Is It Just Me: Wishing the Misogynism at the Daily Mail Would Do One?

Apologies for the Fail link but they really get on my tits sometimes. Although for the process of keeping them and their jealous, appalling comment leavers happy, my tits are very much covered up.

I was alerted this week to yet another bit of blogger shaming by the Mail, after one of our number was asked to take part in a beautiful gender reveal of her pregnancy. After the event, enjoyed by all, and not seen as over the top by anyone but the snide paper, they reported back, misquoting the Blogger, getting her name incorrect and displaying the sort of airhead journo approach that us blogger’s manage to shy away from.

As for the comments? Bloody hell. They were disgusting, and what’s worse, it appears the Fail encourage bad behaviour and downright nastiness by not printing positive comments or comments correcting the mistakes made.

You do have to ask why they don’t just employ writers who can do a job properly, report facts and not make up quotes.

By far the worst bit of gutter journalism favoured by the rag though is the Misogynistic Woman Slating. It can be against a celeb- minor or major, or someone off the street, if it means they can write some psuedo witty title they cannot wait to twist the knife.

Today’s victim is Amanda Holden.

At 44, she is a-flippin-mazing. Seriously. She is literally perky everywhere, and yes, she has admitted to a bit of help with that but so what? At 44, she looks as hot as a 24 year old any day. She’s also immensely funny and talented, and despite at one time being known as Les Dennis’ arm candy, she has emerged as a presenter and actress in her own right.

Frankly, if my arse looked like Mandy’s, I’d have been posting belfies too. Good luck to her.

Not if you’re the Mail though.

They suggest she dresses inappropriately for her age. They call her a “Shameless attention seeker”. Note to the Mail: She’s on TV, of course she’s an attention seeker, that’s practically part of the job. They slate her for wearing low cut tops, and shorts and anything which, presumably is not from the OAP section of M&S.

What should she wear then, Mail? Aran knit sweaters up to the neck? Sensible below the knees skirts? Or would you prefer that TV stations had a glowing gem on the hand of female actresses and presenters, and should they dare reach over 35, they get replaced, a sort of Logans Run for TV?

They even dare to say that Judy Finnigan would not have posed for a Belfie. Well, not to be rude, but a flash of the Finnigan Chest was enough for the masses, you cannot compare Amanda with Judy as they are very much a different kettle of fish. Even so, if Judy did decide to flash us again, so what?

I just showed Mini, who is 8 and rather opinionated on anything (as she’s been raised to be) a picture from that article of Amanda and her reply “I thought she’d look older, but its not really up to me to say what she wears as its none of anyone’s business but hers”. My daughter is 8 and knows better than the Fail!

For too long, women are made to feel that, up until a certain point, we are simply window dressing, there to provide the odd giggle whilst the men get on with the proper reporting. Then, they are older, and the minute a wrinkle appears that is not immediately botoxed, its off to the nags yard they go.

We are a modern society, yet in some ways we are so backward it hurts. You can’t post pictures of breatsfeeding, or cancer survival or stretch marks, or you face being slagged to death. Likewise if you look like Amanda at a certain age, and celebrate that you still look bloody good in a thigh slit outfit, you get slagged off for that too.

The only middle ground is to be a perky, childless, blemish free girl in your twenties. Unless you are someone like Kendall Jenner and then even someone as flawless as her is open to public flogging.

Frankly, anyone brave enough to say “This is me, I have on a dress that certain shit journo’s will slate me for, but so bloody what?” should be celebrated, not told to run off home to her hubby and retire.

Its not feminism folks, its just self preservation and self respect for our fellow selves.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you haven’t, do it bloody regardless!

Fight the power bitches.

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We’re All Going to Camp Bestival 2015

We are so lucky in our house, I am utterly excited as are the Brats.

To be made Official Camp Bestival Bloggers for a second year is an honor and I cannot wait to bring you my Festival Diary and some live vlogs from the Brats too.

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So, why should you want to visit a festival in the good old UK and with children?

I see Festival’s as camping plus excitement. Rather than just pitching a tent in a field and then playing Scrabble for a week before going home, and wondering why you didn’t just stay home instead, festivals offer fun on a grand scale.

It can be daunting, the idea of not just tent life but live music and the like with children in tow. That’s why Camp Bestival is such a great option as it caters for families no matter what age your kids are.

There is never a dull moment in the daytime, this year alone there is Dick and Dom for the tweens, CaInstagramCapture_8dba5f1e-fd81-4a3b-8c47-8c4e03ae4cf3_jpgt In The Hat Live for the littlies and the ever popular Den for the older ones. There is a real feeling of safety and camaraderie amongst your fellow campers too, and Mini and Littlest had made firm friends of a large group of campers in the same row as us.

