Morning Rituals or wake up and make up

So. My morning routine goes a little like this. Get up wash face, brush teeth, get dressed and go. Maybe sometimes this routine is enhanced by brushing my hair, but quite often not.

The whole thing takes less than 5 minutes and before I know it I am on the bus to work.

While out the other night I compared this with my colleagues. Some of whom spend over an hour getting ready in the morning. An hour! A whole extra glorious hour! They could read, they could bake a cake (they should *so* bake a cake) they could have some more sleep!

I was amazed. I asked them what this routine involved and I still don’t really “get” all the things they do.

So their morning routine goes a bit like this. Shower (ok so I have mine before getting into bed), hair dried (mine dries naturally), straighteners, hair extensions (yes dear reader they put extra hair on their heads…), primer (isn’t this what you put on before wall paper?!) up to two different shades of foundation (two?!), bronzer, blusher, eye make up and so on. Wowzer.

So this got me thinking – is this what normal people do? Am I leaving the house looking rough?! (Actually reader don’t answer that one..) so I asked them if my face was ok… Yep. I asked them.

Feedback wasn’t as savage as I had expected. Under my eyes I have some dark circles. Yes dear reader, yes I do. Apparently they make me look tired. And yes they do. That’s probably due to me being tired. And my eyebrows need “sorting”. Yes, yes granted. I will take it on board.

Both the girls I spoke to would never consider coming into work without make up on and were practically horrified at the suggestion that I might challenge them to go bare faced one day.

Now I am the opposite – I very occasionally wear make up to work. I spend the whole day terrified I look like a clown. An actual clown. I don’t look like me. And I question if it enhances the facial region or distracts away from it. Blimey if it distracts then maybe I should wear it more often!

So make up. I’m not a regular wearer and I never will be. If I look tired it’s because I am. Deal with it.

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Age before beauty or how old should our politicians be?

I recently wrote a piece for the Beestonia blog about my crossing of the political floor (you can read it if that interests you here )

One of the comments on the post brings me to write this post. Here it is : –

“For one, Sarah is too young and hasn’t enough life experience; and she’s no casework experience of helping others in dire-straits.”

This person is writing about my suitability for elected office I assume.

I am 29. Not that it’s relevant. I have had life experience. I have casework experience. I have helped people in dire-straits.

I was a senior union steward. I met and helped people with a whole range of problems relating to their employment. I always represented them to the best of my ability. Sometimes I won the case and sometimes I lost. But never once did a member complain to my boss that I was too young to represent them or hadn’t had enough life experience. Mostly they were grateful they had someone on their side to support them.

Age is a daft way to judge someone’s suitability to take up elected office. Jake Morrison an Independent Councillor for Liverpool City Council is one of the hardest working Councillors I know. Selected just a few days after his 17th Birthday and elected just days after his 18th Birthday he works tirelessly for the residents in his local area. He is an activist for the OK foundation who are campaigning with my MP Anna Soubry for more public defibrillators. There are also some councillors who are older and useless. The age is irrelevant.

So dear reader it’s really easy the criticise politicians for a whole plethora of reasons. But their age? Come now you can do better than that surely! 🙂

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A note to my 21 year old self..

Hey there Sarah Brown. It’s me, well you really, your 29 year old self.

I wanted to talk to you. You might think there is a whole 9 years to go before you hit the big 3-0 but please dear god don’t go putting too much on that list of things you need to do before you are 30. Because quite frankly I have done none of them. Getting married? Nope. Babies nuhuh. Multimillionaire? Forget it.

So 21 year old Sarah just because you won’t do what “society” wants don’t think you are useless. You are pretty damn awesome all told. If a little crazy at times. So you might not have 2.4 children and an attractive if dull husband/life parter, but you will do some awesome things.

You’ll stand for election, you’ll fall in love, you’ll fall out of love, you’ll join a political party, you’ll leave it and join another political party, you’ll be on the telly, you’ll speak in front of hundreds of people. You’ll meet the deputy prime minister, you’ll sing ridiculous songs with an MP. You’ll drink too much, you’ll send too many texts when you are drunk. I could tell you not to, but we both know you will.

You’ll work in HR, you’ll sing at work, you’ll eat sushi. You’ll knit, you’ll watch way too much Doctor Who. You’ll never be quite sure where your life is going.

But you won’t need to, you still won’t, even when you are just a hop skip and a jump away from 30.

Keep going Sarah Brown, you’ll get there.

Just maybe put the marriage, babies and stuff on the 40 before 40 list yeah?

Love your 29 year old self.

Xxx

So yeah… I changed parties.

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I joined the lib dems on 3rd May 2013 at about 21:00. I was at my friends house and 18 months of confusion and dissatisfaction manifested itself in my pressing the join button. It was kinda terrifying. But I’m glad I did it. I kept it quiet for a few days because I needed to talk to some people in my former party about my jumping ship. So many of them knew how unhappy I had been both locally and nationally and so it came as no big surprise to them that I had finally taken the jump.

Coming out of the closest was hard. I expected criticism, who wouldn’t but I knew it was the right thing to do. I had found myself increasingly disagreeing with my old party and ever more agreeing with the lib dems. I felt like I had a huge neon sign above my head everytime I went into a constituency or branch meeting. It said “I don’t belong here”.

