"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by Dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking.
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become."
- Steve Jobs

Saturday, April 29, 2006

My first funeral

Well I just got back from my first funeral. It was my favourite Auntie Issy's funeral and it was everything I DON'T want my funeral to be.

I guess I've done well to reach 34 and never been to a funeral. But I hope I don't have to go to another soon and I *really* don't know how I will cope at my parents' funeral, which is inevitable at some point in the future.

We all met at Issy's house and we rode in the hearse that followed the coffin. I couldn't look at the coffin in front of me, I didn't 'want to imagine her lying in there all cold - I wanted to remember her as I last saw her or heard her on the phone when we last spoke. Her body to me was just an empty vessel, no longer relevant to her or who she was.

Nobody spoke during the journey to the crem, and when they did it was in hushed whispers. Some people say that the silence and the hush is for "respect for the dead". But to me it seemed to sit all wrong, I'd not want this for my funeral - I'd want AC/DC on the stereo playing "Hell's Bells" or something.

We arrived at the crem and I only got upset the one time, when the pall bearers lifted the coffin out and into the church. It still seemed to me that she wasn't in there, that it was empty. I guess in a way it was.

Being an agnostic, the whole "God" thing just doesn't appeal to me. Walking into the modern-built Crem church and sitting down, I listened to the preacher's Bible waffle with an acrid ear. It all sounded like such empty poetic bullshit. We stood for the hymns but I couldn't sing them, I felt like too much of a fat hypocrite. God this, God that, death is the beginning of a new life in His kingdom etc etc. I guess it's fine if you believe all of that and if it comforts you, but it just irritated me. I absolutely do NOT want a religious funeral. And the coffin - why spend all that money and wood on a coffin that is just going to be burned? Waste of money and resources.

Put me in a cardboard coffin, bury me along with a newly planted tree, and leave me to fertilise the tree and feed the worms. No God, no religion, just a darn good party with Benny Goodman on the stereo and nobody talking in hushed whispers. And strictly NO black. Bright colours only, and a celebration of my life that was, not a mourning of my life now gone.

Issy had a fabulous and interesting life and I saw this as NOT a fitting way to end it. It was too quiet, too miserable, too drab, and too rushed. I will miss her and the regular phone calls we had, and I wish I could have seen her one more time before she died, but in a way I'm glad she's gone, as her quality of life was getting bad and her 80-a-day habit had finished off her lungs to the point that she could barely breathe. She seemed ready to go and join my uncle John, who died over 4 years ago. I know that they are together again somewhere and I know that they are both happy.

Then to finish the weekend off I had a huge row with my mother when we got back to Norwich, about her total negativity about everything in my life and her inability to see the positive or the good in ANYTHING I had done with the house since she last saw it. Since they arrived on Wednesday night I have heard nothing but a string of whinges (now you know where I get it from!) about the downstairs loo, the rats being smelly, the hall floor, the wood floor in the lounge, the kitchen as a whole, the bench in particular, the garden, the fact my front door doesn't have a curtain, the fact that my cafe-net in the kitchen means that neighbours can see in (like yeah, they spend all day queueing up to look into my kitchen), and the limescale stain on the front wall needs scrubbing off, the shrubs I've chosen for the garden will grow too big, the compost bin I've started won't work "because mine never did" and the fact that my house is "full of clutter" (which it totally isn't compared to her chintzy cluttered house).

I spent the journey from Norwich to Swindon and then back again plugged into my MP3 player, just to drown out her droning negativity - and I got bollocked for that and called "very rude" because I wasn't talking to anyone. When she started to work herself up into a frenzy because my dad wasn't' stopping for any petrol, I could take no more and everything blew up.

She went upstairs in tears for hours, my dad came down and gave me the "your mother is really upset" speech, and then it was my turn to explode and say that I was sick of her constant negativity and her sniping at everything about the house - the house that I had worked hard on since she'd last seen it, the garden that I had dug over myself and broke my back on, all my seedlings that were successfully sprouting, and most of all, my Fuzzbutt sewing venture that I had started from scratch with no prior sewing knowledge - I'd drafted the patterns, worked on prototypes, developed some great products, had positive feedback from the testers, had made over £900 worth of stock all by myself, all ready to sell on and make some extra money for myself - and what had she said to me?

"If I'd not given you that sewing machine you'd have spent more time on the house instead of up here"

YEAH GREAT MUM, THANKS. The f*cking house isn't going anywhere, it's perfectly liveable in, and there is plenty of time to get all the remaining jobs finished on it - as and when I get the money to finish them (which is where Fuzzbutt will help I hope).

