Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Your wife is hot!

An advert for air conditioning has been banned because it was deemed sexist on two counts:

  1. Features a woman, and is unrelated to air conditioning
  2. It's clearly talking to a man, when anybody can buy air conditioning
The owner who designed the ad said "it's only a little bit of harmless fun".

In the BBC article, one of the complainants said "The subliminal message about society is that it's ok to comment on women's bodies, and comment on women's bodies as if they are the possession of someone else - 'your wife'.  It also gives the subliminal message that it's the man of the house that's responsible for getting the air conditioning fixed."

Now, I do agree that we, as a society, need to move away from commenting on women's bodies.  It is not healthy for anybody, whether you're the one gossiping, the one being gossiped about, or someone listening or overhearing the negativity.  Women have loads of shit they need to go through just because they are a woman, and women bitching about other women is not helpful.

However, I don't think this advert is sexist.  If anything were to change, I would recommend the woman wearing full jeans, rather than hotpants, but in all honesty, in weather like we're currently experiencing (it's 31C in my town, and my conservatory has had all doors and windows open all day, states it is 44C in there!) you'd be crazy to wear full jeans if you are comfortable in shorts. (I am currently wearing long trousers, but have pulled them up, so they're as good as shorts.)

As for the complaints, the woman is hot!  I am hot, and I would LOVE my house to have air conditioning.  Please, someone tell my husband that I am hot!  While the poster could have said something like "your wife is experiencing warmer than normal temperatures and desires to be cooled down" that wouldn't be as easily read on a poster, it isn't as catchy, and frankly it is a pun on the word 'hot'. Secondly, who says they're talking to a man?  Surely, it's more sexist to assume they're talking to a man, rather than assuming that this woman could have a wife? Or are you assuming that even if the woman does have a wife, she wouldn't be able to get air con fixed as only a man can do that?

The owner has says he's considering a second ad featuring the slogan "your husband is hot", but no doubt there would be complaints about that too, because 'why should a woman take care of a man', 'men can do things themselves', 'more mental load for women' etc etc. (Actually, I do think mental load is a real and exhausting thing, but you get the point.)

So, no, I don't think this advert is sexist.
If the advert actually discussed her body, or said she has to look a certain way to be desirable or to go to the beach, then yes, I wouldn't like that advert, but simply talking about her temperature? Nah.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Weekly Update No29

I have lost a little weight!  Not much, but a lost weight at the start of last week, and then kept constant weight for the rest of the week.  Considering I hadn't been feeling great and had been eating everything in sight, that's a win!

I am feeling better than I was last week, so thank you for your thoughts, prayers and messages.  I have some great friends, and though I still don't think I'm worthy of you, I thank God for you.  And I am seeing a counsellor for the first time this morning.  I don't really know what to expect, but it's a free session so we'll see.  At least I'm doing something proactive, which will hopefully turn my life to the better.

I am still having smoothies for breakfast/lunch (I drink them slowly so they last from 11am to 3 or 4pm).  I have had a couple of takeaways over the weekend, which was a bit naughty.  I'll be cooking properly tonight.  My husband is away with work for the week, so it's just me and the girls.  They have planned the food we'll be eating this week, but it's not all bad.  Yes there are hotdogs on one day (proper sausages for me and DD2, and yucky frankfurters for DD1), but there's also spaghetti and meatballs on another, and a few days they need packed tea due to their dancing.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

From Daughter to Woman by Kim McCabe

From Daughter to Woman was recommended to me by a friend because I have two daughters swiftly approaching their teenage years.

The blurb says:
The teen years are tough - for teens and for parents. Many parents dread the moodiness, dishonesty, preference of friends over family, exam stress, and the push for greater independence. Mothers have a pivotal role to play; this is a guidebook for parents and mothers of girls in particular as they navigate the rocky teenage landscape with their daughters aged 8 to 18. It aims to help them embrace the potential of their child's teenage years by marking this time of growing maturity for girls and celebrating it with them. We celebrate birth, marriage and death, but this important life-transition from child to young adult is nowadays rarely acknowledged within an appropriate community.
With mental health issues in young people on the rise, and social media, reality television and smartphone culture serving to exacerbate these problems, it is no surprise that parents are looking for help in raising their daughters through these tricky years. From Daughter to Woman is the indispensable guide to doing just that.
Having just finished this book, it was really good and it has made me think about ways to connect and reconnect with my daughters.  There is a lot in there about growing up, puberty, starting periods etc and it suggests having a coming-of-age ceremony for your daughter(s), whether that me something simple between the two of you, or a large party with everyone you know. 

