Interviews are not my strong point

Good evening and welcome,

It’s been a while because Life (dissertation and a job) and I haven’t had much to say because I haven’t seen anyone, been anywhere, or done anything (much – well there was that 10k obstacle course resulting in my friend breaking her leg, I guess), for weeks.

I don’t have a lot to say in terms of Life and I have no rants prepared, so you are spared those. Instead, I shall do a mighty In Other News. Because a thing happened that just fits so perfectly with a jigsaw of other things…

In Other News, Interviews

Picture – pipe, slippers, a dry tone, and a wink. Ahem.

Those who know me well will know that, while relatively unflappable, interviews do seem to be my downfall. I don’t particularly get nervous – it just seems that a string of events conspires against me every time, but in my cavebrain, which believes in superstition, these might be a sign of opposites to come. We shall revisit a couple of my favourite memories of formal occasions to set the scene.

Ah, in my youth (I was 21, so… three years ago) I went for an interview in a chocolate factory for a job piping icing. Really. Despite my extra-preparedness of scouting the site the day before, I had not realised the barrier would usually be down across the entrance to the car park. I panicked. I pulled the car very close to the barrier, hoping it had a sensor. It did not, and then a lorry pulled up so close behind me I thought he was trying to climb in my boot. I asked him, panicked, for help. He told me to push a button – which my car was so far away from, that when I got buzzed in, panicking, I was outside of my car, and I tried to get back in in a hurry, trapped my foot down the side of the seat, retrieved my shoe, dived in the car, and remained unsliced. Now sweating, on my way to the ‘interview’, I lost a shoe and had to run back down the stairs to fetch it (it had a life of its own, that day). We were led onto the factory floor, after swapping our smart shoes for bowling shoes, and donning lab coats and particularly sexy hairnets. And then we were abandoned with nothing but greaseproof and a bag of icing for nearly two hours. When a woman started fidgeting over her iced paper, wondering when she’d be allowed to pick her kids up from school, they looked at us in surprise and told us “The exit’s that way.” One ‘interviewer’ helpfully remembered that we would need our belongings returned, and led us back to the locker room. Here I finished my interview process by falling backwards over a locker door, and, still stumbling, falling backwards over a chair, and, still stumbling, falling backwards – out of an open door.

I got the job.

A few months later, I was due to meet with a PhD student for whom I would be collecting data. I have a horror of being late. Well, I got forty-five-minutes-lost late. I’d never met him before, so I was already dreading what he’d think of me after that. I spotted his car, and pulled over a few yards ahead of him. I got out of my car, pulled on my walking boots – which have laces into open-ended eyes, for my sins – and as I took one step towards him, promptly caught the laces of one boot in the eyes of the other, sending me sprawling full length, with surprising force, on to a stony road. My first words to him were, “Hi, N! I’d shake your hand, but it’s kinda covered in blood.” My knee also swelled up enormously and was horribly uncomfortable. Noting this apparent predilection for clumsiness, as he showed me around the transect site he said chirpily, “Don’t fall in the ditch, will you?” The second his back was turned, I accidentally disobeyed. He found me later, damp and covered in sticky buds, and sighed, “You fell in, didn’t you?”

One year later, I was working for him directly.

And so, on to today. Today was The Interview Of A Lifetime (so far). Basically my dream job, on twice as much money as I’ve been offered elsewhere, a two-year contract, stability, good reputation, great opportunity, close to family… yada yada. It’s the most interesting, and the most stressful, interview I have ever come across.

I had planned my outfit, as it is horrible weather, and I own one pair of smart trousers and one blouse that matches. I went to iron the blouse last night – and I think I burned a hole in it?! I’m not sure how. I’ve never done that before in my life. The iron wasn’t even hot (but the blouse was very cheap…) But either way, that was now out of the question. I decided I would have to wear a highly unseasonable dress, also knowing this would make me stick out like a sore thumb in an office of career tree-huggers and glorified farmers.

I drove to the interview. Google said it would take me two and a half hours. I left three hours and forty-five minutes, and made it by the skin on my teeth. I prayed so hard and sweated so much on that hideous journey, with all the invisible workmen coning off most of the M42, with rain lashing across my windscreen and splattering up from the car in front, creating the worst driving conditions I’ve ever seen bar a cyclone on a tropical island, no word of a lie. I sat at a standstill for 35 minutes at one point, wondering whether they’d still see me if I missed my slot, given how far I’d come, and whether it would be quicker to walk the remaining 98 miles.