Somehow you can feel like you've done a great job, but if your parents themselves don't say you've done a great job - then you don't feel like you have anymore. I have to stop caring what she thinks cos it's destroying me. She's downstars now watching telly, they're going home tomorrow. I'm off for a bath. I can't talk to her at the minute as we will just argue again. This had to happen, it had to be said. Her negativity and constant moaning has already driven my brother to hardly visit her any more, and it will get like that with me too if this carries on. I'm negative enough without her crap weighing on my shoulders too.

But I hate feeling angry towards her, I hate upsetting her. Cos when the day comes that her coffin is carried into a church in front of me, I know I will regret every cross word.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Monthly Jake-fest

Goddam he makes one hot cowboy - gay or not I don't care :-O

This from http://grouphug.us

Interesting entry (amongst the other entries about screwing cats and killing your third grade teacher...):

"Sometimes you just need to survive.. so everyday you entertain yourself.. and ignore the real unhappiness in your life... every now and then you pause and think.. should you be so shallow and simply live life to entertain yourself or go to the roots of the problem of your unhapiness. Then you realise that you cannot solve it because it is beyond your control so you revert back to simply entertaining yourself. because you don't know what to do otherwise.. afterall you need to survive,... and perhaps entertaining yourself could be part of the solution... then the emptiness hits you and you realise that you have not completely solve all your problems... and you still don't know how to... clock is ticking... you are still far from achieving from what you want... or is it what society wants... you don't know anymore.... "

I don't do "relationships"

Well my break-up has now got to the stage of slagging and vicious emails from all parties. I never wanted it to degenerate into this, but it has. His emails cut deep and hurt, mainly because they are true. Nobody ever wants to deal with the black and white truth about themselves, specially when it's put forward by the one person that used to care for them above all else in the world. It will be a long time before we can be proper friends again I think.

I really REALLY don't want to go through this again, I seem to seriously be facing my future alone. I'm sick of the stress, hassles and upsets that relationships bring.

"But it's just cos he wasn't the right one" people say. Maybe so, but I'm not prepared to go through even more stress and shit to try and FIND the "right one". Is there such a thing, I wonder.

It will be shit to not have someone there for some closeness when you need it the most, but I'm not prepared to go thru tons of hassle just for that one thing. I'm sick of hurting people and I'm sick of being hurt myself. Fuck it! Ready meals for one here I come.

Power is an aphrodisiac

Unbelievable revelation today that jowly saggy-eyed John Prescott had an illicit affair with his secretary is absolute proof that power is an aphrodisiac and an attraction.

What the FUCK did she fancy about that man! Imagining him naked alone is enough to turn my stomach, but she actually WANTED and DID have sex with him?? Ew!!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thoughts of Dahab

What horrid news to see Dahab on our TV screens all blown to bits. Having spent 10 glorious days there last May it was very upsetting to see the shops and restaurants I'd been to, smashed to smithereens. Many Egyptians are dead, and I wondered about all the friendly "restaurant boys" that spent their time haranguing us to come and eat in their establishements. I hope they are all OK. My brother is upset too as he lived out there for 9 months and made a great many friends.

Dahab was so quiet, so peaceful and chilled, so friendly. A rapidly expanding tourist resort with utterly fabulous diving, the big hotel chains were moving in and I could see that in about a decade's time it would be ruined, so I was enjoying it while it was still small and relatively simple. Why the hell did terrorists pick such a small inconsequential town to fuck up?

We are planning to go out there diving again this August, and despite these attacks we are still planning to go. Our money will help support them in their rebuild, and I'm sure they will be pleased to see visitors still turning up despite their tragedy.


How wonderful for Tescos as it gleefully announced it's £2.2 BILLION profits today. How utterly fucking obscene too. Their growth is at the expense of smaller grocery stores in every town and village in this country. More and more action groups are springing up to stop the spread of their Tesco Metro stores, popping up in places where there are already plenty of local businesses, and stomping them out with no conscience at all.

Now as if to try to curry our favour, they are announcing a £100m investment in "greener" stores that will use renewable energy to power them. How nice. But they will still be built the traditional way, using tons of enviro-friendly concrete and asbestos and corrugated iron and plastic. What about spending their filthy profits on proper green-designed and built supermarkets?

And do their green policies include BIODEGRADABLE CARRIER BAGS, or any scheme at all to encourage people to re-use carrier bags, use a "bag for life" or use bags made of fabric? I am still aghast that no Government policy or tax has been introduced to try and reduce the amount of carrier bags we use and waste every day. If supermarkets charged 10p per carrier bag (like LIDL and ALDIs do) then I'm betting stingy people would immediately start re-using bags.

