THE SPANISH ADVENTURE BEGINS!

As everyone who knows me will tell you, although my head has been in Essex for the past few years, my heart has always been firmly in Spain – and not always in a romantic kind of way – far from it.

Having spent 10 or so years there, on and off, I know that not only do I love the country, I love the way of life and the fact that ( trust me on this ) no matter what anyone tells you, it is so much cheaper to live there than in the UK.  And the warmth, the blue sky, the light, the air, all just make you feel so much better somehow. Maybe it’s an age thing. Who knows. Who cares!

And so with all this in mind, for Jane Walters, aged 62 ¾, it is time for another adventure

I won’t lie to you, leaving some things behind is a bit of a wrench. My lovely girls, my gorgeous boys, missing them all goes without saying.

But I also loved my job at what must be one of the most stunning wedding venues in Essex, and all that goes with it.  What’s not to like!

I will miss my bright and breezy colleague Jenny, who tired me out every Monday morning, with her tales of how manic her weekend had been, whilst we ate our respective lunches. Her weekends, and her lunches were always so much more interesting than mine.  I loved our chats and we had so many laughs, collusions and secrets that were never secrets in the first place!

I couldn’t have wished for a nicer lady to spend my office hours with. IMG_0751

Then there is the lovely Paul who gave the best hugs ever. I spent many hours chatting with him about the highs and lows of wedding venue life. Paul’s major rants were only surpassed by his major schmoozing, which accounted for most brides falling in love with him on their wedding day.

Oh the irony……..oh those hugs!

And last but not least, I will miss Roz, who has no bloody idea how truly gorgeous she is. Stunningly pretty, a drop dead gorgeous figure and a smile that can light up a room, she deserves the absolute best of everything, but is oblivious to how fabulous she actually is. If you are lucky enough to be in her life, make sure you cherish her girls and boys …..Or else!

But everything has a shelf life and after 2 years of doing weddingy things, several ‘coincidences’ meant I found myself with the option of a 6 month rental on a lovely 2 bed apartment in Spain, and a little part time job into the bargain.  How could I refuse?

And so after selling up half my life, and packing up the other half into 3 massive cardboard boxes, here I am in Spain – again. But this time it’s just me and my dog Buddy, no excess man baggage.

So fuelled mainly by Rioja, let the adventure begin.

When the initial seeds were sown about the move to Spain it seemed ages away. But as 12 weeks dwindled to 6, I realised I had 2 years’ worth of ‘stuff’ to offload.

Two sofas, a fridge, a cooker, washing machine, not to mention my beloved Laura Ashley bedstead. Storage costs are notoriously expensive, so it all had to be rehomed.

I was amazed at the same question I heard over and over, ‘but what about your furniture, what will you do with it?’ – err – sell it of course.

My response probably seemed quite flippant, but as my lovely duck egg blue leather sofas and my cream wrought iron bedstead were both eBay purchases in the first place. If I should ever find myself incurably homesick, and need either of them again, I’ll find just as good, if not better on Ebay or Gumtree.  It’s just everyday ‘stuff’, I wasn’t emotionally attached to any of it.

And so the sell off began.

One lovely chap bought both my sofas, he’d just got a new flat and not a single thing to put in it. Other purchasers rocked up on a daily basis after successful bids on auction sites, and making me offers that I couldn’t refuse. I helped load a cooker into a car that was far too small for the load, and tied a fridge on a roof rack.

Another lady drove off with a chest of drawers hanging dangerously out of the back of her car, and she was hemmed in all ways round by the 6 drawers that accompanied it.

I kissed goodbye to books and clothes at a car boot sale and reduced the contents of my 2 bedroom rented cottage down to fit into 3 cardboard boxes that would be sent by courier to Spain.  IMG_0768

Next came the car; a timely parting as after 8 years of half-hearted TLC it was beginning to complain, and money would need to be spent in the not too distant future.

But with a full years MOT and good marketing on my part, its happy new owner drove it off into the sunset (rain actually) the day before I left. Perfect timing.

It’s a very strange but oddly liberating experience not having a set of keys, to absolutely anything, in your bag   No car keys, no house keys.

After a bit of a rowdy flight from Stansted to Murcia my friend Sandra was at the arrivals gate to meet me and on cue had a large jug of her special Sangria brewing, and after a short pit stop at her place, within 36 hours of arriving in Spain I was in residence in Mi Casa.

Everything so far had gone without a hitch but there’s always something that bites you on the bum or in my case, there was nothing to put on my bum.  On closer inspection of the contents of my small carry on suitcase, I realised that I had arrived in Spain knicker less.

Yes every single pair of big pants, small pants and lucky pants, were sealed inside the aforementioned 3 cardboard boxes back in Essex.

Well as we all know, you can take the girl out of Essex, but you can’t take Essex out of the girl and in the absence of a Marks and Sparks, in such an emergency, there was only one place to go.   IMG_0880

PRIMARNI

Off we trundled the next day to a shopping mall at La Zenia, and a few branded paper carrier bags later, the knicker emergency was over, and drawers were restocked.

