On Sunday I stood in the peeing rain for two and a bit hours, clapping the riders streaming on past Hampton Court palace, on their way for another 60 miles around the countryside and London. A good six or so stacked it on this corner pictured above, but most people were great at calling GRAVEL! SLOW IT DOWN! Which is good, because there’s literally nothing you can do as a spectator except grimace while someone and their £1000 worth of bike go sliding along the tarmac in the most painful looking way possible. I think I’ll stick to my little mountain bike hires in Clumber Park, ta.
In almost everything, after the first enthusiastic flush of an idea fades, the first step is the hardest. What if I fail? What if I’m not as good at that as I thought I was? What if I let people down who are counting on me to do a good job? What if I don’t reach these ridiculously high bars I set myself? What if what if what - nuuuuaggghh.
Think it, write it down on a piece of paper, and then screw it up, throw it in the bin and just get on with it. My favourite way to take the first step towards something = work on the project for just ten minutes every day. Increments make it easier to start moving and you’ll probably start taking longer once you get stuck in. And if you have trouble remembering, or keeping motivated, use the Commit app to keep you on track.
Is my blog 80% coffee? Am I? Hmm. There’s a question. I do and I don’t need this, having been awake since 6.30am both yesterday and today; not a notable thing for most people, but despite wanting to be a “morning person”, every attempt at becoming one usually crashes and burns by Tuesday morning (*snooze button* __ *snooze button* __ *snoo-). If this doesn’t continue into the working week, I’ll be ridiculously sad…mainly because there never seem to be enough hours in the day to achieve everything you want to, plus, the light days won’t be here forever – we ought to make the most of this, the best summer we’ve had in a long time. Also, and this is the best bonus, getting up early means SECOND BREAKFASTS.
It seems I am officially a hobbit.
If you’re a fan of leisurely weekend brunches (and who isn’t?) you should add these cauliflower tots to your repertoire. They can’t possibly be healthy, given the amount of cheese I’ve put in mine, but they make a nice replacement for potato-based side dishes. I was up so early yesterday that I actually had time to make a new batch of granola before I sat down to eat. This is great, given that bags of Gluten Free granola are both expensive and rubbish, because they don’t come in crunchy, chewy clumps…just bags of toasted oats with loads of seeds thrown in. So now I make my own (starting with this recipe, but you can throw in whatever you like additional) and it turns out the secret to making chunky granola is whipping up an egg white, coating the ingredients, baking and then leaving it to cool in the pan completely before you break it up. Nom!
Yesterday Self remembered to put cold brew into the fridge before she went ceilidhing. Today Self was momentarily amazed at organisation, until the utter dismal quantity of coffee beans was revealed and it was proven that the coffee was not (whisper it) actually drinkable.
So Today Self will faff around with badly set-up pouring shots for funsies instead of doing the necessary chores that have been put off all week because life…
Truth. But also don’t forget you can question things and not be pessimistic. Sometimes people can’t separate the two – asking “what if” or “why” doesn’t mean you’re not optimistic about the eventual outcome of a project.
Has anyone noticed how many brands have been nailing gender issues in their advertising lately? I’m a little conflicted about it because, yes, in the main, they’re selling products. But I love the fact that you can change the discourse around women’s products, beauty products and the lexicon we use to discuss things that are usually just spray painted pink and handed to us with patronising pat on the head. Sure, some of the ideals in the ads have but a tenuous link to their products (the Always and Pantene ads spring to mind) but doesn’t it make a refreshing change from this dreadful ‘Beauty Patch‘ one by Dove? OMG you mean there’s nothing on there and I have self esteem that you’re saying is my own but actually that came from pretending that there’s some crazy chemical thing that can make me beautiful because that’s basically the formula/life ideal you’ve been selling women since the inception of advertising?
Here’s my run down of my favourite feminist ads of the minute:
1. #ShineStrong – Pantene
The second I saw this I both cringed a deep, deep cringe and immediately loved it, because if there’s a word that I overuse, it’s sorry. Sorry you bumped into me, sorry for speaking and giving an opinion (in a business setting), sorry for having the armrest first, but oh no, you have it. There’s being polite (and erm, British) and then there’s apologising for your existence. Nope. No more.
2. #LikeAGirl – Always
What has throwing “like a girl” got to do with period paddage? Well, I’ve been in marketing for ages so I could probably give you an answer to that question, but I see your point…it’s a bit tenuous. But I literally could not care any less: this ad is so wonderful and simple and to the point that it got someone I love dearly but who thinks feminism isn’t necessary or important, to see its point of view and actually LIKE it. Hi five, Always. Hi five.
3. First Moon party – Hello Flo
This one isn’t obviously about changing discourse, but it still has the same effect – because who’d have thought you could openly discuss periods on tv. And be funny! Think of it as the female version of the amusing Dollar Shave Club ad, except it’s generally more accepted to discuss on TV that men have to shave a face than the fact that women have to deal with a crampy, monthly mess. And not a jar of blue liquid in sight! Nice one Hello Flo.
4. Princess Machine – GoldieBlox
Because girls don’t always want to be a princess in a tower. And spray painting everything pink for girls starts YOUNG. Hey, I’ll tell you what, Riley the (then) 4 year old explains it awesomely.
Phew. I’ll take these ads over ones that tell me I should have softer, smoother, more beautiful armpits. In fact, basically, Dove should just sack their ad team and take hints from these guys – they’re nailing it.