Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Talking About Faces

A few months ago I was generously given a phone as mine kept dying on me and the battery was one of those irreplaceable ones.

I duly set-up facial recognition in addition to a password.

Unfortunately, since then it has only recognised my face... maybe once.

I can't decide whether on the day I set it up I was looking astonishing gorgeous or completely hideous... or perhaps like a female version of Boris Johnson.

I think Boris and I have a lot in common at the moment. He looks completely shagged-out running the country during the pandemic and the Brexit crisis; I looked completely shagged-out through the stress of my elongated divorce. We both look our ages of 55. I used to look ten years younger but lately, I am looking battered.

The only real differences between us are that  Boris has a 32-year-old girlfriend, a top job and a stack of cash whereas I have two cats, a tea cosy and haemorrhoids.

It's a man's world.









Sunday, October 18, 2020

A Boot in the Face

On Wednesday I had a meeting with my solicitor, a pensions actuary and my husband's barrister. I had been told to expect my husband and his solicitor in the virtual meeting room.

 (Yes, that's right. Over 4 years since my separation I still don't have a Decree Absolute and still no financial settlement. Consequently, life is very difficult for myself and my sons.)

The meeting was scheduled for 12pm to suit my husband's requirements. However, he didn't turn up and no apologies were made. Instead, he sent his barrister rather than his solicitor.

Of course, the reason my husband didn't turn up is that he is too afraid to face me himself. Too afraid I will call him out in front of other professionals. 

Anyway, during the course of the meeting, my husband's barrister treated me like he was at court hearing. Trying to qualify everything I said in a condescending manner ("I think what Mrs Turley is trying to say is...") and, at one point, when I said that the report needed greater clarity so that a layman could understand it, he said he'd never heard of the word "layman".

I assume the point of this rather pathetic act was to try and make me feel foolish and undermine my confidence. Of course, I knew the word existed and that I had used it in exactly the right context. So, I just raised my eyebrows to express my disbelief that the barrister didn't (apparently) know such a word.

The barrister's condescending manner continued. By the end of the meeting, I was tearful and could hardly speak.

Ever since an image has been replaying over and over in my mind. It is the image that accompanies the words below of George Orwell in 1984:

 “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever. ” 

 I think it is time to rewrite that quote:

 “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget women of this world, men will always be intoxicated by power. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on a woman who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a man's boot stamping on a woman's face— forever. ” 

That readers is the sad truth. The physical strength of men has made them kings, rulers and politicians throughout history. Women all over the world are subjugated by men. Their genitals are mutilated, they are assaulted, raped and murdered to satisfy the lust and greed of men. Women are second class citizens ruled by men and their egos.

I am tired of being the understanding, empathetic wife doing the "right thing" and conforming to my Catholic upbringing and traditional values.

I am a very patient person. But on Wednesday something finally snapped. I am done with being a patient, empathetic woman. I am not going to be bullied by my husband or his barrister. I don't care if I walk away with nothing from my marriage because I will have the love of my children and I will still have my voice.

No one is going to stamp on my face anymore.

And I will use my voice to its best effect.







Friday, April 10, 2020

E is for (Non ) Erotic

Apparently, many people are more aware of their dreams at the moment because they are resting and sleeping more.  Some dreams appear to be related to the pandemic in that they feature, perhaps obscurely, death, fear and isolation. Others are less obvious and related to parts of our lives we are missing during the pandemic - like food for example.

This makes complete sense. However, I am someone who generally doesn't sleep that well but I do occasionally have quite vivid, obscure and often frightening dreams. Sometimes I experience sleep paralysis.

Last night, I had an entirely different dream. I rarely dream about people in the public eye. The last one was Hugh Grant. (Hey ho.) But last night I dreamt about Boris Johnson, our PM, currently laid up in hospital with Coronavirus.

Basically, I dreamt I was having sex with Boris. I have no idea what this means (other than I am probably very, very desperate for sex.) However, I am somewhat relieved Boris is making a recovery. It would have been awful if his condition had continued to worsen. I would have felt guilty somehow - killed by my enthusiasm for sex!

On balance, I suppose because Boris has been mentioned in the news 24 hours a day for weeks perhaps it's not surprising. We are also the same age so I suppose somehow I was willing him to live as a reflection of my own life and mortality.