Apart from the 3 infamous cardboard boxes, the only other thing that was missing was Buddy ~ but he was on his way!

 

HONESTLY WE ARE JUST GOOD FRIENDS!

Fancy some Fish and Chips on Friday?  he typed.   That would be lovely, I typed back.

We don’t actually talk very often, but we type a lot to each other.  Sometimes we watch whole programmes on the telly together too, whilst sitting miles apart.

Yes I know, we should get out more.

The exchanges are fairly succinct.  Celebrity MasterChef, for example, is accompanied by  ‘that looks like shite,  or ’not enough jus with the lamb’  and ‘shovel it in Greg’………..highbrow stuff.

Then, in the middle of our ‘conversation’ we both nod off on our respective sofa’s, until the next time.

I first knew Dicky in the mid 80’s when he was my window cleaner.  He was a handsome bugger, and he came with his own set of ladders. He could charm the birds off the trees and into his bed.

He was and still is, a cheeky chap, and although he will deny it, he had the pleasure of many a young lady, back in the day. But I wasn’t one of them.

Damn it.       DICKY DOWNES

Whilst we’ve always kept in touch, to be fair, we don’t actually see each other very often. I think it’s been oh at least twice this year, and possible twice last year.

But strangely enough, we are still quite close. I’d trust this man with my life, he is a very special bloke.

Over the last 30 odd years, we’ve flirted with the idea of becoming a bit more of an item. We’ve pipe dreamed about going here and there, doing this and that, and sometimes even the other.

But it’s never happened and never will.  Our moment has passed, and we both know it.

Nope we are just good friends, always have been, always will be.  However, it is quite surreal that by the power of Facebook, a simple selfie, and a fairly innocent throwaway line resulted in us becoming engaged by proxy, accompanied by many MANY messages of congratulations, wishes of happiness and that old chestnut, ‘Shall I buy a new hat’.     champagne

In fact, it got so out of control, that my ‘just good friend’ had to issue a statement of denial!

Honestly, if we’d been on Twitter, we’d have been trending.

It went something like this.

We took a nice leisurely drive to West Mersea. It wasn’t our first destination of choice, but it being a nice sunny Friday evening, the world and his wife decided to cause a bit of a kerfuffle on the A12, and so, as older people do, we decided to play it safe and take the back roads to a more familiar Essex backwater.

We talked our way onto a reserved table, promising not to be long, and did indeed have two very large portions of Skate and Chips, washed down with a bottle of pretty decent Merlot.

At the agreed hour, we adjourned to a bench outside, overlooking the water and it was there that the confusion selfie was snapped.

It was as they say, all over in a flash, and fed onto Facebook in seconds with the cryptic tag line of

30 years later………we didn’t want to rush things.

Then, my companion put his phone away, we finished our bottle of wine, and had a little stroll round, watched a few boats bobbing about and some seagulls swimming, and then went home for a nice cup of tea. We know how to live.

Yes, by 10.30, we were both yawning, the excitement had all been too much. Bed, and a good book was calling us.  That’ll be separate beds, and separate books.  Just to be clear.

However, while we were taking the scenic route back home, our picture had gone a tad ‘viral’ amongst the man Dicky’s Facebook friends.

And so by Saturday morning, 229 people had kindly liked our picture, and there were 80 congratulatory messages from people possibly all hoping for an invite to a wedding that wasn’t going to take place.

It was quite cheering to know that so many people approved of our unreal relationship, even Dicky’s son succinctly wrote that I was ‘fit’.

Thank you to my nearly stepson. Nice one.

DICKY AND ME MERSEA!

However, much as we hated to disappoint everyone, not to mention dismissing the possibility of many gorgeous gifts, (and maybe even shedloads of money), it would have been rude and unkind to have misled all those potential wedding guests any longer, and so apologies for confusion were hastily added to the hundreds of comments and we became quietly un-betrothed.

Sadly, in 30 years of friendship that was the first picture, of Dicky and I  ‘togevver’, I’m guessing it will probably be the last!

Still it was nice while it lasted!

MIND THE ‘AGE’ GAP!

H60. Older man younger woman Back in the day, when those of us who were a ‘child of the 60’s, were fluttering our Mary Quant eyelashes, and dancing round our handbags to Tamla Motown tunes, it seemed so damn cool for us to be seen out with an attractive, older, more worldly wise man.

Somehow, when you were 18 and freezing your tits off on the back of a Vespa, and some charmer nearly twice your age, came along swanking it big time, offering you a lift home in his Ford Cortina, you pretty soon started riding pillion in a frankly more pleasurable way.

And yes, ‘back in the day’, I too enjoyed liaisons with men considerably older than me, and far from feeling used and abused, (as apparently so many women 40 odd years later, now conveniently feel), I had a great time.

I went to places other girls my age only read about in magazines, I ate in good restaurants, and shopped in the West End while my mates were shopping in the market.

