Jane loves blogging

Hello all

I wanted to get something off my chest, and I figure that this is the perfect forum for it. It’s my blog after all, and haven’t I been going on about how I want it to be a bit more personal than it has become of late?

Since Saturday I’ve been following the fallout from the Sky Sports sexism row. For those who don’t know, on Saturday, a female linesman officiated at Liverpool v. Wolves. She was, I believe I’m right in saying, only the second female to officiate at a Premier League match. Just before the game was due to start, Richard Keys and Andy Gray, two Sky Sports presenters, discussed her involvement in the game. The two men suggested that someone ought to explain the offside rule to her, the implication being that, as a woman, she would be unable to understand it. Sian Massey went on, in the game, to allow a goal that was very close to being offside, and indeed, many believed it was. Repeated viewings of the goal confirm that it was, in fact, perfectly legal, and Massey was correct in her decision.

The conversation that took place between Keys and Gray was made public, as the two of them spoke whilst their microphones were still recording. Gray has since been sacked, and Keys has resigned as a result of the furore, which included videos being made public of apparently sexist behaviour.

I’m in two minds as to how I feel about the whole thing. The first thing I thought, when I heard, was that they shouldn’t be punished for a private conversation which should not have been made public. They are entitled to their opinions, and as long as they aren’t using Sky Sports as a platform to do so (from Sky Sports point of view at least), they should be allowed to keep their jobs. Then I actually heard the tape. Something that was initially described as ‘banter’ between the men, sounds to me anything but. I have a lot of gay friends, and frequently engage in banter with them, banter that if taken out of context may be seen as offensive. What I listened to didn’t sound like banter to me, in or out of context, it sounded like two middle-aged, sexist men, having a genuine problem with the very idea that the F.A. would dare to give the oh-so-important job of running the line in a football match… to a woman! How dare they! Everyone knows that there is a part of the brain that understands the offside rule, and that women inherently lack that part. Having removed my tongue from my cheek, I can honestly say that, yes, as a female football fan, that very notion offends me. I understand the offside rule because someone once explained it to me, and I, being an intelligent person, retained that information and am able to apply it to a football match. I don’t need it explained to me in terms of shoes or bags, or however the analogy goes. I understand it.

Getting back to the point, I’ve seen the video of Andy Gray which seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Whilst getting ready for a broadcast, he seems to be adjusting his microphone, and gestures to the young (attractive) woman and asks her for help, whilst seemingly holding his flies. The whole thing leaves a slightly nasty taste in the mouth, because it seems as though he is making some sort of sexual advance to her in a crass kind of way. There is a further video of Richard Keys showing him talking to Jamie Redknapp about a former girlfriend of Redknapp’, in which he says “Did you smash it?” The subtext here of course, is that he is asking Redknapp if he slept with the girl. Again, this leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth, especially as Jamie Redknapp, who is, as far as a I know, a happily married man, and seems to be slightly embarrassed by Keys’ comments.

My problem with the Gray video is that he is shown treating a colleague of his as a sexual object, just because she is a woman. This is sexist. He wouldn’t have said that to Richard Keys or Jamie Redknapp or any other man. He did it because she’s a woman, and seemingly little more than a sexual object to him. The fact that she was a work colleague, as far as I am concerned, is what makes this a sackable offence. If I was treated that way in a work environment, if it made me feel uncomfortable, I would reserve the right to complain about that and expect action to be taken. The other video, in which Richard Keys says “Did you smash it?” is, to my mind, a slightly different kettle of fish. Who are we kidding if we don’t think that men talk like that about their sexual conquests? Whilst it’s not particularly nice to hear them talking that way, I don’t think that it is news to many people that lots of them do. And, while we’re talking about it, there are of course plenty of women that talk that way too (I can confirm that I’m not one of them). I’m certainly not sure that Richard Keys should have been fired over it, and as it was, he wasn’t, he chose to resign.

So, as I said, I just can’t decide how I feel about the whole thing. A small part of me thinks it has been blown out of proportion. I hear that “Political correctness gone mad” argument being bandied about quite a lot, and yes, I think that in many ways, political correctness has gone mad. But I think that the phrase is thrown around too much. Countering sexism isn’t political correctness gone mad. When Ron Atkinson made offensive comments about a black footballer a few years ago, he was fired. And quite rightly. He was using offensive terms, and there was no question as to whether or not he should have been fired, he was, and that was that. There was, as far as I know, no suggestion of this being ‘political correctness gone mad.’ If this has been a conversation between Keys and Gray about a black official, or a homosexual official, and they had questioned his ability to do his job as a result of his race or sexuality, would there be such a loud voice questioning if they should be disciplined? If they hadn’t used any offensive terms, if they had just said, “Look, it’s a gay official, let’s go down and explain the offside rule to him, because he probably doesn’t understand it”, how would this issue be discussed then? It seems to me that sexism is often brushed under the carpet, as a lesser discrimination. All discrimination is wrong. Nobody should be made to feel inferior because of their gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, age, appearance or anything. Sian Massey was deemed qualified to do her job as fourth official because the F.A. were confident in her ability to run the line at a football match.

