Tag Archives: uk

Taboo Topics & Toxic Comments

Is it just me or am I the only one to have been engaged in increasingly odd number of conversations involving topics that would formally been considered taboo?

Chatting casually about an article claiming there are now 52 gender options for example felt quite normal. Previously such a conversation would not have been feasible as for starters more than two genders would not have been recognised & if discussed would have been accompanied by much tutting in hushed tones in a secluded corner. Leading me to conclude that the tectonic plates of social change have indeed been shifting.

Warranted these changes may be judged as glacially slow in some quarters but at least there has been change. Reflecting how much the world seems so different now to when I was younger where strict, hierarchical norms were once the accepted ways. Work place bullying was rife with confidence sapping, sarcastic comments from dragon like senior nursing staff who thought nothing of humiliating their junior colleagues. I sincerely hope that level of institutional bullying is declining but sadly fear there are pockets that stubbornly remain. Whilst the burden of social change probably remains largely with the young I feel that older generations should not shirk their responsibilities either.

I have previously alluded to the fact that I have been the recipient of a number of compliments. Recently these included comments to the colour of my hair, shoes & choice of zoom background. Coming from young people whom I did not know & had nothing to gain from the exchange I can only surmise their motive was just to be nice. This level of generosity to others is a lesson that I feel older generations could do well to follow. As sadly the judgmental looks, snide comments flung my way recently have come from contemporaries or older.

alt="red vinyl album on record player"
New album

Being complimented on my zoom background was slightly weird yet oddly gratifying given that it came from the lead singer of a band I like. Perhaps another example of how much things have changed? When I was growing up the best you could hope for was hanging a cherished poster on the wall, saving enough money to buy the album hoping you liked all the tracks & perhaps hand writing a letter to the fan club. Not so today. For the price of a ticket pre order I got the digital & vinyl album plus an invite to a pre listen Q & A Zoom call where the band even answered one of my questions!

alt="black motorbike helmet with pink flower pattern"
New helmet

I could probably cite many examples of where communication between generations is so important as often the two groups can both surprise & inform one another. The one that springs most readily to mind occurred when the assistant offered to pair my new motorbike helmet to Spotify on my phone. Not sure what music he thought I would have been listening to but he clearly wasn’t expecting what started to emanate from the device. Turns out the track playing featured a favourite drummer of his with a band he had never heard before. You could almost see his initial opinion of the old woman he probably first drew being rewritten as he grilled me for information about the music & then shared his views on the psychological benefits of playing musical instruments & tattoos. Proving perhaps the old adage of not judging books by their covers & all that but only if you accept that it cuts both ways.

alt="lead singer with bandana & microphone"
Here’s looking at you

Living in what I shall now dub ‘Corona Times’ you realise the world is really tipping on its axis when you find yourself watching a live stream concert in the early hours because it was broadcast in a different time zone than your own. Not touring has, as the lead singer summed up neatly has forced us all to think more quickly & creatively about many things. So maybe something positive can come out of the chaos that seems to have engulfed the planet after all. Meanwhile I continue to work on a charity music project with my Tagaband co partner Sandra. It won’t be for the want of trying as we have had to overcome many obstacles to reach this point where even now despite all the effort it could still be scuppered. One of the advantages of my blackbelt training is that you know the value of perseverance! Meanwhile if anyone wants me I am hiding in my office with my guitars for comfort.

Stay safe where ever you are & what ever you are doing.

Fever Free Phone Shopping

Shopping as I recall pre covid was a pleasant activity especially if it involved coffee in a cafe & excluded buying groceries. So rashly I agreed to accompany my daughter to buy a new phone.

Driving & parking in was relatively painless to the point we nearly googled check that the shops were actually open, the streets were so empty. Approaching the phone shop we were met by a horde of employees armed with masks, wipes & thermometers who proceeded to quiz us of our intent. Kicking myself for my lack of preparedness in bringing a full hazmat suit I delved into my bag for my mask & wondering if we mistakenly trying to gain entry to some new form of ‘Escape Room’ where you had to puzzle your way in rather than out.

Unlike Noah going in two at a time wasn’t really encouraged but the assistant correctly sensing an impending ‘Karen moment’ aquiessed. Finally we concluded the deal after which I felt the need to seek caffeine preferably intravenously. Daughters predilection for a certain brand of cold brew meant a trek across the city to the only branch we knew of that was open & likely to have it. On arrival & expecting to just to get a take away we were amazed to be given the option of ‘drinking in’.

Yes the tables were spaced & the assistant was primed at the ready to decontaminate the minute any one rose from a chair but essentially they had managed to recreate something that felt relaxing. Refreshed we trotted back into the shops for round two. Honestly I have previously participated sparring sessions that have felt less arduous. Finally we took a deep breath & joined a 40 min queue to enter the shop that had systematic shopping down to a fine art long before covid to get a cupboard for . … yes covid cleaning equipment amongst other items.

I am now the self appointed queen of laminated covid warning signs having seemingly manufactured enough to deplete a small rainforest not to mention the plastic involved in the lamination process but we won’t go there. I have always considered myself quite public spirited & generally have always complied with rules but I must admit my limits have been sorely tested of late.

Well you will have to wait until next time. Meanwhile ‘mask up’ & stay safe.

On a brighter note I have as a bi product to all of this found myself to be on a steep digital learning curve in which I will be discovering how to produce content for digitally streaming live music. What could possibly go wrong?