. During the argument he claimed that everyone ‘fancied Tina but no-one wanted to be with her’ (para-phrasing). Once again a woman is having her looks used against her, in a way which de-values her as a person. When was the last time you saw this happen to a man? Tina was punished for her beauty, in the way that many of us have been punished for our ‘averageness’. We know that Rob may, or may not get punished, but this is too far down the line to remove the damage already done.

Coronation Street used to have a history of strong female characters and I am sad that this is changing. Unfortunately I see society valuing women less, and allowing more and more Strip Clubs. 

I had hoped my teenage daughter would grow up in a better society for women than I did. Sadly, this is not the case.

It’s not up to you how we look!


Sometimes it’s hard to believe we are in the 21st cetntury. Recently, again, I heard another nasty dig on the television about Susan Boyle’s looks. What is the matter with people? The woman is a fabulous singer, who looks like a pleasant neighbour. She is NOT employed as a model! So why do people expect her to look like one? I’ll say again what many people have said before me. If she was a man, she would be allowed to go about her business without any comment about her looks. There are a few male singers, without model-looks who are not commented on by the media.  For goodness sake, why can’t we leave her alone? And leave all women alone. It should not concern anyone else how we look. To assume it is your business is supremely arrogant. Every time we hear someone doing it, we should challenge them.

Divorce….some thoughts


I have read a blog about this tonight…

I hhttp://www.thesecretdivorcee.co.uk/2014/03/ten-things-that-surprised-me-about.htmlave . This is all relevant. Having been divorced twice now ( yes, I know… what more can I say?) I would add the following points…

Husbands of your friends will hit on you…

This is both surprising, and horrifying. Do they think you are ‘going without’ some essential, err, sex? Hello! I have just got rid of a married man who was cheating, ie, my husband. If I wanted a married man who was cheating, I would have stuck to the man that I was married to!

Your life will get more complicated…

It will be awkward to organise access  visits. Ex will make it difficult, but not impossible, and will organise this as if you do not have a life….

Previous husband, in my case, will announce a new wedding before the divorce is finalised… this was a surprise, particularly as exhusband held the divorce up until the last moment.

Blended families have their own complications. Even  when they are pleasant, there will be issues. One’s own children can be difficult. When step-kids are hard work, it’s harder, because you are not linked by blood. Koudos to the people who are married to the parents of their children.

You will spend much of your life driving your child accross the city to accomodate the above…

Sometimes though, divorce is the only way to save your life. In which case, do it anyway.