'EVERYTHING IS MATERIAL.' The late Nora Ephron. catfordc@twitter.com www.clarecatford.co.uk

Welcome to my blog......

March 4th 2014 'I'm looking for my tablet....nah, not me meds..I've got a new app....

'OK, SO I'VE BOMBED ON REDDIT....BUT I GOT 3 FACEBOOK LIKES MONDAY..'

.....not sure whether it's evernote, nevereddit, or linkedup to me pins. Oh lordy, I need a glass of Vimeo'. It CAN be fashionable to suggest that silver surfers hard drives are going soft. But that's too simplistic. It is ALSO too obvious to suggest that everyone under 30 is asking 'what'sup? On their 'Whatsapp'.

TEAPOTS AND TECHNICALS

'I just love my vinyl collection', one 20 something 'young 'un', told me this weekend. I was tapping away at my overheated Hudl (Tesco's poor woman's ipad, but good enough for me), and the conversation turned to technicals as he warmed the teapot. (And that is NOT a euphemism).

MIDLIFERS GET MIFFED?

Some, not all, midlifers I know, get very worked up about 'young people taking over', 'with their tweets n' need4speed police chase' gaming. The uncomfortable truth is a combo, I think of 'fear' of agEing, losing a job, losing our looks (never really depended on mine), losing our minds and, ultimately, being shamed. Let's not forget too, the midlife legacy that they're facing. The house prices, the debt, and the job crises.

LINKEDIN AND LEAVE NO-ONE OUT

Linkedin's full of 'If you don't go digital, you'll end up in the dumpster', exhortations on its news feed. I use Linkedin. Alot. But I use it carefully. I think, just a bit, before I click or comment. There's plenty there that's useful and relational rather than merely narcisistic. I'm still learning; for me, that's part of the joy.

VINYL AND VIMEO

Sadly I threw out most of my vinyls, though I think dad's got some in the back of his garage. He's also got an ipad, which, seemed to fuse his laptop after I'd downloaded twitter as a social network 'treat' for him. He didn't see it that way. Vinyls AND Vimeo I say. It's often (understandable) fears that force us into rigid 'make the other wrong' responses. Life's too short to just 'hangout' with the same people, of the same age all the time, even on the net.

Of course the thing is to make sure the online info/social media serves US not the other way around.....click through...http://aeon.co/magazine/living-together/the-problem-with-too-much-information/

February 26th 2014: CrackerJOCK...will the Scots re-write TV history?

TV debut: 12-year-old John Bercow appears on Crackerjack in 1975 but came last in an obstacle race.
Things went downhill from then on. He's now House of Commons Speaker, luv 'im.

image: www.dailymail.co.uk

..... If the divorce goes ahead, and the past is revamped; then I'm signing up for a CrackerJOCK pencil. The emphasis is on the JOCK. I won a newspaper colouring competition ( I was only 24 at the time...we didn't have ipads), and got to be in the live audience. I dropped Kia Ora all down my brownie uniform when Ed Stewpot (Stewart) came on. I would like to emphasise, that there was never EVER anything dodgy about Ed. Granted, Sparky, the magic piano, isn't to everyone's taste, but we didn't have the lovely Bieber in the olden days. All this is a cloudy memory now though, having been well upstaged by House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow...

CURTAIN RINGS AND BROOM HANDLES.....IT WAS MAGIC, AND NOUGHT TO DO WITH H. POTTER.

'It's Friday, it's five to five and John's on trying to hook curtain rings onto broom handles. He walked off with the much prized pencil. I got an orange stain that wouldn't come out, no matter how much I spat on it. I had a crush on the previous presenter, Leslie Crowther for a while. I also liked Dick Emery. I don't tend to put this on my CV.

Still, we all have our childhood lapses. Have to go; got a bitcoin to nibble at. Lovely name for modern chocolate money don't you think?

20th February 2014 'Stay With Us'.....says Bowie. But what if our 'ego empire begins to crack?'.....

image: shutterstock.co.in

A direct quote from the new, 'The Last Asylum', by Barbara Taylor. Listen again if you can. Radio 4's book of the week. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03vd5j7/Book_of_the_Week_The_Last_Asylum_Episode_1/

Bowie's big request came at the Brits. Model Moss spoke his words, as she picked up his award. At 67, he's still up there and beyond the boy bands.  The Brits; a celebratory affair effervescing with ego, fragile or otherwise.

