This is not a test. Unless it is, and no one told me so I haven't revised, which means I'm going to fail. Thanks for that.
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Saturday, December 30, 2006

The guinea pig is behind the sette

Argh! Two new baby guinea pigs, just discovering the joys of hiding around the house, sharing a space either under the sette, behind the chair or under the futon. They don't seem to want to spend their time in their newly cleaned hutch. And they keep pissing everywhere. They're called Bert and Ernie. Photos eventually...

Fingers crossed I'm getting a new bike! This is super exciting. I'm getting a beach cruiser! I am going to be the queen of the neighbourghood. For ages I thought Bikini Kill were singing 'she's got the coolest trike in town' not 'she's got the coolest dyke in town'. I think my version is better - though probably not as political. I'm going to ride my new bike everywhere! I'm so excited!!!

When I get a new bike, do you wanna start a biker gang? We can tour about looking ace and visit tea shops and eat cakes. What could we call ourselves? Where does one advertise the formation of a new girl cruiser bike gang? I would have to design posters! I love desiging posters.

I can hear my boyfriend downstairs calling "Bert, Bert, where are you? Come out..."
He got stuck under the chair the other day (Bert, not my boyfriend) - it's going to be a nightmare getting him out for under the sette...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reclaim the Night - Ipswich

I reaction to the murder of 5 women in Ipswich, and the subsequent warning from poliece for women to 'stay indoors' or be putting your life in danger a Reclaim the Night march has been organised (I found this out via Laura and the F word).

The march is taking place on December 29th stating 7 pm at Ipswich town hall.

Two thoughts:
1) Great, it's so good to show solidarity with the women of Ipswich, and to rise up in protest against the ridiculous insitence women of Ipswich should remain indoors after dark for their safety (confine the men to their homes - lieklyhood is it's a man who's commting the crimes!)
2) Opposing thought - is it a good idea to put more pressure on an overstrectched poliece force by requiring them to police the march? I know its a peaceful event, but they're still going to try and police it regardless.


The hunt is always one -more music more of the time.
So today I finally downloaded some Nerd Core(free). For those of you who haven't come across Nerd Core yet, it's g33k hip hop (yeh, I had to use l33t for that).

I ain't much of a geek, I'm too easily distracted to know about computers etc, but the concept behind Nerd Core got my attention. Think '77 punk - Nerd Core is D.I.Y. music, but rather than guitars/drums etc this is made in people's homes on their computers. (How very Kathleen Hannah/Le Tigre - I am desperate for a mixer for my machine, one day I will be rich enough to afford one)

Nerd Core rappers write about computers/code/star wars/other nerdy stuff, and cos it's hip hop it's also about girls - but there's more hip hop beats and lefty politcs and less mysogyny than main stream hip hop, so if you like to shake your ass to the beat, maybe the feminist in your brain will feel a bit more comforatble shaking it to a song about geeky stuff rather than how hot a naked 'bitch' is and how many caps some guy's gonna pop in your ass.

The next quest is to fnd a truly feminist hip hop artist. Tarrie B's first cd was a hip hop record called Power of a Woman, or something like that. Need to find it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Party on

Yo! Are you hip to the news that Subtext are putting on a club night at which you can shake your jolly fine arses to the best in electro, pop, punk, riot girl and rock and roll?

It's on January 18th at Bar Non, Lace Market, Hockely, Nottingham. £3 in + drinks deals (and we're trying to score a designated driver drinks for free promo too.)

Be there or be square.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's 2:45 am

Argh - I am awake. I'm not meant to be. I should be asleep.
Women's issues woke me over 1/2 hour ago and I am desperately trying to find some way of easing said issues so I can go back to sleep. Sometimes being a woman, being this woman in particular, sucks like a vacuum.

And I can't figure out how to comment on my own myspace site (ie to answer questions in the comments on the Subtext page). Does that make me a myspace dumbass? I think it does.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Help Hollie

One of the contributors to Subtext has appealed for your help in completeing a questionnaire for research for her dissertation (she's studying creative advertising).

Hollie is looking for responses from feminist women and men, and I've copied her questionnaire below. If you can help her by taking part either copy the text below into a word doc, complete and send back to her, or email me and I'll send you a word doc with all the questions on travelling punk at gmail dot com.

If you can spread this around the blogosphere a bit (I know a lot of your blogs have a much greater readership than my scratchy effort) I'm sure she's be extremely grateful.




Have you ever been offended by an advert?
If so when and why?
Have you ever been offended or concerned by the way a man or woman has been portrayed in an advert?
If so when and why?
Have you ever written to the Advertising Standards Association to complain about an advert?
If so when and why?
Do any ads come to mind that you would wish to complain about?

For this section you will need to watch a series of adverts. Please open in a new internet window. This site has all the adverts related to the questions, you will be told when to view each ad.

VOLVIC – The wheel
Please view the first advert on the website, titled Evian.
What is your opinion of this ad? (reactions, thoughts)
Do you think the ad is sexist in any way? If yes why?

Please view the Sure Deodorant ad on the website
What is you opinion of this ad?
What are your thoughts on the use of a career woman in this advert?

Please view both ads on the website before answering
Which ad do you prefer? And why?
Do either of the ads make you think in a negative way?
Which ad do you find more believable? Why?

Please view the next advert on the website
What do you think about this advert?
What are your thoughts on the male and female roles in the ad? (Modern? traditional? dated?)

Please view this ad
What are your general reactions to this ad?
Would you say that this ad is aimed at females? Yes/no, Why?
Would you say that most cleaning ads are aimed at females?
This ad is from the 1980’s, do you think the way women are shown in adverts has changed much? Why?

Please view this ad on the website
· Does this ad appeal to you? Why?
· Would it make you want to buy this car?
· Would you say this ad is aimed a specific gender? Yes/no. And why?

YORKIE – Its not for girls
Please view this ad
Does this campaign appeal to you? Why?
Would you buy this product? Yes/no
Do you think a female buyer would be put off from buying/consuming this brand now?
How do you think Yorkie get away with producing a gender bias ad?

VAUXHALL CORSA – hide and seek
Please view this ad on the website
Does this ad appeal to you? Why?
Would this advert persuade you to buy this car?
Do you think it is aimed at a specific gender? Yes/no. why?
Think back to the Audi advert, out of the two car ads, which do you prefer?

