Stealing Ideas

Looking back over blog archives, I came across a post written by the wonderful Kate Harding entitled Twenty Ground Rules for the Wedding I May Never Have.

It is very funny, and should be read.

And it is a very good idea, and should be stolen! But I can’t think of twenty without stealing all of hers outright, which kind of defeats the point of it being mine….

  1. There will be no church. I am the kind of heretic that in ye olden times would have been burned at the stake as a witch, and there’s no point in deliberate provocation. Because, after all, just because I think God doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean that God feels the same way! (I mentioned this theory to a colleague, who looked very confused and was still saying “but… but…” when I got called away)
  2. There will be no flowers attached to my person, as they make me sneeze. In fact, there will be no smelly flowers anywhere near me. Huge plastic sunflowers all the way, ’cause I’m sophisticated!
  3. Photographs of the bride will be taken when the bride permits it. And not before. On pain of much pain, possibly involving a blunt spoon. Or a tuning fork (thank you, Kirsten!)
  4. The only things resembling meringues at my wedding will be meringues.
  5. Invites to my wedding will be awarded on a merits system; ie, if you don’t merit an invitation, you won’t recieve one. Relatives do not merit an invitation simply because I share some of their genes. I share what, 50% of my genes with the banana in my fruitbowl. It doesn’t merit an invitation on that basis. Although thinking about it, it might merit an invite by being a food product!
  6. If it’s not fun, it’s not happening ๐Ÿ™‚ (this one is entirely stolen, but who wouldn’t agree with it?!)
  7. I don’t need presents.
  8. No, not even a little one.
  9. Everybody can be nice to me instead ๐Ÿ˜›
  10. And indulge me when I go and get my third helping of dessert ๐Ÿ˜€

A Chef In Men’s Clothing

Actually, this post is only going to be a little bit about chefs.

It is, however, going to have a fair amount to say on the subject of clothing, male or otherwise.

When the Little Chef joined our merry band back in January, I was asked to order her chef’s whites – the jackets, trousers, aprons and hats that we give to every new starter. So I dutifully called the laundry company and requested said items.
There might be a bit of a delay, I was told, because “we don’t do any jackets that small – we’ll have to get them made up specially.”
There was indeed a delay; two months’ worth. When the whites eventually arrived…. let’s just say, the pattern that the suppliers were following wasn’t brilliant.
I had explained patiently that the new starter was, in fact, a woman! but sadly this fact appeared to have gone unnoticed. The jackets were cut straight, all the way down. And they were long.
The Little Chef stands approximately 5′ tall. Which the laundry company should have inferred from the fact that I had to get her trouser legs shortened by a good 7″.
The jackets were long enough to completely cover her arse, which she was grateful for – but not wide enough around her female hips to be able to button all the way down. I don’t think she was particularly grateful for that.

There has been a fair amount of speculation in some areas as to why the lacy, feminine, floral, floaty things are back in fashion. My personal take on the matter is that fashion designers are evil, vindictive jokers, cackling to themselves as they design the next vision of hideousness that they will be forcing upon the foolishly unsuspecting masses. According to most other sources I’ve glimpsed, feminine is back because feminism [has won/ is dead], depending on where you go.

Yeah. So you tell me, how can feminism have won, how can women claim to be equal, if the Little Chef can’t even get a jacket that fits – because they don’t make mens’ jackets that small. Because of course a woman can’t be present in a restaurant kitchen – her place is in the home!

Continuing the work theme, I will once again be courting disapproving looks from my manager*, as I have now filched two mens’ shirts for my own use. There weren’t any more “size 14s” (which, by the way, are ridiculously mislabeled – these shirts strain over my breasts, and I am usually a comfortable, slightly loose size 12).
This manager really does seem to have a thing about womens’ clothing. Not because he’s a perv; as far as I know, he’s gay, and not interested in our bodies, per se. But he always, always buys tight clothes for us.
He’s bought one suit (a skirt and jacket combo) for the cleaning manager, and is reluctant to buy any more, despite the facts that a) you need more than one set of work clothes and b) she has to bend over and doesn’t like the bloody skirt.
He’s bought shirts in a “size 6” for the girl who requested a size 8 only because she was aware the event required shirts to be tight; both he and she are aware she usually takes a size 10. And bear in mind that these “size 6” shirts came from the company that seems to mislabel all of its clothes to make them appear tighter…
He’s now bought shirts for us all that are cut very short – the hem sits at the top of the hips, which means that if you have breasts, reach upwards, or both, the hem rides up, exposing one’s stomach. Which is not what I come to work to do, funnily enough.

So, once again, I’ve taken matters into my own hands, and have liberated two mens’ shirts for myself. I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the male shirts are much, much longer than the female shirts – I mean, we all know that men are shaped in a way that means their shirts will ride up….

And, on a final note, I would like to reiterate that wearing a low-cut, strappy top because it’s hot and sunny and I want to stay cool and comfortable is not asking for trouble.
No, really, I know it’s difficult to grasp, but – I didn’t wear this top because I wanted to get harrassed.
I didn’t wear the hoodie because I wanted to get harrassed, either.
Or the T-shirt.
Or the jacket.
Or the bright pink shirt.
You take my point.

I wore those things because they’re my fucking clothes, dammit! I wore them because they were comfortable. That’s why. And I don’t look for trouble.
So there!

