28 Aug 2011

Don't Look Back in Anger - Top 10 Things I'd Tell My 21 year old self...

As promised on the poll on the facebook page (are you a fan yet?), here is my list of top things I'd tell my 21 year old self. In fact, I think it's good to remind my 30 year old self of these things too!

1. Everyone else is faking being so confident. Really, they're shitting themselves also, and in fact, if we were all honest about this, life would be so much easier!

2. Don't be so hard on yourself - most of the time, you're just doing the best you can with what you have. There is no rule book to life, as much as you might feel like everyone else has one and you don't. Write your own rules instead - it's cliched but true - only you know how you like to live your life.

3. One day you'll look back and realise that actually, you really weren't fat! Really - that tiny roll you were worried about - NON EXISTENT.  So be gad you wore those furry hotpants/leather mini skirt - you won't have a chance to again without looking like an ageing hooker.

25 Aug 2011

Moving Farther Away - Lyric Day

Today's lyric day came after watching this video on youtube.....

I'm amazed that they managed to do this and that it really was a surprise (don't you both need to fill in paperwork to get hitched in the states?) but I also wasn't expecting to hear a totally random version of the Yazoo classic, Only You.

I didn't realise this song came out in 1982 - which means its 29 years old. Crumbs! Anyway, it's nice song, I think - I like the synth pop feeling - and the beginning sounds quite a lot like some of the Daft Punk stuff in Tron:Legacy. It's also a very melancholy song - but also reminds me of being a little kid. If I'm in the right mood it also gets me quite choked up. I think it's most famously used in The Office christmas special but as I'm probably the only person on earth who hasn't watched The Office I can't be sure!

Anyway, here are the lyrics for you:

Yazoo - Only You

"Looking from a window above it's like a story of love
Can you hear me
Came back only yesterday I'm moving farther away
Want you near me

All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
Only you

Sometimes when I think of her name, when it's only a game
And I need you
Listen to the words that you say it's getting harder to stay
When I see you

Chorus x 2

This is going to take a long time and I wonder what's mine
Can't take no more
Wonder if you'll understand it's just the touch of your hand
Behind a closed door


Happy Lyric Day!

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

PS Only 6 more days if you want to nominate this blog/me in the lifestyle category for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2011 (looks hopeful, proffers cake) xx

23 Aug 2011

Fun with Furry Friends - A zoo trip themed photo essay

As per this post, you might have noticed that I went to the zoo on sunday :) After that sneak preview, here are the rest of my snaps. It's not a huge variety, but I hope you like them anyway. Our trip was pretty much geared to what a 22month old has the attention span for .... :)

21 Aug 2011

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo (sneak preview)

In advance of tomorrow's photo essay, here's a sneak preview of someone I met today:

Yes, I went to London Zoo for the first time since....well actually, the first time ever I think. How surreal is it to see giraffes (or `Rafs` as the toddler I was with called them) lumbering along in slow motion as you walk into London Zoo.  I thought I was in a Dali painting for a moment.

So anyway yes, I took advantage of husbando being away for the weekend to not make any plans - and instead got invited out to the Zoo with a my friend and her little girl. I can tell you that going to the Zoo with a 22 month old is easily one of the most enjoyable things ever. "More monkeys more monkeys" and "bye bye birdie" were frequent comments.

Additionally, my biggest achievement of the day was teaching her to say awesome - "Mummy awesome" "Becky awesome". Much fun.

But you'll have to wait for the photo essay to see the rest of the "aminals". Including the penguins...too cute!

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

16 Aug 2011

Things I Love - Top 10 List

(Disclaimer - I'd like to apologise in advance for this post - it's a bit waffly and not up to usual standards.  I have no excuse other than I'm exhausted, but I still wanted to post - I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging regularly after my little hiatus in June.)

This is a very delayed post - I have no excuse - and it's a chain blog post fingy that I was asked to do by the ever lovely Siren of Brixton (check out my interview with her here). So, here are the top 10 things I love. I've taken a rather light hearted approach to this - I think you can take it for granted that I love my husband, friends + family, so they're not on the list!

