“Alone Again” – But Really, I Don’t Mind!

As cute as she is, her post puppy-licking breath does NOT make for a welcome alarm clock!

As cute as she is, her post puppy-licking breath does NOT make for a welcome alarm clock!

I’m awoken at 8AM by the dog coming into my room and licking my face. This is her way of saying “come play with me, everyone else has left for work”. Normally it would take a lot more than this to scrape me out of bed on my day off. Alas, I can tell by her absolutely putrid breath that she has just finished licking-clean her 7 new puppies.

                So I get up and begin my day as I always do. I have my coffee, cigarette and breakfast and scroll through the news websites and check my email. My Inbox tells me that no-one has replied to my employment inquiries, and that Twitter has found some people I may know. Amongst them is @SingleGayLife.

                I Follow them and amuse myself with the Tweets. And after I have done all my housework, I sit down with my tablet and watch Loose Women (stop judging me! It’s a current affairs show and I am a journalism graduate).

It first seemed like a slap in the face. But I actually found it rather inspirational.

                The Loose Ladies are discussing Angelina Jolie putting hubby Brad Pitt on a diet, and go on to talk about how we let ourselves go a bit once we’re in a comfortable relationship. This occurs just as I hit the prompting article on the Daily Mail’s website. This coupled with @SingleGayLife, reminds me (as if I need reminding) how pitied I am within the gay community (and sometimes the straight one, too) for not having a boyfriend.

Yes, heteros, it is that bad. Within the gay community, having a boyfriend is often portrayed as the ultimate achievement. I love that us single guys have @SingleGayLife to vent our frustrations. But the very idea that there is a ‘market’ for such an outlet just goes to show that some of us need a sense of comradery in the face of those who treat us like we’re invisible if we’re not an 18-year-old, superslim, tanned, 6foot, blond-haired male supermodel. By the way, do these types even exist? If they do, where exactly are they? Are they part of an exclusive hot-members-only club? Can I get a guest pass? Or is there some Hogwarts-like tunnel with an entrance hidden behind a statue of Liza or Judy?

Okay, I admit, in these instances of sucking a spilled shot of the table, I don't look like boyfriend material.

Okay, I admit, in these instances of sucking a spilled shot of the table, I don’t look like boyfriend material.

                I know. I sound as bitter as the sugar-free coffee I now drink in a bid to pre-empt Christmas weight gain. Any attention I get from guys is solely down to that fact that I am 24 which is just about young enough to be acknowledged as worthy. Because at 5’7”, pale-skinned, dark-haired, neither slim nor muscular, living with my parents and earning minimum wage part time, I am hardly what the gay community considers to be a ‘catch’. It’s just irritating to me that people are sympathetic to my ‘plight’ of being single. I have an acquaintance who I see about once a week and her first question to me is usually “got yourself a man yet?”. I want to reply with “still married? You can’t have that long left, surely?”  But I don’t. Like a true British gentleman, I’m far too polite.

Got it in one, Greta!

Got it in one, Greta!

                The truth of the matter is, I like being single. I know that’s what every single person says. But I really do. For one thing, I grew up in a house with 4 siblings and two parents with an endless string of visiting relatives. Then at school and college, I was surrounded by people. In my first year of college I started my 7 years (and counting) in retail where I was constantly surrounded by customers and colleagues. I worked in retail at university and I lived in halls of residence with hundreds of other students. For the rest of uni, I lived in a student house with an average of 6 flatmates. You see, I have never actually been alone. Solitude to me is a privilege that I have yet to establish as a routine luxury. Don’t get me wrong, I fit in a social life as much as I can. I don’t want to spend life hidden away from the world. I can best portray this seemingly contradicting outlook with something once said by Greta Garbo, a Hollywood actress from the 1940s. She was famously misquoted as saying “I just want to be alone”. She later corrected this: “I never said I wanted to be ‘alone’. I said I wanted to be ‘left alone’. There is a world of difference between the two.” Got it one, Greta!

