Friday, 30 May 2014

writing

I went on a writing day today.  It's nice to be able to devote the whole day to it, although I wish more writing had been involved, and less talking.


My small notebook.  And some wine,
because it's Friday.
The woman leading it said that writing a letter is an act of creation (which I've heard in a few places recently), and that if we want to write other stuff, then we should buy some nice stationery and have a small notebook to carry around at all times and a big notebook for when we really want to concentrate on writing.

Meh.

I do have a small notebook.  I use it when I haven't got wifi, or when I'm with people who might think it's rude of me to start doing stuff on my 'phone in front of them.  Stuff that gets written in the notebook sometimes makes it out into other formats.

Sometimes it doesn't.

I don't have a big notebook.  I have a folder, with lots of random bits of paper shoved in it.

If I'm doing proper writing (check me out - 'proper' writing) then I prefer to type - it's faster, so my thoughts can flow better.  If I'm writing a short story or an article, I just do it in Open Office (I can't stand Word, so I don't have it).  If I'm working on the book, then that's in Scrivener, because it helps me work out what I'm doing.  If I'm jotting down ideas for a poem, a story, or a blog post, then that goes into Evernote.  Via my 'phone if I'm out and about, or on my tablet, if it's around bedtime.

I knew a lad once who had his ENTIRE PhD written down in pen on paper, and was carrying it into University in his backpack, when he got mugged.  The thieves stole his backpack, and ran off.  His wallet was in his pocket.  But three years of hard work were in his backpack.

Luckily, he had a lot of mates, mates who scoured the streets of Headingley looking for the backpack.  Eventually they found it, tossed on a bonfire.  A bonfire which had not yet, thank goodness, been lit.  It was a bit messed up, but it was alright.

There is no way I would leave anything as important as a book on paper.  But I do like writing letters, and I really like receiving them (especially the ones from my Mum - they're awesome).

What about you?  Do you use a notebook?  Do you write letters?  What do you put down on paper? 

Other posts you might like:


The book challenge
Words at 3/6/14 - 82,500.  
43,000 words done since the challenge began, 11,500 last month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 20.
What I did last - the heroine having breakfast with her Mum.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

watching Twilight

I didn't want to watch Twilight.

I love fantasy tales, and am certainly partial to sexy vampires and werewolves.  I love me a bit of Charlaine Harris.

I knew that Stephenie Meyer was a Mormon and that the Twilight series was very much influenced by this, and by her belief in sexual abstinence outside of marriage.  I also knew that Stephenie had changed the vampire myth a bit so that they could go out in the day, but not in sunlight.  Not because it would hurt them, but because it would render them too beautiful.

I don't have a problem with the patriarchal religious influence.  Patriarchal religions and vampire stories seem to go hand in hand.  There's a whole lot of sub/dom involved in both really, don't you think?  Charlaine Harris is Christian, and she writes a fabulously silly story (Eric can come through my door any time).

The sexual abstinence thing bugged me.  This is so often something that is recommended for teenage girls, but the double standard always seems to loom large within it.  It carries ideas of purity which are problematic at best.  Sex does not make someone impure, but that's not to say that sex should be taken lightly.  To be honest, Stephenie's target audience are teens and young adults, and preaching sexual abstinence might be a good idea, but it's going to be a difficult line to tread.

The thing about them being too beautiful really bugged me.  But that said, I like people tweaking myths.  We all know the rules with monsters like werewolves and vampires.  Stories can become formulaic.  Tweaking the rules brings up new possibilities, and I like that.

Mainly, I thought that Twilight wasn't for me, as I am a grown up.  Really, I am.

But when the series of films came on TV recently, I found myself watching them, so I thought I'd let you know my thoughts, because I'm interested in yours.

Just to note that this is only about the films.  I haven't read the books.

Twilight


The first film sees young Bella move to a rainy town called Forks to live with her Dad (her parents are divorced.  She makes some new friends, one of whom is Jacob, who seems to be a sweetie, and she develops a crush on one of the weird kids - Edward.  She finds out that he, and all his 'family' are vampires, but carries on with him anyway.  Another vampire decides to kill her (I am still not sure why, is it just to annoy Edward?  Can you explain?), but Edward rescues her.  Hurrah!

Bellah is so wet that it seems unsurprising that she would fit in in Forks, which is an utterly miserable place to live.  Most of her friends are pretty two dimensional, and Bella herself is very hard to like, as she spends much of her time (throughout all the films) moping and mooning.  Edward is big on face holding, and having eyebrows, oh and staring.  He is good at staring.  I found myself thinking that if Bella would just buck up a bit she could do a whole lot better.

