Taking a Break


Permission-to-Take-a-Break

Yes, I have come to the stage where I’ve had enough of WordPress yet again (no surprise there I knew it was coming). When that feeling has changed, if it changes this time, I will surely return like a lamb to the slaughter and begin blogging once again.

I have sadly come to realise that there is less and less interesting content or choice of genuine blogs to follow and interact with on WordPress. I am sick to my stomach of reading Positive Thinking posts from bloggers who merely want to generate ‘likes’. I wonder where all the real content has gone to – as everything seems fake and just made for popularity. In my opinion WordPress has degenerated into Facebook, which is sad.

I do wish to give massive thanks to my genuine followers and readers, and they will know who they are. Thank you for being supportive of my work for these many years. Writers like you are the reason I first begun blogging on WordPress in the first place.

If anyone has any ideas of any other blogging sites that haven’t already been tainted with the poisonous, sickly sweet and ‘I love myself’ Positive Thinking Religious Order, please let me know. I am however starting to doubt there are any left untouched by this writing decline!

Thanks and happy thoughts (only joking),

Bex; as always the Savvy Senorita  ; )

Room 101 and Censorship


Censorship-Quotes-80

As part of my series of Room 101 posts I took the brilliant suggestion of Censorship from the amazingly talented mco9com at https://healthandgender.wordpress.com

Just to recap what my Room 101 posts are about, for those of you, and there are many, who haven’t bothered to read or got involved with my previous post (thanks for your support)!

Anyway, here goes the recap;

I will be writing about things I wish to banish from the world because I hate or dislike them.

These Room 101 posts will be inspired by subjects, and these subjects can cover anything, basically anything goes. So for example subjects could be; ‘Modern Life’, ‘Going Out’, ‘People Who Are Happy’, ‘Stereotypes’, ‘Banks’ (and so on and so forth).

Whatever subject is chosen by my readers, I will then write a post about and state what it is I hate or dislike about this subject.

Then you, the reader, can decide if I have made a persuasive enough argument to actually banish what annoys me, to Room 101.

OK, reasoning behind for post is now over so let me explain; why I dislike Censorship.

Draconian censorship is becoming an increasingly common tactic among people who have the audacity to consider themselves liberals.

Freedom of expression has always seemed to have its exceptions, never more so than via legally proscribed hate speech.

This hate speech restriction, has encouraged a culture of almost denial. Censorship or restriction of it doesn’t fully address specific issues around intimidation or incitement. The only solution available; enforcing general social regulation – as though this helps change the situation! This muted confusion is why hate speech laws across the world have no consistency, and therefore no real validity, because people don’t know or can’t agree on what actually constitutes as hate speech.

Hate speech laws;

Britain bans abusive, insulting, and threatening speech. Denmark and Canada ban speech that is insulting and degrading. India and Israel ban speech that hurts religious feelings and incites racial and religious hatred. In Holland, it is a criminal offence to deliberately insult a particular group. Australia prohibits speech that offends, insults, humiliates, or intimidates individuals or groups. Germany bans speech that violates the dignity of, or maliciously degrades or defames, a group. And so on. In each case, the law defines hate speech in a different way.

So one response to this legal censorship might be to say: Let us define hate speech much more tightly.

I think, however, that the problem runs much deeper than definition. Hate speech restriction is a means not of tackling bigotry but of re-branding certain, often obnoxious, ideas or arguments as immoral. It is a way of making certain ideas illegitimate without bothering politically to challenge them. And that is dangerous.

Censorship just sweeps the problems under the carpet, but doesn’t solve a thing for society in the long run.

Now you decide what you think.

Should censorship or legally proscribed hate speech be consigned to Room 101???  

Comments please and suggestions please!!!

A School Reunion


School reunions, the very words make me cringe!!!

To be blunt, opting to reunite with school ‘friends’, is the sort of thing that evokes imagery of Hell. I can think of little worse than spending my free time with the fakes and phonies of yesteryear, in what would be a completely forced ‘pleased to see you’ situation. Let me be honest, these ‘friends’ are the very people I had to spend my school days with! Why then would I, via my own volition, decide to reunite with them, when I was more than content to never have to see them again???

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cynical about school and enduring friendships. I do have one good friend from my school days, just one, but we have been friends since we were eight years old and know each other better than most married couples do! So, I am aware that some friendships do last, However, I am in contact with the one and only school friend that I want to keep in contact with, I therefore don’t feel the desire to catch up and reminisce with those I have always deemed to be fake friends. The past is the past and for me it is best left there!

