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Christmas, a Birth, and a Problematic Foodbank Report


It amazes me again and again how cynical people are about the plight of others. This is a massive tragedy unfolding in towns and cities in UK. I seem to recall David Cameron refusing European Aid for feeding the hungry…..(I may be wrong), but what an arrogant ball bag. There are tonnes of Aide European food stuffs that could be helping the food banks in the UK.
How many deaths will there be this winter down to hunger and cold.

Originally posted on Ann McGauran:

Hayley, whose baby is due next week, came to this Greenwich foodbank for help.

Hayley, whose baby is due next week, came to this Greenwich foodbank for help.

I apologise in advance for the length of this post. There’s a lot to say. Hayley is a 31-year-old mother of two and is heavily pregnant. She came to the food bank at the weekend with her partner and her youngest child of nine. Her baby is due next week, but her family is not in a celebratory mood. This young family’s cupboards are empty. It’s the first time in their lives they’ve ever had to ask for a food bank voucher.

They’ve hit a full-blown crisis. Hayley is a domiciliary care worker. Because she normally gives birth prematurely at 27 weeks, she went onto statutory sick pay three months ago. She was naturally wary given her earlier pregnancies, and by that stage she also couldn’t do the hoisting and lifting that her job requires. Moving…

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Objectification, is it ever acceptable?

Okay, I don’t know where I am going with this, but it’s a process that’s been doing the rounds in my head for a couple of weeks now after an unpleasant afternoon in a group I attend.

There was a discussion between 2 women about a recent class they’d been attending at our local swimming pool, run by a young guy who they both talked about in derogatory terms. One of these women is older than me (I am 59) and the guy they were discussing was probably mid 20’s I am guessing. Later on in the afternoon the subject came up again and I was unable to keep my big mouth shut and questioned the assertions being made and wondered how and if this was okay. I angered the 2 women with my question and was met with varying reasons why is was okay, just a bit of fun, tongue in cheek etc and I realised that I was wasting my breath. (I often have different ideas and thoughts to the rest of a group, so no change here).

Over the last couple of weeks I have noticed more and more the photos being shared on social media of naked or half naked men, along with comments we all expect to see. It makes me wonder, is it okay to objectify men? I am not sure I have the correct word, or that I am expressing myself well, but is it okay? We have spent decades complaining about how women have been treated in the media, have been used in advertising, are plastered over men’s magazines and generally seen as sexual objects, yet we don’t appear to want to see the double standard.

When we want to educate and inform our children, we understand that modelling the type of behaviour we expect from them is as important as the words we say. Yet, I see on a daily basis that we don’t seem to be modelling to our menfolk how we would like to be treated ourselves. How can we expect them to understand what is not acceptable to us if we do it to them?

Back to the group 2 weeks ago….imagine if this had been an old man in his 60’s talking about the young swimming coach in the same vain. Would we have all sat and laughed along with the conversation? Really? I can postulate that we might have been concerned he might act on his fantasies and reacted very differently.

I believe I have some rather extreme reactions to what seems like fun and ribald humour, and that is seems OTT and yet I have to ask. When is it acceptable to objectify another human being?

Musings from Outside the Asylum


I am somewhat surprised that it is just over 3 years since I started my blog. I am also not surprised that it has no consistency or sense of purpose. Just a place for me to let off steam now and again, get angry, sad, maudlin and self righteous. It’s also just over 3 years since we’ve been living outside the asylum!
I am sure I’ll have something to say soon. I am currently grappling with objectifying and when and if it’s okay, but I am not ready to write about it yet.
Bon weekend.

Originally posted on musings from outside the asylum:

Douglas Adams, in his book, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy describes an inside out house and it’s owner,  John “Wonko The Sane” Watson.

He lives in an inside-out house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. That is, to visit you park on the carpet. There’s a sign on the wall that reads, “Come Outside.” He considers the rest of the world to be “The Asylum,” because it seemed to him that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks was no longer a civilization in which he could live and stay sane.

Wonko knows more about the dolphins than any other human being alive.

Mark, my husband is the reader in this house of the Hitchhiker books and insisted that once we had completed putting our boundaries in place and hanging our gate…

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Teaching our daughters to hate themselves.


I am often reminded of this as I browse Facebook. Remember, your daughters look to you for all they need to know in their future life as a grown woman. They see everything you do, hear everything you say and they even hear the things you don’t say but feel. Please don’t continue this whole perfectionist stuff for them to spend the rest of their lives trying to attain. Please let them be happy with who they are and let them know it’s not all about how they look.