I eventually arrived and had my interview. They asked me hideous questions. I don’t know how I did. The relief when it was over, and I’d asked them an interesting question, and made them all laugh (apart from one older man who looked like he’d had a sense-of-humour bypass in about 1972) made me physically relax. I ran back out to my car in the torrential rain, put on my seatbelt, and thought, ‘What is that itch?’ Thinking it was on the seatbelt, I ran my hands down it. The next thought to occur to a biologist, however smartly she’s dressed, is always ‘Maybe there’s a beetle down my front,’, so I stuck my hand down my dress and – what’s that? Oh.

Oh.

It was only… A LABEL.

I’d gone into my Interview Of A Lifetime…. With my dress on back to front.

Guess we’ll just have to see how it goes 🙃

Thank you all, and goodnight.

Georgie

Edit: Yeah, I do think the seam down the front and the bosom fit tucks across the back were noticeable, tbh

Advertisements

“Gay”, “conversion” and “therapy”: three words that don’t belong together

Yoooo

You know, my parents were once doing character assassinations on various members of the family and I said “Do me!” for shits n giggles and Mum said “Largely inoffensive except when you get on your soap box which can be really annoying.”

I have several soapboxes: feminism, obviously, and the environment (I went to a rather dull bar gathering this week and the only time I came to life was when someone mentioned Round Up and I did a spectacular rant on Monsanto, the Bayer merger, and McDonald’s potatoes, but that’s for another day), but also I carry a hefty torch for Christian LOVE = FOR EVERYONE go Christian gays and gay acceptance and hallelujah for LGBTQIA+ in the church because seriously I don’t know where the memo got lost for some folk but GOD LOVES EVERYONE and we should use Jesus as an example so…. What tf is everyone’s problem?!

So when my (actually liberal, kind, thoughtful) vicar shared an article on facebook as ‘thought-provoking’, which was at odds with every fibre of my being I wrote him an email. He shared an article by a Church of England higher-upper basically ‘why we shouldn’t ban gay conversion therapy’. And it grossly, massively missed the point of it, and who uses it, and misused hypothetical situations (which you can infer from my objections). I’m sure you can find it if you’re so inclined. I wrote (with pleasantries either end) the following email:

I don’t think it’s worth posting something because it’s ‘thought-provoking’ when it has such a negative impact – is it kind? Is it necessary? And is it helpful?

Another main issue is with the ‘gay conversion’ bit. You can have therapy. You can get sex therapy and counselling, and deal with the individual issues addressed there. But it doesn’t have to be solely about targeting one aspect of who you are and demonising it.

This article misses the point about why gay conversion ‘therapy’ exists and who is using it. It is a very biased opinion piece, and openly denies evidence (as a scientist, it hurt me a little bit inside purely on the ‘factual’ basis, where is the peer review haha). There is absolutely no analogue between choosing to have rhinoplasty because you don’t like your nose, and being forced to change who you are as a person because you are threatened with hell and the hatred of your own community and family.

The very existence of gay conversion therapy is because LGBTQ+ are seen as other and inferior, and the argument is basically entirely based on religion. If you say even we shouldn’t fix things that aren’t wrong, the article drew insulting and irrelevant comparisons between plastic surgery or weight loss.

These do not negate your existence as a person… But GCT does.

GCT does not exist because there was a market for it, it exists because some people believe gay people should not exist.

‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ still leaves a huge void, because the love is not unconditional and still points out the LGBTQ+ person as a sinner. Aren’t we all. And the sins we choose to commit are not because we were born that way, unlike a gay person who has no choice. And then you may say this conversion ‘therapy’ gives them that choice. No it doesn’t. It categorically does not work. Just like the examples given in the article of homeopathy or AA. The difference is, homeopathy and AA do not generally cause more harm; they do not drive people to suicide. Gay conversion ‘therapy’ does, along with all the other barriers to the very right of existence placed in the way of the LGBTQ+ community.

Again, some stats – LGBTQ+ youth are 8x more likely to have tried to commit suicide, 6x more likely to be depressed, 3x more likely to use drugs (see the second link below). When the whole world is against you and there are data like these, do you think it’s helpful to even play devil’s advocate on issues like this? Just shut them down. Even vaguely supporting – or sharing – things like this is not showing Jesus’ love.