DOVE – campaign for beauty
Please click this link to view the ad:
(You may have to click ‘broadband version’ under the video on the left.)(If a membership box pops up just close it and continue)

Dove have a campaign running called ‘campaign for real beauty’, all their ads feature real people, no models.
What is your honest opinion of this campaign?
Do you think the ads are too revealing? Why?
Do you think the advert would be more effective if professional* models were used? (*slim, tall, stereotypical, models you would expect to see in perfume/cosmetic ads) and why?

FLASH - Cleaner
Please click this link to view the ad:
What is your first reaction to this ad?
What do you think about the idea of a househusband and the stereotype being used in the advert?

EGG CARD – hamsters
Please click this link to view the ad:,,3_83818--View_1739,00.html
What do you think of this ad?
What are your views of the gay community being featured in soaps, films and adverts?

SLOGGI – press ad
Please view this press ad:

What is your first reaction to this advert?
Does it offend you in any way?
What are your thoughts on the way that the advert portrays women?

This is the end of the questionnaire!
Please send it back to me at madchick32 at hotmail dot com
You may need to save this file and then start a new email and attach it
(as you would a picture)

Thank you for taking part in this questionnaire, your help is very much appreciated.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Douse the flamer

I've enabled comment moderation.
I don't have time to deal with/react to flamers comments on the site.

Oh I despair for these people who feel the need to leave flamer comments on blogs - do they have no life?

Well, I have a full time job, a part-time magazine, a pet hunt, a house and some semblance of a social life to be getting on with. There is no time left in my day for cyberspace arse holes, or real life arse holes for that matter.

I will try and keep on top of moderation stuff for those of you I love to hear from - you know who you are intelligent, interesting, funny bloggers.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

News round up

Support for women's right to choose is waning according to a new study by Bpas.
Although most poeple surveyed in the UK study still believe in a women's right to choose, this number has falled by 2% in 5 years, the BBC reports.

Not the church, not the state
Women must decide their fate!
(chant from Reclaim the Night)

The new male contraceptive pill is claimed to have no lasting side effects. There's a big question, though, will men take it?
Good lord - I wish they would make a pill for women that had no lasting side effects. We would bloody take it - we're quite keen to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It would seem from the article in the Guardian that men aren't as bothered. It must just be women's business.

This Saturday's Reclaim the Night march was great. It was good to meet the bloggers and Subtext contributors who I've emailed and left comments on their blogs. Thanks to Laura for helping sell some copies of Subtext too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Subtext issue 2 out now

Super, smashing, great.

p.s. It's double the size of issue 1, and still no ads!

Drop the 'ism'

Is part of the misconception of feminism being about the power of women and their pursuit of dominance over men drawn from the fact that it is an ‘ism’?

Other ‘isms’ apply to negative discriminatory ideas and behaviours, such as racism, ageism, ableism, sexism. As an ‘ism’ are people prone to misunderstand feminism – stemming from the very basic construction of the word.

Is anti-feminism, (as a term rather than the ideology that’s now been associated with the word), actually more descriptive of the movement than just ‘feminism’ alone? I.e. it challenges the systems in culture and society that oppress women, just as anti-racism challenges the systems in culture and society that oppress people of different races?

There are other movements described by ‘isms’, now gaining credence and a growing allegiance – such as humanism and equalism. Does the nature of these words ‘human’ and ‘equal’, explicitly inclusive as they are, negate the general belief that an ‘ism’ is bad?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why are these people allowed out at all?

The BBC news website is today reporting on calls from children's charity Barnardo's to set up satellite monitoring of sex offenders accompanied with lie detector testing.

Why, if these kind of expensive and time consuming methods are required to prevent these people, know for the high rate of reoffending, from harming another child are they allowed to freely walk the streets?

In another example of 'world gone mad' and perhaps another example of 'liberal gone mad' (referring me to) the Home Office yesterday settled out of court on a compensation case brought by three drug addicted prisoners who claimed going cold turkey in prison was a breach of their human rights. I have to admit, I am tending to side with those who believe this is madness. Should criminals be allowed any more than the most basic human rights while in prison? Should our prison service be paying for them to continue taking drugs. Is it a breach of human rights to force prisoners to go through cold turkey withdrawal from drugs if they have committed a crime to put themselves in that situation in the first place?

Should prisoners, people who have broken the law, be given better treatment than law abiding people who are addicted to drugs and cannot get help to combat their addiction on the NHS because there are not enough funds available?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Toilet phobia on BBC news website

Many of you will know of my round about plots to avoid sharing a toliet with strange bums - well now the national phobics society is promoting toilet phobia as a valid phobia.

In the scheme of things, I'm not too bad - but can definately see a bit of each of the 'reasons why' in my reasons why.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why is it...

..that often I go out for a 'quiet night' and end up completely smashed having mixed my drinks and drunk way too much?

If I'm planning a 'big night' I am super careful, drink water, am vigilant against over drunkeness.

Saturday was an improptue quiet night during which I turned into a messy drunk. I woke up Sunday morning with a slamming head, feeling sick like death, and with a bloodshot, watering, very sore eye. After spending the day sleeping, and drinking water I recovered from the hangover, but my eye still hurts a day later. It stings so much when I look into bright light, and the pain seems to come and go. It looks kind of grey and bruised.

I have no idea what caused it. It feels like I have been poked, hard, in the eye - but I don't remember anything of the sort happening. I should really go to the doctor - but they'll put eyedrops in, which'll mean I can't drive, and I have to drive to Sheffield tonight to interview The Gossip for Subtext (horray!).

If it still hurts tomorrow I will go to the doctors.

Ow, my eye.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A pair of douchebags

A pair of douchebags have put a bottle of posh soap in the ladies at work and they felt the need to mark this soap as solely theirs – their ‘personnal property’. Soap is PROVIDED!

This really bugs me. It’s fucking petty – if it was special sensitive skin soap then ok, but it’s a snobs brand.

I am going to go out and buy a bottle of soap that’s BUAV approved and stick a sticker on it that says ‘Feel FREE to USE THIS SOAP. It is CRUELTY FREE.’

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ode to tinker

I bit the bullet and took Eddie for his final trip to the vets on Friday morning.

When I rang them to book, I cried.
When I got the the door, I cried.
When the vet called me in, I cried.
When I tried to explain, I cried.
When we went to the operating room, I cried.
As they anethsetised him , I cried.
When she put him to sleep, I cried.

