Friday, 16 November 2012


Every evening I turn on the news and somewhere in the world a person fights for their right to chose, a freedom that we in the UK appear to have become apathetic about, based on the uneventful PCC election figures.

Maybe it’s the media saturation of events beyond our control but I found it rather alarming that the turn out for yesterday’s PCC election was only 15.2%

It’s been less than a hundred years since women won the right to vote in the UK and then you had to be over 30 and a woman of means to be allowed a ballot paper.

So in truth an 18 year old who has more control over their body rights than their voice as they have only been able to vote since… 1969

Only last month a young girl fought her military oppressors for the right to go to school and was shot in the head. We were all shocked. That couldn’t happen here.

What bothers me is that if approximately 85% of the population failed to take an interest in the recent PCC election for a police commissioner in their area then I must presume that anywhere up to +40% of these were women/female voters like me.

Busy women with lives, jobs, careers and children to collect and deliver to various after school activities.

And in fairness I can see how easily this PCC event could have been overlooked. I didn’t see a leaflet drop in my area- and I don’t recall any local news coverage of the candidates- in fact the little news coverage of the event happened once it was upon us. However I knew the event would take place when my polling card landing on my door mat.

This meant I had to find the relevant information on the web to make an informed choice.

Perhaps some people didn’t have that access, or the time. But then again a voice can be heard even if it’s to make a protest vote by voting against the candidate who is most likely to win, or one who represents a party you don’t agree with.

I think what troubles me more is… slowly we seem to becoming disenfranchised; this government is keen to save money and targets those who can least afford the cuts and maybe the least likely people to protest until the decision hits them hard in the pocket.

When I went to vote yesterday- a mortuary would have been a busy venue than my Polling station!

I literally had the village hall to myself and a row of waiting smiles that finally someone had shown up. Compare that with USA where we saw TV images of long lines of people waiting inline for more than fours hours to vote last week.

Admittedly there had been a rather large build up to that event but…

I for one am an old fashioned feminist, I have to stand up and be counted.

I may not win but I will not go unnoticed. Nor left unheard.

Monday, 12 November 2012

I SHALL wear Red Lipstick

I shall wear Red Lipstick

because it enhances my photographic image

because I’m proud that I’m aging in a good way

because it reminds me that I can be sexier

because I’ve survived life’s recent vexing ordeals

because it challenges my son’s perception of whom I am…

because lippy is quicker to apply, than painting my nails

because my mother may disapprove

because it’s just for me- ‘a time-out moment’

because I can change the colour if and when I choose

because wearing bright red lipstick made me laugh at myself

because my eldest niece said: you kick arse

because it celebrates who I have become

a sassy middle-aged woman who knows what she wants!

by Kay Beer

I love poetry

Recently I purchased a second hand copy of ‘Staying Alive’ edited by Neil Astley for .80p in pristine condition. I wonder why anyone could/would discard a beautiful anthology of poetry that contains some amazing poems- but that’s a topic I’ll keep for another post.

Also I belong to a writing group, currently attendance numbers can be low (which is a shame) and that how’s I ended up chairing last months session and setting next months homework: Pick a poem, take the opening line of this poem as a prompt to write either your own poem or a short story.

The poem I landed on was ‘I shall paint my nails red by Carole Satyamurti,’ which struck a chord with me and I wanted to respond.

So my effort above ‘I shall wear red lipstick,’ is not really a poem as such, it could be regarded as free verse, but really it's more of a conscious stream of my thoughts thrown on to my paper, unedited!

Let me know if it resonates or strikes a chord with you

& Keep Writing

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Poor girls’ ‘chilli Tuna chowder’

The weather has turned chilly these passed few days and I need a new stock cupboard staple recipe so here it is:

I like to sauté onions and celery for a long time (about 20 minutes over a low heat) like the Spanish do, until the onions are slippery smooth but not quite caramelized. I do this by frying them gently in butter & olive oil (the olive oil stops the butter burning).

Then open a can of tuna & drain. Open a can of Butter beans & drain. And if you’re a girl with a large store cupboard open a can of sweetcorn while you’re at it. I think that butter beans add a smooth creamy texture to this soup.

The three items above can all sit in the strainer to drain while the onions cook. Tonight I used frozen sweetcorn so they needed to be blanched to defrost them.

To bulk up and stretch this mix you could add cooked potatoes too.

Then I measured out half a pint of milk into a jug. And make half a pint of stock with a Knorr cube. (What ever takes your fancy) add to this liquid a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce. A pretty colour and smoother on the palate than fresh or dried chilli flakes, but you could use these as an alternative.

Season with salt & pepper.

Once the sautéed onions & celery are ready add the main ingredients and the stock (but not the milk yet) let this glorious concoction simmer gently for 30 minutes on a nice low heat. If you need you can cook for longer but keep an eye on liquid levels.

Just before serving add the milk, turn off the heat and let stand.

Prepare bowls & any accompaniments like garlic bread or seeded knotted rolls. You could add grated cheese but I’m aiming to keep the calories down so go easy with any additional items.

And voila- a hearty soup, that’s cheaper and lighter on calories than the far richer version of smoked haddock, prawns, bacon & cream, which I now regard as a luxury and a treat.

Let me know if it's a hit or a miss...

Monday, 5 November 2012

Smile please

If you smile at someone, they might smile back. ~

And yes he's sitting in a shopping bag...seems to love it by the size of that smile.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Smile 1

A smile confuses an approaching frown. ~

These 4 Bronze sculptures: 'Desert Quartet' by Dame Elisabeth Frink (1931-1993) can be found on top of the rear colonnade of the Montague Shopping Centre, Liverpool Gardens, Worthing, West Sussex.In the heart of the town!

Friday, 2 November 2012

A Smile

Starting tomorrow I'm giving away one smile a day.

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give. ~

Let's see how many I get back?