                So why do say many of my homo brethren fall into this idealistic sociological Image
hamster wheel? I like to picture gay men around the world who go out on the scene and cringe when they see those fake-tanned, bleach-blond guys that have less body mass than an x-ray. But I like to think that they too, are polite enough to not be openly rude about it. At least not here in England. I’ve seen those types, those ‘Barbie Boys’. I just want to give them a great big hug and wash off the tan, shave off their peroxide-burnt hair, wipe off their make-up and tell them they don’t need to try so hard. The Prince Charming they have painted themselves up for can’t actually see them beneath those layers of product. Even if they did, it’s a gay bar on a Saturday night. I doubt they could establish one from another #ArmiesOfBarbies

It sometimes seems as, in the great Venn Diagram of 'Gay' and 'Happy', there's a sign on the point at which the circles intersect which says "You Must Be At Least This Hot To Get In"

It sometimes seems as, in the great Venn Diagram of ‘Gay’ and ‘Happy’, there’s a sign on the point at which the circles intersect which says “You Must Be At Least This Hot To Get In”

These days, in my mid-20s, the meat market of the gay scene has just become something I do every few months when I need a system update. And I find myself lambasted for that. A few months ago, some friends invited me out. I asked where they were going and they said that they were off to the local gay club. They said it with a tone of confusion – perplexed as to why I would think that we’d be going anywhere else. For this I was accused of being self-superior. Actually, I was just wondering why they’d want to go to a place where the lot of us would be ignored for not being perfectly boyfriend-ready. And possibly even vindicated for not having a boyfriend, because that’s seems to be the ultimate fashion accessory. Unfortunately for some, that particular accessory cannot be found on a rail at Topman #FashionVictim.

This was taken on a night out with friends. Okay, I'm drunk and I look it, and I don't entirely remember this. But I do recall that I had a great time that night at a straight club :)

This was taken on a night out with straight friends. Okay, I’m drunk and I look it, and I don’t entirely remember this. But I do recall that I had a great time that night at a straight club🙂

                I’d be lying if I said I don’t ever want a relationship. I already know that I don’t want to get married or have children. But to just try a relationship and give it a good faith effort would be interesting. But in the meantime – why am I pitied and shamed for not trying hard enough to find one? As I say, I’m no Taylor Lautner. But I do cycle a total of 100-120km a week to work. I jog and swim on my days off. I eat healthily. I finished my education. I have a social life. I’ve done everything possible to ensure that I’m a well-rounded person. Surely that’s trying hard enough? Yet we continue to receive these constant media messages channelled through the gay community. These messages that that tell us, in spite of our best efforts, we’re still not good enough. Because in theory, if we were, we’d have a man by now, right?

See now, I don’t want to work in retail forever. It’s just a placeholder job until I can get something more suited to my Journalism degree. I know the best place for me to flex it would be London. So my income is going into savings to facilitate a move there when I can finally get a placeholder job in the capital. This will hopefully give me more scope to kick-start a career. But so many of my friends, gay and straight, find this topic of conversation dull. Chatter invariably turns to ‘how to trap myself a man’. In all honesty, this subject arises from them and even from me. This idea of ‘you have to get yourself a relationship. Someone young, hot and utterly and hopelessly in love with you” is actually an ideal that has migrated from the straight community. Well, I reject this idea. Just as much of the straight community have rejected us for centuries.

So, any lonely gay men out there who are a bit annoyed because they have so much love to give. Please know that a boyfriend isn’t the only goal you should be setting for yourself. There are so many other things to be getting on with. Careers, health, friends, financial security, the list goes on. I don’t know if blogging about this out loud will alleviate the pressure on me or any of us to get hooked up. I should doubt it will. But at least I can say I tried. And at least my income is all my own. That’s a small victory, isn’t it?

Anyway, I’ll have to end it there as one of the puppies has just escaped from the pen. So do excuse me, I have to lay a trail of dog biscuits and lie in wait #BestDaysOfMyLife


The Woman That Caned My Puppies This Afternoon…

"This is Jack. Jack got beat. Run, Jack, run? No, Jack, no! Stand and terrorize your abuser's dogs whilst I have it out with her!"

When I set out to walk the dogs this morning, nothing could have prepared me for the enormous clash I was about to endure (except possibly the solitary magpie tottering through Keyhaven Close).