He fought to the end, the little tyke. Nodding his head like a child who doesn't want to fall asleep. He wriggled around inside his anesthetic box, and ended up facing me with his nosed pressed against the side. She wrapped him in a towel and I stroked his little head as he faded away.

Our house is empty, quiet, less homely.
We decided to wear black all this week to mark Eddies passing.
As a childless couple I think Eddie was our first little child-type responsibility and we've both been hit hard by loosing him.

RIP tinker.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

All about me

It's been a while, eh?
So, instead of thrilling you with a good post I'm going to blather on about ME!
Good news - Subtext gave it's first real life press interview last week - people actually want 'our' opinion about stuff and they want to put it in print. We have also been asked to go on telly. I saw the show yesterday and don't actually think it's a good idea, but, they offered to pay, so maybe.

Bad news - my car fucked up, blew a head gasket cost me £350 and was off the road for a week. I gave it a wash and a polish and steam cleaned it's interior. We made up and are getting along fine now.

Bad news number 2 - my guinea pig, the one of amazingexploitss, is a very poorly boy indeed. The vet diagnosed an abdominal tumor and gave Ed only a couple of weeks to live. I have cried enough tears to fill aguineaa pig sized lake on which he could go boating. The decision of whether to put him through an operation which was unlikely to be a success or let him just live out his last days with no intervention was very hard for me. Idesperatelyy wanted to do everything I could to make him better, but knew that he was weakened so he would struggle to recover from a big operation. Still, he's well enough to trundle out of his hutch and eat leftover curry of my plate (which was on the floor) I hadn't the heart to stop him, at least he was eating. Expect a montage of guinea pig pictures and a tear stained post sometime soon.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Banning based on BMI

BBC news reports that organisers of the Madrid fashion week are planning a ban of underweight models from their 2006 event.

A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25, and models falling below 18 are being banned, to give a better example for young women of healthy women's bodies.

Wow, that's a bit radical. Banning anyone based on their health seems to me to be a bad idea.
But it is to be commended - at least they're trying to do something to promte positive healthy body image.

Neighbours – choice is a given, but don’t ever mention the word abortion

I like Neighbours, it’s being going for years, and I've been watching it for a lot of them

The recent storyline surrounding Sky, an early 20s (I think?) single woman living with her religious grandad, his friend and his friend's mail order Russian wife, has been interesting for the way it has been handled.

Last week Sky, who’s recently split from her boyfriend after cheating on him with her art teacher, found out she was pregnant. Her ex boyfriend didn’t want to talk to her about it, and she made the decision to have an abortion.

However the a word was never mentioned, instead she made an ‘appointment’, visited the doctors for her ‘appointment’ and cancelled her ‘appointment’ to do more thinking about her decision. Her ex made vague references to ‘not being ready to be parents’ and again, said she’d made an ‘appointment’ and left it at that.

Horray for Neighbours for covering this prickly issue, hope they resolve it with some grace.

Horray for Aus for being so liberal there was never an issue of whether Sky would have access to an abortion.

But BOO HISS to Neighbours for shying away from the term. How are kids even meant to understand what is meant by her ‘appointment’? Could specifying the reason for the appointment go much further to helping young Aussies, and people further a field as the show is broadcast all over, to understand they are not alone and they should not be ashamed.

I shall be following this storyline closely as it unfolds...

I have a question for you

I’ve been invited to take part in a game that describes itself, among other things, as ‘gender equal’.

In this game men and women play alongside one another in the same team, however players are only allowed to defend against someone of the same gender; female-female, male-male. Defending against someone of the opposite gender gains you a penalty.

My question is this, which is ‘more equal’?
Women and men playing the same sport, for the same amount of time, in single sex teams against their own gender

Women and men playing on the same team, but not defending against one another

Women and men playing together on the same team and being able to defend against anyone regardless of their gender

By encouraging women and men to play on the same team but then limiting their activities within the game to their own sex is this game really achieving its claim of gender equality?

Oh, and Sappho, a moon cup sticker is a sticker advertising the mooncup, a menstrual cup, like the Diva or Keeper cup.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My guinea pig the dare devil

Yesterday we were taking Eddie, the guinea pig, in the car round to my parents for the weekend as we’re going caving. When travelling he’s put in a high sided plastic box which sits on my knee. Often Eddie tries to climb the sides of the box to get out and see the world, or he stands up on his back legs, like a meercat to look at the scenery passing him by.

However yesterday he tried a new trick, something I have never witnessed in a guinea pig. Like a tightly coiled spring he jump clear out of the box, past my shoulder and landed with a jolt on the handbreak.

I think the escape from the box gave him a bit of a shock because he just sat on the handbreak looking up at me for a second before I swooped down on him, grabbed him round the belly and chucked him back in his box prison.

All this while my partner, who is learning to drive, was driving us, in the dark, supposedly under my supervision.

I am getting a lid for the box.

Man forced to marry goat because he ‘used it as his wife’.

Ah yes,
Bestiality ok – if you’re married.
Rape ok - if it’s your wife

What a strange punishment for the man to be forced to marry the goat and pay a dowry for it. Do you get the feeling of a ‘happy ever after’ angle on this news story?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Potty Mouth

There are five toilets in the ladies on my floor at work. The lighting in the bathroom means that three of these toilets are bathed in bright light and two of them skulk in darkness.

Research built up over months (casual observance by me on each visit) indicates two of the brightly lit toilets get the most daily traffic. The third brightly lit toilet is rarely visited, it is likely this is because of a disturbing asbestos sticker on the cistern.

Further evidence of the preferential use of the two brightly lit toilets comes in the form of a quick reduction in toilet paper available in the stalls.

I am happy with this, if everyone is using the brightly lit stalls the dim stalls stay cleaner and are almost untouched by human bums between cleans. Up until today I was thus much more likely to choose a dimly lit stall than a bright one – there’s not much to see when you’re going for a pee, and occasionally braved the asbestos for a change. I tried to avoid the ‘bicycles’ of the bathroom where possible.

However my world has been upset by the dawning revelation I had on the can this am. What if other people have also realised, through extensive research, that the dimly lit stalls are the best? What if they are all flocking to these stalls, bum after bum? Sacre bleu!

