Can we stop talking about bodies?

Last week, a dear friend ended up in the intensive care unit with, among other things, septicemia.  (She is much better now and at home again, before you worry, but thank you!) So I spent several days in the ICU, mostly with her, but also seeing all the other people who were in there, and it makes you think.  Then, when I opened my computer today, I found this half-finished rant about magazines and body talk and it seemed the right time to share it.  I’m not a prude.  I like a nice bum as much as the next woman and I don’t want us to stop looking.  But can we talk about something else?

Dear Magazines:

It’s not me, it’s you.

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I love this project

I came across this project today on Facebook, thanks to a writer friend and I had to share it here.

It combines several of my favourite things: helping kids at risk, using business for social justice, helping people to help themselves and gorgeous handbags!  I have been thinking lately that I need a new bag (I’m kind of hard on them) and for the last few years I have made a point of only buying fair-trade or otherwise helpful handbags.  (Which, by the way, is so going to be my band name: Imelda and the helpful handbags.)  So this project came along at just the right time.  I have signed myself up for a ‘loop’ bag and am looking forward to it being in my Christmas stocking!  So if you are in the market for a handbag, or a little social justice action with your Christmas, hop over and pledge.  The project is here:

FYI – In case you haven’t seen a Pozible project before, it is another version of crowdfunding, a la Kickstarter.  In other words, it’s an opportunity for people to raise start-up funds for a business or project by offering rewards to people who pledge certain amounts.  As the amounts go up, so do the rewards.  There are some wacky crowd-funding ideas out there, but this looks like one of the good ones to me.  Because the project will produce products, the rewards are simple and easy to understand.  The woman running the project (apart from being a cousin of a woman whose integrity I respect) has done this kind of thing before, so you can be reasonably confident that it will go ahead as planned.  And, as with all such projects, the payment is only processed if they reach their target.  I wouldn’t recommend all crowd-funded projects, but for all those reasons (as well as its intentions) this looks like one of the good ones to me.  See for yourself!

Cheers, Imelda


PS – just dropped back in to say something else about Kickstarter and Pozible and other such crowdfunding options.  One of the best reasons to crowdfund something is to maintain independence.  That doesn’t so much apply to the project above, but it does to two others I have contributed to, namely, The Illusionists documentary and the Wonky Health blog about medical policy.  The latter also supports my commitment to paying people for quality content.  I’m a writer.  Writers need to be paid, especially if we want informed, qualified content, which Wonky Health is.  I think I have supported a couple of other kickstarters as well, but those are book-related and I buy so many books, I have forgotten the details.  But I just wanted to make the point that the reason for the crowdfund is one of the things to take into account when assessing whether supporting the project is for you.

Offline October: Are you in?

If you are reading this, then it is pretty much a given that you love, or at least like, the internet.

As a blog writer, can I say, I love you for loving it, and thanks!  Knowing that at least some people enjoy your work makes it worth doing and is a wonderful, irreplaceable encouragement.

It’s also wonderful to know that it’s not just me.  Because oh my giddy aunt, I do love the interwebs!

It’s writer heaven, the online world. Where else could I find detailed instructions on how to field-strip a pistol in the middle of the night?  (When I need it for book research, natch.  What were you thinking?)

And blogs, twitter and the faceplace keep me in touch with my tribe.  Writing is a solitary business, but thanks to the internet, it doesn’t have to be a lonely one. I have met wonderful new friends here online, both writers and non-writers and I cherish them.

But… there are only so many hours in a day.

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Friday Favourites: Judith Leiber Handbags

And now for something completely different…

The other day, I was hunting through some old photos on the computer for something and came across a digital bundle of shots I took on Rodeo Drive, LA, in the shop of the extraordinary Judith Leiber. Continue reading

Sunday Hiatus

In case anyone has noticed, I have been very slack with the Sunday posts of late.
(But look! Pretty picture of pretty sugar! I’m compensating! Kinda…)

This is for two reasons:

One is that my family had jacked up about the Twittering Blog Face activities and started insisting on me paying them some attention on the weekends.  (You want me to clean up the yard and go and buy a barbecue?  Oh, OKAY…)

The other is that I am trying (with only moderate success to date) to write an unprecedented number of words in the RWA 50k in 30 days challenge this month.

With the result that Sunday posts have become unreliable.

I hope normal service will resume, but for the time being, Sunday posts will be a moveable feast.  If you want to be updated when there is one*, there are follow buttons on the top right of the home page, and I always put up links to them on my Facebook page and Twitter account.

