Blog update

Hello everyone!

It’s been such a long time since I last posted anything (my apologies) but I’ve been in the process of trying to redesign my blog so that it’s less of a mish mash of topics. With that in mind, I’ve created a new blog called Lucinda is reading… where you can find book reviews, updates on the read harder challenge and all things wordy. This blog will remain as more of a lifestyle journal with updates on what I’ve been doing and essays on topics of my choice. I’m going to be doing lots of tidying up on both blogs over the next few days so if you follow me predominantly for bookish posts please head to my new blog and be sure to follow me!

Thanks everyone!

Lucinda x

Remmber Me?

Hello everyone!

I’ve been away from here for a few weeks due to illness (my partner had tendonitis and couldn’t walk for two weeks), sunshine (the UK is in the middle of a heatwave right now – no one has air con so we’re all tired and miserable about it) and just general business.

The garden is looking really lovely right now, especially at night when I’ve got my candles lit and the garden lights are on. Last night we sat outside talking until 11pm, with the scent of the sweet peas and petunias wafting over us. Lovely. I think it’s so important to spend time as a couple chatting things over instead of silently staring at a tv screen.

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As you can see (just), my experimental sweet pea wall seems to be doing pretty well. Top tip – cut all the flowers off once every 10 days or so to ensure it keeps flowering. And keep deadheading!

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Is everyone else enjoying their gardens right now? Has anyone got any top tips they want to share? Comment below!
 

Traditional Sexism

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I’ve just read a great article in the Guardian regarding sexism in the brewing industry. I thought it was a well written piece with some ultimately positive news about women collaborating, forming alliances and making progress in what was one a very male dominated industry. (Well done to them).

Unfortunately, when I saw that someone had posted the article on Facebook, I was horrified to read some of the 80 or so comments that went with it. They ranged from the ridiculous to downright hatred. How can people be so nasty to each other? Instead of picking up on the women’s collaborative, they’ve focused on the fact that the author of the piece talked about the sexist marketing images used by other breweries and the fact that the female brewers agreed, saying that ‘laddish’ marketing was hackneyed and tired. This seems to have sparked a flurry of sexist comments from both men and women.

In my opinion, the women in the article were dead right. I enjoy drinking beer and I don’t see that marketing exclusively to men is in any way a good idea, let alone the damage it can do to a brand by offending a significant proportion of the client base. I can see that it would alienate a woman who was looking to brew her own beer. I can understand why other women are offended by the imagery and names that some breweries use.

I’ve included my thoughts on the Facebook comments below:

This isn’t an important issue/feminists should concentrate their efforts on bigger issues.

This is an important issue. This is everyday sexism – it’s not overtly excluding women, it’s using language and imagery to suggest that this product is for men – for no real reason. (As an added bonus, the imagery objectifies women.Thanks!) By doing so, women automatically exclude themselves as customers, often without realising it. The subtlety of this approach can help to normalise sexism as anyone who complains about such a seemingly minor issue is seen as whining, overreacting or being a killjoy. A society where sexism is the norm contributes to all of the problems that women face today (earning less, being overlooked for promotion, being objectified etc.) as it promotes the idea that women should shut up and get on with it. After all, militant feminists aren’t sexy, are they? And god forbid a woman should be unsexy…

Don’t buy it if you don’t like it.

I won’t, thanks. But I suspect a lot of people will (possibly without thinking about it) because, as in my earlier point, we live in a society where casual sexism is the norm – and I want to make people think about that.

Women don’t complain they aren’t binmen etc.

Yes we do – but I don’t think that’s particularly relevant to the issue in hand.

There’s beer that could be offensive to men.

That’s not ok either and it doesn’t detract from this issue.

These women are using sexism to promote their own crap beer.

No they’re not. These women are joining together to support each other’s business endeavours, make contacts, promote brewing for women and to encourage a community where women can help each other. If that generates media interest then great. That isn’t sexism, that’s business accumen.

Also, I love the way this comment assumes that the beer created is crap. I’m going to guess that the contributor hasn’t tried all of the different beers the women in the article had made – thus proving that sexism in the beer drinking community is alive and well and that women probably need to stick together if they’re going to get anywhere.

If the industry was that sexist those women wouldn’t be able to brew at all.

Sexism isn’t a black and white issue. Just because women are ‘allowed’ to make beer (wow, thanks!) doesn’t mean there isn’t a long way to go.

Feminazis! Puritans! PC brigade! You can call beer what you want!