But whilst I eventually married a man my own age, girls who took the plunge and got hitched to ‘the much older man’, often come to regret it now they are in their early sixties, and living with men in their very late seventies and beyond.

We know that men age more quickly than women both in their hearts and in their heads, but in later life, when you are stuck in a marriage with a man who acts more like your Grandad, you do mind, and it does matter.

Most of us ladies who are only just saying ‘Hello Sixty’ with our bodies, are still saying ‘Hello Thirty’ in our heads.

Yes OK, physically our bunions are killing us, and we’ve got those annoying black things ‘floating on’ in our circa 1950’s eyes, but mentally, we are still feeling sexy, sociable, fit and flirty.

But that handsome devil who schmoozed his young bird’s knickers off all those years ago, and eventually put a ring on the Third Finger Left hand, isn’t bearing up quite so well. Now, there is a gaping chasm of years, which grows wider by the day.

Yes we are up for anything. We are getting into book clubs big time, and look forward to spending 10 minutes talking about the book, and 2 hours talking about sex, mainly fuelled by Prosecco.

Meanwhile the old man is at home enjoying quality time in his shed, thinking about a different kind of grinding on his home made lathe, with a bottle of Old Bob. Yes, he’s living his dream.

She see’s  a party as a time for dancing, he see’s  a party as much too noisy, and spends half the night sitting outside nursing a pint. Just as the night warms up, he demands to go home, while she isn’t feeling the Cinderella vibe. Her dancing shoes are just warming up.

Miss Sixty see’s a lively restaurant as full of atmosphere, it’s a time for chatting over good food, whilst the octogenarian husband complains that he can’t hear a thing above the ‘racket’, and grumbles that people should be eating and not making so much noise!

But it doesn’t end there. The man who is now approaching his 80th year, can’t comprehend why his still sprightly wife in her 60’s doesn’t think, and feel the same as he does, and the repercussions it has on their marriage and home life can be devastating.

A man born in the 1940’s will undeniably still be ‘old school’ in 2015, more set in his ways, and less able to accept that times have changed, and his wife has changed too.

With more and more ‘silver surfers’ on the internet, social media is there for the taking.  Mrs Sizzling at Sixty now has her eyes wide open to sites that sell sex toys, and forums that mention the fuck word without a five minute warning.

If his erectile should be dysfunctioning, then at the click of a button she can secretly swap her man for a different man for a night of pleasure, with no penalty to pay.

(Himself will still think that Tupperware parties are alive and kicking in Kettering, he’ll be none the wiser)

The next day, because she’s got pretty sharp at that writing lark, she can share her ‘adventure’ on her blog, as Mr Complacent has no idea how to turn a computer on, he still prefers good old fashioned pen and paper.

Instead of her longed for retirement adventures, disappointment and resentment sets in. They retire to their own separate corners, him to the garden to talk to his plants, she to her computer where she will talk to her Facebook friends.

The once charming man older man, has morphed into a grumpy much older man. Because he can feel her slipping away, the once endearing trait of taking care of her, takes on a more sinister air, and becomes more like control.

‘Have a good time, and I’ll pick you up at 11.00 and drive you home’ becomes ‘where are you going, how long will you be’?

‘You look so sexy in that dress’ changes too, ‘that dress is far too short for you at your age’.

For women, today’s sixty is yesterday’s 40, and no matter how much the younger wife loved her older husband when they first tied the knot, he is the one who becomes needy, while she becomes more confident.

Yes, just when the older husband needs his younger wife most, he makes her want him less.

Who is the worldly wise one now? While he’s living in the past, she’s still planning her future, maybe this time with a much YOUNGER man.

Do you know anyone who sometimes struggles with the differences an ‘older husband/younger wife’ relationship brings in those retirement years?

WE NEED TO TALK!

I don’t remember where I was when texting arrived. It crept up on me from behind, and not in a good way.

All of a sudden EVERYONE was at it.  Yes OK, it may be ‘progress’ but really, I think it’s a backward step.

Why is it more normal to text, than to actually SPEAK to the person you want to communicate with.

Am I’m a textaphobe?  Oh no I’m up to speed me!  Yes my fingers can talk the talk as well as anyone else.

But way back in the day, that clever chap Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, so we could speak to another person, immediately, without waiting for a letter or a telegram, bearing good, or bad news. EUREKA!  Because of him, we just picked up the phone and TALKED.

But all good things come to an end and we now have the cutting edge of text messaging at our  fingertips. Previously, you might have enjoyed a verbal invitation for a hot date and had the pleasure of hearing the sexy voice of your one and only. Now, you get a piercing text alert, only to read ‘ wud b g8 2 c u 2nite, spk 2 u l8ter’.

Well that’s not going to ‘send’ you all giddy is it!H60 new message received.

I think women, especially, get a very raw deal in the texting department.  When sending a text to their ‘man of the moment’ they usually use up all of their allotted digits.  Men, on the other hand, usually use the least digits possible to get their message across.

