Tag Archives: writing

not just for girls

Not Just For Girls. Boys Can’t Dance.

gender

In the times where people are fighting for gender equality – equal rights as adults to allow women and girls the same rights as men, in the work place and how we dress. It is a slow movement, but the little things like, equal choice of clothing for little girls are beginning to change. 13 years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt buying a cardigan with cars on – aimed at little girls, yet there is one currently hung in the wardrobe, or dinosaur clothes designed for girls. It is brilliant.

While we’re looking deeply into what clothing line these big companies have, making a stand, there is another little corner that seems society turns a blind eye to; that gender stereotypical jobs and hobbies are still very much obvious.

Football for boys, ballet for girls; this has stuck; and is something that is currently on my mind. Let me tell you…

Background

In 2012 my eldest daughter took the steps to join a local majorette troupe; she didn’t enjoy gymnastics or country dancing, so I wasn’t sure if she would even enjoy this activity either. But she did and this year we’re nearing her 6th year and still loves every part of it. She also occasionally participates in football and hockey with her school; all activities very much supported. As long as she is enjoying it, nobody seems to bat an eyelid at her activities – quite right too.

 

Not Just For Girls

My son, he’s an absolute Gentleman, he’s very kind and is thoughtful towards others. He is also a majorette. One very hot summer’s day in 2013 whilst watching his older sister display, he asked if he was able to join in; I enquired and he was welcomed with open arms. I genuinely believed he wouldn’t stay for long I, myself assumed he would stop when he realised (at the time), there were no other boys, and just how much hard work goes into training. He surprised us all; he is now currently going into his 5th year.

 

The kicker – The Not-So Gender Equality

I have been questioned many times over the past five years from different people about my son doing majorettes. That is deemed too girly for him.

Where I have never been questioned about my daughter doing it, or that she also plays football (and is a fan of football too, might I add – both my son AND my husband aren’t bothered by football!!).

I am not really sure why people, in today’s society – where people are fighting (and rightly so) over women’s rights, that this hobby is deemed “too girly.” Yes it obviously is predominantly a female activity, but that shouldn’t stop any person male or female having a go. The stereotypes are still there, and are a long way behind what it should be. As I said nobody seems to be bothered by my daughter playing and liking football, yet it is EVERYBODY’S business whether my son twirls a baton.

 

Fighting the Corner

Where is the fight for the boys who want to dance? We’re still no closer to having the freedom for more Billy Elliotts.

The fight for those boys who do want to put on ballet pumps and pirouette.

For the boys, like my son as well as many other sons, who want to pick up a baton and NOT want to injure someone but to show off a skill, or a set of poms to show off his team building skills?

These boys need this corner too. There have been times where my son has been alienated by friends and classmates because of his hobby. It’s unfair.

To me, it is the adults – the parents who need to help change this stigma where boys can’t comfortably enjoy something that is not the usual football or scouts.

Sadly I have seen it with my own eyes where people point at the boys at carnivals and displays (although in my son’s case it is friends who point more…), at the end of the day they are children; children who are out to entertain doing the thing that they love, the boys should never feel like they’re inadequate. There are some amazing male twirlers in the world – you’ve just got to open your eyes and see the amazing things these guys do, ignoring the rudeness.

I would rather my son pick up a baton and twirl or a set of poms and rock out to Bon Jovi; than be the mean judgemental humans out there, who think it is acceptable to ridicule someone because of their gender.

It is time to stop.

So, unless your hobby is porn or of a sexual nature, then gender should NOT have an effect on a person’s hobbies, jobs or activities.

Leave our boy twirlers, boy dancers alone.

 

Disclaimer:

I am incredibly proud of my son, of all my children. We never push them to do their hobbies, in fact sometimes it would be nice to have a Friday off (joke 😉 ), we weren’t expecting him to enjoy it so much, to still be doing it nearly 5 years on. I do ask him every now and again if he still wants to continue, and every time his answer is yes. I would never force him or any of them (I have three twirlers) to continue if they didn’t want to.

It really is a great activity, something different. He gets on with every single person on his team.

(Check out the behind the scenes post coming soon).

