Lifestyle

Note: Ask any survivor about side-effects or working with an oncologist and you’ll receive a notebook’s worth of helpful information. Ditto for managing cancer on the job or with children. But ask them about their relationship and you’re apt to hear variations on this theme, “He never blinked,” or “He really showed me how strong a man he truly is.” In other words, you’re not apt to hear what it’s truly like for some women. While we celebrate relationships where love’s better nature rules, it’s also time to honestly share the kind of stress cancer and its associated treatment brings to many two-income families where jobs, children, carpools and chemotherapy all need to be balanced in the course of a day. I was asked by a woman whom I admire to publish this essay here. It is my honor to do...
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Dear Ms de Boo We all know that things are not great in the meat industry. The horse meat scandal has dominated the news for over a month and it has dented consumer confidence in the food industry. It is clear that there have been cover-ups, corruption, incompetence and turning a blind eye to the problems. There is a now a chance for the meat industry to get its house in order and make sure that what it says on the packet is indeed what is inside. But you have chosen this occasion to raise your profile and that of your organisation to launch an attack on meat eaters. Your sanctimonious outpourings in the media seem to be saying that we meat eaters have brought all this upon ourselves. We are merely reaping a poisoned carcass harvest born of the suffering caused to animals in order...
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When a person has been single for a while, they start to think they’re being pursued by the biggest love imaginable. They think love is coming for them down the street like the Grim Reaper, like an unstoppable madman with an axe. It’s there. They can feel it. They wonder what it is going to taste like, but they think they know. They look into the stars and they see it. They miss their flight and suddenly it’s a sign that the biggest love imaginable will be in the airport at the end of the later flight, waiting to be bumped into at baggage reclaim. Being single is like being left in charge of a library book that hasn’t had a date stamped in it. You don’t know when the call is going to come, just that it will come, because it has to come, this ultimate of ultimates. The single person...
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Dear Pope and Archbishop, Christmas is a time for sharing. I think we can all agree on that. However, while I am prepared to share the festival you call Christmas Day with my Pagan festival on 25 December, you appear to be reluctant to do the same with me. Just because you believe in the birth of someone you call the “son of God” doesn’t mean you can re-invent history. While there is no evidence whatsoever of the birth of a deity, or even a powerful individual called Jesus, in Bethlehem on any day in December in the year 0 BC, there is evidence that the Christian church effectively hijacked Christmas. For Pagans, the beginning of the end of Winter was celebrated around 21 December; the Winter Solstice. Yule. It was and still is celebrated by Pagans, Wiccans, Celts and Druids....
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With Fifty Shades of Grey changing the way women view their sexualities, has this book been the reason we’ve opened our eyes to experimentation? Vanilla sex. Whether dominating, or dominated, its opened many eyes to BDSM. Vanilla is the middle ground. It’s not very exciting though, it’s a safe option, a simple flavour. In reference to sex, it’s nothing too ‘saucy’. On a scale of vanilla to Christian Grey, many relationships have a little bit more spark than the everyday flavour. A blueberry taste perhaps? But has this book, described as ‘Mummy porn’, been the reason men are feeling inadequate, whilst the women remain sexual professionals that they need to please? The men are judged on their performance, their stamina and skill. Their variety even. Women don’t want to be bored in...
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In the world of women’s magazines, a hell of a lot of the readers are presumed to be straight women. Straight women who want to dribble and stare at the likes of Harry Styles (Eurgh), some goon from TOWIE (Pass me a bucket) or even James Arthur (Don’t even get me started). But what I want to know is, where are all the women at? Nuts magazine, although not my usual ‘read’ has a section called ‘Advice from a fit lesbian’ – Which is always an interesting one. It’s also a very true statement, she is a bit on the tasty side. Men (apparently) love a lesbian. They are seen as a conquest, out-of-bounds sex on legs maybe. But whilst More! has ‘position of the week’ and Heat has ‘Torso of the week’ I am most unimpressed that they ignore gay women. I won’t be burning my bra anytime soon (I...
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Dear Mr Keane, You are President of the National Rifle Association and are a major advocate for gun rights in the American political arena. With more than 4 million members, your N.R.A. has become a formidable player in American politics. You and your organisation try to resist any attempt to curb the prevalence of guns in the US, using largely specious arguments. Do you know the organisation over which you preside; the National Rifle Association was founded in 1871 in New York by two Civil War veterans who were concerned about the lack of marksmanship in the armed forces. You organisation has come a long way, and deviated off the original track. Tightening US gun law will not stop the gun-related crimes and occasional massacres- these have happened in countries with much tighter...
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I have become somewhat sanitised in my behaviour in recent years. My self-satisfied, middle-class ways have led me onto believing that my self-worth is rapidly decreasing proportionately to the amount of facial hair I decide to grow. This devaluation of the male role in the society is partially to blame on the amount of feminist movement that spawned to existence due to the availability of social media and the utterly ridiculous female necessity to mock everything male. This outrageous rise in feminist activity is slowly beating the male population of the western world into submission and my embarrasing acceptance of my own scarf-wearing, vegetarian existence is partially to blame. More often than not I see women enjoy themselves in a Charlie Sheenesque fashion trying to emulate male...
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Dear William and Kate. The media have declared that you have “announced” that you are expecting your first child. I understand that Clarence House has “revealed” that you are “delighted with the news”. I am also told that The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry and members of both families are also “delighted with the news." Hold on to your royal chairs, you two… because… I just don’t care. It’s not big and it’s not clever to conceive. I’ve done it. Millions around the world have done it. I truly can’t understand why the media give miles of column inches to your news. Less and less people care about Royalty in this country. The Diamond Jubilee was the last gasp, the last Hurrah for an outdated money-sapping scheme that is well past...
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Dear Teachers I will put my cards on the table straight away. I urge you teach children Poker. Not pretend Poker for tokens or matches, but Texas Hold Em Poker with money. Their pocket money. Bear with me on this before you start going into a froth about the evils of getting kids into gambling and on the road to rack and ruin. I am not suggesting gambling on something as trivial as Bingo where there is no skill involved. I am not suggesting that this teaching goes unsupervised. But I am suggesting that the game of Texas Hold Em has a wealth of learning, that will equip children better for the rigours and the traps, financial and otherwise, in the world outside the school, college, Uni or Campus gates. Consider what you need to do in order to be good at Poker. You need to be able to...
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