Imagine the morning after the passionate night before. Women are prone to reliving it all, and may wonder if ‘he’ is still basking in the same afterglow as she is. (Unlikely)

So she sends a 160 digit loving missive about how great it had all been. If she’s lucky enough to get any response at all, ‘yeah woz gud’ could just tip her over the edge of texting reason.

Mobile phones seem to have become the adult version of a security blanket. They have to be within touching distance or the owner feels a bit scared.  Scared of missing something that is.

No matter where you look these days, there will be someone clutching their phone, texting madly. Huddled in doorways’ the smokers have now been joined by a new band of brothers all firing up their small and slinky weapons of mass communication.

Of course one thing a phone call and text message do have in common is that sometimes both of them are a long time coming so to speak.

You know how it is, you are all loved up, waiting for a missive from the object of your desire, but you have to keep your phone on silent. Perhaps you are at work, or worse still, a funeral.

So you tuck your mobile snugly in your bra or knickers.  After all if there are any vibrations heading your way, especially in your lady bits, you sure as hell don’t want to miss them.

Then, if he’s in ‘chatty’ mode you have to plead early onset incontinence and visit the loo several times so you can reply in secret.

Gone are the days when numerous trips to the ladies could indicate doing constructive things with white powder and a credit card. The fashionable addiction now is TEXTING.

Even the Priory Clinic are running therapy sessions, I kid you not.

But even if it is quick, and convenient, texting is still fraught with issues for lots of people.

We’ve all got a relative or friend who takes FOREVER to reply to the simplest of texts, or who just ignores them altogether.

Isn’t it so annoying, when you need a quick response to something, as in, right NOW, and you know damn well the other person is definitely not handcuffed to a chair in a darkened room rocking some earplugs.  Yes, they can see, and hear that they have received a text from you, but it’s totally out of your hands, when, or if they will answer.

Then to add insult to injury, eventually you may get a response which begins ‘soz woz busy b4….

Busy BUSY?  What on earth were you so busy doing that it took you THIS long to bloody well answer. Honestly, I’ve seen my nearest and dearest respond to a text almost before they’ve received it, yet sometimes I wait DAYS for a reply if I get one at all!  Collection of acronyms and abbreviations colorful speech bubbles

I’m ancient enough to remember the smelly phone box at the bottom of my road, where I used to go every Sunday evening with my Mum so we could make our weekly phone call to my Gran.  The A and B button, the frantic ‘Goodbyes’ trying to beat the pips.

Somehow, no matter how many kisses it has at the end, a text from MY Grandchildren, just isn’t the same as hearing their voices.

KWIM!?

MY THRESHOLDS ARE LOW!

Mature Gentleman, look away now.     H60 low boredom threshold

I know I have a low boredom threshold, and my attention wanders pretty damn quick if I’m not fully engaged with either a person, film, or even a book.

But when it comes to a mature man trying to entertain me with what he thinks is an interesting tale, sometimes I struggle to disguise my FFS shut up face.

Some people would have us believe that this, low boredom threshold thing, is the sign of an intelligent mind, but in my case, I can assure you it’s just a sign that someone is taking far too long to tell me a story!

Yep, I’m just plain bloody bored.

I honestly do try, but today was a prime example of something that happens to me quite regularly.  Is it them, or is it me I ask myself.  But I’ve a better idea.  You decide!

I’ve been away for a week to Spain, on my holibobs. I’ve eaten some nice food, seen some nice places, and met some nice people.

In fact it’s all be SO ‘nice’ that I have a story or two of my own to impart to anyone who is willing to listen.

But today was clearly not my turn for storytelling.

One of my very mature ‘gentlemen friends’ called in to collect some duty free cigarettes I’d got for him. And when I say ‘friend’ he is just that.

A lovely, very rotund chap, who is outrageously rude and opinionated, but hilariously funny at the same time.  He’s usually great company.

But today, the boring bug had bitten him good and proper.

He bustled in with a big bear hug and peck on the cheek for me, plonked himself down rather heavily in a chair not made for girth.

Being polite, I got in first, and asked him how he was, and what he’d been up to.   BIG mistake!

Now I can tell you what he’d been up to in these few words.

His friend, a farmer, got a puncture on his truck but he had no spare tyre, so he was going off to get it repaired for him. Some modern vehicles don’t come with a spare these days, just a repair kit, which isn’t much good if it’s a 4×4 and you regularly drive over fields and ditches like he does.  What a daft idea these repair kits are for commercial vehicles, surely they should come with a spare tyre.  END OF.

Only his version went on, and on and on.  He told me about the inner workings of an inner tube, the size of the wheel, the make of the vehicle, and went into great detail about a series of letters he had previously exchanged with the MD of the car manufacturer, regarding the aforementioned omission of a spare tyre.    H60 Tyre repair kit.

