Posted in Dating & Relationships, women

When Valentine’s Day Doesn’t Get Your Heart Racing

Hand in hand St Valentine and Cupid (great image) contribute to this multi-million pound industry without even signing off on it. The names of a Saint and a God used to line the pockets of the fat cats, would they approve do you think?

At a time of year when we’re still vacuuming up the pine needles; the next onslaught of commercialised, materialistic, ‘invented’ celebration rears its ugly head. St. Valentine’s Day. Another 24 hours for the singletons to feel like social outcasts; or for those who choose to be on their own to keep justifying why they aren’t ‘looking’ for Mr/Mrs Right just now, if ever.

Again the shops are adorned with the trappings of expectation; as well as luring some in they serve as a reminder to others that an evening of ‘aloneness’ looms. For some this involves eating ice-cream straight from the tub; polishing off the last of the Baileys; weeping over Pride & Prejudice and dreaming of meeting our own Mr Darcy. Memories of my past. Nowadays I’d probably be joining an online chat for singles who laugh in the face of Valentine’s day (whilst eating ice-cream and drinking Baileys).

For others St Valentine’s Day is filled with the excitement of a possible proposal of marriage. I got engaged on Valentine’s Day when I was 23. Well, we chose to announce it on that Day having decided earlier to commit to each other; my boyfriend wanted to move back to London. Ok, I decided we had to be engaged if I was going to move away with him as I never wanted to move to London. Very romantic. It was an amazing day though, a dozen red roses (maybe it was 2, I don’t remember, I’m 50 now) sent to my place of work, balloons filled my car, so much fuss and attention bestowed on me. Lots of oooo’s and ahhhh’s as I showed off my £130 Ratners engagement ring.

There was a time when I bought into it all. When love was measured by the size of the card and flowers. I cried as girls at school clutched their wads of cards and spat the numbers at you asking “How many did you get?” In that mean, schoolgirl kind of way. And there was always one girl that you just knew had written cards to herself. I never stooped so low.

But now I am older, wiser, and a parent. I’m older and a parent anyway.  I’m not bitter or resentful, I do have a boyfriend (the engagement at 23 never got as far as a wedding) who will buy me a card, and something really obscure that after a couple of drinks I will question him over (one year it was Scratch Art?!!). I don’t mind if he doesn’t, probably would rather he didn’t. An article, posted 13th February 2015, in Psychology Today stresses the importance of ‘all year round’ love; as the expectations, comparisons and magnifications actually contribute to couples breaking up in the weeks before and after Valentine’s day. Expecting great romantic gestures; comparing what others have done, especially on Social Media; and the magnification of flaws in your existing relationship.

If you are in a relationship and all, or some, of the above apply to you here is how you can avoid the pitfalls:

  • Don’t let one silly day of the year put your relationship under a magnifying glass. Work on it as much as you can all year round.
  • Read the article in Psychology Today for some tips on reigniting the passion you once felt for each other.
  • Be realistic. Life gets in the way of love sometimes. It can’t be hearts and flowers every day.
  • Don’t believe everything you see and read on Social Media.

If you are single and Valentine’s Day makes you feel lonely; it doesn’t matter which day of the year you fall in love or go on a date. You are not a social outcast, you just haven’t found anyone good enough for you yet. Learn to love yourself first and the rest will come to you.

Happy Every Day, For The Rest Of Your Life

Posted in comedy, women

If Google Translate Took Over Your Online Profile – Dating Over The Age Of 50

Disclaimer

I am writing this for a friend; Any Resemblance to Actual Persons, Living or Dead, is Purely Coincidental

A friend of mine who has recently found herself single after 15 years of marriage is ready to take the next step

For the sake of argument let’s call her, anything other than her real name, Liz. Liz is 51 and filled with a truck load of insecurity; this is what her profile would look like if she was brave enough to be honest. After all, they all find out in the end.

 

You?

I am a recently separated 51 year old mum of 6, almost grown up, children. Yes, I know, I clearly started young; if you really want to know I’ll be a bloody grandma next month.

Physical Characteristics

I have bloodshot green eyes, wiry bleached blonde hair, a saggy tummy and boobs down to my knees, I did a lot of breastfeeding. I’m 5ft 8 inches tall but shrinking a bit now, mainly due to curvature of the spine that in the wrong clothes makes me look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. My wiry hair is starting to come out in handfuls due to my underactive thyroid, but if I do a Trumpian comb over you’d hardly notice.