My two dogs, Jack and Pippin, a labradoodle and a border collie – 2 very playful, friendly and completely harmless hounds made friends

with a ginger Irish setter called Ruby. Any dog-owners out there will know that this is a common friendly occurrence between 2 owners and their pets. After a few moments, we left them to it. Jack and Pippin continued to chase each other around whilst I had my headphones in, listening to that very catchy dance remix of Alone Again by Alyssa Reid.

The song was just getting to the bit about how she said she could ‘move on and go, but that she was weak and it shows and that she couldn’t go on without him’.

Then Jack, being Jack, bounded across the field to play with 2 (what I can only describe as) ‘goblin-rat dogs’. Their owner was a middle-aged woman who had more than a  hint of the frump about her. She began to beat Jack with her cane. And it wasn’t just shooing him away. i could hear him yelping in pain. This was striking my dog powerfully on his ribcage and then trying to hit him on his head. I ran over and she told me that her dogs were scared, and that I should keep Jack on a lead – despite seeing that he was just a playful, harmless critter. Then she moved onto Pippin.

I did advise her (in what I shall call my own ‘personal and volumized style’) that if her dogs didn’t like other dogs, she shouldn’t walk hers on a field where everyone lets their own mutts run free.

Then, she began to hit me with her cane. I mean actually HIT me. Striking hard at my legs, crotch, head, arms and neck. We got into a massive row about controlling one’s animals. And I mean this was a MASSIVE row. We were screaming at each other. She got right up in my face ‘til our noses were touching, trying to shove me down and prove that she wasn’t going to be intimidated by ‘today’s youth’. But I put me left leg behind me and pushed right back against her considerable vastness. I don’t mind telling you, it was like trying to shift Stonehenge.

"This is me with Pippin, the 5 month old puppy that she was striking with her cane."

And I got right back up in her face. Refusing to be intimidated by a woman who was deploying her argumentative skill that comes from years of exercising maternal authority (which is ironic because by looking at her you could tell that she had not spent years exercising anything else). I tried to close the argument by calling her a soft Southerner, and as I turned, she rebutted by calling me a ‘gay freak’.

And that was her most dangerous moment.

Now, in the past I have been called a camp queen. And I don’t mean to make this all about gay rights and equality, but there you go. And me writing this blog post is just that camp, flamboyant nature entering the fray.

The argument re-started.

More vicious, more scathing, more bitchy and more upfront and personal than before than before. I called her a middle aged, animal beating, violent, homophobic old cunt. I could tell she was starting to get really unsettled and she started walking back to her car whilst turning to scream her poison at me. But I wasn’t going to let this dog-beating reprobate get away with undermining the entire gay community by calling one of us a ‘gay freak’. I kept stepping in front of her, blocking her path.

She actually defended her opinion, saying that she’s not homophobic because her daughter is a lesbian. And that she thought I was a freak because I was ‘acting too gay’. She actually said that stock phrase “I don’t mind gay people but why do you have to flaunt it in my face?”. I said it wasn’t a form of acting, it was a form of behaviour.

People have said to me and others “why do you have to act like a woman?”. Well, I don’t. It is not an act. At least not for most of us. It is a behavioural patter that is formed through life experience, perhaps because of people treating us a certain way because of our sexuality. I don’t know. But I do know that it is nothing of which to be ashamed. I think people have a problem with camp gay men because by exhibiting stereotypically female traits, we are undermining the male superiority above females. Homophobia stems from this sexist attitude. And it isn’t surprising to find it in women as well. Because they have been brought up to believe that we are all obliged to behave in certain ways that are totally dependent on our sexual organs.

But all the time we were having this argument, she kept hitting me and my dogs with her cane. You may say that I stooped to her level. But no. This isn’t about rising above it and being a better person, because there is no such thing as a better person within the confines of the comparative. Because we are all equal. None of us are better than anyone else. Even animal-abusing people like her.

I phoned my parents to let them know what had happened and they both encouraged me to call the police. But

"Homophobic abuse a the dog park is one thing. But how can a fellow dog owner beat this defenseless puppy with a cane?"

knowing from the best possible sources that police wouldn’t take the side of a gay guy over a woman who walked with a cane, I did not. But she did. I don’t know how the police found out where I lived. I can only assume this woman followed my home as I walked back along the main roads. But two of them came to my door. I invited them in, asked them to take a seat and explained, very honestly, how verbally abusive me and that bitch had been to each other, and how she assaulted both me and my two dogs.