The bathrooms here do rock a little bit harder than those elsewhere though – each stall has a mooncup sticker on the door – some bright lass has harnessed the power of reading on the can to promote the good word about catch’em cups.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's a problem

Those of you who've known me for a while know that I have a weakness when it comes to ebay. It is a goldmine of vintage wonders, that is, accordng to me. It is the ultimate charity/second hand/retro shop and it's always open. This evening I have been spending my money in the ultimate vintage shop. My purchases include, for your delectation:

I am watching 9 other items, but I won't tell you what they are just yet.

There are three problems however when it comes to actually buying the items.
1) I only have 2 cheques left in my cheque book.
2) My PayPal account is the Subtext account, and despite my best efforts if I pay for stuff off ebay out of that account it is bound to go awry.
3) I lost my partners cheque book last time I used it to buy something off ebay. Even if we knew where it was I am pretty sure I would not be allowed near it anymore.

You see why I am in a pickle.


I've been wanting to take a photo of one of these for ages - I used to pass on in a field everyday on the way to work, never really knowing what it was. Turns out it's a wind pumb (breeze not tu
rn). Looks kind of bleak there on its own, in the middle of a field, made unaccessible by growng crop.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tech alert! Plus some other crap about ebay of all things.

If you have ZoneAlarm (free firewall that I would highly recommend) and it's asking about ie.exe do not allow it to access the internet. It's a Trojan horse, so is counter.exe. And the five other Trojan horses I've just found on my machine. I hate viruses, they scare the crap out of me. I am now convinced my bank account will be drained. I am deep scanning my whole machine for baddies.

Aside from that the general news is good - Subtext sales are on the up again after the great review we received on The F Word. We've had a submission from a guy which is good, and some more orders from men too. I had an order today from a city council as well! That was a bit of a surprise. In fact, I was a little frightened by the official looking envelope and purchase order until I looked closely. I even got to take my mum and dad out on a countryside walk this afternoon and get paid for it. Sweetness.

I have also rekindled my love interest with ebay over the past couple of days, and despite being penniless due to car breaking problems have bought myself a red bag and a blue bag. Some of you may already know I have a bag problem, and I did have kind of an ebay problem for a while too. You know the type of thing, can't stop thinking about ebay, setting 4am alarms to wake you up to bid on stuff in the USA, skipping lectures to catch the end of the auction. Normal stuff, right?

Ebay is great though. It's recycling, really.
Speaking of consumerism auction style my top picks for autumn ebay shopping are:
Knitted berets
Long wool coats with belts
Pleated skirts
Vintage bowling bags that are tatty
Knee high boots with flat soles - preferably with buckles.

(for more advice on what to wear at any given time or situation Jeepers is you woman)

The above about sums up my ebay watch list, if you remove the skirt and add a couple more bags. I'll cry if you bid against me and I loose.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Book meme: I've been tagged, and I actually got around to doing it!

Tagged by the hippest hippie
1. One book that changed your life?
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf – I’d identified as a feminist for a while before reading it, but seeing my ideas in print was great. Thanks Sarah for lending me a copy!
2. One book you have read more than once?
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – I re-read this recently, having forgotten entirely what happened in it. I skim read books super fast, so don’t always remember what I’ve read or take everything in. I’m ready now to read the next one. I love Harry Potter.
3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Outdoor Survival Handbook: The Classic Indispensable Guide to Surviving the Outdoors by Ray Mears. Hippie – you’re right; this is the one to go for! Ray Mears is ace.
4. One book that made you laugh?
I’m reading The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams at the moment (it was read to me by my teacher when I was about 11) and it’s made me laugh out load so many times. It is utterly bonkers.
5. One book that made you cry?
I read this before the film came out, after my brother recommended it – Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde, made me cry. The book’s better than the film. Aren’t they always?
6. One book you wish had been written?
The very busy woman’s guide to pausing time, and if necessary rewinding it just to catch up on sleep.
7. One book you wish had never been written?
I can’t think of one without first researching it (and I feel like writing this off the cuff). I would prefer race hate books not to be written.
8. One book you are currently reading?
The Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, awesome.
9. One book you have been meaning to read?
I have a few books on the go at the moment that I have been meaning to read, but this tag has a theme of one. So, here’s one, Fire with Fire by Naomi Wolf (which I have leant to the aforementioned Sarah after hearing it is just one big retraction of Beauty Myth).
10. Now tag five people
I'll do this bit later...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Meshing - a step in the right direction or a daft idea?

A new option available to couples who choose to get married, want to keep their own names, but don't want to double barrel them is meshing. Harking from the states it basically means combining both names to come up with a totally new one. Blair and Bus = Blush etc.

I know, I'm so totally NOT allowed to blog at work, nevermind surf the net, but this one was just too good.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

In other news

I've begun volunteering with a local women's centre on their management committee - I'm fundraising and communications person which is great as I actually know what I'm doing! I have my second meeting on Tuesday in which I'm advising on how to best produce and layout an annual report. Feels good to be filling up my time with righteous women stuff.

Although it does lead to extreme tiredness... it's only 10 am and I am want to go back to sleep.

Starting from the top

Well, we've now sold over 120 copies of Subtext, and orders continue to come in. I am personally flabbergasted that the uptake for a little promoted magazine has been so great. We certainly have a rockin feminist network going on!

Now though, it's time to start getting stuff together for issue 2 (has this just become a Subtext blog? Is it boring?) I've emailed everyone who's put their name down to contribute this morning - so if you haven't had the email and want to contribute just drop me an email.

This time I'm hoping to extend the news section - and just the poeple to do that are your lovelly selves - bloggers! You lot put news up on your site everyday (because you're a lot better at this than I am). I hope you'd like to contriobute one of your posts? As with everything else, just email me (either at the blog email travellingpunk at gmail dot com or the subtext email contribute at subtexmtagazine dot co dot uk)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fatigue taking over - must resist

After putting it off due to illness (mainly) I have spent the last 3 hours processing the first orders for Subtext. Horray, there are orders! There are a lot, too :o) I think I may have underestimated demand - which is a good thing, though I might need to get more printed :o)

I am knackered now, and my car has broken, and my full time job will no doubt get in the way of me actually mailing the magazines out for a day or so. I hope to have them dispatched in time for a weekend delivery though - interested parties, you heard it here first.

Melinda, I've also updated the website to list the editors as requested. I somehow lost the original text for the 'background' page, and completely forgot what it said, so filled the empty space with our names and vitals instead.

God, there's not much patriarchy blaming going on around here nowerdays, though someone called me an activist the other day, so maybe the general flavour is activism instead. This is heartening, I like action. It makes all the talk more effective.