Greatest Achievements

Getting through the day without having a number 1 or number 2 accident. This is  due to my irritable bowel, and inability to sneeze without letting out a little wee as no-one actually explained what pelvic floor exercises really are. Lying on the floor and raising my legs didn’t cut the mustard. I do have tablets to hold off on the number 2’s but I don’t always remember to take them. I would consider remembering to take my tablets quite an achievement as well, the memory is going a little, I know, too young!

Biggest Fears

See Above

Lifestyle

Since my separation, after the initial shock and clothes shredding spree, I have learned to live my life alone. I threw all the razors in the bin, I am a liberated European woman with more hair under my arms and legs than anywhere else on my body. And I mean anywhere. I enjoy going to bed early and not having to put up with my beer bellied, unshaven, whisky breathed hubby pawing me. I’m peri-menopausal so not really interested in a physical relationship right now. Not to mention the enormous amount of effort it takes to clench my buttocks (just in case) and fake an orgasm; my COPD can be exacerbated by that kind of fast breathing. I have two different types of inhaler for that, but it’s just not worth the risk, you know.

Career and Financial Solvency

Thanks to my ‘children’ not being ‘children’ I’m not entitled to any maintenance. My lovely little job I did for pin money has now become my main source of income. I am really poor so DSS need not apply.

Looking For?

I’m looking for a man between 35 and 45 with a busy career that keeps him away from home for long periods of time. Tall, dark and handsome, big heart and even bigger wallet. Someone I can flirt with over the phone and on messenger but not have to see too often, The odd meal out, but home to our own abodes. Generous to a fault. Someone who wants to make sure I live comfortably but wants nothing in return.

Whoever said that 50 is the new 40 was having a laugh

Any Takers?

Posted in comedy

When You Choose To Spend New Year’s Eve Alone – Hit Or Miss?

When, on the last day of 2016, you realise that the biggest decision you have to make each day is whether to use the curling tongs or straighteners you know it’s time for change. I thought I’d already started to implement enough changes when my son left for Uni not to still find myself in this position. I have a notebook full of scribblings, ideas for blog posts, a journal of my 50th birthday holiday week, and funny one liners fed to me by my BF. Not to mention the makings of a piece of flash fiction and my notes for a new radio show. And yet here I am, still flailing at life. I woke up this morning, the first day of 2017, home alone. I decided to spend New Year’s Eve on my own. The son was away for a party and I told the BF in true Greta Garbo fashion “I want to be alone”.

Being on my own was supposed to free me to do whatever I pleased, when I pleased, and without having to please anyone else. Lounge around in my house clothes (I don’t own PJ’s, even though saying that I was lounging in them would have sounded much more romantic) watch chick flicks, drink beer, maybe read some chick lit or be productive, bring some of these scribblings and ideas together. In reality by the time I’d had a couple of beers and my son headed off at 8pm I was already wondering how I would stay awake long enough to do any of these things. I didn’t.

I spent half an hour thinking I was having a twitter conversation with Simon Pegg, not hard to believe he had nothing better to do on New Year’s Eve is it? I did have a twitter conversation with Simon Pegg, but it was the wrong one. Much to my embarrassment after I’d catalogued the chat in status updates on facebook and pm’d my son. I rapidly deleted the Facebook updates and ceased to chat with the 40 year old, lonely imposter. Had he nowhere else to be? Really? Ok, he wasn’t an imposter, I didn’t have my glasses on and the profile pic looked pretty professional in it’s haze. I know, I should have gone to Specsavers.

 

screenshot-2017-01-01-at-13-15-47

 

After catching up on Eastenders, real home alone tv viewing, I went to bed at 11pm with:

  • A beer (had to show willing)
  • The landline (just in case my son or the police needed me in the night)
  • Laptop (just in case the Real Simon Pegg, or any other celebs I have tweeted over the last couple of months, actually had the good manners to reply)
  • Bluetooth Speaker (so I could listen to the 3 hour New year’s Eve party mix on the radio, bed dancing?)

I turned the tv on with the volume down low, tried to find a subtitle button in the dark to no avail, and fell asleep before The Birdie Dance! My BF phoned, waking me, at midnight, to wish me a Happy New Year, tell me I was right that the Mrs Brown’s Boys episode was a repeat of the Christmas Day show, and to invite me to lunch at his Brother’s house on New Year’s Day. I declined the invitation after, yet again, commenting how they leave these things to the last minute in his family. And I told him I wasn’t planning on leaving the house for 2 days as I have so much to do… I will be letting my creativity flow not flail.