1) Cake - any kind really but special mentions to chocolate fudge cake, carrott cake, coffee + walnut cake and also red velvet cake. Speshly from here - this shop has served me the only slice of cake so big I've not been able to finish it. I didn't think that was possible!

2) Black eyeliner - it's just an essential really. It makes me look like I actually have eyes for a start. It's fun too - even with the whole tricky-to-apply thing. I've even managed to achieve the ability to apply it one handed on public transport (pencil not liquid)

3) My Library. Uh, so they have like free books, yeah. genius idea. Check out this post for serious reasons why libraries are awesome

4) My laptop - so I can talk to all you people that live in it on a regular basis. And do online shopping too!

5) My bed. It's comfy. I like my duvet a lot too. This one might be motivated by the fact that I'm really tired tonight!

6) London. It's fab - the best place to live IMO. Check out this post for my favourite places in London!

7) Soy Sauce. It's my favourite condiment. And possibly my favourite flavour too. Mmmm yummy. I also like maple syrup a lot. But soy sauce is the best.

8) Climbing. It rocks. Oh, bad pun. But you know what I mean. I like climbing on plastic and real rock  It's taken me some time to really build up confidence and to get over my fear of heights but actually I'm pleased with my climbing ability - perhaps I'm not totally crap.

9) Dogs. They're fun and smiley. They're cute, they love you unconditionally, they are such good friends - and even though they smell a bit, I wouldn't be without them. Currently we don't have a dog - but hopefully one day we will :)

10) Social Media. I wouldn't have a job, a hobby or friends without it. :)

Oh, I just remembered, I have to pass this on to other bloggers so.....the lucky bloggers who need to post their top 10 things are:

- Emlyn Chand
- Demon Wrangler
- Crafty Bat
- I Know, I Need To Stop Talking
- The News With Nipples
- Ren Cummins

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

14 Aug 2011

Becky's Book Review #6 - The 52 Seductions by Betty Herbert

Book: The 52 Seductions
Author: Betty Herbert
Genre: Relationships/Sex
Star Rating: 4/5

General Description:
You might remember, back in February, I interviewed a blogger called Betty Herbert. I'd found Betty Herbert after someone posted a link to her blog on the forum I belong to. Betty was blogging about sex in a long term relationship and the affect that being together for a long time can have on your sex life.

She'd been with Herbert, her other half for about 14 years - and married for awhile too - and is in her early 30's. As an experiment, they'd decided to seduce each other, once a week for a year - hence The 52 Seductions. I was absolutely captivated by her blog - her refreshing honesty, candour and humour as well as how much she and Herbert loved each other.

I wasn't surprised either to find out that her blog had come to the attention of a literary agency and was being turned into a book - hence this review. It's important to state that the book is not just a bind up of 52 odd blog posts, it's a coherent literary narrative describing one year in the sex life of a married couple. It's endearing, funny, rude, entertaining and just quite simply, wonderful.

13 Aug 2011

Business Cards + Blog Awards - Shameless Self Promotion

I thought I'd attempt to end the week on a more light-hearted note....

Today, in the mail, I received a large sticky-taped package. I do like a large package (note to self, do not blog when - slightly - drunk, risk of rude remarks). Inside the package was something really very truly incredibly exciting (can you tell I've had 3 glasses of wine yet?). Oh yes, I didn't tell you guys this but around 2 months ago I, in my infinite wisdom decided two things:

  • to get a logo designed for the blog
  • to get business cards made up for the blog with said logo on
WTF I hear you cry, why do you, lowly bloggerette (gosh doesn't that look like cigarette) need business cards. Well Mr/Mrs/Ms  Smartypants, I need a business card because I keep going to events and wanting to blog about them and it's such a faff to write down my blog address for them - hence getting a funky logo + business cards designed.