Here is some evidence that that article cheerfully ignored, that GCT does NOT work and DOES cause harm. (I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that line ‘What is the evidence for that (the UK RCP doesn’t think that evidence exists)’ – are you kidding me?! Not harmful to tell a child every day that they’re going to hell for the way they were born, they’re an abomination, and their family would reject them? Can you imagine that pressure? Also, it’s not that the evidence doesn’t exist; that particular body said there wasn’t enough of it to draw a definitive conclusion (many, many other bodies disagree.)

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/24/opinion/gay-conversion-therapy-torture.html The story of a man who suffered psychological distress after years of this and now campaigns against it (yes, ‘anecdotal’, but so was everything in that article…. Well, anecdotal or literally imagined!!)

https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy there is no evidence of it working, to the point a provider of GCT was successfully sued for consumer fraud, even in the land of GCT, the US. The American Psychological Association found no evidence for any effectiveness and some evidence for it being harmful (gleefully glossed over in your article), in addition to societal pressures. The American Medical Association opposes its use. There is SO MUCH in here.

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/realities-of-conversion-therapy_us_582b6cf2e4b01d8a014aea66?guccounter=1 Yep this really still happens.

https://www.stonewall.org.uk/campaign-groups/conversion-therapy ‘In the UK, all major counselling and psychotherapy bodies, as well as the NHS, have concluded that conversion therapy is dangerous and have condemned it by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (PDF).’

A quick google will bring you HUNDREDS of these. And yet the (evidence-unencumbered) defences somehow all seem to come from one direction… Conservative religion.

You also cannot ignore the historical background to GCT. I refer you to Alan Turing as a famous example. People did die directly from it. People were imprisoned for who they are. It’s saying, well, women are equal now because we have the vote (i.e. you can no longer chemically castrate someone) and ignoring the ‘Me Too’ movement (as in, microaggresions of everyday life which added together create sometimes unbearable pressure). These are signs of aggression just beneath the surface. Imagine living your life in the fear of, well, if they would put me through behavioural therapy, will they put me through shock therapy? Or will they just beat me up on my way home? Or will they kill me, because apparently I deserve it? You never know when it’s going to stop.

Quote from Stonewall: ‘Yesterday, the Government also announced the launch of a public consultation to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to help further trans equality in Britain. The memorandum makes clear that conversion therapy in relation to both gender identity and sexual orientation is unethical, potentially harmful and is not supported by evidence…. It’s important to make clear that any attempt to change a person’s gender identity through therapy is unethical.’

The example of the three gay Christians going to a therapist is just not what happens. The Christians accessing these sorts of ‘therapies’ are not there by choice. They are usually teenagers who are forced into going – sometimes literally dropped off at a place where they stay for days or weeks until they ‘change their behaviour’, or return for periodic sessions for years – or they are effectively forced by blackmail by the threat of dislocation from their community and disownment by their family. It is not therapy, it is a threat and punishment and blackmail of vulnerable people.

People’s sexuality undoubtedly does change. That’s ok if it’s by choice not force, and that’s the thing here. GCT is force. And there are ways to get help that are not ‘conversion’ therapies.

So in reply to those three points: [Interjection: the article listed three main blows to common sense, and these are direct opposite replies)

  • Because GCT not only doesn’t work, it is harmful, whereas those examples are not
  • There is plenty of evidence for it causing harm and it is rejected by every medical association in the western world; the proportion of those harmed by, say, grief counselling are going to be a tiny, tiny proportion. NOT EVERY SINGLE ONE.
  • How is a cosmetic procedure comparable to trying to prove that your existence is an abomination?

There is absolutely no conscionable defence of this. There is no ‘good argument’. It is all harmful, whatever level or method you think is better or worse. As for the government just shoving through knee-jerk legislation, the upskirting bill didn’t even pass because one old white man decided it hadn’t been done properly – they don’t pass these things for laughs.

And I know you don’t like this or anything. So I really want to say to you, is that helpful? When LGBTQ+ face so much pressure from elsewhere, just… is that helping? No. It’s harmful in itself to share this stuff, please… think about how it’s going to make someone feel if they’re gay and they see that the vicar they really like and respect and have a good personal relationship with… shares that and thinks it makes a valid argument. Ouch.

 

Okay well done if you stuck to the end, poor vicar eh. I didn’t finish it there, I said some nice things. I just want to present to a wider audience how much I think GCT should be illegal because it is FUCKED UP (no I didn’t say that to the vicar, either.)

And now, bonsoir.

Yours argumentatively,

Georgie.

 

In Other News, English is Bollocks

My lovely boyfriend’s first language is Arabic, and his English is astonishingly perfect. I will never get over it. I am in AWE. But he knows all of the words, and none of the sayings. So he said to me the other day, “I was on a train and there was a woman and she answered her phone and she said, ‘Oh, it’s you! I thought you were sleeping for England!’