I, like so many others, have been tricked into thinking that we have to make the first day of the New Year really count for something. The New Year a new me. So at 9am on the first of January 2017 I relieved myself of that last beer I took upstairs and went back to bed and watched Come Dine With Me. That different enough for you? I was quite pleased when I finally got up that I had managed to be so Indie, what next? The world was my Oyster. Twitter flagged up Katie Hopkins on LBC, how better to start the new year than to listen to Katie Hopkins on the radio. Research purposes only of course. I laughed myself silly for 2 hours and then tweeted @KTHopkins, she didn’t even reply to be mean to me. [Insert sad smiley here]

 

screenshot-2017-01-01-at-12-47-26

 

The day is not over, I have absolved myself thus far by at least writing this. I can now curl up on the sofa and watch The Devil Wears Prada feeling moderately satisfied that I have ticked at least one thing off my list; before my son returns and sprawls his 6ft 4 hungover body on the sofa and asks for cuddles and scrambled eggs.

 

Posted in women

Reflections At (nearly)Fifty

In one week I will be 50 years old, half a century.Old! It’s not surprising then that I’m reflecting on my life right now. There is this sense that the occasion should be marked in some way, and I don’t mean a party. I’m not having one of those. All that money for a few hours with a load of people I haven’t seen since my 40th, when I could put that money to better use, a holiday. I’m so scared of getting old I feel I need to reflect (and discuss) my coming of age to exorcise some demons and convince myself it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.

My first thoughts were at the weekend whilst I was waiting for my fry up at the local greasy spoon, I was looking out of the window at a happy family passing by and it got me thinking about Christmas amongst other things. How you see more families out together in the run up to Christmas and on the day itself. Then that got me thinking about how I’ve never experienced that lovely, family, togetherness. Single parent, only child. And then it hit me, I will never experience it. That ship has sailed.

I had never intended to only have one child, but there was a distinct lack of willing sperm donors for the next 20 years. As the hot flushes move in, my egg production moves out. Oh God, I am that woman ‘of a certain age’. Feel free to read my little meandering ‘A Day In The Life Of Mr & Mrs Flush – Surviving The Men-O-Pause’. No more babies for me. If I am being totally honest, as much as I would have liked that 15 years ago, I really am too lazy and selfish to do it all over again. I also enjoy a drink or two and have enough of a problem sleeping without a screaming baby needing my attention when I have social media to keep me company.

So, no more babies. What else? I won’t be winning Miss World or fulfilling my lifelong dream to be a star tennis player anytime soon. I think that particular ship never raised its sails on either of those as I barely picked up a tennis racket or wanted to be the winner of a beauty contest. I always held out for wishes making things come true, 49 years of blowing out candles on your birthday cake and wishing gets you bugger all. I was clearly always lazy!

What I do enjoy and look forward to the most about ageing is the kind of peace of mind that has come with it for me. My body image, my honesty, my ability to happily embrace so many things about who I am. And to be be able to say that some of the things I have inherited from my parents didn’t mess me up, they have made me a better person. I feel sorry for the younger me, the one before becoming a mother. So many unhappy years worrying about my weight, my looks, living in the past, forgetting to live in the moment. So now is the time to tell myself that, stop reflecting on the past, live in the moment and look forward.

There is so much to look forward to, my work as a mother isn’t done until the day I die. I will enjoy watching my son grow into the wonderful man he is already becoming. And being a grandmother will be awesome. The love for my baby’s babies will know no bounds. I hope to be the kind of gran I’ve been as a mother, but naughtier 😉

I recently picked up a children’s’ book called ‘Two bad Grans’ by Geraldine Durrant & Sarah Horne.

But then something happened

Which no one had planned.

Those naughty old ladies were turned into grans!

And handed their babies, in pink and in blue,

Those naughty old ladies knew what they must do.

They looked at each other, and both understood,

That when you’re a granny you have to be GOOD.

Mrs M said “A Gran must behave like a LADY!”

“And set an example,” agreed Mrs O’ Grady.

And do you know what made them naughty before they were good?

They never washed dishes,

They never baked pies,

Their knitting was awful,

They often told lies.

They were rude and revolting,

Said “Piffle!” and “Poo!”

And refused to do housework,

Or mend and make-do.

What? I think the pages have been put in the wrong order. If anyone else has a copy, check yours and let me know. I can say a lot more than “Piffle & Poo!” I have no plans to start baking and going to knitting classes. What message is this book sending out? They were NEVER ‘bad grans’ they behaved like that before they were grans, once the kids had left home and they finally got the house back for themselves. Nah. I’m not going to be a sweet old lady, no way. I Shall Wear Purple.

