Archive for September, 2008

The Chicken and the Eiger

So Gordon Brown decided to pull out a particularly shiny trumpcard this week. A vain attempt to rescue his ever waning popularity while the rest of us have to re-use our teabags in order to pay the gas bill? Clearly. But I wanted to hug him when I heard that he plans to introduce State funded childcare for two-year-olds.

 

Evidently, the likelihood of this measure being implemented before my own two-year-old son is in school is nil, but as a young mother desperate to return to work I have to applaud our rotund, unpopular Prime Minister.

 

I returned to University last year to finish my degree, when my son was fourteen months old. I could only afford(‘afford’ here is an euphemism for ‘I nearly died’) to put him in childcare for the days when I was actually in lectures, which meant that the time I had to read the sheer material required for a BA in English Language and Literature, as well as writing lengthy essays, was seriously compromised.

 

And now I find myself, at 25, with some office experience and a fresh degree in the bag, eager to grab a career by the horns and regain control of my life. Except for one *small* detail…

 

To send my son to my local nursery, where I feel confident that he will be cared for with genuine commitment and affection, will cost me a whopping GBP 938,00 per month, full time.

 

Now consider that I will be getting myself an entry level job in the media. I will NOT whore myself out for less than 20k, which limits the amount of positions somewhat. So, let’s say I’ll be earning approximately 1.2k a month after tax. After nursery fees, that leaves me TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO POUNDS A MONTH TO PLAY WITH!!!!!!!!

 

YOU WOULD THINK THIS IS SOME SICK FUCKING JOKE, WOULDN’T YOU?

Add to the considerations that I, as well as working for a pittance, will be putting myself through the heartwrenching decision of letting someone else look after my son for 70% of his waking hours. Add travel and food and I am torturing myself and my family to be 100 pounds better off a month.

 

 

When I look at it like this, I just want to say ‘FUCK THAT!’, but I am actually going to do this, in the hope that one day I will earn a lot more. But is it any wonder why single mums around the country remain on benefits? Too bloody right. It makes me sick with anger to know that there are millions of women in the same position as I am today.

 

 I hope Mr. Brown can fantasize about what good it might do to our desperate, swooning economy to encourage us professional housegirlfriends and wives back into the workforce. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

Dreaming a Little Dream

Every now and then I’ll daydream that I am an international rock star and supermodel and I am being interviewed by someone for a magazine. In my head, the interview will go something like this:

GLOSSYMAG: So, Professional Housegirlfriend, clearly we all cannot get enough of your rocking new album, but you look even better in the flesh. What is the secret to a physique like yours?

… and I’ll reply something like…

PROFHOUSE: Ah, you know, I eat what I want, when I want and never put on any weight, but I guess I just make sure I get plenty of sex. It’s the best kind of exercise. I enjoy cooking in the nude.

GLOSSYMAG: But your skin, it looks so radiant! It glows with such gorgeous natural lustre! What products do you use?

PROFHOUSE: Oh wow, thanks! I don’t wear any make up. I get tonnes of stuff through the post from all these beauty PR companies but I give it all away. I like the natural look, you know? I’ll let you in on my little secret, though.  I never leave the house without having had an orgasm…

 

… and then the kettle will boil, or the door bell will ring and I’ll snap out of my reverie, like someone just slapped me round the face.

Reality sucks.

The Apple of his Eye.

The phone rang. The voice inside the receiver sounded thin. It wasn’t who he had hoped it would be. ‘Hello Sir? There’s been a bit of a misunderstanding.‘ He looked up, out of the window, at the apple of his eye, swinging on the branch against the grey. He had watched that apple intently since it had been a pale blossom when the tree decided to break the banks of its wintry inertia. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on edge from the din of the branches screeching against the glass. He turned his head to the left, tilted his pupils to the right. ‘I am afraid so, Sir.’  The apple’s entire existence, from beginning to end, was a mere trajectory of decay, and still it glistened in the moisture. He was also past his best, and the weather certainly didn’t help.

Dancing with the Dark Knight

Last night I had the pleasure of going to the cinema for the first time since I was eight months pregnant, which makes it… uh… 2 years and three months without jelly sweets and popcorn.

 

A funny thing happened when I gave birth, and that is that I became a total wimp. Previously a horror movie fanatic who knew every line to ‘The Shining’, I suddenly developed an aversion to anything even mildly thrilling.

 

I think it was a consequence of hardly being able to balance my enormous womb and suddenly having to be one of those slow-walkers who clog the pavements of London on a daily basis. I felt like an old lady, stiff and frail. Then my son was born and he was this outworldly, tiny little creature, and the world outside the confines of my living room just seemed bigger and badder in comparison.