The criticism ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. The most vitriolic referred to my defection as me “whoring myself out” and the most hilarious referred to me being a “careerist”. As much as I like my new party, I don’t think joining the liberal democrats is the most sensible move for a “careerist”. Some just said “why” and others took the easy “we never liked her anyway” approach.

Joining a new party can be pretty terrifying. There was an article about it in two of the local papers. They called me a “prominent” activist. Was I? Am I? Really? Really really?! My first response to seeing it was to laugh and say “blimey slow news day or what?!” I made the mistake of reading “below the line” on the article and saw many odd comments about me. One said I was the obvious choice for parliamentary candidate, one said I would “soon sort out all the liberal men” and others labour I assume said I was just a careerist. Whatever.

As for my intentions, I’m going to do what I ever do. Represent my ward on the parish council, represent my trade union members to the best of my ability, fight to get more female candidates and just go with the flow politically.

I’m not going to start wearing socks with sandals or change who I am. I’m just me. I’m a lib dem now. So what?

So why would you buy a jumper?

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I have recently started knitting. I have made a selection of things some big, some small. I enjoy it and I get something unique I can wear at the end of it.

Plus it’s cheap! My mum knitted me a fab bright green jumper for my birthday and the wool cost her £12. I saw some similar jumpers in the shops today that cost £40! The home knitted things are warmer and if you get fed up with it you can pull it down and start again.

So why not try it? I knit on the bus, in the pub, on the train. It gets you talking to new people and there are some fab yarns and patterns out there! 🙂

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Removing red tape doesn’t build houses Dave…

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Today David Cameron gave his speech to Tory Party Conference.

Last week I spoke on behalf of UNISON at the housing voice “how to tackle the housing crisis” fringe. A similar event was held at Lib dem conference.

At the fringe event I told my story. I am a low paid worker, I am 28 and I still live with my Mum. I can’t afford a privately rented house and I certainly can’t afford a massive deposit and a mortgage. I told a packed room that failing to give housing a high enough political priority was a mistake and that money spent building houses stimulates the economy and in its own way pays for itself.

Today David Cameron said this:

then there are those who say “yes of course we need more housing”…

…but “no” to every development – and not in my backyard.

Look – it’s OK for my generation. Many of us have got on the ladder.

But you know the average age that someone buys their first home today, without any help for their parents?

33 years old.

We are the party of home ownership – we cannot let this carry on.

So yes – we’re doubling the discount for buying your council house…

…we’re helping first-time buyers get a 95 per cent mortgage…

…but there’s something else we need to do – and that’s accept we need to build more houses in Britain.

There are young people who work hard year after year but are still living at home.

They sit in their childhood bedroom, looking out of the window dreaming of a place of their own.

I want us to say to them – you are our people, we are on your side, we will help you reach your dreams.

David Cameron seems to think that buying your council house and relaxing planning regulations will solve this deep and serious problem. Well I don’t think it will.

If you allow people to buy their council houses, then that council house isn’t available for the next generation to occupy. Meaning another council house needs to be built and in general they aren’t being built.

Then there is the relaxing of planning laws. Meaning developers can build the houses that will deliver the biggest profit rather than houses that fit the need of the population. Last week Ed Balls said that a labour government would built 100,000 new houses with the money raised from the sale of 4G. These would be a variety of affordable and social housing. Although I think that doesn’t go far enough and we would need that many houses every year, it tackles the issue more than David Cameron’s lacklustre attempt.

So David Cameron, where are the new houses going to come from and will hey be for for purpose? You didn’t say because you don’t know seems to be the sad truth.

Have you had a “film worthy romance” lately?

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A friend and I were discussing what constituted a “film worthy” romance after watching Love Actually the other day. He said he had never had a film worthy romance. But this made me question. What is a film worthy romance and are they a good thing or not.

By virtue of the fact they are in a film the romance can’t be straightforward.

The romance must have some form of turmoil otherwise the film would either be very short or very boring. Boy meets girl and they live happily ever after doth not a film worthy romance make. More boy meets girl, girl hates boy, boy lusts after girl, girls dog gets stuck in a car about to be destroyed by a flesh eating robot and then the boy saves the dog and the girl has a massive change of heart and finally falls for the boy.

But then again the above implies that the romance must ultimately be successful. Film worthy romance can be unsuccessful and yet still film worthy. For example; boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy likes girl, so far so good. Yet then tragically girl discovers the boy is a serial romancer yet the girl has fallen for the boy and deems that this time it will be different. The boy continues to see the girl but also continues to see girl B. The boy feels he can continue to date both girls and indeed falls in love with both of them. Girl A and Girl B become best friends after meeting at a yoga class and soon discover they share more than a love of yoga. The boy is confronted and the girls remain life long friends.

Or;

Boy and girl meet, girl realises that the boy is unavailable yet the become good friends, the girl lusts after the boy and one day confesses her love of the boy. The boy feels flattered and sleeps with the girl, the girl sees this as a sign the boy is now available and pines after him, yet the boy continues to be unavailable.

To conclude I feel that having not experienced a “film worthy romance” is no bad thing. Although these romances would make a good film the reality is that they are not easy and often lead to heartbreak.