Having recently dug my garden over and unearthed tons of plastic sweet wrappers and 6 carrier bags, I can only imagine the state of our landfills as they get more and more clogged with these cursed things.

I hope the Monopolies Commission or whoever is set to investigate Tescos, screw them good and proper and put some sort of a cap on their world domination.

However sadly, it seems that it is we the consumers that are solely responsible for their massive growth. We object to them springing up everywhere but we still shop at them. If we stayed away, then the profits would plummet and their stores would close. But in the absence of no locally-owned shops where on earth are we MEANT to buy our food from?? We all have to make an effort to travel to the local shops and the farmer's markets, and leave Tesco and their ilk to rot.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Leave those ratties alone!

I had an argybargy with my friend Greg today, who sent me an email inews piece about the spread of Bubonic Plague in Los Angeles(http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30200-13519480,00.html). His message in the email said "I told you rats were filthy disease-ridden animals".
I had an argument with him over MSN about this. Firstly, the plague was spread by fleas infected by DEAD rats. DEAD rats. So are the rats to blame? They die, and the fleas do the natural thing and start to devour them, just like they would a dead dog, cat or even tramp.
People complain about the amount of rats in America, and indeed in our very own London. But whose fault is this? OURS. We are a nation of litterers and food wasters. Our restaurants have bulging skips out back full of waste food, not saled and disposed of properly, and our own streets are full of half-eaten food and food wrappers. Our litter bins overflow and are not regularly emptied, or there simply aren't enough bins so the rare ones we come across are always full.
Rats are plentiful because food is plentiful, and that's our fault for being lazy litterers. If food was hard to come by on city streets do you really think there would be rat populations running into the millions? No.

Rats, foxes, wild dogs and cats, are there to tidy up our laziness - and the byproduct of that is the diseases carried by the fleas that live on them.

"But rat urine can cause weals disease" says Greg. True, but dog shit can cause blindness, and how many dog owners let their dogs crap in a public park, then walk off without picking it up? Then little Timmy comes along with his football, trips, lands in the dog shit, and there you go. Domestic dogs are just as bad with disease propagation. How many houses are caked in germs because of the resident dog and cat tramping all over the surfaces with their dirty paws and dirty arses? At least domestic rats are kept contained in cages.

I would love to see the state of any big city if all the rats and other wild food predators magically disappeared for a week. We'd be gassed by the stench of all our discarded rotten food - with nobody there to eat it and clean it off the streets. Garbage disposal probably couldn't cope with the amout of food that they'd have to tidy up, so used to it being cleaned up for us by "those horrid rats".

Councils spend millions each year trying to cure rat and pest problems - but they are spending the money in the wrong area. If they spent it on more litter bins and better garbage disposal, and penalties for litter droppers, then the food would disappear and so would the pests.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm having babies!!!

Yes folks, me - Mrs Non-Maternal of the Millennium, I am having TONS of babies and enjoying every minute of it.

Their names are Lavendar Lady, Tanacetum, Cineraria, Foxglove, and Allium, to name but a few. No, not mad celebrity names but the names of the seeds currently sprouting in my mini-propagator.

I never thought the day would come when I started enjoying gardening. Now I've dug over and raked the back garden ready for re-seeding, and cut my borders and marked them out with twine, I am delighting in browsing garden centres perusing the plant name tags and reading the latin names that once used to irritate me so much. At the seed counter I am a shopping monster, packet after packet go into my basket, there's so much to choose from! Into the propagator they go and I watch excitedly every day as their little reedy sprouts get bigger and stronger. *sigh* my babies!

I maintain that I am still NOT getting maternal for babies of the fleshy kind. Plant babies are cool, you can leave them in their propagator and go to work, and Social Services won't be onto you for cruelty. They eat very little food and cost bugger all to mainatin. And once you stick them outside in a flower bed they look after themselves without any Teen tantrums. And if they start to piss you off then you just uproot them and chuck them away - and still no prison sentence. Excellent! Then onto the seed counter and choose something else.

Here are some pics of the garden before and after, and of my babies ....

Run Katie Run!!!

It's happened.

Somewhere deep within Tom Cruise's compound, one of the hundreds of bio-vessels gathered in the estate's silent birthing stadium has finally pushed forth into the world an offspring bearing enough of a physical resemblance to the actor (think the classic monkeys-and-typewriters scenario, but with stainless-steel turkey basters and female Scientologists in their prime reproduction years) not to arouse too much suspicion about the infant's true parentage.

In other words: The Miracle Baby has finally arrived, a 7 lb. 7 oz. girl named Suri, which we assume was the name of some futuristic seafaring vessel from an obscure L. Ron Hubbard novel.