Mind you.  I'm one to talk.

New Moon

Do you remember that advert with the woman eating the jaffa cake and saying 'full moon, half moon, total eclipse'?  New Moon and Eclipse make me think of that, but on we go.



New Moon starts with Bella and Edward totally coupled up.  She's dumped her friends for her vampire, and only has eyes for him.  Sadly, after an unfortunate event, Edward dumps her, and she spends MONTHS moping in her bedroom, only coming out to comment on the biceps of her young friend Jacob, who has been filling out somewhat.  When she comes out of her room she starts hanging out with newly lycanthropic Jacob more, and engaging in some seriously risky behaviour.  Again, vampires try to kill Bella (not sure why at all - think it's to annoy Edward still), but she is rescued by the werewolves.  Hurrah!  Unfortunately Jacob lets Edward think Bella is dead, and he goes to Italy to commit suicide.  Luckily he is rescued by Bella.  Hurrah!

Good grief.  The number of times that we were reminded that Jacob was hot was unbelievable.  You see what they did there?  He's a werewolf so his body temperature is high, but he's also like 'hot'.  Do you see?  Don't worry, if you don't get it they'll repeat it in a minute.  After Bella's months of moping she's clearly getting a bit of a thing for Jacob, which is great.  I found myself wishing that they would just get down and dirty in the back of her truck and have done.  I mean really Jacob's not a long term prospect is he?  A bit dim really bless him.  Anyway, Bella rushes to Edward's rescue when she discovers he's suicidal (which is really fast, thanks to vampiric mind-reading).  Edward is clearly as much of a drama queen as Bella, and so instead of just setting up a guillotine and having done, he goes to Italy to get naked in front of a load of people, as a prelude to death.  Anyone know why?  Bella rushes to change his mind, but really Bella, he's 105 years old.  Let him die!  Also, he has dumped you.  Both Bella and Edward are so pathetic at this point that I'm prone to think they deserve each other, although it's a shame Bella didn't hop into the back of the truck first.

Eclipse



Bella is with Edward, but she's still also in love with Jacob.  There are lots of vampires after her (to annoy Edward - I'm pretty sure this time), and a vampire army comes to Forks to kill her.  Luckily Bella is rescued by the good vampires and by the werewolves.  Hurrah!  Meanwhile the boys bicker incessantly over Bella, until she chooses... who will it be?  Well, Edward, duh.

I was kind of looking forward to the big fight scene that most of this film is building up to, where the good vampires and the werewolves fight the bad vampires, but it really wasn't all that.  If that's an army, it's pitiful.  There were only about 12 of them.

Anyway, apart from the vampires trying to kill Bella (again) thing, this film is quite fun.  Bella is in love with Jacob and Edward, and the two may fight, but have to co-exist.  She's mainly allowed to get on with being in love with both of them.  You get the impression that this could work long term.  After all, Jacob is mortal, so it won't be that long in the scheme of things.  There's a really lovely scene where Jacob has to cuddle Bella and the two boys talk (although about that - no-one in this film is 17/18 - that is quite clear).  Anyway, Bella agrees to marry Edward, and gets a stonking ring.  If she's going to marry anyone he's probably the right choice, but really, University might be a better option.  And also, is Edward really a 106 year old virgin?  Seems ridiculous to enter into a legally binding contract just to have sex.

Breaking Dawn Part 1



Bella and Edward marry and finally she gets to have sex.  It looks pretty good, perhaps Edward was a virgin after all because he declares it his best night ever.  However, even though she's married Bella has to pay the price for having sex.  She's conceived a half-vampire baby, and that thing's going to grow!  The werewolves are fearly of the child, and Jacob and Edward are all that stands in the way for Bella's safety.  After the birth, Bella dies and Edward makes her into a vampire.

See what Stephenie did there?  Edward never wanted to turn Bella into a vampire because they have no soul (so what is never explained) so he only actually turns her when without it she'd die.

Breaking Dawn Part 2



Bella is finally a vampire, and she's a Mummy too!  Due to a bit of a mix up there are vampires that want to kill her, and her daughter, and the rest of the Cullens too.  But luckily Alice comes to her rescue.  Hurrah!

I like the conflation with Bella becoming a monster and a mother at the same time.  That works well for me.  It is odd though that she discovers vampire sex, and gets a house for their little family, and talk about staying there for decades, but then leave later that afternoon, with talk of never going back.  Hmm.