Can you really? So, no matter how offensive, sweary, inappropriate, racist, homophobic etc. a name is, you can still use it? Well, I suppose you can, but why would you want to? No landlord/landlady in their right mind would put it on a pump, plus you’d have the added benefit of knowing that you’d upset a load of people. Well done you.

The Guardin is run by a fat ginger bitch so it’s bound to be biased! The brewer looks like a man! Lesbians!

I’m not even going to dignify those comments with a response. Please crawl back into the primordial soup and talk to me when you’ve evolved.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Get in touch below!

Promote Your Blog Here

A great idea!

MakeItUltra™

Hi Everyone,
I want to create a directory for my subscribers to connect with eachother. I usually don’t allow self-promotion on my site, but this is different. If you would like to share your blog, please leave a brief description about what readers might find if they visit your site. Hopefully this will create some positive synergy for our blogging community. Don’t forget to reblog this post so we can get more people involved!

For every 10 reblogs I will select 1 blogger to return the favor and reblog one of your posts!

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Career Worries

https://mobile.twitter.com/BluMarTen/status/605128443475456001

I don’t currently have a career. I used to, but I hated it and now I have no idea what I want to do. I’ve got so far down a career path (masters degree) to be able to swap to another profession at the same level but too old to seriously think about retraining.

The main problem is  that I don’t feel that I’ve been very good at any of my previous jobs. I’ve never really felt like I’ve made a difference or helped anyone. I’ve mostly been shouted at or complained to. I have been frequently patronized (I’m sure you can work the photocopier better than me, can you just run me off 10 copies? Will you be serving the refreshments? Are you here as a placement student?) and have often made people cry. I have had jobs that have made me so stressed I couldn’t sleep. I have sat in my office at 10pm on a Friday night and asked myself what I’m doing with my life.

I’d love to be a writer but I genuinely don’t know how that happens. How do you decide what to write about? How do you make money from it? I’m from the West Midlands, where jobs are based in factories and involve manual labour. I guess the answer is to write something first then see what you can do with it? Maybe start with short stories?

As always, any help or comments would be much appreciated!

How I write

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This is the book that I write in. It has my to do lists. It has thoughts and ideas. It has a diary (of sorts). It makes me happy to look at. I doubt anyone could decipher its contents.

I like to write at night. Every essay, piece of coursework and dissertation I’ve ever created has been made after dark. I am not a morning person. I can generally only work under pressure. If I don’t have a deadline I try to complete a task before I need to do something else (like sleep).

Sometimes, I’ll be inspired during the day and I’ll make a note in my writing book but whatever I jot down only gets turned into actual english at night.

Sometimes my thoughts are so jumbled and intertwined with other ideas that I need to separate them out to get them to make sense. That’s when I use spider diagrams or action programming (basically a big to do list split into individual projects, with immediate actions prioritised). I’ve never found a computer program that can handle either method so for now I do it all longhand. Preferably with coloured pens.

I like to write in bed, propped up with pillows. It is quiet and calm and warm and safe. I’m there right now, and I’m t i r e d... so, goodnight world. Sweet dreams.

Home

I live in the West Midlands in the UK and have done so for my entire life. I grew up in a house with just my parents, then lived in student accommodation, then moved back home. A couple of years ago I moved in with my partner. His parents had both passed away and he inherited the family home. Whilst it’s been a huge financial blessing (no rent! No mortgage!) its actually put quite a strain on our relationship. Essentially I’m living in someone else’s home. The phrase “get out of MY house” is shouted at me at some point during every argument that my partner and I have. Our relationship is very much one sided as a result.

Added to this, my partners parents were in their 60s when they died and had both been disabled. The house was pretty tired (understandably) and its taken FOREVER to sort out. My boyfriend is emotionally attached to literally every single item so we’ve had many, many arguments about why we should keep mismatched plates, a 20 year old kettle and or a red patterned carpet in the living room. We currently have a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and back garden but the front garden, hall stairs and landing, back bedroom, box room and bathroom are a complete mess. It’s immensely depressing to walk into the house to be confronted with peeling wallpaper, chipped paintwork and an avocado bathroom. I’d love to get stuck in myself and I have done a lot to improve the overall appearance but as I said before, IT ISN’T MY HOUSE. I’m sure my boyfriend would go mental if he came home to find me making changes without his explicit knowledge and participation.

I have no idea how to make this situation change, short of nagging my partner to death or selling up.