UK: The ‘Pressure’ on Women to be Bleached Blonde

Ok, ok, I was one once. The ‘pressure’ got to me too. It was all in the magazines and on TV, movies etc. It was ‘wrong’ to have your own hair colour.

I tell you what, I didn’t like being bleached blonde after a while, and nor did my hairdresser who moaned about my split ends and thinning hair which became ‘brassy’ over time.

For a time, it was ‘ok’ but as years went by, I recognised that people treated me as ‘less’ and I got patronised and I even had women being ‘jealous of me’. Men definitely changed and treated me as a woman that could be ‘dominated’ or ‘ignored’ my voice. At the time, I didn’t always realise this but over time I did.

It got to stage that I got sick of being ‘someone else’, ignored and patronised, and I didn’t want my hair, already thinning, being destroyed to bits. I now embrace a natural, shiny, healthy and authentic look, and I love it. My hair is mine, unique and it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. And, if I carried on putting this nuclear colouring, I would not have any hair left. When you get older, it is normal to have thinning hair, let’s not make this happen even quicker!

I was at a café today in Kent and I noticed that all the women had ‘bleached blonde’ bobs, like some kind of clones. I have never seen so many in one café. They looked unconfident. Would they go back to being brunette? Probably not. I suppose at the time, they thought the bleached blonde looked nice, it covers their natural hair and grays, but when you see everyone in your cafe friend group looking all the same, it is kind of weird. It is like stepping in some horror film actually.

They were clearly terrified of, dare we say it, looking older. It was weird, you could hardly tell them apart. Maybe they’re only friends with people who look like them? It seemed all of them felt pressure to have this clone bleached colour and hairstyle. Granted that bobs can be convenient, and I do like them. Maybe they wore bobs as their hair was too unhealthy to grow it longer? I know some people who have really, long, healthy silver hair.

The women were in their forties to sixties. It frightens me that I was once like them, thinking it was cool to be bleached blonde. Maybe they all bought Sainsburys ‘No 4’ box blonde? There must be so much pressure for these middle aged women to be blonde and ‘young looking’, so that perhaps their man doesn’t run off with a younger woman. Listen, you have chosen THE WRONG MAN! I wonder if they feel they are a ‘loser’ if they don’t colour their hair blonde? Some stay chemically bleached well into their OAP years. Catherine Denerve, seems to get away with it, somehow, but her hair must be completely wrecked. Maybe she has a blonde wig, like Barbara Windsor? As more and more women, get cancer, particularly breast cancer in middle age, and companies are secretive about what they really put in their hair colouring, you would think they would want to try and prevent early cancers?

Now I have decided to be an authentic, confident, woman and not give into chemical Blonde Pressure. It saves me money and time too. Ironically, do I have any bleached blonde friends, ha, no but I have a few independently, minded, chemically-free brunette and ‘other’ friends! I get more respect, people listen to me to more, in general, but I look ‘free thinking, confident and independent’ and not chained to the hairdresser for a bleached, blonde, unnatural, and that is the key, look. I have confidence, and the balls, to be myself.

Maggie Thatcher was bottle blonde, but then she was Tory, and you cannot be a ‘successful woman’, unless you are bleached Marilyn Monroe blonde? I wonder where she should be if she was an authentic, chemically- free, brunette?

My heroine is Boudicca, a feisty and powerful, natural red beauty, proud to be herself.

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#UKHeatwave London Wildlife needs Water too

If you live in an area which doesn’t have much fresh water around, particularly in urban cities, try and put out fresh water for the wildlife such as the birds and foxes. Fill it up in the evening too.

When it is very dry and hot, a lot of our wildlife find it hard to find water.

Put some waterbowls outside for them, and if you can make a mini pond for the them, even better. The butterflies will also appreciate a bit of fruit.

UPDATE: I have had dunnocks, magpies and pigeons drinking from my waterbowl.

London: Thunderstorm – 30 Safety Tips #ukstorm

In London, we are just about to have a big thunderstorm. We are on Amber Alert and I thought I would put out some safety tips for you.

Some of these were things we did in my own family when there was a thunderstorm, and some of these I found out from other useful weather sites.

1. Mirrors – Cover them

2. Don’t use the phone with a cable. I forgot to remove the phone plug once and my answerphone was damaged and I had a crackly line. I managed to sort out the crackly line from BT though.