I would recommend reading this when your daughters are younger (by the age of 8) so you can prepare things in your own mind.  For example, my elder daughter is 11yo and has already started her periods so all that side of thing was too late for her.  Yet, there are things I can take from the book, and the idea of a coming-of-age thing, especially as she has made the adult decision of taking control of her own education and going to school, is something I am considering and seeing what I can do over the summer, before she starts school in September.

The other striking idea from the book, is about having a collection of women to support a girl growing up (it takes a village to raise a child).  Within the book she discusses group meetings (not that we'd have time with all the dancing my kids do), but the suggestions of having some older women whom my daughters could trust and be able to confide in (especially when they have a phase where they don't want to talk to me) is a good one.  Not having brought my girls up like that, I don't know how to approach the topic with them, nor deciding who would be good to take on those roles.  But again, it is something I am now thinking about and considering.  So even if your daughters are older than mine, if they are still in the teenage years, it would be worth reading this book.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Weekly Update No28

No weight loss this week.  Quelle surprise.

Sometimes I wonder if I should give up on pretending to lose weight, but I know that I need to in order to have the surgery I want in a few years time.

Yes, this is how I started last week's update, because I need to do everything I said I was going to do last week.

My MH dropped at the end of last week.  Not because of my failure to lose weight, but that contributed to it.  I feel like a fraud and that I don't have any worth.  

On the positive side, I actually called out for help - in a way.  I put a vague status update on FB asking for prayers.  But I did get the help and validation I needed and I feel better this morning.  It's easy to pretend, especially on social media, but we all need help sometimes.  Me especially. I can't even answer "how are you?" honestly, even if I know the other person would want to hear the truth.

I am drinking smoothies for lunches, and I have been all week.  I do tend to get really hungry around 5pm, though, which is when I crave foods not conducive to weightloss, and to which I have been giving in too easily.  I need to get back to meal planning properly.  My cleaner has come back now, so my kitchen is reasonably clean, which means I don't really have an excuse not to cook more.

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Love Me, Dreamy by Laura Burton

It is always a privilege to be asked to review a book by an up-and-coming author.  This is the third book I have read by Laura Burton, and the third in her Love Me series (the previous two being Love Me, Crazy and Love Me, Sweetie).

Love Me, Dreamy is another cozy romance, with a paranormal twist.
The blurb says:

Sitting on a park bench, Amelia can't remember how she got there. But when a young, Californian surfer wanders up, figuring it out doesn't seem so important. The chance meeting leads to a date and then another. Sparks fly and although she never imagined falling in love with someone so much younger than her, he's perfect. 
That is... except for the strange men in black suits who keep showing up. Are they being followed? 
Toby knows a secret, but if he tells Amelia, he risks losing her forever. With the guardians set on tearing him away from her, he whisks Amelia to another part of the world. They're safe, but not for long. Their relationship is put to the ultimate test, when Toby and Amelia stand at the top of a waterfall. With only one chance to stay alive, he asks her to take a leap of faith. Amelia thinks they will surely die, but Toby insists it's the only way to be together.
As someone who reads a fair bit of fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal fiction this book was not what I was expecting.  That's not to say it is bad, not at all.  I got through the 300ish pages in a couple of days.  It was very easy to read and very enjoyable; it was just not what I expected.  I'm not going to give any spoilers because it is worth reading, but means it is hard for me to expand on what I was expecting and the actual story-line.  I just wish we could have found out a bit more about the guardians.Who are they? Why are they there? If this hasn't happened before, why are they needed in the first place? How do they travel? How do they know?  If there was to be a spin-off from this book, that is the direction I would be hoping for.

The love story between Amelia and Tody is captivating.  Toby helps Amelia discover herself, face her fears and become more spontaneous.  He is charming, being a gorgeous surfer who seems to have fallen in love at first sight, despite their age gap, and Amelia starts to fall for him too.  They travel together across the globe, and Amelia has many new experiences with her beau, until the guardians get closer and they have to make a life-changing choice: should they jump?