I would welcome comments about this, if you feel so inclined, because, like I said, I don’t know how I feel about it. If you look at it as a wider issue, without thinking about it in terms of Richard Keys or Andy Gray, I stand by what I said: sexism is wrong and nobody should be judged on anything other than their ability to do the job set out. I just cannot decide how I feel about a private conversation being used against these two particular men.

I’m sorry that this was such a long post, but like I said, I really wanted to get it off my chest, and in writing it down I think I managed that, and I managed to organise my thoughts on it all!

Jane loves blogging

Hello all

So, with the help of my brand new, fabulous Filofax, I have created a plan for this here blog. I want to try, where possible, to post everyday, or at least on six out of seven days. This is how the plan is looking, so far:

Monday – Jane loves links
Tuesday – Tuesday Treat
Wednesday – Post a Week
Thursday – Free for all
Friday – Jane loves things
Saturday/Sunday – Weekend Wrap-up

There may be days when I post more than once, in which case I’ll probably be taking advantage of the function to write a post and then publish it at a later date (I have one scheduled for Wednesday already!). Anyway, it probably won’t seem that different to anyone else, but I am trying to get it sorted so that I feel more confident about the blog.

In other news, I am thinking about introducing a signature to my posts. For one reason, I’ve seen other blogs that use one, and I like them. Also, I always struggle to know how to finish posts, so a signature may help in that respect. Anyway, as promised the other day, I want your input! Please have a look, and vote on your favourite signature. Please vote, otherwise I will look like an idiot.

1.  Forgotten Hospital 2. Girls are Weird3. Just Me Again4. Lainie

5.Little Days 6. Lovitz 7. PetraScript8.Rhumba

9. Saginaw 10. Sue Ellen

I know that there are a lot, but I can’t decide! To be honest, my final decision will not necessarily reflect the results of the poll, as I do have some that I prefer over others. I really just want an excuse to use a poll. So like I said, to the few of you that do actually read this thing, please get involved and don’t make me look like a fool!

[polldaddy poll=4440897]

Jane loves blogging

Hello all

It’s time for my weekly post again, and it’s quite late in the day, simply because I wasn’t really feeling it today. I didn’t feel that there had been a particularly exciting topic to write on, although I have managed to pick one. I also want to have another think about what I want this blog to be. I want it to be a bit more organised than it is, and I want to try and post everyday. But anyway, here we go with this week’s #postaweek2011.

Why did you start?

I started my first blog on my Windows Live Space on November 17th 2005, which means I have been blogging for over five years! This is actually longer than I thought. When I started blogging, it was more like a diary, it was things that I had done and places that I had been. When I moved to myspace, it was a similar thing – I don’t suppose anyone other than people I knew (mainly my best friends Anna and Vicky) read what I had to say.

It wasn’t really until I started my blog on WordPress (in between I had one on Blogger), that I really feel as though I hit my stride. I still don’t necessarily feel that what I have to say is particularly inventive or new, but I enjoy writing, and sharing exciting things that I have found around the internet. Recently, however, I have come to find that I want to get back to a more personal style of blogging, probably alongside what I have already got, rather than in place of it.

So, I guess I should actually answer the question as to why I started blogging. I think the main reason is that I love to write. I think, if I can be so bold as to say so, that I am fairly good at it – it’s definitely the one thing that I would do as a career if I could do anything. I also like having a record of my life, like a diary or a journal, to look back on. I’ve been writing on and off on one blog or another for five years, and it’s nice to be able to read back on what I’ve been doing. There is also a certain amount of vanity involved – I love seeing my stats bar and knowing that people are reading what I have to say. Whilst the numbers aren’t huge, they are fairly constant, and they are much higher than they once were.

As I said, I want things to change slightly here, so keep your eyes peeled for a mini-makeover!

Until next time!

Jane loves blogging

Hello all It’s time for my weekly post again, and this week I’ve decided to write on Topic 13.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Well I don’t have any major plans for this year. Obviously, I am hoping that lots of exciting things will happen to me and around me, but I don’t have anything like a holiday or a wedding to look forward to, as in previous years.

Having said that, there is something very exciting happening in April. My brother and his wife are expecting their third daughter, due, I believe on April 7th. She has a name already, Hattie, and from the scans and ante-natal appointments, we’re expecting her to be quite a big baby. Needless to say, Tanya is hoping for a nice quick birth!

As this is going to be my fifth niece (to go with my two nephews), here are the existing bunch, who Hattie will join in April.