IVY INVADES

 Ego. Healthy, or unhealthy; it's a load on our minds. What DOES happen when our coping mechanisms are stripped away? Barbara Taylor is right. Most of us will do ANYTHING to avoid that perceived abyss. That hole in the soul expands; and it is a kind of death. It can creep like uncontrolled Ivy, lassooing organs, limbs, mental processes and emotions. I identify with this onslaught. The invasion meant it was hard enough to stay with myself, never mind 'staying with us'.

INTIMACY. CAN WE HANDLE IT?

She also questions the quest for intimacy. An experience/quality promoted by many, including me, but rather casually in the light of her take on it. 'Intimacy can be a pressure too much to handle'. She's right. Sometimes company, without intimacy, is more than enough. I've done my fair share of silent retreats. Rubbling shoulders as knives scrape on plates, in silence, at dinner, is a challenge in itself.

MAUDSLEY MOMENTS

I studied for my MA at the Maudsley hospital in London. Although not officially in need of their 'care' at the time, I could have been, and still might be. Who knows? Mental health is a fragile state. The depression I have experienced; with the creeping Ivy tendrils tight at my throat, taught me something about my own fragility. As false egos were stripped away, so I screamed inwardly in terror.

I did not dissolve, though. The Alka Seltzer stayed solid in my jelly like life. That's why I love this book. And why I love the wisdom and honesty it shares. Go read/listen.

 

13th February 2014.. Sandbags, Windbags and It bags.....

ONLY 400 QUID. GOT A SPECIAL GRAVEL 'COMPARTMENT' TOO. THEY'RE LOVING ME IN THE LEVELS.
image: zazzle.com
(unusually, the 'item' shown is not 400 quid)

So. Who's going to be the first to give us the 'must have tote' for all seasons? It's extra dior....aaaarrrlllllling because it doubles up as a sand carrier. Cost? 400 quid a pop.

'SWIPE MY SMYTHSON', SAYS SAM

Sam Cam's already given Dave her favourite Smythson. 'Sweetie, you need something to swipe away all those unwashed flood sufferers. I mean they are all COVERED in sewage'.

Windbags? Community Minister Pickle (s) . He's in one already and Miliband and Farage are adding to the hot air.

HAPPY DAYS (the play - sand features). ANY LEFT OVER AT ALL?

Happy Days (the play - Beckett). The brilliant Juliet Stevenson stars. On at the Young Vic. She's up to her neck in sand by the end of the play. Saw it Saturday. Not depressing but truthful.Put that on the English Curriculum master Gove, and it'll help us all get to grips with gravel's practical uses, as well as teach us a few painful but essential truths.

The water's not going to Jimmy Choo away anytime soon, sadly. I've got an old duffle bag stuffed with some enamel bits from a broken bath. My DIY flood barrier. That'll have to do then.

 http://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/happy-days Brilliant. Worth the trip.

(Touch/copy and paste into your browser to view)


GUERNSEY UNDER SIEGE. NOT A GREAT DAY TO 'TAKE A BEACH STROLL'.
image: dailymail.com Tim Harvey

6th February 2014 .....best stay away from the island edge, then, and learn to code....

SO SIMPLE, FIVE YEAR OLDS WILL BE DOING IT. THEY ARE ALREADY?...AH. WELL THAT'S ANOTHER TEACH ME TASK FOR MY NEPHEW, THEN.

image: blogtophat.com

Here's one..with moves, waves, and music:

http://guernseypress.com/news/2014/02/06/storm-damage-repairs-will-exhaust-the-budget/?utm_campaign=GP+News&utm_term=Guernsey+news&utm_content=News+from+the+Guernsey+Press&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

(touch/copy and paste into your browser)

We'll all be doing it before you can say 'I need to go and lie down in a darkened room'. As you know, it tells the computer what to do and releases its inner pent up pentium personality.