He quoted parts of each letter, quoted part of the current licencing law for commercial vehicles and didn’t even stop when I began to pick my nails and do that thing we ladies do when we are not in the least bit interested, and start saying, ‘yeah’ in a….’ hurry up and shut up’ kind of way.

For Fuck Sake……….seriously, why do men do this.  Take FOREVER to tell a story which holds NO interest whatsoever for a female listener.

Don’t they realise, it’s so damn boring and eventually we just zone out.  They are so busy droning on and on, they can’t even pick up the signals that it’s time to shut up.

And not to mention their ability to hark back to something that happened 4 decades ago, making it sound like it happened last week.

What is that all about.  Talk about living in the past.

Women are good at just getting the pertinent facts of a story across aren’t they.  We can tell it exactly how it is in a few sentences, and move on swiftly to the next bit of juicy gossip.

We live in the moment; we are best at banter and bare facts.   H60 AND

WE DON’T CARE if whatever, happened on a Monday at 7, or Thursday at 10.  We just want to know WHAT happened!

BUT ‘mature’ men seem to have to be SO precise about the facts of any incident.  As if a minor wrong detail will affect the bloody outcome of the story.

Chaps, do us women a favour,  just cut to the chase, the quicker the better.

Eventually this morning, I had no alternative, but to stand up, look at the clock and squeeze in ‘it’s been lovely to see you’ (now bugger off), before he told me the colour of the vehicle and what size underpants the owner wore.

Thankfully, getting the hint, he heaved himself out of the chair, picked up his Silk Cut Purple and went happily, if obliviously on his way.

My ‘gentleman friend’ is intelligent, well versed, bright and amusing in general conversation, but OMG, get him onto telling a story, and you end up hearing the ins and outs of a magpies arse………

Did he ask anything about my holiday. NO.

Did I get the chance to tell him anything about my holiday. NO.

Does the same thing happen to you?   Tell me………..

Otherwise I shall think I’m just a really rubbish ‘lady friend’ who is only interested in the sound of her own voice!

 

 

THAT’S LIFE!

 

Rosie - Author of Hello Sixty

I love this story of the gentleman who did not, as they expected, leave the bulk of his estate to family and friends, but instead to someone who appears to have just popped round occasionally and cleaned his gutters for free. Predictably, the will has been challenged in court.

Indicative statement from the kindly smiley man who did the good turn…..

H60 Pensioner bequest story Gutter man

‘’I class a friend as somebody who talks to people. His friends and family hadn’t spoken to him in months. At least I was going round whenever I was in the area.

 

 

 

H60 Pensioner bequest, greedy woman

Indicative statement from the sour faced, ‘we woz robbed’  people

‘One or other of us would go and see him every break we had. I had tried to pop in around March and had phoned but there was nothing. We were planning to go on a cruise the next year.

H60 Pensioner bequest story, greedy man. Richard Gittins Champion news

 

 

 

I don’t want to state the flaming obvious here, but maybe there was ‘nothing’ because the poor old bugger was probably already dead.

I’m guessing your ‘cruise’ plans have probably changed now too. Yep, thought so.

 

I hope the court throws out this challenge to the will and tells this pair of chancers to do one.

 ******

H60 Sam Cam's feet.cPA

Poor Samantha Cameron.  She schlepped round town championing the cause for him indoors, and just when she get’s offered a cup of tea and a nice sit down, all anyone is interested in is her ‘unkempt feet’.

H60 Sam Cam feet close up.

Honestly, her feet look freezing cold don’t they, and as we all know, when it comes to time management on a school day, the toss up between ‘shall I wash my chip fat hair, or paint my toenails in case a kind man in a turban offers me a brew’, in my view, there is no contest.

Glad the Daily Fail have got their priorities right.  How about commenting on the fact that Ms Mcleod didn’t take her shoes off.  That’ll be a lost vote then.

Much more of this abuse of the shag pile by the Conservatives, and questions will be asked in the house.

******

 And my award for ‘dramatic over reaction’ goes to the couple who could have accentuated the positive whilst celebrating their wedding, but chose instead to be reduced to sobbing wrecks over something that in the grand scheme of things was in my view, just one of those things.

H60 Mouldy cake cutting picture.

In fact the traumatic turn of events caused the bride to wail,  ‘I had to concentrate on making the first dance as special as I could without having to break down in floods of tears again.

It begs the question, was the first dance song………TRAGEDY!

H60 mouldy cake eyebrows pic

Yes, the bride, the groom, AND his Mother were ALL sobbing, not tears of joy that the brides eyebrows had not disappeared into her hair, or that the grooms trousers had not split, cos he’d clearly not  shifted the pounds in preparation for his ‘big day’, but simply because their calorific cake had gone a bit ‘off’.

The bride ( still wailing ) informed us

H60 mouldy cake miserable pic

   ‘I went into the kitchen to see it and ran outside and   broke down in tears.

My husband was crying because he knew I was going to be absolutely devastated.

 

LUV, it’s a cake, get over it.  It’s a blessing in disguise. Trying to rock a sad, miserable face is not doing either of you any favours. Move on.