Posted in comedy

Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Thank Goodness

So, we finally hit November and that crazy gang who have been counting down the days to Christmas since Boxing day are cranking up their attack on social media. Halloween is over, the memes are circulating, mostly the fairy Godmother telling Cinderella that at the strike of midnight Halloween ends and ‘bam Christmas carols everywhere’.

These people who have filled my newsfeed with Christmas all year long now think they are justified in filling it with MORE festive schmaltz because, as I write, it is ONLY 52 days, 12 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds away. And thrill upon thrill by the time you read this it could be minutes, hours and even days closer. Feel free to check any of the online countdown to Christmas clocks with their pretty falling snow animations. When did we last see snow at Christmas? Oh yes, I remember, 2010, the only time I wanted to get a plane out of the bleeding country. Why did I want to do that? Because I was trying so hard to ‘invent’ some Christmas magic for my son with a weekend in Rome.

I have been a single parent, with an only child, and very little extended family for almost the whole of my son’s life. For most of those years we were obliged to have my mother with us, for me that odd number of three was worse than if it had just been the two of us.

I tried so hard to make Christmas magical for my son.We were never going to have one of those huge family Christmases like the ones in those seasonal adverts that bombard our living rooms for 6 weeks (maybe more) in the run up to the big day. Further reinforcement that I could not bring the joy of Christmas into our home unless we had to drag out the ‘small’ table to seat all the extra people that graced us with their presence and presents. Ha! The small table with all the cousins cramped round, and always at least one awkward teen who’d rather be with the grownups sneaking the odd glass of vino, unnoticed by the adults stuffing their faces as the family bore regales them with tales of his/her achievements for the year. Sorry, I digress with a clear bitter resentment for all things ‘family Christmas’.

I eventually decided once my son wasn’t a baby or toddler anymore that Christmas away would be the best thing. We would be surrounded by happy revellers and the true spirit of Christmas would descend upon us, we would live happily ever after knowing that we had had a Christmas that others could only dream of. So off we popped to Butlins, Bognor. My son would have lots of children to play with, there would be entertainment providing much laughter and happiness.

When we finally emerged on Christmas morning (sporting our silly santa hats and reindeer antlers) ready to wave, smile and express our season greetings to one and all we were in for a bit of a shock. On Christmas Eve there had been a ‘Merder’ (best read in a Scottish accent, mimicking a well known detective). The place was crawling with scenes of crime officers, everything was closed, and all those who had travelled there by car had left. It was a ghost town. We, unfortunately had gone by train, and were stuck there for the duration. Thank goodness for Christmas telly.

Beneath all of this frivolity, cynicism and forced humour there is a more serious note. Christmas is hard, and for many reasons for many people. And when the over excited, overgrown kids start ramming it down your throat on the 1st of November, those of us who don’t ‘feel’ the magic have just that bit longer to feel crap about it.

On a lighter note (please) despite my best efforts with my son at Christmas, he went all weirdy ‘I hate Christmas’ a few years ago, which deflated me as I felt that somehow I had failed him. But last year, we probably had one of the best Christmases yet. Just the two of us. We had brunch, went to the pub (he’s 20 btw) , went to another pub, went home and watched films. When we were hungry we bunged a pizza in the oven. I spent no more on food that Christmas than I did any other week. We didn’t feel sorry for ourselves, we actually felt liberated.
Bah-Humbug!

Listen to the audio version here

Posted in Uncategorized

What Has Twitter Ever Done For Me?

I’m trying to imagine what it would have been like 40 years ago if I was able to follow Adam Ant on Twitter. Fan girls and boys must love this new age of social media. I remember crying in my bedroom listening to Mr Ant being interviewed on the radio, they were the little glimpses we got into our pin up’s lives, it humanised them and made me feel just that little bit closer to him.

Now we have access to (most) celebrities 24/7, we know what they had for breakfast, dinner, after dinner, before bed and sometimes before they even know. Ok not all of them do that, but you get the idea. But what I like most about Twitter is you get to choose who you follow, not just friends and family. I’m not suggesting any of my friends and family aren’t entertaining on Facebook (some are hilarious) I love you all.

I don’t (or didn’t) really follow celebrities until I decided I needed to seek out the funny people (to dilute all the Trump mania). But I’m one of those who doesn’t remember any of their names.

