Consumate consumers the Jones' taunt the rest.
Must have technigadgets, high fashion, only the best.
Two up, two down to live in, semi-detached from reality;
the Jones' cram their living space with stuff from Apple and Gucci.
Ebay is their kingdom, with two minutes left to go,
Mr Jones holds his nerve and places two bids in a row.
The clock ticks down, the counter rests ... has he done it ... yes he has!
He's won the Burberry jacket he'll wear down the pub with the other 'haves'.
Mounted menacingly in the centre of the Jones' universe,
the 60 inch plasma oracle surveys the family, it's willing serfs.
Smaller versions; all HD ready are scattered round the home;
and vie for domination with Apple, her iPad, iPod and iPhone
Between them Sony and Apple compete to reign supreme,
no challenge from the written word ... well except those in magazines.
Hiding in 'Stuff', 'Hello' and 'Ok' accumulating in the loo, prose no longer poses a threat,
as the Jones' barely read as they do their number two.
Next door Mrs Smith's curtains twitch and dance as she tries to get one look.
Desperate to spy the Jones' latest buy so she can rush to her Argos book.
Not disappointed she spots them lifting a box of Titanic proportions out of their white van.
Craning and bending, her body performs enviable contortions to see inside it if she can.
Suddenly she glimpses it and feels instant dismay, a 3D leviathan to replace their plasma,
but she had only bought her 60 inch today!
Mrs Smith contemplates her acquisitions and the extra jobs she hates;
the futility and waste of sacrificing leisure time to buy things in haste.
She lets the curtain drop from her hands, and slumps down on the chair.
Suddenly, with an epiphany she realises she no longer cares.
Her family's reputation does not hang on what she owns,
she's going to pack in those jobs to live her life ...
No more keeping up with the bloody Jones'!
What bright spark thought this crime fighting outfit up?!
When I was in my teens there was a height restriction in the police force, which meant that at 5'2 I wasn't eligible to become the crime fighting babe I'd always imagined I'd be. I felt there was a terrible and foolish injustice to this requirement ... hadn't Napolean become Emperor of France, hadn't Bruce Lee kicked arse, hadn't our Jack Russell had rumpy pumpy with next door's Alsatian?
Of course that's all changed now and any Tom, Dick or Jimmy Crankie can become a copper.
Short ... but resilient! Bless!
This week as I was watching the current edition of Britain's Next Top Model with my 10 year old daughter the old feelings of injustice re-surfaced. As she was practicing her posing and cat walk in the kitchen she asked the question I'd been dreading ...
"Mum, do you think I could become a model."
It's tough being a parent ... should you crush her dreams with the truth ... that given the height of her parents and ancestors she's got more chance of marrying Willy Windsor ... or do you lie? With the image of those tone deaf morons humiliated on talent shows after being egged on by parents who must have lost all grip on reality, popping up in my mind, I told her the truth. Expecting disappointment and perhaps mild outrage I was surprised by her response.
"It's alright Mum, it's not like when you were young, I expect they'll have invented something to make people taller by the time I grow up ..."
I love her resilience and optimism, but ache for her disappointment when, like those other girls that went to audition, they find they are below the 5'8 required.
"Don't turn the bloody fan on! It might blow me off!"
Of course to be a model not only do you have to be a certain height, you also have to be young (at 23 you're on the model scrap heap) and skinny. They occasionally have plus size models (over size 16) but not many of these seem to do well in the competition and a lot seem to get psyched out by the thin bee-atches making comments.
What I find odd about the fashion industry is that they use giant ironing boards with legs rather than women from the average sizes of 10-14.
Go to a sale and you can find plenty of size 6, 8 and 16 clothes left because these represent the margins of the bell curve, rather than the curves of the majority of women in the middle.
"Where's my deep fried mars bar?!"
The other irony is that the designers, let's take Julien MacDonald one of the current judges, who can be really bitchy about the way women look, are never the male equivalent of the models they design for. Julien is short and a little plump ... mind you the way he was tucking away the fried mars bars and chips on one of the episodes that's not surprising. It reminds me of what my Dad use to say, "Sarah do as I say, not as I do!".