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan does it!

Photo’s attributed to:  Richard Griffin Champions News, The Evening Gazette, and the Daily  Mail.

KATIE HOPKINS – TWITTER GRAINS OF TRUTH

Back in January, referring to KATIE HOPKINS, I wrote,

‘I don’t actually give a toss about what people think of me LIKING her, because I do’.

And now I like her even more.   Katie Hopkins picture 3

But I really don’t mind at all if you don’t agree with her opinions, or mine! 

We can still be friends. Right?

Why do I like her?  Well, because most of what she says usually has a grain of truth in it, which, I believe most reasonably intelligent people agree with, but are just too ‘nice’ to say themselves. Whilst others just worry about what people will think of them if they admit to agreeing with her.

One Twitter follower wrote, ‘I tend to agree with 90% of @KTHopkins comments, but I’m scared to retweet them in case I get trolled’!

Well, last night I happened to Tweet in agreement to one of her opinions,  I didn’t get trolled, but what did happen was more people ‘favorited’ my Tweet than ever before, and I gained more followers in 10 minutes than I have in the last 10 months!

It went something like this.

The latest Social Media uproar was caused when she voiced her opinions about patients with dementia, stating, amongst other things, that we treat animals more humanely than humans.

Let’s be honest, this is a view that most people are in agreement with.  Out of love, we can take a chronically sick dog to the vet, and cuddle and whisper endearments to it while we gently send them to doggy heaven.

However, when it comes to our chronically sick human relatives suffering from dementia, we have NO choice, but to force onto them the indignity of languishing in a hospital bed, with absolutely no quality of life, for weeks, sometimes months on end. No ‘good death’ for our nearest and dearest.

But of course people love to take offence at the slightest thing, and very often don’t have the verbal skills to put their point of view forward succinctly, often missing the point entirely.  Which was exactly what happened yesterday.

Twitter KT Hopkins tweet.

 

 

 

 

 

After posting this, I received Tweets back such as ‘not in abattoirs we don’t’ which was, as I pointed out is a slightly different argument and this random offering from a guy in Norwich ‘How long has free pet care being going on’ referring I presume to the ‘free’ NHS care that dementia sufferers are given.

But he, along with many other people were responding emotionally not rationally to Ms Hopkins opinions, which is usually the case.

So if as a result of ‘following me’ on Twitter, the 14 retweets, and 63 favorites,  if you do happen to be reading this, thanks so much, keep on reading, and share the love!

Why do I think what she says usually has a grain of truth in it. Well, while we are in a ‘celeb’ state of mind, as someone once said ‘Let’s look at the evidence’……….

Would I employ you if you were obese? No I would not. You would give the wrong impression to the clients of my business. I need people to look energetic, professional and efficient. If you are obese you look lazy – Katie Hopkins

The only people who will disagree with this are people who ARE in fact obese or those wanting to jump on the coach with the OFFENDED destination.

I absolutely DO agree that if you are obese, you do look lazy, and I for one do not want to be the customer of anyone who is lugging their huge pie filled body around, gasping for breath and  is generally not a very pleasant sight to see.

People make excuses for obesity by saying ‘oh they have tried every diet, but they never work. They are actually a nice, thin person inside, just waiting to get out’.

This of course is total bollocks. Most obese people are just lazy and greedy.

Children are named according to their parent’s intelligence. They are a social marker, an indicator of vocab, manners, ability, and respect – Katie Hopkins

Another spot on observation, which was met with outrage amongst the parents of every Paris, Sheralee, Kyle, Tyler and Whitney.

Your name defines you for life, and also in many respects defines your social status and that of your family. I agree that it shouldn’t….. but it does and always will

I doubt we will ever see a Kayden in the House of Lords, just as Edward would sadly be a sitting target for bullies on a council estate anywhere in the UK.

Like is drawn to like, and let’s face it, in the playground of life, George’s parents are highly unlikely to invite Chelsea’s Mum and Dad round for drinks and nibbles and Tiffany’s parents are highly unlikely to invite William’s Mummy and Daddy round for a few cans of Stella and an Iceland Prawn ring.

Grains of truth are only viewed as offensive by those who choose to be offended, say what you like, Ms Hopkins is very often just saying what most of us are thinking. Get used to it.

Do you secretly agree with some of her views?

LOVELY TO MEET YOU – NOT

Is it me, I ask myself a hundred times a day, but on this conundrum, I’ll let you, dear reader, decide.

So off I go on a ‘date’ with the new man. I haven’t said much about the new man, as I have no idea if he is going to be the new man for much longer. To be honest the signs are not that good, and there have been a few glitches already in this fledgling relationship, more of that another day. But for now….

Last night we went out for a pub meal with 3 other couples, who already know him, but have never met me before.  I obviously have no idea what to expect, but I’m dressed in black leggings, black tunic dress, cowboy type boots and leather jacket.  My hair looks reasonably bobbed and I’ve gone for the smokey eyes and red lippy look.

