Vanity and uniforms

Goodbye Linda Bellingham and I think the manner of her death reflects what I was trying to write about in ‘Mortality and hoodies’. She decided to stop having chemo: “The decision to give up chemo was a huge relief because I took back some control of myself. I don’t want the boys or my husband to see me die a little sad old lady, I want to go out there as I am”. Enough said.

Now don’t get me started about uniforms, particularly school uniforms. Last year when our local secondary school to which our children go introduced a new uniform I raised objections, many of them founded in academic research, unsurprisingly I was ignored and the school succumbed to the new fashion wars afflicting schools. I was made aware today of a blazeringly (sorry) obvious point about uniforms, the clue is in the name. That is that it is uni, i.e. one form, yet boys wear the trousers and girls the skirts so it is not a uniform. This of course reinforces gender stereotypes to say nothing about those who are transgender or other gendered. Wouldn’t it be great if all the boys wore skirts and the girls trousers?

Have just taken my first steroids in preparation for tomorrows trip to the chemo bar. Steroids are pretty heavy duty drugs and having been quite lethargic of late I’m going to be wired for the next few days.

Last year I became a master of philosophy (an MPhil, I rather pathetically think that master sounds better than doctor) and my thesis was called ‘What Does Risk Look Like?’. I used something called ‘The Listening Method’ to analyse my data and part of this involved creating things called I-poems. These are very simple creatures created by taking out all the I bits from texts, you can take whichever you want but the only other rule is that they must be in the order they appear in the text. Mel, my supervisor, said she’s do some from the blog when she responded to my email informing people of my cancer, she hasn’t so here’s one by me:

I was told I had cancer

I am rapidly learning

I had cancer

I’d lose my hair

I am 57

I am married to a beautiful woman

I know I will be experiencing many unpleasant things.

Sort of works, they can also produce shorter, pithier ones:

I wanted to listen to music

I chose the 70’s

I heard Freddie singing “is this the real life?”

Also, related to my thesis, there was a piece on the radio about farmers growing less fruit and veg because of an EU directive about the use of pesticides and a spokesperson said about not assessing risk and instead assessing hazard. Perhaps the tide is turning against the blanket use of risk. Perhaps they read my thesis, ‘you’re so vain you probably think……………….’ feel free to insert whatever you think best.

Lucky draw against the baggies eh, Tommy TTA?

And Mike, when are you going to post a comment?

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan


5 thoughts on “Vanity and uniforms

  1. Hi Dunc, I think I know where I went wrong with my last comment, I attached it to a much earlier blog instead of the most recent, so hope this works.

    First thing to say is whatever you do don’t listen to Mike Reids song for UKIP, it WILL NOT aid your recovery. On the other hand, if you picked up the EU pesticide story from Today this morning (if that makes sense) I am very much afraid it’s too late as it was featured on the same programme.

    Like the idea of boys wearing skirts to work, a la Grayson Perry.

    A new hobby, I can’t wait to check Nick out for Senile Plaque (you have to get your thrills in any form these days)

    Jules xxx


  2. Jules, unfortunately i did hear Mike Reid, and it’s appalling and racist. yep your comment came straight through and Grayson Perry is also one of my heroes. check out Lewis Black while checking Nick
    Love Duncan


    1. You’ve lured me alliterally like a siren to your rocky blog.
      I ‘m tongue tied and troll wary, but privileged to share this little island with you.
      All I can say is hats off to you my silver backed chum.

      Love and Keep on keeping on and on.

      Hector (Chief Lachrymologist )

      Sent from an eye padded……


  3. Ha, now it will be like Joseph K for you, you’ll be increasingly ensnared in in a labyrinth patrolled by trolls and giant crabs and you’ll need all your lachrymosity to keep you sane, but i hear you want to be a little insane.
    Franz Kofta X


  4. “Have just taken my first steroids in preparation for tomorrows trip to the chemo bar”
    Jeez, suddenly I was back at Uni ………..


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