Thanks so much for reading my blog.  It’s such a joy to know that I’ve amused or diverted or assisted in some small way.  I get a real kick out of it.

Happy Sunday


*I feel ridiculous writing this – as if you spend your life waiting for a Sunday blog post from me! Hardly. But one doesn’t like to be unreliable…

What makes a man sexy: what part are we up to now?

So, a few weeks ago, I started talking about what I think makes a man sexy.  To begin with, it was all about the smile.

Then we had the second part, where I told how bravery, commitment and kindness do it for me.

The in the third part, I confessed my predilection for smart, funny and talented gents (not necessarily all at once).

Then there was a fourth one, which was silly, but full of coaty goodness.

Now, due to public demand (one person, I think, but don’t burst my bubble) we will have more coats, but also some slightly more serious analysis of the sexiness of the dudes among us. (I think it’s serious. Don’t judge me.)

To illustrate, I will call upon Mr Darcy:

And a couple of vampires:

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What makes a man sexy: It’s all about the coat…

Previously, these ‘sexy’ posts have been moderately serious, but to heck with it, it’s Friday, so I’m going a bit more old-school with the sexy characteristics today.

Today, it is all about the coat.  Seriously, lads, get yourself a coat.  In support of my argument, I offer, first, from the shimmering firmament that is the work of Joss Whedon:

Spike (From TV’s Buffy and Angel, played byJames Marsters)

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Gluten-Free Brownies (yessss, Chocolate…)

Last week, I was all about the healthy, dinner food. But it’s winter and we need cheering as well as feeding, so this week, it’s brownie time! Don’t be put off by the lengthiness of the method. I like to explain.  But these are easy and quite quick to make and taste fantastic.

Gluten-Free Brownies

Backstory: (writers please note: this isn’t a novel, so I am ALLOWED to put the backstory up front. Nernerneenerner!)

I had to make food for the child’s birthday celebration at school. Normally I make the Traditional Birthday Biscuits, cut into whatever cute shape is the craze du jour and ice them. But the child had a coeliac sufferer in the class so I went in search of a gluten-free recipe. The following is based on the normal brownie recipe in Nigella Lawson’s Domestic Goddess cookbook, with gluten-free adaptations based on a cruise of the recipes on the net.  It’s a big recipe.  It needs two brownie tins (or slice tins) and you can cut each into 24 pieces. If you are just making them to eat at home, you might want to cut the pieces smaller, as you can’t stop at one, and it helps with damage limitation!

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Bless the Mums

Mothers want their children to be happy and healthy. Mrs. Kham, 27 and Anoy, 8 months old. Her smile says it all. She has three young healthy children. World Vision has been working in the village of Phonthong in Pakkading District of Bolikhamxay Province in Lao PDR to provide health and education through the Pakkading Mother and Child Health Project (PMCH).

It’s Mothers’ Day.  That’s why my post is late up, because I have been being feted with breakfast in bed and coffee and macarons in honour of the day.

Regular visitors to this blog will know that Sundays here are for showcasing interesting people and projects.  Mums certainly qualify, so today, this is for the Mums.  This is my prayer and wish for you.

For the Mums

For the new Mums, who are overwhelmed with love and the responsibility of nurturing this tiny miracle that has invaded and taken over your life:
May you get the sleep you need, may help come when you need it and may you have faith in yourself and your mothering, even when the house has gone to pot and you feel that you have no idea what you are doing.

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Redefining Girly – One T-Shirt at a Time

Several months ago, while tooling around and making a pest of myself on Facebook, I came across Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly.

Pigtail Pals is a business. It sells clothes for girls (and boys) among other things.

But it is also much more than a business.  As it says on the ‘about’ page,

Pigtail Pals – Redefine Girly wants to change the way people think about girls.

Not a little goal, then!  But such an important one.  For me, as an adult, ‘girly’ is an innocent word to describe fun and frivolous, enjoyable women’s stuff.  So, if I’m going out with a girlfriend to have a facial, or buy makeup or clothes, we might say we’re having ‘girly’ afternoon.  It’s harmless, for me.

But what effect does it have on a little girl, if ‘girly’  is all she is perceived to be – all she is ‘allowed’ to be? What if she absorbs the message that what, for me, is a frivolous and fun, but small, part of womanhood is ALL a girl is supposed to be or will be valued for?

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