Still, sex with Boris? I don't even fancy him! I think I need to see a psychiatrist. LOL.


Thursday, April 9, 2020

D is for Dressed for Kill

We have an expression in the UK "dressed to kill" which is an expression for basically making the most of your appearance and trying to look as attractive as possible.

Now when you reach my grand old age of 55, dressing to kill takes some skill. It's also preferable to have a large glass of gin before you look in the mirror. Because you look a lot better when your vision is blurred. You can also try and kid yourself you're only 39. I have been telling my boys I am 39 for years. I don't think they believe me any more. Well, not since the tooth fairy quit.

Now, even though I'm past my prime, when I go to work, I attempt to look as smart as possible with clean, pressed clothes and fresh make-up. I find a trowel is excellent for putting on my foundation and a kids' washable thick felt-tip pen great for eyeliner. (If you've not got one of those try a permanent marker and save yourself a daily chore. I also recommend a mirror which at least X20 magnification, especially if you wear glasses otherwise you'll look like Coco the Clown.)

So anyway, in this time of lockdown, when there is not much to be happy about not having to put my make-up on and iron a mountain of clothes for my boys is one small benefit. Yay! My utility room no longer looks like a laundrette hit by a freight train. In fact, the only clothes I iron are the ones I wear for the two nights week I work in a supermarket.

Yes, I am working in a supermarket. It's a bit of risk when there's pandemic on, but where needs must. We'll talk about that another day.

Anyway, on other days when I am home, I'm generally looking like a total scruff. I am not sure if my elderly neighbours are more afraid of the pandemic or the unrecognizable women walking up and down the street looking like a cross between Worzel Gummidge, the scarecrow, and a potential murderer.

But hey it's great. I can wear the same trousers for days! And (cough, cough) I think I've worn some knickers for two days running. My mother did always tell me to wear clean knickers every day in case I got run over by a bus but there are no buses running around here so I've no worries now. Hurrah!

Well not unless I get Covid 19, in which case it won't just be me who needs a ventilator.

 *********



Stay safe, everyone. And God bless all our wonderful medical staff all over the world.







Saturday, April 4, 2020

C is for Cabbage and Caterpillars

After my post on A where I explored the use of shrivelled apples in my fridge in this time of lockdown, I thought you might like to see one of my other creative recipes.

So basically, last week when I was looking desperately in the fridge to see what concoction I could manufacture from the rotting contents, I discovered two well-past-the sell-by-date cabbages. You know, where the outer leaves have gone yellow and look as appetising as a snot-covered handkerchief.

Anyway, times are hard. So, I tossed the cabbages in the air with gay abandonment and consulted my recipe book for a dish where the ingredients consisted of two mouldy old cabbages and very little else.

Sadly, there were none. I did think about disguising the mouldiness in vinegar and making sauerkraut. However, I've got to be honest, pickled cabbage holds no appeal to me. I gather sauerkraut is a German dish - so maybe I shouldn't be surprised it's only marginally less offensive than a blitzkrieg.

So, folks. I settled on the easy option.

Cabbage soup.

Luckily, I had all the other ingredients I needed: water and salt.

So, to make my delicious cabbage soup, all you need to do is:

1. Chop up your cabbage. You may or may not wat to check for caterpillars first depending on your protein requirements. Personally, I couldn't be bothered. I just went for it with a large knife.

2. Shove it in a pan with some water and salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer so the caterpillars rise to the surface and you can decide whether to leave them there or fish them out and use them to stuff some out-of-date vol-au vents which you can have as starters. Alternatively, you can puree them and pass them off as pesto.

3. When you have done that you'll end up at this stage:



Ugh. Doesn't look that appetising.

4. So the next step is to liquidise it!



Waiting to go into the blender.



  I forgot to screw on the base section to the cup. Whoops.


5. Finally, you end up with a delicious soup:



 A hearty, warm meal in the worst of times. Yay! 


So there you have it. Cabbage soup. Bring on the million-pound contract for my Guide to Economical Cooking!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

April A to Z : B is for Baloney and Bog Rolls.

I had a look back at my previous B posts for the A to Z and saw that I'd come with Bullshit (a personal favourite) Brighton Cock (a spin on Brighton Rock, the novel by Grahame Greene),  Balls and Breasts and Balderdash.

An eclectic choice, I feel.