Suddenly we're told that Bella isn't in love with Jacob after all.  She and Edward are the only ones for each other.  She only thought she was in love with Jacob so that he could bond with her baby.  Which is utterly ridiculous and slightly disappointing.  Why couldn't she be in love with them both?  Why would the baby influence Bella's decisions prior to conception?  It's a bit of a mess really.

This film finally has the great big fight scene we've been waiting for.  I really enjoyed it when Bella ripped Tony Blair's head off.  It was a shame that the film makers couldn't commit to it, and wussed out by making it all a dream.  My advice would be to stop the film at the height of the fight sequence.  Then you won't have to sit through the dross of them all living happily ever after.


Do you know, Twilight wasn't so bad in the end.  I particularly enjoyed Eclipse.  Have you watched it?  Did you like it?  What are your thoughts?

Other posts you might like:



The book challenge
Words at 29/5/14 - 81,500.  
42,000 words done since the challenge began, 11,500 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 19.
What I did last - a walk through the city.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Happy for 100 days: days 71-80

This challenge has become a habit.  I will be sorry to reach the end, and now I'm 3/4 of the way through I'm very aware that the end is nigh.


I have spotted other things to give a go though, and focusing on the positive has become an important part of my life.  It is true that life is not all puppies and flowers, but why dwell on the poo and green fly?

If you fancy taking part in #100happydays you can find out more here.  Here are my last ten days.

Day 71 - my first newspaper column.  That's my name in print right there!

Day 72 - our great big softie cat is enjoying the warm weather, and the extra soil during the garden makeover.  I think he's gorgeous.
Day 73 - so happy to be hitting the hay tonight.  The girls are sleeping really badly at the moment and I am SOOOOOOO tired.  I suspect it's the brighter nights.  Is it affecting your kids?
Day 74 - Mrs Woog discovered the joys of knitting in the morning, and totally inspired me to break out the crochet hook and find a practical solution to my lack of pockets problem.  I made a bag for my 'phone, and have hardly taken it off since.  Chuffed to bits.  Also, I bought this wool in 1999, and I'm so pleased to finally use it.  It's gorgeous.
Day 75, and WHAT A DAY!  Gorgeous, hot and sunny (followed by a spectacular storm).  I've got a new paddling pool which I hope is immune to the cat.  Fingers crossed.
I don't know what happened on day 76, but we were up early and ready to go, so we went.  We had the 40 minutes it takes us to get to school on foot!  You can only see the big girl because the boy was miles ahead and the wee girl was being pulled on a scooter by myself.
Another gorgeous day on day 77, and the wee girl and I had fun finding nice stones on Largs beach.  I swear every stone on that beach is interesting to her!
Very impressed with Hovis on day 78.  I complained to them a while ago, and they've apologised, investigated, and given me £10 in vouchers.  I love good customer service.  And I loved choosing our freebies today.
We are so lucky that K's parents live in such a beautiful location on the West Coast of Scotland, and we made full use of their garden on day 79.  I also love Google's Auto Awesome, which did this with my photo's of the kids.  It did give us two lots of the wee girl, but it feels like we've got that anyway.
I loved having some time to myself on day 80.  Had a lovely walk on the front at Largs.

If you'd like more of my photos of happy moments, then check out days 1-1011-20 21-3031-4041-5051-60, and 61-70.  Or follow my Instagram feed.

The book challenge
Words at 28/5/14 - 80,500.  
41,000 words done since the challenge began, 10,500 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 19.
What I did last - filed my latest newspaper column!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

leaving BT

That's it, we're done.  We've had enough.

They're not as bad as Talk Talk (and to read about their delightful ineptitude click here), but the internet is patchy, the TV box just doesn't work sometimes, and the customer service involves very friendly people telling you to turn things off and on again and then repeating.  They really are very friendly.  And quite pointless.

We were fed up of all that, but the thing that's really pushed us over the edge is the deteriorating quality of the programmes available in the On Demand packages.

We used to get some great TV series On Demand, but lately there's more and more rubbish.  The children's TV is just the same old Dora box sets, and virtually every film we consider renting is only available to buy - usually for more than the DVD would cost (and yet they come up in the rental list.  It's infuriating.

Maybe BT have spent so much money on sport that they've forgotten people watch other stuff too!