Kim Stolz - Cycle 5 - The one who kissed the girls!
Tyra Banks, the American supermodel and creator of the Next Top Model concept, says that it's not just about looks, modelling is about personality too.
The two supermodels that I know best are Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, as far as their personalities go, Naomi appears to be a Queen Bitch and Kate's personality ... has she got one?
What frustrates me most is that I get hooked on the programme. I only start watching it to see if any of the women bat for my team and then to see if they get it on with one of the other girls ... then before you know it, the lezza's been voted out, but I'm still watching the show!
Tyra showing the girls how not to do 'ugly pretty' or is it 'pretty ugly' ...
When I go round an art gallery I'm quick to dismiss any of the paintings that look like, with the right tools, I could have done them in my garage (Pollock & Rothko, yes I'm talking about you!).
I have a similar feeling about modelling, can't anyone do it if God gives them the right tools, in this case the face and body? You'd think, except that it can't be true given the number of girls that don't make it. So many of them can't conquer the catwalk, "smile with their eyes" or do "ugly pretty" as Tyra will often say.
Bo Derek ... 5"3 and the original perfect 10!
So I accept that maybe it's not as easy as it looks, but what I don't subscribe to is that in order to sell clothes and make up you need to be tall and skinny. I am pretty confident that a size 10,12 or 14 girl of average height, who is beautiful and interesting, could take gorgeous photographs and rock it on the cat walk. However, unless someone in the fashion industry or one of the TV companies has the courage to try and buck the trend, I guess the world of fashion modelling will continue to be out of reach of your average woman.
In the meantime, here's a little clip to show you that even the top models are human ... enjoy!
I have been pondering what the Government mean by The Big Society. Having read the relevant documents I am still a little vague ... but maybe that's the point! David & Nick have given us the canvas, it's up to us to paint the picture! That's a load of [insert own word here] (no I'm not finishing the sentence for you ... this is the Big Society we're living in, I'm empowering you to do it!)
In a nutshell, sorry I can't afford nuts anymore ... in a scrunched up bit of used toilet paper ... call me cynical but I think the Big Society is a political tool to reduce the cost and size of public sector services whilst getting Joe Public to fill the gaps via fundraising and volunteering.
As my Dad frequently says about making tea ... "why have a dog and bark yourself?"
Sorry Richard Curtis and Pudsey, we can't afford to give money away to Africa, we've got essential services to fund raise and volunteer for now. Look out for these Big Society Initiatives coming soon:
'Copper for a Copper'
'Be a policeman for a day (a week)'
'DOGOF' - Do one get one free (Ken Clarke sentencing policy there)
'Get fit ... picking up litter'
'Always fancied being a Jedi knight ... how about wielding a lollipop stick instead'
'Spare bedroom shelters'
So to sum up ... what is the Big Society? Well it's a bit like being a womble ...
Underground, overground, our Big Society
The ConDem Government of Britain are we
Making a mess of the things that we find
Things that we say Labour left behind
We womble by night and we womble by day
Looking for public services to trundle away
We're making cuts, passing bucks
and getting volunteers to work for free!
We'll give you some cash back eventually
In time for the election, naturally
Zwischen leben & milz, gibt noch platz fuer ein Pils!
Two big events are happening in May this year. One of them is the 56th Eurovision song contest in Dusseldorf (excuse the missing umlaut) and the other is the 40th Birthday of yours truly in Swindon. (I was secretly hoping to celebrate it somewhere abroad, but given the other half finally gave way on a new kitchen and she was talking about an Ipad the other day, I'm not gonna' push my luck!)
What a pair of ... you fill in the blank!
Being half Irish I am always torn between the UK and Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. But given that I like to back a winner, the UK songs are usually pants and we get voted against because of Iraq ... I normally plum for Eire.