Even Jeremy Paxman was rather taken with coding on this week's Newsnight. Or was his interviewee, Lottie Dexter, the one with the hyperlink to his heart?

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/06/lottie-dexter-newsnight_n_4737526.html  (touch/copy and paste into your browser)

OR

http://bit.ly/1gyj8vN     

I'm giving it a go. See you in a couple of years.

31st January 2014 - When your neck seems to develop a life of it's own....

image: www.funny-joke-pictures.com

and other mid life plus lovelies.

Perhaps this is becoming too familiar? That moment when you go to brush a hair off your lapel, and realise it's attached to your chin?

For this and other nuggets of wisdom, click the link below. Bear with and wait for the oldie.

http://stg.do/9i0c 

21st January 2014: It's new, it's a 'must have'..your very own virtual Barbie plastic surgery patient game....

'You can take the fat outta the gal with a suction tube, a clamp, several tons of bandages, a truck load of painkillers: but you can't take the gal outta the....errrr.....maybe plus size was just dandy'.

image: careviews.blogs.com

 ..and has, thank the doll god, been removed from itunes after complaints. As an added extra, as journalist Jonathan Friedland flagged up, nearly 5000 (yes that's 5000), girls could have been 'lost' in England and Wales. They've not got on the wrong bus, been distracted by a nude eye shadow palette, or had a sat nav malfunction; that's the number of 'estimated female foetuses illegally aborted by parents who'd been hoping for a boy'. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/17/feminism-women

'SO SORRY I BREATHED....'

Why is it, that just by breathing, we women seem to upset so many? Such loss of potential, such loss of life (the haters and the hated), such energy WASTED trying to falsely 'humble' half the population. Not everyone bears grudges or resents, but those who do who troll Twitter and the net with their female directed fury. And sadly it can be 'women v women', as much as 'him v her'. Some men even respect women. Hoot n' holler that in a headline eh.

TERROR MASQUERADING AS MISOGYNY

When I was 'reclaiming the night', as a student, I thought (naively, looking back), that much of that being aFRAID of women (it has to be 'fear of' that functions as the touchpaper, igniting the rage), would fizzle out like a firework on a damp night. I thought wrong. Still, I'm not giving up on us and I'm not giving up taking on the terror that masquerades as misogyny. Although I'm not her biggest fan, let's NOT slice up the nice Barbie eh.

 Lost Girls: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-lost-girls-illegal-abortion-widely-used-by-some-uk-ethnic-groups-to-avoid-daughters-has-reduced-female-population-by-between-1500-and-4700-9059790.html

16th January 2014...Even the Skips they are a shrinkin'...

......SOME LOVELY HAS STUCK ONE OUTSIDE MY FLAT ON THE STREET. IT'LL BE FULL OF TV'S, COTTON WOOL BUDS AND DOLLY TEA SETS BY MORNING. STILL, MIGHT FIND SOMETHING USEFUL FOR NEXT CHRISTMAS. I'VE PHOTO SHOPPED THIS TO MAKE IT EXTRA GLAM. WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE BEFORE???? THINK CANAL, BOTTOM OF, RUSTY...
image: zenangie.co.uk

14th January 2014 .....portrait of a ladeeeeee...

'I USE THIS FINGER TO TEXT, AND THE OTHERS TO OFFEND'.
image: Stuart Pearson Wright artsmarttalk.com

..except it isn't. That, on the right, as you well know, is Prince Philip saying something pithy. To a female sea cadet (2010): “Do you work in a strip club?” Or, to a British trekker in Papua New Guinea (1998) “You managed not to get eaten then?”

Labour MP Diane Abbot's portrait's been on most of the front pages already. Part of the latest offering from artist, Stuart Pearson Wright. She looks like Spock's sister. I didn't want to republish and add to her pain.  Previously, Stuart did the Prince's portrait too. 'Nuff said.

This most recent batch cost posh prices though. Total, £250,000 and the tax payer's fuming (say the press). Selfie's would have been the solution. Easier on the wallet and easier on the eye.

7th January 2014..Polar Vortex...I think I'm in one....

