Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Second Sex?

Have you ever wondered why it is that in many public places the Ladies bathroom does double duty as the Disabled toilet? I can understand why the bathrooms have to be combined when it's a small concern, for example the café where Big Man and I frequently go for Sunday brunch - just a little one-woman concern that has complied with access regulations by providing facilities for wheelchair users. But why lump them in with the Ladies toilets? It can't be for reasons of space since I imagine a urinal takes up no more extra floor space than a wall-hung hand drier. Could it be that it's expedient for civic planners to combine two disadvantaged groups of people together? Has anyone noticed a joint Men/Disabled loo recently?

pic from here


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Weird Science

Today we had a visit from a company that specialises in showing animals to old people in care homes. They have visited here before and this time I'd asked for some unusual animals. We were hoping for a meerkat but were willing to settle for a chinchilla or a parrot. When the very nice girl-animal wrangler arrived she told me that she was sorry, she didn't have a chinchilla and wasn't quite sure why we'd been offered one. Plus the parrot was two now and had started kicking off so she'd left it at home (we would've liked that! It would have woken my sleepy residents up a little!). 'Do you have a meerkat then?' I asked, ever hopeful. 'Oh no!' she chuckled, 'they're really difficult to look after!'
The science bit was looking less weird with every passing minute.

In the upstairs lounge only four out of twelve residents were awake and ready to greet the animals who, it transpired were exactly the same ones as we saw last time.....a fat guinea pig, a lopless big rabbit and apparently a hairless creature, the species of which none of the residents were quite sure of when I quizzed them later (I wasn't able to stay for the whole show). I was sitting beside one of the residents, an old Scots lady called Mhairi whilst she was petting the rabbit and she asked the animal-girl a question in quite a soft voice. After asking her to repeat the question three times and still not catching what Mhairi said, Animal-Girl turned helplessly to me. 'What are you saying Mhairi' I said to her, having only caught the word 'mother'.

'Is its mother a dog?' was what she was trying to ascertain. Phew! Weirdness resumes!!!

Pic from here

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Hello, I'm Resting Bitch Face

resting bitch face  a person, usually a girl, who naturally looks mean when her face is expressionless, without meaning to.

High up on the list of 'people who annoy me' (ie. most of the people I meet) are those, almost always men, who try to get a laugh by saying insulting things about you, belittling you. By this I mean they will say something quite personal about you in order to a) make themselves look clever and b) make you look stupid. These men are normally attempting to cover up their own inadequacy and I would imagine, tiny appendages. Most times this would make me feel ridiculous and small - it happened fairly frequently in my barmaiding days, normally when I'd refused to serve someone who had clearly had a skinful - especially because I knew that if I answered back, or replied in kind, it would incite the man to be really mean and personal. And who needs that when they're just trying to earn a few quid? Sometimes though you just have to call people out on their behaviour, if only to stop them from doing it to younguns who are not quite so confident. Because it's a form of bullying really, don't you think?

We have a resident whose previous carer comes to visit him a couple times a week - let's call this ex-carer fellow Geoff, shall we? He's maybe my age; a real Sotonion (calls people 'mush') and clearly doesn't have a job or he couldn't come to our place during the day like he does (that's conjecture on my part though since I haven't cared enough to ask him). I've chatted with him briefly but no deep meaningful conversations; thought he seemed okay and he seems fond enough of the resident he comes to visit. So far so good. A month or so ago I was serving out the lunch to the residents and I had my phone on playing music, singing along, when Geoff, who was sitting at the dining table with his friend called over 'don't give up the day job Keshling'. Now I don't claim to be Shirley Bassey but I know I can sing a bit so how rude is that? Uncalled for, personal rudeness. I confess I was taken aback, I mean, who asked him? Why comment at all? On that occasion I said nothing and let it ride, however other than saying hello I haven't spoken to him since.
Today I came out of the lift to walk to my office, maybe ten steps. Just walking, carrying some photocopying, minding my own business. Geoff was sitting outside the lift beside his resident; there were a couple of other residents there plus one resident's wife, a woman whose face is permanently etched with the expression of someone who has a lemon rammed up her arse and the demeanour to go with it (more of her another time). Geoff piped up 'cheer up Keshling, you've got a face like thunder' (obviously the aforementioned resting bitch face since I was neither happy nor sad, merely looking forward to a little sit down) and I decided, there and then, that I had to nip this in the bud. Without breaking step I told him 'make one more personal remark about me and I'll slap your face'. He was startled, clearly, because when I came out of my office almost immediately and said 'was that happy enough for you?' his mouth was still open. 