To be fair, it’s pretty much my normal, every – day look, I’ve neither dressed up, or down.

So I rock up in the car park, the man is there, and we go into the pub together.

One couple have already arrived, and so meet and greet the man warmly, and he introduces me, they say ‘Hello, nice to meet you’ and, so do I.  It is indeed all very ‘nice’.

By the time we’ve been to the bar and got our first drink, the other couples have arrived so now there is a greeting fest going on, and everyone is very pleased to meet everyone else.

It’s still all very ‘nice’.

I get seated between the new man, and another lady, we are all around the same age, but I feel from the get go that they really won’t ‘get’ me.

And I’m right.

Food choices are made, orders taken, and so everyone is now free to chat uninterrupted. So they do, but not to me!

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ll talk to anyone, I’ll ask questions, and engage with people in a supermarket queue, a lift, on the train, absolutely anywhere and I’m happy to respond to any questions that may, in turn, be thrown my way.   Except last night, they weren’t throwing any

Despite my frequent attempts to engage, the established group of ladies clearly preferred to talk amongst themselves, which I thought was incredibly rude.

At one point, I did manage to comment how gay weddings were usually the most stylish, but you’d have thought I’d told them I’d got a bad attack of head lice.

Mouths curled up at the edges and there was a discernable shaking of heads.

I won’t lie, they did talk to the group generally, but nobody included me in their conversations, or asked me anything about myself, you know those obvious questions like, where are you from, where do you work, how did you two meet, and things I’d sure as heck ask if a newly available man rocked up with someone like me!

I mean, if they HAD eventually asked me what I did, I was intending to use my shock tactic and say I was a writer of erotica, and, if they HAD eventually asked me if I’d done anything nice last week, I was going to truthfully tell them that I’d had some fantastic conversations with some  of my own feisty, fab friends, including one who was telling me about a sexy tryst she’d had with a complete stranger, one who was planning a sexy tryst with a sexy Frenchman, and one who was amusing me with details of how one of her mates had enjoyed an unexpected, but perfectly friendly gang bang in a former life.

You won’t be surprised to read that I found all that far more interesting than  ‘are we having a starter or a pudding’ which was about as much as the incredibly dull damsels in the pub could amuse me with.

So, what did I do?

Well, after arriving at the allotted hour of 7.30, and after feeling like Polly no Pals for far longer than I deserved, I shovelled my dinner down, and at 10.15 as soon as the last spoonful of meringue left my mouth, I picked up my bag, smiled ever so sweetly, and said as insincerely as I possibly could,  ‘it was lovely meeting you’, and with 7 pairs of eyes following me, I flounced out the door, and buggered off home for a nice cup of tea and a cuddle with the dog.

So really, is it me?    Not nice to meet you

Do you think I was right to be a tad pissed off at their rudeness?

 

WE SHOULD ALL BE MORE NOSEY AND NOISY

As a fairly streetwise Mother of two daughters, and Nanny to 4 boys aged from 4 to 12, I still cannot get to grips with the latest reported scale of child exploitation and sexual abuse in England that has apparently been going on over the last decade or more.

Do I think David Cameron’s latest wonderful idea to jail anyone who turns a blind eye to child abuse in the future, will make a difference?  No, I don’t.

People will not be held accountable. One person will of course be sacked, or jailed, to make an example of them, but then it will all just be old news and forgotten.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/03/gesture-jailing-professionals-child-abuse-wont-stop-rotherham

After all, how many times, after some poor child has been horrifically treated, have we, as mature Grans and Nans, heard the words ‘ lessons will be learnt, there will be a full enquiry’, but the lessons are never learnt, and history predictably repeats itself.

What I find incomprehensible is that in some of the most tragic cases that have been in the news over the past 5 years or so, teachers, neighbours and extended family seem to have either been blind, deaf or completely stupid NOT to have noticed when a child that they regularly see appears to be unhappy, neglected, or withdrawn.

Why have they not shouted louder, got involved, knocked on doors, made phone calls, anonymously or otherwise, and left NO stone unturned until someone listened, and more importantly,  been seen to take action.

Whilst this is slightly off course, as a dog lover and owner, it is MY job to protect my dog, to ‘read’ him if you like. Is he behaving normally, is he eating, drinking, sleeping, running and engaging with me, and other dogs, as he usually does. Has something upset him, his digestion, is he in pain, limping, biting his feet, or scratching his ears.  If so, I look closer, watch, listen, feel, and do whatever it takes to help him

Shouldn’t that be the same with a child for goodness sake?

Except it’s not is it.  For every news item about an abused or neglected child that makes us gasp at the horror of it all, someone must have heard or seen something.  A happy child jumps and skips, is full of giggles, asks for sweets, and is cheeky. An unhappy child is withdrawn, solemn, scared, asks for nothing and says nothing.

A cared for child looks and smells entirely different to a neglected child.  The warning signs are usually there, but are often simply ignored. After all people don’t usually want to get involved do they?