The police took her side, as I imagined they would. I was very mindful and polite in the way I spoke to them. And I did say that I knew they were just doing their job. A statement which garnered the reply “yeah, but we could be doing it a lot differently”. And, victimized as this does sound, I knew they were on the cusp of powering against me. Not because of the altercation, but because they simply did not like gay men. And that they were as homophobic as she was. Much like most policemen.

So I will be back at that field next Wednesday at 12:30, as I was today. And I WILL let my dogs off their lead. And I WILL defend myself yet again. It sounds foolish but if this woman had been a 6 foot bodybuilder, I wouldn’t have reacted any differently. No, I mean, I really wouldn’t have. I would have gone down, of course I would. And it wouldn’t be a fair fight. But I wouldn’t go down snivelling, crying or begging for mercy.

I’d go down fighting🙂

“Bricking It” The Complete Bitch (or the Woman Who Doesn’t Like Chocolate”

Is it right that this is my perfect woman because she's wearing the 'suite blanche'?

My new job in Public Relations has got me all in a flutter. My illusions of going to power lunches hasn’t quite come to fruition yet. Nor have I met cross-corporation male colleagues using wireless Bluetooth devices or female colleagues in flawless white trousers suits.

So for now, I am settling for the in-house glamour of steaming coffees at the living room table with a flawless white MacBook as I go in and out of my Inbox and update my address book. Not quite the glamour-drenched career I had envisaged. But I am only 23. I am sure my time will come.

So, now I work in the media, I can justify my habit of cruising through the news websites in the mornings. And, low and behold, I chanced upon the article of Samantha Brick. The woman who has reported in timesonline that being beautiful as she is, she intimidates potential male suitors, whilst deflecting the friendships of women.


How the Twittersphere became a hub of online bullying.

Oh the viral backlash! Her article has spawned endless parody articles that mock her self-indulgent perception. A reaction that she says ‘just proves my point’.

I was surprised to learn that I was one of the few people that felt sympathy for her. And not only because she is the target of online bullying the world over. Some of the top tweets include:

@LouboutinJools who jokingly wrote ‘Just been to Starbucks, when they asked my name and I told them Samantha Brick I was still asked to pay.’

@boobygraffoe who stated ‘I’ve heard of “beer-goggles” Samantha Brick would appear to possess a “beer-mirror”.

In this airbrushed, photoshopped, perfectly lit, overly-made-up world – men and women are bombarded with media images that tell them what they should look like. Adobe PhotoShop has produced streamlined women and muscular men that we all aspire to, even though PhotoShop’s Liquify, Burn and Dodge functions can double muscle mass and half waist circumferences within 15 seconds flat. Articles about young girls who were bullied for being ‘ugly’ provoke strong reactions of sympathy. But when Samantha Brick, a woman who is seemImageingly confident with the majority of her appearance, reports on the downsides of having won the aesthetic lottery, she is crucified by the world’s media and the public itself for being an arrogant and deluded cow.

Dawn French once said: “there are two types of women. Those who like chocolate and complete bitches.” A fair reflection on the jealousy that men and women alike feel towards their ‘physical superiors’. I remember in my fatter days at university, people were a lot more affable towards me. Particularly on the gay club scene, where Skinny Bitches were never worried if Chubby Joe I was talking to Skinny Bitches’ Boyfriend. But people always say that confidence is the most attractive quality in a person. Confidence manifests itself in speech, tone and body language. Surely that it what we unconsciously notice when we find someone attractive (as well as the obvious)?

I may no longer be Chubby Joe but the curly hair that my colleague hates is the cross I will have to bear until I get the sweet release of middle-aged baldness😦

It seems that self-hatred has become the fashionable thing. If we are not trying to cover up a bit of puppy fat, if we do not colour away the grey hair and if we do not paint over our natural skin tones with orange fake tan, we are thus ‘not trying hard enough to conceal that of which we should be ashamed’.