“And what the fuck,” he turned to me, very seriously, “Does that mean? I cannot work it out.”

IT’S SO TRUE, WHAT THE HELL ARE ANY OF US TALKING ABOUT?!!

Another one was hen do. He said, “Whoa, whoa. You have mentioned ‘hen do’ before. I googled it and seriously there was not one result.” (I find this very difficult to believe). ‘Knock up’ and ‘fag’ also caused him difficulties in that he learned American English…  He’s also learned ‘Come a cropper’, ‘do yourself a mischief’, and the myriad definitions of twat/twatted, and any form of Cockney rhyming slang is GREAT fun. Likewise, he nearly killed me when he asked about my ‘fanny pack’.

 

 

ONCOMING RANT: Jobs

ONCOMING RANT, PREPARE.

JOBS:

£20,000. Ecologist. SEASONAL ecologist – so temporary, seasonal. You ain’t actually gonna get anywhere near £20,000, and you have 0 job stability. They only want a friggin masters degree, years of ecology experience, and project management experience, your own car, and membership of a chartership body which costs hundreds of pounds.

£10,000. 8:30-2pm Mon-Fri, maintaining over 100 acres of land, with skills in ‘joinery and plumbing to a high standard.’ Sounds fair. Oh, but don’t worry, when you get to work, ‘free parking’ onsite is literally listed as a bonus – OH THANK YOU SO MUCH.

£12,000 + benefits (accommodation provided) per year to go and live on a desert island for two whole years, with nothing. Hmm, actually…

£21,000 project manager. Seriously, the list of what you’re managing runs for like two pages.

I’ve done five years at uni and over a year in industry (majority unpaid) and I don’t think I’m qualified for any of these. And certainly couldn’t afford to move out on them – which I would have to, because they’re all around the country.

“Millennials are so entitled, stop eating so much avocado on toast, the world doesn’t owe you anything” – 1) I have never eaten avocado on toast, and I went for brunch once in my life, on a hen do. 2) I reckon you’d feel a bit hard done by if you’d worked since you were 15, had a debt around your neck that’s the financial size of a terraced house, are highly qualified in a scientific field, and you couldn’t afford to move out at the age of 25 because the only jobs on the market want to pay you £7 an hour for your expert plumbing skills – that you don’t have. Because you are an actual scientist.

People don’t understand. It wasn’t competitive 30 years ago. You could work your way up. Now, you still have to do that, but it takes much longer, you have to be able to do so many different things (‘Social media awareness’, ‘good IT skills’, ‘interpersonal skills’) AND you need a degree to even start. And they pay you so much less, equivalent. So we’re trapped, getting more and more educated but that just narrows the goalposts – we’re more specialised, with higher debt – BUT SO IS EVERYONE ELSE. When all the teams progress the same, the competition doesn’t change. We’re all just manacled by debt, now, as well. And housing is absolutely crackers, while jobs want to pay you in old pennies and coupons. And we meet partners when we go to uni and move away, which never used to happen 30 years ago (or if it did, folks were queuing up to employ both of you afterwards), which instils the misery and loneliness of long-term relationships for huge swathes of us, but if you’re in different fields the odds on of you getting a job, let alone a house, in the same city seems microscopic. So we have relationship instability, added to housing instability – rent, with its shitty houses and shitty landlords and shitty prices and shitty contracts, added to job instability on 0-hour contracts or ‘seasonal’ or part-time or fixed contract. I haven’t seen anywhere that would employ me for more that two years (most are one, although I could go to that remote island for two…)

I JUST FEEL SO INSECURE

And all anyone says to me is ‘So what’s you plans after uni?’ when I’ve applied to loads of jobs and been turned down, and sat forlornly in front of loads more I’m unqualified for or would involve me moving hundreds of miles from family or my boyfriend because I’ve done that and got the T-shirt, it’s shit. Or jobs that are part time and would pay me about £8,000 a year, which you cannot live on on your own. I’ve been rejected from a bunch of PhDs. I work 12-14 hour days at the moment, every day. No weekends. Chin barely above water. What is this, seriously? I’m so tired.

Gosh that was a fat moan sorry. All I seem to do currently.

I just wanna be like IS IT JUST ME OR

Scrolling through those jobs literally made me so irritated I had to take time out to post about it.