Abbie is my oldest sister’s daughter, and because there is a gap of 14 years between me and Sarah, I was only 7 when Abbie was born. She lived with us for a while, and as such she’s always been like a little sister to me. Except for the fact that she seemed to grow up very quickly, and was like a 35-year-old when she was 8. So maybe she’s more like another big sister to me. Anyway, I love her lots, she’s funny and rude and sarcastic and just brilliant. And despite her only living up the road, I don’t really get to see her as much as I would like. She’s the oldest person I know that I’ve known for their whole life, and as a result, she makes me feel old every time she celebrates a birthday.


Jimmy is Sarah’s oldest son, he’s 15, and he’s a typical teenager! He’s all ‘lol’ and ‘omg’, and he irritates just for the sake of irritating. Obviously, this contributes to how much I love him! One of the things I love about him is that he loves to talk, so you can have a really good conversation with him about a variety of things, and luckily we have a similar taste in films and television (most especially a love for Glee). He is also, I am confident, going to be an amazing hairdresser when he leaves school, so I am looking forward to free haircuts for life.


Robbie is Sarah’s baby, although at 12 I suspect it won’t be long until he starts acting like a regular teenager too. He was the baby of the family for so long, that’s the way we all treat him still, but he’s growing up a lot. He’s a talented footballer and I still hold out hope that he’ll play professionally one day. We both love playing board games, so that’s something we do together a lot. He’s also a bit of a looker, and I know he’s always got some girl or another fancying him!


Lyla is my brother Jamie’s oldest daughter. She is three, and if I thought Abbie grew up fast, she has nothing on Lyla. She’s the most extraordinary little girl, you can’t get anything past her, and she has an unbelievable memory. I’ve taken to teaching her facts, she currently knows the name of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minster, Chancellor of the Exchequer (as well as the fact that he ‘looks after your money’), the President of the USA (‘Barack O’Banana’, and the names of his daughters). She can also sing along with a variety of Oasis songs (owing to her dad being a big fan, hence her name). I’ve never known a child like her.


Florence is Lyla’s younger sister, and they are only separated by a year. Florence has had to learn, being Lyla’s sister, that she has to work hard to make herself heard. She’s a right little bruiser, a tough cookie, but she’s lovely and kind and affectionate. For a two-year-old she has a great sense of humour, and she’s great fun to be around. It will be interesting to see how things change with the arrival of Hattie!


After my brother Matthew’s wedding to Kelly, I told them that if they were going to have a baby, Kelly wasn’t allowed to get pregnant before about April 2009, because I was going to Connecticut for four months in August 2009. Alas, they failed to comply with my slightly unreasonable request, and Molly was born while I was away! Luckily, she was only about six weeks old when I got back. I don’t get to see Molly as much as I would like, as Matthew and Kelly live too far away for very regular visits. But we see her enough for her to be perfectly relaxed with us after the initial shy period of about five minutes. She’s another fantastic baby, she’s bright and mischievous; the best thing about her is the overwhelming confidence she has in herself. If she wants to do something, she does it, and she doesn’t seem to think there’s anything wrong with it. Again, in a baby of just over a year, that’s a remarkable attitude to have!

So there you have it, a bit of an indulgent post about six of my favourite people in the whole world. I think Hattie will fit in perfectly!

Jane loves blogging

Hello all

I’m starting the #postaweek2011 challenge today. I’ve been waiting all day for WordPress to post today’s prompt, and then when it arrived, well, it was a bit rubbish. I know that I don’t have to go with what they say, in fact, I don’t have to do this at all, but I think that as long as I can, I’ll go with a prompt they suggest. So, looking back on the five that they have provided already, I have decided to go with Day 1:

List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go

This is quite hard for me, as I’ve never really had the travelling bug before, and I have it even less now that I spent four months in the USA last year. Added to that is the fact that I had always wanted to visit the USA, and I’ve done that now, although of course I want to go back and see a different part of the country. However, there are other countries that I would like to visit, and here are three of them.

1. Iceland

The main reason that I want to visit Iceland is because I would like to see the Northern Lights. I know that you can see them from a few different countries in the Northern Hemisphere, but for some reason, Iceland has always appealed to me the most.

2. Ireland

For someone who lives so close to Ireland, it’s a bit of a shocker that I haven’t been there. Having said that, I’ve never been to France or Scotland either, so maybe it’s not that shocking. I would love to visit Ireland, because it seems like a beautiful country. I have plans, at some point in my life, to spend New Year’s Eve in Dublin, but I have said that I want to do it for a couple of years and the money is never there, so we shall see!


3. France

On that note, I really must go to France one day. I am one of the few people that I know that hasn’t been. This all makes it sound like a duty, like I should go just so I can say I have been, this is not what I mean at all! I really want to visit Paris, and see if it’s like New York; one of those places that is exactly how you think it’s going to be. I made plans with my friend Katy to go to Paris when we can both afford it, so maybe next year sometime!

I’ve just realised that all three are in Europe! I do want to see more of Europe, I’ve only been to Spain, Greece and Germany. There are countless other countries that I want to visit, but these three are probably top of my list.