“You know, the one on that show we really like, the funny one, with the beard, married…you know… what’s her name, in….???? Anyone?? ”

So I came up with a cunning plan. I did remember one name, David Mitchell. He’s the really funny one on those comedy panel shows with that other guy who’s also really funny, you know? And I thought what better way to find all those other funny people than to look at who he follows. So that’s what I did, it was easy as they nearly all have profile pics that look just like they do on the telly. Follow, click, click, click. Oh Jamie Laing, interesting. I wonder what the connection is, or is David a big fan of Made in Chelsea. Well, he is a bit posh as well isn’t he. Several hundred (slight exaggeration) clicks later I was satisfied that my Newsfeed (do you call it that on Twitter?) would be filled with hilarious 140 character quips.

In reality, this is what happened:

I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. At 3 o’clock this morning I was drafting this blog post in my head, finally I managed to get back to sleep and fall into a rather disturbing dream. Needless to say some of those people I started following on Twitter made an appearance. In my dream I didn’t seem the slightest bit surprised to find them all at an orgy, I must say here that NO FLESH was bared. I just knew it was an orgy by the strange glint in their eyes. I’m glad it wasn’t graphic because the guy wearing the horse’s head from the episode of Come Dine With Me, I had watched earlier in the evening, made an entrance towards the end.

Forget Social Media, imagine if someone came up with the technology to record our dreams. I have some epics, ok, some wouldn’t make the cut but #justsaying #loadsamoney #newcareer #sellingdreams

POSTSCRIPT: I did tweet David Mitchell to ask if I could use his profile pic for this post. I didn’t give him long enough to reply though as writing this (and submitting it) was at the top of my ‘to do’ list today. But you can’t imagine my excitement every time I got a notification on Twitter, just in case it was him.

Posted in women

A day in the Life of Mr & Mrs Flush – Surviving the Men-o-pause

This isn’t one of those posts for men to shy away from, nothing gruesome going on here.

This is the story of Mr & Mrs Flush.

One day Mrs Flush woke up and discovered that all her best years were behind her. She also noted that all the bad things that happen in a woman’s life begin with ‘MEN’. She knew what was happening as she lay stretched out like a failed star jump, her hair stuck to her face, her mouth as dry as Jack Dee live at the Apollo, and she knew that attempting to separate her thighs would result in losing another layer of top skin.

Mr Flush was also lying in a pool of sweat, buried beneath a pile of blankets that Mrs Flush had discarded during the night. It was a momentary welcome relief as he had spent half the night wrestling over them when Mrs Flush had got a bit chilly. Poor Mr Flush was going through the men-o-pause.

Downstairs Mrs Flush prepared a breakfast of marmite and peanut butter on toast. Three minutes were spent staring into the fridge until she remembered she was looking for a plate. After removing her dressing gown and opening the window she settled down to read her latest copy of ‘The Turbulent Times’.

Mr Flush entered the kitchen wearing a wooly hat, scarf and mittens. His heart sank as he saw the open window and felt the cold radiators. He had been suffering from terrible mood swings recently and Mrs Flush was worried by the look on his face. So she hurried back upstairs to get dressed.

Mrs Flush struggled to get into her favourite pair of jeans. She thought that she would have lost weight as her previous monthly ‘sweet’ cravings had started to ebb away. But the men-o-pause is cruel like that. It was a good job she was married, she thought to herself, with the expanding waistline and the only thing thinning being her hair, she stood no chance of attracting a new lover. She did feel enormously liberated by giving up on shaving her leg and underarm hair. It isn’t like Mr Flush gets that close to her anymore as her libido becomes libidon’t.

Mrs Flush sits on the bed and considers the strong force of Mother Nature. The good, the bad, and looking in the mirror, the downright ugliness of it all. On the positive side she thinks it’s quite clever that this kicks off when the kids have left home. While they all still like each other. And it would probably be the end of womankind if it didn’t. Master Flush already mentioned being put off the idea of marrying if this is what he has to look forward to.

Mrs Flush returns to the kitchen, closes the window, pops on the heating and says, “Bit chilly in here don’t you think love?” Mr Flush just sighs and removes his wooly hat.

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Listen to the audio HERE

Posted in Uncategorized

Fewer or Less?

So here is my dilemma, or should I say was my dilemma. When to use ‘fewer’ instead of ‘less’. I feel shame at my lack of linguistic skills when English is my first language. But up until about 14 years ago I didn’t know I was using the wrong words. A friend corrected me one day, and all these years later I am still finding it hard to get the right usage to come naturally to me.