For those who don't normally like paranormal fiction, don't let that put you off.  It's another well-written love story that will make your heart soar.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Weekly Update No27

No weight loss this week.  Quelle surprise.

Sometimes I wonder if I should give up on pretending to lose weight, but I know that I need to in order to have the surgery I want in a few years time.

Someone shared this video on FB recently:

I've seen it before and I do find it inspirational.  It makes me want to do more Body Grooving as clearly dancing is good for weightloss - I just need to keep going start again with it.  

I know that the issues I have are in my head.  
I know I can lose weight as I've done it before.
I know my goal weight of 64kg is achievable because I've done it before.

I need to get to the root cause of what is stopping me.  
I need to find my motivation again, and cement it in my head.  Whilst I don't have cancer, the idea of it is abstract, whereas I need to bring it to the forefront of my mind.  I don't want cancer - I've seen what my mum has been through.  I do want preventative surgery.  And to have the reconstruction that I want, I need to have a healthy BMI.
I need to stop giving a shit about what other people think of me, and live life on my terms, and dance if I want to dance.  When I took my girls to their dance lessons last week, I shared with some people about Body Groove, and we even did a dance in the hallway together.  It was fun! And that's despite some of the kids and the other parents laughing at us.  One parent who danced with me, even said that if I became a trainer and could offer classes whilst her child was dancing, she would come along - much like I did when a pt friend offered pt sessions at the dance studios a few years ago.

A few weeks/months ago I used the excuse that I didn't have any suitable clothing to wear, as it was too tight or too hot.  I have since bought loads of loose, groovy clothing that I am wearing as everyday wear, and could easily dance it, but I'm still not doing it.

And I need to rewatch all the 2B mindset videos.  I think part of my problem is that I get so familiar with stuff that I know the 'right' things to say, or think, but don't actually action them.  I'm clever enough to come up with the excuses as to why I don't need to stick to this or that this time, I'll do it next time; or I can justify why I really do want this cake/doughnut/alcohol, rather than holding out for my goals.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

The Fourth Element Trilogy by Kat Ross

I love reading, and consuming new (to me) books, and I'm glad to be back in the habit. I am very glad to have read the Bible in 6 months, as I'd not done that before, but I think I will go back to reading it slower over a year, and having more time to read other stuff.  As I've mentioned before, I do enjoy reading classics, (having just finished Lorna Doone) but they require more concentration, whereas I relax the most when I can submerge myself into another world and devour the contents.  I read quickly, and love it when I find a book that I cannot put down.

Four days ago I started reading The Fourth Element Trilogy by Kat Ross. I chose this book(s) because I am working through all the books I have on my Kindle, and am trying to read them before I buy more, as I'm a bit of an addict.  Before my actual Kindle died (I now use Kindle app on my phone) I wrote on a sheet of paper (that ended up being 12 sides of A4) all the books I hadn't read yet, because my Amazon account doesn't actually register whether I've read a book yet, just that I've bought it.  (Or if it does, I'm not technologically minded enough to work out how to do it!)  So, I choose my books based on the title alone.  I decided to read this one because the title sounded interesting, and because it's a trilogy, I knew I wouldn't read it too fast - or so I thought...

The blurb says:
They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King's elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she's willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he's possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other's emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius's past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

So begins an epic story of adventure, romance and betrayal that leads to undiscovered magical realms and a final confrontation with a demon queen bent on destroying them all.
Given that I have read nearly 1000 pages in 3 days (as I actually finished the trilogy yesterday), you can take for granted that I enjoyed it.  It is really well written, and set in a partly fantasy and partly historical world.  The writing was really good, and I liked the fact that we were looking on things from the pov of a different culture.  I'm not going to give anything away in this review, but when some of the historical aspects come to light, I was quite pleased with myself that I had worked them out beforehand, though the identity of the young king of the enemy was a surprise to me.

Having read the books so fast, I couldn't put them down.  I was only slightly disappointed in the ending, because I felt it ended and everything was wrapped up a bit too quickly, and I wanted to experience more.  However, there is a subsequent series called The Fourth Talisman* where you can see what happens next the the characters.  I haven't bought these books yet, because I am trying to work through the ones on my list, but I look forward to coming back to this world and seeing what happens next to Nazafareen.