You might think I over-reacted, being that I am the thinnest-skinned person I know (absolutely the thinnest-skinned person in the building according to my boss Andre) but really, where do you draw the line? Should I allow him to carry on, getting more and more personal and clever with himself or do you think that's just banter, part of male/female relationships? I'm well able to slap Geoff down but what about the younger carers like Sam who has just started and is so eager to fit in, or one of my Polish colleagues whose English isn't fantastic; who nevertheless realises they're being laughed at but can't quite formulate a response? And does having resting bitch face mean that you have to put up with stupid comments from people who are, to all intents and purposes, strangers to you? It's bad enough having Big Man asking 'what's the matter with you?'constantly when all I'm doing is watching TV intently. But I think really, what irked me the most was somebody who barely knows me thinking it was okay to be personal. One thing's for sure, Geoff won't be making that mistake again any time soon.

What do you think, resting bitch face or just complete bitch?

Wednesday Addams, queen of the Resting Bitch Faces

Friday, 8 February 2013

And She's Off!!!!

First weigh-in at Slimming World was Tuesday just gone and I'm 7lbs down. Pretty happy with that - an average kind of first week loss although I have lost 11lbs in a first week once. This time I've decided to eat normally (ie not starve myself) on weigh-in days. If you don't eat all day there's a danger that you'll go home after group and chow down on everything in sight, which I've done soooo many times - this time I decided that I was going to be sensible and moderated. Hopefully I'll finally be successful!
I'm a big believer in rewarding yourself with little non-food treats when you have a good week on a diet so tomorrow I'm going to have some eyelash extensions. Yes, I do realise it's not really a little treat but Big Man has paid for them for my birthday, and it's half-price because a trainee is doing them, so I'm classing them as such. I'm really excited about it!!

I expect to look something like this tomorrow afternoon....

Monday, 4 February 2013

From The Pen Of A Mullingar Heifer....

Hands up if you can identify with my sad tale.

Before Red was born I had a nice figure - I always thought I was like the side of a house but with hindsight I was probably an ideal weight for my height. Put it this way - when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant I wasn't too heavy to be almost blown over a lowish wall on the main road by a great gust of wind whilst I was shaping along in my leather coat (probably to buy 20 Rothmans....I was on the ciggies big style in those days) and pixie boots. If I hadn't executed a pretty nifty scissor kick as I was buffetted diagonally from behind, passing drivers would have been dialling 999 rather than just being plain gobsmacked.

After Red was born I was scrawny. Walked everywhere with the pram; still puffing away on the Rothmans; no Big Man around therefore no need for any nourishment other than black coffee. When Mr Charming was born two years later I'd given up smoking, had a brand new car and didn't do any walking ("Look at me! I'm in a J-reg Astra!!"); consequently I started to get fat. And fatter. I've put on roughly seven stones since the pre-kids days; I've lost up to five stones at a time in the interim but put it on again and currently I am looking like the proverbial Mullingar heifer. Never heard of her? When I was growing up in Dublin the disdainful description of any girl whose legs were a little bit chunky/a little bit cankle-y (at least I don't have those...thank you God!!!) was 'she's beef to the heel like a Mullingar heifer!'. I really don't know what the significance of Mullingar is in this by the way - it's a little town in the midlands of Ireland and Googling it I can see that famous Mullingarians include Joe Dolan, Michael O'Leary of Ryanair, Tina Kellegher (if you've never seen the film 'The Snapper' I command you find it and watch it NOW!!) and Niall Horan of One Direction, they of the totally knobbish haircuts - but I find no reference to heifers and fat legs. Go figure. It's almost as insulting as that withering putdown for those with skinny shanks....'last time I saw legs like that they had a message tied to them!' People can be cruel and usually I'm one of them, but then you already knew that....

Heifer with attitude. A bit like me. Lol.

