It's a Wonderful Life…

…isn't it…?

2012 in review January 1, 2013

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 8:37 pm

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Interviewing Jay from The Find *again* lucky old me! August 15, 2012

Chequers_Fest_PosterHiya Jay, great to have you back on “It’s a Wonderful Life”, your last feature went down a treat so I can’t wait to hear all about what you’re up to this time. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions (again), nosy parker that I am: I just love keeping up with what’s happening with The Find.

Q. So, how did New to This Solar System (the event I last interviewed Jay for in aid of Breast Cancer Care) turn out?

It was a very well organised and successful event. They had a great turn out and the theatre was a great venue to play at.  I am still waiting to hear how much we all raised in the end but a lot of friends and family came down to support us and Breast Cancer Care. It’s a great cause.

Q. I hear you are doing another gig for charity this weekend, can you tell me a bit more about this?

I was asked to help organise and play at a music and beer festival at the Chequers Inn which is in Heaverham on the 18th August. It’s a lovely little country pub with a huge piece of land on the side of it. I asked Dave, the landlord, whether I could turn this into a fundraiser if I could get sponsorship for the stage and sound. It’s now turned into a big event in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. We have a hog roast, BBQ, bouncy castle, face painters, main stage and acoustic room kicking off at 3pm. The whole of my community has been very supportive and I have booked some great acts including the Skinny Machines who played with us at Cornbury Festival this year.

Q. So why is GOSH so important to you?

My little girl has a condition and Great Ormond Street have been amazing: myself and a few of my friend’s children have been to GOSH and they are a great cause for Children.

Q. It sounds like a really great time will be had by all (all those that are smart enough to go along of course), what other events have you got coming up soon?

I guess the next big event will be our EP launch which is currently on hold due to me having another little baby due to arrive in the next four to five weeks.

Q. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes if you are in the area Saturday please come down and support us for a very special day. I know the staff and the children of GOSH would be most grateful. I have booked some great acts and if you love music and want to see some great unsigned talent perform see you at 3pm.

Oh and the event is free all I am asking for is a small donation on the day. It will be a great day out.

 

Thanks again for spending time with my readers and I, break a leg for Saturday night and I look forward to being able to update everyone with more of your exciting events!

 

INTERVIEW: Craig Hallam August 5, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 12:04 pm

INTERVIEW: Craig Hallam.

 

Take Your Foot Out Of Your Mouth, Dear May 29, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 8:05 am
Tags: , ,

The nature of the English Language is such that it is very easy to interpret multiple meanings in something that has been said. There is a broad generalisation applied to women that they always choose the most offensive meaning to a gentleman’s words. In order to prolong the existence of the human race I have compiled a list of things men say that prove no value for their own lives.

1. “You shouldn’t eat cake for breakfast, you know” she will inevitably jump to the immediate conclusion that you are inferring that she is, in fact, a little more than “festively plump”. You will also be asked if you are in fact the CAKE POLICE. Gents, don’t attempt to be a wise guy here, step away from the bomb and tell her no, you are not the cake police and you have no place attempting to perform such a role. Following this scenario you may also find on your way around the supermarket that she is inclined to, VERY LOUDLY, point out all of the products labelled breakfast cake bar or breakfast biscuit. SHAME ON YOU.

Other variants of this you’re secretly saying I’m fat are:

“Should you be eating that at this time of day?”

“Do you know what’s in that?”

“Oh…You’re hungry today aren’t you?”

2. “You look like you’ve had a bit of a lazy day” as any comment about a woman’s appearance that doesn’t sound something along the lines of her being the most beautiful and radiant creature that you will ever see (note: don’t say have ever seen, this may also lead to conflict as she may presume you are hoping to find out if she is actually the most beautiful creature that ever walked the earth) is likely to lead to a very miserable and painful death by ear bleeding.  A lady may presume that you are saying she may frighten children and old people with her appearance: what’s wrong with going out bare faced and in lounge wear? HMMMM? HHMMMMMMM!!??? DANGER ALERT

3. The inevitably disastrous: “Oh, is it that time of the month then?” Erm, Uh oh, BIG TROUBLE – she may be bleeding without any say in the matter – when you start bleeding she’ll have had plenty of say in the matter. Do. Not. Ever. EVER. Mention a ladies menstrual cycle. Not unless you really and truly have.a.death.wish.

Best Possible outcomes of these scenarios:

1. Death :

She kills you quickly and pretty much painlessly in a fit of pure rage.