The worse thing is that as it doesn’t come naturally to me I now correct myself after the fact. And to be honest I have been told in my research of this rather tedious subject that a lot of other people make the same mistake, and I am therefore highlighting my inadequate grasp of the English language by doing this.

Here is my theory on how I believe it doesn’t really matter and what to blame for this oddity. I blame mathematics. There you go, i said it, maths is to blame. Not just for those miserable years studying it at school but how it has rendered me unable to grasp, apparently the simplest, of ‘meanings’.

So let us begin…

less-than

Image courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/maths/algebra/inequalitiesrev1.shtml

I walked into a room where I was expecting there to be the usual 25 chairs, there were only 20 chairs. According to the table above 20 chairs is less than 25 chairs. So why would I not say there are less chairs rather than there are fewer chairs? Tell me that! It says clearly that the smaller number is less than the bigger number, in fact it goes as far as to say it is a true statement. So less chairs could easily be a true statement!

Interestingly (to somebody I’m sure) even though armed with the knowledge of the correct word to choose I haven’t been able to retrain my brain to use it. But what I have managed to retrain my brain to do is not use either word. I have discovered a life where there “aren’t as many” of anything. There aren’t as many people in the pub some days, there aren’t as many chairs available and there aren’t as many crisps in a packet anymore! So there!

P.S There aren’t as many words in this blog post as I usually write, there is only a certain amount of time you can devote to such things and keep people’s interest.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Big Issue – Hard Sell

For a couple of months now there has been a young woman selling the big Issue magazine outside my local supermarket. Small shop on the High Street, you know the kind of thing. During these months my feelings towards her have spun out of control, from rational to downright, certifiably crazy. And I ask myself why?

My first objection was the manner in which the seller approached me, I found her aggressive, and her evil looks at my failure to purchase did not go unnoticed. As if this wasn’t bad enough I would get asked again when I left the shop, twice, the same thing, every time.

Due to the ‘hard sell’ it was impossible to scuttle past deliberately blanking, or pretending to be looking for something in my bag so I wouldn’t have to meet her eye. I was forced to respond with a , “No thank you”. I had to be polite in case she followed me home to punish me and my comfortable life for ignoring her and her needs, which were clearly greater than mine. At this point I became aware that I am angry at her for making me feel guilty, guilty for not buying the magazine. But angry because her manner is forcing me to address my selfishness and guilt on a daily basis. I started complaining about her manner in the local shops,

“cor she don’t half give you evils if you don’t buy the magazine”.

“Isn’t she aggressive?”.

Then I feel like an even more horrible person. I clearly think that with the more people I tell, one day one of them will tell someone else who has the power to make her and her guilt tripping go away! I want to be able to go from home or work to the shop without this burdening guilt. I also want to shout at her,

“NO! I still don’t want one, same as 90 seconds ago when I didn’t want one!”

Today on the approach to the shop my heart sinks, I say to myself, “Oh God, there she is”, out loud I say, “No thank you”. I leave the shop and she isn’t looking my way. “Ha!” I say in my head as I feel as though I have won some kind of battle. Then I question whether I am a grey person. It is not possible for me to be a grey person. I either wear a bright red coat or a bright pink mac with pink scarf. And I scream in my head,

“are you stupid? You MUST notice that I am the same person you asked 90 seconds ago. Look at me! I’m not grey, I am colourful, you must remember me for my colourfulness!”

You could be forgiven reading this for thinking I am completely insane. Or you may suggest I buy one of the magazines and it will all stop. I doubt that, I could buy the magazine and still be asked 90 seconds later if I want “BIG ISSUE”. I could stop and talk to her, and be honest.

Here is my open letter to the lady who sells the Big Issue.

Dear lady,

I feel very bad when I walk past and don’t buy one of your magazines. I feel guilty. I feel you will judge me. Hate me even. But the truth is I can’t afford to buy it, the cost of that paper is more than a third of my daily budget for food. I might not look poor, I wear nice clothes and carry a designer bag. But all my clothes and my bag come from charity shops and car boot sales. I don’t want you to think I don’t care about where you came from and where you are now, because I do. But I can only afford to help people with my time and not with money. Please don’t judge me because of how I look, in the same way I won’t ever judge you or anyone else by how they look. Maybe you appear aggressive because you are desperate, I’m sorry that I don’t know your story. Maybe one day I will stop and ask you.

With Kind Regards,
The Lady in Red (and Pink)