3. Unplug non-essential appliances to avoid a power surge and shock.

4. Don’t use a mobile phone outside

5. Avoid windows and doors. Lightning can go through glass and cracks in doors. I have also seen, horizontal lightning, when I was on the farm in Kent.

6. Stay inside, or stay in a car

7. The Met Office advises to avoid using showers, taps, sinks and baths and don’t put laundry in the washing machine.

8. Keep the dog calm, preferably with you. I also used to pull the curtains. For extreme cases, please see your vet, there are safe and effective medications to help with loud noise phobias. Dogs left out in large, open fenced area may have little protection from lightning strike. Shelter in a dog house or under a tree would present greater risk.

9. I made sure I had two ‘escape routes’ in the house, just in case. I tended to stay downstairs in a thunderstorm.

10. Charge your laptop etc beforehand. You can also warn others on social media beforehand.

11. Keep spare batteries for the radio and watch the clouds.

12. Avoid contact with plumbing

13. Avoid electrical appliances with cords. Switch them off.

14. Avoid driving in a thunderstorm, as you could get blinded by lightning and cause a crash and a fatality. Lightning, which can strike as far as 10 miles from an area of rainfall. Make sure windows in the car are shut.

15. Avoid riding on anything metal during a severe thunderstorm with close lightning, such as a bicycle or motorbike. I knew someone who was struck twice, yes, twice, on a bicycle in the UK. And avoid riding horses, who will be scared.

16. Use a suitable weather site showing you where the lightning is such as

http://www.lightningmaps.org/?lang=en#y=52.2137;x=1.5514;z=7;t=3;m=sat;r=0;s=0;o=0;b=0.00;n=0;d=2;dl=2;dc=0;ra=1; or you can calculate where the lightning is ie count the seconds between the flash and the thunder and divide by 5. Lightning can strike 5-10 miles ahead of the storm, so if the lightening flash and thunder is 30 seconds or less, it means the lightening is about 5 miles away. Be sure to seek shelter! 

17. Stay away from trees and open spaces

18. Avoid fishing (one man in the US was struck using a metal rod when he was fishing six times).

19. Avoid water. Boaters and swimmers should get to shore as quickly as possible, as water conducts electricity. Avoid washing the dishes.

20. If you’re with a group of people stay about 15 feet from each other, if you are outside. One of my colleagues was in South Africa, in a school playground and lightning struck them. I think some school kids died. She was about 10 at the time.

21 Don’t stand in puddles

22. Stay away from clotheslines, fences, and drop your backpacks because they often have metal on them.

23. If you see or hear a thunderstorm coming or your hair stands on end and your skin tingles, go inside immediately!

24. Avoid using metal tools and sports equipment, like tennis racquets. (This is going to be interesting, as it is Wimbledon this week).

25. Make sure your house insurance is up-to-date

26. If thunderstorms are forecast, postpone or cancel outdoor activities

27. Do not put up an umbrella during a thunderstorm, even if other people are doing it.

28. Avoid poles

29. If you are outside, choose a low spot and crouch.

30. Be wary of venturing out too soon – the BBC Weather Centre advises waiting thirty minutes after the last flash

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK, THE BBC ADVISE:

” Call for help as they’ll need urgent medical attention. It’s safe to touch them – people struck by lightning carry no electrical charge that can shock other people.
Check for a pulse and for breathing – if you know first aid, begin artificial respiration and CPR if necessary. If they’re breathing, check for other possible injuries. Lightning strike victims have burns in two places – where the electric shock entered and then left the body, usually the soles of the feet. They may have broken bones or loss of hearing or sight.”

London Courts: ITV Cycling Presenter Richard Cunnynghame found guilty of ‘Drunk Cycling’ #summersafetycampaign

As I am doing a Summer Road Safety campaign, here is a story I picked up from the Daily Mail today, which is a little different from the norm, yes, a drunk cyclist and a semi-professional one at that!

I cannot believe how people will put themselves in danger by drunk cycling. And, the fact that he gave the police a ‘police chase’ was also astonishing. Wasting police time too. Think before you cycle.

Cycling and drinking can often go together, which I have seen on my Paris to London experience unfortunately. A lot of cyclists in England, cannot cope without alcohol, and I expect to see many more cases like this. I don’t drink so I won’t get this issue myself and even if I did, I wouldn’t be as stupid as this guy, who tried to get away with it.

This guy brings cyclists like us into disrepute and even his company, he works for.