However, my body, which has received some punishment in the form of careening up and down the county over the past couple of weeks and late nights fuled by stress and adrenaline, is calling for inaction, perhaps even rest - pah! it'll never learn, rest is not something I do.

Monday, July 10, 2006

54321 Launch!

Subtext Issue 1 is now available online or via mail order.

I've spent that last 5 hours updating the website - argh! It's sexy new look is bound to entice orders :o)

It's £3.50 inc p&p in the UK or £5.00 worldwide, you can pay online via PayPal.

I am exhausted and have to sleep - please spread the word on your blogs, out of the goodness of your hearts and pity for my hermit like workaholicness required to get this together, eventually!

TP x

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A true story.

Lady makes delicious mushroom and pine nut lasagne for dinner – a creation of her very own. She always makes too much food, and because the man in her house is not in her house, she has twice as much as she can eat.

Lady eats half. Yum. Creation is voted a success by a majority of one. She saves the other half and puts it in the fridge. Food normally lives for weeks in the fridge before going off – but this is an exception. Lady gets up early in the morning for work and puts half of the left over lasagne in a tub for her luncheon.

Cooled throughout the day by icepacks it is just-so when lunchtime arrives, and she gobbles it down at her desk. Thus – food goes unwasted. A triumph for her, her kitchen, and her dustbin (which smells).

She is prideful of her economical ecological non-food wasting ways and vows to continue along new paths of goodness.

She also decides to put the recipe in the book she is writing. She then decides that rather than just selling the book (via Lulu, which was the original plan) she will post the artwork to her blog for readers and feeders looking for easy veggie meals that don’t come on wheels or in tubs from the supermarket.

However – as her life is not all lasagnes and nonsense this may take a while. She has only written three recipes out so far, and has taken no photographs. She is also not a chef, nor does she ever intend to claim that title.

She enjoys writing in the third person present, though finds it confusing.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Oooh lala.
I have been away for some time, haven't I?

I am too tired - is that an excuse? Should I make one?
I was holidaying in the sun last week - although the sun was also holidaying, so it rarely shone. However I did manage to spend a fucking ridiculous amount of money, which is always nice.

Other tiresome updates include my first ever hen party - pretty much what I expected, drunkeness, 'wild women' with a license to be lewd, a male stripper (shudder) and dancing with/avoiding/fighting with 'stags'. Why are men even more ridiculous and pawing when they are drunk?

I won't regail you with every detail - however one particular ass-face sticks clearly in my mind, for yanking on my hair as I walked past. Totally unprovoked. I have short fucking hair - it's not like it was even easy for him to get a handful. Anyway. After much insulting screeching (aimed at him) and tears (I am a crap drunk who vows never to drink again every time I touch the stuff. Please, if I am drunk and you see me remember only one thing - forget everything I said, and never remind me of what horrors I did.) we made up. He was a fool though. I think he may have thought my hair was a wig - which is insulting in a makes-me-laugh-you-fool kind of way.

Anyway. Eurgh. Fool - pulling my hair.

Also, after great indepth discussions about porn during holidays with the missus he decided, while I was out henning it up, to see for himself what all the fuss is about.

Sheepishly he informed me the following day, worried perhaps I will discover his illicit brush with sex-on-the-net and judge him a dirty old perve (he is right, this would likely be my reaction, I am reactionary). After confessing his sins to me, the minister, he is absolved, and vows, mainly on the foul taste left in his mouth from that experieince, that it is not something he plans to do again.

I tell him some people like to feel dirty.

Today I skived off work for a bit, drove 50 odd miles, bought rubber gloves, created lasagne (yes, created) avoided washing up for as long as possible, cried a little inside over the Subtext debacle and the fact that it is STILL not done (for fucks sake this is killing me - why do I do this to myself), vowed to fill in the application for a volunteering position at the women's refuge that has been lounging on my sofa for weeks before I actually meet up with them next week, and drank water as I am still cleansing my system after Saturday.

Good/bad news is I have another hen party next week, then weddings for the following two weekends. Will I ever have a normal blood:alcohol level? This is all after swearing off the stuff after the Notts 'Drop in the Ocean' music festival at which I got so utterly tanked my missus came home to find me asleep in the garden. *Sigh*

In parting, a big knob in the tennis world said today that women should not get the same amount of prize money as men for winning Wimbledon. He based this on the 'fact' that it is the only tournament that still has unequal prizes, and that men are better at tennis. I'm sure Maria Sharapova is better than my missus at tennis, proving this theory instantly wrong. I declare him, for sheer idiocy and mindboggling stupid arguments, a foolish fooligan. He may have been called Andy - I am not a tennins fan.

After than diarrohea of brain draining nonsense I bid you adieu...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Cohabiting couples in the UK may be on their way to receiving them same rights as married couples!

According to the BBC more than three-quarters of couples live together before marriage (me included – though not before marriage, that implies I actually want to get married), and one in four children is born to parents who are cohabiting.

If the new law is introduced (this won’t be until 2007, at least) cohabitees could make the same financial claims as divorcees and lawyers have suggested the entitlements should apply after couples have lived together for two years.

I hope that like me you’re thinking ‘Wow, a step in the right direction! Down with heteronormative marriage practices!’, if you are, you are about to roll your eyes and groan.

Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips told the BBC changing the law would undermine marriage.
She said: "This idea that society is changing and therefore the law has to change to keep up with it is wrong, in my view, historically the law has led the progressive dismemberment of marriage by stripping it progressively of meaning.”

So, is Melanie actually saying that the law shouldn’t be changed to keep up with changes in society? If this is the case, how widely does she want to apply this theory? I mean, back in the old days it was perfectly legal to kill a Welshman with a crossbow on a Sunday. Thankfully this is no longer the case, as of a year or two ago. I would imagine this is a positive law change reflecting a change in society – no?

Ok, that’s a little different, but isn’t the premise the same – refusing to adapt laws to a changing society is utterly ridiculous.

In summation – Cohabiting couples in the UK may be on their way to receiving them same rights as married couples. Can you see a day on the horizon when marriage is not the be all and end all of coupledom in our society – nay, of everything a girl is brought up to do in our society.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Guinea pig eats spaghetti

Photographic evidence of this amazing animal kingdom discovery. Eddie, the gourmet, came back for more.

