Category Archives: Our World

Proudman Vs Carter-Silk

Why does all of this, including Charlotte Proudman’s response, leave me so uneasy?

In case you haven’t read about it, Charlotte Proudman published a “LinkedIn” e-mail message from Alexander Carter-Silk, a very prominent solicitor,  branded him sexist and misogynistic and is calling for a public apology.

I have read and watched a lot of the reporting of this issue and I notice that just the first part of the message is being shown in most of the reports.

“Charlotte, delighted to connect, I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture!!!” 

Now, in the ordinary run of things this isn’t a lot to worry about, but he then continues with,

“You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen. Always interest [sic] to understant [sic] people’s skills and how we might work together.”  

Yeah, right. “The Prize”?? WTF. Does this man have NO sense whatsoever? I question his ability to cross the road unaided.

Then we have Matthew Scott, a solicitor and blogger, wade in with the following comments,

“I think we have to look how this developed… Charlotte sent him a message, asking him to connect so the initial contact was made by Charlotte. He later complimented her stunning picture, so I do think his crime is provoked from Charlotte.”

I wonder what this man’s attitude to rape is?  Might he think women provoke men into this crime too? And then to top it all he says,

“If a man wanted to approach a woman because he thinks her attractive… it doesn’t make him sexist. It is just perfectly natural behaviour”
Matthew Scott

Really Matthew, even if this man is married and this man’s position makes it, at the very least, “awkward” to refuse or rebuff?  What utter crap!

Charlotte’s asking to “connect” on LinkedIn was a “provocation” according to Matthew, but Mr Carter-Silk’s response was “perfectly natural”.

Dear God almighty! And these are the assholes we turn to for help on matters of right and wrong.

But I cannot say I am easy with Ms Proudman’s behaviour either. I understand she is 27 years old, but in her chosen profession I would have expected her to be a bit more savvy about not only what the reaction to this would be ( and I deeply suspect she was very aware) but that lamenting about sexism in the legal profession is an incredibly narrow view of a very serious issue affecting all of society. Just ask some of the girls suffering FGM, or the ones who can’t choose who, never mind if, they want to marry, about sexual inequality and misogynistic attitudes.

I have had my (un)fair share of sexist shit throughout my life, like every other woman I know, and I would love that my daughters did not have to endure the same, but, too late. I know they have and will continue to do so for a long time.

There is a lot of really great work going on to promote sexual equality, but this public and political grandstanding does none of us any favours.

I have answered my own question. These people represent our legal profession. Lady Justice may not wear a blindfold in her post atop the Old Bailey, but some of those inside certainly seem to.

Just Go With It

I heard myself lamenting the other day about how the lousy summer was going to make for a long winter. Well, I’m sorry. This is the kind of stuff I berate others for, and now, here I am buying into it. Well, no more.

I went for a lovely drive today and noticed the start of the wonderful, warm gold and red hues of the leaves on the trees and other indicators of the shift in the season, from late summer to early autumn. It was quite simply stunning. We have four seasons, not two, and if you bear this in mind, then even the worst aspects of each is transient.

When you feel stuck, like nothing can change, then look to nature. Just take time to notice the shortening of the days, the changing colours, temperatures and insect and wildlife activity. And when you think you have gotten used to the new look, guess what , it will be time for it to change again. Nothing in nature actually stays the same, including us. So just go with it.

Stop resisting change. Embrace it and make it work for you.

I am happily thinking of my warm, soft winter woolies that hide a multitude of sins, my comfy boots that sooth my sandal-ravaged feet, the log fires to warm me and mulled wine to comfort. I will worry about the frosty morning starts, slippery footpaths and weather-induced travel delays when they happen. That’s soon enough.

Stressing about things we cannot affect, cannot change, diverts our attention from the potential happiness right in front of us.

Where Is Our Positivity Button?

Seriously.

Yeehaa, I am dieting again. Big shock I know. But…..big shock, it is working. I mean really working.