2. Serious sleep deprivation and ear bleeding:

She asks you EVERY single time she leaves the house if you think what she is wearing is acceptable enough to you – she is especially keen to hear your expert opinion when you are asleep.

3. Malnourishment:

You manage to fend off starvation when she goes on strike by living on the food she puts down for the cats/dogs/birds.

Ladies and gents please do feel free to add any faux pas’ or apt punishments that I have missed in the comments box below – that’s what it’s there for!

As always; thanks for reading 🙂

 

In Conversation About April 16, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 6:27 pm
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Steph Harrison is a Sevenoaks, Kent, resident whose mission in life is to organise events that raise awareness of and funds for, Breast Cancer Care. Steph very kindly agreed to meet with me and answer a few questions relating to her up and coming event “In Conversation With” and book signing event with Sunday Times bestselling author Susan Lewis in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Susan is the writer of twenty seven novels and two volumes of the memoir: Just One More Day and One Day At A Time. Steph has also very kindly brought along a lovely goody bag for me (I LOVE presents!).

Here is a little bit of my conversation with the organiser of “In Conversation With”.

Q: I already know a little bit about your motivation in fundraising for Breast Cancer Care but I think it’s important for my readers to understand the background behind this if you wouldn’t mind?

A: No, not at all. My reason behind supporting Breast Cancer Care is that the charity were such a support to me when I was diagnosed [Steph is back fighting fit now, thankfully] and I found that there was no other organisation like them in terms of the provision of information and support after diagnosis. I truly felt that they cared for me and they were always at the other end of a phone when I needed them. My first event that I organised was my way of thanking them and giving back after their support; after that I just felt that their message was one that needed to be delivered. I’ve found that Breast Cancer Care is as focused as I am on the importance of early detection and self checking [Steph shows me that my goody bag also contains a copy of Breast Cancer Care’s Health Booklet].

Q:  May I ask what your fundraising hopes are for this event?

A: Absolutely, our fundraising objective for this event is over £3000. So far we’ve raised around £2000 with this event just with the ticket sales: there are still more tickets on offer and we’re hoping to raise the rest of the funds on the night through the auction and raffle.

Q: It sounds like you have an achievable aim, so how are Breast Cancer Care supporting you in this event?

A: As always Breast Cancer Care will be there in the background: they will send representatives to support us on the night, provide us with literature for the goody bags and they’re always on the other end of the phone if I need fundraising inspiration [something I know Steph is virtually never short of]. I may not have cancer anymore but they are still there for me. I genuinely feel that the team at Breast Cancer Care have become true friends for life!

Q: So, tell us, how exactly did you end up in collaboration with bestselling author Susan Lewis?

A: Well, following some of my previous events, Susan’s PR officer sent me a copy of Just One More Day: the perfect introduction to Susan’s writing. I was so moved by her portrayal of a family torn apart by cancer that I had to write to her and tell her how it had affected me. We then started up a correspondence and realised how fantastic it would be if we could organise and event together. This is my first event working with Susan as we organised one last year but I was taken ill so had to postpone so I am really excited about this one.

Q: It all sounds very exciting, how easy has it been to organise an event on this scale: it’s not exactly low profile?

A: [Laughs] Do you know, I’ve actually found this one pretty easy to organise. I’m lucky enough to now have a supporting team behind me: Ann, Karen, Vanessa and Erica – The Pink Power Girls have been fantastic. We’re currently one team member short as one of the ladies is undergoing chemotherapy: she’s desperate to be there on the night supporting us though. That’s what makes organising these events so amazing: these people are such an inspiration! They’ve all got their own personal battles to fight and yet they all want to do what they can towards these events. To be honest, the biggest obstacle we’ve had has been finding a suitable venue to hold the event. Thanks to the previous events I’ve organised I’ve made some pretty good relationships with some really generous businesses: the food and prizes for the night have all been donated. The only things left on my to do list are to pick up the cake and the glasses and setting up Friday evening; otherwise we’ve got everything covered!

Q: So what can attendees expect on the night?

A: Well, the guests will all receive a goody bag on arrival at the champagne and canapés reception. The evening will then kick off with the “In Conversation With” which will lead into a question and answer session, then there is due to be a performance by the fantastic Amy Coulshaw, the raffle and auction and then Susan will start the book signing. Plus they get to see me: all that for £20, what a bargain!

Q: [Laughs] well of course! So, tell me, what will you be doing once this event is over: a bit of rest and relaxation?

A: Probably collapsing! No, I’m kidding, although it does take a lot out of me; the events give me such a buzz. It usually takes a few days to recuperate afterwards. Although I’ve not allowed myself so much time to rest after this one as I’m driving up to Liverpool the next day to see the Royal Deluxe.