Well, we're voting with our feet.  The Sky's the limit for us as of next week.  I can't wait to have Sky Atlantic (although I'll still buy Game of Thrones box sets because they're awesome).

Who do you get your TV/internet/'phone package from?  Are they good?

Other posts you might like:



The book challenge
Words at 28/5/14 - 80,500.  
41,000 words done since the challenge began, 10,500 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 19.
What I did last - a first kiss!


doing the garden - step by step

Kenny's been working like a doozer, but it's taken forever to finish the retaining wall.  Meanwhile our garden is a muddy mess, and I'm getting very little help doing the boring stuff around the house.  Grump.

Still, the wall is done now.

Now Kenny has moved on to the steps, which I'm very excited about.  I've taken inspiration from these stairs I saw at a play park.  Plus, handily we've had some old half sleepers donated to us.

Unfortunately, to put the steps in involves widening the arc of muddy mess in the garden.  Kenny has rolled back the turf where the stairs will be, and built up the turf walls to landscape it (you can see where the steps will be to the right of the garden below).

Now to get to the whirligig at the top of the garden I need to cross a bridge of sleepers (you can just make it out in the picture, to the left) over a pile of mud, while carrying a basket of laundry!  I am not good at it.

The cat is, he's very happy that we've made him loads more places to sleep, and to scratch!

Kenny has now laid the sleepers where they're going to go, and I think it looks pretty good.  I think the plan is to progress on this tomorrow, and I can't wait, because I really do suck at crossing the bridge of doom!


What do you reckon?

What about you?  Are you doing stuff in your garden this Spring?

Other posts you might like:

The book challenge
Words at 20/5/14 - 78,500 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
39,000 words done since the challenge began, 8,500 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 19.
What I did last - Memories of another wedding.


Friday, 16 May 2014

Happy for 100 days: days 61 to 70

The last ten days have been interesting for this challenge.


I'm chuffed that I've not got a column in the local paper, but that has been tempered by a death in the family, and all the upheaval that creates.  The death was not unexpected, but that doesn't make it easy.  Especially for some people I really care about.


At times like that it seems irreverant to be looking for happy moments, and yet they have been there, like flowers growing through cracks in the paving, and I've come to think that those happy moments are not just inevitable, they are necessary.  We need to laugh sometimes, even if it isn't appropriate.  Perhaps because it isn't.


Have you ever laughed at a particularly bad moment?


If you fancy taking part in #100happydays you can find out more here.  Here are my last ten days.

On day 61 we went to Newark Castle in Port Glasgow.  It's a very lovely old castle, well cared for by Scottish Heritage, and fabulously surrounded by all the gubbins of a busy port.  It comes complete with a Roose Bolton esque Lord, although I thought they could have made more of that story.
On day 62 I wouldn't let Granny help in the kitchen, so she went and played Need for Speed with the boy.  She was hilariously bad at it.  Nearly as bad as me!
Day 63.  Having a giggle with the children.
Day 64, and considering the instability of the earth I'm very glad that the retaining wall is going in.  These two are doing a great job.
Day 65, and I'm admiring my little girl's dress sense.
Day 66: My girls drive each other crazy at times, but they love each other to bits.  Seeing this cuddle made me happy.
The big girl wanted to take the picture for day 67, and I was happy to show her how... Think I should probably show her how to clean her mirror too.
More of the big girl for day 68.  A pic with her friends, getting ready for Rainbows.  The high point of the week for these girls.
On day 69 we went into town and sang 'Hey, Mr Spaceman' at the spaceman.
On day 70 we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, with pancakes by Daddy! 
If you'd like more of my photos of happy moments, then check out days 1-1011-20 21-3031-4041-50, 51-60.  Or follow my Instagram feed.

The book challenge
Words at 20/5/14 - 78,500 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
39,000 words done since the challenge began, 8,500 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 19.
What I did last - Memories of another wedding.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

damning seagulls

Who lives by the sea and likes the seagulls?

Horrible big nasty things.  There was one which used to come and tap on my window when I lived in the Isle of Man, to wake me up in the morning.  Tap tap tap, tap tap tap, tap tap tap.  Blooming thing.  Drove me mad.

Soon after we moved to seaside town we watched as a seagull visited the neighbour's bird feeding station.  It took off with an entire fat ball in its beak.  

I don't like seagulls.

There are warning signs all along the front asking people not to feed the seagulls.  Apparently, it's people voluntarily feeding them that makes them start stealing food.  I had seen seagulls pinch dropped chips before, but here they snatch food from your fingers.

