Author: daisyhay

Female health worker, mid 40s, trying her hand at writing down a few anecdotes, theories, observations, experiences, and in some cases, advice.

Introductory lines…

On a certain dating website people can write a headline and then a brief message to send out to all and sundry, or a selection of ‘favourites’ on the site.

Here are a few, produced by men, during summer 2014. They are all 100% genuine….

‘Could you be the gap in my life?’

‘Natrual man seeking natrual woman’

‘I am interesting on your profile’

‘A flexible man interested in various thing’

‘Really need someone to share adventurers with’

‘I’am honest’

‘I am high self-confident’

‘Hello ladys. im lloking to make friends’

‘Anyone can massage me even if they have not upgraded their account’

I am wondering if women do any better (or perhaps worse?). On another site which displays both male and female profiles on the main page, I saw one which said ‘Hi, I am Shelly* from Essex. I love chatting on the phone, shopping and Essex life’. She was scantily clad and every inch of her body was covered in tattoos…I hope she has found her soulmate, anyway.

* Not her profile name.

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Blogging for Money

In the early hours of this morning I heard a programme on the World Service that really surprised and disappointed me. A journalist was interviewing a collection of smug shrieking women who wrote blogs specifically for money, the content of which appeared to be mainly endorsement of designer clothes, skiing holidays, and other luxury products.

I was very shocked by this. I am obviously naive and maybe even clueless, but I thought blogging was a way of expressing your thoughts and an outlet for your creativity, free from external influences. But no, for many people it is merely a way of earning a very comfortable income. To me, this is not blogging. This may be pedantic, but I believe a blog is a ‘weblog’ or online diary, not a series of endorsements and positive reviews, purely for advertisement and marketing purposes. The great thing about blogging is you can write about anything that interests you, and with a few key words can share your output with anyone who will care to read it. OK, it means now anyone can call themselves a journalist, but for anyone who has ever wanted to write anything, you can guarantee at least a couple of readers out there, even if they do not provide the feedback you may wish for.

So, in the interest of free speech, and just to be contrary, I have decided to write a negative review of a product…and the luxury brand that immediately springs to mind is Diane Von Furstenburg, or DVF, purveyor of the classicly chic but perhaps ever so slightly dull wrap dress, beloved of middle class women everywhere.

Recently I was wandering down Wimbledon Village High Street and noticed a funky looking boob tube jumpsuit in the DVF window, so decided to take a look inside for the first time. The first thing I noticed were there we no more jumpsuits on the rails, just a collection of shapeless, frumpy maxi dresses, overseen by a sulky young Italian girl. She obviously decided I was some sort of peasant when I asked her how much a rust coloured tent-like monstrosity cost. ‘£700’ she mumbled, ‘but of course it’s silk’. I think she read my expression of disgust as shock at the price. I was more shocked at the awfulness of the dress, and the way someone managed to make silk appear a dead ringer for nylon. And there wasn’t a single wraparound dress to be seen, let alone funky jumpsuits.

In the interests of balance I would give an example of where I experienced good customer service, and a quality product, but I have given feedback to this particular womenswear shop on their website. Although I don’t want to turn my blog into a paid for site, I don’t want to just moan about bad products and services too. Though I do think it is important to do this, in the hope that it may contribute to improvements in the long run.

Postscript.

About an hour after the piece on the wealthy women bloggers, a news item highlighted how a blogger in France had been successfully sued by a restaurant owner for a negative review which appeared prominently in Google searches, with the title ‘The Place to Avoid’. I am even more shocked and worried now. Is this going to set a precedent? Could this happen in the UK too? Could anyone anywhere take someone to court for not writing positive things about their business, whatever country either party is based in? Will DVF hunt me down, or is her fashion empire too well supported by an army of supportive bloggers, and a global following? I am still clueless, but interested to see what transpires.

PS I have had no threats of legal action (yet) resulting from the title of my previous post (June 2014).

 

Worst Ever Airport Restaurant?

OK, we all know that airports are cramped, disorganised and have terrible lighting but Luton beats them all for shabbiness in the catering department.

On a Friday night having checked in for Budapest, my sister and I were in need of a decent meal. In the large terminal we only found one catering outlet, and the signage was so unclear it was difficult to work out what they were serving in their heated tureens. Well, I say serving, there was no-one behind the counter to tackle to the growing queue, and when one guy did appear he was concentrating on the buttons of his mobile phone. When I asked if he or anyone was going to serve us some food, he looked up with a combination of anger and bewilderment. In the meantime several people in the queue just wanted to pay for fizzy drinks, but there didn’t appear to be anyone on the till to take their money.

Anyway a staff member finally appeared, and agreed to take my order for two x macaroni cheeses. I don’t know what was in the tureens but no-one was being offered anything from them. There was also nothing green on the menu or on display. I was told the macaroni cheese would take about ten minutes, and then I was handed a strange rectangular object with flashing lights, which I was told was a pager. So you don’t get food, just some pseudo-hi tech piece of equipment. Why they can’t give you a sign, wooden spoon, or just call your name, like in most caffs or pubs I don’t know.

To be fair the pager started flashing in exactly ten minutes and I went to collect the greasy overcooked macaroni and soggy chips from the counter. It was inedible. However no-one asked for any money, so we didn’t push it…

Of course the lighting and decor were disgusting too, and there was one incredibly overworked pregnant lady serving behind the bar, who could only provide us with plastic champagne flutes for our wine, because there was nothing else clean.

A winner in the awfulness stakes – and British airports provide some stiff competition.

Not the Best!

I reclined in my comfy chair in the Ritzy Screen 5 with excited anticipation at Lukas Moodysson’s new film ‘We are the Best!’, but was rather disappointed.

