Wednesday, December 20

Merry Christmas to one and all

This will probably be my last blog before the 25th so Christmas wishes etc etc etc.

My friend Paul who lives in Spain (and enjoys rubbing that in as often as he can) commented on my previous blog how much he prefers the muted Christmas celebrations in Spain in comparison with the consumer frenzy emerging every September in grey, pissy little Britain.

I must say, I agree with him entirely.

Before anyone dismisses these sentiments as bah-humbugging, let us stop and examine the nature of bahhumbuggers before making any judgements because it is my supposition that many people are mislabelled as bah humbuggers unfairly, untruly and incorrectly.

I am sure you all will accept that the traditional response to anyone expressing a negative opinion on Christmas celebrations or making a derogatory comment touching upon any element of Christmas is 'Scrooge' or 'Oooo Bah-humbug to you to'.

I think this is entirely inappropriate on three levels.

1. Most 'Bahhumbug' responses given are completely reactionary in that they are awarded no matter how slight any inference that not all about Christmas is wonderful.
2. Bahhumbuggers are actually the true carriers of the Christmas message. It is those people who purchase the entirety of the Argos catalogue outdoor decorations to adorn the front of their dwellings that misinterpret the spirit of Christmas. The original Christmas was a humble, quiet and reflective affair. Just because Baileys Liqueur and Boots Perfume Counter has jumped on the band wagon doesn't mean we should interpret Christmas as a consumption fest with fluorescent lights and crazy singing.
3. There was a third level and it was a good third level but I can't remember it because I have Alzheimer's and I can't be bothered sitting here for thirty minutes to try to remember it again. It was persuasive, perceptive and entirely true you can be assured however.

If you would like to donate your own point three in the charitable, 'help thy neighbour' spirit of Christmas , please do so.

Monday, December 11

I'm just going outside and may be some time

Monday 11th December 2006.

13.29.

18 days since my last blog.

The loneliness is starting to get to me now…… I thought I heard the voice of someone I knew last night. It was only the wind.

I don't know if anyone is reading this…. I have to carry on believing they are or else…. I don't think I can go on my own anymore.

The nights seem to be getting darker and darker by the day and the cold only makes me more aware of the absence of other human beings.

If can I just ride through these next few days and weeks, I might be able to survive and survive stronger than before.

I pray daily that the good Lord will give me the strength to carry on in the face of such fearsome silence.

Tell my husband I love him.

Monday, November 27

A thing that is papery and you have it with your dinner

15 days since my last blog.

If anyone except my family members have been reading this blog, I certainly don't think anyone will be now. I am bellowing into the void.

I need to keep a 'blog topics' notebook on me because I keep thinking of subjects to write on and then when I get to the site, have completely forgotten what they were.

My memory is not what it used to be. I worry that I'm getting alzheimers.

There's none in my family - I've checked that already, but the fact I seem to keep forgetting simple nouns implies all may not be as it should be. Words like 'bird-table' and 'napkin' completely elude me . I'm only 28; it can't be an typical getting older syndrome. It's surely not normal. Maybe I should start reading the dictionary again.

Ah ha - that was one of them. Favourite quote(s) and dictionaries.

I used to read the dictionary and a quote book daily during my sixth form years. registration every morning a friend and I would go through the quote book and dictionary in our form room, pick a quote we liked and introduce to it to our fellow class-mates. I 'd then commit the quote to memory and made an effort to use the word in that week's conversations to transfer it into my active vocabulary.

Apparently the active vocabulary count of the average person is a mere one thousand. Shakespeare's is/was said to be thirty thousand.

I'd put an exclamation mark after that fact if I agreed with exclamation marks but I don't so I won't.

I can only remember one quote now which is pretty abysmal. A good one though and I use it at all available opportunities whilst trying to make out that I have a store of further hundreds of them. Given my phobia of fame and celebrity and the fact I scathe on this topic regularly, it's come in handy. It's by John Updike (who by the way was great author of one-liners)

'Celebrity is a mask that eats into the face'

Remarkable foresight given that Michael Jackson wasn't even around at the time.