Because really, I know it’s not just me. Most people I know left uni and volunteered, or worked in shops and stuff. Most of my friends still live at home or rent. I know two people my age who have a mortgage. TWO. (Teacher and police).

Them – the ‘eat less avocado toast’ lot – fiddling while the whole world burns.

I mean, also, literally, but that’s one for another day. I’ve depressed myself enough for today, and probably you too now.

Au revoir

Yours sorely

Georgie

In Other News, This Keeps Happening

Boyf said to me yesterday, “I saw a photo of you when I was stalking your profile, it was black and white, your hair was really short, it looks really nice. It really suited you. You could do that again.” He then ruined it by flattening it to my head, patting me, and saying, “A very handsome boy.”

Thank you.

 

Parental Guidance

Howdy doody

First the bloody football (don’t know, don’t care, quite sad the Germans left so early, think it’s a frightful display of how wealthier countries set up competitions for themselves to win, much like the Olympics – what? Do you think countries in billions of dollars of debt in ‘aid’ money can afford the same investment in their talent and the same training and physio and fancy velodromes and shit? Nah mate. Ditto World Cup) anyway NOW it’s the bleedin’ tennis.

I cannot imagine my life ever being so devoid of happiness that watching the tennis would in any way improve it. Unpopular opinion alert. TENNIS. WHY.

Anyway this week I am doing a comedy special because I spent four days last week with the funniest couple I know: my mum and dad.

Last time I saw them, they were down my end of the country for a bit and we went on a bike ride that nearly killed my mother. She is not a confident cyclist and her seat is agonising and there is something very wrong with her gears. I swapped bikes with her at one point and wondered how the hell she’d been going at even half the pace of me and my dad (she kept telling us off for cycling too fast and we were like, no… the issue is definitely yours). She threw a bit of a strop by the end and ditched the bike, yelling “SHITTING … SHIT!!” and I nearly died laughing and my dad, composed as ever, just took out his phone and said cheerily, ‘Ooh, Mum strop, shall we have a little selfie to commemorate the moment?’ which made even Mum laugh. He did indeed take the selfie, with my mum pouting in the background. In fairness to her, she said she would only cycle for an hour, and we ended up cycling for five, and it wasn’t exactly scenic down the dual carriageway…

Anyway, she demanded he take her bike for repair (Dad’s retired, Mum isn’t). You have to imagine this in the northern accent. He took it in and he was telling me about it. “There’s something wrong with ‘er gears, and there was this bit that was all bent, and he says to me, ‘Er, ’as she, er, ’as she come off it?’ and,” Dad starts sniggering, “I ses well yeah she ’as, actually.”

She came off it THREE YEARS AGO (expertly taking my dad down with her, well done) and she yelled “I BLOODY TOLD YOU. THREE YEARS IT’S TAKEN HIM.”

Anyway I drove back on the Wednesday night to surprise them, didn’t tell them I was coming, gave them a pleasant shock I think. Mum had a few days off work anyway. And the next night Dad was going out with a mate and I suggested me and Mum and Aunt and Gran try this new gin bar that’d opened down the road. We had a very civilised evening, went back to Aunt’s for a another, and it was about midnight when we got home. Mum said, “Your dad must be back now, the pub’ll be shut, but why hasn’t he texted to ask where we are?”

We got the answer when Mum went upstairs and I heard her say in surprise, “Ian!”

“’Lo,” came a muffled voice.

“Blooooody ’ell,” says my mum, and I can hear how high her eyebrows are raised. “How many have you had?”

“Um,” Dad says slowly. “Four.”

“FOUR?!”

She came back down the stairs and said, “You should see him, his eyes are going round in his head like that snake from Jungle Book, he don’t know where he is or who I am…”

In the morning he was hanging bad, dude. He pulled out his wallet. “Where’s all me bloody money?”

“In the pub,” Mum says, snorting ‘four!’ under her breath. (I should point out Dad NEVER does this. That’s why it’s funny. He hasn’t been this bad for about twenty five years). “I remember coming home,” he said, screwing up his face. “I was hiccoughing.”

Still, I didn’t have many days so I was like, “Let’s climb a mountain!!” And it’s only a little one, so off we went.

Dad put his built-in SatNav on in his fancy car. “Turn left!” it commanded.

Dad: “I know.”

SatNav: “Turn left.”

Dad: “I KNOW!” – and then, under his breath as though it’d hear him – “Fascist.”

We passed a car park on the way and Dad went “Here! Oh well, it’s for twenty minutes.”

Mum, acerbically: “Do you think we can get up and down it in twenty minutes, Ian? You do come out with some…” (chunters under her breath).