 

I suddenly developed about a million phobias; I was afraid of crossing the road, of being in a car, of flying, of drinking, of watching the news or disturbing films. And I was the queen of disturbing films! The more fucked up the film, the more I enjoyed it.

 

Fortunately, as I eased into motherhood, the crippling fear I felt started to ease, but I am ashamed to confess that as I sank into my dark seat and stared at the big screen I found myself feeling aprehensive as to whether I could sit through a film with a 12A classification. What had become of me?! I shifted nervously in my padded chair and waited for the movie to start.

 

Now, as soon as Christian Bale appeared on the screen I remembered how much I enjoyed the last Batman  movie. He is definitely the coolest Batman, like, ever. Cor, I wouldn’t even mind being his Robin if the chance ever befell me. What a hottie too. My anxiety suddenly vanished and my greedy eyes got ready for more. I wasn’t entirely convinced at first that Heath Ledger’s performance hadn’t been overhyped in the wake of his death, but as the film unfolded it became clear that the rumours were true, and his Joker was sicker, more psychotic and sinister than any of his predecessors. And he was still hot, even under all that make up. Why oh why do fit men die?

 

Now, much as I loved it, there was an annoying (if brief, compared to other superhero movies) ‘damsel-in-distress’ moment. C’mon people, isn’t it time to cut down on these cliches? Is this not the 21st Century? And why is Maggie Gillenhall the only female to have more than 3 lines in the whole thing?

 

Anyway, I DEFINITELY want a batmobile. Hell yeah. The best part of the film for me was when the batmobile is basically completely ruined after driving through a billion explosions and Brucey Batty is expelled on the sickest, most poisoned motorbike ever.

 

I wish he’d taken me for a ride.

I need one of these.

In fact, what I really need is one for my laptop. Being drunk at home within easy reach of facebook and msn is terrible for your mental health and for the cohesion of your social network.

 

 Once, pissed off my face on msn, I told a friend to meet me on the South Bank at 3pm on the following day, to which she unsuspectingly agreed from the other side of her computer screen. I got a call from her just as I ploughed my hungover way through a bacon and egg roll, with no recollection of ever having made any arrangements.

 

 Fortunately she has since forgiven my misdemeanour, but through this anecdote you can begin to gauge the potential danger of combining alcohol and internet access. You might make plans you will not keep to, you might confess your undying love for the cheeky girls’ last single, your pink balloon fetish, or the fact you are suffering from the unpleasant combination of a yeast infection and piles(I mean YOU, not me). In the safety of your home, reaching out to your hot work colleague with inhibitions cast aside and a stomach full of tequila is just too easy. Drink responsibly. DO NOT TURN YOUR COMPUTER ON. DO NOT ‘POKE’ ANYONE AFTER YOUR FOURTH GLASS OF WINE.

 

C’mon, someone has got to be able to patent a model soon?

 

 

Oh, the cartoon. I found it here.

Another blimming Monday.

I woke up in shock and horror this morning when a beam of light peeked through my thick blue curtains. ‘What on Earth is that?!!!!!!’ . Yes ladies and gents, it was sunshine. Really.  It’s been so long since I’ve seen any that I practically forgot what it looks like, almost like when you try to remember a dream but all you can retrieve from your brain is a faded image.  Do not panic, though, there really is no chance of me parading around in shorts, beaming a toothy smile, because the bloody clouds made it their priority to blanket the entire sky, way way past the horizon. AGAIN. Oh yeah, and did I tell you? It’s going to rain. AGAIN.

If only the London Underground was that bloody efficient.

More on the Vila Mimosa

Yo y’all.

I found another blog with a very entertaining entry on the Vila Mimosa, by a Carioca guy who goes to visit the place. Needless to say, his approach is much more lighthearted than mine, but I am the first to admit that I am sure there is a lot of fun being had in there, despite it being a shockingly fucked up place. There is no denying the Vila’s pull as a freak sideshow attraction, which in fact was probably the main reason I ended up there.  😉 Pretending there isn’t that side to it is futile and presents an unbalanced view. I also do not believe that it is necessarily helpful to envelop everything in a cotton wool wrap of political correctness. Above anything else, that would be decidedly un-Brazilian of me.

 

His page is in Portuguese and you can find it HERE.

 

I have also found another website, with more of a social conscience… Written by three women, perhaps unsurprisingly, and also in Portuguese… You can read it HERE.

And I have shamelessly stolen some photographs from there to illustrate this blog, but, as I have credited them, I hope you will refrain from casting the first stone.

 

 Now, to my enormous surprise, I have discovered that I am fast becoming an internet authority on the subject of the Vila Mimosa: I googled ‘Vila Mimosa’ and my blog was one of the top entries! Well, there you go. If you’re reading it here, you got it from the horse’s mouth.  Lucky you.