My Body, His Decision

Friday evening, early September. It’s just after seven o’clock and I’m on my way home on the first of two short bus journeys. I’m tired and looking forward to an evening doing very little. The clocks are still on summer time and the sun has only just started to descend in the sky.
At the stop after mine, three men board the bus. They are laughing and joking amongst themselves, loudly. One of them has no hair and is so red in the face the colour has spread over his entire head. He looks as if he had been lightly simmered. They’ve clearly been drinking. They stand directly in front of my seat and so, as the bus moves along the road, I watch them, wondering if they are at the beginning of a big night. The bus reaches my stop. I move to get up. There’s a man in front of me and a woman behind me but we can’t move, one of the three raucous men is blocking the way and only moves when his friend alerts him to those of us waiting. He steps to one side and stands by the exit. The man in front of …

Causes Worth Fighting For 1#

I want to take the time to talk about some causes that are close to my heart. The causes in this post and the one to follow are a variety of causes and some you may have heard of but I suspect that one or two of them you have not.

Care for Aids

Care for Aids is a charity I discovered when I spent time in Kenya in 2009. I'll be honest, I don't know who set it up or where their head office is, who runs the company etc. Not because I don't care but because I approached the organisation another way, volunteering through the connections between Care for Aids and the company I was out in Kenya with. This meant that I was thrust into the heart of the action, giving hands on care and so the also very important but separate 'office stuff' I didn't become involved with.

Care for Aids is set up on the principle that the most effective way to help those affected by Aids and HIV is to empower them. They provide holistic and…

On The Possible Friends Reunion and The Changing Landscape of Comedy

On January 22nd, a Twitter account dedicated to exposing TV Secrets, @TV_exposed, announced that a Friends Reunion was going to happen. Despite being sick of E4’s constant repeats of the series a couple of years ago, having actively avoided it since then, I’ve been enjoying it more recently. So I’ll be pleased to watch it if it actually happens, though I’m not jumping the gun and expecting it will. It would be nice to see ‘The Friends’ later on in their lives and having grown up with it in my early adolescence, there’s a little nostalgia.
But I’m struggling to picture it working a decade later. Friends is so much of its time. And not just for the terrible clothes they wear (oh ‘90s fashion!) but because of the source of the jokes. Consider the episode that Ross and Rachel hire Freddie Prince Jr as Emma’s nanny and the problems Ross had with his gender. How funny the canned laughter informed you it was that Chandler’s dad was a gay burlesque dancer and that, especially earlier on, Chand…

Being a 'Boomerang'

We’ve all heard it in the newspapers, radio stations, online etc, the Crisis of the Boomerang Generation. And we all know why it’s happening so I’m not going to go into the well-covered, hotly argued, very depressing statistics that explain why so many of us keep returning to the nest we were so keen to fly away from x years ago. There are, obviously, pros other than financial for living at home. For instance, it’s quite nice having somebody else cook your dinner every now and then, you’re not the only person who takes care of the laundry and the kitchen table becomes your in-house Book Club. I can pursue my creative ambitions without the worry of rent hanging over my head; I do not miss the monthly, ‘oh dear Lord am I going to make it?’ as I looked at my bank account before rent was due to leave.
But what isn’t talked about so much is the guilt that accompanies all of this. I feel guilty. I’m living off my parents, rent free, I don’t work 40 hours a week because I’m trying out a mi…

The Fear

There is, apparently, a common dream that you end up somewhere like work or school naked or in just your underwear. Dreams For Dummies claims it refers to one’s focus on ‘privacy, modesty, honesty or being exposed’ and that ‘[b]eing in your underwear in public indicates you feel vulnerable’ amongst other things. There are few things that make you feel as exposed as the ‘arts’, whether it’s writing or acting or any artistic vocalisation of one’s self. The wonderfully accurate fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia defines the arts as all human endeavours that are ‘united by their employment of the human creative impulse’. In layman’s terms, anything creative, anything one being, or a collective, have pulled from the recesses of their mind and put on display for the world to see. And so the arts are not only a way you choose to expose yourself but they demand that you do so. Whether or not you plan to show your work to somebody, you’ve still physicalised it, on paper, on stage, in mov…

Hero Worship

*Before I begin, I'd like to note, as with everything, these are just my opinions. I am not criticising individuals that encourage hero worship, I do it myself, rather I am criticising our society that has encouraged it.*

I think we believe that in the twentieth century we are fairly good at celebrating individuality and single people as opposed to fictional characters, sports players and performers, that the latter is a thing of the past when times were harder and the average person had little of their own life to take pleasure from. Perhaps, one or two people even speculate this might be due to the increased wealth of the average person from 50-60 years ago. But I do not think hero worship has decreased, in fact I think the opposite, and I do not think increased wealth helps, if anything it hinders.

Recently, I worked at an event that was designed to enable the child-fans of a certain premier league football team meet the players. It was only a couple of hours of my time and the…

A New Year. A 'New You'?!

I tend not to do the whole New Year's resolutions thing. I did once, aged 8 or so, write down all the bad habits I wanted to put an end to and burn the page. But I'm pretty sure it didn't last long. I don't think they work. Not because it isn't a good idea, starting fresh with the change of the year makes sense. You never want to start a new fitness regime/healthier eating/better bedtime/less internet use etc etc mid-week, it's far too tiring to try and change when you're just trying to make it to the end of the week. And often the same often goes for mid-month so using the New Year to help make changes is almost natural.

But the idea of a 'resolution' doesn't stick. Normally they are things like 'do more exercise', 'drink less', 'eat better', 'read more', 'have less sex with strangers', 'have more sex with strangers', 'go out more' etc etc. Aims. But not actually something you can call a r…