Check out the story here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4671228/Drunk-TV-presenter-crashed-police-car-chase.html?ito=social-twitter_dailymailUK

Anti-Dangerous Driving Campaign: Booze Driver, Suzanne Barritt from, Westerham, Sevenoaks BANNED!

SEVENOAKS MAGISTRATES COURT

A woman aged 37, from the pretty ‘Winston Churchill’s’ village of Westerham, had been caught drunk driving nearby, in Brasted, by Kent Police with her Landrover Freelander.

She had ploughed into the car in front of her. Her solicitor, weakly, tried to get her off, but the judge saw sense and banned her from driving for 12 months, and also fined her.

In most cases, motorists who crash into the car in front, the blame anyway. A car went into me once in a 20mph in Sevenoaks because a woman drove her car with crap brakes but she got the blame.

Kent Police are currently undergoing a Summer Drink Driving Awareness campaign which was very well publicised. I am happy to report drunk drivers on my blog to raise awareness too.

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE, AND WRECK YOUR CAREER TOO. CHOOSE AN ALCOHOL FREE MOCKTAIL OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR BEING DRUNK AND IN CHARGE OF A CAR, AND IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN TOO, THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THIS.

More on the Story: http://www.kentlive.news/this-drink-driver-was-involved-in-a-crash-before-she-was-arrested/story-30425461-detail/story.html

Scandinavian News: Icelanders are fed up with some Tourists’ anti-social behaviour

Icelanders are experiencing several instances of anti-social behaviour from some tourists staying their country on a holiday break. Though they need tourism for their economy, they don’t need disrespectful behaviour.

The beautiful Scandinavian country of just over 330,800 people has been left reeling by these shameless visitors and local media is getting behind them.

Some inconsiderate tourists have been leaving litter, including plastic, which can last over a thousand years, whilst camping, and in South Iceland they plan to clamp down on nuisance behaviour by banning wild camping on public land completely. Litter can also harm farm animals and their unique wildlife and other animals.

There also have been reports that some holidaymakers have been killing farmers’ sheep whilst on camping trips.

Rural locals have reported tourists feeding the famous Icelandic horses despite being told not too, whilst others have been seen defaecating in public.

The British Foreign office has been informed (though I don’t have details of the actual nationalities involved).

As an huge fan of Iceland, its people and its environment, I hope to do my bit to Keep Iceland Tidy, even though I am far away in the UK. It is a great country, let’s all look after it and be a positive ambassador of your country when you visit it. If you are there, keep a look out for tourists who are spoiling the country, and contact your tour guide or hotel, who can help signpost you to the right people who can deal with such anti-social behaviour.

If you are a hotel, holiday company or connected with the tourist business in anyway, do encourage people to pick up their litter and respect the country. We can all be the change and I would love to hear what you do to help prevent this.

Glastonbury Interview: Some teenage revellers ‘minutes from death’, says Good Samaritan festival goer

One regular Glastonbury goer is shocked how many young people have been really sick and vulnerable when visiting Glastonbury, mostly due to drugs and alcohol poisoning.

He was telling me that one young woman was so drugged up that she was left by her friends in a puddle face down. Her so-called fair weather friends at Glastonbury just deserted her. Fortunately he had Mental Health First Training and knew what to do, and had managed to help save her.

He also said that at Glastonbury many security guards were not keeping an eye on reveller’s health and didn’t get any help for those clearly ill and had to step in when one reveller was extremely ill. Many security guards at Glastonbury are not even first aid or Mental Health First Aid trained and haven’t a clue what to do. They didn’t call for help at all.

The Good Samaritan (who was not Christian BTW), that there were not enough First Aid tents within the area, just outside, and this caused a lot of problems. Glastonbury is huge. And a heatwave makes it worse. He said the limited First Aid stalls were not designed for those who have mental health problems, when there clearly huge mental health drug issues still at Glastonbury.

He was disgusted at the number of revellers who stepped over, picked on for fun and ignored those who were clearly vulnerable and ‘out of it’. It was strange that many Glastonbury festival goers completely ignored people who are clearly suffering.

When he tried to help the young person who had fallen down in the puddle, he got abuse from his own ‘friends’ who were annoyed that he was helping her, as it was ‘inconvenient’ to them. Yes, he even got abuse. He ignored his ‘friends’ and continued to help her. The selfishness of many people at the event was staggering. Ironically many of them appear to be Corbynites by the level of press videos. You would think they would actually care about their own kind!