Anyway. Perhaps I should start re-reading my dictionary to help me remember simple nouns.

Alternatively I suppose there is the Chris Tarrant advertised aide de memoire that's on the TV at the moment. Some little gadget that looks like an ipod and helps develop memory. I'd tell you the name but I can't remember it.

See?

Sunday, November 12

Food frights

I thought of writing a 'grumpy young woman' type blog this week but once I'd starting thinking it out, I realised I was running the risk of indulging in one of my never-ending narratives again. Writing this blog has really brought home that fact that I need to reevaluate my 'Why say one word when ten will do' philosophy.

So, I've delinenated my topic area and will instead focus on (one of) my favourite subjects.

Food.

I love food. I love food but often my enjoyment of food is spoilt by other people. Other people who don't understand how to handle food, how to respect food and how to interact with it. Despite whatever impression you may have formed of me from this website, I don't actually go around forcing my opinions on people and generally, unless I know someone very well, I don't go around giving a running commentary on what they are doing and inviting them to discuss what conclusions and issues their behaviour gives rise to. Whilst I might enjoy examining these things, other people - and god knows why - can take offence. So, in such circumstances, I fight the URGE. I smother my URGE and wait until I am in an appropriate forum to revisit the topic and release my thoughts.

This is one such forum. I can draw comfort when I find myself annoyed by a food faux-pas that, somewhere in cyberspace, I have noted my objections, I have delved into them and thus perhaps, my urge to purge will not be so strong.

There will be plenty more not featured here. I'll update you as and when I encounter them.

1. People who order melon as a starter.
2. Chips over which ketchup has been squeezed in a zigzag pattern
3. A hot drink with a meal
4. Melted butter running down someone's finger, especially if it carries on by dripping its way down to the palm area
5. The mispronunciation of 'Pinot Grigio'
6. Baked beans heated in a microwave
7. Jacket potatoes 'cooked' in a microwave
8. Anything in a microwave except for canned sweetcorn or peas
9. Hearing the mastication of food or swallowing of liquid
10. A used tea bag
11. Ordering garlic bread at a restaurant and being given a garlic baguette

12. Butter that has remanants of whatever the previous user was eating
13. People who won't split a bill but calculate what they ate and drank
14. People who order a cappuccino for their post-dinner coffee
15. Carrot cake
16. Tomato juice
17. Substituting real butter with plastic spread when cooking
18. Milk dripping off a spoon when eating cereal

No. I've not got OCD. Think of your own pet peeves. You will have them. You will have many more than you thought if indeed you have ever specifically thought about it before.

Tell me about them.

A problem shared is a problem halved.

Together we can get through it.

Together, we are stronger.

Friday, November 10

I'm in a meeeeting, darling

I've not been in a position to write anything since my last entry - which is a bit disappointing. I had hoped to be a more frequent visitor to this page but it isn't looking very promising. I seem to have become one of those people who talks about 'meeeeeeetings' and 'clients' and important 'proooojects' all the time.

I say things like,

'Sorry, I have to rush, I have a client meeeeeeeting'

or

'Sorry I'm late, the meeeeeeting went on for hours'

I feel vaguely ridiculous - like I'm playing at being a grown-up or something. I get this quite a lot which is confusing as I have been a grown up for quite a lot now and I have been going to such things as meeeeetings for many years.

I still feel like it's a completely anal thing to say and I sound like a pretensious prick though. It's so management and faceless.

The most ridiculous thing I have heard myself buying into is the use of a certain expression used at my work place. Instead of saying 'Are you free?' the utilised expression is, 'Do you have the capacity?'

The first time I heard it I sincerely thought it was 'Do you have any pasties?'.

Anyway now I walk around saying 'I have capacity at the moment - do you want me to help out on that project and attend the client meeting'.

What a tit.