Q: I think I would be more inclined to rest for a few days myself. Dare I ask if you have more upcoming events in the pipeline?

A: As always! Yes we have the Breast Cancer Care Benefit Concert being held at Sevenoaks School on the 6th July. There are currently four acts due to be performing including: The Find, Sarah Lillie, Amy Coulshaw and one act tbc. All of the acts are all fresh, new and (as yet) unsigned: very talented people looking to get a break. The concert will also be a part of the Sevenoaks festival. Around June/August time we will be holding the annual Strawberry Tea. This is a Breast Cancer Care initiative which involves getting cakes, tea and lovely ladies together to raise funds and awareness.

I am very much looking forward to attending the event next Friday 20th April at Tonbridge School and hope to see many of you there! For those of you that really want to be there but are unable to attend this time I will be posting an update of how the night went next Sunday. For those of you interested in attending please leave a comment in the box below and I will provide more details.

If you are interested in finding out more about Susan Lewis go to: www.susanlewis.com

If you are interested in finding out more about Susan’s publishers go to: www.rbooks.co.uk

If you want more information on Breast Cancer Care go to: www.breastcancercare.org.uk or call the free Helpline on 08088006000

To support Steph in her fundraising endeavours please go to: www.justgiving.com/stephanie-harrison6Image

 

Bus Rage Part 2: A Case Study April 8, 2012

Further to my post entitled “Bus Rage Part1: A Profile of the Syndrome” I shall now continue with the second installment: putting the profile into perspective by means of a case study. Case study subject was, invariably, lucky. old. me.

Two nights ago I left work at 5.40 pm knowing I was likely to have already missed the closest bus to my actual finish time so I wasn’t in any great hurry – until I turned the corner of the street and saw my bus coming down the high street – running really isn’t my thing (those of you that haven’t read “My Boyfriend Thinks I’m Fat” please do so now) and yet the thought of being stood waiting for the next bus for an indefinite length of time forced me to commence an attempt at a run. I watched the bus stop as I ran (slow mo) down the high street towards it and I then watched as it closed its doors and started to drive off. But no, I’d already run this far I was NOT going to miss it, and then, hurrah; the traffic lights at the end of the road turned red as the bus pulled up to them so I continued my panting – flailing run (I definitely was not a gazelle in a past life) right up to where the bus had stopped at the traffic lights and knocked on the bus door (no need: the driver had clearly already seen me)…unfortunately this was not the end of my plight as, when he looked at me the bus driver merely shook his head and refused to let me on his bus.

So there I stood; gasping for breath in the freezing night air fit to collapse from the running, and there he sat in his nice warm bus for several minutes while he waited for the traffic lights to change. As I walked back up the street to the bus stop I must have seemed like I had developed Tourettes Syndrome; cursing and swearing to myself as I was. I then had the pleasure of waiting over twenty minutes in the cold for the next bus, at risk of losing a hand because I left my gloves in my locker at work. Excellent.

The following night I was determined not to get caught out again and so left work five minutes earlier than on the previous night: no need for running that way I’d be in perfect time for their perfectly made up time table. And yet once more as I turned the corner I found myself lurching and flailing towards the bus stop. Thankfully there were a lot of passengers getting on at that stop that evening so he only just got the doors closed as I got there. He reopened the doors for me and took my ticket then looked at me and said “that was lucky”. This was the same bus driver that had refused me getting onto the bus the previous night. And I was still M.A.D. really mad. My response verged on the hysterical and there were definitely symptoms of bus rage apparent “LUCKY?! LUCKY?!” definitely tending towards the hysterical, does this man have a death wish, I mean, REALLY! Lucky indeed, privileged in fact to have obtained the service for which I pay considerable sums of money each week. My response? “Oh yes, very lucky…Not like last night though” accompanied by a not subtle at all “death stare” which earned me the explanation of: “Well I could have lost my job for letting you on” I believe I snatched my ticket and snarled at him while stomping my feet as the red mist came down. Lost your job? Listen, losing your job is the least of your worries given the slow a painful death I had planned for you, I can assure you!

Bus rage is not simply limited to buses though, dear readers, it is also transferrable to every other method of transport but most especially the dreaded Public Transport.