So, with no further ado, here are pictures of said business card:

Hope you like them - the lips logo will be appearing on the blog soon :)

On another, self promoting note, I have rather uncharacteristically and immodestly nominated myself for the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards 2011. If you have, in anyway, enjoyed this blog - for whatever reason, I'd be so most incredibly grateful if you'd consider nominating me as well :)

The link is here
The category is lifestyle
And my blog address is http://generationwhynot-stupidgirl.blogspot.com

Please vote - I'll give you cake. Or at least virtual cake. And be grateful for the rest of my mortal life.

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

11 Aug 2011

London Riots - Some Thoughts Afterwards

Thank you for your amazing response to Tuesday's post about my small experience of the London riots. I cannot stress enough:

  • how incredibly lucky we were
  • how much my thoughts are with the people who lost so much
  • how grateful i am to the emergency services, on the front line who dealt with horrendous situations, not always equipped to do so.
Now that the worst of the London riots is hopefully over, I/we have had a few days to think about everything and perhaps form some opinions or ideas on it all. I didn't want to rush in to making hasty conclusions about rioting, looting, motivation, government and society. The only thing I know for sure is that nothing is an excuse or a reason to condone such violence and wanton destruction.

Firstly, a small update on us - I spoken to husbando on Tuesday and he gave me a bit more detail about what happened when I was sleeping. Firstly, apparently a group of looters actually surrounded the building - about 20 of them - and it was pretty scary. When he called the police they were clearly short staffed but luckily the riot vans were driving past and saw the stuff kicking off outside blockbuster. Also there was an ambulance called so it looked like one of the looters was injured at some point.

In terms of getting back to normal in my small part of South London when I got home yesterday everything was all unboarded, and looked back to normal. The only places still with boarding up were some estate agents and a couple other stores. It's been great tweeting with lots of local people after the last couple of days - and actually it's really cheered me up and redeemed my faith in people. It's been lovely.

In other news, the riot struck areas of London have been cleared up by the riot wombles. And after this unspeakable act of violence (upsetting, be warned), this amazing website has been set up to help him. So far over £4k has been raised and I believe he's also received other gifts. Additionally I think one of his attackers has been identified and arrested - which is good news. All the media has been full of details of looters and rioters being sentenced and magistrates have been working crazy hours to process everyone. CallMeDave has met with parliament and addressed the media several times - but to be honest, I don't really think he's said anything sensible other than ruling out calling the army. Although the army might be used to help in departments where the police are over-stretched. He's also condoned the use of water cannons. I'm not really sure where I stand on this.

Finally, some thoughts about why this has all happened. I highly recommend two articles - firstly this, from Zoe Williams on the psychology of rioting, and then this by Camila Batmanghelidjh about the causes behind such a disassociated and disaffected section of society.

For my opinions - well pretty much what the articles say - the rioting is horrendous and inexplicable. But there are some reasons in society for people behaving and reacting like this. To those who have criticized the emergency services and in particular the police, I would say that it's utterly pointless criticizing frontline staff - they don't make strategic decisions about where they're deployed. If there weren't `enough` police at a particular flashpoint that's not the average policeman's fault - they did the best they could - risking their own lives and getting injured in the process. Additionally, the looters deliberately targeted areas on opposite sides of the city, making it hard for the police to get to areas of need as soon as possible (cf. Clapham Junction - 20 police to 200 looters).

As time goes on there will be more articles and debate about what's happened -and no doubt predictions about when and if it'll happen again. If I see any articles of interest, I'll update this post.

Thanks for listening and supporting London and England.

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building

9 Aug 2011

London's Burning - A small post on the riots in London

It's all anyone's talking about at the minute and not just in London, or the UK but across the world. I spent most of last night on Twitter (no change there then) and watching the news live from the various places that had been affected. It seemed appropriate therefore just to get down on paper (or online, whatever) what I'd experienced. I'd also like to point out that really, very little happened where I live in London and we were so incredibly lucky.

This post is therefore dedicated to all the people in London - and across the UK - who've lost their homes, their belongings, their livelihoods and who have been affected in some way by the riots.