Friday, November 3

Trying to avoid raising trouble

Now I'm not at this stage yet and don't intend on being so for some time but as it doesn't harm to be prepared, I've been mulling over what methodology I will evetually utilise when child rearing. as with everything I have to have a direction and a philosophy to guide me through so I have to get pinned which one I will be following.

I've narrowed it down to three types/theories/techniques - whatever you want to call them. I'll sketch them out for you and what I see as their respective strength and weaknesses and maybe I can get some feedback and input and then MAYBE I can finally make my mind up on which path I'm going to take.

OK. Starting chronologically, because that makes sense, is the traditional rearing technique, the 'Mary Poppins technique'. Think ITV's Supernanny and in extreme cases, Margaret Thatcher on a good day. This technique sees children as having and positively WANTING, strict boundaries in their life and has lots of parent-decreed rules that are not up for questioning and must be unequivocally obeyed. It supposes a hierarchy in the family with parents at the top and children at a lower level - perhaps the more liberal practitioners of this conservative technique will allow that, the older you get, the higher up on the scale you climb. Children, says the Mary Poppins technique, should not be treated like little adults, they are children and unlike adults, will actually harm themselves if left with too much freedom. They need boundaries so they can navigate their way more easily through the world in the difficult early years. It would be a household where bed-times were adhered to, kids would help with household chores, smacking might be used and kids would be punished for activities such as swearing, chewing gum, not eating their food, talking back etc. T.V is probably restricted and board-games and imaginary activities games encouraged.

Then there is the currently very much in vogue live and let live theory. I call this the hopeful gardener technique as essentially the adult steps back and allows the child to develop with as little interference as possible - and waits to see what happens. The adult has liberal views and probably believes the government should have as little influence in his life as possible. His viewpoint on child-rearing is a reflection of this distrust of state-power. He wants the child to find their own path, to learn from life itself through trial and error because this will make the child a stronger, more insightful, more independent and a well-rounded person. You can tell the child of a hopeful gardener if you see a child in Safeways wearing a princess outfit. That morning the child decided that being a princess was how he/she wished to express themselves. The liberal parent would of course encourage this and allow the child to become a princess so the child could learn from the experience. They might learn about society's response to non-conventional garb, or that it is better to be warm than pretty etc, or that they like dressing up and want to be an actress/transvestite. Children in the hopeful gardener house are on a parr with the adults, they are equal because all human beings ARE equal where you are an eight-year old human being or an eighty-year old. The child of a hopeful gardener is far more talkative and opinionated than the child of a Mary Poppin's practitioner as the hopeful gardener child is asked how they feel a lot and what they think and are allowed a voice in making decisions from what flavour crisps to buy to where they should go on holiday that year.

Finally, there is the nature's-guide technique. This is a newcomer to the child-rearing scene and is growing in popularity thanks to subscribers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Britney Spears. It looks to the natural world for inspiration, and particularly to large mammals as our closet natural cousins and mimics the mother-child relationship especially found in nature. Nature's-guide practitioners believe that mankind has fallen from the path that we were born to and evolved from to our damage. It believes we have become distracted by technology, material objects and a confliction society. It looks for a return to a more simple, calm and comforting relationship between human being and believe that like in nature, children should be bonded physically to their mothers until the child chooses to leave or the mother's milk dries up. Nature's-guide parents strongly believe that a person can only succeed in creating strong and healthy friendships and relationships in adulthood if the first relationship they experience in life sets the standard as strong, secure and unshakeable. You can tell the child of a nature's-guide parent because they are often sat in the driver's seat of a 4x4 on a main road in their quest to maintain physical contact with the mother-person. Nature's-guide children also wear no nappies as these are the product of a modern, technological society creating obstacles between mankind and the earth. Apes have no need for nappies so nor do nature's-child, the ever present mother simply hovers the child over the nearest flower bed and returns nature to nature.