Even at night when the headliners are on until later, we stuck a pair of ear defenders on our two, brought a blanket and they fell asleep in the middle of De La Soul, right on the grass! In fact, people walked past, never once tripping over them, and a few took photos of them! InstagramCapture_37667ef4-d942-422c-af23-eb239d6297a9_jpg

Most parts of the festival don’t kick off until midday so you have plenty of time to have a lie in, a good breakfast and then stroll to the fields for the days events.

The costumes element is always good for a giggle too. You don’t have to dress up but we saw some amazing costumes from the sublime to the ridiculous, including Morph suits last year.

This year’s theme is Go Wild, and you can interpret that in any manner of ways whatever your age. You can go for the obvious, like a warm onesie in an animal style (onesies are great for kids as they can wear them everywhere, tuck them into wellies and then there’s no issues with changing them back at your tent at night if it’s a late one). You can go as Tarzan, or perhaps Wild Boys like Duran Duran!

The setting for the camp is breathtaking, being watched over by Lulworth Castle at its heart. You’re also just a short drive from Wool for any last minute essentials, and 5 minutes drive from Lulworth Cove.

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Meeting Rory Mcleod last year was a top moment for Elder

We were lucky enough to get amazing weather last year, so make sure you bring water bottles for the kids, and plenty of snacks too. There’s nothing worse than being half through a must see act and needing to leave to forage!

The acts themselves are diverse as ever, with old faves The Buzzcocks and Cymande playing alongside the likes of newer acts like Ella Henderson and Pro Green. I am most excited to see Soul II Soul though, I absolutely love them.

If you don’t fancy doing a whole camp and festival experience but don’t want to miss a great act, then you can buy Day Tickets from tomorrow at 10am 

For the full line up, and trust me, it will knock ya socks off, head over to www.campbestival.net, and remember to follow them on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news.

I will be blogging more news from Camp Bestival in the next few weeks, as well as sharing some of my fave memories of last years acts over on Vinyl Problems too.

Elder and the Sudden Interest In Instagram

One thing that Elder and I don’t have in common is a love of social media.

He also doesn’t have a love of listening or remembering to take his phone out with him, or my nagging him when he annoys me. But it’s social media we are discussing today so we will move along from those topics for now.

I am a self confessed social media addict. You may have noticed I have fully embraced the medium, I have taken it to my bosom, and have wholeheartedly joined up to everything whereby I can shamelessly self promote, well, me.

Narcissistic tendencies, probably (before my troll, god love her, brings that up), but I have a liking for being online and interacting in any way possible. I love G+ when many hate it. I have at least 4 blogs on the go at any one time. I find twitter fun and sometimes gain some inspiration from random late afternoon chats on there. To my mind, there is never a dull moment in social media land.

Elder?

If social media was a speaker set, or a piece of hi fi, or a record, he would sink into addiction as easily as I have. However, he doesn’t get twitter. He uses Facebook for nothing more than actually speaking to Real Life mates from school or the past. He wont allow me to tell him about blogging or blogger related gossip, however juicy or scandalous that has been in the past. He thinks blogging is a women’s exercise in widespread bitching.

As for going to an actual blogging event? He did once, many moons ago, and he couldn’t wait to get home on the train, back to the safety of his blissful social media related ignorance. He can’t even text, or read texts either ( he just denied this, although now I wonder if he did read the texts I have sent him previously and then ignored them. The sod).

So, when he started to gain an interest in my posting album covers on Instagram, and later even suggested getting a basic phone which allowed him to do the same on Instagram, well readers,you could’ve knocked me over such was my shock.

Until it died, Elder had the most oldest, clunkiest Nokia phone ever produced. It still pulled down to get the numbers up. It was not touch screen. It had no apps and you could not put apps on the phone.

He had the same number for at least 10 years, maybe more.

When it went kaput, I gave him my very old HTC. This was old enough that you couldn’t actually put Instagram on it.

To Elder, if it works, if it rings and you can answer it, he’s happy.

He referred to my shiny new Nokia with it’s fancy touch screen and it’s apps and the like as a mini PC.

I got a new Microsoft Lumia last week, finally getting my first actual contract phone as we kept running up ridiculous phone bills on the house phone (he may not like social media but he can make a phone call last for over an hour to certain mates).

My old Nokia which I expected to hand to Mini who had her eye on it since I got it, went to Elder.