Although I may be unnerved by the thought of a school reunion, I can’t quite escape it either. This is because my good friend of too many years to count has decided to be in attendance, though I truly wish she would change her mind. I suppose I will then have to hear all about the night in blow by blow grim detail, yuck! I can understand why she longs to go though, as she likes to know what’s happening, I on the other don’t. I am disinterested beyond expression regarding the ups and downs of Joe Bloggs of yester-year. I couldn’t care if Joe Bloggs has walked on the moon or festered in vomit, just so long as I need never be troubled by any of it or any of them!

I have actually asked my friend the simple question of what exactly she expects from this school reunion. I mean what would have changed so dramatically about these past ‘friends’ that it would make a reunion worth having; in my opinion nothing near enough to make me willingly attend! Well, I know these ‘used to be’ kids may have grown up, but as far as I’m concerned, only in stature. My evidence to substantiate this accusation; I used to have a personal Facebook page. Those school ‘friends’ I did allow access to my page hadn’t really changed their outlook on life or other people. Unfortunately for them they still are petty, immature, self- obsessed, jealous, boastful, vile, disingenuous and nasty; bad character traits don’t necessarily diminish with age!

So, a school reunion is a euphemism. It’s really the renewed opportunity for these people to brag about how wonderful they are, to try and make others feel inferior to boost their already gigantic egos and for them to have the audacity to pretend as though we were all bosom buddies! Personally, I don’t need to waste precious time on validating myself or my life to complete strangers, to people that didn’t and don’t mean a jot to me! So, I am certainly not going to rent a limo, and buy an expensive dress to go and play let’s pretend we’re grown-ups!

School reunion is merely another chance for the arseholes you despised in school to try and take pot-shots at you and yours. It’s the time to reunite with the bullies, the bitches, the wannabes, the fakers and the phonies as they all clamour for attention and desperately try to gain approval to demonstrate how they are the number one, no-one!

So I ask, is life so dull that I would surrender myself to such masochistic acts? No it’s not, and even if it was, I’d rather sit at home and watch paint dry than suffer the action!

School reunions, in my opinion it is a disaster waiting to happen!

The Never Neverland


People and their possessions puzzle me.

As long as they have the flash car, phone, television, kitchen and so on and so on, all is well in their world.

It’s a competition; who can spend the most, who can fill their lives with endless empty vessels.

Yet, look a little closer and everything isn’t quite as rosy as it appears to be. All they have, isn’t even theirs. It’s all paid for by the never never. The credit card, loan and finance option, the Neverland for all goods bought and sold. 

People demand the ‘necessities’, which used to be called luxuries. Consumerism is now the prerequisite to the picture perfect life. They believe the latest products make life worth living. People eagerly buy into the product and the myth ‘you need this, and this will make your life great’.  

For me it is all show and no substance. Can happiness be found in buying the latest gadget or redecorating for the eight time in a year? I doubt it.

How can any object be worth more than what is going on in life, in relationships in the world? 

Why spend money you don’t have on things you really don’t need? How many washing machines can a person really use in one house?! 

Now I appreciate the finer things in life, but not if it means I am lumbered with debts I struggle to pay every month, just so my neighbours are green with envy. 

Maybe then, if we all stopped buying, and considered for a moment why we are buying, perhaps we might decide we don’t need to take another trip to the checkout. We might discover we can actually be happy, and, happy with what we already have! 

One pause for thought might convince us that saving our money doesn’t mean our lives will come to an end.

If we thought before we bought maybe we’d see how buying a 3D TV won’t make us better people or somehow more interesting. We might also consider the conundrum of a society that throws away so much just because it’s deemed unfashionable or technologically redundant, and therefore consuming just for the sake of it makes no logical sense. We might realise that the never never is economically foolish, and a sure way to make us more depressed than not having a new car or latest iPhone. 

Ummmmm, money in the bank or credit on a small plastic card. I know which I’d prefer, and it’s not the latter. Give me cold hard cash any day; it’s not out of sight out of mind like a charge on a credit card. With cash you can see your money, understand the real value of it and know that once you’ve spent it, it won’t grow back on trees! 

Not My Cup Of Tea


It was a friend of a friends Birthday, and I got invited out for afternoon tea, odd you might think, afternoon tea in Madrid, it’s hardly a place renowned for such little quirks, and you’d be right.

Besides the slim slices of cake and tea offered in a mug, with not even a little teapot to keep it company, it wasn’t exactly The Savoy! Yet, it was a nice change, meeting people over tea and cake rather than beer and tapas.

I must admit, I love alcohol and food. Its practically in my blood; my family are thorough bred foodies and of course I have a strong Irish connection to boot (bad combination)! The only problem is both of these fine things, food and alcohol, don’t necessarily like me very much.

A few years ago I decided to scrap my old ways, in short, junk food was banned and so to was the vodka (et al). This, actually helped me. Physically, mentally and emotionally I felt relieved, it was like a breath of fresh air! I hadn’t realised how good it could be to be free of the shackles of, for want of a better expression, bad living.

