HAVE you heard the one about the blonde who used her smartphone to pay for her parking spot and ended up having a panic attack?
Well, it wasn’t very funny back then.
When I was forced to drive into the Big Smoke – a rare occurrence for this recluse – and pay for my parking spot via an app on my phone, I suddenly had no connection to my server and couldn’t even pay the fee via the phone number, which was also apparently out of order.
I can’t pretend I didn’t panic blindly about being pinched or my car being towed – it really was heart palpitations time.
I felt completely helpless and didn’t know where to turn.
So how must it feel for those who don’t have a smartphone? Or when the cellphone signal hits a blind spot?
Or how about those who may be older than me and struggle with using a smartphone at all?
Paying for parking in this way is something tens of thousands of motorists are forced to do every day.
I know we’re increasingly moving towards a cashless society, where everything we do and say happens in an otherworldly, invisible, untouchable ether – but I just don’t like that.
All that aside, I suspect it’s a surefire way to keep people from going to our cities.
Which in turn has devastating consequences for companies.
I still hold a torch for those cute little parking meters that are placed at every parking bay so not much could go wrong because you always had a trusty collection of coins in your car ashtray.
Is there a chance to bring her back?
I’m just asking for a techphobic friend. . .
Let’s think about women who are not mothers
Anyone else want to cancel Mother’s Day?
Surely I can’t be the only one conflicted about Sunday.
I’m trying not to be a negative Nellie, but while it should be a joyful, heartwarming day for those of us who’ve been foolish enough to allow children to ruin our lives, I can’t deny that I find it difficult to navigate.
It’s less about the mothers and more about the duty of the small children to make a kind of makeshift card out of feathers, felt piping and recycled toilet paper and maybe even give mum an overpriced bouquet of flowers.
Like Valentine’s Day, it has its roots in marketing, commercialization, and societal expectations.
I don’t want presents. I just ask my kids for a few hours of good behavior and some family friendliness. That, too, usually falls on deaf ears.
I am extremely fortunate that becoming a mother four times has fulfilled my mothering instincts, but I know it will be a difficult day for many mothers.
There are many mothers who, for whatever tragic reason, will not be able to spend it with their offspring – and here I moan at feeling compelled to endure the day with mine.
The run-up to this year’s “celebration” was filled with sibling tension and my own negativity about the day itself. For these reasons alone, I empathize with those who have no choice but to see their children – the morning will be filled with immeasurable pain.
I also think of all the women who don’t have a mom to celebrate anymore. For them, tomorrow will be a huge pit of sorrow. Just as for others, the day will be a day of torment because their dreams of becoming a mother never came true.
I feel so bad that these women have to endure this annual celebration.
Of course, motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes. And you don’t have to be a biological mother to be honored.
Some are stepmothers, some are mothers and fathers at the same time, as I was for a while with my second child, and there are many fathers who also take on the role of mother.
Mother’s Day always makes me think of all the women who couldn’t or didn’t want to become a mom. Figures from the Office of National Statistics show their numbers are increasing, with almost one in five women aged 45 remaining childless.
Things may have been complicated for them by everyone else’s expectations of what to do with their bodies and their lives.
As a society, we often seem to give much greater credit to a woman who is a mother. It’s as if she’s better qualified to be a woman than one who has made the active decision not to become a mother.
It’s just not true that you’re more complex and substantial just because you chose or felt compelled to do so out of maternal instincts.
Motherhood isn’t everything. It’s not everyone’s reason for being. It’s not every woman’s only ambition.
Ever since I was ten—after witnessing the miracle of my half-sister’s birth—I knew I wanted to be a mother.
It’s hard to articulate, but it was an urgent desire running through my veins, and it’s no exaggeration to say that this was my only desire for adulthood.
I joke about what a nightmare children are. I call them The Ungratefuls and my third child says I’ve made hating my kids my unique selling proposition.
Of course it’s not the whole story. As much as motherhood made me, it almost broke me as well.
At times I cared too much about them and became so consumed by them that I completely forgot and neglected myself.
Being a parent, being a mother is relentless. It never ends and I’m still shocked and impressed every day that I managed to create four of the Blighters. They are without a doubt my greatest achievements.
So I guess even though I threatened to cancel Mother’s Day a few weeks ago because I couldn’t cope with the fake, overbearing nature of it all, I’ll back down.
I will make sure to see as many of my children as possible for lunch because they are almost all grown up now and it is rare to see them all together.
But for those women who feel alienated, distant, and left out of tomorrow, you’re no less a woman for not being a mother.
GIMME YOGA CHAOS
I HAVE always maintained and continue to maintain that if you have time for yoga, chances are you’re a non-need person.
I’m aware that I’m going against the trend here, but I’ve never really been a fan of fashion.
I’ve lost count of the number of times thoughtful people have suggested yoga
When I’ve tried, I spend those quiet moments making shopping lists in my head, fretting over the things I need to get done, and worrying about whether I’m really enough for my kids.
But now I may have found my jam: Rage Yoga.
Yes, that really is a thing.
Similar to its quiet cousin, but instead of serenity and calm, there is chaos and humor.
There might be war cries, heavy metal guitar riffs, dirty jokes and the odd f-bomb.
The practice aims to help you feel empowered, become more resilient, and let out all your anger.
A kind of yoga for badasses.
I don’t have anger issues – as all people with anger issues say – but I do have a problem with and envy these smug guys who are relentlessly peaceful and undeterred by the chaos of life.
With Rage Yoga I may have found my tribe.
Where do I sign?
Yes, I secretly longed to be Paula Yates
THE Channel 4 documentary about the late Paula Yates reminded me that, in truth, I’ve always wanted to be a little bit of her. Or maybe even a lot.
I didn’t want to see it because it felt intrusive, curious, and inappropriate.
But like Paula, there’s one thing I can’t resist and that’s temptation.
She was far from flawless, but I’d forgotten just how awesome, provocative, anarchic, and groundbreaking she was.
She was a banger and made no apologies for being ahead of her time. This wonderfully smart, emotional and accomplished woman ran her own race.
On the screen, she asked the questions most of us wanted to know the answer to, but none of us would ever have dared to ask.
Paula Yates was irreverent, garrulous, and respectful, all wrapped in a small, mischievous frame topped with a springy mop of hydrogenated hair.
This woman really dared. There is no doubt that her brand of steadfastness and confidence threatened other women, who often dismissed and taunted her.
I was always filled with guarded admiration. My lasting memory of Paula is meeting her over a few drinks and she spoke to me like we were buddies, like we’d known each other for a while.
So much so that she told me a very fun fact about a certain sexual position that has since made it pretty, pretty hard for me not to think about it when I’m doing a little bedroom gymnastics.
She was an engaging woman and not the short blonde she was often portrayed as.
I only wish we had appreciated her voice, thoughts, ideas and courage a little more back then.
But maybe the world just wasn’t ready for her.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7659770/ulrika-jonsson-panic-attack-car-park-rule/ I had a panic attack after feeling helpless because of the crazy parking rules, says Ulrika Jonsson