I set it up for him, showing him how to use Instagram and the wonders of the hash tag so other vinyl lovers can find you and praise your taste in music.

He has had it a week and to start with I had to put the hast tags in for him.

However, one week on and he gets it.

I expected him to be interested for all of a day and then get bored.

It has shocked me how much he has gotten the hang of it and how he suddenly uses the phone several times a day. I used to get banned from having my phone at certain things but now I can see him using it as a camera like a pro.

What is next reader? Selfies? A twitter account? An actual blog?

Its quite disconcerting.

Does your Other Half love or loathe social media?

Let me know in the comments!

Oh and if you’d like to see what he get’s up to, you can find him at Strictly_Vinyl69

Is It Just Me: Or Do We Turn Into Pussies As We Get Older?

I know, that’s a strong title right there people isn’t it? No messing about with a title like that. I bet I get some disappointed hits from folk with that title, eh? Naughty me.

Anyway, this has stemmed from a conversation, well, in fact, several conversations, that Elder and I have had. It comes up every time I say I think I should dye my hair, or I go clothes shopping and drag his sorry backside along (so not very often. He hates shopping with me).

When I met Elder, I had pink and red stripped hair. I also had a penchant for holey jumpers and dresses made of silver holographic material. Not to mention fish net tights.

In my defence, I was 18, a size 8, and lived on a diet I wouldn’t recommend of B&H cigarettes and vodka, along with the odd pot noodle. Hence the size 8.

Back then, 15 years ago, I didn’t give a crap. I didn’t care if people starred at me, I didn’t care about the odd cat call or snide remark. If I liked it, or wanted to adorn my body or hair with it, I did it, or wore it, or pierced it. I had fake lip piercings, I had ear cuffs that looked like 5 holes were filled with little hoops, and two genuine holes in each ear. I even once wore an ear cuff that had a chain to my nose.

So, what happened?

I got all conservative and normal.

All I have worn for the last 14 years now is sensible jeans (basically flared jeans in the summer, skinnies in the winter), vests and t-shirts. The odd slogan top but nothing daring (like the Moschino dress I was once leant that said very, very naughty words all over it and was slightly see through).

I also sang, and danced, in public, whether there was a genuine call for me to do so or not. I would sing down the street with friends. I would dance across the grass of the gardens I hung round in. I danced in goth clubs were jumping was the preferred medium. I went in for talent shows for a giggle (and won).

I loved any excuse to show off.

Now, unless I am very, very drunk, or in the case of this weekend, have headphones on whilst cooking (in our house, you can have Mini with one stereo on, Liittlest with the TV on, Elder with his record deck on, so if want to listen to my music, I plug headphones in), I don’t sing in public, let alone dance (although Mini prefers this, if I dared move for two minutes at the disco in the Mum’s bit she went crackers).

I used to love singing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no recording artist talent but I can hold a tune.

I think, as we get older, and I’m not that old anyway, we just disappear into being a Mum. Into a role, which I don’t begrudge but I do feel I have lost who I am at the heart of me.

Hence why I suggested we become pussies as we get older. But who are we scared of embarrassing?

I am scared of being that Mum. That one who the other Mums talk about due to their mad dress sense and punk hair.

I am scared of embarrassing my children, as we know kids can be bloody rotten to other kids and I don’t wish to do something or dress a certain way just to please me that ends up causing them misery.

I haven’t started dressing like a Granny, I feel that is far off in the future, but it’s all become a bit boring and I don’t let loose anymore.

Am I the only one? I don’t suggest I should still walk around with holographic dresses on or with madly coloured pink and red hair. But I don’t know why I have become someone scared to go out and dance or shy of singing or having fun.

I think a change needs to happen. I’m planning that at the next opportunity I get when the Brats are at an Aunts house, Elder and I shall go to a Karaoke night and I am damn well going to not hide and I’m not going to have to drink two bottles of wine to get up and join in.

Have you become a wuss? What do you miss of the good old days before you worried about what the neighbours/kids/teachers said or thought?

Let me know!

Britmums Live 2015: The Ultimate Guide

I am ancient me. Well, not in years (I just feel ancient and look it too at the moment down to the scary grey hair), but in blogging years I am ancient.

A fair few of my contemporaries have long since hung up their blogging boots and I do miss them quite a bit. As a result of how long I’ve been knocking around, I have been to lots of meet ups and Britmums Live weekenders. So, I have a few tips for the new or the nervous.

WHAT TO BRING:

There are many things you will think you’ll need to bring, but actually, the less weight you have to lug through the streets of Moorgate the better.