So which one do I choose? The Mary Poppins child is surely the child I would happily introduce my friends to, it is only the Mary Poppins child who could safely be taken to a restaurant, use a knife and fork and sit quietly, not disturbing other diners and not running around screaming and pulling faces. The hopeful gardener child, on the other hand, might have decided that that day they wanted to test missiling food onto the neighbouring table and often 'talking through' it and trying to persuade the gardener-child to stop, doesn't work. They are used to having their own way.

On the other hand I AM a liberal and I do not believe in authoritarian rule. Philosophically the Mary Poppins technique presents real issues but practically, so does the hopeful gardeners. So what about the nature's-guide? I do actually gravitate to this one. It would be arrogant I think of our race to assume that we have developed a better technique of child-rearing than centuries of evolution has spawned. It seems perfectly obvious and logical that the first relationship experienced by human sets the standard for their future life. Sociologist have demonstrated this time and again. But then, do I really want to have a baby dangling off my now-stretched tits for five years and do I really want to allow my home to become a happy shit-house?

Alternative and advice welcome.

Tuesday, October 31

A public apology

I would like to humbly and sincerely apologise to my spouse for telling him to 'Fuck off you annoying bastard' this morning.

Wednesday, October 25

Mornings are twisted and Radio 1 a sick joke

As those who know me will know, I hate mornings.

I am a fearsome and unrelentless monster in the morning, both in terms of visuals and audio. Most people who spend any time with me in the mornings quickly learn to avoid me until an hour or so has passed since rising.

I will not try to excuse this behaviour as I believe I have nothing to apologise for. I understand from one lady who would know conclusively that whilst a swaddling child (I enjoyed using this expression in my earlier blog and so, if you don't mind, will take the opportunity to use it again), I used to sleep 12 hours a night straight through - never once waking for feeding and probably pooing whilst unconscious.

*

In fact, question for anyone who can or will try to answer. Do babies poo/piss while asleep or do they have to be awake to do it?"

*

So, the fact that I slept right through as a swaddling child demonstrates that I have a natural - you could say, genetic - predisposition for requiring long spells of sleep each day. I cannot the prevent the fall out when my innate bodily requirements are denied any more than I could prevent my stomach from rumbling if it needed more food.

I only get a mere six and a half hours sleep most days and when being woken in what, to me, is 'deep sleep' mode smack in the middle of my natural sleep cycle, I am naturally and helplessly upset. In fact, "upset" is miserably deficient in adequately conveying to you the experience of waking each morning for me. Let me expand.

First my brain registers confusion - What was that sound. Who calls my name? Am I dreaming? Then horror - Time has moved too quickly, it's not morning yet, this is some mistake - the bed is warm, the bedroom air is cold, this bed is so comfy, my head is whoozy. Stop shouting my name - I HEAR YOU.
I am indignant. I torment myself with the 'just five more minutes' game, knowing full well I will feel no more inclined to rise in five minutes that I do at the present time. I often convince myself I am suffering from a terminal disease and need to stay in bed or else I will die. I feel I will die.
I run through a series of potential excuses that may enable me to stay off work and remain in bed.
The name-calling is continuing.
Fuck off you bastardshit - I KNOW.
I try desperately to fall back asleep in the hope I will discover this early awakening is in fact some sick trick - one of those dreams where you think you are awake but actually you are asleep. It doesn't work, I know I am awake. I am angry at myself because I cannot fall asleep again. I am angry at the shouting person for shouting when it is perfectly obvious I must now be awake.
For fuck's sake……..I throw back the two warm duvets cossetting me in their feathery arms, swing my legs with a bang onto the floor and drag myself upright most angrily and resentfully.

It takes my brain a good hour, a cup and a half of coffee and two cigarettes to lift the immediate fog. It takes a further hour before I no longer run the risk of punching someone or crying with helpless tears if someone tries to engage in conversation or forces me to listen to conversation.

For the second hour, my brain is still tender, it is susceptible to the slightest noise or movement. It requires coaxing round and accustomisation to consciousness.