He said that when some people are out of it, they should talk to the person calmly, get them to focus on you all the time, and say their name until they come round from their ‘trip’, though this could take hours. If no one does this, they will be out of it and vulnerable again.

At one Glastonbury festival he went to, he was horrified that a woman had been attacked at the festival by a sex predator. There are people going round the festival deliberately ‘targeting’ young and vulnerable revellers.

He said that each visitor this year was security-checked for seven minutes, but he thinks this was more for ‘terrorism-related’ issues, but this must have ‘freaked out’ the regular drug dealers who prey on thousands of Glastonbury visitors each year.

He believes that there should be Mental Health First Aiders at Glastonbury that and that security guards should get First Aid training at the very least.
Parents should really know what is happening there. I would also back this up, but I would also add that nowadays there are many Drug & Alcohol Free Festivals people can go to instead, and have a good time, rather than a bad time, and possible death. These ‘healthier festivals’ seem to be growing all the time. Being ill and vulnerable is not fun. Saying No to drugs is the best thing and know your alcohol level so that you are always in full control. Looking after your friends, and not deserting them would be a good thing too. There is a big Elephant in the Room at this festival. This is something that is being ‘ignored in the mass media’.

Many young people, not all, are still very vulnerable, wanting to try new things, but they don’t have the knowledge as my own nephew has experienced, as he was killed trying drugs at eighteen last year. They still don’t ‘get it’. Many young people take stupid risks, because they are pressurised by ‘flash friends’ who desert them when they are in trouble. You can have a good time without them.

The media may have got a Glastonbury freebie and ‘had to write about something, so they ended up writing about Jeremy Corbyn, and the litter (though this is a good thing), but perhaps they should visit the overwhelmed First Aid tents and also speak to the police, to find out some real news and see if their professional journalists can help make the Event a safer place for all.

USEFUL LINKS

DRUGS AND SUMMER FESTIVALS: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/post/summer-music-festivals

DRUGS SEIZED AT BRITISH FESTIVALS https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/may/21/music-festivals-drugs

DRUGS AND FESTIVAL ORGANISERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/meghan-ralston/music-festival-drug-use_b_3653830.html

ALCOHOL FREE FESTIVALS https://www.everfest.com/magazine/8-alcohol-free-festivals-that-know-how-to-party

MAN KILLED AFTER SUSPECTED REACTION TO TAKING DRUG KETAMINE, A TRANQUILLIZER FOR HORSES TAKEN AT GLASTO(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/glastonbury/10930469/Glastonbury-man-dies-after-suspected-reaction-to-ketamine.html

LICENSING: Contact Somerset County Council http://www.somerset.gov.uk/

In Kent, however, there is a big alcohol problem with the young so much so that one Alcohol & Drug Free Festival in Headcorn, has had to be cancelled due to ‘lack of interest’ http://www.kentonline.co.uk/weald/news/drink-and-drug-free-festival-cancelled-40996/ Some people in Britain are unable to have ‘fun’ without alcohol. drugs and all the horrible stuff that goes with it.

Homemade ‘Pirate Treasure’ Ice Lolly – Review

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I was inspired by the Caribbean and pirates to make this summer lolly. The dairy yoghurt symbolised ‘Europe’, the journey the Pirates came from, and ginger beer and bananas from the Caribbean. My father gave me some real ‘pirate treasure’ once and this ice lolly gives me memories of him too. The chocolate ‘coin’ is for the ‘treasure’. So, it was quite a fun one to make.

Ingredients (eyeball)

Natural Yoghurt
Honey
Ginger Beer
Mashed Banana
A chocolate coin (without the metal wrapping)
Optional: yellow food colouring (it can be a bit strong, so watch out)

Use an ice lolly mould (use more if you want to share). Store them in the freezer when you need them.

Mix the ingredients and add the chocolate coin afterwards and put in the freezer for a few hours.

REVIEW: 9/10 I probably used too much ginger beer (just go easy) which can make it a bit watery, but if you use less and mix the yoghurt and honey well, it will turn out very nice. The ginger beer really gives its Caribbean magic.

PS Hello to the Jamaican’s reading things (I am a huge fan of ginger too)

England: “Because it’s Tradition”, we do weird & stupid things.

LONDON:

I always find that State Opening of Parliament fills me with nausea. We have this cringeworthy spectacle for an unelected woman to make a speech in Parliament, a supposed democratic institution. (hello?) Is it just me to thinks this is weird?. The mass media never talk about this. It is like the elephant in the room.

