A vigil for Savita: why so much hatred for women?

This week, the news broke about Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year old dentist of Indian origin living in Ireland, who had last month presented herself to a hospital in Galway, Republic of Ireland, in terrible pain. It was found that she was miscarrying her first, unborn child 17 weeks into her pregnancy but medical staff treating Savita refused her pleading to terminate the already unviable foetus as its heartbeat was still detectable. Savita was left in agony, with no hope of giving birth to a live baby for days before the foetal heartbeat could no longer be found. Savita then developed septicaemia … Continue reading A vigil for Savita: why so much hatred for women?

On Hallowe’en

No, I’m sorry. You can’t force me to like Hallowe’en. Not even with your garish costumes and your festively shaped-and-wrapped chocolates. Have you any idea how long it takes to carve a damn pumpkin? I do, because I’ve done it. Not your V&A appearing masterpiece, mind you, just a simple affair of eyes, nose, eyebrows and zig-zag jagged mouth. It took hours and I’m damned if I’m doing that every year. Just how much time do you think I have to spare? I don’t embrace Hallowe’en because, growing up, I can’t remember any marking of the event but  at this time … Continue reading On Hallowe’en

On Memory

My mother has had increasing problems with her short term memory for a while now. It’s the classic thing: she can remember stories and songs from her childhood that have etched themselves on her brain as on a vinyl record, but she can’t remember that the last time she related any particular story was 2 minutes ago and 2 minutes before that, and before that. She is a scratched vinyl EP, a tourist in her own life. It is impossible to rely on her to remember anything at all without writing it down in duplicate and even then she forgets … Continue reading On Memory

Why I don’t want a third runway at London Heathrow airport.

Thanks a lot British Airways! By this time in the year, I normally manage to sleep through the 5.00 wake-up call of BA56 from Johannesberg as it flies directly over my house to turn to the right for its final approach to London Heathrow Airport. But this morning the weather was cloudy and grim and the elderly Jumbo Jet groaned even more loudly than usual as it flew over my loft-conversion bedroom and woke me up. I don’t live anywhere near Heathrow airport. I’m 25 miles away from it as the ‘plane flies. It’s the other side of London and, … Continue reading Why I don’t want a third runway at London Heathrow airport.

On vaccinations and immunity – a rant

It’s ironic, isn’t it, that people including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have donated so much money to helping children in countries too poor to extend childhood vaccination programmes to all their children whilst here in the UK there are air-headed people who put their own and other children at risk by denying them access to a vaccination program that is made available FREE TO ALL in the UK by our NHS. It really makes my blood boil, actually. These people say that they prefer their children to build up their immunity and disease-resistance naturally. But surely vaccinating your child is … Continue reading On vaccinations and immunity – a rant

The World’s Favourite Airline

I had a Gary Bainbridge moment on the plane to Marseilles today. Those of you who have never read Gary Bainbridge’s marvellous weekly columns for the Liverpool Daily Post on the minutiae of life, well shame on you! You’ve really missed something. And I urge,  URGE you to read them forthwith. I think he’s written a book too but I can’t vouch for that as I’ve not read it yet. But I expect it’s just like a frustrating, fascinating, long version of one of his columns. But I might be wrong. Anyway, I was on a flight to Marseilles, on … Continue reading The World’s Favourite Airline

Fifty Shades of Garbage

So why bother reading it? This is a perfectly reasonable question. I suppose it’s because everyone seems to be reading it. On trains, on Twitter, in the hairdresser’s, which is, in fact where I was lent a copy for comment by my friend Lynda.  I can’t comment without reading it. And I have to finish it, because it stresses me out to start something and not finish it. Like that over-complicated multi-cabled jumper I’m supposed to be knitting for my husband. So, anyway, that’s how I came to read Fifty Shades of Grey. There are all sorts of reviews and … Continue reading Fifty Shades of Garbage

On how the Lennox case affects us all

I have been exercised in recent days about the case of poor Lennox. To my sadness and shame, I had done very little to add my support to this appalling case in the two years before Lennox’s destruction on Wednesday, despite being made constantly aware of it through the efforts of Dogs Today’s Beverley Cuddy and It’s Me or the Dog’s Victoria Stilwell amongst others. I suppose I thought that sense and logic would prevail through a competent justice system and that poor Lennox would eventually be reunited with the Barnes family. For those of you who haven’t been following … Continue reading On how the Lennox case affects us all

Sneaky Credit Card company finds a new way to exploit people

    Dear NatWest Mastercard I have been a customer of yours since 1987. I have always paid off my account in full at the end of every month and never run up huge amounts of credit card debt or interest payments on them so I am clearly not really the sort of credit card customer you want on your books. Until recently, I had a credit limit around £10,000. Amazing for someone who’s just a housewife, but I used to work and once had my own little consulting business until life got in the way. But don’t worry yourself … Continue reading Sneaky Credit Card company finds a new way to exploit people

About your apology…

          Dear A, Thank you for your email and for having the grace to apologise for your crass comments last night. I suspect that someone we both love gave you a huge talking to but an apology is an apology. Isn’t it? Well, no actually. You apologised for bringing up the subject of politics during our pub quiz and then proceeded to reassure me that I am one of your favourite “Nobs” on “Nob Hill” as you called it. Oh dear. That sort of apology is like saying “I’m sorry if I caused you any offence” … Continue reading About your apology…