Don't Touch Me

Don’t Touch Me. Flash Fiction

I have always loved people watching; for as long as I can remember they fascinate me somewhat. Going about their personal business, some walking in the same direction, but not to the same destination; strangers together. Their lives seemed busy, for whatever reason.

As I walk amongst the crowd, weaving in and out; being careful not to touch or be touched by anyone, I like to keep clean. Keeping my head down as much as I can too; I struggle with eye contact with people; it makes me feel strange – guilty perhaps. They could be having a bad day, and making eye contact would mean that I have ignored them. Simpler just to avoid; I don’t think I am noticed much anyway – I like that too. I am fairly shy and prefer to go be unnoticed; it made my day peaceful; leaving me with only a small number of jobs I am given daily, these days I like.

My job is a difficult one, it really is never easy, but one that is needed to be done. There are quite a few of us in this field, dotted around the world. We rarely interact with each other; we can work alone, when we do come together it is usually the worst kind of days, days we like to avoid. I like my own company, I think the others feel the same none of like the team working days.

My first call of the day is fairly early; it is in a house – I say the first call, I have visited here several times this week, I don’t like to arrive too quickly if I can help it, although I think it was preferred that I completed the jobs a day or so ago. But I like them to have the important things out of the way; it doesn’t make any sense to me to interrupt these.

I can’t put this off any longer.

As I stand to look at the large black wooden front door – it looks quite old – I always like to knock, but I never wait for the door to be answered. You see people don’t like me being in their homes, I try desperately to not be made aware of – most of the time these people know that I am coming.

As I enter the house, I remove a small bottle from my pocket, placing a drop of the gloopy liquid from inside onto my hands and rubbed them together; I like to remain clean all the time, hence why I am not overly keen on being touched, amongst other reasons. I can hear voices from the rooms upstairs, everywhere else seemed cold and empty.

I begin to slowly climb the stairs, a voice shouted over me to whoever was downstairs, within seconds they were running past me, I made sure that nobody touched me or that I got in their way. Reaching the top I took a breath. “This part never gets easier.” I sighed to myself. Slowing my pace as I edged closer to the door at the end of the hallway. It was a long one, passing several dark doors as I walked.

It seemed so small, but there were many people in there, not a lot of space to move. Politely but quietly I said “Excuse me”, as I tried to get by. I can’t be sure they really heard, I never know if I ever get heard.

A path naturally cleared for me; I continue to be careful not to be touched too much, and where my hands placed, for a moment I was able to reach for my tiny bottle again; can’t be too clean. In front of me a bed with an elderly gentleman lying under his covers, he appeared to be sleeping; he obviously wasn’t well. Above the voices which were filling the room, I could hear his laboured breathing and the soft beating of his heart. I continued closer to him; I do hope I can help him.

I crouched down close to his ear.

“I’m here for you.”

Whilst I placed my hand upon his chest, I could instantly feel the final rise and fall as he took his final breath; my hand rested next to those who love him. Carefully sliding my hand away, I stepped back to ensure nobody could sense my being there, I certainly didn’t want contact with them in any way – it wouldn’t be the first time.

The paperwork I need to fill, identities I need to check most of the others who work the same as me use modern technology but I still prefer book and pencil. This one was pretty standard. As hard as they are I like these jobs. I can begin my journey to my next destination.

The cries of sadness trail behind me, I am used to that noise now – well almost.

I didn’t have another in the area, so I made my way to my car. I managed to drive a little way, traffic was building up, the three lanes were filling up. It was then I noticed other members of my team dotted around the queuing traffic, we made eye contact and I knew this wasn’t the end of my day.

The man in the car next to me looked across, he smiled. They usually do.

Seconds later a large tanker ploughed into the car next to me and into others. My quiet day had now ended.

Fiction Friday. A Prologue Snippet.

This is an excerpt from some Fiction that I am currently working on. 

Every morning as dawn broke the Church doors would unlock and Amy would take a walk in and around the church grounds; she’d look at the headstones, there were a few new ones; but mainly old and now lost and forgotten. Many thoughts crossed her mind,  even those of wonder –  whether this would soon become her final resting place; wondering if she would even get a headstone and if her unborn baby would be with her.    Amy had even envisaged a burial plot; under a pretty little tree that she imagined would blossom during the summer months; sprinkling petals over her abandoned grave in years to come.