Then I also get annoyed that the soldiers in their bearskin hats are outside Parliament in a 32C heatwave, and are not being allowed to take them off ‘because of tradition’. It is just ‘not good form’ to do that. So soldiers are expected to faint instead. What kind of culture are we in? The class system is plain stupid. What kind of army leaders do we have? What, a ‘real soldier’ doesn’t take his bearskin off? The Queen didn’t seem bothered at all that they were very uncomfortable. Well, she is of a different generation. After all these years, they still make soldiers keep them on. Why don’t soldiers stand up to this nonsense – they are probably court martialled if they do, or bullied.

Even 91-year-olds like the Queen should not be out in a heatwave, on the ‘hottest day of the year’ and the NHS encourages us all to ‘check on their neighbours’ and to keep out of the sun from 11-3pm. Haven’t we forgotten that we are human? In countries like Spain, they have siestas for times like this, but no, we English go ‘out in the Midday Sun’ as the song says. And a lot of the time, we don’t even wear hats either to protect us from the high UV levels, which again, the Government warns us out. Some Brits have second degree burns because they don’t even use any sun protection, unlike people in other hot countries.

What about the emergency services who are inundated with people ignoring Government public health heatwave advice? Why don’t public health warnings apply supposed old people like the Queen? Why couldn’t the Queen just get Prince Charles do her job, at least she wouldn’t be out in the heat getting roasted? No, the Queen has to be out in a heatwave at 91 years old, ‘because it is tradition’, and even then, she’s stubborn enough to be out there during this time because ‘she wants to’.

I understand that the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, has been taken to hospital yet the Queen would appear to be at the State Opening of Parliament, instead of being with him during the day. And, after that, she even went to Ascot in the heatwave. All because she cannot upset ‘tradition’.

Horses should not be racing on the hottest day of the year either, and she is supposed to be a horsewoman. Horse.com advise “Know your horse and signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can happen anytime your horse is exposed to excessive heat that his body cannot handle. Heatstroke can happen if exercising in hot conditions, but be aware that it can also happen if standing in a hot stall or trailer.” I am at a stables, we keep our horses cool, and none of them have even been out riding in the heat today. The racing industry can be appalling and greedy. The Queen should not be encouraging racing in this weather too. Why not have race times only in the cooler part of the day, or would that ‘not be tradition’? I would rather ‘blow tradition’ than have a sick horse to attend to. I don’t hear anything from the vets at Ascot, maybe they are gagged or are ‘enablers’ of the greedy racing industry in a heatwave, after all, they get a free day out at Ascot.

There comes a point in life that doing the ‘right thing’ is taking the time off work for family reasons, health reasons and animal welfare, this is more important than ‘being on show’. Some traditions are plain stupid, and even more so, in a heatwave. Being a younger generation than most of the old fogies who carry on making these stupid rules, I make my own stamp, by standing up to it and questioning it.

Some people who do ‘challenge things’, actually comes from kids. Recently a academy school banned kids from wearing shorts during a heatweave, so the boys wore skirts as a form of protest and got lots of media coverage. Why can’t boiling soldiers all together, in a band of brothers’. and make a stand, why can’t horse grooms make a stand for their horses? Even the journalists are made to wear suits in a heatwave, ‘for show’, which is ridiculous too. Sometimes were Brits are a bunch of wimps and won’t say boo to a goose!

We have to question our culture, but adults never seem to learn, and that’s a tradition too!

++ Note I am typing this in a library, keeping cool with fans.

Homemade Mango Yoghurt & ‘Rum’ Ice Lolly – Review

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This was recommended to me by a Kentish woman who works at a fruit stall in England. Sometimes we swap recipes. Instead of milk, I used almond milk which I thought would be healthier. It gels the ingredients well together. I used a couple of lolly moulds.

INGREDIENTS (eyeball)

Ripe mango – chopped

Natural Yoghurt

To sweeten: Sugar or honey

Almond or Oat Milk

Drops of rum flavouring (sometimes Eastern European shops have this)

METHOD
: Just mix up!

Review: 9/10 Very nice! It was slightly cheesy at first, but in a nice Icelandic Skyr way. Far nicer than the ones in the shops too. Personally I preferred a bit of sugar, but that’s me. The lolly took about 10 minutes to eat. I gave one to my friend, who also enjoyed it. I find the ice lollies in the shops far too rich for me, and they’re not very fruity.

Tip: Some chopped almonds would be fun to add and would work very well with the almond milk.