Friday, 29 June 2012

What's Eating Liz Jones?

Seriously - what is up with Liz Jones?

If you don't know who I'm talking about let me fill you in. She an ancient, recently facelifted, ex-fashion magazine editor, who has been boring us senselessly for years, in her weekly newspaper column.

Her kiss and tell prose can roughly be divided into droning on about her insecurities about her body, her face, her house, her animals, her relationships and her life in general.

How can we not forget her detailed exposure of her cheating toyboy husband (she hacked his email account to find out what he'd been up to and all hell broke loose!! )

Her financial difficulties (all self-inflicted). Her obsessional love of animals (probably the only living beings who actually like her and that's probably only because she feeds them!) and lately her aging rock star boyfriend, who no one has ever seen her with.

The one overriding emotion you derive from her writing is someone who is incredibly BITTER. 

This is despite the fact that she's had a great life, experienced the highs and lows of love (haven't we all darling?), has had some great jobs, made in comparison to your average Betty, a decent amount of cash, travelled extensively and triumphed over numerous personal issues .

One would think that she would now be at a point of grateful contentment.  Her rock star boyfriend actually seems to like her, her neighbours in the country are talking to her at last (well sort of, despite her slagging them off), her country pile is under offer and unbelievably she still has her column and other regular freelance writing gigs.

Having clearly found herself with way too much time on her hands and not a hell of a lot to talk about, Jones picked up her poison pen and wrote a cynical article bashing TV presenter Holly Willoughby for

‘betraying all women’ by tweeting a photograph of herself without any make on.

At this point I have to say having viewed the 'offending' picture of Holly, she looks fabulous. Very girl next door and cute.

So how ridiculous was the Jones shark attack? It was completely uncalled for and absolutely not necessary in terms of taking up valuable newspaper space.

The anti-Jones backlash has been overwhelming today. Liz Jones putdowns are everywhere and even This Morning housewives favourite and Holly's co-presenter Phillip Schofield hit back at Jones on Twitter, HARD !

'I swear there can be no greater force against all womankind than Liz Jones. She is inconsistent, bitter, nasty and unhinged'.

Holly has taken the high ground, maintainng a dignified silence.

Jones clearly thought she was being witty and wirily ironic. What she actually did was to betray herself as being twisted, bitter old woman, jealous of a much prettier, infinitely more likeable young lady.

There comes a time in every woman's life when you have to admit, you aren't that young, foxy chick you once were. At that time you can either accept it and make peace with what you look like and who you are now; or you are in danger of becoming  that weird, spinister cat lady just like.... Ms Jones !!!

Jones and that other notorious woman hater Samantha Brick, exhibit total ignorance and bafflement at the impact and response to their comments by other women. Jones has previously bemoaned her lack of female friends in her columns, well if you sprout poison, you'll get it right back at you.

I look forward to the inevitable follow-up article from Jones, which will no doubt be sprinkled throughout with the bitterness and self pity we are so used to hearing from her.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Facebook 'Mommy' Lands The Keys To The Boardroom

Image representing Sheryl Sandberg as depicted...
Image via CrunchBase
It used to be that the see-saw of trying  to achieve a decent work/life balance was one of those mommy urban myths, usually reserved for supermodels on the school run or the lessor spotted trophy wife.

Now at last it seems the tide is turning.

The promotion to the Facebook Board their inspirational, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, a mum of two with a sassy turn of phrase “The most important thing career choice you’ll make is who you marry” kicked off a flurry of  Facebook, Google and Twitter flag waving.

@wordwhacker: FB just added Sheryl Sandberg to its board. Makes sense because women lead in social media!

@loriinjapan At Women in Business luncheon, Susan Roos shares Sandberg's advice: "Don't let your fears overwhelm your desires".

Fear (even in the midst of a double-dip recession) is cetainly not overwhelming the legions of increasingly influential 'mommy bloggers' both here and in the US.

This opinionated army are using social media technology from I-Phone games and fitness apps to Pinterest interiors and receipes, in pursuit of achieving their own family/work life balance; while engaging with business and online communities about their passions, likes and bugbears ! are just such a group of women who have bounced back against the celebrity superslim, superfast trends, preferring to focus on well-being, enjoying motherhood and the reality of being a working mum. and offer a fabulous selection of clothes for busy mums on a budget, with more style and fashion tips than you can handle.