Instead of making sex education in schools, compulsory for 5 year olds, (which is another bright idea of some other Government idiot), wouldn’t it be a better idea, to educate EVERY child, about shouting very loudly to their Mummy or Daddy, Nanny or Grandad, if they are in any way scared, unhappy, nervous, anxious, about ANYTHING, safe in the knowledge that they will be listened to, they will be believed, and be reassured that none of it is their fault.

Shouldn’t we be spending more time educating every young girl and boy, about NOT keeping some secrets, even if they are asked to do so?  Telling them specifically, who is allowed to undress them, who can help them do personal things, even if it is a hugely sensitive conversation to have.

For older girls, and boys, let’s crank that birds and bee’s lesson up a few notches and talk to them in language they actually understand. Yes of course they need the biological facts, but they also need cold hard facts, if they are to be armed well enough to deal with some of today’s warped human beings.

Most teenagers today are streetwise and know far more than us 60 something’s did at their age, so let’s enhance that knowledge, and teach them how to spot a ‘groomer’ at a 100 paces, and to put their often annoying, trappy little mouths to good use and shout very loudly and make sure someone listens.

I cannot believe that out of the hundreds of vulnerable young girls who have been exploited in Oxford and Rotherham, not one of them told a soul.  Nobody noticed they went missing for days on end; nobody questioned where they were, nobody took a long hard look at any one of them and thought something was wrong.

Didn’t it strike anyone as odd, seeing young white girl’s constantly hanging round with older, Pakistani men?  The policeman walking his patch, an off duty social worker, maybe a solicitor from a local practice? A high proportion of them were ‘in care’, but nobody cared did they.  Really.

How about we, as adults, be more mindful, more nosey, and noisier if we feel, see or hear something that is not quite right. Instincts are not usually wrong.

Never mind about making an error of judgement. Better to do that and take the flack, than NOT say anything, not act on our instincts, our intuition, and leave another youngster in danger for one more second than is necessary.

Or do you think the more common thought process is ‘better not get involved’

 

THE POWER OF A LOST DOG.

By the power of Facebook, you can buy and sell silk purse or a sows ear, share the highs and lows of your life, and announce new arrivals and sad departures to as many ‘friends’ as you care to imagine.

Our local community pages tell us about cancelled trains, punctures on the community bus and bring us important updates about incidents and accidents around the local roads.

But over the past couple of weeks, the main focus for a small village in Essex, has been on Lily the German Shepherd who having been rescued from an unsuitable owners, then made a dash for it from her new forever home, and found herself terribly lost and scared.

To begin with, the notification on the newsfeed was fairly normal.  Dog lost. Keep your eyes open, brief description and I’m sure like me, most people expected a happy ending a few hours later.       Lily 3 (2)

But what followed, was I believe, an exceptional example of how a dog loving community rallied round, when it became clear that Lily was going to be very elusive.

At first, people began to do as they were asked, keeping their eyes open while on their own dog walk, and taking spare lead and a few treats just in case they could catch her.

Sightings were posted regularly, and over the next few days, a Facebook page was created for Lily, where people said where they had last seen her and at what time.

But when Lily had been out in some pretty cold overnight temperatures, things gathered pace, and people were now organising themselves into groups to search at pre-arranged times.

A specialist trapping team were consulted and they were happy to help.

Lily meanwhile continued to avoid being caught. She was by this time criss crossing major roads, but being such a young dog, she was not even approachable and every time people got close to her, she just bolted. So frustrating for everyone.

A plan was suggested to place food stations at various points, then, to decrease the distance between them, in an effort to encourage Lily to stick to one particular area, and eventually to set some kind of trap for her.

However, the RSPCA were unwilling to lend a trap, and nobody else had one readily available.

What followed was really quite amazing.  As the community began to discuss the need for a trap, people started collectively offering money to buy one, whilst some offered to fund the purchase outright. Donations were taken into one of the village shops.  People were incredibly generous not only with their time, but with their hard earned cash too.

As groups met up on a daily basis to search for Lily, friendships were formed, acquaintances were renewed, and there was an incredible sense of purpose shown, and support given to Lily’s owners, who before Lily disappeared, were complete strangers.

People sat in fields with flasks of hot tea, lit BBQ’s in an attempt to tempt her towards the smell. A major Essex road was held to ransom while people drove up and down at 40mph trying to spot her, and lorries were regularly stopped dead if she ever poked her head over a ditch.

The newly purchased trap was manned all the time ‘just in case’.

Sadly, there was no happy ending for Lily. After nearly two weeks evading the kind people who were actually trying to save her, she ventured onto the railway line and…….well, it all happened very quickly.

But there are plans for people that were complete strangers ‘before Lily’ to meet up and have drinks to celebrate Lily’s short but eventful life.

Her legacy has forged new friendships and probably renewed the communities faith in the generosity of others, and their willingness to give their time to help someone in distress, not to mention those traps which are there just waiting in her memory, to help the next ‘lost dog’.