'I'M UNDER 25 - BUT HOPING TO PASS FOR 60...'

image: www.csmonitor.com

....due to circumstances beyond my control. I think I may have been in one for about two years. That's a long time spent wearing a protective balaclava. It works, though. Onslaughts; of any kind, and there've been a few, are well put off by woolly armour. Though that sounds like a contrdiction in terms.

VOLDER - MOSBORNE

Perhaps the under 25's need some knitting for 'em. Chancellor Osborne's latest 'cut back' line, aimed at 'able to work youf',  plans to slice off any security (social or otherwise), they may have. He's busy creating a vicious vortex of his own. Volderm - Osborne I say. ( H. Potter nasty character).

Meanwhile: I'm wishing you well if your New Year resolutions are still intact. If they're not - well at least you tried. Live a bit. Eat a 'light lasagne'. You'll lose weight just trying to stick the fork through your 24 foot scarf.

31st December 2013.....N Y resolutions..'BAH HAMBUG!' MP Jacob Rees Mogg.......Humbug? I'll have a bag of 'em then....

image: trendsimages.com

say I. Has the Rees Mogg forgotten how HARD giving up things can be? Boyfriends, booze, fags, sugar, Holby City? HE says we should just 'stop' when we want to stop, not at new year. 'Ridiculous'. Self help books? He hates them too.  'Why master Mogg ....you might not 've read 'em, but I 'ave. Some even helped to stop the rot, when it got too rotting like'.

But then I am just an 'ooman', doing the best with what I 'ave. I'll stop droppin' the 'aitches' now. Isn't that what we're all trying to do. Stop dropping the 'aitches'? And try and start being more, well, really HUMANkind. To ourselves, and to other people? Apart from Walter White (Breaking Bad series 5) and your average serial killer. Even Tony Soprano gave therapy a shot.

New year, that last May bank holiday, the silly season...whenever. If it works for you, then I applaud you; I cheer me on.  I support any effort you or I may make to 'change' so that we can be kinder to ourselves, and, by implication, kinder, to other human creatures out there. Even if it only lasts a couple of hours.

I ask the universe for help. More specifically the god of my understanding; a friendly kind benevolent mighty wolf (S.O.H. but no fangs). I recognise that will power leaves me wanting. It always has. But this gracious wolf well wisher resides in my mates, in me and well beyond.

They've got this 'spot the wild wolf' tour in Sweden. If I can afford, I'm going in 2014. And I'm taking humbugs.

27th December 2013 The Kids' Laser Gun - the gift that keeps on giving..... midlifers, it works a treat....

...MELTS AWAY MOUSTACHES IN MICROSECONDS......
image: amazon.com

...on any hair unwanted above the upper lip. My nephew's not pulled the trigger since I nicked it to nab a few stragglers. Did a great job, though nearly had my eye out. Or is that a swan's job? Countryside river bird myth; 'go too near...it'll rip your arm off'.

Either way, today's boyz toys (tho I know gels get them in their Santa sacks too - was a paper bag in my day, with rotten satsuma and walnut etc etc).....have multiple uses. Merry merry Xfoliating to you all....

22nd December 2013 ....but can I fit my new festive fella in the back of the car....???

'LOVE...YOUR FINGER'S IN ME EYE - MOVE IT, OR LOSE IT...'

he's asked for a lift. Bit of trouble with his own animal magic transportation.  I met the little guy amongst the hair removal gizmos up the local chemists. I love an unfamiliar pharmacy. All those novelty ailment creams for nasties you didn't know you had.

 'I've got a load of pills and potions to pack in the sack', says Santa.  Prancer, Dancer et al have a touch of the antelope arthritics. And we've that long festive haul ahead. Soooooooo......if you wouldn't mind dropping me and the meds off at the nearest NCP we can reunite and re boot before the chimney challenge'.

I was happy to help the old fella. Who wants their seasonal biz spoiled by sciatica.

10th December 2013 - Go on MP's, you know you want to.....