She continued to gently walk aimlessly.   She began to talk a little to her delicate bulging stomach, this would be the only conversation she would have. A cold chill swirled around her;  it was then she decided to go back inside the church; where once again the doors would close magically behind her.

The frail old woman hurriedly approached her; where she became forceful with Amy; almost seemed frustrated with her. Forcefully holding her by the arms while she placed her hand hard onto Amy’s growing stomach, she muttered something quickly and quietly; which sounded like a chant or a spell; willing the birth of the unborn baby quicker.   She ripped her hand away. Amy stepped away quickly; wrapping her arms around her stomach for protection for her unborn child. Frowning at the woman; confused by her new hostile behaviour.

Outside, a blizzard was looming; heavy snow hit the stained glass windows of the church, Amy silently but quickly made her way to the big Oak doors, they hadn’t yet been bolted from her walk outside; she had only assumed she had now outstayed her welcome with Cora the person she had looked to as an angel that had taken care of her these last weeks.   But as she neared them the bolts pulled themselves across to lock the door.   Amy hadn’t noticed that the elderly woman was right behind her; ready to pull Amy away from the door, with some surprising force, to stop the teen from escaping.

She pushed Amy to the floor.   Shocked and frightened she slowly got to her feet; looked at her attacker then looked around. She was looking for some kind of exit and she noticed a little oak door to the side of her; maybe this could be her door…   She pushed, pulled, even kicked it; while tugged at the dirty brass doorknob; with no movement; it was very old and locked.    Cora followed the 14-year old’s every move, every footstep-like a shadow.  She again grabbed Amy with force by her arm.

Pulling her close, she placed her hand tightly onto Amy’s large pregnant stomach; she let out a horrified and painful gasp while tearing herself away from the cold elderly hands, replacing them with her own warm hands, protecting her unborn child.  Cora disappeared.

Amy took the opportunity to try and escape again through the old side door, “Surely there is a way to get out of here?” She muttered to herself. Amy once again kicked and punched the door.  She could see movement out of the corner of her eye, Amy turned to see the not so frail Cora slowly walking effortlessly towards her – as if she was gliding- carrying something in her arms.

Amy began to panic throwing bibles, prayer mats and iron candlestick holders at the woman; all of which missed her.  When Amy failed to hit the woman in self-defence, she began throwing the objects at the ancient church stained glass windows in the hope it could be her escape route; or the very least a passerby would hear. She finally smashed a window; one of which had the beautiful Virgin Mary mastered in to.  This angered the woman; she quickened her pace toward the terrified pregnant girl.

The elderly woman carried a bowl of warm water and fabric – possibly old curtains.  Amy concentrated harder on her escape she wasn’t quite tall enough to reach the window she had smashed; for a moment she couldn’t see Cora. The hood of her cloak now rested on her shoulders. Thick, unkempt, white hair down to her shoulder blades.

Cora was able to creep right up behind Amy, pulling her with force off the pew she was standing on to attempt her escape; she hit the floor, hard.  Cora grabbed Amy by a handful of hair; dragging her whilst she kicked. Cora came across a frail, elderly lady; but the truth was she had utter strength behind her. Amy yelled in pain toward the open space at the altar.

Amy silenced herself with fear, now lying on the cold stone floor, too scared to move.  Cora stood over her as she forcefully pulled Amy’s legs to buckle beneath her.  Amy attempted to stop her by kicking which only made Cora angry; making the grip tighter, with that unbelievable strength.  With her long thin pointy fingers, she placed them deep beneath Amy’s tatty long skirt…

It all happened so fast; Cora stood up and took a step back watching as pain ripped through Amy’s tiny teenage body.  Water surrounded the girl making it too slippery for her to stand.  There were waves of pain which paralysed her; all the while she still tried to protect her unborn baby with nothing but just her arms.  Amy thoughts were only to her death, she knew she was about to die, no one would know or even care. Not even her family, she was dead to them, the moment she discovered her pregnancy.  She tried to stand, but could only kneel; she was desperate for the pain to disappear.  Cora continued to stand close, arms folded with no emotion or word to say; she pulled Amy to her feet dragging her a short space to the font; where she submerged the girl’s head into the clear water…

Fiction

Source: Tumblr

New Feature and A Shake Up

Happy New Year!