So here I am, a fat lady. Not at all happy. Any fat woman who says she is happy with how she looks is a big fat liar. All the 'oh, let's celebrate curves' and 'oh, real women are the new black/new 30 etc' and 'oh, so many proper designers are making clothes for bigger women' doesn't hide the fact that fat girls look crap in just about everything they wear. My opinion, don't hate me for it.
I'm not only fat, I'm very top-heavy so fairly slimmish hips, not much of an arse but a mahoosive chest. Which I hate, hate, hate. I'm pretty sure we've been here before but titless ladies, trust me, if you had my bangers you would not be happy. It's the curse of the females in my family, from Southampton (pretty sure Red has been the cause of more than one male patient going down to theatre with a beaming smile on his face when she's the duty porter) via Dublin, to Minneapolis and beyond. Think of four 4x4 Duplo bricks on top of an upright 2x8 Lego brick and you get the idea. Older ladies might remember William 'the Refrigerator' Perry from the days when we were being flogged the idea that American football was what British sports fans were waiting for. A linebacker, that's me.

My ass is only half this size - o joy!!!
A couple years back I lost a stack of weight using a combination of Slimming World (me and Big Man were our group's Mr and Mrs Slimming World...the sense of achievement was exhilirating!), gyming and Spinning. I don't like exercise but I turned into a bit of a gym obsessive and I was crazy about Spinning. When I hit a plateau, which slimmers inevitably do, I decided to mix my exercise programme up a bit by trying British Military Fitness - it was just getting going in Southampton then and sessions were held on the Common. I went along and was a bit worried to see that almost all of the others were students or (what seemed to me) yuppie-types. Slim young women and men who'd obviously just come straight from their jobs in law or middle-aged, still hefty mothers in TK Maxx sweats. Firstly we all had to go on a run around the Boating Lake and back to the start point by the entrance to the Common. I puffed and panted my way past the shrimp net-wielding Eastern Europeans, hoping vainly to catch a carp, me obviously bringing up the rear. Everyone else had moved onto the next exercise by the time I made it back. This involved pairing up and doing sit-ups, each holding the other's ankles in turn. I was matched up with a young, scared looking studenty chap, not unlike Mr Charming is now.
Can you see where this is going?
His sit-ups passed without incident, however half -way through mine I let out a smallish but audible fart. His face was a picture, I don't think he knew where to put himself. I should have been mortified I know but I do believe that I might have actually laughed and said 'oops!' quite gaily. Maybe I should have leapt up and run and hidden myself in a little copse until the session ended but I just carried on doing sit-ups until the whistle blew. Needless to say the poor young fella was off like a greyhound out of a trap and I often wonder whether he got as many laughs out of the story as I have. In fact, am I wrong to sit here sniggering as I think of it even now?! And no, I never went back.
All this is a bit of a roundabout way of saying that I've started back to Slimming World again. There are a couple of reasons, apart from hating what I look like, not having a very good level of fitness, eating loads of snacky crap (not chocolate though...not really a fan) and not being able to wear lovely clothes. First, I've got another new sidekick at work who is very slim - I'd make two of her - and I don't want my residents calling us Laurel and Hardy. Second, Big Man has booked a holiday to Vietnam and I just don't wanna look like She-Hulk next to the petite Asian ladies.
She-Hulkeshling, but with a waist
I'm not telling anybody this time. Not Babcia, not anybody at work...even Red doesn't know but then she's hardly ever here and if she did know she might want to come with me then she'd drop out after a couple of weeks and people would keep asking about her and I'd have to keep saying she was doing shift work...blah blah blah. Been there, bought the t-shirt.
So, can y'all keep it a secret? I'm not gonna bore you with weekly updates or recipes or ideas for syn-free snacks. I'll just let you know each half stone, deal? And make sure you stick with me every fart of the way.
PS  Ulysses Annotated: Notes for James Joyce's Ulysses informs me that '...the plains of Westmeath around Mullingar are noted for fattening cattle.' So there you have it.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Once More With Feeling.....

You might remember, if you're one of the 80 followers that didn't unfollow me, that I said...oh, quite a while ago that I was Back. I wasn't back after all. But now I'm back!!!! From outer space!!!! Well, some round here do call our neck of the woods Mutant Mile, but that's by the by.

Since last we met I've been to Kefalonia. Then New York with Red and Babcia, who treated the citizens to her own special kind of nuttiness. Worked very hard at the same alternately wonderful/misery-making job. Got kinda engrossed in family history. Carb Addict left home. Not spent crazy amounts of money, which is always a good sign when your blog is kind of about saving money and paying stuff off. Not much else though...just lost the taste for blogging. Lately I've been thinking how things that happen to me would make fun posts.....I think that's a sign that I've been away too long.

No promises that I'll be writing as much as before (blogging community lets out a scream of relief) but I think I will be writing....

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Poor White Trash Pt 2

Oh my Gawd, it gets worse.

I just found a Fanny Hair in my family tree.