“You cant always get what you want”. – The Rolling Stones
Hi there girls and boys, I hope you’re all keeping safe.
A cold and rainy Tynemouth today… lovely, it’s my sort of weather. I’ve never been one for the sun beating down, making people think they can go into a place that sells food without wearing a top. These are the same people that complain on a summer’s night when it’s too warm to sleep, as if the UK had the climate of Nevada. People of the world, if you live in a place where you have sun all day and sultry nights, do you whinge and complain when you go to bed, or do you just get on with it? But back to the rain. This time of year is my favourite, apart from having wet leaves underfoot. You know the sort, left by the council to trap the unwary runner into thinking that the pathway is solid, but underneath they’ve carefully cultivated a pothole that wasn’t there last week, into which an ankle can be made to twist. Bastards. Not a big fan of Halloween though. The original movie was great, but the occasion does nothing for me. I expect it’s nice when you’re seven. But there is that particular feeling that you only get as you are travelling home from work, a damp dark night, traffic has its lights on, the raindrops sliding down the bus windows. At home, you know there’s a casserole in the slow cooker with your name on it, to be slowly consumed with crusty bread with lots of butter, in front of the bay window looking out over King Edwards Bay and Longsands, or the dark and brooding Wear if I’m in Durham. Lush!
Last month I experimented with going vegetarian. A friend, who is a vegan, has been on at me for years to try it. He looks good on it, fit, athletic, gym bunny. Two out of three isn’t bad! Let’s get this out of the way as well, this gym business. My pool has a gym attached, and although the boys and girls that work there are ok, every single one of them thinks they are fitter than everyone else.
This is easily disproved in our six monthly challenge between them and the lifeguards/swimming instructors. In the past five years, they’ve beaten us just twice. Just because you can bench press 80 times your body weight or whatever, doesn’t mean you can beat me over 800 metres round a track. Also, they are so VAIN! Forever catching themselves in the mirror, or actually exercising in front of the wall to ceiling mirrors..why? “Well I like to see what my body is doing, my balance etc”. You’re 34 years of age, an accredited fitness instructor, surely you know what your body is doing? I suspect the real reason is so they can kiss their biceps. Mirrors are all well and good, I couldn’t do without one for my hair, and they come in very handy when you want to watch your fingers playing.. ahem. Back to the veggies. The problem I have with the diet is no meat, and I CANNOT resist a bacon sandwich.
On my daily runs I pass a mobile cafe, and without fail it guides me homeward by the wonderful aroma of frying onions. 7.30 in the morning, you can find me sitting in a plastic chair, bacon and onion sarnie with brown sauce, large tea, (strong, splash of milk, and none of that semi skimmed rubbish either, added AFTER the tea, with one sugar. Heaven). Then a short three mile run back home feeling great. Not every day mind you. Sometimes I skip the brown sauce. So a vegetable based diet then. I tried, I really did, I even bought those fake meat sausages. And I’m sorry, Quorn and Linda McCartney, they taste ok but the texture is all wrong. Ten days in and I was like a woman possessed, having changed my running route. Every cafe in the area was deliberately wafting cooking smells over in my direction to tempt me with a burger, which normally I don’t go for, or a sausage and onion pastie, or steak and kidney pudding… I gave in in the eleventh day, when my local pub tempted me in for Sunday lunch. Double roast beef..go on then. Did I feel better for those ten days then? Hard to say. One thing I did notice was the need to drink more water which is always a good thing, and my toilet was definitely smellier. So no, I’m a confirmed omnivore, and long may it last.
The same friend has a wife whom I adore, if only because she makes the best homemade pizza I’ve ever tasted. They’ve one of these stone ovens in the garden, and an invitation there is never rejected. We were chatting about clothes washing, you know, the glamourous stuff, and the subject of underwear came up. I go for white cotton for everyday use, and then it scales up depending on what’s going on. She remarked that when she and Martin first got together, it was all sussies, stockings and the like, most of which are extremely scratchy unless you pay a bit more for them. My mind did wander to the thought of her in them as I agreed, having had my fair share of uncomfortable knicks, bras and the like over the years, worn for the express intention of having them removed by someone. I still have drawerfuls. Of course, if they’ve been designed by men then it’s doubtful if they’ve ever worn their creations. Some are lovely, La Perla do a fine range, but even high street shops are great, M and S, even Primark, but never the terrible Ann Summers. The only shop where you look shiftier going into that coming out from. And is it me, or am I the only one that seems to say knicks? Panties seems to be the expression I hear most.