According to a press release, "both mother and daughter are doing well." We assume they're referring to Katie Holmes, not the actual biological parent who's tending the child while Holmes tries to chew through her wrist restraints and escape during the bedlam following the birth announcement.

What is more disturbing is that apparently, Scientology rules insist that the baby must NOT be spoken to for 7 days after the birth. This is so wrong! If those nutbags believe that a) noisy birth is damaging to the child, and b) speaking to the newborn baby immediately is damaging, then WHY THE FUCK AREN'T 99% OF US ALL NUTTERS??? All our mothers yelled like buggery when we were born, plus talked to us immediately afterwards, and we are all sane and normal (well, in a way).

The fact that we ARE all sane and normal debunks the Scientology rules there and then. Exactly how desperate is Katie Holmes to be a Star that she would allow this to happen to her! She could have married another equally high profile but NORMAL actor, and received just as much exposure and film roles, but without the freaky-alien-baby-mind-control-cult-beard-to-the-biggest-Gay-in-Hollywood stuff going on.

I await with bated breath to see how this kid and other nutty celeb kids grow up. Maybe The Cruiser will go down the Jacko path and insist little "TomKitten" Suri wears a black veil at all times ... RUN SURI RUN!!!

First picture of TomKitten

This from PARADE.COM magazine interview with Tom:

"Before I left Cruise, he introduced me to Katie Holmes, who is about 5 foot 10 (he’s 5 foot 7) and pretty. She wore a large diamond engagement ring. She seemed dazed, passive and vacant. She never stopped smiling. The minute she appeared, Cruise’s now-familiar public mode of behavior returned. He began hooting how beautiful she was, touching and kissing her like a teenage boy on his first backseat date, aware that he was being watched.

“I am very, very happy!” Cruise exclaimed, grinning his public grin. “I’ve got a baby on the way! My concern is being the best parent I can be, making sure my kids can think and make decisions for themselves.”

Hmmmm - taking bets as to when the public split will be announced....

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Perfect Day

Yesterday was one of the nicest days I've had for a long time. Double glazing man was very nice and not scary in any way, despite having a George Hamilton PermaTan. He quoted me £1460 for 5 windows which is apparently around the price I should be paying, and he will knock it down to £1350 it I decide within this week. But I've got a few more coming to quote me first so no rush.

It was such a lovely sunny day and after he had left I set about raking and levelling the back garden. After receiving quotes of £150 to rotorvate it, I dug it up myself, then after receiving a ludicrous quote of £360 to rake and level it, I did that myself too. It's amazing what you can push yourself to do when you've not got the £ to pay others to do it!

I wheeled the rat cage to the open patio doors and stood it in the sun - the rats were hilarious, they had never smelt fresh outdoors air or felt the sun on their fur before. Their eyes boggled and they power-sniffed the air to within an inch of their lives. Then they settled down to sunbathe, watching me as I pottered about with my rake, throwing clods of grass into a big worm-infested pile.

After about 3 hours, the earth was flat and raked - not perfect but good enough for seeding. I went out shopping for plant seeds, bulbs and a Hydrangea bush, it was great to be driving around in the sun FINALLY after the endless winter of greyness.

I got back and pottered some more in the sun, planting seeds while Tony Bennett played on my stereo and the Devil Child across the alley screamed and crashed about in his junk-food induced frenzy. The rats dozed and power-sniffed the air some more.

It was a lovely day for me mainly because a) the sun was out and it was warm, b) I got loads of stuff done, and c) I felt happy and secure because now I'm buying out Alan's share of the house, it is truly MY house, and nobody can take it off me. I'm not dependent on anyone to help me pay for it, and nobody can threaten to take it from me.

I've decided I never want to live under a threat like that, nor have to depend on someone else in order to live my life. The house is mine and will remain MINE only, no matter who does or doesn't come into my life in the future. It will always be there for me to fall back on, whatever happens. I can do what I want when I want and where I want, and not have to be answerable to anyone else, to have to compromise for them, not have to negotiate with them. At the minute that kind of security makes me very happy indeed.

Some girls can't function without a man in their life, some don't have a choice as they need that person and their second income in order to live or to buy a house. I am very lucky that I don't need to be in that situation any more, and that my parents were sensible and careful with money and were able to help me buy the house out and keep it for myself. It's also made me more determined to be careful with my money and to invest it well and always have it to fall back on in my future years.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Arse, I missed out on getting some Madonna tiks for her UK tour dates. And now they're on eBay for an average price of FOUR HUNDRED BLOODY QUID. Can someone PLEASE ban this practice of ripping people off for such filthy profits?!?!?!

