Saturday, 16 May 2009

Smoke and mirrors

I remember clearly my first experience in the dark and hopeless tunnels of the Waterloo subways, I was no more than 10. I had gone with a friend and her parent's, I forget what for but to get where ever it was we were going we had to pass under this well known homeless hangout. Except for me it wasn't well known, I was quite well educated in the ways of the world, regularly having waifs and strays in and out of mums I was under no illusion life was perfect, but wandering on the suspended pathways lit by a dank orange glow, followed by the glazed black eyes of London's forgotten people a stark grey cold shivered it's way to my very soul. I saw then in those few short minutes how cruel the world is. I swore then as long as I could give to others I would.

Throughout my life I have found myself there on many more occasions, I am not scared as some people and I would not avoid walking through here as the sickness that rises in my belly reminds me to never give up not in a selfish sense I mean on everything, for those that can not be heard, despite the eerie linger of dread in the tunnels there is hope, don't be pushed underground. It's all quite poetic.

It seems now that that poetic air has made it on to the walls, it really stops you in your tracks. Amidst all the chaos above and the sadness below there now interrupts beautiful words from others experiences and dreams. At first I am drawn in, awe at the configuration, ponder the sentiment and marvel at the joy on the peeling paint cracked and pissed stained tiles.

Unfortunately it's a short felt contentment as I then stumble on some laid out cardboard boxes, clearly someones bed and I crash back to reality. It's wonderful to decorate our world with art, but when there are thousands of people sleeping on the streets every night can we really spare the money? Even if the cost of the paint, the labour and the stencils only came to the price of one meal (which I very much doubt!) wouldn't that money be better spent. We call ourselves a developed country, but we lack humanity in so many ways.

It's been 18 years since I first walked through these subways and nothing in the harsh reality of things has changed, such a powerfull country and in 18 years the thousands of people that live rough just keeps growing and all our goverment can manage is to try and blind the public with some pretty words. It seems to work for too many.

Monday, 4 May 2009

The female Eunich....

It was Wednesday pm, I just got home from work and I was greeted by an unsavoury smell floating down the hall way, was it feline Frank's afternoon litter gift, was it Dave, having been off ill festering in his own juices...I followed my nose, it lead me to the fridge. Now what had gone off, Ive been known to lose a few things to the fridge demon, I'm not good at clearing out so the odd carrot, courgette, broccoli and the occasional lettuce gets pushed to the back, led astray by the jars of pickles parading their anti mould pickling juices the veg first grows an interesting layer of fur which makes all the other veg jealous, but quickly the fur melts to slime and infects it's neighbour, before you know there's a mould pandemic...or conceptual art as I'd rather (a representation of the fragility of life!). Anyway I rifled cautiously taking short breaths in preparation for the discovery of a fridge monster, but to no avail, that's when I realised it wasn't cold...balls!

I filled up an ice tray and placed it in the freezer with the temperature at it's lowest, 24 hours later, no ice, yep the fridge freezer had died and no we didn't get the extended warranty, theirs always something better to spend your money on at the time, but you always regret it later (not that I'll be admitting that to the in laws any time soon!)

So Saturday was for fridge/freezer shopping, I'll save you the boring details of appliance shopping, the real shock of this tale of events was Dave's glee full smile at getting the fridge home and placed in it's Little hole, he turned to me and said 'aren't you excited'......speechless, EXCITED? seriously it's a domestic appliance, I started to question how people perceived me, most of all Dave, the man I've lived with for approximately 7 years!! I don't believe in gender roles, I think marriage is a farce, I stand for equality, woman's rights and self discovery, I have fridge monsters....!?! Have I become a stereotypical female, goodness I do like cooking, I'd like a country kitchen, I luv buying make up, don't start me on clothes and shoes would be an interest if my feet weren't so big!

What happened? For years I wouldn't wear a skirt in protest of it's impracticable nature for climbing trees (you never know) and that men feel the need to wolf whistle at the first sight of flesh, I refused to be an object, I stopped shaving for awhile, I'm fair no one even noticed I didn't wear make up because I didn't want to be attractive I wanted people to get to know me and not make a judgement on my painted face and I eat what I wanted...but in all honestly this was a pretty miserable time. It was a counter reaction to my previous self, layers of Gothic makeup, hours spent with my head over the toilet throwing up from guilt of eating a meal that might bulge my skinny belly, the problem was; neither was a balance.

So now days I guess I do fit the stereotype from time to time, but is that such a bad thing knowing that now I do it for myself, so yeah I am a little excited to get a new fridge, but not so I can prepare food for my man and live in a domestic bliss bubble, but because I enjoy food and it's black, (the inner goth never dies!) Just don't get me confused, all those girly things I enjoy these days are because I feel better for doing them, not because how others may perceive me for the fact of them, but because I enjoy the little pleasures of having smooth legs, wearing my hair curly or straight and the glamour of a little flick of eyeliner can bring. I am a hippy feminist at heart and if someone cares about me enough they will know Dave explained after I bit his head off!!