Dad: “Oi, you have your moments – I haven’t got the monopoly on CRAP!”

When we arrived, Dad looked a bit green about the gills. He looked up at the mountain and said, “I feel all chewaphensic.”

“What?”

“I feel all chewaphensic.”

“I’m no clearer, what is this word?! What do you mean?”

“A phensic was like, a sort of paracetamol thing, all powdery and horrible.”

“And you’re….”

“Yeah. All powdery and horrible.” I laughed so hard. And then dragged him on up.

He cheered up considerably on the way, but Mum was also unwell and lagged behind. He turned round to her, and called chirpily –

“Come on, Sherpa Tensing!”

I howled, but Mum was cursing him. (He also did it once to his mother – we took her to the supermarket and she shuffles at ten paces an hour. He called back, “Come on, Zola Budd!” and everyone in the vicinity was absolutely done.)

She started telling me about how she’d asked him to jet-wash all the shit off the conservatory roof last week (literal shit – pigeons…) and he plugged the jet-wash in in the conservatory… which necessitated leaving the door open.

“Covered in shit it was,” she said grimly. “Ooh, sparkling outside, yeah, but inside – covered in shit. Everywhere. Up me walls, up me blinds…. I’m going to have to re-cover the cushions. You ask ‘em one bloody job and they make six more bigger ones…

“Speaking of which, I spent all yesterday chiselling the pigeon shit off your window yesterday,” she said to me. “Bloody things. I think they come at it like the Dambusters.”

Dad likes the pigeons, because he is weird (in case you hadn’t gathered). Except when he has a hangover. “Them BLOODY pigeons, dancing about at six o’clock this morning, on the roof re-enacting Les Miserables!”

And finally, the day after we were all doing our own thing in the morning before going out together. This is chill time in the French household: Dad went to the fancy gym down the road for two hours, Mum worked out on the rowing machine in their shed, and I did a seven-mile run. I got back and Dad was all excited. “I’ve been down the shed on them bars, doing those ab tucks, I did eight sets of twelve!” he said, “I’ll challenge you!”

Just then Mum walked by and snapped, “Bloody hell Ian, are you still bloody exercising?! We’re waiting to go for a walk!”

They didn’t even realise it was funny!

I think this’ll be my second ever post with no ‘in other news’ cos I’m all in-other-newsed out!

Yours in high hilarity,

Georgie

Strength is all shapes and minds

I’m starting to learn what it is to be me.

At the age of 24, starting.

I feel happier in myself than I’ve ever done. Not like happy all the time, that’s not it. I get really down sometimes. This year has kinda sucked in a lot of ways. It’s been the most stressed I’ve ever felt. I got my heart broken. I have not made many friends. I spend most of my time staring at the same four walls. My course, biodiversity and conservation, makes me incredibly depressed about the state of the planet and the idiocy of humanity. I hate the city I live in, it’s a concrete rubbish dump.

BUT APART FROM THAT.

What I mean is I think I know myself better. I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. In fact ‘very few fucks to give’ has become my motto. Not in an unkind way, I still go out of my way to help people – that’s another thing I like about myself is I am much better at talking to people and if I see a gap I can fill, I will do. I value kindness and I am very lucky to have that in abundance in my life. And you give what you get. Make the world a nicer place by living in it.

Having said that, I have a very low tolerance for bullshit, and I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive. Girl at work hungry, I cooked her a big meal to share with her family. Kind! Guy on my course sent a text round the whole course which is majority girls, asking if anyone could sew something up for him. I sent a text back asking if all his fingers were broken. Bullshit! See. Both is good. Call both.

I feel a more stronger identity now. I will confidently identify as bi which has taken a loooong time. I will also happily call myself punk now. I am a bi punk Christian feminist scientist and, I won’t lie, that makes me feel a tiny bit badass. And I am generally more confident – a couple of years ago I’d never have said that to that guy about sewing haha.

This is because of people I have around me, in large part. Over the last five years particularly I’ve met people who make me feel like I can be me, and me is good and loved and appreciated, and those are the kinds of people you need in your life. And because they are so wholesome I hope I make them feel good and loved in return. That’s you. Yes YOU. A cycle of appreciation. ❤ ❤ ❤ I love you and to the ones I haven’t seen in a while, I miss you.