There's people saying we should get seagull-proof bins down the front, which might be a good idea.  The bins could do with being fixed or replaced anyway.  However, the fact is that the seagulls will steal food right out of your hand.

Largs has cheerfully coloured benches along the front, and we like to go down and find a bench in a pre-selected colour to sit on.  Here's the big girl on a yellow bench with an ice-cream.  Seagulls don't seem to like ice-creams.

I can say with confidence that they don't like cheese and onion pasties either.

One sunny blue sky day we got a treat from Greggs and sat on a blue bench at the front. The kids had sausage rolls, and I had a cheese and onion pasty.  We'd not long been eating them when we got buzzed by a seagull.  I thought it was just after crumbs, and was asking the children to hold their sausage rolls close when I got a face full of wing and my pasty stolen out of my hand!

Clearly the seagull wasn't impressed, because it quickly dropped it into the sea and came back for the sausage rolls.  My kids were made of sterner stuff than me though, and no seagull was getting their beaks on those sausage rolls!  We've not attempted a Greggs on the front again.

Apparently falcons are used in some places to deter seagull populations.  I wonder if it's time for Largs council to consider some falconry displays on the front?  

Do you have a problem with seagulls?  What solutions have you come across for the problem?

Other posts you might like:




The book challenge
Words at 9/5/14 - 76,000 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
36,500 words done since the challenge began, 6,000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 18.
What I did last - Explaining the story of the first book to someone made me feel there might be something missing.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Tired and emotional

I'm shattered today.

The little girl had a bad night, so I didn't get to sleep until half one. Then the boy misread his clock and came through to discuss Minecraft with me at half five. Kenny kindly offered me a long lie, but I couldn't sleep for some noisy children. The cat didn't help either. Grump.

It's been making me think of Margaret Thatcher's claim that she only slept four hours a night. Surely that can't have been true? Or does the amount of sleep someone needs vary hugely between different people?

I need more than four hours sleep. I've been feeling like a zombie and staring at stuff all day, which would be alright except I've been to my first purvey today.

A purvey is a Scots word referring to the food and drink provided after a funeral. Apparently sausage rolls are traditional.  The purvey (pronounced purvi) comes after the funeral service and burial. It means 'provide' and a light buffet is expected. It's more formal than most of the wakes I've been to, and Scots consider it to be more sociable.  I haven't been to enough wakes or purveys to comment on that.

Today's was a good do.  It was a send off for my Auntie in law, who was quite the character, and who died too young, after a long illness.  I particularly liked the non-religious service. I was too tired for the purvey though. I was worrying about the children's high spirits, and about the spirits K was consuming (not much, and it didn't matter, but it did, to me, in my unreasonable state). I was sick of people asking me when I'm going back to work, even though it only happened twice. It was nice to see lots of people, but difficult in the circumstances. Mostly I'm just so tired. 

Afterwards we continued being sociable. Of course we did, it was the right thing to do, and we wanted to.  However, I was dreaming of my bed and often on the verge of tears and I just want this day to be done.

How do you manage on not enough sleep? And was Thatcher's lack of sleep:
     a) a fib, or 
     b) the reason for Thatcherism?

In other news, I am now a columnist.  My first of a regular weekly column in my local paper came out today.  Soon after the paper came out I got a text from a friend saying "You're famous!"  I need to write weekly columns of seasonally relevant content for the column.  Any suggestions for things you'd want to read?

The book challenge
Words at 9/5/14 - 76,000 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
36,500 words done since the challenge began, 6,000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 18.
What I did last - Explaining the story of the first book to a family friend, made me feel there might be something missing.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

eating salad:updated

My perfect meal is verging on healthy.  I love fresh tasty ingredients, crunchy salad, and creamy cheese.  I also love salad dressing, and bread .
Out to lunch... lots of crisps, but NO veg
for the little girl, and mine were rotten

The little girl and I treated ourselves to a lunch out a few weeks ago.  It was a nice treat.  I got a brie and caramelised onion baguette, which was yummy.  It came with LOTS of crisps (I don't know why you tend to get crisps with sandwiches in Scotland, but you do), and a nasty desultory salad, most of the green bits of which had already gone soggy and black.  I did better than the little girl though.  She got NO salad (but plenty of crisps).

It does seem to be very difficult to find a good side salad in Scotland?  Many cafe's seem to view it as an optional plate dressing, rather than actual food.

