girlVIRUS, Plantasia, and other Summer Fun

Posted by blatantblithe on August 18, 2010 Blog posts | Personal | | 2 comments

Two weeks ago I had a job for a grand total of two days in a little cafe in the Carmarthen area, and although I was worried that I’d be too clumsy to do a good job there, the two shifts I worked went really well!  I got on well with the woman who ran the kitchen, who used to live in my village, and the boss of the building was nice to me as well.  Then the day after my second shift I got a phone call from them, and was told that they had decided that I was “not right for the job”, and didn’t want me to come into work again.  “Not right for the job”?  “Not right” for clearing tables and making coffees?  I thought I was doing rather well – I was keeping busy, asking the staff if they wanted any help, being polite, and picking things up quickly enough… but I guess I wasn’t chatty enough for them.  That’s the only thing I can think of that was wrong with me.  My family were fuming – when I told my auntie about what had happened, she called my ex-boss a “cunt”, haha.  Okay, I know her using the word “cunt” as an insult is problematic from a feminist perspective, but I can’t deny that it made me laugh to hear my auntie use such harsh language.  I’m quite upset about losing my job because I’ve only got 4 weeks left at home, which is pretty off-putting for potential employers, so it’s looking likely that I won’t get any work this summer now.  I’m already well into my overdraft and haven’t even paid September’s rent yet. 🙁

At the moment Hank is working full time for the same electrical installation company that my dad works for, which means I’m at home on my own most days.  He’s currently working in Aberdeen for the next two weeks, and I miss him already!  I’ve been visiting my grandmother a few times a week, cleaning her kitchen out, taking her to her regular hospital and doctor’s appointments, and helping her out with her laundry.  She always gives me petrol money, and sometimes a little extra just to say thank you, so that’s been nice.

I’m helping out my auntie with her Slimming World class (yes, the same auntie mentioned above) – I’m put in charge of weighing the members or (wo)manning the shop.  I’m not sure how I feel about the whole Slimming World thing – one the one hand, the plan that my auntie advocates is a healthy plan where you try to cut down on junk food, etc, and make food using fresh vegetables rather than buy pre-made supermarket stuff (e.g. pasta sauces and soups, which can be loaded with salts and sugars if bought pre-made).  I can’t deny that that’s a good thing – eating healthy fresh food is good for everyone.  However, some of the rules are very difficult and seem a little strange.  I also think the focus on weight and numbers is a little silly – a lot of members only ever lose half a pound or so every week.  Half a pound?  The amount you’ve eaten and drank that afternoon will massively affect your weight when you’re being that precise, surely?  Is it productive to focus on something that can vary so much?  I don’t know.  All I know is that I love my auntie and I like spending time with her, she needs help with her class… so for now I’m going to just ignore the preachy voice in my head that’s shrieking “RIOTS NOT DIETS!!!

I’ve also been walking with my auntie and her walking club  – I’ve only been twice, but I had a lovely time on both walks.  The first was a five mile walk up Pontarddulais mountain, and the second was a 6 mile walk in Ogmore-by-Sea – very tiring, but lovely to be in the outdoors, seeing new sights and getting lots of exercise.  I also had a lovely chat with my auntie.

That's me, walking up a deceptively steep hill in Pontardulais.

The view from the top of the mountain.

Scary sign on the cliff


My dad has finally managed to get a company car, which means I get my lovely little Ford Fiesta back all to myself!  I’ve cleaned her out thoroughly and bought a blueberry-flavoured Jelly Belly air freshener, so she smells beautiful. 🙂  I’ve been driving Hank around a lot recently in my car – partly because I love my car now that she’s clean and fresh, but also because Hank has been too ill to want to drive recently.  We’ve been going on dates and spending a lot of time talking and doing coupley things, it’s been just lovely.

Hank in Eddie Rocket's Diner last week.

We went to Plantasia last weekend, and saw some scary creepy crawlies and plants.  I really didn’t want to go because I don’t like creepy crawlies, and have a crippling phobia of spiders.  Hank eventually persuaded me to go in with him, and I was on edge the whole time!  The very first tank in the room was a tarantula tank.  Bastards.

It looks like I posed for that picture, but that is what I genuinely looked like for most of the afternoon!


Hank with a burmese python in Plantasia, eeek!

With a very big plant.

I went to see my dear friend Sarah in Cardiff two weeks ago, and it was lovely to have a good catch up and spend some quality time together.  I like Cardiff, I forgot how much of a nice city it is.  We saw Inception – such an awesome film!

I created a Facebook group for girlVIRUS/grrrlVIRUS UK a fortnight ago – please join!  For those of you who don’t know, grrrlVIRUS originated as a world-wide Facebook group, which was created to empower women, and give them a way to meet other kick-ass girls!  Clementine Cannibal started the international movement, which has since spawned sister groups based in Sweden, Australia, Israel, and Italy.  A large part of the movement is flyering, whereby you make your own girlVIRUS flyers (see below) and post them in your area in order to give people something to think about when they see the flyers (many of them are posted in busy cities, and often next to sexist adverts).  It’s also a great way to find other kick-ass women and create your own girl gang!  I’ve finished my first set of flyers, and am taking them to the photocopier tomorrow.  Clementine Cannibal has a page dedicated to the virus on her blog, where you can print out the girlVIRUS flyers to distribute in your area – check it out here!

“The VIRUS that tells me deep in my brainstem that I can be whatever it is that I want to be” – Courtney Love

Music News: We’re still working on an album cover and an album title, but we’ve got a few ideas we’re throwing around.  Thankfully Hank has finally bought himself a Canon SLR camera with his earnings, so we can go on spontaneous photo shoots!  If anyone has any suggestions for album covers, do let me know!  I’ve been playing a lot of piano since I’ve been home from recording in Leeds, and am working on the second album.  We’re going to hopefully get another EP out next summer, which is very exciting indeed. 🙂

101 Things Update: During my time at Leeds, I managed to get some classic books read.  I’ve also since seen 3 more films from IMDB’s top 250, and managed to go a whole weekend without TV or internet!  A few days ago I started my Ideal Home scrapbook!

Failed a few things too, sadly. Check it out here.

Zine News: I’m currently working on Here. In My Head. #5, and have finished making another free mini-zine to include with trades.  I only have two copies of Here. In My Head. #2 and ONE copy of Here. In My Head. #3 left before they go out of print forever, and both are for sale as I want to get rid of them ASAP!  Details are available here; if you want to buy any of them please send me an email or leave me a comment.

Other: A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on sex work for the University of Nottingham magazine, Impact.  You can read the article here on their website – please leave me a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂


  • DJ Moonlight said on Aug 18, 2010 10:20 am

    I didn’t think jobs could just sack you like that, they should have given you a proper reason, isn’t that classed as unfair dismissal?

    I had a look at your 101 things list and saw you’re reading feminist books, I’ve just read Reclaiming the F Word, highly recommended!xx

    • Catherine said on Aug 24, 2010 8:41 pm

      They told me after getting the sack that I was on a trial period the whole time, so technically I didn’t get fired, I just didn’t get past the trial period. They didn’t tell me that I was on the trial period until afterwards though! 🙁

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