On another random note, I have a double glazing salesman coming round today and I'm quite nervous - have been reading scare stories about how aggressive they are and how they pretty much bully you into signing up there and then. Blagger.com has some horrendous stories about Zenith Windows, so I'm giving them a miss, and my friend who actually runs his own DG company up North, says they WILL bully me. Aaargh!

Maybe if I sit there with my big squishy black rat on my shoulder he may be sufficiently scared into submission .....

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ban the movies!!!

New laws coming into force in the UK today make it illegal to "glorify terrorism" and to publicise terrorism in books, magazines or websites.

So are they going to ban screenings of every movie in the UK that includes a Terrorist plot? To me, Hollywood movies featuring Terrorists are glorifying them by just giving them film-space ..... and what about our dramas and soaps that may include terroristy stuff? Will they be banned too?

Will this blog be blocked off for containing the word "TERRORIST"???

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

F*ck off Chantelle!

Can someone tell me WHY all the papers are carrying front page screaming headlines about complete Munter-waste-of-space-Big-Brother-winner Chantelle getting married???

WHO GIVES A FUCK? Is she important in this world? Is she of any value at all? I cannot believe this girl's rise to fame. She has a TV show starting tonight, she's never out of the papers, now she'll be lined up for a 6-figure sum from HELLO for gushing coverage of her wedding.....followed 6 months later by gushing coverage of her divorce no doubt.

I have seen her on telly a few times and had to turn off after a few minutes, as the sight of her scraggy bleached hair, big nose and vacuous wibblings made me want to smash the TV.

I don't deny REAL stars and REAL celebrities their fame, if they have an art or a talent. But these fucking Z-listers that the tabloid rags and gossip mags fawn over really do need lining up against a wall and shooting. And the idiots who BUY the gossip mags and fuel this phenomenon also need shooting. I guess I shouldn't even be publicising the stupid bimbo on this blog...

Some people would say "she's very clever really, she's making a lot of money while she's hot property, which is better than working 9 to 5 for 40 years for next to no money". Well true in a way, but Chantelle and all her Ilk have started a rotting disease in our society and entertainment world today, and the very word "celebrity" has been dirtied and cheapened for good by being associated with these no-talent media whores.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The American argument part 4!

My Yank friend has responded to my email in which I quoted Michal's comment from my earlier blog: Here is what he says:

Now is a good time for me to lay out the basic assumptions that I bring into all discussions regarding current events. This way you can better understand where I am coming from:

1. Western civilization is superior to all other civilizations.
2. Judeo/Christianity is the foundation on which Western civilization is built.
3. Market capitalism and competition is the best way to spread wealth and financial security to the greatest number of people.
4. Constitutional democracy is messy, clumsy, frustrating and slow. It is also proves to be the best form of government to have if you want to live in peace and prosperity.
5. The UK and the USA have done more than any other nations to spread peace, prosperity, enlightenment and to protect freedom than all other nations of the world combined. PERIOD!!

I base these on my observation and study of history.

Regarding your last email: paragraph three says "Sources can be cited to prove two different and yet plausible sides to any argument" True enough. In such cases the disagreement is ended simply by rejecting that which is outside the bounds of logic and reason. Any argument that is too convoluted must be rejected. The simplest explanation is always the better one. {OCCAM's Razor}

I referred him to the Oscar Wilde quote at the top of this blog! And he has now replied:

"I'll side with Mr. Occam when it comes to truth. Mr. Wilde was far too debauched to rely on, for anything.

BTW.....for future discussions bear in mind that I do not view the British people as European, that would be an insult.

I strongly suggest you seal off the Chunnel and stay as far away from France and Germany as you can. Britain's future wealth and happiness would be better served with closer ties to Japan and your cousins the Australia and the US.

Mainland Europe will only prove to be a drag on the proud, strong and free people of the UK.

PS....make sure Ken Livingston is in the Chunnel when you seal it off. OK?"

Quote of the day

From my mum over MSN Messenger, who despairs of me ever settling down:

"There are worse things these days than not being married - like being married with today's types of men".

:-D Right on mum!

What to believe - AGAIN

Well, so this week I read reports that some Scientific report is rubbishing the benefits of Omega 3 and fish oils to our health - pretty much saying that they don't really do much and spouting evidence that they make little difference to our overall health.

Then I come across this article (http://www.patrickholford.com/content.asp?id_Content=1607) that says the opposite and debunks the first report.

So, going back AGAIN to my political arguments of the last week and in particular, Sperestillen's ranting comments at me for not believing HIS opinions ... which version of this story am I to believe?? Each report comes from apparently credible sources, but one of them is wrong. Again, becuase of my own attidues and beliefs about healthy eating, I would be more inclined to believe that oily fish DOES have health benefits.