It is done

Never one to wait around, once I had the idea to cut me hair off I had to go out and do the deed. So, for your pleaseure, before and after photos.

I also had my beard styled.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Because blogs are great for self obsession

I am currently sporting a bob with a fringe in a light pink shade - with extensive roots of a dark blonde. I don't care much for long hair anymore, and despite my fear and loathing of the hairdresser am thinking of going to have it chopped.

Because I'm a wash/sleep on it/go kind girl with a bad realtionship with my brush I need something low maintenance and designed to be scruffy, but that can be combed smart if the mood takes me. So - I amthinking along the following lines: Justine Frishman (fromerly of Elastica) Brody God-knows-what (formerly of Distillers) Carrie Brownstein (Sleater Kinney).

So far these are the best photos I have managed to find.

Any suggestions? A little help? travellingpunk at gmail dot com

I need clear and unmistakeable instructions for the hairdresser otherwise they will create me a coiffure that's as dull as Paris Hiltons. I may have to let him indoors cut it for me as a last resort. At least then it has no chance of looking overdone...

Artists impression. Can they cut pointy?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Female bonding?

My neighbour asked me if I wanted to come a cosmetics party at her house. Thinking it would be good to be friendly with my neighbourgh and also a good opportunity to nosey around her house, I said I would go.

That is until I though of the following:
I am broke, as usual - so no new things for me
I only buy cruelty free makeup (which is not the stuff that was on sale)

So, instead of going to the 'party' I have updated the Subtext site and eaten home made burritos.

Cosmetics parties eh, strange idea.
They have plus points - community, friendship, bonding, talking, sharing.
They have miuns points - promoting the use of makeup (it couldn't be any more normalised), encouraging excessive consumerism.

Personally, despite the good points, I don't like the idea. The whole evening would be wrapped up in expectation (of the host) guilt (of the guests) and, I imagine, a frenzy of purchasing things you don't need.

What do you think? Good idea, bad idea? Have you been to one?

I would probably go to a cruelty free one though...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Astounding powers of observation

"Oi pink hair!"

Pink hair?

Well, it was worth shouting that little gem of wisdom across the street at me. God, you're so insightful and charming.

Marry me.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Why feminism benefits men

From the horses mouth.

"Women can go out to work and earn money to take me on holiday."

I don't think that's quite the point...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pole Dancing - Women, Men, Dancers, Opposers duke it out

The BBC magazine site's hosting an interesting debate on the benefits of poledancing as an exercise activity. You can read it here. Some interesting comments, some downright nonsense, some male pole dancers and a surprising amount of men speaking out against it.

Choice quote:
It's exercise, is it? So you'll all be wearing trainers then? Jill Arscott, Brighton

Interesting reading.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Brain washing continues almost completely unabated

Last night I was watching some rollerblading competition on the Extreme channel. The guys had a skate off, then it was time for the girls comp.

Before we got to see any skating, though, we were audience to the delights of one hott young skater chic (Fallon Heffernan) waxing lyrical on the fun she had doing porno promo shots. The hott pics (her words, not mine) were good for the sport (apparently, again her words not mine).

Won't nudey pics of blonde hotties undermine the credibility of women's skating, and draw attention away from their talent and to their tits? I can hear you cry. That's what I thought too. But no, Fallon thinks it will draw more men (doesn't she mean viewers?) to women's competitions.

Ah, I see. So you don't want these men to come to see you skate your ass off, you want them to come to see your ass, cos that's what you're advertising love.

To further confuse and astound - Fallon is no Anna Kornikova (ie, cute looking but not so great at tennis), she's actually one of the top female aggressive skaters in the world, coming in the top 3 in world ranking competitions.

Yeh, the photo is Fallon.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Guniea pigs - designed by Nature to counteract the bad.

Letter to the man who should know better.

The past few weeks have been hard. Starting a new job is not easy at the best of times, but starting a new job when you can’t keep your head together when the ride is at its smoothest is no lark in the park.

I am hell to bear. I am nerves. I am frustration. I am disappointment. I am difficult. I am unpredicatable. I am distraught. I’m not happy.

But when I stop sulking, stop crying, stop pining, stop dreaming, the outside would have you believe it had all gone away. That’s their perception anyway. It’s a surprise when ugly comes back again, when sadness blows in again, when I crawl away, taking refuge from the world outside.

I’ve succeeded though, to go to work despite the overwhelming desperation to avoid. I have done my duty every day. Every one is nice. They’re all perfect. I am wrong.

I have to ‘get over it, to ‘put it into perspective’. Have to ignore it all and push it away.

I am so scared of failure. I am scared to fall. I have nowhere left for my thoughts to go.

I am a pain. I am an inconvenience. I am a parasite. I am ungrateful. I’m not what you thought you were getting. You can’t listen to me anymore. You yell. You cringe. You wait for it to blow up in your face.

I hate you for it.
You hate me for it.

Is this what 'last legs' feels like?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Noodle doodle

New doodle on Doodle Blog - note to self, neglect blog less.

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Dark Side of Porn

Channel 4 are screening a series of documentaries collectively entitled The Dark Side of Porn that might be worth a gander.

If you're outside the UK but would like to see these let me know and I can post you a recording of them. The schedule is as follows:

Monday April 10th 23:05
Amateur Porn
The season opener, Amateur Porn, reveals what really happens on the first rung of the UK's sex industry career ladder, where the girl-next-door comes cheap but the stakes are high.

Tuesday April 11th 23:05
Me and My Slaves

Wednesday April 12th 23:05
Hunting Emmanuelle
Hunting Emmanuelle takes a look at the cultural impact of the 70s porn franchise.

Coming of age

I am 1 year old. Today is my blogday.
Lets celebrate with a bottle of organic ale and a day-glo slice of cake.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'm a goin' ramblin'

Rambling's something I think I will be doing a lot of in the next week or so. My new job is not exactly the environment for leopard print shoes, more the environment for browns, greens and walking boots.

They are also totally and utterly disorganised. Induction to them means traipsing me around some footpaths and ‘explaining’ to quickly, in language peppered with jargon, what they do and what they expect me to do. Two days in now, and none the wiser.

Today my Richard Thompson cd came. It was eagerly awaited after hearing this song and this song (sorry lyrics only) on the radio 2 folk show. It doesn’t have quite the same effect as when listened to in a small cottage on the west coast of rural Scotland – but it’s still great. It’s winter evening music, definitely, and will propel me back to the highlands upon each listen, which I appreciate.

