Sunday, 25 January 2015

How misogyny is ingrained into society

So I saw this on fb today, posted by a girl I know:

Am I the only person who's bothered by the sentiment this presents?! Okay, I get what it's saying, and in one sense it's correct. If you know someone's in a relationship you should not behave towards them with the intention of trying to attract them - you shouldn't try to encourage dishonesty within their relationship, and you should respect that they're in a relationship rather than trying to split them up or have one of them be unfaithful.

On the other hand, if you're in a relationship with someone, you should have that integrity to be honest and faithful within that relationship regardless of anyone trying to flirt with you. It is not just "the other woman"'s responsibility for cheating. If you can't stay faithful to the person you're dating or married to, then you shouldn't be dating or married. Your unfaithfulness is your fault, nobody else's.

My real issue with this, though, is that it assumes that it's a female who will be a "little tramp" as the poster calls it. Not only is there no assumption of responsibility on the part of the boyfriend, but it is automatically assumed that it will be a female who is stirring up trouble. It doesn't warn men not to flirt with women in relationships. Similarly, it assumes all parts of this relationship and trouble stirring are between heterosexuals. It doesn't warn women away from other women in relationships, or men away from other men in relationships. It's so sexist and degrading, and the worst thing is that despite so many people speaking out for women's rights and equality, this sort of degrading of women's character is a normal part of society - to the extent that women are the ones posting this crap, because they can't even see how sexist it is. They're not being deliberately sexist; they literally cannot see that that's what it is. It's like it's trying to tell us that if a man cheats with a woman, it's the woman's fault; but if a woman cheats with a man it's still going to be the woman's fault.

You know what this poster should really say?

There. Much better.

To anyone against feminism because they don't understand what it's about? This. This is what it's about. This is why I'm a feminist. If your man cheats, it's not because an evil woman lured him away. It's because he made a bad decision and did something wrong. And, to anyone who might call me a man hater, yes the same goes for if a woman cheats. It's the same whether in a straight or gay relationship. The person who cheats is the person who is responsible for their cheating.

Love love xx

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The dress!

This dress. Oh man. Where do I even start? This dress took me an awfully long time to make. I knew what I wanted the dress to look like from September. I bought the fabric back in October. I think I even flipped through pattern magazines in October. I drew pattern pieces for myself in November, and cut out the fabric. Then I did nothing. And nothing. Until December.Until halfway through December, in fact. This dress scared me. I was scared of screwing up. I had never drawn my own pattern pieces before. I have always been one to tweak someone else's work in order to make the item in front of me match the image in my head. I always think tried and tested, reliable patterns by companies are the best way to get what I want - find something similar, then make it work for what I want. But we didn't have anything similar. I could have bought a pattern specially, but it wouldn't have been perfect; I would have had to adjust it to fit me anyway; and it would have cost more. So I followed our own tried and tested method of sewing, fondly called sewing by the seat of my pants. And this is how it turned out:

Worth the frustration? Worth the fear? Absolutely. This dress is tailored, delicate and light, comfortable and beautiful. Each detail was painstakingly chosen, designed. Even when it was a pain in the butt to make the detail work. Take the hem, for example. The fabric came with a gorgeous scalloped edge to it. Of course I want that for the hem. But I want some volume in the skirt. I bounced ideas off my mum, we tried one or two things, they didn't work. Eventually it was wangled with some slightly bizarre angles and measures and the promise of tucks in the skirt. Then the tucks looked stupid. They left booby shapes in the skirt. I was determined to have a roomy skirt, but it had to fit the waist. So it was gathered all the way round. Problem solved.

 Of course, the gathers then didn't want to sit nicely. The skirt didn't want to behave at the waist. So I topstitched the seam in the direction that lay most nicely. Another problem solved. Now I know why I normally let other people design patterns. I also used the scalloped edging of the lace to bind the armholes.

And how does the dress look on?

How's that for a pretty fit! It's just what I wanted, and I couldn't be happier with how it looks! I feel so sophisticated.

There's plenty of room for movement, breathing and even eating a huge meal if I want to! But it doesn't bag on me. It still hugs at the waist. The grey overlay on top of the pink keeps it form being too cold a colour, without being so overly girly that it's cloying. I'm not generally one to wear baby pink, but with the grey lace over the top it suits me up and down. I even have a pair of shoes which go really well with it!

Definitely worth it.

Next week I will attempt to explain the epic saga that is my newly diagnosed heart condition. It's an interesting story but I have no pictures for it really. Maybe I'll do some drawings for it!

PS. Comment from a poorly five year old charge this evening: I don't want the cheese on my pasta to melt.