So it doesn't matter whether you are talking 9/11 conspiracy theories or our own diets, WHAT ARE WE MEANT TO BELIEVE???

I wish I could wake up next to .....



Jake Marry Me.....

Grave robbing versus raping

News yesterday that up to 40 rapists a year walk free with just a caution. Home Office figures showed the number of offenders let off without charge DOUBLED in the last decade, while conviction rates fell sharply.

News today that the animal rights protestors who robbed a grave are to be sentenced for 12 YEARS for their crime.

Erm is it just me or is something a bit fucked up here???

Monday, April 10, 2006

Killer cosmetics

Every time you make up, you lather your face with a deadly cocktail of carcinogens, preservatives, mutagens, allergens, toxic heavy metals and other poisons that slip through the loose regulatory net.

Many women think that makeup is just a bit of harmless feel-good fun and that the makeup they put on their faces each day - and wear for long hours at a time - is just a benign enhancement to beauty. Yet, by the time a woman has made up her face, she will have covered her skin with carcinogens and preservatives, mutagens (substances that cause genetic mutations), allergens, central nervous system disruptors, toxic heavy metals and poisons.

Makeup is a particularly insidious form of pollution because its chemical ingredients enter the body through multiple routes. We can swallow, inhale and absorb them through the skin as well as through the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and nose. In addition, cosmetics commonly contain moisturisers in the form of wetting agents (such as propylene glycol) and humectants (such as glycerine) which, while relatively harmless in themselves, increase the skin’s permeability, thus allowing more of these toxic ingredients to be absorbed into the body.

Many assume that the government oversees the safety and efficacy of cosmetics. But makeup manufacturers are not required by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to demonstrate that their products are either safe or effective.

Fragrance is a particularly thorny issue for consumers as most of us will never know which fragrance chemicals are in the products we use. Manufacturers are allowed to list them under the catch-all heading of ‘fragrance’, which belies the often hundreds of different ingredients involved in a single scent (even the simplest ones use 40 to 50 ingredients). Most of these are neurotoxic chemicals associated with central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and sudden infant death syndrome. Many have even been labelled ‘toxic waste’ by the FDA.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency report Health Hazard Information (EPA, 1991), the 20 most common fragrance ingredients constitute a toxic soup that no thinking person would wish to be exposed to. Of these chemicals, seven - 1,8-cineole, beta-citronellol, beta-myrcene, nerol, ocimene, beta-phenethyl alcohol and alpha-terpinolene - are completely lacking in safety data.

As for the rest:
  • Acetone is on the hazardous waste lists of several government agencies. It is a CNS depressant which can cause dryness of the mouth and throat, dizziness, nausea, lack of coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness and, in severe exposures, coma.
  • Benzaldehyde acts as a local anaesthetic and CNS depressant, and can cause irritation to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs and GI tract, causing nausea and abdominal pain. It can also cause kidney damage.
  • Benzyl acetate is an environmental pollutant and potential carcinogen that has been linked to pancreatic cancer. Its vapours are irritating to the eyes and respiratory airways, and it can also be absorbed through the skin, causing systemic effects.
  • Benzyl alcohol is irritating to the upper respiratory tract, and can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, falls in blood pressure, CNS depression and, in severe cases, death due to respiratory failure.
  • Camphor is a local irritant and CNS stimulant that is readily absorbed by body tissues. Inhalation can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, muscle twitches and convulsions.
  • Ethanol is on the EPA hazardous waste list as it causes CNS disorders, and irritates the eyes and upper respiratory tract even at low concentrations. Inhalation of its vapours has the same effect as ingestion, including an initial stimulatory effect followed by drowsiness, impaired vision, loss of muscle coordination and stupor.
  • Ethyl acetate (on the EPA hazardous waste list) is a narcotic that is irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It can cause headache and stupor, and has a defatting effect on skin which may lead to drying and cracking. In extreme cases, it may cause damage to the liver and kidneys, and anaemia with high white cell counts.
  • Limonene is a carcinogen as well as a skin and eye irritant and allergen. *Linalool is a narcotic known to cause CNS disorders, and may lead to sometimes fatal respiratory disturbances, poor muscle coordination and reflexes, and depression. Animal tests show that it may also affect the heart.
  • Methylene chloride was banned by the FDA in 1988, but no enforcement is possible due to trade-secret laws protecting the chemical fragrance industry. Occupying the hazardous waste lists of several government agencies, it is a carcinogen and CNS disruptor absorbed and stored in body fat; it metabolises to carbon monoxide, reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Other adverse effects include headache, giddiness, stupor, irritability, fatigue and tingling in the limbs.
  • alpha-Pinene is a skin-sensitising agent that is damaging to the immune system.
  • gamma-Terpinene causes asthma and CNS disorders.
  • alpha-Terpineol is highly irritating to mucous membranes. Breathed into the lungs, it can lead to pneumonitis or even fatal water retention. It can also cause nervous excitement, loss of muscle coordination, low body temperature, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache. Scientific data warn against its repeated or prolonged skin contact.