So, to live up to my previous posts I decided to opt for the words Baloney and Bog Rolls. Now, in order to make sure I am not misinforming people I decided to check out the definition of baloney. I discovered there were in fact, three definitions.

The first is a sausage, the second is a resident of Bologna, Italy. The third fundamentally describes this blog which means nonsense.

So, to incorporate the two themes have come with an (almost) nonsense poem:

Bog Rolls.

Bog Rolls, I like them.

Soft and cushy on my bottom.

It's a pity I don't have any

'Cos some fucker at Sainsbury's bought the lot.

 I hope they get diarrhoea

Which runs down their leg

And smells like putrified egg

Then I will be happy

Even as I wear my nappy.


As I said, nonsense.


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A is for Arseholes and Apples.

So, here I am on April Fool's Day back here on my blog unprepared, as ever, to participate in the A to Z. I have zero ideas what I am going to write about so as usual this is where I say to myself:

Oh crap, why did you commit to this? You arsehole, Turley.

Hmm. Arsehole. I suppose I could make a blog out of that.

Mind you, that wouldn't be very lady-like. And, possibly, as any post using the word arsehole might make reference to Mr Trump it might alienate my lovely American readers. So, no can do.

Oh okay, let clutch at some straws.

Apples?

Okay, they're round and green. Sometimes red. Even a bit pinkish. They can be crunchy. They are super for making cider from though. If only I had some cider...

Oh, and a couple of hours ago, I found some old wrinkled apples that kinda looked like shrivelled testicles in the back of my fridge. Now in normal circumstances, I would probably try to lob them into the bin from about 2 metres but because of the extraordinary circumstances the world finds itself in and I three adult sons to feed on about a tenner a week I went:

"Yayyyyyyyyy! Food! Oh dear God. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

Then I raided the freezer to see if there was anything that could accompany four shrivelled testicles apples.

And I found some blackcurrants. Now I am not sure how old these blackcurrants are but I would say anywhere between 3 and 15 years old.

So folks, I am in the process of making apple and blackcurrant crumble. I hope. I say this as I am not sure how old my flour is yet. It may be like cement.

If I do not appear here tomorrow is not because I have been hit by Covid 19 (yet and, hopefully, never) but because I succumbed to food poisoning.

Stay safe, Everyone. See you tomorrow.

Ps. Anyone who thought the title of this blog was leading to something else needs to clean-up their thoughts.







Saturday, March 14, 2020

A Word Of Not So Serious Warning

On April 1st, which is April Fool's Day here in the UK, this blog reopens for business as I rejoin the virtual world in the April A to Z blogging challenge.

So whilst you are in lockdown, gnashing your teeth on the last of your dried cream crackers and wiping your arse on the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey, you can join me here on The Witty Ways of a Wayward Woman where I shall be providing my own unique view on the world as I see it. We've got a lot to talk about.

As usual, there will be no rhyme or reason to any of the subject matters I will tackle. It will be whatever pops into my mind on the day. And if I'm bored and my brain is befuddled, I will be posting pictures of hunky men in their underpants.

So nothing to lose then by dropping by if you're a woman. If you're a man, brace yourself it could be a bumpy ride.

And if there's anyone who wants to throw a topic into the brewing pot now. Drop me a line below.








Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 update.

I was clearing down some of my emails this morning while I was looking for a particular email and came across a number of emails dating back to my early blogging days. It brought me back here to my blog and remembering the immense fun I used to have blogging and reading blogs from all around the world. Sadly, most of those blogs have now died out.

After 12 years of blogging, I don't want mine to die out, so here I am with an update. 

In October, my Decree Nisi was passed by the Family Court. It has taken this long as I have had far too many problems and obstacles to overcome - getting divorced was the least of my problems.

For example, since September 2016, I have had 7 jobs. 

Job no 1 (4 months) - Left to join a rival company (Job no 2) for a higher salary. The company sub-contracted me to another. (Job 3)

After 3 months the company, I was originally contracted to (Job 2) went into administration. Several days later, the company I had been subcontracted to offered me employment which became Job No 4. They also subcontracted me to work for another firm which, in effect, was Job no 5. 

Nine months later, the two companies I was working for decided to withdraw from the shopping centre in which I was based. I was made redundant with a week's salary.