I have to be clever with money from now on though because I want a scooter (still, I’ve wanted one since last summer) and plan to actually buy one at some point. My literally nonexistent savings can’t fund a purchase at this time though, so penny pinching will be my new plan.

I am also thinking of dyeing my hair bright red, the kind of red sported by Clemantine in ‘Eternal sunshine…’ or Lola in ‘Run Lola Run’. I am too stuck in my blonde ways though. This is something I will have to ease myself into.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I've been putting it off, and filling my time with other distractions, but I have to read all the submissons for Subtext today, and edit those still in need of it. I must. We're mocking up the design tomorrow.

Instead I want to write about pornography and erotic literature. For me, erotic literature is a-ok. I read it and get off on it, I wouldn't mind if my bed mate did either (hell, he proboaly does, I leave it lying around). I feel differently toward imagery though, and more specifically mainstream pornography of the type you see in Nuts/Zoo/FHM etc. I would not get off to this, and I wouldn't be ok about my bed buddy getting off to this either.

Where then are the fundamental differences by which I can draw a distinction?

1) Erotic fiction does not require an subject to be visually broken into pieces and objectified.
2) Erotic fiction does not focus on the appearance of a woman or her parts - rather it focuses on textures, sensations and draws shapes and appearance in the mind.
3) Fiction as opposed to visual pornography teachers the reader to build their own ideas of sexuality, sex and physicality. To read one has to be more involved in the process, and choose to give their attention to it, rather than being a recipient of imagery regardless of the type and style.
4) The male dominated realm of pornography is underminned by fictional erotica. Anyone can write it. 'Stars' can range from mundane to eccentric or stunning. It is as easy to create as it is to write a letter.
5) Imagination is a powerful tool. Through it we can explore and control what we want to 'see' and experieince.

I think I'm a bit hypo. I am bored of writing this. I pretty much constantly think about sex when I get like this. Is this what it's like to be a man?

I want to write 'stuff' but my mind is elsewhere (if you get my meaning, subtle isn't it).

Hmm, when we were interviewed about Subtext a couple of months ago we were asked if we would discuss sex much in the magazine. Maybe I will write a post on creating your own erotic fiction. LOL! I am being a moron. I think I should go back to bed.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

TP goes to Paris. A travelogue.

It’s long, if you don’t have the time, skip the text and just check out the pictures.

Day miuns 1
I finished work early, because it was my last day and I could. At 8 I drove to Coventry with Him, where we stayed over with the friends we were going to Paris with, lets call them Gem and Jam.

He went to bed early, because he loves sleep and was preparing himself for the 3:30am start the next day. I went to bed shortly after him because I was preparing myself for the 3:30am start the next day. Gem and Jam are vampires and like to stay up late. They went to after 12, at least that’s what I think.

In the night we were visited by Gem and Jam’s cat – although I slept right through it.

Day 1 – getting there

Meep meep!!!!
The alarm went off at an ungodly hour. We didn’t bother to close the curtains because we were getting up so early it would be dark anyway. The cats came and investigated the voices they heard, and invaded the bed. I dragged Him out of bed – at this point he would’ve slept right through the holiday if he could.

Gem and Jam had showers! They are bonkers, it’s 3:30 in the morning! There’s no breakfast for me because I don’t eat milk and there’s no bread – so we all resolve to eat at the airport.

Bleary eyed Him, Gem, Jam and I load the car and set off to the airport. We go into the wrong carpark. When we try to leave it tells them us we have to pay £6. The carparking machine is having a joke. Jam presses the buzzer and admit to our blunder. We find the right car park, park and unload our stuff. I am carrying by far the biggest bag because I am vain and think Paris will be my own personal fashion show. As is always the case this vanity backfires later on.

We find our departure terminal and join a queue for the departure desk – except it is for Amsterdam not Paris. We would probably have been in the wrong queue until we reached the front if I wasn’t such a nosey parkers as to listen to other people’s conversations.

Sans bags (already using my French!) we go up the escalator, through passport control (I think?) and through security. At which point I’m stopped. I’m always getting searched. I must look shifty, like a drug dealer. Either that or it was the studded belt I was wearing.

Breakfast was terrible and overpriced. I do not recommend departures at Birmingham airport for meals.

Arriving in Paris
Excited, we filed off the plane, onto a bus and to the airport, where they were successfully allowed into the country. All our bags arrived too, that is, except mine. Frustrated, but resigned to my fate, I asked an airport woman where my bag was in terribly phrased, broken French. The airport woman took pity on me and replied in perfect English for me to follow her.

The bag, the biggest bag of them all, a monument to my madness, was lost. Airport woman did not know where it was. I described my bag and left. Somehow loosing my favourite scarf at the same time – and not even noticing until I was on the Rossibus to the centre of Paris.

Luckily I had packed the Time Out guide to Paris in my hand luggage, so we were able to find our way to their hotel with relative ease and only a few cross words all before the rooms were available. I say rooms, but on arrival at the hotel, only Gem and Jam’s room was booked, not my room. So far it was not going well.

The man on reception at the hotel understood my pseudo-French and found a room for us, which even had a balcony. Bags were dropped off, except mine, which was somewhere in the ether, and the ‘gang’ set off into town. Most probably to find food.

There was a bakery just down the street from the hotel – this provided daily nourishment, fortifying us before we left to explore the city.

Day 1 – after arrival
Day 1 is a bit of a blur – I was missing my bag, this preoccupied my mind. Through looking through photos, I can piece together the following.

We walked down rue Saint-Michel to the Seine. It was raining a bit. We then walked the ‘wrong way’ down the Seine and came to a homeless encampment. There were a lot of tents here, under the numerous bridges the cross the Seine. We did not stay long – it was raining more.

We wandered along some more, crossing the river and heading towards the Bastille. After a LOT of walking, we found it – it’s not there anymore. It’s an opera house, and an ugly one at that. There’s a statue – but it commemorates something else. So we had coffee. Except I had tea and Gem had hot chocolate and He had nothing.

Tea cup egg

It was still raining, but I had an umbrella, and the metro was just outside the café – so we pushed onward. We had dinner. Again someone took pity on my poor attempt at French. The sink rocked.

the sink

Next, on Andygrrl’s recommendation, we went to Shakespeare and Co., a little English language bookshop right opposite Notre Dame. Crammed to the rafters. and with books in every nook and cranny, Shakespeare and Co. did not disappoint – in fact we wanted to move in and live on the beds tucked away among books in the reading rooms upstairs. The mirror of love was mesmerizing.