So I was chuffed to bits this week when I took the little girl out for another treat, and went to the Bagel Basket in Largs.  The food was good, the staff were lovely, and the side salad was plentiful, crisp, and beautifully dressed.  Thank you Bagel Basket!

In the interests of recommending places to eat, where the side salads are good, do check out Hendersons of Edinburgh if you get a chance.  In Suffolk the Farmcafe Foodmarket in Marlesford is just fabulous.  I know Fencebay has a cafe, which is suspect is good, but does anyone know if it's any cop for kids?  

Other posts you might like:


The book challenge
Words at 29/5/14 - 81,500.  
42,000 words done since the challenge began, 11,500 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 19.
What I did last - a walk through the city. 




Sunday, 11 May 2014

driving

Cars on the shelf at the Museum of Transport (a good
visit, and free too, although don't forget to pay for
parking)
Since cars were invented, women have been driving, but there has always been a view that women mainly use their cars for short hops around town, to the shops, to school, to friends, etc.  While men use their cars to go longer distances, and to go to work.  It's not as simple as this of course, but there is some truth in it.

There has also always been a view that men are better drivers than women, despite no evidence that this is the case. Indeed, you could get the impression from insurance companies that men have more accidents than women.  You could argue that men drive more road miles than women so would be likely to have more accidents, which is plausible.  But it's also worth bearing in mind that most accidents are small accidents which happen in smaller roads.  The roads that more women are driving.  If we look at the stats in detail we find that women have more accidents, but men have more serious accidents, and indeed more fatal accidents.  It all works out that there's not a lot in it.

However, when a man and a woman travel together, it tends to be the man who drives (although in some cases it is the woman - certainly my Grandad made no use of his driving license to my knowledge).  Why is this?  Well I know that for me, I cannot stand driving while someone is advising me on what to do.  If you tell me what gear I should be in, that there is a car coming the other way etc. you will either be walking, or driving yourself.  Similarly, if I cook you dinner and you advise me on how to make it better, you can cook it yourself next time.  So I sit in the passenger seat and keep the children entertained, and attempt to keep my mouth shut about driving I'm not keen on.  I am not great about ignoring speeding, and I do occasionally grumble about 'slalom driving', but I have never advised anyone on what gear they might want to use (apart from my son, but he was asking, and he is 8).  This works out best for us, and I know I'm not alone in preferring to be driven than advised.


Citroen C8.  It has a place to put your bag.  And
sliding doors too.  Sadly discontinued.  Pic from here
We have two cars.  One little one which my husband drives to work, and a big people carrier which I use to carry people around in (and bikes and shopping and buggies etc).  We bought a new people carrier a couple of years ago, and looked at lots of different models.  It seems clear to me that people carriers should be designed primarily for women, who, after all, form the majority of people who drive them.  Yet most of them have a small compartment in the front, by the steering wheel, for a wallet.  Many have a small fridge in the front too (for a drink or two - you cannot fit a 6 pack of fruit shoots in there), but none that I have seen (apart from the Citroen C8 which is now discontinued), had a space for a handbag.  What is that about?  Car sales people advised me that most people put their bag in the passenger footwell.  Why would I want my bag in the passenger footwell?  I want my bag somewhere where I can get into it easily, just as men would want their wallet to hand, in the convenient wallet compartment.  Why can't they ditch the annoyingly large but surprisingly uncapacious fridges and provide space for a bag?  I wish they hadn't discontinued the C8.  It had sliding doors for the kids doors too, which would have saved us money at Tebay services recently (for more on which, see this post).

We got a Ford Galaxy.  Just because a friend had one available while we were looking.  The Galaxy has been fine, although the doors are difficult for the children.  It's great the the extra seats in the back just fold down, but the boot space is maddening as it slopes down to the boot door, causing your shopping to roll out onto the floor when you open the boot.  

Neither of us has crashed it yet.  I drive it most of the time (short distances), but Kenny usually drives if he's in the car.  Apparently it gets good safety ratings, and the other thing that bothers me is reliability.  It is reliable, so far.  It is also pretty boring.

What's your car?  Is it good?  And does it have somewhere to put your bag?

This post was inspired by a fabulous Stuff Mom Never Told you Podcast: titled Men & Cars (but talking about women and cars).  You'll find it here.

The post is one of 50 you'll find in my list of 50 things to blog about.  I am working my way through the list slowly!


The book challenge
Words at 9/5/14 - 76,000 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
36,500 words done since the challenge began, 6,000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 18.
What I did last - My favourite arguing with her father.