I think maybe the best way to do this post is a little timeline for you as follows....

Sunday 7th August
Nothing happens round where I live during the day but we read about the horrid rioting in Tottenham and again in Enfield during Saturday + Sunday....we also begin to hear some nasty stuff happening down the road in Brixton.
I try not to read too much into what's happening on Twitter unless I feel it's reliable news source - hearsay just causes panic and takes away from what's really happening.
We go to bed feeling unbothered by anything as Brixton seems to have quietened down.

Monday 8th August
In the office, discussing the riots, I say nope, we were fine, nothing happened down our end of town - only to be told that actually 3 shops minutes away from us - including the one where I bought my mobile from - were smashed in last night and it was all a bit iffy further down the road. I also read about the violence and looting in Brixton around 1am and hear about all the shops that are so familiar to me - Body Shop, M+S, WHSmiths etc - having their windows smashed in. It's all starting to feel a bit more `real`.

Mid Afternoon
We see images of stuff kicking off in Hackney and listen to the news a little. Reports also coming in about Enfield too. It all seems North London centric and I am not worried for me/us at all - but very concerned for those in North London and in particular colleagues travelling up there.

Early Evening
After having a quick drink after work and ensuring we all tweet when we're home safe, I head back to the flat via clapham junction. Arriving at my station I don't really notice any particular atmosphere - but I was busting for the loo (!) so that may have clouded my observational skills hahah.

I put a nice casserole on to cook for dinner and switch on Twitter to check that everyone has got home safe. Meantime I worry a little about husbando who has wisely (!) chosen to run home from work through South London. I try not to worry too much and have some lovely reassuring tweets from people.

The general feeling on Twitter is of concern - lots of people hearing sirens and worrying. I still don't feel like anything is going to happen to us despite issues in Peckham and last night's issues in Brixton.

7 Aug 2011

If You Eat Standing Up There Are No Calories - Top 10 Things at a Buffet

After a poll on the facebook page, several tweets and posts, you - the people - have voted. And that was for me to list my top 10 favourite things at a buffet tonight! This was as opposed to the alternative option of my Top 10 Rock Gods. Which I will blog at some point - possibly next week - after being inspired by a show on VIVA entitled `Journey's American Classics`. Which is also why I didn't leave the house until 6pm yesterday.

Anyway I know you're waiting impatiently to see what made the shortlist for my ultimate buffet nosh. I assume that the word buffet is er, universally known, but if not a definition is `Noun: A meal consisting of several dishes from which guests serve themselves.`

In the UK they are associated with most parties, weddings, funerals - anywhere in which people are gathering and will eat but without the faff of a full sit down meal. The reason to dedicate a whole top 10 to a buffet is mainly because they are an opportunity to consume as much deep-fried fattening food as possible! So here's the list - be warned folks, it may not be fat free but it certainly ain't fun free :P

1) Prawn Ring
Got to be done - this is literally a dish comprised of a ring of peeled, cooked king prawns prawns, in the centre of which there is usually marie-rose sauce or mayo to deep your peeled prawn in. I do love a good prawn. Especially a kingsize one

2) Mini Onion Bhajis
Sliced onions with garam masala in batter and deep fried. Dear god they are amazing and if I am at a buffet with these it's fair to say no one else will get a look in.

3) Mini Sausage Rolls
I love a good sausage roll anyway - always a good hangover cure - but there's something about the mini ones that make them utterly addictive. If you're looking for the crack form of a buffet it's this. Seriously, try not eating more than 2 at a time. It's not possible.

4) Mini Sausages on Sticks (preferably honey glazed)
Just.So.Yummy. I can't explain why - the meaty taste, the sweet tang of honey. The bite-size ness - implying that they really can't possibly have many calories at all. Plus when you've had a couple of glasses of wine they just really hit the spot goddammit mmmmmm

6 Aug 2011

Fun with Wales Pt 2 - A spooky abbey photo essay

Here is the follow up to last night's photo essay about a recent trip to Wales. In the grounds of Margam Park lie the remain of a medieval monastery and I couldn't resist taking some snaps and then having a fiddle around with them on Picasa. I hope you like the results!