Top of your list, after a change of clothes for day two is a camera, with lots of space. Also the charger.

There will be a lot of photo ops with other bloggers, companies and of course the odd Celebrity speaker. You’ll also want lots of images for your blog posts in the days after the event too. If your phone has a good camera then that’s all you’ll need.

Camera phones are handy as some brands often hold competitions over the weekend where if you post a picture at them, you may win a prize. And these prizes can be bloody impressive too- last year you could win a trip on a cruise liner, as well as food and toys.

I met Elmo last year. Best celeb meet ever.

I like to bring some snacks for day 1, its a long day and although there are cupcakes going round, there is also a lot of free wine. Its nice to share sweets with your table too. Alternatively, eat before you get there.

Business cards- every year there is a lot of discussion of whether you need these or not. I have always brought them. Whilst it’s true you can bring a pad of paper and pen (although there’s usually plenty of this on the tables in all the seminars for note taking, and Britmums also handily has a team of note taking bloggers who will upload all the details of the chats), its so much easier just to have a stack of these available to hand out.

Even if you aren’t interested in working with brands (and trust me, once you see all of them at the event you may have your arm twisted), I’m never shy of self promotion and have been known to place a pile on all the tables in the hall before the BiBs, on the tube, and in Wagamama last year too!

I recommend Moo cards (and if you click this link we both save 10%), but there are other options available that are a little cheaper. You can also sign up for Klout as most years they’ve had a free Moo card tie in where you pay for postage. Before you order though, check and double check your details as once you’ve ordered them, you’re stuck.

Bring a decent sized bag with you for all the goodies. On Saturday evening there is a kick ass, not to be missed goodie bag rammed full of bits and bobs (I basically get mugged by my kids the minute I walk through the door for mine). You also get the odd goodie from the brands too. So, its a good idea to bring a slightly larger, even if its near on empty, bag that you can put it all in and wheel along afterwards. You will be shattered so anything that makes life easier is worth doing.

Chargers too. Don’t forget them. You can bring them to the event as there are plugs and charging stations available.

WHAT YOU DON’T NEED:

You do not need clothes for a week. Seriously. Its over night, so bring a change of clothes and you’ll be fine.

You do not need lots of cash. The ladies from Britmums will feed you on Saturday with very posh food. They provide breakfast on Saturday too (not to be missed). All weekend there is tea, coffee, and water, as well as cakes and pastries. A few of us went to Wagamama last year and I think my large meal and drink came to around £15.

You don’t need lots of pens and the like, as each table has these available in plentiful supply.

You don’t need to over dress, if you don’t want to. Go for comfort. Its a long weekend, so anything you like to wear is great.

Overall, enjoy it. Its great fun, you will become firm friends with people, you will be inspired. You will probably cry at the keynotes (I do. Every year).

Make the most out of the weekend for learning, having a laugh and reminding yourself we rock.

Is It Just Me: Questioning Whether Gove Has Been in a Modern Classroom?

The gits got in then.

And by gits I am of course referring to the Toff Tory party. And before I see any more epic unfriending for having an opinion differing to others, can I please smilingly order cease and suggest its far better to have friends with their own intelligence to form an opinion than a bunch of robotic morons.

In the 30 day grace period after the election where the losing sides will be not just licking their wounds but finding new leaders, we have to watch the toads like hawks awaiting a mouse based dinner.

Amongst cutting disabled help further, and bringing back fox hunting (bloody toffs), Gove, an insidious little troll of a man who cares little for the children he’s meant to sort a decent education for, has decided that the best way to cut corners costs is to remove Teaching Assistants.

He says we didn’t have them in the 80s, so why can’t teacher’s do without them now?

Mr Gove, I ask you, when was the last time, bar pre-election photo opportunities, that you sat, unnoticed, in a classroom and saw what happens within it?

When I was a kid, class sizes were much smaller than now. Our class had no more than 22 in it. Schools, pre-Ofsted and league tables, didn’t deal with different attainment levels and lessons were pitched at everyone, not just small groups.

When I was a kid, if you failed to learn maths, even basic maths, like me, tough. No one noticed.

I have, on and off, volunteered in schools for years. I have seen widespread changes and think school life now is so much better. You aren’t a nuisance if you find things tough.

ID-100217983Mini has found maths hard going, but, unlike me, she knows she can ask either her teacher or the teaching assistant for help and they will duly sit and go through it until she gets it. She even got a certificate last week for trying her hardest and doing better this term. Its not such a scary prospect for her at 8 now as it is, still, for me at 33.