The most commonly used cosmetic preservatives are alkyl hydroxy benzoates - methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben, either alone or, more often, in combination.

Parabens are well recognised as skin sensitisers (causing skin reactions), and the UK’s Brunel University has found parabens to be oestrogen mimics as well.

Sunscreens are also easily absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, the effects of which are still unknown. Screening chemicals in sun creams, lipsticks and other cosmetics have been revealed by Swiss researchers to be hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Most of us avoid foods that contain artificial colours yet, every day, women paint their faces with a range of artificial colours known to cause health problems. Artificial colours may be carcinogens (such as all coal-tar dyes) whereas others may contain hidden carcinogenic impurities.

While use of a single makeup product may be ‘safe’, your total daily exposure to coloured products - in soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, juices, cereals, pastries, coffee, creamer, even vitamins - may add up to an unacceptable risk.

Mascara - especially those that claim to extend your lashes - can contain any number of carcinogenic plasticisers like polyurethane. The silica commonly used in cosmetics may be contaminated with the carcinogenic crystalline form, but it is impossible to tell which silica-containing products are contaminated. Using any silica-containing product is simply playing cosmetic Russian roulette. Most makeup - even powder formulations - contain mineral oil to bind the ingredients together, and to provide the base for liquid formulas and lipsticks.

Mineral oils were first recognised as carcinogens in 1987. Listed as ‘parafinnum liquidim’ (the stuff that baby oil is made from) or ‘petrolatum’ (petroleum jelly), these highly refined oils have a chequered history. Mineral oils are also thought to increase skin photosensitivity, making it more prone to sun damage.

When considering the things that influence good health, most of us recognise that environment has an increasingly strong influence on our day-to-day health. We understand pollution from factories and cars, in our water and on the food we eat. But there is still a lack of awareness of the contributory effects of household and personal-care products, especially cosmetics.

Women who wear makeup are exposing themselves for most of the day, and often seven days a week, to an ugly cocktail of allergens, carcinogens, and hormone and CNS disruptors - all in the name of beauty.

Pat Thomas is the author of Cleaning Yourself to Death (Gill & Macmillan, 2001), a comprehensive guide to the toxins in toiletries and cleaning products.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Greetings all and sundry

Please be patient while I transfer all my content across from MSN Spaces! I hope Blogger.com doesn't spam all my entries like SPACES did .....

Friday, April 07, 2006

Decisions decisions

The past week of political arguing, coupled with a few other things I've been pondering, have got me thinking - "what on earth should we believe"?

Today at work a student handed in a book all about the food industry, that debunks all the myths that you see the press raving about, ie genetically modified fruit, packaging and transport of food destroying the environment etc. I had a quick flick through and it was amazing how this book made you totally believe the opposite of what the fearmongering Mainstream Media would have us belive. For instance:

Fears of antibiotic resistance in animals spreading to humans is calmly answered with "The use of antibiotics in young animals keeps meat prices low and does not materially contribute to antibiotic resistance in humans."
Packaging and transporting food is environmentally unfriendly is answered with "Packaging enhances the shelf life of products and reduces wastage during transport. Transporting food allows society to take advantage of different environmental and socio-economic conditions that exist in different places."

The whole book is designed to convince us that the modern way of processing and plastic-wrapping food, is a GOOD and BENEFICIAL thing for our world today.

Now some people may read this book and be convinced, while others will pooh-pooh it and continue with their own initial beliefs. Beliefs that came about because of something they saw on telly or something they read in the media, whether it be a commercial popular website or one of these "truth" websites that claim to give you the "real" news.

Why did they choose to believe the nasty scary version of life, rather than the other "it's safe really, you can trust us" version? Why do I choose to believe the "it's all a conspiracy designed to rip us off" version of events? Because I've read this or seen that on telly, and choose to believe what it says.

I guess having first hand experience of something will definitely cement your opinions, ie if you worked in a chicken factory for a week you would know that all the press is true. And if you were on the front line in Iraq with inadequate body armour you would know the news reports denying inadequate body armour are crap. But unless you can GET first hand experience you will have to trust what people tell you.

Shame we can't all spend a week eavesdropping in the Oval Office, No 10 and Congress .....