4 Aug 2011

Fun with Wales Pt 1 - a photo essay in Margam Country Park, Wales.

So, I left London - only for the weekend, don't worry. Yes, I am one of those pathetic Londoners that thinks nowhere else is quite as good. But in fairness, it *is* my home town. Anyway we went to Wales for the weekend and spent a rather lovely few hours wandering around the gorgeousness that is Margam Park .....and this is what it looks like

Scary Things - Blog Award Nominating...

So, rather scarily, I have nominated my blog for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2011.....

You can see lots of information about it all here

However (this is where the big favour part comes in)....I would so appreciate it if you would consider also nominating the blog - I know that I have a fair few readers so even if just a few of you nominated me that would be so awesome!

If you do want to go ahead and nominate me, here is a link to the form :)
I've put my blog under the category of `lifestyle` as that's where it seemed to fit best.

So okay, that my big scary request over with, here is lots of *cake* to say thanks in advance.


1 Aug 2011

Didn't You Get The Memo?... Basic Twitter Tips for your Mom & Other Newbies

So this post has been a long time coming - I've been planning it in my head for awhile - mainly since everyone noticed that my mum has joined twitter. (no I'm not telling you who she is, you'll have to figure it out yourself). This is in no way a definitive guide to using twitter or even the top most important tips - if you type "Twitter Top Tips" into google you'll get a zillion responses. Instead this is just my personal pointers on a few key things about twitter.

I am guessing that a lot of people who read this blog are already on twitter, in which case you might already know/think most of this stuff - but I just thought I'd put it out there anyway. Just to be helpful! So let's get started....

Anti-Eggs: Why You Need A Picture.
This is my biggest Twitter bugbear – when people don’t have a picture but keep the egg icon. Don’t keep that stupid egg – it either says “hello, I am a spambot and I’m going to PISS YOU OFF` or it says `I’ve joined Twitter and I don’t really know why but hey! I’m here”

It only takes a second to change it but voila, it now says `Hi, I might actually be a real live human here wanting to interact with other people`. Which is a good thing. You don’t want to put people off from the very outset.

You don’t necessarily need to use a picture of yourself – I know a lot of people like to use social networks semi-anonymously – but at least use something that is personal to you. It tells people about you and might make them want to follow you or talk to you or follow your blog/check out your website.

Also FYI – any picture of a girl in a bikini/bra/low cut top/short dress is likely to be a spambot. Unless you are after a rather particular kind of follower, steer clear of this kind of image. In my opinion anyway!

It’s All About The Strapline or, Why Profile Info Is Important
Okay so when you click on someone’s profile you can see a few words below their twitter name. In fact when you joined Twitter you had to fill out your own version – in 160 characters. These 160 characters are possibly the most important 160 characters you’ll ever write on twitter. They tell the tworld and his twife, why they should follow you.

It can be hard to know what to put here, after all how can you sum up yourself in a few short words right? Well actually, it’s kind of fun, be creative and think outside the box *cringes at use of naff cliché*. I see lot of profiles where people define themselves by their relationships to others (see this post) but I would like to start a campaign to encourage people to think more imaginatively about these words. I know that it’s great that you’re a mum, wife, sister, husband, brother etc – but what else should we know about you?

It’s all about how you want to come across and how you want people to see you - my profile is kind of silly – because I have a silly sense of humour. However, I’m deaf and I like to throw that into the mix and challenge people’s perceptions of disability. I also mention the webbed toes because….well, actually I don’t know why, I guess it’s just a stupid little factoid about me. I guess the point is no one can really sum themselves up in 160 characters – it’s impossible and far too subjective – so you might as well have a little fun with it.

Finally, don’t feel like your profile words are static and engraved in stone once you’ve written them. I go and tweak mine every couple of months – after all, beavering  might not be my favourite word forever!