And I feel good in my body. This isn’t to be underrated. Sometimes the things that influence us with how we feel in our body aren’t always healthy, and if something is inevitable you have to be able to disassociate from it to a certain extent. But I was thinking the other day, I came in from a run and I was hot and sweaty and I could feel it in my thighs and I was like this is great, look what my body can do, I feel powerful and energetic and proud of my body – it is to do with feeling powerful, I guess a sort of fitness – I’m not particularly strong so I can’t fully explain it – but I was revelling in feeling alive and happy with this temple I inhabit. Which I haven’t always been. But I think I feel as satisfied with it as I ever will.

I’ve joined a facebook community called Women of Impact and if you are a woman – and every woman has an impact, let me tell you – you should join it because it’s the most wholesome inspiring place, just full of women lifting other women up and praising them and encouraging them and it is amazing. And it has given me a little more confidence that, in this stupid world we inhabit, change will come.

This probably sounded really self-obsessed but it’s meant to make you think about how you feel about yourself, and how you change the world by being in it. You will probably never know how many people’s lives you’ve changed for the better just by being there, whether it was once for ten minutes at a bus stop or it’s a decades-old friendship. You are powerful, you are cool, you are YOU and no-one else and no-one has any right to make you feel less or like you don’t belong. Every day we all kick ass at something.

Well this got longer than I thought so I will leave it there. You are strong, important, kind and loved. You kick ass. Thanks for being there, for me, for someone, for everyone.

Yours strongly

Georgie.

 

In Other News

Well I am grossly obsessed with the X-files – to the point that I frequently dream about it – and I’m going through them all again and I like to guess which storyline it is (I watch them on an app which may or may not be legitimate and it has no information, just a thumbnail).

I’m sitting on my bed, door open, there’s a workman in the next room grouting the bathtub, and I’ve got my headphones in.

I opened an episode and within the first few seconds I got it.

“Exsanguination,” I muttered gleefully. Out loud.

And then I remembered the workman about four feet away, with absolutely no context to that, poor bloke.

I was watching ‘X-Files: the truth about season two’ documentary on Youtube and there was a bit on it that genuinely brought tears of laughter to my eyes, although I can’t really explain why. Dean Haglund who plays Langly, one of the Lone Gunmen, said, “All the little aliens are done by little girls. From a dance school. Believe it or not. They wear these big foam rubber heads. They tried to use boys but they tend to punch each other in the foam rubber heads and like break them and stuff. Whereas little girls”  (and at this point he does an impression of a little girl) “are just happy to sit around with big alien heads on them.” Why is this so funny? Man imagine being a little girl with all your wee pals just sitting in some green room somewhere in your giant fuckin alien heads.

Boy with pink hair

Hey all ❤

Today I was going round Lidl and there was a mum with a baby and a boy about three or four in her trolley. As I passed, the little boy literally yelled ‘MUMMY THERE IS A BOY WITH PINK HAIR’.

Now look. I realise it’s a very small child but … You’d say SOMETHING, wouldn’t you? Even if it was just ‘Shh’ – or one of the countless things my mum would have said to Baby Me like ‘Don’t shout in the supermarket’, ‘It’s rude to point at strangers’ etc. But she said literally nothing. Like Not. A. Word. Instead they followed me up and down two aisles with the boy continuing to stare at me, intermittently shouting ‘Boy! Pink hair! How did the boy get pink hair?’ while his mum completely ignored him. It was pretty embarrassing.

I KNOW before you go on a rant about mum-shaming – I don’t know what she’s thinking about, what sort of morning she’s had, anything going on in her life. I’m not, honestly, but I reckon you ought to talk to your kid. He’s bored. The comments are after all addressed to his mum. But also I’d have used this as a little lesson for the kid. Something along the lines of

SHE’S NOT A BOY.

Like, as if she didn’t even say that???!!!! I think that’s so rude?! Haha.

A child CAN grasp very simple concepts like:

  • Girls can have short hair
  • Boys can have long hair
  • Anyone can have whatever hair colour they want when they get older
  • It’s rude to shout, stare, and point at strangers

Maybe leave the gender-is-not-binary topic till he’s a tiny bit older, seeing as you’ve clearly already started on a binary path, but for real though how can you just let your kid follow a woman round a shop yelling BOY WITH PINK HAIR and remain completely silent? Odd. Very odd.

Also sad because obviously the bigger picture here is that gender and gender roles and expectations are clearly already drilled with military precision into this little kiddo which is disappointing because in my Ideal Universe ™ we’re well on our way past that shit and only very old people say things like ‘I mean… rather, ahem, masculine, but a nice person, and we don’t talk about certain things’ and everyone rolls their eyes.