Whilst arguing with my Yankee friend he was throwing facts at me about how great Bush is and how the Iraq war was justified and how the Twin Towers WAS a Bin Laden plot....but for every fact he threw at me, I could find another one on another website that said totally the opposite.

So it's all really our own minds and characters that ultimately decide our opinions. Depending on how our views on the world have been built up, we then read something and either believe it, or not believe it. But our views have been built up by what we have seen or read or heard about in the pub/on the telly/on the internet, so you can go round in circles!

Common sense plays a part too I believe, for instance - I refuse to believe that spraying fruit with a cocktail of chemicals before flying it to Jamaica to get packed, then flying it back to the UK for Asda, is a good thing - both for our bodies or for the environment. And no amount of debunking books will change my mind. I also refuse to believe that a 757 punched such a small hole in the Pentagon, as the photographic evidence to ME seems irrefutable.

If we were to try and find the source of everything we read in the media, and try and find out if it was true or not, we'd go insane. You just can't track it all down, and if you did and someone said "it's the truth, honest" then again it's up to ourselves to decide again. So we are back to the saying in my earlier blog:

It is always better to say right out what you think without trying to prove anything much: for all our proofs are only variations of our opinions, and the contrary-minded listen neither to one nor the other."~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Politics again

My American friend has now resorted to being a twat rather than argue his case rationally. Here is the latest email:


We've tried our best to protect our plot but somehow our attempts at secrecy have
failed and our cover is blown. Yes, we Americans are attempting to take over the
world and Joe American is one of our loyal foot soldiers. His communications with
you were totally unauthorized and he is now in protective custody in one of our safe
houses. Any attempts by you to rescue him will result in his execution.

After we conquer the world Mr. American will be given an estate in East Anglia in
appreciation for all his loyal work.

He has requested that you be captured and made part of his English harem. {He has a
thing for red heads} Consider this an honor, for most of your fellow countrymen will
be placed in political re-education camps.

Resistance in futile. {Earth first....we can conquer the solar system later}

General Field Marshall Grand Puba of the Glorious American Armies

This from a guy who believes a 757 hit the Pentagon but will not answer my questions of "WHERE IS THE WRECKAGE IN THE PHOTOS and how a 757 can fit into such a small neat rounded hole that was punched into the side of the Pentagon??"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The death of paper-based media

About bloody time - and all thanks to Charlie Sheen!

Did you Know?

  • The average supermarket chicken contains nearly a pint of ‘bad’ fat, traces of antibiotics, has hock burns from standing in its own excrement and bones so spongy they can be minced up to make hot dogs.
  • Single servings of some ready-made puddings contain the same amount of salt as two packets of crisps
  • Milk is cheaper than water in many shops
  • Only 20% of apples consumed in the UK are produced here
  • One Dairy Lea Lunchable (harvest ham) contains 37% more salt than the recommended maximum daily intake for a 6 year old child
  • To fly a Kiwi fruit to the UK takes the same weight in fuel as the fruit
  • Up to 30% of road freight is food related
  • Robinsons ‘Fruit Shoot’ Juice Drink contains only 11% juice. You would need to purchase 31 300ml bottles, costing £20.60, before you would get a litre of pure, undiluted fruit juice.
  • There is 70g of sugar in a 500ml bottle of ready mixed Ribena. The same amount as seven lollipops and 10g more than a 10 year old child's recommended maximum sugar intake for a whole day.
  • Sugar puffs are 49% sugar.
  • Some canned ham may contain just 55% meat – padded out with water, ‘pork protein’ (gelatine), salt, sugar and additives.
  • Most hot dogs are made from ‘mechanically separated’ chicken flesh, mixed with water, a little pork, and a wide range of starches, collagens and additives.
  • Supermarket fresh pork chops are often injected with water and salt to make them… ‘more succulent’.
  • On average for every £1 spent on food in the supermarket farmers get 9p
  • At a school I visited recently the burgers served, I assumed they were beef, contained: 48% chicken, water, beef fat, beef heart, rusk, starch, onion, salt, spices hydrolysed vegetable protein, etc, etc. (no beef meat)
  • Some soups are as salty as seawater. Researchers discovered a chicken soup from the New Covent Garden Food Company had 6.25g of salt per 250g bowl. There are 3.5g of salt in 100g of seawater. The Food Standards Agency recommends adults to consume no more than 6 grams of salt in a day.

PLEASE SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKET and buy fresh non-tampered with veg, fruit and meats! Car boot sales also have a variety of fruit and veg stalls where you can buy sprouts still on the stalk, carrots wtill with all the leaves on, and spuds still covered with soil. MMMMM!!!!