I guess tales of early teen rebellion, friendships ebbing and flowing, and inept attempts to start bands have been done to death.

There was plenty of his usual charm, but not the same quality of deadpan lines and observations of the ridiculous adult world through children’s eyes, as in ‘Together’ (2000).

But the parents were still the best (or worst) characters in the film. Middle class, self-absorbed and just awful, they provided the most cringeworthy laughs of recognition. No wonder the kids had to hide in their rooms to escape yet another excrutiating dinner party.

The performances were good, but I would recommend you watch ‘Together’ instead –  set in 1975, this is Moodysson’s tale of a woman who seeks refuge from domestic violence in her brother’s hippie commune.

Lilya Forever and Show Me Love are still on my to-watch list, but I’ve heard they are a bit grim, so I will save  them for when I am in the right mood.

 

 

 

Grizzly Man and Werner Herzog

Finally got round to watching Grizzly Man, the documentary about Timothy Treadwell who believed he had some kind of bond with bears and other animals, and that it was his calling to protect them. He was actually a talented cameraman and shot some amazing footage, but Herzog captures his increasing paranoia and disconnection with the human world, and the sense of menace as Treadwell boasts about managing to co-exist with some of the most dangerous predators alive, a few days before his death.

On the DVD is also a wonderful documentary about the recording of the haunting soundtrack with Richard Thompson and Jim O’Rourke. Herzog is in complete control. I need to watch the rest of his films now.

What happens when your friend starts chatting up someone from your distant past

Just before Christmas last year me and my friend Fiona had finished our annual festive trawl around Borough Market and were looking for a table at one of the busy market pubs to rest our legs and drink our pints. We spied a corner table occupied by two pleasant looking guys, and as there appeared to be enough space for us we made a beeline for it. Fiona seemed to take quite a shine to the bloke sitting diagonally opposite me, and as I wandered off to find the loo I wondered if he was in fact familiar. Anyway when I returned the flirting had hit fever pitch as Fi had found part of a false nail in her beer, and after much shrieking, sped off to the bar to get the pint replaced.

But when I sat down a change appeared to have come over the two men. They no longer seemed chatty and were concentrating on their menus. The one who might have been familiar put on a hat, on even though it was mild, and as I listened to him in discussion with his mate over the menu, a nagging suspicion would not leave me be. Hat man had a poorly disguised Nottinghamshire accent, and when I looked at his hands, I knew. He had the most unappealing small, piggy hands I have ever seen, and I realised he had recognised me before I him, somehow signalled to his mate that he didn’t want to know, and as I was quite happy to go along with the charade I feigned ignorance and sipped my pint.

When Fi returned with a new drink I could tell she was somewhat disappointed that neither of the guys wanted to carry on their conversation with her, and even when their meals came and we both remarked how good the food looked, they didn’t want to know. Meanwhile I was trying to suppress visions of sitting on a sagging mattress in a filthy squat surrounded by bin bags, thinking I was having the time of my life with a spotty lad with tiny hands. I must say R’s skin had improved a lot in the intervening years; he had obviously cut down on smoking, started eating vegetables, and also shaved the worst of the nasal edge off his accent.

The four of us had very involved conversations with the friends opposite, about nothing in particular, and I was very relieved when Fi announced she had to leave to get to another rendezvous. On the way out, she said that she had quite liked that guy with the hat, who was initially really friendly, so then I had to explain.

I actually wouldn’t have minded bringing up the past, but I think perhaps R. was not too proud of the squalid Stepney Green squatting arrangements. Or maybe he just couldn’t be bothered. It made me smile anyway, and if I bump into him next Christmas, I’ll be prepared.

 

Some thoughts about what some men want

And they’re not entirely positive.

I’m getting a bit Carrie Bradshaw now (minus the shoes and Cosmopolitans) but it was bound to happen.

Recently I was corresponding with someone who was quite complimentary about my writing, but had not uploaded a photo onto the dating site, and refused to email me one. He finally admitted that this was because he was already in a relationship but ‘looking for a get-out clause’. When I asked him why he didn’t just leave, to avoid unnecessary pain for his current partner, and also suggested he was selfish and too interested in home comforts, his shirty response was ‘…Have you been in many medium to ltr relationships?….There’s pain involved whichever road you take. Its easy to bang on about moral compass as those are just words. Life is many shades of grey.’. Prior to this indefensible statement he had complained that women only wanted to use him as a plaything between 9pm and 5am – but obviously hadn’t put two and two together.

I emailed him to ask whether he had considered that most women would take the attitude of ‘done it before, could do it again’, then blocked his profile. Annoying in a way because I had given him some helpful advice about feeding back on the shoddy care he had received in a local hospital  – but perhaps that will make him realise some of us are kindhearted, and practice what we preach.

Another recent experience involves someone perhaps a lot less calculating. A hospital worker in Suffolk who claimed to like cycling and hiking got in touch. But when I suggested meeting up on Saturday evening, he kept asking me if I was only available ‘for a few hours’, I asked him what he meant, but got the same question. I have to conclude he would only meet up if he was guaranteed a bit of nookie later on. What a creep! I should have suggested that the only way to guarantee that would be to pay for it, but I didn’t waste my breath.

On a slightly more positive note (or maybe hopeful) i have developed a new strategy to put rejection to good use. One nice seeming guy admitted he had just met someone away from the site (in real life!) and another guy said he had had a very nice first date just last night. So I have been suggesting they keep me in mind for any of their trusted friends who may be looking. After all I have been through the initial vetting process. Oh how clinical and soul-destroying it all is.

However I do have a provisional date with a marathon runner / table tennis champion lined up. His written English may not be perfect but something has to give.

And this weekend I have painting the living room to occupy me – don’t need anyone hanging around, getting in my way for that.