Saturday, 26 September 2009

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival. Just an excuse to fob off those dented tins of peaces and mystery meat on an old people's home, right? Well, yes... but this year I was able to cobble together a harvest festival dinner of my own containing no less FOUR homegrown components and nothing from a tin, dented or otherwise. Exciting stuff, especially as I never thought the potatoes (despite a vigil second only to that of The Queen Mum's corpse) stood a chance.

Okay, so the seeds were more than the cost of a bag of potatoes, the plants took hours and hours of careful attention, and only enough spuds sprung forth for one (admittedly gluttonous) meal, but was more thsn worth it.

So we ate ourselves silly and gave thanks for the 14 potatoes, 2 carrots, heaps of thyme and on-its-last-legs lettuce that came from our own little plot and not only did we please ourselves, we seemed to have pleased The Pagan Gods or whoever else in charge, for very good news indeed followed....

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Stop Press: Old People Like Sex Too, Shocker!

Have a snoop around your local newsagent at the moment and you may well find my mugshot grinning back at ya, for I am no less than Scarlet's contributor of the month. Oh yes.

For the uninitiated, Scarlet is a ladies magazine that contains no diets, but more sex-toys than you can shake a giant dildo at. It also has some genuinely interesting, socially aware articles and is kinda what Cosmo was when it was first published.

Being contributor of the month meant I had to answer a few wee questions - best/worst thing about the magazine etc. And I half in jest, but with some element of truth to it, declared that the worst thing about Scarlet was the fact that my Mother would undoubtedly buy it to read her darling daughter's superb words....but blatantly read the sex stuff while she was at it.

Not surprisingly, this happened. Mummy Hughes did her dutiful Mum thing and told me she thought my piece was very interesting, well written....and that my Grandad had particularly enjoyed it - that in fact he'd loved the entire magazine, reading it cover to cover. Surely not the sex-toy review page? Apparently so. The erotic fiction? Yup. That too. Woah.

I think I must have involuntarily made my feelings pretty clear as my Mum's response was a matter of fact "Well you lot don't think you invented sex, do you?" Well, no, Mum, but I also don't spend much time thinking about my Grandma and Grandad bumping and grinding.

However, in a Sex and The City stylee, I got to thinking.... Ageism is probably the one 'ism' that still runs rife and seems to be acceptable. Why? Reasonably forward thinking mags like Scarlet make a point of using models of all sizes, looks and races, but, they don't ever feature anyone over the age of 35, tops. Apparently this is because the publication is aimed at 20-40 year-olds, and the images should reflect this. Fair enough, but what happens when you get to 40? Do you suddenly have to ditch the dildos and buy an Argar instead?!

There seems to be a similar lack in pornographic products too - mags and movies alike seldom feature models over 35, and if they do, it's a fetish item!
And what about the people who buy sex stuff? I think that part of my initial freak-out at my Grandad's love of Scarlet is the completely irrational 'dirty old man' tag - double standards at its finest... Let me explain: Groups of women going to a sex shop and buying toys are 'having a laugh', couples who do similar are 'exploring their sexuality', young women who enjoy Scarlet or porn are 'empowered', but a man looking at top-shelf matter is a 'perv' or a 'dirty old man'.

So yes, Mummy Dearest, you are right. Pensioners have as much right to sex as anyone else. Now let's think about something else. Quick....