When I was at school, 99% of us spoke English as a first language. Now, its very different as we have opened our borders ever wider and you are just as likely to hear a wide range of languages as good old English in the playground.

That’s fine, but imagine joining a school, in a new country, which doesn’t speak your language and then sitting trying to gain an education with no help. The teacher’s know now that they can have extra help and before long the child or children in their class can join in and are bilingual.

In classes that go as high as 35 or above, how on earth can one teacher, with no help, look after the issues and attainment levels and health requirements and language barriers of all those kids, single handed?

Teachers are brilliant people, I’m not suggesting that teacher’s back in my school days were better and could handle kids, but they aren’t super human at all. I can’t imagine trying to look after all those children alone.

Frankly, their education, as mine did, will suffer. And a parent I don’t want to think that the government sees my children’s education as a cost cutting exercise.

I can’t help but think that Gove thinks this is fine to sweep in because no doubt the Tories kids already have a great education via Private schools. Its another case of we’re all right, sod the rest of you plebs.

I really hope this stupid idea gets thrown out, as its not just kids who will suffer but imagine the job losses too. Way to improve those figures, Gove.

If you feel the same way, sign the petition and say no.

*photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Poulsen Photo

I’m Going to Britmums. What a Surprise….

Hello you there, you found me! Well done.

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Firstly, what do we think of the snazzy new site? It took me a while with my dense head to work out wordpress, but after finding it not quite as scary as I thought due to starting Vinyl Problems over here too, I thought it was about time I got Lazy Girl over here too. If you fancy keeping up with my vinyl collection, you can find Vinyl Problems at http://vinylproblems.wordpress.com.

Anyhow, down to business and its that time of year (nearly) when London prepares itself for a bunch of free wine swilling drunkard Mothers let loose on it for the weekend. I hope its ready for us, poor Moorgate. Poor Wagamama. Poor Brewery.

So, its the time of year when I join in with the I’m Going to Britmums Live linky. For anyone who doesn’t know me of old or has forgotten who I am (I have been rather quiet haven’t I?).

Here’s me:

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Do you like it? Its my moody boho instagram pose. God bless Instagram filters.

I am 33 (but how-old.net thinks I look 25 without filters), I have green eyes and if I get round to it I shall have red hair via Olia dye and not nature. Otherwise I have dip dyed red and brown hair with streaks of grey. Attractive. I am tall, and am a lover of cakes so not a skinny minnie. I used to live in Maidenhead, now live just outside of Reading in a little village called Earley (not Hurley), but I’m from the Medway Towns.

I have blogged since 2006, and have been The Lazy Girl since I turned 30, before that I  was 20somethingmum, and before that I was Claire The Girl Blogger over at Myspace. I also run Family Panel Reviews (since January 2010), and now also Vinyl Problems too. I sometimes remember to write up recipes at Lazy Girl Cooks but 9 times out of ten the Brats snaffle the food up before I can photograph it. Now I’m here I may have cooking stuff here too. Not sure yet.

I am a social media addict. I love anything social. I am in the process of starting up a Ustream Live radio show in my shed called The Sunday Social where you can join in by sending me instagrams and tweets and the like.

You can find me all over the net like a rash:

@TheLazyGirlBlog on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Vine

I’m over other places as well but generally if you look for Lazy Girl Blog you’ll find me.

I was still Claire Curran last year at Britmums but I’m now Claire Deegan. Elder finally told me to change my name as everyone kept referring to me as Mrs Deegan anyway and neither of us can be arsed to actually get hitched after 15 years so its a happy medium.

I love music, dancing, and a laugh. If you’re new, come find me.

I’m hosting the annual “Britmums Scared and Wish to Meet a Small Group” gathering from 12.30 at All Bar One just on the corner of Chiswell Street and a short walk from Moorgate Tube so come along. Although I will not be drinking quite as much as last year. That hangover was killer. I blame Lindemanns.

I am PR friendly (running a reviews site since 2010 does give that away) but I’m not actually sponsored, so if anyone fancies doing so I am welcome to hear it.

I have two children, Mini, who is 8 going 18 and loves selfies, and Littlest who and is 6 and a computer and coding geek.

So, that’s me. I am coming along as always as I love being around other bloggers and no matter how long you’ve blogged it changes so much its always nice to learn new stuff. I shall be wearing jeans on Saturday with a charity tee, but Friday I have a little dress to put on to make an effort. But I bet I end up in jeans.

*photo courtesy of digitalphotos.net/Stoonn