Ireland have won it seven times, more than any other country, with an unprecedented three consecutive victories in the 1990s (1992, 1993 and 1994 - the most consecutive wins accumulated by a country to date). Just for info Great Britain has won it five times ... not bad ... but not good enough!I Given their amazing record, it is important that Ireland makes the right choice of artist to represent them this year ... they should be looking for talent and great singing voices ... so WTF are Jedward hot favourites!! Tonight Ireland will choose their Eurovision entry and these two jokers might be representing their country. Let's wait and see what happens ... in the meantime here's a real Irish song to enjoy ... (12/02/11 - The Irish people voted & Jedward won ... OMG!)
Blue is the colour, singing is the game ...
And so to Great Britain a nation so proud of its homegrown talent that it gets an Irishman to present the show ... again. First Terry and now Graham ... have we got no one from the UK who could do it? Hmm ... I'm bored of James Corden and Chris Evans, plus the 'lad' thing is wearing a bit thin ... and Dara O'Briain is another Irishman! I tell you who would do a fab job, (aside from fresh*, little old half-blood like me), ... Sue Perkins ... British and a woman ... (and diversity box tick ... a lezza') now that would be a turnip for the books!
*(that's 'fresh' as in new, rather than 'fresh' as in young ... before anyone makes a smart comment!)
We have already chosen our Eurovision song and artist ... 'Can' and Blue. I haven't heard the song so it wouldn't be fair to comment on it ... (but if any of you have heard it ... feel free to share your thoughts!) Blue have some form, but are they quirky enough? Will they stand out ... well just hold on a cotton pickin' minute ... one of the band certainly does ...
Who says men can't multi-task!
To my left, M'laud ... one Antony Costa, member of Blue, weeing against a cash point machine. Urggh, not nice, but it's completely stuffed women's theory that men can't multi-task!!
Look closely people, young Antony is weeing, hands free, whilst talking on his phone and getting cash out! How impressive is that? Perhaps we'd have more chance of winning Eurovision if he did that instead of singing!?
And ... that's the way Sarah sees it. My thanks to Eurovision, Jedward, Ireland, Blu, Jane Lynch and particularly Antony for supplying me with some great content and a few new gags!
Welcome to my first musings. They are brief but more will follow! Enjoy...
(Mum found this school photo of me in the loft.)
The Chief Constable of Wiltshire, Brian Moore recently wrote an open letter to the media raising concerns about parental control. This was after 40 kids in Melksham, Wiltshire had arranged to meet to see a fight between two girls. They were having a spat on Facebook and one had threatened to stab the other...with a hot poker from the AGA (I made that last bit up, but it is Wiltshire!). These kids wanted to see what would happen! Most of them had managed to con their parents into believing they were sleeping at a friends. (I made a mental note not to fall for that one when my daughter, Isabel, is a teenager.)
I have a tendency to be judgemental, (I've been working on this), so before I ranted about 'kids these days', I cast my mind back to my school days. I did recall several occasions where we ran to the playground after an argument got out of hand chanting "fight, fight, fight". The worst that ever happened though was some hair pulling, face scratching and the odd skirt removal (thank God thongs weren't popular when I was at school). I suppose being in a catholic school might have made a difference. We thought those girls were probably going to spend a good few years in purgatory for the hair pulling alone.
It shouldn't be surprising that these kids were interested in the outcome, since humans have always had a morbid curiosity...think back to the Roman Amphitheatres. I taped the film 'Stand by Me' over Christmas to watch with my 10 year old. It has some great messages about friendship and life and there are beautiful moments, but the overarching storyline is that these kids want to see a dead body. After a few moans at the start Isabel loved the film. I asked her at the end what she had taken away from it. After a few seconds contemplation, she said... "avoid people with knives". Disappointing...
Times have changed. Movies and games are more violent and the news, in every medium is saturated with death. Have we been de-sensitised to human suffering and loss of life? Possibly...if you think about the public reaction to the cat in a wheelie bin story and compare it with the level of public interest in some of the human tragedies we hear about!
So to bring this post to a close without it being completely pointless...in the words of my daughter "avoid people with knives".