Day 35 of the 100 Pleats Challenge and today I have a very simple style. No gimmicks ….no bells and whistles ….just a Hair-Scrunchy and a few Hair-Grips.
I gathered my hair up into a fairly loose pleat ….tucking some of the ends away and securing the pleat with bobby-pins.
Then I put the remaining ends into a black scrunchy …..making a neat little pony-tail. As you can see, I have pulled the pony-tail slightly to one side …..this was mainly so that you could see the French pleat and be sure that I hadn’t cheated …….. But actually it looks quite cute and so I have left it like that. Rather ‘1950s Sandra Dee’ don’t you think ?
I had intended to write a piece about Twitter and some of the misunderstandings; pile-ons and misguided criticisms that abound on that Social Media Site …..but I find that time has defeated me and I really need to think about what I want to say ……………..or do I ?
Hmmmm……. maybe I should strike while the iron is hot….so to speak. perhaps I will go too far if I wait and simmer ……
Yesterday was a rather strange day ……. a day of misunderstandings and upset.
A dear friend was ‘set upon’ by the sanctimonious mob-rule of twitter just because she proffered an alternative to the popular view. Then I’m afraid I made matters worse because I made, what I thought, was a rather carelessly amusing remark in a comment on her blog page and upset her again. I’m so sorry Gita ….. though I know we have sorted it out, I still feel guilty. But it all got me wondering ……..
Why do people think that they have a right to drive a virtual bulldozer over people’s feelings and opinions ? Is it a case of ‘ He who shouts loudest ….wins’ ….. or as is the case on Twitter … ‘He with the biggest fan-club wins ‘
I know we invite criticism and comments when we post anything on the internet ….after all, its a very public place. But it is no excuse for nastiness and ….well …just goddamn rudeness, really …..because that’s what it is.
I was recently ‘taken to task’ myself. In a DM (Direct message) on Twitter. Someone decided to message me and berate me for my ….and I quote ….” Frivolous Blog” !!! Apparently I ought to be using this page to high-light the suffering of refugees in Europe. Apparently my daily posts of hair-styles and silliness are ….and I quote again …… “wasting the valuable platform” of my well supported blog.
Well, you can imagine my surprise ….who the heck did this person think she was ? I mean ….this is MY blog and no-one is forced to read it …… I don’t think I have applied hot-coals to your body or twisted your thumbs, have I ? Hells bells, I haven’t even given you a Chinese burn !
So, obviously, blogs on fashion; make-up; flowers; TV programmes; books; child-care (though that may be acceptable I suppose), animals; holidays; or anything that isn’t SERIOUS are all probably included in, what this person considers to be, a WASTE OF TIME !!!
Well just hang on missy …….. I post what I want ….Hair styles; fiction; fantasy; autobiographical posts; ANY DARN THING I WANT ……….. I care about the world….about the dreadful plight of the dispossessed; about the environment and world peace …..I just don’t bang on about it all the time.
But I do care ………
And here is an old blog -post to prove it ….I’m sorry if you’ve read it a million times before ….but, as I said, no Chinese burns ……………………….
Another of my entries for the Countdown Word Game, written in May 2013 but even more relevant today …….
A NATION’S SHAME
Sean dug the stone out of his boot, noticing the hole in the sole and smiling, ruefully, as he thought of his smart brogues, designer loafers and all his other luxurious clothes, back home in leafy Hampshire. But, at least he had footwear. Most of the refugees were not so lucky. He replaced his boot and moved on to the next in line, hardly daring to look up. He had learned that, months ago,
” Just treat the person in front of you”, said the Camp’s chief Medical Officer, ” Try not to think about the ones who are waiting. You will be overwhelmed “
“Wise words, indeed,” thought Sean, as he stole an involuntary glance at the sea of humanity that lay before him.
A sea that swelled by the hour. A tidal wave of refugees that poured into this camp at Dollo Ado, on the Ethiopian border. Starving, sick, exhausted and terrified; fleeing pestilence, dreadful famine and the sheer, unutterable poverty that had swept through war-torn Somalia for so many years.
Sean had been here for 8 months now, working as a volunteer for The Red Cross. His “gap-year“, a time of self-discovery, before taking up his place at Oxford.
He had left his privileged lifestyle, his comfortable home in the affluent suburbs and his indulgent parents to join one of the many teams of idealistic young people who wanted to help the poor in various Third World countries.
And so, he found himself here, in this volatile corner of Africa, where human life was cheap.
Here he handed out the daily ration of high-protein food, to wide-eyed, skeletal people; to children close to death, whose bellies were swollen with the effects of months of malnutrition.
He helped doctors administer phials of drugs to the sick, to the raped and beaten, to amputees. And he heard dreadful tales and saw the goriest sights imaginable.
The sheer scale of the camp was overwhelming. The second largest refugee camp in the world; it stretched as far as the eye could see. Makeshift tents and ricketty huts provided some protection from the searing heat.
No substantial rain had fallen here for many years and a blanket of coarse, brown dust covered everything and everyone. The dust seemed to seep into the skin. It settled in the hair and at the edges of the fly-covered eyes and mouths and crusted nostrils of the refugees. The lightest of breezes carried it into tents and huts. Clouds of it hung over the area, shifting to and fro as the sea-tide of bodies moved slowly back and forth in a never-ending queue.
Sean lifted a scrawny child from its mother’s arms and tried to spoon-feed some of the thick liquid into its tiny mouth. The mixture; a porridge-like concoction, was intended to gently accustom tiny stomachs to regular food. This time it had an inverse effect and the poor mite vomited, all over Sean’s faded cotton shirt. He was used to this now, This would happen many times today as he worked his way through the interminable crush of people.
The lines stretched out in every direction as the hungry waited patiently, listlessly; an expression of resignation on their faces. There was a sort of acceptance, an inevitability that many would die where they lay, their life extinguished far too soon.
And the relief workers wove their way through the throng, helping as many as they could and, perhaps, thinking of their homes, far away, in fresh, green suburbs……………………………………………………………..
Marli had been standing in the queue for a hour now. Her bare legs ached and her feet were filthy and blistered in her flimsy sandals. A scuffle had broken out behind her and she was jostled, roughly, as one chap punched another in the “kisser” and accused him of trying to “invade his space”, of trying to “push in”.
The line of people shuffled slowly and Marli covered her head with her thin, cotton scarf. A breeze, whipped up from nowhere, lifted dust and debris into the air and Marli sighed, wearily.
Finally, the people in front of her, dispersed and Marli looked shyly up at the Aid Workers. She was embarrassed; mortified, in fact and her cheeks burned bright red under the grime.
A plastic carrier bag was handed to her. A bag containing tinned goods, a box of cereal, cartons of milk and juice, a few apples and a packet of biscuits. She took it, gratefully, apologetically, then walked slowly back to her home in Basingstoke, feeling a great shame burning inside her.
The shame of a wealthy nation. The seventh wealthiest nation in the world, and yet its population were forced to queue at Foodbanks !
Forced to survive on Charity handouts.
Shame indeed !
The above piece was an entry for the Countdown Word Game, but I hope it is a little more than that. While, in no way trying to suggest that the plight of the poor in the Western world is anything like the harrowing lives of the refugees of Third World countries, I feel it is just as important. If we cannot look after our own, we will be unable to help the refugees and the poor in other countries. I don’t pretend to know the answer, but I am not prepared to ignore the problem.
Anyway, off my soapbox now.