Monday, 28 November 2011


My friend has succeeded in having a sexist advert removed from TV. 
Volkswagen ran an ad that showed a woman in labour being taken to hospital by her male partner. But the paramedic who meets them, is stunned by the amazing car they arrive in and both men are soon engrossed in car worship and ignore the woman. 

My friend filled in the complaints form on VW’s website, pointing out that they had trivialised an event which claims thousands of women’s lives every year. The reply she got was anodyne and grammatically toe-curling. I made a complaint on the website, pointing out that it was also sexist towards men. This is an offensive stereotype that suggests that men are all puerile cretins who don’t care about human life. The e-form barfed back one sentence at me and said this had a syntax error. Kevin said this just meant their server is fracked and you couldn’t really tell whether it was rejecting or giving a receipt. 

Next, my friend e-mailed them again and said that their response was unsatisfactory and that unless they told her they were removing the ad, by a certain date, she would be informing certain newspapers and media. She then received a swift reply saying that the ads were being pulled and that it would take a few days to remove them from all networks.
Booyah. Result, and a good one.
Nicely done.

Scheduling at the Schloss is hectic and for various reasons, I have had to go to the Static on Sunday afternoon and stay over until Monday.
I called in at the Market. A smallish child was hoverin by the pepperdew peppers as I was making towards them.
 ‘Are they very hot?’ She asked.
‘No,’ said I, ‘not at all, they’re quite sweet really.’ Then there was a moment when the unspoken thing hung in the air and we looked at each other.
‘Ok,’ said I, ‘I am British, we have a different scale,’
‘They’d blow my head off, wouldn’t they?’ she asked,
‘No, no, but….’
‘Maybe too much for a seven year-old?’

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Abbey

The temperature goes down, it goes up, and now, hopefully, it's back down a touche, Hurrah. Except that the number of road traffic accidents has become horrific. I suppose that's not so much temperature as weather related.

So, on the recommendation of just about everyone back in Blighty, we've started watching Downton Abbey, and I must say, I am rather enjoying it. Thought provoking. And it really holds the key to the English, I wouldn't like to say the British necessarily, but certainly the English.

I find it difficult to appreciate the gravity of the Amish 'haircut attcks'. I know, I know. But to compound it, the leader of the breakaway haircutters is called Sam Mullet.

Mercury's going retrograde now for two weeks. I'll try to stay calm.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


"I hear those sleigh bells ringing..." yep, already, outside of Superstore, the Sally Ann have stationed a Santa replete with bell.
Inside Superstore, an elderly lady was wearing a tiger-striped fun-fur hat with ears and dangly bits. I feel this is a stroke of genius, it makes seniors seem cute and lovable, which in fact many of them are. 

It's very cold right now, Janis cold. I actually had to put a coat and gloves on today - awesome.

Today, up at the crack of dawn to take Laurence to his forklift training, about a million miles away - a good fifty minute drive at any rate. We actually did watch day break and it was breathtakingly beautiful. Along Route 99, Bald Eagles were sitting in trees, enjoying the morning coldness.

Laurence now has a forklift licence. Good job laddie, made it well worth getting up at 6, driving across Surrey before the world was awake, and then down to chilly Washington State to rescue Kevin and Whisky.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

First Snow

Yesterday morning we awoke to snow. Not deep snow, but a fair covering. Whisky was keen to investigate.
Me too.
Gone by this morning.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Crow Flying Backwards

Wild weather at the weekend, rain, torrential rain, get-your-ark-ready rain, and wind. Still windy today, bringing-down-trees wind. And crows flying backwards wind. Backwards flying crow - why isn't there a yoga pose called that? Maybe there is.

Finished 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog'. Alison Anderson, (translator) I did you wrong. The book has been re-translated into US English. I found this out thanks to the function on where you can read inside the book. I searched for 'dime store psychology', the original translation said, 'amateur psychology'. I rest my case. It was a great book.

I'm liking US Prime Suspect. I like Maria Bello's Jane Timony, she's like an updated Christine Cagney, I loved Cagney and Lacey, but I'm peeved that it is called Prime Suspect. It has nothing to do with the original series.

Today was an excellent day, my day off, and Kevin took a day off so that we could spend the day together on our wedding anniversary. And we have had a fab day, doing really quite ordinary things, but together.

And we started the day watching telly in bed - the much recommended Downton Abbey. Excellent.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011


Misleading actually, it has been raining a fair bit. Apparently it's going to rain a fair bit more too.

The World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report for 2011 has just been published. The UK, USA and Canada are huddled together in 16th, 17th and 18th places respectively.
Sheer freaking disgrace for all three. And how is this disgrace being addressed? The usual lip service of course.

Yet two interesting pieces of research could inform us and allow a more spirited campaign to do something real about the situation. In June of this year, Science Daily summarised a study that showed how 'daily acts of subtle sexism' by both women and men, impact the lives of women. But when women were made aware of the 'unseen sexism', such as sexist language, they were more inclined to correct their behaviour, when men were made aware, they didn't see it per se as discriminatory, they needed an extra factor, such as empathy for women or certain women.

At the end of October, another study demonstrated a clear and strong link between the sexism exhibited by individuals and the extent of the gender gap in the society in which those individuals live. Jigsaw pieces falling into place? The subtle and often unseen sexism that is daily perpetuated by individuals, is self-reinforcing and reflected in the size of the gender gap.

Until we properly address what too many think of as 'pet peeves' and annoying whinges rather than the rhizomes of what become human rights issues, this gap will not close. And whilst men have privilege in those three western societies that should be shamefacedly shuffling their feet right now, the reality is that not all men benefit from that Patriarchy. The men who are important in our lives, lovers, sons, fathers, friends, are for the most part good men, good and supportive men who are also the losers in a system where a minority shit on the rest.
This is something that can be achieved by ordinary people for ordinary people.

So why don't we do it?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Twenty-five Hour Day

The clocks have gone back. It's nice to have that extra hour in the morning, but also confusing, in spite of the fact that most of the clocks change automatically.

But then when I took Whisky for his teatime walk, the sun was already setting. The sky was clear and denim blue, kissed with pink at the treeline. The almost full moon was already visible and the colour of platinum.

This weekend we stayed in Canada. Yesterday I had a day of really interesting workshops at a not-particularly local college. Today I pottered, getting my energy channels cleared by doing routine taks that had needed doing for too long. Therapeutic, good. Good for me in any case.

Friday, 4 November 2011

First Frost

Although I don't like that I have to drive to work, there are mornings, like today, when it is compensated by the sheer, jaw-dropping beauty of the mountains and the fields, and the mist and sparkle. It makes the soul soar. Intense.

One of the local mountains had snow, Snowvember? We'll see.

This week's expression de la semaine (see what I did there?) 'not in your/my/her/his wheelhouse'. An odd expression.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011



So, Greece, what a freaking mess, huh? 'Backstabbing, skullduggery and political intrigue...' Well I never. And the formerly rioting citizenry think they are being blackmailed into agreeing to their country being rescued by the EU. Difficult to find any wronged party in it all.

Yesterday I discovered I was eligible for a free flu jab on account of being on blood pressure meds. The pharmacist seemed happy to have a customer, even one getting something for nothing. He offered me a lollipop, I declined, natch.

The Brompton Mix have an agent. Rock and Roll lads, rock and roll.