This did not dignify a response. For anyone who doesn't know, a nanny cannot bend the laws of nature. Not even when her charge is poorly.

Love love xx

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Beans, bugs and Brian

Life is busy. Work is amazing but tiring. The bean has worked out crawling forwards, and now likes nothing more than to try to reach anything  dangerous or disgusting, such as the bin, pram wheels, heavy bikes and scooters or cupboard doors. His crawl is a bit like a komodo dragon in style, and as slow as a sloth - especially compared to other crawlers! But he is stubborn and determined, and woe betide you if you remove him from whatever dangerous activity he is interested in. I spend my days being shouted at by a 10 month old who cannot understand why he isn't allowed to keep opening the cupboard door just enough to poke his fingers in, then shut it with the other hand. He is very smiley though, and despite bumping his head regularly with his new-found freedom he is happy and fun to be around with his constant chatter and the way his legs lift off the ground when he's excited. The bug is back to school and so comes home exhausted and emotional every night. He is full of brilliant questions, any of which I can't easily answer - what is technology? What''s the difference between a tractor and a digger? Where does the sun go when it sets? Why can't I see the sun but still see light on the clouds? How do helicopters fly? Does everything poo? Why? Some questions are hard not because I don't know the answer but because I don't know how to explain it so that he can understand. Sometimes he surprises me with his understanding - take the sun question. I told him that the earth was a big ball that turned and the sun didn't move, so when we turned away from it it couldn't shine on our part of the earth. I was still trying to reach a point with this, and worrying that I might be confusing him further with which bits move and which don't; but he said, "so when it sets here, could it be rising in America? Would people there be having their breakfast?" Incredible! He has an amazing ability to notice detail. Here's a combine harvester he made out of lego without any assistance:

He also drew some very detailed pictures of Frozen characters, including the Duke of Weselton, complete with moustache, spectacles and (can you believe) epaulettes!

On an entirely different point, this is Brian:

Brian is a unicorn. He is very pretty, and obviously male. He has a shiny gold horn and smiles a lot. You also may not have noticed but he has the barest, almost invisible little squint. It doesn't affect his vision very much but sometimes he can feel quite self-conscious about it. As long as people look him directly in the eyes and don't stare at his mild squint he's fine, though. He does hate it when people stare.

Brian is a good friend, and very fluffly but kinda lazy. He's like a supersized cat in some ways because he sleeps most of the time, he doesn't demand too much attention and he doesn't ask me to pick up his poop. Which is good since my job involves some of that anyway from the bean.

Yes, he has a side of the bed. He has the left side. It's closer to the radiator, which stops him getting cold during the day. His favourite foods are candy floss and ice cream - at least, they would be if he were allowed any. Ice cream would make him gassy though, and I don't need him farting sparkles in my bed. His favourite books are all teen fiction - I think he relates to the angsty awkward teenagers.

And yes, for anyone wondering, Brian is somewhat distantly related to the unicorn from Despicable Me. I don't know how distantly - I'm not even sure Brian does. They tend to all look alike in his family, but he doesn't even know the name of that particular cousin, and I don't push it. Some families don't live in each other's pockets.

Next time I post I will have photos of the dress I made over Christmas. It's very pretty and I have some photos of it already, but none with me wearing it, and I don't think it can be fully appreciated without a body filling it.

Love love xx

Saturday, 3 January 2015

It's been a long while

New Year's Resolution: Blog once a week at least.

It's been forever. Life's been busy, then not busy, but I'm a procrastinator, and the longer I leave something the harder I then find it to make myself do it. Does anyone else find it so? I'm the same with making phone calls, writing to people, even reading fb messages - I dread opening them, because I know the other person can see that and so I then have to reply! Life has had ups and downs since I last posted. Since April I have:

Finished my full-time studies at Nanny College
Dated, and broken up, with someone
Got my first official Nanny job (!) and started just before Christmas
Moved twice
Grieved for my beautiful cat who finally died from old age
Discovered I've had a heart condition all my life without knowing about it AND agreed to be operated on
Made 1 dress
Made 1 adorable nanny purse
Knitted 1 1/2 socks and 1 fingerless mitten
Finished 1 quilt
Cooked lots of food
Discovered at least 3 new recipes, including some Swedish ones
Made my first set of bunting for a wedding
Agree to make a supersized set of bunting for someone else's wedding (think 4 triangles to a metre)
Survived Christmas
Read lots and lots of books
Downloaded 2 stupid waste of time apps to my phone which I play constantly

Um... I think that's about it. There will be more detail and photos on many of these. Safe to say it's been pretty crazy, lots going on in the last 8 months. How was your 2014?

Love love xx
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