Advice in Shakespeare & Co.

Mirror of love

Now dead on our feet, we mooched about the outside of Notre Dame, then got the metro back to our hotel, where we tried to drink very cheap French wine, and I tried to call the airport in an attempt to locate my missing bag.

As I settled down to a night in travel tired clothes with dirty teeth and smudged eye make up, accepting the fact I would look a shocking sight the next day in borrowed clothes from Him I got a call from reception – my bag had arrived! It had been missing for about 14 hours.

Day 2 – the world’s longest day

Much to our confusion we woke at 10, but it was really 11, and then later it was actually 12. We went to rue Mouffetard (muff tard!) to see the market. Gem and Jam have better pics – mine sucks.

rue Mouffetard

Quintessentially French looking people were dancing to karaoke outside the market. The gang then walked up rue Descartes, and to a large building that none of us could name. So we took some pictures, of it and the surrounding buildings, Frenchness oozed from them. There were yellow ribbons tied to everything – from what we could figure there was a fundraising event for cancer going on. It turns out it was the Pantheon.


French appartments

This is the first time we saw the Eiffel Tower.

View of the Effel Tower from the Pantheon

We couldn’t go down the road we wanted because it was closed off – due to protests and riots that had taken place the day before. The French prime minister wants to introduce an English initiative to reduce the 23% unemployment among French youth (under 26s) [tangent]which means I am still a ‘youth’, as such I should be out causing trouble not typing a million word travelogue that no one will read all the way through [/tangent]. The law, designed to make ‘youth’ more attractive to employers will mean employer’s can fire anyone under 26 within 2 months of employing them without having to give reason. This sounds pretty wank, but apparently this is the ‘probationary’ period we have in the UK.

After eating (the search for food was a key feature of this holiday) we went to Notre Dame. Inline skaters were turning tricks for cash outside.

From the top of Notre Dame looking down at rollerbladers

The tower tour was worth the queue, and the view was fantastic. We even saw the famous chimera (which was in Scooby-doo this afternoon, they were in Paris – I recognised all the sights!) and the bell. No hunchback though.

Stained glass window, Notre Dame

Chimera, Notre Dame

View of Paris from Notre Dame

Bell tower, Notre Dame

From the top of the tower we could hear saxophone, and through my monocular (a leaving gift from work) I spied a band playing on a bridge from the island over to the right bank. This is where we headed next.

They were a jazz/blues band and they were taking turns to perform with a guy and bicycle, while one was performing the other was having a break.

Blues band


Next we headed to the Louvre, passing theses ingenious ‘shops’ on the way – boxes attached to the walls along the Seine.


We didn’t go in the Lourve, we just checked prices, tried to find food, and in the end headed back to the hotel, agreeing to go see the Tower in the dark, before getting some dinner and going to a jazz club (ooh la la).

The Eiffel Tower was fantastic. Heavily guarded by armed soldiers, but fantastic. Brilliantly lit, amazing views, bats flying past us, little tiny birds, fascinating structures and workings (for me, I’m a geek) and hardly any people. The hourly light show was on while we were up there.




from the top of the tower

inner workings

Along the seine from the tower

Arc du Triomphe from the Eiffel Tower

I don’t know how long we stayed, though it was about to close when we finally left at what must have been about 11:30. We rushed to the station, the metro closed at 12:30, and took the train to Notre Dame for dinner.
We sat down, to our salads in bread bowls, at about 1 am. Washed down with a Chardonnay and a game of cards, we didn’t make it to the jazz club in the end – it had already closed.

Late dinner

Because the metro had stopped running we knew it was going to be a long walk home to the 13th arr.

Day 3

Our feet were pounding by now, mine throbbed. Resolving to do less walking, and take the metro more we set off around the Maraias. Walking.

After getting a bit sidetracked, we located the main street and were aghast at the prices. I have no pictures :o(.
Next we were off to the Eiffel Tower again, this time to the top floor. Gale force winds, I swear. Three helicopters flew past.

Eiffel Tower by day, through trees

From the top of the tower

The whole length of it, oooh!

We had crepes, banana and chocolate for me, before walking to the Arc du Triomphe. To be honest, it was a bit disappointing, as was the Champs Elyeese – though I did get two cds after going against Andy’s advice and going into Virgin megastore. My excuse is they’re French, and chanson no less.

Aru du Triomphe

After walking all the way down the Champs Elyeese (remember, we weren’t supposed to be doing much walking today) we tried to go to the Louvre.

Maintaining our anonymity

View of the Arc du Triomphe down the Champe Elyesee

We missed out though, because it closed at 5:30, just as we were arriving (we were oblivious to time for the entire holiday). I took some pictures of the pyramid though.

Louvre pyramid

Glass pyramid of the Louvre

Ducks on the pyramid

Exhausted, we headed back to arr. 13 for dinner. After soaking aching feet we planned to find a chanson bar recommended in the guide as being the smallest venue in Paris and having over 2000 instruments on the walls. It was neither of these things – though it was worth the walk. It was called La folie un tete; the bar man laughed at my French.

La folie un tete

Street ahead

Here am I, after ½ a bottle of wine and a Kronenbourg. Rockin’ the leopard print.


Day 4
For the past 3 days we’d heard news reports about riots and protests planned to take place throughout France, and particularly in Paris on the 28th, the day we were scheduled to leave. Our hotel had recommended we book a shuttle to the airport, tourist information had told us public transport was likely to be off, CNN reported it was gong to be severely affected. We took our chances though.

The metro was running a reduced service – but out line was not hit (phew!). We got to the central station where we could catch Rossirail, the bus we caught from the airport was not running at all due to the strikes. Gar du Nord, the main station, was a warren of platforms and tunnels. The signs were all in French, and the pace was so fast my GCSE French just couldn’t cope. We were totally perplexed – and we looked it. Lucky for us, a young French woman noticed, and advised us twice where to go. We tried, but we were none the wiser. She spotted us looking lost again, and because she was some kind of wonderful woman, guided us through the station right to our train. A train we would never have found if not for her.

Despite what you might hear, everyone we met was nice, friendly and helpful, especially this woman. Don’t believe what 'they’ say about the French.