Imagine then the dreadfulness for me, of standing on a cold train platform in the middle of Northern England, climbing up into a train whose windows don't close properly, where the smell of sweat assaults my suffering senses and I am faced with a carriage carrying three giggling, chatty and energetic teenagers, bouncing of the walls thanks to their breakfast of three poptarts and fruitgums.

They talk. They talk within my radius of hearing. They talk constantly, chirpily, chiruppey. Their girly, high-pitched happy tones burrow into my head. Their conversation is stupid, it's as stupid and mind-numbing and childish as the conversation of every hideous, noisey, energetic Radio 1 presenter who blasts out hideousness every morning to anyone STUPID enough to think that Radio 1 in the morning will make them feel better. Mark and Lard? MARK AND LARD? The mere name is an insult to any vaguely intelligent human being to wishes to be treated by an adult like an adult, not an overgrown seven-year old who finds fart noises funny and prank phone-calls the height of comedy.

They prattle inane hyper babble. They prattle inane hyper babble NON-STOP for forty minutes.

By the time I disembark I am almost ready the throw myself in front of the train and…. oh god, they are behind me. Their chiruppy, syrupy voices are tied to the inner coils of my brain. I consider upon sighting a car lightly stepping out in front of it. This has two advantages. It will knock me out ever so slightly so I can't hear the prattling girls and it will enable me to have a couple of hours kipp in the hospital under cover of a really good excuse to get off work.

My rationale thinking mind, however, has now started to stir. It steps and offers a calmer solution.

It points out the bus stop I am approaching and the seat lining its inside. I walk towards it and sit on the seat. I open my bag and fumble for rolling papers, tobacco and a lighter. I slowly roll a cigarette as I contemplate the morning air. I wait for a long, long distance to build between the noise-makers and myself. I stand up and carry on my way.

Monday, October 23

The 'G' word

I have nothing to say today.

I feel suddenly downcast and morbid.

It may have been the conversation I had half an hour ago with colleagues about religion.

If there is anything which is guaranteed to depress me it is religion.

Saturday, October 21

New Book Club

I started up my second book club this week.

I started one up a year and a half ago and having now moved jobs, I've had to create a new one. It's imaginatively named "The Manchester City Centre Book Club".

I don't think book clubs are particularly meant to have names so I'm not going to start worrying myself about the lack of thought that's gone into that title. Which is the kind of thing I often do. Last week it took me four days to name my cat. I consulted two sisters, a mother, a brother-in-law, three work colleagues, a husband and sixty pages of name search print outs. That's 30 pages of Hindi-derived names, 20 of Greek goddesses and the remainder of literary heroines. Being greedy and showy as I am, I picked a name that combined as many as possible. Now the thing is called "Padme". When people say "Padme? That's a strange name, where's that from?" I say " Padma is the hindi word for 'Lotus flower' and Padme is the heroine princess of Star Wars, I felt the sound of the word was remeniscent of the soft sound a cat's paws make whilst it 'pads' around" Then they look at me and think "Silly cow". Which I probably am.

I do try to think hard about most things though. It confuses me when people say to me - " You think too much" , as though there's a limit to the amount of thinking that one is meant to do in life.

It also confuses me as I don't know what else one's brain is meant to do whilst awake apart from being engaged in thought.

If you average that you are going to be awake for about 16 hours a day, that gives you a lot of time for thinking. You may take an hour or so out for mediatation or perhaps get wankered and black out a couple of nights a week, in which case, sure, the brain is not 'engaged'. But apart from that - what do these people who think less do, or not do, or not think. Perhaps they have a switch I haven't discovered yet that allows them to zone out of consciousness.

I think in reality I think they do think just as much. They just don't talk about what they think as much. Which I personally find suspicious. In fact, I find nothing more suspicious than a quiet person.

What are they hiding? What's going on in there that they don't want to share?

Friday, October 20

Neo-realism and tag

Dear David,

The world stage is a junior school playground.

The men who head the world's nations are little boys, showing their toy-guns, wanting to have the biggest.