Most of us have only seen photos of her. And I admit, some of them are unflattering and rather plain. Most of the backlash has come from women who un-tag photos of themselves son Facebook because they feel they do not look perfect enough. If so many women are aware that the camera does lie, then why aren’t they giving the photos of Sammy B the benefit of the doubt?

I would😉

But mostly, I applaud Samantha Brick for her bravery. She must have anticipated the response that her article would cause. Yet she wrote it anyway. Maybe she has a distorted view of herself, maybe she hasn’t. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Yesterday as I left work, a colleague took the piss out of my ringlet-curly black hair, advising me that I should cut the sides and straighten the top, and get rid of my childish backpack. But I refused. Maybe I have a distorted view of what looks good, but I am not so insecure that I will put in the time, effort and money to ensure my hair is the height of fashion every season. Nor will I get rid of my backpack. It is in fact a gym bag that I use to carry my stuff from my house to the pool and then straight to work. It’s a practicality, not a fashion statement.

So well done, Samantha. Well done for having the immunity to media output. To be happy enough in the way you look. Women are constantly being told that they are imperfect which leads to eating disorders, tears, depression and just an endless array of failed attempts at happiness.

So there. I said my bit. And now, I am returning to my Inbox. Hopefully, some Samantha Brick-a-like in a white trouser suit is inviting me to a power lunch to discuss a PR campaign. I will let you know.

Fuck you (fuck you) fuck you very very mu-u-u-u-uch!

I think Adele said it all, really.

I stepped out of work and into an unseasonably warm February afternoon. I came home, perched on the step and had a coffee and a cigarette. Everything was as it always was, and is it should always be.

A serene depiction, no? It was such an inspiring Spring day that I found myself humming the lyrics to Mister Blue Sky as I exhaled the hypnotic billowing zephyr of a Richmond menthol: “Everybody’s in a play and don’t you know – it’s a beautiful new day?”

A new day – yes. But beautiful? Sadly not. What could encumber the enveloping warmth that beat down harmoniously over England today? The icy, ugly grip of prejudice.

Yep – you guessed it. Another blog post about homophobia. But wait! Don’t go! I know you’ve heard it all before but you may be surprised to hear where it came from this time. This time it came rocketing out of my childhood, through cyberspace and landed with a percussive thud on my Facebook news feed. My childhood friend, Amanda*, who since school has found God (or more, God found her), got married to an equally religious man who ironically was the epitome of sin in our shared scholastic adolescence.

Amanda posted on her wall a link to the c4m.org.uk. This is the e-petition that you can sign to back the parliamentary bill that will identify a same-sex civil partnership as a marriage. If this bill passes, the gay community will be one step closer to total equality with the straight community.

I advise you look at the website which is headlined “ONE MAN + ONE WOMAN, DON’T PLAY POLITICS WITH MARRIAGE”. It’s material is enough to make you chuckle until Comedy Central rebroadcasts a Michael McIntyre show. This website actually states that “the evidence shows that children do best with a married mother and a father.” Hmmm, so Amanda, I guess Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge grew up to be total yobs?

“If marriage is redefined, those who believe in traditional marriage will be sidelined.” No it won’t, Amanda. How does

Now, this may bother Christians, but no-one is forcing them to look. And if they are looking, that makes them dirty pervy voyeurs. SINFUL!

someone else’s marriage, nay someone else’s love, affect your marriage? Is Amanda worried that if I get married it will undermine hers? Amanda, dear – yours is already undermined by the fact that your holier-than-thou oh-so-Christian husband was a lusting, swearing bully in high school. He’s breaking a few commandments there, pet.

You might not like gay marriage, Amanda. So I really really advise that you do not marry a woman. You might not like homosexuality full stop. But that does not give you the right to expect the law to follow your Christian beliefs because you Christians live by the 10 laws of your so-called God. You seem to be forgetting the concept of the separation of Church and State. And if you really want to talk about morals and ethics,

that’s fine.

I’ll do that right now.