 

In Defence of Samantha Brick April 4, 2012

Filed under: Being unfit — leatierney @ 7:33 pm
Tags: , , ,

There are few people currently oblivious to the current Twitter – storm being whipped up by Samantha Brick and the Daily Mail. If you haven’t a clue what on earth I’m on about

1. Where have you been?

2. I have kindly provided the links for you:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124246/Samantha-Brick-downsides-looking-pretty-Why-women-hate-beautiful.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2124782/Samantha-Brick-says-backlash-bile-yesterdays-Daily-Mail-proves-shes-right.html

In fairness to Ms Brick I feel a little bit sorry for her: she’s probably sacrificed a whole lot of female (come to think of it, even male) friendships through her article. There are few people that will trust her intentions now as all are likely to assume that she wishes to get something out of them. So, as I am feeling a little bit of sympathy for her I have decided to write something to counter all the hate mail and threats she has been receiving because, lets face it, whilst she may have gone about it all the wrong way, she has actually (a little inadvertently) done something positive with her article:

  1. Women once more stand united: the return of sisterly solidarity has occurred over the past few days. Unfortunately, Ms Brick, these women are not united with you. No it isn’t out of jealousy: nobody minds if you’re pretty or not I think you’ll find. The fact that you have distinguished yourself as separate from other women and placed yourself as their competitor rather than supporting the advancement of other women is what they are upset about. No woman is going to clap their hands with glee at being told “this is what you’re doing all wrong, and this is what I’m doing so right”. What the women have united against is a common villain I’m afraid and, as per, a woman has been set up to take that place as villain. The only positive to this is that:
  2. The stereotypical portrait of a villain has been altered significantly: evidently you are an empowered woman who doesn’t wish to skirt controversy by being meek and mild (good) however, instigating women criticising other women (bad) is far less admirable. Women have been portrayed as villains for far too long in fairytales and, yes, Samantha, it is indeed time that people stopped portraying the villainess as an ugly old hag with warts on her nose. The unfortunate part about you being the villain of the piece is that people aren’t questioning why you have been allowed to advance your own career goals based upon what you look like: why aren’t these men being held to account?
  3. The Social Media storm created by your article has given other women an opportunity to express themselves and their concerns: bringing women’s issues to the forefront of discussion. What I would like to suggest here is that we all get a little perspective on these women’s issues. If you aren’t aware of it readers there was a very important article posted recently about sixteen year old Amina Filali. If you haven’t seen this article yet, you should click here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/03/moroccan-teenager-death-women-rights  Amina was sixteen but experienced a horrific ordeal at the hands of men: she was raped and then ordered by the Moroccan courts to marry her abuser. Amina couldn’t live under these circumstances and took her own life: this is a much more valuable insight into the Women’s Rights Movement as it stands internationally. There has been a reform in Morocco of women’s rights known as Moudawana:

“The moudawana was created to give more rights to women, but it isn’t the answer to all women’s problems” said Jazouani

Do you see how this transfers to your article Ms Brick? It isn’t just the change in law that needs to take place: Ms Pankhurst only started the ball rolling for us with her cries of “votes for women” the idea, much like with the moudawana, was that women would continue to carry the baton after she was gone. This is about the need for a change in attitudes. The women that have reacted so strongly to your article, you may actually consider, are not suffering from the green eyed monster but are struggling with the inequity of it all. The female rights movement had come an awfully long way in trying to reverse the stereotypes that you not only pander to and endorse but you revel in these stereotypes because you feel a benefit from it. Whilst this is fantastic publicity for debates on female rights obviously you got the rougher end of the deal on this one: your article really did have all the subtlety of, well, a brick in the face. Plus, if you really want to endorse the stereotyping of women, then you’re doing it all wrong: you’re supposed to just sit quietly looking pretty. You made yourself a pawn in the Daily Mail “Women Beware Women” campaign.

4. Employers will now love you. Obviously. Productivity in the work place just went up ten fold. Why? Because the office romance just died Ms Brick and you killed it. No woman is going to want to put herself in your shoes: look at what you have experienced. And no man is now going to run the risk of being “Bricked”: sexism in the workplace will once more come under close scrutiny.

So, to close my argument (for now) and open the floor for discussion I will just say that every woman, every human being wants to be valued on their merits and seen for WHO they are: I want to get a promotion or a job offer because I am the best not simply because I reached a glass ceiling and was prepared to flash a bit of leg. And yes, I am aware that there are plenty of organisations where “looking the part” is essential (do men feel the same pressures of this I wonder?) but why do we need to substantiate this inequity by pandering to it? Why do we have to resign ourselves to living up to someone else’s idealised notion of beauty? Ms Brick, are you of the nature that if you can’t beat them join them? It certainly seems that way. How about, if at first you don’t succeed, try then try again?