What I’ve been up to lately

To be honest, not tons has been going on- getting back into the swing of work and getting D settled into going to nursery (I think Benn is on the verge of some kind of breakdown some mornings.)

Last Wednesday I found myself on the Guardian website; I’d volunteered to give a response to Jeremy Corbyn’s first PMQs. The next day I was the only one of the panellists who had their face in the paper:

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All I can say is that my mum’s collections of clippings of me in newspapers and stuff is getting extremely eclectic.

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Also in the last week, my blackberry jelly recipe was published on Bluebird Tea Co.’s blog– if you’re not keen on the idea of adding the tea (although it’s lovely), you can replace that with water. It’s up to you; it’s a recipe well worth trying, even if I do say so myself! While you’re there, maybe try some of the new autumn blends. I was sent them to try and, along with the always popular Spiced Pumpkin Pie, I’d definitely recommend the Nuts About You rooibos, which I’m planning to try as a latte in the very near future.

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I’ve also been reading a very good biography of six notable women who forged remarkable lives in the 1920s called Flappers (if ever you feel your life is in stasis, read about someone like Josephine Baker or Tallulah Bankhead and feel quite inadequate…!) One of the women featured is Zelda Fitzgerald, pictured above with Scott. A review will follow on The Bookish Badger soon.

Anyway, I don’t mind being busy- at least I’m kept out of trouble!

Post-election come down, frustration and “I’m alright, Jack”

I was once told not to blog about politics. Stuff that. I’m tired and I’m frustrated.

I’m still slightly gobsmacked at the outcome of the election, as like many I expected to wake up to a hung parliament. I’m frustrated that people have voted for a party whose leader avoided two live debates, who presided over a huge amount of debt accumulation and whose party has said they have to make £12bn cuts without stating where they’re coming from (although maternity pay is meant to be one of the benefits rumoured to be on the table for cuts.)

I saw the exit polls and my heart sank.

It’s been a campaign of scare tactics, of personal jibes and of an ‘I’m alright, Jack” mentality. This rankles with me a bit. There were a couple of Tory policies that would have benefited my family- especially with childcare- and I still chose not to vote for them, because I didn’t want to benefit at someone else’s expense. I do honestly think we’re in for five years of strikes, protest and opposition. I only hope the SNP come good on their promise to challenge the government, but of course their interest lies with Scotland.

My vote went to Caroline Lucas, the local Green MP. This was not necessarily an easy decision to make- I’m a traditional Labour voter and I would have preferred a Labour government. However, I was impressed with Caroline’s record in the last parliament; as an essentially independent MP, she was vocal, visible and able to vote on issues according to her conscience and her constituency’s interests. I’m pleased to say that she won with a huge vote swing. There’s some hope, at least!

So what now? I am determined to fight this government- on behalf of my son, my students who are about to leave school and are searching for jobs/apprenticeships or fretting about the cost of uni, all those who will be hit by austerity. Apparently Cameron is a Smiths’ fan. I want him to be The Boy With The Thorn In His Side. I’m thinking of joining a political party, of getting more involved in politics on a local level. At the moment, though, I’ll just wait and see what happens next.