Amanda, this goes out to you and all your Bible-bashing self important religiously self-inflated people. Amanda, you cannot ignore history. The truth of history is that the gay community hasn’t had much money or power or confidence to start much of anything but we still get blamed for ‘abnormality’ by you religious zealots. It was the Christians in the Crusades of medieval times that did the robbing, and the sinning, and the killing, and the war-mongering for the past 2000 years. It has been the Christians who have done the pillaging and the beheading the subjugating of whole countries into religious submission. It has been the Christians who have done the law making, and the money making and most of the mischief making so if this world isn’t quite what you had in mind then you have only yourself to thank.

“I’m Not Sorry, It’s Human Nature” why some people choose to be gay

A controversial title, right?

Well it’s not just a title chosen by this 23-year-old journalist. It’s an issue that arose today in an situation where personal opinions and views are not really meant to be discussed or expressed.

Today, I was speaking with a person in a place where we really should not be talking about the topic of homosexuality. To protect the identity of this person, I shall call him/her X. And I shall call the situation ‘Environment A’

X was saying how (s)he thought the idea of two gay people together made him/her feel sick. The words “abnormal” and “disgusting” were thrown in there too. Suffice to say that X isn’t known for his/her flare with adjectives. Or hairstyling, for that matter.

I of course wanted to lamp him/her right in his/her crooked teeth. But then I pondered, as I often do. I cannot retain my pride in my BA Journalism (Hons) degree if I were unable to keep the virtue of neutrality

Constance McMillen, a gay American teenager whose school cancelled her prom rather than let her take her girlfriend

(come on now, even someone like me can lay claim to at least ONE virtue). So I went into journalist mode, and asked his/her opinions on homosexuality in as neutral a tone as I could muster. (S)he said that (s)he disagreed with it. And that if (s)he were presented with a gay couple in Environment A, that (s)he would avoid them if possible, and if not, just try to ‘cope’ with it. X thinks that gay people should not be publicly affectionate because it makes him/her feel uncomfortable. Well, X, no-one’s asking you to watch. If it makes you feel uncomfortable then it’s clearly YOU, not US, that has the ‘problem’.

But why should a gay couple avoid being affectionate just to make X feel comfortable? How are we to know who is okay with it or who is not? Well, we don’t. So the safe option would be to just keep it all behind closed doors. But is that not the sort of prejudice the gay community has always suffered? And continues to suffer?

I did tell X that the gay community is not the one with the problem, you are. Because we are not asking X to look at us if we were walking through the town centre and decide to hold a hand or share a kiss. In fact, X, shame on you for being such a voyeur. I have no right to be affectionate in Environment A, but I do have the right to do so in a public place because, I am a member of the public, like you. I am a British citizen and British law (almost) allows us the same rights as you. But our ethnicity is where the comparison ends, X, For, of the many qualities I possess that you don’t one, of them is the ability to smile. Why do you always have that expression on your face that implies you just trod on a snail?

In times gone by, the gay community would meet in secret bars and clubs that required a special coded knock to gain access. There was a time when one could be arrested for homosexual activity. But that was also in a time when women were expected to be wives and mothers and have no further identity. So your views are sexist as well as homophobic. X – the gay community has it’s own identity now. Who are you to question the trained psychologists who successfully campaigned for the decriminalization of homosexuality once it was finally proven that it is not a mental illness? Maybe you have a mental illness that restricts the broadening of your opinions? Because on the outside you seem sharp and prickly, but I have learned that on the inside, you’re just a giant spike.

Madonna from the 1992 single "Human Nature" - released after she published a highly controversial and graphic book entitled 'Sex' which was a celebration of hetero, bi and homosexuality. She wasn't and still isn't sorry. And neither are we.

X’s opinions were baseless, naive, uneducated and unenlightened. But I didn’t get angry. I think each member of the gay community has a responsibility to represent it with pride and reason. So I kept my cool, and fortunately, I was able to leave him/her undecided on an answer when I asked X outright: “what is wrong with homosexuality?”. (S)he has no reasonable response.

So yes, I am going to do the gay thing and quote a gay icon – because I have the right to do so. But I’ve gone GaGa so many times already. I feel I should go further back in time, because Madonna has yet to fail me. To X, I say this of my sexual orientation on behalf of my community: “I’m Not Sorry, It’s Human Nature.”

“Youth Is A Disease From Which We All Recover”

Tesco has a lot to answer for.