They play swopsies for oil and weapons, they play war to be the big guy in the world. They keep their 'best-buddies' close and swagger around the yard, arm-in-arm. This way they look twice as big and can shout twice as loud.

In every era there is one boy lucky enough to have the richest parents. He has a house full of toy-guns and because all the other boys so admire the toy-guns, he is in charge. His toy-guns are his power and make him special. (He believes he is because his Mother told him he was special and blessed.)

The other boys want to be like him too. They save all their money to buy toy-guns like his and bring them to the playground. The rich boy doesn't feel so special anymore when somebody else has a toy-gun like his. He'll take it and he'll break it and he'll break them too. He says 'I'm the only one allowed big toy-guns in this playground. You're not special and you can't have them. If I find you sneaking any toy-guns into the playground, I'll break them and I'll break you and I'll break your family too'

Now although it's not fair that one little boy should be not only rich and mean but holding all the toy-guns, if all little boys all had toy-guns there would be chaos in the playground. When boys play with toys their favourite game is Cowboys and Indians. Many toy-guns get broken and all other toys in the playground that aren't even playing the game get hurt too.

Now if all the boys were taken out of the playground and just the girls were left alone, the picture is quite different.

Girls like to skip round and round the playground, hugging their girl-friends and singing songs and thinking about who they can kiss. They bring in little Barbie doll-people and think up nice lives for their Barbies to live out. They put them in nice clothes and feed them cups of tea and do their hair. They talk to the other girls about the future of their Barbies and their Barbies babies and what a great time that will be. They put their Barbies in bed at night and kiss them on the forehead and make sure the dark doesn't scare them. They love their Barbie-dolls and would never do anything to harm them.

Thursday, October 19

In response to the question posed by Lady Eldridge

Lady Eldridge,

Thank you for your valid and relevant topical question.

This is an issue that I, like many others, have given much thought to. It is hard not to, is it not, given the predictable amount of press-coverage that this 'adoption' has been awarded.
No matter where one's eyes fall within your local grocers, supermarket or friendly newspaper shop, images of Madonna, usually on her way to the gym, or a dark-skinned swaddling child shine from every shelf.

In response to your question, short, I would have to say that I find Madonna's attitude as shallow, reprehensible and thoroughly self-engrossed as I do the majority of the actions of modern-day celebrities.

Like many seemingly altruistic acts, her actions are actually premised upon the vain and selfish desire to 'do something worthwhile'. This translates as massaging one's ego/lifting yourself in the esteem of others/making yourself seem considerate and therefore more popular and loved. it is to do with the giver and not the receiver. Thus is in reality no act of giving, love or charity but an action premeditated to receive and bring self-benefit.

I was particularly horrified to catch an article in one 'Heat' magazine yesterday. Horrified firstly because, shamefully, I was reading the thing. Reading these papers may appear a harmless and entertaining past-time. Do not be so quickly fooled, Lady Eldridge. By reading the abhorrent pages, even in private, you are in fact promulgating their publication and exposing yourself to the insidious phoniness of their philosophy.

My horror followed quickly on the heels of merely holding the rank thing as my eyes alighted on the title of one particular article regarding the Madonna-adoption issue. The article perfectly encapsulates the vile attitude of celebrities that Madonna's recent actions reflect.

The article was titled along the lines of "Shock Report: Madonna a FOLLOWER of fashion in the latest celebrity adoption trend!"

Said magazine was disappointed to reveal to viewers that Madonna had recently lost her crown as setter of celebrity chic by following the 'well-established' trend of 'poor, African child adoptions'. - apparently a road well-trodden by the likes of Ewan McGregor, Michelle Pfeiffer and the Queen of Brown Babies, Angelina Jolie.

Excuse me whilst I expunge my lungs of the bile repeating this accursed name has caused me.

..........................................................