And let's not forget our mommy entrepreneurs like Dragons Den winner whose bespoke gift boxes are a delight.

‏The excitement at Sandberg's appointment, coupled with the continued growth of the mommy entrepreneurs and bloggers points to a  bright future for those women who aspire to landing the keys to the boardroom.

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Many Rivers Too Cross

English: Crossing the river
English: Crossing the river (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since my ‘wild’ quiz/karaoke table top night out, I’ve been noticing how many things I am grateful for and proud to say out loud.

Amazing what a blast of positivity can do for you isn’t it?

I was already riding the positive express, which had begun a week earlier with Father’s Day.

Spending time with my Pop is always good. He’s so real about everything in the world in general and of course my life.

He takes no prisoners when he thinks you are behaving like a jackarse, but he doesn’t give you advice. He just presents you with options and then says he’ll support you no matter what.

Don’t get me wrong he is no saint, when he has a grump on, he can put a mule to shame when he's being stubborn, so much so that you want to get as far away from him as possible; but for the most part he is a pretty cool dude.

His memory is akin to the realms of total recall particularly when he talks about when he first immigrated to the UK in the 60s.

Now those really were tough times.

Pop literally fought for everything – a job, a place to live, his civil rights, respect and took more crap than I and my generation of peers could ever imagine or deal with. Yes, Pop battled through the lot and gave me a timely reminder to stay focused, be more determined and work just that little bit harder, to get to where I want to be.

BB Towers is a place I love living and spending time in, so sharing it with the right person, has always been a big deal to me.

What about my new housemate? All good in the hood. She moved in without a hitch and is touch wood at the time of my writing is great. Yep I mean that..M is great.

Having finally acknowledged I can be a real pain in the arse to live with, finding a housemate previously has proved dare I say it - challenging! That is, aside from the amazing J and the unforgettable C.

M is thankfully more like J and C and less like (well you know who you are!). She is not on any medication (either real or pretend!), signed her tenancy agreement, paid her deposit upfront and all without any last minute curveballs or requests.

The difference with this one, is our work/life schedules. They are completely opposite – in other words she likes her space too - not just says she does, like several previous BB Towers inhabitants have.

She is happy with herself and where she is in life. She can stand to be by herself and is able to make decisions all by herself. She’s a fun grown-up, who’s in a relationship with an ordinary Joe who doesn’t have any commitment issues and hasn’t tried to move in with us on the sly !

Now that BB Towers is no longer a nut house (I include myself in this group, although it does depend on the day and hour for me!), it is also in the process of a revamp, concentrating on doors and exteriors.

It is going to look the business when it’s all finished and I can’t believe I have found another set of builders to replace the late great T. His bathroom tiling still makes me swell with pride.

This weekend has been a chilled one. Today, while I was in town, I walked past one of my ex-gigs, which I was forced to take, during those grindingly desperate times last year. It was like stomping on the grave of a ghost that still haunts you.

I was so miserable when I was there, primarily dominated by a need to stay afloat financially and to stop my brain melting into mush, while I was being buried under a pile of ‘don’t call us , we’ll call you’s !” from just about every gig I went after.

As I walked past the store, I swear my heart lightened. I reminded myself, that although things may not be perfect right now, at least I am climbing the ladder back to safety and ultimately to doing what I want to do.

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Getting To Know You

One of the few benefits of being on a short-term gig is the getting to know you phase.

My latest gig, which we were all hoping was going a long one, has alas due to a lack of funding been cut down.

I have a name for potentially amazing gigs that turn into chop shop scraps ....they are... New False Dawns !  

Just as a little BB quiz, in the last year, just many new false dawns have I had?  I know too many. Right? If they were doughnuts I'd have a serious sugar habit by now ! Actually, wait a minute I already do !

Today's getting to know you session hit the personal side.

"So are you seeing anybody?",  my new table buddy asked me.

Ordinarily this type of question directed at me in non-limbo times is a tricky one that I usually mess up on.

Do I a)A say no and enter into a minor rant about meeting crap men all the time ?

Or do I b) Smile sweetly and mumble something about taking time to find myself :0 )
Since I've exhausted both excuses throughout the years, with varying degrees of passion and indifference I simply replied

"No. Not right now ", which bearing in mind everything else going on with me is about as upfront as I can be.  You'd need to be a quite a guy to take a nutcase like me on. Not point denying it :0 )

Pop Goes BB

If there's one thing we forget to do when the rest of our world is imploding, it's to give ourselves a break from stressing once in a while and have some fun.

