Women and heart attacks – do you know the symptoms?

[Originally posted last year, but posting again as a reminder.]

Yesterday the boys and I went to a first aid session arranged by the home ed forum I’m a member of. First we learned what to do if someone is choking and then we watched a short video about heart attacks. The video featured a woman who suddenly clutched her chest and staggered around, saying it was probably indigestion, you know, the usual thing we see on TV and in film when someone’s having a heart attack.

But around about this time last year, I heard this reported on the radio:

Fewer women than men suffering from a heart attack appear to experience chest pain symptoms, according to a study of more than one million people in the US.

Continue reading Women and heart attacks – do you know the symptoms?

Days for Girls

1150cf_08e1b6722608496e8ca51234f11a57eb.jpg_srz_160_220_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzI’ve written before about how O magazine changed my life and I’m currently reading through all the magazines I’ve saved over the years and throwing them out (I’m decluttering in preparation for – hopefully – moving house later this year). There’s something in pretty much every issue that resonates with me (I’m saving the links and the covers on Pinterest – I may never go back to them, but it makes me feel better about throwing them out!).

The other day I was reading the January 2014 issue and I skipped past the page then thought, “Wait. Did that say ‘periods’?” I flicked back and, yes, it did.

Period Drama: Helping Girls Around the World Navigate “That Time of the Month”

How’s that for serendipity?

I haven’t had a chance to decide what I’m going to do yet – I’ve still got lots of reading to do – but after my blog post last week, people asked if there was somewhere they can donate and this seems like a good start: Days for Girls

Feminism Friday: Miss Representation

I’ve written about Miss Representation before, but the film is now available on iTunes in the UK – and the site is so fantastic – that I thought I’d mention it again.

The pledge:

1. Tell 5 people about the film and share one thing you learned from watching it.

2. Parents – watch TV and films with your children. Raise questions like “What if that character had been a girl instead?”

3. Remember your actions influence others. Mothers, aunts and loved ones – don’t downgrade or judge yourself by your looks. Fathers, uncles and loved ones—treat women around you with respect. Remember children in your life are watching and learning from you.

4. Use your consumer power. Stop buying tabloid magazines and watching shows that degrade women. Go see movies that are written and directed by women (especially on opening weekend to boost the box office ratings). Avoid products that resort to sexism in their advertising.

5. Mentor others! It’s as easy as taking a young woman to lunch. Start by having open and honest conversations with a young person in your life.

“It’s usually female celebrities who feel under pressure to stay in shape…”

A few weeks ago I was at my sister’s house and she had a copy of a weekly women’s/celebrity gossip magazine. I started to flick through it and, after just a few pages, noticed something… (Yes, this was all in the same issue.)

Towie’s Sam: “I’ve ditched the Essex look – Joey prefers me natural.” TOWIE’s Sam Faiers opens up about body confidence, surgery plans and starting a family with boyfriend Joey Essex: As our fresh-faced shoot proves, Sam is comfortable without her war paint – and says she wouldn’t turn to Botox until she’s 40. But the reality star reveals that she’d like to follow in the footsteps of her surgically enhanced TOWIE pals and would consider work on her natural 32D chest. She explains: “I’ve not got massive boobs, so I would get a boob job – but not until I’ve had the four kids I want! I told Joey: ‘After four, you’ll have to treat me!'” [Naked photo is captioned ‘She isn’t self-conscious about her curves’]

Charlotte’s Joy: “Jonny’s made me a new woman – he loves me as I am.” Jonny’s constantly telling her how beautiful she is and how he finds her curves sexy. Her weight has yo-yoed in the past, but now she’s embracing being a size 12 and she’s never felt sexier… The star… has struggled with her weight in the past. She went up to a size 14 in 2009 after having her kids, but dropped to a 6-8 the next year, around the time of her split with Gavin. But after finding happiness with Jonathan and going up to a size 10…

Sarah Harding Exclusive! “Girls Aloud are too skinny – curves are sexier.”

“I want a sexy bum like Gisele’s” Body-obsessed designer Victoria Beckham is pursuing a surprising new fixation – a curvy bum. ‘She knows David would love her to have a curvier bottom – that’s part of the reason she’s working hard at achieving the perfect bum.’

Demi ‘finds peace’ and gains a dress size. She looked ‘healthier than she has in ages after going up a dress size to an 8.’

“Being skinny didn’t make me happy.” Singer Frankie Sandford is loving her new curves after ditching her carb-free diet.

Una: “I’m naturally thin.”

Danielle Lloyd’s column: “Post-baby bod envy!” 

Xtina drops 2st: “I feel sexy again!” After yo-yoing over the years, Christina showed off a hot new body last week.

“I know I’ll lose my baby weight” New mum Imogen Thomas tells [mag] she’s confident about regaining her size 10 model figure.

Jennifer Ellison: “I won’t eat for two this time.”

How Khloe [Kardashian] lost a stone. 

Will.i.am “I’m on a soup and fruit diet.” It’s usually female celebrities who feel under pressure to stay in shape…


What’s your class? (or Do you know what a stool is?)

Image courtesy of patpitchaya / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This morning Twitter has been chattering about class, thanks to the BBC’s Great British Class Survey. I wasn’t that interested until I saw this tweet, RT’d by @Louiestowell: @saramegan: Someone once told me that the marker of the middle class is the ramekin.

Well. That took me right back. We were definitely working class growing up. I don’t think I even knew what “middle class” was. I certainly didn’t know what a ramekin was. But then, when I was 18, I moved to London – or rather, Kew – to work as a Mother’s Help.

The mother I was helping used ramekins to make what I thought she called “Strawberry cranberry lay” but turned out to be strawberry crème brûlée, of course. I’d never tasted it before, but it was delicious. I rang my aunt, who was a school cook, and described it to her. She had no idea what it was.

Later, my sister came to stay and the woman I worked for served smoked salmon sandwiches. My sister grabbed one, her only experience of salmon being tinned salmon (and that rarely) and, horrified by the texture, spat it straight out into the bin.

I remember the man of the house (this was a v traditional house) eating something and describing it as “more-ish”. I’d never heard that before, in fact, I thought he was saying “Moorish” (we mostly used to go on holiday to Spain) and thought it was the most pretentious thing I’d ever heard.

The little girl I looked after one day mentioned going to the “toilet” and the mum was horrified. “We say ‘loo,’ darling, not ‘toilet.'” I was baffled. I remember talking to my mum and saying, “Surely ‘toilet’ is more polite than ‘loo’?” She thought so too.

I was even more baffled when Charlie, the little boy I looked after, had what looked like blood in his poo. The mum got out a medical encyclopaedia thing and told me to look up ‘stool.’ I had absolutely no idea what a three legged wooden chair thing had to do with bloody poo, but I soon found out. (It wasn’t blood. He’d had beetroot.)

I’ve since heard that there are certain words you should be careful of if you don’t want to show yourself up. Napkin v serviette. Sofa v settee. I can never remember which is which and I couldn’t care less. I’ve always remembered ‘stool’ though. And, thankfully, crème brûlée.