Monthly Archives: September 2011

Shaving in public / Choose (for the Loose Bloggers Consortium)

Life is choices. Choosing to act. Choosing not to act. Acts of commission or omission.

I wonder what possessed the woman in this story to choose to behave in such a startling way?

A mother writes:

I was sitting in a cafe with my daughter, when a lady came in and bought herself a drink. She took it to the outside seating area. We nodded at each other. She smiled at my daughter and then settling herself down with a newspaper.

A few moments later she took out her makeup bag and peered at her reflection.

Then she pulled out a disposable razor and began to dry shave her neck and chin.

It was all I could do not to fall off my chair.

My daughter has stored the experience away for the next time I tell her: “Don’t stare. It’s not polite.”

But I was helpless

Would you choose to shave in public? Would you choose to look on or look away or somehow manage not to look up at all? Does it make a difference whether you’re a man or a woman? For either question.
And which was she?

To find out what the other members of the Loose Bloggers Consortium came up with in response to the theme Choose (set by Grannymar) click on their links on the right hand side of the page under the LBC title.

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The Day I Met… Indira Gandhi

She even has her face on stamps

This week’s entry in The Day I Met… Competition takes place in sunny Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It used to be famous as the only home of the Dodo. Since then a more reilient resident has been roosting there – guest blogger Padmini Natarajan in Chennai, India. The dodo is extinct, but Padmini and her blog This & That, There & Here is still going strong. She and I met a few months ago at the Royal Academy. (Click for her photo.)

According to Padmini – actress, writer and cultural ambassador to the world – she and her husband have met many celebs over the years. But the one who sticks in her mind is a very formidable woman – an international figure – controversial, some would say notorious. We’re talking about bestriding the world stage here, not some reality show Z-lister (though stories about encounters with them are also welcome).

You know – Indira Gandhi Continue reading

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offender art

Disappoint Man - Anon

Can music soothe the savage beast inside?

Can art help rehabilitate offenders? I think the answer is yes to both questions Continue reading

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Marriage (for the Loose Bloggers Consortium)

Zsa Zsa Gabor, huge fan of marriage - nine life sentences. Her verdict? "A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.”

“Marriage, huh! Good God. What is it good for Continue reading

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The Day I Met… Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg packs a political punch

(Ta dah!) It gives me a queasy feeling in my stomach to introduce the latest entry in The Day I Met… Competition.  Here’s a taster:

We had to stop at a hotel to collect someone. A performer. Someone whose first album I owned. My first discovery of political music for myself. Even my dad rated him. Squeak!

But then it all goes wrong. The story is from Speccy and her Me, Mine and Other Bits blog in Belfast.

I’m trembling a bit. This is about a musical hero of mine. An inspiration (of which more below). A singer songwriter. If you’re from somewhere that has not yet had the pleasure of Billy Bragg (also at his official website), he’s an unashamed leftie. The “Bard of Barking” has sung against the right-wing press, Thatcher, the arms industry, war as an easy option (he had a brief spell in the army himself) and racism; in favour of trades unions, international solidarity, sexuality in its various manifestations and the humane treatment of asylum seekers; and about loss, relationships and love.

But he’s mainly known as being incredibly right-on. (Which is an odd term, as it generally means being on the left, in a politically correct sort of way.) Right on – and fun. And a good song writer. I’ve seen and heard him live quite a few times – every time a good ‘un.

But hark! Perhaps the Braggster is not quite as saintly as he seems Continue reading

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Breath (for the Loose Bloggers Consortium)

Ever used your breath to fog up a window and draw a happy face? Why not?

I think of holding my breath, swimming as far as I can underwater as a child.

I think of the same child watching his father blow his breath into the lungs of a swimmer dragged from the sea Continue reading

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The Day I Met… Gerry Adams

He's the one in specs, paramilitary beret, no beard - an ice cream would just look silly.

(Fanfare.) It gives me great pleasure to present the next entry in the The Day I Met… competition. Here’s a taster:

I rushed through to the front to see two more extremely large “boys” wearing trench coats in a heat wave stood at the front with a third man. In trying to evacuate the premises, I nearly evacuated something else. The three at the front were close together. A shotgun with some fine buckshot might take all three out and then a run like buggery down the fields across the stream and don’t stop until I hit Larne and the boat to the mainland. It is amazing what goes through your mind when you believe you are about to be kidnapped!

The story continues below. This entry comes from… Actually I can’t tell you his name. (At least I think it’s a him.) Because he is keeping his true identity a secret. He writes about dodgy goings on in the police and the criminal justice system under the pseudynom Noble Cause Corruption. He’s a serving police officer in the UK, so Continue reading

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