Originally posted on musings from outside the asylum:

Passing on body hatred

This is so sad, and so much of it is worth repeating, I have cut and paste the whole article for you, you have no need to even open the link.

If you are a young mother with daughters who love you just as you are, please read this and think about the messages you are giving them about body image.

Dear Mum,

I was seven when I discovered that you were fat, ugly and horrible. Up until that point I had believed that you were beautiful – in every sense of the word. I remember flicking through old photo albums and staring at pictures of you standing on the deck of a boat. Your white strapless bathing suit looked so glamorous, just like a movie star. Whenever I had the chance I’d pull out that wondrous white bathing suit hidden in your bottom drawer and…

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Observation or judgement, how can you tell?


The article Parenting While Distracted

has reminded me of this blog post, written by me in March 2013.

Originally posted on musings from outside the asylum:

Just two things of note for me, besides funerals and all the other stuff.  Two things I observed and had an hypothesis about whilst driving around the country.

Observation 1.

I am in Boots, behind me whilst I am shopping is a mother pushing her 5 month old baby in a pushchair.  Baby is facing mum, having eye contact with mum who appears to be talking to her.  She’s not, she’s talking into a hands free phone, has a wire coming from her ear.  Baby is looking, possibly thinking mum is talking to her, but getting very odd signals and probably doesn’t know how to respond.  Mum’s conversation is heated, angry at times, and she’s giving no eye contact to the baby who is trying to make sense of the world. It was pointed out to me (aggressively I felt) that this was just a snapshot, and yes I…

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Lessons Learned (like hell they are)

I am currently on Page 22 of the report by Professor Alexis Jay of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013). So far I have read about failing, after failing after failing and saw that famous phrase “Lessons Learned”. I want to scream when I hear that utter from some politician’s mouth as it’s a cover all phrase that is meant to satisfy us the public that everything is in hand and all will be resolved.
Of course we all know it’s just another load of bullshit in an attempt to calm the masses.

You can download a copy of the report from here

I have also read the emotive blog from Lisa Cherry this morning.


I feel for Lisa and for all those children and future children who’ve not been heard, been deliberately ignore and believe it’s their own fault.

I spent a few years back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s attempting to help (mostly women) put themselves back together after years and years of being sexually abused, ignored, unseen, unheard and re-abused by so-called rescuers. I am sure I am feeling tearful for them too. Every time this type of story surfaces (weekly and almost daily now), it can be a trigger for those who’ve suffered at the hands of an abuser. Many of my previous clients will be struggling to cope with what they see, read and hear at the moment, and I fear this only the tip of the iceberg.

I doubt very much that much will change, I have every confidence that lessons haven’t been and won’t be learned and vulnerable children will continue to be left uncared for and unprotected by “caring” services.

Is this our blindness….as much of the US is blind to the damage their gun culture causes, are we in the UK blind to the damage being caused by our society and it’s attitude’s to vulnerable children.

Praying doesn’t change anything!


I posted several blogs and reblogged in the aftermath of Sandy Hook. Got into angry rants with pro gun people.
I am so shocked by the news that a 9 year old girl killed her gun instructor with a sub machine gun, I am despairing that we will ever live in a sane world.
The world is becoming more and more insane. I could write about Gaza, about Rotherham, about children in UK waiting to go back to school so they can have a hot meal each day. But today I’ll just stick with this for now.
Little girls of 9 should be playing with the friends, not guns.
Little girls and boys of 9 should be playing in the sunshine, skimming stones in the water and riding bicycles. Little children aged 9 should be eating the odd Kinder Egg……oh, hold on. Kinder Eggs are outlawed in the US.

Too angry to say more right now.
There is no balance, bring back balance.

Originally posted on musings from outside the asylum:

Praying is not addressing the issue!

Praying is not addressing the issue!

Facebook is over run with candles and people calling us to pray for the children and adults who lost their lives yesterday in Connecticut, and for the families who survive.  I have yet to see what changes, improvements, lives have been saved with all those prayers.  Praying is a way some people cope with their complete and utter impotence when faced with this violent and senseless act of murder.  Praying is not action, it’s comfort to the prayer.  Why does the prayer need to comfort themselves?

Get off your knees and act.  

Obama calls for “meaningful” action.

If you live in this country that is still stuck in the 17th century, do something today to bring yourselves into the 21st century.

“New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, also called for action.

“We have heard all the rhetoric before,” he said.

“What we have not seen is…

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