Aside from all my arty farty stuff, Twitter fixes, lattes with the girls and the lowest kind of tv (TOWIE, MIC actually I have a way too long list of guilty pleasure tv), I love.... a good pub quiz.

I am the type of person who stores the most obscure random facts in my head, you know the type of nonsense most other people choose to forget.

Ordinarily this would just make me a little strange, but during a pub quiz it makes me the person who excitedly grabs the answer sheet and furiously writes down an answer that's easy to me, but seems to have stumped everyone else.

Yesterday it was the theme song from the Incredible Hunk (I got it two notes in....I know sad am ?)which looking around the table, I realised wasn't a part of any of my teammates childhood and unbelievably no one else knew the Dallas theme !

The name of the actress who played Nora Batty In Last of the Summer Wine, the whole of the Royal picture round and the performers at the Diamond Jubilee concert....oh and...the second verse lyrics of I Just Called to Say I Love You.

For a reason known only to myself I also remembered that Queen first met Prince Phillip in 1934. This combined with a great general knowledge round and our team winning an on the spot prize of a box of Celebrations (heaven because they include Snickers!) and I was on a sugar rush high.

My joy would have been total, if we hadn't of lost the entire quiz by half  a point ! The answer was Forever Autumn not Autumn Leaves !!!

I comforted by myself with the knowledge that we'd taken out the Librarians !!! 

Any team that calls themselves that or anything to do with science or who does research stuff for a living, needs to be 'taken down' in a pub quiz.

One because they should know stuff and two because you know that if you knock them out on a question they 'should' know it will bug the hell out of them !

Two more snickers pieces and a coke later I'd forgotten all about everything, spending the rest of the evening laughing at nothing in particular, singing bad karaoke on a table but best of all having more fun than I've had in ages.

Go Go BB !

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Just Call Me The Newbie !

Happy Days
Happy Days (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So it's only day two of my new gig and God it's good to sit at the same desk, have a PC to log onto.

I am the proud new owner of one of those silly plastic pen pots, which should have pens in them, but never does because you lose them or someone else borrows them.

The team I work with are lovely. How lucky am I? Massively I know.

I'm revisiting some old skills I'm rusty on and picking up some new ones, which is no bad thing.

The job itself is one of the least stressful, I have ever had . I thought everyone worked 10 hour days, fuelled by lattes, deadlines,cheeky gossip and never ending to do lists; but apparently that was just me !

I have a feeling that this gig may turn out to be the one that teaches me the most about appreciating when things in your life are great, or at the very least free from chaos.

How to make the most of any opportunity that might come your way and finally; getting that elusive work life balance, something I've never been able to do successfully for any great length of time.

Oh and one more piece of BB joy, I've wrapped up my new tenant - contract signed, money banked (not spent) .

With her working nights and my working days, I have managed to retain some quality me time at BB Towers.

I will chill out (but absolutely not in grubby PJ bottoms and an overly tight vest top, like the New Zealand virgin and the crazy cat lady - ex tenants of mine...if you are new to the blog!), write, design and just be BB :0)

Happy Days !
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Sunday, 10 June 2012

For The Love Of Twitter !

English: and at TechCrunch50 2008
English: and at TechCrunch50 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It used to be that a break-up was just between the two people involved, followed by the rapid division of friends, property and CD/DVD collections.

Twitter has moved these goalposts.

From Demi and Ashton, Katie and Peter; through to this week's headline grabbers, the 'War of the Roses' that is the Rothschilds very public break-up.

Reading someone's emotional rants or just straight out insults sent  their former loves is like being party to verbal road kill.

You don't want to look, but you just can't bring yourself not too! Before you know it and without meaning to get involved, you find yourself reading and then siding with one of the 'teams'!

Remember Teams Aniston and Jolie ?
What I hate about Twitter wars, is that it detracts from the positive power of Twitter .

As one of my twitter buddy's wrote today.

"Twitter is the way forward. I meet more people virtually, than I do in my real life".

Twitter will can never replace the intimacy and joy of physically meeting someone face to face, but it does encourage connecting and engaging with people you haven't met before and some of whom you may actually never meet; but who you find you have things in common with either personally or comercially.

Using it as a weapon of mass destruction to publically torpedo a relationship, seems like a waste of time, and only serves to make its participants look bitter, deraged (depending on the content and constancy of their tweets!) and more than a little immature.

