Thursday, 27 November 2014

Hoseland security

For the first time in my entire life, I actually feel financially secure. Not like the giddy spendthriftery that comes with the first student loan payment ("I can buy a DRINK! In a PUB! I don't have to smuggle in my own booze!!") or the fortnightly coming up for air when your JSA comes through or the monthly cash injection of an actual pay cheque that never lasts more than three weeks. But genuinely secure, to the extent that I'm going to put money in a savings account, like some sort of responsible person.

I knew I'd reached some marker of adulthood when I realised that when my tights got ripped, I didn't have to keep them ("well, this one has a hole in the shin, so I can wear it with boots; this one has a hole in the toe, so I can tie a knot in it, it's not that uncomfortable; make do and mend, don't you know there's a war on?"). I had, finally, got to the point where I had enough confidence in my income that I believed that if I had runs in all my tights, I would have enough money to buy a new pair.

Then I think, this is what rich people must feel like all the time!

It's like when I switched meds and got the SSRI high for the first time. I felt fucking invincible, man; I slept for eight hours a night and woke feeling refreshed and minor hassles did not bring me to tears and gentle criticism did not instantly trigger visions of gouging a dirty great hole into my left arm. It only lasted about a month, but it was the best I've felt since I hit puberty.

And that, I guess, must be what sane people feel like most of the time!

Don't get me wrong, I know that mentally healthy people don't all have easy lives; I get that life isn't wall-to-wall sunshine and periwinkles for everyone who isn't me. I imagine even rich people have feelings of some sort. But there is a meaningful difference between "not having a perfect life" and "tube journey making you want to actually die".


But tights are really a perfect example of our disposable, oil-guzzling, decadent western lifestyle, aren't they? Usually made of synthetic fibres derived from oil; easily damaged; impossible to repair, so you just have to keep buying them, buying, buying, forever.

So it was lucky that my "I can afford to buy tights!" realisation came at the same time that I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and This Changes Everything and started actually thinking about The Environment and that and stopped using my vegetarianism, lack of a driving license and sustainable menstruation practices as a get out of jail free card.

So I can't send the tights to landfill. They're probably recyclable, but the likelihood of my finding the nearest collection point and actually delivering them before the ever-growing pile of manky old nylon drives the boyfriend to distraction is... slim.

The answer, of course, is to cut old tights up into strips and knit with them.

Even better, I can knit little bags to put Christmas presents in, removing the need for wrapping paper.

I'm pretty sure this idea is either pure genius or utterly insane.

I just hope someone stops me before I end up in a yurt woven from my own leg hair, eating nothing but wild dandelions and drinking only dew.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A hard day's mug

I have somehow ended up on the Conservative Party's mailing list.

This concerns me.

To reiterate: "While Labour are bankrolled by the trade unions, we rely on hardworking people like you."

Okay. Trade unions aren't like gigantic piggy banks, though, are they? Their money comes from members' subscriptions, members who are... "hard working people", like me, actually. And don't think I didn't notice your sneaky use of the phrase "bankrolled", implying that Labour and the unions are rolling in money. You can try and deflect it all you like, but you're still the fucking Tory party. Pointing at someone else and calling them rich does not change that.

And claiming that the Conservative Party is funded (exclusively, by implication) by "hardworking people like [me]"? Seriously?

It took me two minutes on google to find out that

In the first decade of the 21st century, half the party's funding came from a cluster of just fifty "donor groups", and a third of it from only fifteen. In the year after the 2010 general election, half the Tories' funding came from the financial sector. 
For 2013, the Conservative Party had an income of £25.4 million, of which £749,000 came from membership subscriptions. (Source: Wikipedia, of course!)

And thirty seconds on a calculator to figure out that "hardworking people like me" are providing a whole 2.9% of the party's income. Fair enough, though; it must be hard to  twist "we are funded by the financial sector. Yes, by bankers. Who are our current folk devil, for good reason." into a cheery invitation to buy a mug.

Fun as this was, I really don't need bullshit missives from David Cameron gumming up my inbox on a daily basis, so I shall send the above back to him, unsubscribe, and brew myself up a cup of proletarian tea in a mug that does not taste of lies and the destruction of the NHS and pure, pure evil.

Mmm, tea.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Meet my new husband

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. [Damn, that is a pretty big nutshell. ~ Ed.] Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?
American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.
This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

Such was the strident call to arms left by An American Man disgusted by American Women, on a blog post predominantly about the bacterial inhabitants of my vagina.

I'm curious: does he think I'm an American Woman (GET AWAY FROM MEE-HEE, as Lenny Kravitz would say, before he became a fashion designer in the Hunger Games and approximately 900% more cool) and is therefore coming to tell me what an immature, selfish, arrogant, self-centred, mentally unstable, irresponsible and highly unchaste woman I am, by virtue of the bacterial inhabitants of my vagina?

ARTIST'S IMPRESSION: why would any intelligent man want to get involved with this cheaty divorcing fatty half money stealing uncooker or cleaner? WHY, GOD, WHY?

Is he aware that I am an English woman, and therefore within his Foreign Women Group, and therefore asking me to join his valiant crusade against American Women? (This would be difficult: boycotts rarely work unless you tell the people you're boycotting a) that you're boycotting them, and b) why. I am friends with around ten American Women on Facebook, so could inform them by a handy group email that I am Boycotting them because of their immaturity, selfishness, etc, but there are several million other American Women who wouldn't know that I was deliberately choosing not to date them. Perhaps some sort of nationwide poster campaign? Or, hey, I know! I could trawl the internet for blogs that are probably written by American Women, and post my manifesto in their comments section, for no real reason! YES!)

Or... given that I am, by his rules, a Foreign Woman, could this possibly be a marriage proposal?

I'll be over here, in Foreign, pulling petals off daisies and hoping that he faxes me a big fat blood diamond.