My “positivity button” is switched to on and things are going well. I feel great.

Then, as is my way, I got to thinking. Where the hell is this bloody button? I mean, why now? What stars are in alignment that makes this work for me right now. I suppose it’s a bit like kicking a hornets’ nest, but what happened at that very moment, that very second, when I just knew, accepted and actioned something that has tortured me for so long?

Wouldn’t we all love to know why the simplest, healthiest (physically and mentally) and often the most beneficial choices, cause us so much trouble.

I understand the strength of positive mental attitude, but I would love to find and understand its spark. The why and the how.

Or is this all part of being human; the human condition?

A friend told me I have a habit of over-thinking things so, with that in mind, I am just going to enjoy this current frame of mind and get my one size smaller clothes out of storage.

Bring it on!

Time Saving….

For what?..

I was cleaning my dishwasher earlier, remembering all the expert tips I have read on how to have the “Perfect” home and, funnily enough, bitching away as I was doing it. I reckon it took me as long to clean this bloody machine as it would have taken to wash the rotten dishes for the last week.

Anyway, it got me thinking. There are so many tips and tricks everywhere on how to save time that I got to wondering as to what we all do with this time.

Can you actually “save time”?  Doesn’t it just pass anyway? You can’t put it in a box and take it out later when you want it back again. It’s like my Weight Watchers Pro-Points; you can’t carry them over to the next day!

So make the most of it.

I prefer to take the same attitude to my time as I do with my money……spend it; spend it laughing with friends and family, reading great books, listening to heart-lifting music, watching the little birds and their antics in my back garden.

Time spent happily is time spent well.

Words

Where would we be without them?

Would we have developed another way of communicating, a better way possibly?

I often wonder because of the number of times when words, quite literally, fail me. It’s ironic how, with the vast increase in the amount of them flying through the atmosphere, whether by e-mail, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and all the squillions of other platforms, we all seem to understand less and less.

People could be speaking a different language going by how often I find myself completely lost as to what others want, need or expect from me.

“Oh, but I meant…..”, “Well, I hoped you would know………” , “But you should have guessed…….”

So, have words lost their meaning? Or are we just weary of them?

“A bad workman blames his tools,” they say and perhaps this is never more true than in this case. Words need more than a mouth to speak them; they need ears to hear them and a brain to process them, but, most importantly, a heart to understand them.

Ego, anger and resentment stifle them; twisting their meaning and distorting their sound. And yet in that joyous space, where love, kindness and warmth flow, they lift us out of the blackest of depths and transport us to our own kind of heaven.

Words can move nations to war then bring them back from the brink; they can break hearts, then make them whole again.

It’s Been A Funny Old Year…….So Far

I was lying in bed, thinking back over the first eight months of this year……and wow, how things have changed. The problems I had this time last year are as nothing now beside the events that came after; the dark and dismal summer seeming like a reflection of things going on around me.

It has been life-changing, but, as with most “big things”, good can come out of the ashes. CAN.

Because, as with most things, it’s about choice isn’t it?

I was talking to one of my wonderful friends last night and she told me about a “mantra” she has started using that has helped her enormously, in fact “freeing” her to enjoy where she is here and now.

” I am here, NOT because I need to be, but because I want to be.”

I watched her face as she told me about it and she is right. She looks happier, more empowered and certainly more in charge of her own destiny than I have seen her, possibly ever.

Life does change and some of those changes stink.

So what do you do?  You choose.

Make sure it’s what you want.

Seeing Is Believing….

And enjoying, and laughing and crying and hugging and touching.

A friend has just posted a video on Facebook highlighting something I have discussed before, but feel it needs saying again and again.

100’s+ “friends” on Facebook does not an embrace or belly-laugh or memory bank deposit make!

It should be a supplement to our friendships, not the soul source or mainstay of them.