I was unemployed for about 3 weeks. It was an awful time. I was depressed and hit rock bottom. Then the employer of Job no 3/4 offered me a short-term contract working in London - Job no 6. I was promoted to Acting Manager, but I was paying a fortune to travel into London and working with people who had a zero-work ethos. So, when I got the chance to leave three months later, I moved to go to Job no 7. Job no 7 provided some stability on a better wage but was problematic in that it was on zero-hours and I never knew how long it would last.

So in July this year, I was laid off with no redundancy and no job to go to. I was unemployed for 4 months. I applied for numerous jobs, had countless interviews. All of which went well. One interviewer even told me I was the strongest candidate, but they didn't have the money to pay me a decent salary so they offered it to someone else. I came to the conclusion that it is still very much an ageist, sexist society even here in the UK. Even women employers are ageist - young women are often insecure and fearful of older women with more life and work experiences so they employ younger people who can be easily managed and manipulated. 

Eventually, after numerous interviews and rejections, I finally got a job (no 8) which I started 2 weeks ago. It is a store manager's job paying a school leaver's wage. It requires a lot of physical labour. 

I am now knackered and broke. 

Despite this, I don't regret ending my marriage. In fact, if anything, it has proved it was precisely the right thing to do because my husband's behaviour since our separation vindicates my decision. In the three years since leaving this area, he has not once come to visit our children. He has never voluntarily offered any help, pays whatever he feels like paying into the joint account and in the 4 legal meditation sessions behaved like an ass not producing the financial documents required by law on time. Bizarrely, during the last session, he seemed to think the onus was on me to verify he didn't own his car - most people would just produce their company car documents. At that point, and when he made it clear he didn't think I should have more than 50% of the house equity despite the fact the boys live with me, my income expectations are much lower than his, I have no pension of any note, no income at that time and no wealthy family to fall back on or live rent-free with (as he does) it was apparent mediation was just a time-wasting effort.

However, the biggest pain for me continues to be the effect on my children. Especially on my youngest son, whose formerly outstanding tennis career is effectively ruined as a direct result of my husband's financial irresponsibility. His academics have suffered too, which given the situation is not surprising. There will be no forgiveness from me ever for the effect he has had on my son. My children and I are now closer than ever, they have witnessed my struggles, and they know nothing is going to stop me fighting for them and for what is fair and just.

In January 2020, we have a last-ditch meeting with the deputy court judge to try and settle out of court. Going to court will drain equity in the house, but I fully expect to have to attend court as there hasn't been one iota of common sense in my husband's actions for years. Unfortunately, if we don't agree in January, it will be approximately 10 months before we get a court date and I will have to defer the Decree Absolute. Only once the finances are sorted will I be able to determine a way forward.

So that's where I am. On the writing front, I haven't done much of my own except a memoir which I don't intend to publish in its current format although I may use some of it as inspiration for future writing. I keep my creative mind ticking by helping friends and relatives with their writing. I am waiting for the new chapter of my life to begin where I am free from the past and can embrace the future on my own terms. I have always been politically-minded, but my experiences of the last few years have really clarified some thoughts on society and especially the unequal and subservient role of women. My future writing will no doubt encompass some of those thoughts.

I am not sure when I will publish new writing. But rest assured this is one blog that will not die and one voice that will not be silenced. I still have an irrepressible sense of humour which has kept me going through my darkest moments and many tears. I have hit rock bottom and I have clawed my way out. 

The only way is up.




Monday, September 23, 2019

Poetry Time


IF

If is a crazy word
Or an unhealthy turd
If only I had done this
Or that
Thrown away the key
And just been me

If only I had said no
And fought my foe
If only I had done this
Or that
Instead I stuck it out
And now I want to shout

If only I could be free
Sing from the tops of trees
If only I could do this
Or that
But the vice is still tight
And I'm prepared for a fight

If only women were not subjugated
Or flagellated
If only they could do this
Or that
If only women had one voice
Then we would rejoice

If is a crazy word
As fragile as a baby bird
If only I could do this
Or that
If may define my past
But I refuse to be typecast

If is a word of possibilities
Freedom from responsibilities
If only I could do this
Or that
And I will
Because I shall not standstill

Talking About Faces

A few months ago I was generously given a phone as mine kept dying on me and the battery was one of those irreplaceable ones. I duly set-up ...