Thursday, 28 February 2013

Council tax and bra burning

The council have annoyed, nay - riled, me. Yes, the tax is extortionate and okay, sometimes they leave the bins un-emptied, but that’s not it. They've reminded me that it’s 2013 and women are not equal to men.

In my home, I deal with the bills. I set up the accounts, organise the direct debits and pay the blasted things. So why, dear reader, will the council only write to The Boyfriend?

I call them up.

“Hi, I’d like to update the details you have on my account.”


“I think you just have my partner’s details.”


“Oh no, you’re down too.”

“Oh right, well could you possibly use my name on the correspondence, just because I sort the bills?"

“Oh I’m sorry it’ll just go to him by default.”

“Okay. Well could you override the default and send the bills to me please?”

“We have you on record.”

“Yes, but the letters are going to him, and it would be helpful if they were addressed to me.”

“Sorry, I can’t change that.”

I asked if he thought this wasn’t utterly ridiculous. He thought I was a raving lunatic.

“Your bills are going to the right address though aren’t they?” he added, as if this was the point.

And so it is that everyday sexism continues.

Now, don’t get me wrong,  thanks to the efforts of those who have gone before us, women and men in Britain have equal voting rights, freedom of speech, property rights, access to education and health care equality. Super news indeed. But are men and women equal? Are they heck.

Men outnumber women four to one in parliament. How many women lead powerful countries? It’s a lonely and exclusive group. Just 13% of FTSE 100 corporate board members are female. And British women are paid 83p for every pound our male counterparts earn.

And so it is that I am a feminist in 2013. Feminism is not about hating men or bra-burning, it’s about equality. 

Which given that I can’t even get the council to send me (helpless woman am I) the bill, is clearly something that we all still need.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Lessons from a house move

Moving, as people will cheerfully tell you, is only slightly less stressful than divorce or death. I have come out the other side. Here is my survival guide.

1. Do not develop a horrendous chest infection the day before relocating 600 miles. It will make the whole thing rather more challenging.

2. Before arriving at the Van Hire company, do check that your license photocard is in date. Turns out, they expire.

3. Accept from the beginning that you will not leave sufficient time to pack and will, at the final hour, be forced to throw any old crap in boxes at speed.

4. Cleaning your house will take much longer than expected. You will find dirt that you didn't know existed. Use the clothes you just cannot face packing to clean it up.

5. Do not forget that you have to clean the fridge. You will be repulsed by the horrors within.

6.  Do not try and reverse a long wheel base van. It's amazing how one relies on the view out of that back window.

7. Enlist the help of family members, but do not inform them of how long their train journey back home will take. There is a chance they will retract the offer of assistance.

8. There is a reason why you are advised to label your boxes. 

9. If your bedbase snaps en route, duct tape will prove surprisingly effective at holding it together.

10. When all you own is finally boxed and packed precariously in the back of van, you will have an uncharacteristic moment of melancholy. And then you will be excited about what is next to come.

 Goodbye Edinburgh, it's been a blast.

Friday, 15 February 2013

On relocation

Me: You know how we like going on holiday to Cornwall?

The Boyfriend: Yeah.

Me: And you know how we always say that we should live there one day, what with the sun and beaches?

The Boyfriend: Yeah.

Me: Well how about one day being now?

Short pause.

The Boyfriend: Alright then.


And so it came to pass that we moved to St Ives.