*completely off-topic, I am also a little annoyed because my manager plainly didn’t give a shit about my request that, as we celebrate every other damned theme day, perhaps we could celebrate a woman-themed day, and show The Vagina Monologues.
Dammit, where does he think he came from?! Can’t he celebrate that?
(Even if Kirsten doesn’t!)


My computer thinks that I am spyware. If I try to access blogger, I get this message:

We’re sorry…

… but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.”

So, although – bizarrely – it will let me post, I can’t read what I’ve written, and nor can I see anybody else’s sites if they use Blogger.


Anyway, if I’m quiet for a bit, that’s why.

Bloody Google.

Boris Johnson and the BNP

I did my best, I got off my arse and voted, and, sadly, it didn’t make a sodding bit of difference.

The scruffy-haired, bumbling monkey still got in.

Now, in this country, we have a secret vote, which means that you don’t have to tell anybody how you voted. But we have freedom of speech, which means that, within reason, you can tell anybody you want to.

To elect the Mayor, I got two votes (I was special!).

Your first choice vote obviously is counted first, and in this, I voted for the Green party candidate Sian Berry, because I like her party, I’d like to see a female mayor, and to be honest, I thought it might be time for a change.
But if no single candidate gets a majority of the first-choice vote, the two candidates with the largest shares of the vote go on to the next round, in which your second-choice vote is counted. As I understand it, your second-choice vote is only counted if you haven’t already voted for one of the two remaining candidates, which seems to me to be a bit of a dilemma if you truly believed that, say, the best thing for London would be Ken followed by Boris, or vice versa. But then you’d have to be a bit odd to think any such thing.
Anyway, so I chose Ken Livingstone for my second-choice vote. Because I really, really didn’t want my city led by Boris. And because Ken’s done very good things with my lovely London buses.
And, as it happened, my second-choice vote would have been counted, and Ken lost the election with more votes than he won it with last time round.

I suppose that’s some consolation. Just not much.

But actually, although I dislike Boris immensely, there was worse to come.

For the London Assembly (which is meant to keep the mayor in check, although it ran into problems with Ken when he pointed out that actually, no, they couldn’t fire him), you vote in a proportional representation style system.

There are 25 members of the London Assembly, fourteen of whom are attatched to a particular voting area. So you vote for the person you want to represent your area, and you also vote for a party, which need not be the same as the person.
The person gets elected in a first-past-the-post system – the majority vote wins – and the London Assembly is then made up proportionally of all the parties voted for, taking into account the people who have already got in. (Since there are 25 members, each one must be worth 4% of the vote, so if, for example, the Green party got one candidate in as a person, and got 8% of the vote, they’d get another person into the assembly). I hope that makes sense – it does in my head!
I voted Labour and Green, in that order – Labour for my representative, since in a majority vote in Lewisham, Labour will always win, and Green for the proportional representation bit since they get enough of a vote to get into the assembly and therefore curb Labour a bit, who tend towards arrogance.

Sadly, nearly everyone else voted Conservative!

Although, as it happens, I was right – the Green party didn’t get a constituency, but they got two candidates in because of the proportional representation bit.

Conservatives ended up with 11,
Labour 8,
Liberal Democrats 3
Green 2
British National Party 1

A conservative majority, while disheartening, seems somewhat innevitable given the vote fell in Boris’s favour, and I could have predicted that Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens would have turned out like that – but the BNP???!!!

Well, see here for the BBC’s take on what that means.

Or, see here for the party themselves.

Or indeed here, which is a page ostensibly dedicated to “countering the smears”….

Now, I don’t want to quote too much, because there’s always that danger of selective quoting, or accusations of the same – namely, that I’ve picked the quotes that prove my point. Frankly, though, I feel I could quote the entire damned website and still prove my point.

The first three FAQs themselves say a great deal about the party that is noticeably absent from its policy page;

Why do you disapprove of mixed marriages?
What is your attitude to homosexuals?
Do you believe that blacks or other races are inferior?

Presumably, mixed marriages (white with non-white, evidently!) are B-A-D because the non-white partner is, by their standard, not ‘British’. Oh, and we don’t like Teh Immigrants. Duh.

As for homosexuals…. I wonder why the party felt the need to mention them at all?
The BNP is fixated with the idea that it’s immigration that is causing the Collapse of Society(TM), and I’m fairly sure that British people can be gay too…

Well, I’ll let them explain in their own words:

“The British National Party is not โ€˜homophobicโ€™ and believes that what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms is a matter for them alone and is of no concern to anyone else. On the other hand the BNP is not blinded or cowed by political correctness and recognises that homosexuality, which affects less than 2% of the population, is not the norm and that homosexual relationships do not produce offspring โ€“ essential to the survival of a people and a nation. “

So, condensed down a bit, I read that as “we don’t care about what kind of sex they have. But being Gay is not normal, dammit! And anyway they can’t have babies so they’re not doing their jobs for the British people and our whole population will die out because of this ‘2%’.”

It’s a tenuous link, but I think I got it!
Also, I know it’s always a difficult thing to pin down, but I’d always thought the proportion of gay people was about 10%.

Oh – and the last one -“Do you believe that blacks or other races are inferior?

Well, you know, call me overly PC, but my personal opinion is that it doesn’t matter what you say after that, if you’re going to refer to black people as “blacks”.

You may as well just call them “wogs” and be done.

I can’t quite believe that these people got a candidate in.

London, I am officially ashamed.