Watched a great video yesterday about how ingrained these processes are even at an early age – a class of schoolchildren were asked to draw a firefighter, a surgeon, and a fighter pilot; seventy-five of the drawings were of men, and five were of women. But as everyone knows…. ‘There’s no need for feminism any more! You’re equal!’ Um well no. Because women don’t even occur to children for certain roles and how is that anything other than blatant sexism in social culture?

Down with the patriarchy!!

Yours very boyishly, apparently,

Georgie

In Other News, Better!!

Convo with my landlady at the weekend and I’d had two pints and no lunch, so was a little bit more emosh and expansive than I normally would have been.

She informed me that her daughter, living abroad, previously assumed straight, now has a girlfriend! And she said, “I don’t mind, I’m just really happy that she’s happy! My only concern is starting up a relationship when she knows she has to come back to the UK soon… I don’t want her to get hurt. But I don’t care who it’s with. I know the church doesn’t all agree but I don’t think it matters.”

I loved her very much as she was saying this because I imagine it was really quite a shock for her, so I gave her a big hug and felt almost teary. I was really delighted for her daughter! I was like, “I’m really, really happy for her! And for you!”

She told me a bit  about the girlfriend, and then said that both of her daughters decided they were bi at the same time so had each other to talk to (more shock!!) I was honestly just weirdly overjoyed for her daughter(s) haha. And she was looking at me and I was stuffing pizza into my face at the time in a slightly tipsy way but I suddenly just seized the opportunity and went “Me too, by the way.” She laughed and said “I thought so somehow,” which I found quite funny.

I mean, then she made it weird by saying she’d heard women make much more considerate lovers and I choked, but still, she was trying.

And then yesterday in the kitchen she said, “How’s that – the person you’re seeing? I’m sorry, I just realised I’d assumed it was a boy,” which warmed the cockles of my cold heart once more and see, the world is making progress and we all need more cute people like her in our lives.

Cats

Hi all (all two)

It’s been ages but things are madness.

I honestly never thought I’d like cats, but my landlady’s cat Noodles has charmed me. No other way of saying it. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. He is apparently a grumpy and independent cat but he took a shine to me – probably sensed a kindred spirit – and he comes up to my room and sits on my bed. Even out of preference to my landlady’s, which she takes as a personal slight. (Although I’m not nearly as soft on him as she is – she works her day around his, lets him sleep on her bed if he wants to, and he usually leaps on her at various times through the night and will sit on her at half five in the morning when he wants breakfast; I always shut him out, after the one time I felt guilty for kicking him out in the evening, and come 6 a.m. he was using me as a trampoline, causing me to bodily chuck him into the hallway and stomp back to bed. Since then, my room remains closed to him at night). He’ll laze on my bed all afternoon. Usually just lying, liking to be close but not too close, but when he first comes in he’ll rub around my knees and chest, and occasionally even sit on my lap for maybe five whole seconds, which is like some kind of beatification, a feline blessing. And sometimes, as of right now! – he does these tiny, tiny adorable little cat snore-squeaks which just make me want to squeee. And he even recognises my car?! When I pull up after work he comes trotting out from wherever he’s been stalking and meows for me to open the gate for His Highness even though he’s perfectly capable of jumping it, and then meows round my legs while I unlock the back door for him to push in in front of me, ignoring the perfectly good cat flap. And he recognises my bike and does the same. But the car thing really impresses me. What a good cat.

So yeah, I never thought I’d get it. I always said I do not like cats. I’d probably stand by that, in fairness. But I like this cat.

Mind you, if you live with anything small and fluffy for long enough you’re bound to get fond of it, right? I felt quite guilty when I caught the fluffy little shrew in a trap, the one that used to lick my dinner plates when I lived in a shipping container. And even the furry tarantula at the end of my bed had a name. So maybe it’s not SUCH a huge compliment to Noodles. But it’s a fair one. Cat, you have got me.

Snooze on little fella.

Yours incredibly sleepily myself,

Georgie.

In Other News: Joy to the World

Talking of not liking anything/anyone, I wrote this a few days ago. And then the addendum on Friday:

“I had a realisation today. I always say I’m not a people person. And I do think that – I find a lot of people unbelievably annoying. And I don’t like being around loads of them. But I realised today that everything I do is basically for people. And for my buddies I’ll do anything.

So I guess I am a people person… you just have to find the right ones. 🙂 ”

………..

“Yeeeahh, the day after I wrote that my bike got nicked from outside a church. I’m back to hating everyone. Byeee.”