New

If you are a regular reader you will know I have been blogging for a long while, both here and over on Melody and Me. I adore writing so it only seemed right that I had these blogs where I could pursue some kind of hobby. The things I wrote about our memories, just flowed.

I moved to self-hosted in September and somehow I found myself becoming less and less unique to me; and more and more trying to be like the thousands of other bloggers out there. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it can feel at times very stressful, competitive to try and at least get your work read.

Then as I was writing “another” random Christmas post trying to keep up with these hundreds of bloggers, it suddenly dawned on me that I had started to hate the thing I loved, this one thing for as long as I can remember loving; I started to fall out of love with it.

The blogging community are wonderfully supportive; and of course there some amazing ones out there. I just lost my way; and was holding on to ropes for which I have no clue to what they are for. I even came to a stage where I wanted to stop completely; even Melody and Me- which is definitely something I didn’t want to do.

Muchness

So I made a decision to find my “muchness”, MY style again. Back to sharing our family; our memories.

As I have mentioned I have always loved writing, which includes wring stories; I have been in the process of writing books for years, but just haven’t quite finished them; several unfinished books and years later I need to now shake myself into getting past this imaginary fear and do it – complete these books.

As someone with a very active imagination through being awake and when dreaming, I have ideas filed in my head, notebooks, and computer of stories. .Short bursts of fiction, waiting to be released, leading me to begin a new feature on the blog.

 

Fiction Friday!

Each Friday I will be publishing a short story, fictional no regular theme to them (unless I happen to place a two-part piece in there.)

I am a little nervous about this feature; writing about memories is comfortable – easy I guess; as I am writing in the moment. It’s family life.

Fiction reaches out in so many ways, different genres; different tales and scenarios. I just need to stop letting fear get in the way. I really am excited about this new feature, have plans and ideas right up until next Christmas!

Writing

I have recently joined a local writers group where we’re all set to motivate each other to at least write something – a page, chapter; anything which gets us doing the thing we love. So I will aim to finish at least one of the children’s adventure books I have started; plus a supernatural thriller too.

The Red Head Diaries

Of course I will still be writing our memories and life in general. I just would like to add something a little extra, and eventually find my love for writing and of course blogging again.

I really hope you will love the short stories as much as I have releasing them.

The first one will be this coming Friday – The first Friday of 2018!!

See you then.

 

Where I Get My Story-Telling Inspiration.

To celebrate the Big Idea Competition, and to include a little more about how I came to take my love for writing further; I wanted to let you in on where I get my inspiration from.
From as long as I can remember I have always used writing as a form of escapism, somewhere I could run away and hide, while not leaving the room.
If ever I felt any kind of strong emotion, I’d take a pen and write, nothing would ever make sense it would be just words on paper, leading to nothing more, than me becoming calmer.
In 2012 our third baby was born at 26 weeks, for Mother’s Day that year my husband’s present to me was personalised journals. Either to begin writing a story to just write, so I thought I would do something constructive, and write our daughter’s story, her journey in NICU, so maybe one day give to her at 18, or use to embarrass her as a young teen in love…
Only she didn’t make it, and at a month old, I turned the writing into a form of pain relief, somewhere to release, when it felt the whole world around me had absolutely no idea, my thoughts and feelings just flew out onto the paper. Months went by and I continued the journey, into the discovery of my next pregnancy; with struggling with illness and huge anxieties through fear, writing once again became a huge escapism.
It was almost like talking it out to someone without being judged or a pity look and nod.
Once the baby was born safely, my attention turned more to her, I have continued to write but not as thoroughly.
Christmas 2013 I began writing a Naughty Reindeer Blog, a story about our Reindeer who had been sent by Father Christmas, to look after the children in the month of December.
My Children loved him. I will be continuing his adventures this year too, they are very excited.
Which led me to think maybe I could give them an imaginary land where they could adventure with their sister, but not as a human being. They completely know and understand what death is, but to be able to keep their sister’s memory alive in a mystical way.
What better way than to of course writes them all into a story together.
Worlds apart but always together.
So I owe my inspirations to my family, my family who will sing and dance to Disney films, and long for the magical happy ending.