On one occasion last year, I was looking around Newcastle for some underwear, as the everyday tight white cotton stuff was getting past it’s prime. There’s always one black running sock that finds it’s way into the machine, isn’t there? Exit grey knicks. As I was perusing the Primark range, I asked a young, pretty assistant if they had a particular bra in my size. She replied that they did and if I went into the fitting rooms she’d bring a range for me. I did so, and soon enough we were standing inches apart while she touched, well, fondled, my boobs. “Mm, these are nice”, she said, “it’s always good to see what’s going into the bra”. On a normal day she would have been whisked off her feet and home with me, but I wasn’t at my best and she was working, so we had a quick kiss and exchanged email addresses. Which I promptly lost. She never did get back in touch, and I’ve been back in the shop on occasions, without seeing her. She was young enough to have been just a Saturday girl, I suppose. You hear about such things but that was the first and only time it happened to me. Yes at other times I’ve had a proper bra fitting when nothing has happened. You have to have a proper fitting when you spend a lot of time swimming as the muscles on your back become firmer than a non-swimmer’s, causing “swimmers back” which affects the bra size slightly. You choose a bra, in my case a perky (for now) 34c, but get it home and it wont fit properly. Nowadays I have a fitting once a year and then buy a number of bras at that time, from that shop. Yes it can be more expensive but at least I’m comfortable. In the house when alone they aren’t worn, just my t-shirt and knicks most of the time, the aforementioned tighty-whitey’s being my goto feel-good pairs, and they look nice in that mirror I mentioned earlier. Who’s the vain one now?
It wont be long now until the U.S. elections. Being sane I can’t say I hope Trump is re-elected, but with so many of our American cousins being insane, that’s exactly what is going to happen, isn’t it? The gun-totin morons that support him will be a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ again, “Ah done tole you they wouldn’t take this gun from ma hands and thas wha’appen”. (Thanks to my American neighbour Jake for the translation). He’s constantly apologising to people here for his President. I feel the same about my Prime Minister, even more so in the week where the Tories voted down an amendment that would have given children free school meals across the winter. #toryscum My politics are on the left, a socialist, until recently a card carrying member of the Labour Party. I gave it up when Starmer was elected. The man may be a human rights lawyer, but he does not represent the working class. Jeremy Corbyn, one of only a very few people I have a framed selfie with, is a lovely person. I’ve met him a few times at rallies, or conferences, and the Durham Gala. He always remembers my name as well. Must be the hair.
Now I realise that in America, socialism is viewed the same as communism. Dad1 was a politics lecturer, with a penchant for Soviet history. He visited the place many times, even taking me to Moscow, Murmansk and Novosibirsk for my 21st birthday. It was amazing to see this man transform into a fluent speaker of Russian, even once giving a stranger directions after being stopped in the street. The people he knew… we were invited to parties, into the Kremlin, dinner with an ex-KGB spy (allegedly, but he was certainly a serious drinker of the vodka, with many glasses being smashed into the fireplace. I’m not a drinker but enjoyed the smashing!)…all sorts of places. Mum1 has often told me dad1 was a Russian spy, selling the secrets of fish and chips and the route of the 62 bus to the Soviets, and when you see him there it isn’t hard to believe! I tended to leave him to it and wander off, to see the real Russia. Poverty everywhere, proper poverty, tin huts with no water. The one thing he didn’t like about the Soviet Union was the thing it was made by, Communism. It can’t work. Everyone cannot be the same. Socialism may not be perfect, some may say communism light, (that’s light, not lite, my dear transatlantic friends), but it is far better. Communism cannot even feed the people, this has been proven time and again. The single best example of British socialism is my beloved NHS, free point-of-contact health care, cutting out the ambulance-chasing lawyer scum, and enabling everyone to see a doctor and receive treatment for free.
But back to everyone’s least favourite orange-faced clown. You may say that he isn’t any of my business, and of course you’d be correct. What an America politician does usually does not affect me. There’s been enough politicians of varying parties been proven liars over the years….“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. “99% of COVID cases are totally harmless”, and my favourite, “I went to Barnard Castle to test my eyesight”, the unelected but strangely powerful Dominic Cummings.
But when the man is elected that said, “Grab them by the pussy” is on stage, taking the piss out of disabled reporters..ooh try me. I’d be twatting him in the face. I’ve had my bum pinched a few times, and every time they’ve got both barrels. It just isn’t acceptable. I’m a fit girl, have had many a self defence course, and had an army PTI as a neighbour for ten years. From the age of eight I was in the park with his group every weekend so can handle myself. If you really want to be embarrassed in front of your drunken mates, come on, pinch my bum.
Just ten seconds with Trump and he’d not be on stage, telling people that soldiers that died in battle were losers etc. The fat twat is an embarrassment to the human race. His wife, that blank-eyed botox ridden ex-whore, she’s another one. Sigh. But then his vice president is a believer that the earth is only six thousand years old, a creationist. Come on America, you can do better. At least the opposition would be intelligible. Covfefe. Your electoral system is a mess as well.
A friend currently works for CNN. (Hi Jessica!) She and I are part of a group that shared a dorm together for three years at boarding school, and we try to get together every now and again for a drink or meal or whatever, although as we are scattered everywhere it has become increasingly rare. We can do the same via Skype or Zoom, and that’s always nice, although the bodies are remote. We can still have fun. So when I see her in the flesh again my first thought isn’t, as it should be, “Come here and kiss my face off”, which is what will happen anyway, but “That’s the woman I saw on tv last week”. She’s had the misfortune to be talked at by Trump, fake news, fake media etc. He’s even more blubbery and condescending and misogynistic and unlikeable in real life, apparently.
But I expect that as my popcorn and I watch the wonderfully named Wolf Blitzer on CNN at the weekend, I, like Wolf, will become steadily disheartened as the results come in. I hope he doesn’t win, for the sake of America and the wider world. I really don’t.
Thanks for reading