Bridging the Generation Gap, by Jamie Fellows

Ever since construction began on their new store, traffic in and out of Fareham has been a nightmare of Family Sized proportions. Suffice to say that the 9 mile commute from home to work need not have taken a 3 hour bus journey if Asda on Newgate Lane had remained the staple of each housewife’s weekly shop. No – apparently we needed some ghastly supermarket to besmirch the otherwise sweetly innocuous façade of Fareham.

Traffic is like taxation – unavoidable, irritating and affective of everyone. We all know this so it is even more perplexing to me as to why a half blind 90-year-old man has been allowed to retain his driver’s license. Had he not, then he wouldn’t have rammed into my brother’s new car, totally writing it off within 10 hours of Jamie needing it to get to work tomorrow.

So yes, this is a ranting blog about old people.

They’ve always irritated me but today’s slam-dunk of a cock-up has pushed me over the edge. Why is it old people seem to think that the world owes them something? Yes, I know they’ve put in a lot of work over the years but that does not excuse their stubborn refusal to adapt to a world that has changed around them. I get on the bus to go to work and take the backmost seat so they have doorside priority. But then, just as I see my connecting bus churn to life at the station, they insist on being the first ones to stand up to get off. It is within their arthritic, hip-cracking, cane—clunking 90 second disembarkment routine that I miss my bus and have to wait a half hour for another. I have been polite enough not to take their seats – why can’t they be polite enough to let me off first when I can walk from the back of the bus to the doors in 7 youthful speedy seconds?

And shopping! Oh my God! They are RETIRED! They have all the time in the world to go out for food and get Christmas gifts. They could enjoy the languorous familiar slowness of the high street Monday to Friday. Why do they have to come out en masse at the weekend, move about in herds that block the way for us younger people who don’t have the luxury of time to amble about. Oh yes, you withered old raisins, by all means move at a glacial pace, you know how that thrills people!

We no longer live in a world where women go food shopping to the butchers’, the cheesemongers’ and the fresh produce shop while the menfolk go off to work. We no longer live in a world where identification at the village bank isn’t necessary because the cashiers know the customers from the charity tea dance. The

Her Royal Highness Princess Katharine, Duchess of Kent is an avid iPhone user and Sir Trevor McDonald is always up to date with current affairs, proving that old age does not have to be an inevitable decline if you make the effort to stay young at heart.

world has changed since the old were young. But their blatant disregard for our own efforts to adapt to a more modern society insults me. We have all had to get used to chip and pin, to mobile phones, email and inflation. Why do they seem to consider themselves exempt for the daily stresses that we have accepted as a fact of life? My God, when the digital switchover occurs the support call centre is going to be inundated with phonecalls from some Mrs Betty Bellfield croaking down the phone about her wireless not working.

Joanne Lumley - seasoned, sassy and sexy at 65

It seems like I’m generalizing and I am because I know the majority of the elderly are incompetent, stubborn, insolent, slow, irritating, rude, outdated old fossils who make Night of the Living Dead look like some hip youth employment scheme. But there are some retired citizens who have made the effort to keep up with the times. The Queen is 85 and she keeps in contact with her grandchildren via email. Princess Katharine, The Duchess of Kent is 78 and she has an iPhone and uses the Shazam App. Michael Parkinson, 76 and Trevor McDonald, 72 have to make an effort to keep up to date due to their careers and they have successful careers at that. And then of course there’s Joanna Lumley and Felicity Kendal – both 65 and still sharp enough to remain figures of seasoned sexuality and fashion. So I hope all those old people can see that being over the retirement age does NOT give you an excuse to cling onto the past because you know what? It really pisses the rest of us off when you expect preferential treatment in spite of your overwhelming stupidity!

Dorothy Fuldheim was a feminist American journalist who paved the way for women in media. She died aged 96 and she once said that “youth is a disease from which we all recover”. Had today’s elderly known that the remission was a lifetime of blissful ignorance, I hope they would have had the decency to just sit up, break wind and die!

My God, when the digital switchover occurs the support call centre is going to be inundated with phonecalls from some Mrs Betty Bellfield croaking down the phone about her wireless not working.

My God, when the digital …