'....I'M THE TURKEY YOU DON'T WANT FOR CHRISTMAS.....'
image: legaldespoiler.blogspot.com

..are you REALLY going to pocket that proposed pay rise? Go on, give it away. Do it for Mandela eh? That freedom didn't come cheap.  Journalist, author, and good friend, Emma Mahony reckons our own politicians need to pass on their possible salary hike to those who need it the most. Perhaps you agree? Here's her guest blog:
 
MANDELA, THE CHILDREN'S CHAMPION.
On the Eve of the 1994 presidential election, Nelson Mandela wandered outside from his campaign HQ on to a dusty road in Johannesburg and got talking to a group of street kids. Hearing about their lives, he decided on the spot to set up a children’s charity and start it with a third of his presidential salary for the next five years http://www.mandela-children.org.uk/about-us/#.  He then urged all of his supporters in the government around him to do the same, most of whom did, later turning his attention to businesses when president.
 
TURKEY DINNER, NO THANKS
What a stark contrast to the squabbling that is going on in the House of Commons over whether MPs should accept an 11% pay rise in their salaries. While the poorer public shiver this winter and decide whether to heat or eat – we get served this turkey among the memorial tributes to Mandela
 
STARS? YOU COULD BE
 As we prepare for his funeral this Sunday, couldn’t all those MPs, from George Osborne hosting the children’s Starlight charity at number 11 last night (a good photo opportunity with a former Spice Girl, a band that Mr Mandela so warmly endorsed?) to 23-year-old David Cameron with his “sanctions-busting jolly” to South Africa under the Apartheid regime [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/camerons-freebie-to-apartheid-south-africa-1674367.html], make A Grand Gesture? Go on. Put your money where your mouth is. Donate the 11% increase in MPs salaries to a new Children’s Charity. Call it the Star of David charity if you like. That really would be a legacy worth leaving.
 
Emma Mahony
Author | Journalist

6th December 2013...The Long Walk to Freedom..no, not from AOL....

image: timesonline.co.za

though that's been a more superficial concern. The link is tenuous. The (can't speak their name anymore) company's 'so you want leave, sales rep', happened to be in Durban, South Africa, when we had an emotional phone call. The 35th in the last 10 days. Time spent on broadband problems last week?  25 hours.  We have now divorced. Not amicably. Gone grey, lost weight but I wasn't in prison on Robben Island.

Mandela gave his life for the freedom cause, but he didn't lose himself or be diverted from his dream of equality for all in the rainbow nation. Despite the techno split, me and the TalkTalk/AOL person managed to move on from free minutes to Mandela's own text message;' free people'. This legacy did not come bundled up with cheap 'phone calls and extra sport. It cost him much more than that. The internet's helping, in part, to smash through oppression and prejudice, but Mandela's contribution ricochets round the planet still, with or without broadband.

28th November 2013....They're ALL flooding in...the Lygons, Silurians, Romanians....

'MY BROADBAND'S DOWN...I WILL SHORTLY BE EATING MY OWN ARM...'
image: listverse.com'

.... Autons and Sea Devils. Aliens. Doctor Who's got his 'to do' list sorted. Oh yes, the Romanians. Particularly nasty. All that foreign SOUP. Made of tripe ciorbă de burtă, calves feet and fish. Yes, yes, I know, immigration's got to be 'looked at'. But treating the 'other' like a invasive evil, doesn't peace and harmony bring.

We're all immigrants aren't we? My lot nipped over from their Brittany bungalows in the 11th century. I've got Hull fisherman in my background mix (from Scandinavia), a musician (not sure) , and lots of very ordinary digging for woad types (again, not sure). Yes, crossing borders is happening more quickly now. There probably isn't time to assimlate thousands of new people (not a realisticfigure), in the space of 3 months. It is highly unlikely, despite London's Mayor, Boris Johnson's suggestion, that, 'the entire population of Transylvania, (will be)  pitching their tents in Marble Arch'. There'll be some who will want to work, and others who won't. Just like the rest of the population.

But let's not Lygon everyone with the same alien label.  

For........ +The Foil Fairy, AOL and RBS.......

                + 'I'm having botox', he said, 'when I'm 30.......'

                + Taking coke (allegedly), a 'chaotic year' & a bank crisis - Flowers, the scapegoat....     Click TOP LEFT Catford Blog 1