There are some things that simply shouldn't be played out on Twitter !
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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Happy Diamond Jubilee !

Grace Jones
Cover of Grace Jones
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We've just made it through four days of national rejoicing in celebration of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

To say I was excited about the prospect, might have been overstating things a little initially, but I have been unexpectedly swept along by the sheer volume and joy of the national celebrations.

The amazing street party, which had me talking to and breaking cupcakes with, people I was previously just been on nodding terms with.

The Thames flooded by an Armanda of boats with the Royal Barge at its centre. The Mall carpeted by crowds clad in red white and blue or clasping furiously waved union jacks; whooping, clapping and cheering their hearts out.

And then to cap things all off - a night of fun at my friend's house party. We all watched and threw our best living room shapes, to the music concert organised by Gary Barlow.

One of the most unusual concerts I have ever seen, full of the most randomly selected artists ever !

Featuring one perfect moment of greatness from Ms Grace Jones singing, while hola hooping in a plastic bodysuit - unforgettable!

The days of a job for life are long over. The concept of duty and honour have for most part been marginalised by the helter skelter of modern living and just trying to get by. 

All of which makes the reality of the 60 years of service to the nation, the Queen has achieved all the more incredible.

During her reign there has been: 12 Prime Ministers, 12 US presidents, 6 Archbishops of Canterbury & 6 Popes.

She has watched the global map changed beyond recognition of the Commonwealth 'empire' she inherited. She has endured the sad losses of her beloved father, mother, sister and 'Queen of Hearts' daughter-in-law.

Throughout all of those six decades she has somehow weathered the many changes in trends, political affliations, cultures, styles and sometimes, her harshest critics  - public opinion and the media.

Despite everything she has remained one of the most loved, revered and recognised women in the world; as acknowledged by the union jack army of subjects who came to London this weekend to see the Queen!

She may now look tiny, especially compared to her two hulking grandsons and at times a little frail, but just like her famous predecessor Elizabeth I, she truly has

"The heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too!"

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Monday, 4 June 2012

You're Hired !

English: Sir Alan Sugar at the BAFTA awards 20...
English: Sir Alan Sugar at the BAFTA awards 2009, mirrored and zoomed-in from original (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So I am happy to announce in the same week that Sir Alan Sugar hired and unveiled his latest Apprentice, my own auditions at BB Towers are over.

I have found, a fun, mentally well-adjusted (time will tell on that one, because as we all know I've been totally wrong before !) reliable, non-permanent at home pj and vest wearer, oh and hopefully honest housemate.

As always finding my new housemate has been no easy task. 

I have previously made some pretty random decisions about who I live with, based on anything from mutual tv viewing, relationship woes to them having a fabulous wardrobe or shoes. 

This less than authentic candidate selection, has led to some nightmare scenarios which I have no wish to repeat. This time around, my advertisement was direct and to the point stating exactly what I was looking for.

Instead of being swayed at tenant viewings, I stuck rigidly to my must-have list and quickly filtered out the looney tunes from the possibles !

Despite this, it didn't stop me having two weeks wasted by another preferred candidate who got so far as supplying me with a work reference and then decided she was happy where she was. Why? because her friend who was going to be moving out elsewhere, has also changed her mind and decided to stay put.

Because of that glitch and my previous experiences, I'm not getting excited about the new arrival until the tenancy agreement signed and the money's in the bank.

Then my dear friends, we shall see whether I've landed the real deal or another housemate from hell !

On the mega plus side I've just landed some more work, which should last for the next few months and I'm  putting the final touches to my business plan.

Slowly but surely BB is turning things around - thank God !   :0 )

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Sunday, 3 June 2012

R Makes A Comeback !

I never thought I'd have to write the letter I'd write about R again, but unbelievably he's popped up. No not in person, via his customary mode of communication - text.

"Hi I'm Surrey tonight...fancy a drink? I'm happy to come and pick you up"

My first response was 'WTF!'

I always thought that complete 'mobile and social' silence in response to obvious booty call offers, was a universally recognised language - this ship has sailed !!!
What makes me laugh is R dumped me - via text - (charming !) because he didn't want a relationship.

However he now seems to think that trying to get things going again, in the friends with benefits mode would be something I'd happily go for.

How little he knows me and apparently women in general.

Did I respond to his way Jose ! He's one 'love' connection I won't be revisiting !