I had a brilliant non-shopping, shopping day( yes that was deliberate) with a friend of mine yesterday and we laughed again at the days out we have had in the past with her sister; experiences I will recall with warmth and pleasure to the day I die. I want many, many more days like this; many more good memories to fall back on when things get tough.

Okay, we all have busy lives, but busy doing what?

Get your priorities right!

Get off your ass and get out to SEE your friends, your family, feel the air around you and pause long enough to let it sink in, re-charging your spirit with the joy it can be to be alive.

At Last…But What Happens Now?

So Justice Lowell Goddard has taken her seat at the “Inquiry Into Child Sex Abuse”,(CSA Inquiry) and at long last. Although there will be annual interim reports they do not expect to finish before 2020. The details, the reports, the appointments, it goes on and on; it is a huge undertaking, but if it results in a system that ensures the protection of our children, then so be it.

If.

But what happens now? What happens in the meantime?

This must all seem pie-in-the-sky to the kids suffering at the hands of abusers right now, with no sign of a safe haven. Charities try to pick up the slack, but when you bear in mind that out of approximately 4500 calls made to ChildLine every day only 2500 get answered due to lack of funding, then surely the government owes it to our children to pick up the tab for the shortfall.

Can we stand by and allow a child, who has worked up the courage to call for help, to go unheard? Isn’t that the most basic ask of anyone wronged; to be heard?

I am not trying to detract from the need for or the potential of this CSA Inquiry, but 2020 is a long way away for too many.

I Am Staggered….

As I have just read on FaceBook ( so it must be true, every last word of it!!) of a proposed “Erotic Festival” to be held at Narrow Water, Carlingford, in beautiful County Down, Northern Ireland, the ancestral home of the Hall family since 1670.

I have checked and, yes, this is an article from The Belfast Telegraph so, again, it must be true.

“The former Lord Lieutenant of county Down and one of the venue’s trustees, Sir William Hall, has voiced outrage at the prospect.

Sir William said: “Lewdness and lasciviousness will be the theme of this occasion.” (Belfast Telegraph)

Oh but you needn’t worry Sir William. Apparently organisers have said that sex acts will take place only within the privacy of a tent!! So there you go, nothing to worry about.

“John Larkin QC has said, “Sex toys will be on sale, talks will be given which may purport to be serious but the real object is the giving of sexual titillation and gratification to the participants in the festival.

“Nudity and acts of sexual intercourse will be prevalent.” (Belfast Telegraph)

I must stress that according to the article none of the Hall family are involved in organising this festival. The organisers are in fact, Bliss Ireland.

I swear to you, I am staggered!!

I feel like I have gone off into an alternative dimension. I am no prude, by any stretch of the imagination, but I would never have imagined any such event taking place in this country, and certainly not in my lifetime. I’m starting to get a picture of thousands of people turning up for a look-see, but all in disguise!

This would be a very good time to own a fancy-dress shop.

But on a more serious note, the people of this area of our beautiful country have had to live with the constant association to a huge terrorist attack in 1979.

Now they have to get used to being associated with hosting the country’s first “Erotic” Festival and an industry that perpetuates the subjugation of women.

Oh lucky them!

Our Children

I hadn’t intended to do another blog tonight, but I have just watched one of those short films on FaceBook that made me think about the subject matter of my earlier blogs.

In the film a child is complaining( some might say whining) at her mum. The mother attempts to still the child and this resonated with me.

Is this when we start teaching our children about negativity? Is this when we start to instill the “glass half empty” mentality?

“Don’t go out in the rain, you’ll get wet.”

“Don’t speak out, people may be listening.”

Don’t, don’t, don’t!

Well then, they won’t, won’t, won’t.

They won’t try in case they fail, they won’t laugh in case they offend, they won’t ask for help for fear of anger.

Children are sponges for everything around them; their environment, their family and their friends are key in influencing their outlook on life.

Why not break the chain of negative reactions in a child’s life somewhere?

Show the children you know the good in life, the positive in life and invest in the healthy mental attitudes of tomorrows adults.