The recent interview with Ms Jolie was reported in Heat in which interview Ms Jolie remarked "It's a very special thing. There's something about travelling somewhere and finding your family." She continues..
"But we're looking at different countries. It's going to be the balance of what would be the best for Mad and for Z right now. It's, you know, another boy, another girl, which country, which race would fit best with the kids?"

I cannot be alone in finding the process by which Ms Jolie 'finds' her children to be in every way akin to the collecting of soft-furnishings for your newly painted living room.

These are CHILDREN, not mohair cushions. Who 'collects' children cultural complements and a pride in a holistic and eclectic variety. Am i alone in interpreting 'which race' as a rather thinly-veiled reference to skin-tone. How else can this be interpreted? You can bet your bottom dollar it won't be porr white South African kid. it doesn't have the requisite 'badge of brownness' to effect the desired look.

travelling round the world, looking for well-chosen items sounds to me very much the activity of gap -year students collecting antiquities from Indian Emporiums or Thai market. We're talking Buddha-heads, Shiva statutes. I do this in lining my mantelpiece. But vases and statues don't' grow up to appreciate the basis of their mother's love is the kudos earned from your presence in her household.


I fear I may have to extend the offer of the Dulux swatches to Ms Jolie also for it will surely help her in identifying exactly the correct shade of brown or yellow to harmonise well with her current babies.

FIRST POST... Possibly last depending on how bored Blair's bobby's are today.

In the style of the Oscar-laden, celebrity-ridden culture we now live in, can I dedicate this - my first ever blog - to the highly-respected, dog-loving playwright Mr David Albert Eldridge. I would like to thank him for drawing my attention to the potential offered in blogging via his own recently opened space, www.onewriterandhisdog.blogspot.com. Blogging has existed in cyber-space for many an aeon, Natalie, I hear you say. This is true.

I could try to excuse my tardiness in it's uptake by devising a funny story as to why I never fully appreciated blogs before 19th October 2006. I could, but I won't. This blog, like most I would hope, is to be an open vessel for the liquids of truth and honesty.

No entry or entrants should ever lie (knowingly), mislead or misrepresent. If the peoples of the word are to unite in harmony and understanding, the walls of that understanding must lie upon the foundations of truth. For how else can it be... (please refer to Kahlil Gibran's the Prophet, p 28 for the remainder of this touching speech)

I'm sure you understand and agree wholeheartedly.

And to return to my In Honoriam Speech - David, I hope you don't mind me jumping so quickly onto your blogging band-wagon. With characteristic impulsivity, the thought had no sooner crossed my mind that public opining might be the thing for me.... than I was picking out the colour scheme for my blog background.

(It should be black by the way)

Why black?

Well. Of course I intend to deal with serious, dark and often-times disturbing themes. I feel that only black offers the level of gravity of tone to adequately reflect and respect this content.

Perhaps throughout this blogging experience, the background colour may change. Take note of these changes for they will, no doubt, provide an unenunciated expression of my mood and attitudes, perhaps in general, perhaps in relation to specific topics.

In fact, as I wrote these words, a kernel of an idea crossed my mind. And this idea shall be my first expression of thoughts on a specific topic. So here goes.

To those who base their objections to the wearing of the jilbab on the pseudo-sociological theory that communication is impeded by a listeners inability to see the facial expressions of the speaker - I say this. Will colour swatches help?

If you are unfortunate enough to have an undeveloped ear for spoken words and intonation, and a vision so embryonic that movements of the body and head at large cannot compute within you - perhaps a colour chart, perhaps in the mould of Dulux paint swabs will help your deficiencies?Why not suggest to the jilbabed women you undoubtedly pass much of your social life with that they display an appropriate colour swatch alongside each sentence they utter as a visual aid for your better understanding. Perhaps then you will allow them the courtesy to wear whatever article of clothing their heart desires for I'm sure that your objection is truly based in this particular theory of the fundamentalism of an open-face to human interaction as opposed to a prejudice against a group of people due to their cultural or religious beliefs and expressions.

Often referred to in dictionary short-hand as 'racism'.