Now, I’m no paragon of virtue, I still like to eat burgers and love a good cake and still enjoy a tipple, but since moving to Madrid I’ve noticed how easy it has been for me to slip back into my bad habits. Temptation is everywhere.

In the UK, I would choose not to go to bars, clubs and restaurants. I would meet friends in my home or theirs, we’d go walking, meet for coffee, go to the movies, shop, visit the beach, museums, National Trust properties and so on and so on. I seemed to have the opportunity to do more than merely meet people and friends in bars and restaurants to then eat and drink.

I had friends who were my party pals, they only wanted to get drunk and eat too much junk, consequently we soon parted ways as I didn’t want that lifestyle any more. I’d lived that lifestyle for too long, and frankly I was bored of wasting my money and time on a useless pursuit of what always was unhappiness the day after (hangover, arguments, tired, sick and so on).

Now, you may think, what a boring mare – no, actually I’m not. I enjoy diversity, I enjoy not having to do what other people expect I should do, because they are happy doing it. Yet, here in Madrid, everyone meets for beers and tapas, even a day of pottery making ends up in one of thousands of different bars open until the small hours.

WHY???!!!!!!

I am once again being forced to apply the breaks on this ‘lets have a drink and lets eat all the fat infused food we can find’ ethos, and I’m discovering just how difficult it is to keep up with friends.

Not all of my friends, as some of them get where I’m coming from, but there are those who don’t.

I have friends who just because they are happy to while away their weekends over bottles of booze and then the bathroom sink, they think I should want this too. If I don’t, then the invites to do things just suddenly don’t arrive any more. 

They think, I’m sure, that I’m miserable or purposefully avoiding their company. Well, I’m not, I just can’t physically or mentally do this drinking fest every weekend or weekday. 

If I accepted every offer to go out during the week:

A) I’d be flat broke

B) I’d have an inflated liver the size to envy any poor force fed goose

C) I’d be thoroughly miserable

D) I’d be the size of the Titanic before it sunk.        

What is it about these points that people find so hard to grasp and take seriously?!

Also, my life here isn’t necessarily like their lives.

I don’t work full time, I have a boyfriend I enjoy spending time with (which usually consists of mainly weekends as he works so much), and I also have a life which still exists in the UK too. In fact, I have one foot here in Madrid and one in the UK.  I suppose, in a way, I have more responsibilities than they do too.

No, I’m not taking about kids, but about bills, mortgages, a career I’m once again trying to revive, I’m learning Spanish (still) and they’re fluent already, plus I didn’t move to Madrid to extend my student years (as some of my friends seem to have done).

I suppose I’ve lost the thread here, or the initial thread in any case. I begun with afternoon tea. Well, the people I had afternoon tea with are these friends I’m taking about, and they are somewhat one dimensional in their offer of friendship.

The reason is I’m the outsider. They are 3 friends who know each other through teaching together, and I came to know them through one of the Madrid meet-ups.

Don’t get me wrong, they are lovely in many ways; they are very complimentary, kind and I have fun with them, but, I notice too that they only talk and don’t really listen. I don’t like that, it really is a sign that people aren’t really friends. I don’t enjoy being ignored, or cut short or spoken over as though I’m not important, and they were doing that quite a bit. Of course, they also were eager to depart as they had a drinking fest planned – which of course, I hadn’t been told about or invited to. So, I know, well now know, from our last meeting, that I am an outsider to them. I don’t fit into their type of friendship. I can dip in and out of it, but because I’m not a party animal, I’m not really their cup of tea (well, we all like coffee from time to time don’t we).

So, have I told them any of this – no, I didn’t see the point in really going over the ground with them. I know I can’t sacrifice my lifestyle choices to meet their own, and I know they wouldn’t stop going out or drinking the volume of beer that they do for me. So, it is what it is.

I suppose I feel a bit peeved. I mean I have lost one friend over this already. I couldn’t afford to do what she wanted to do every other weekend. Yet again though, our ideals of friendship clashed. She was looking for more friendship than I could give. I couldn’t be there for her and her alone – I have a life when I don’t see her and I have to maintain that! So, I don’t see her any more and that actually upsets me.         

I think too, I have sacrificed what I really wanted – not having to get drunk and eat junk and be out till the small hours, just to gain friends. How pathetic is that?! I’m too old for that crap! Either people like me for me, or they don’t. If they like the fact I can drink them under the table and stay up all night dancing, then what type of friendship is that? Hardly a firm foundation for me to rely upon.

For me, friends are people you can share everything with. I don’t want a one sided party fest, I’m not 20 any more, I want something connected, deeper and diverse. I won’t settle for superficial.

In saying all this on Saturday I return to the UK again, and this time it will be for two months (a very long time for me). I will then see which friends are left standing when I’m not in the picture for this length of time, and which forget I even existed.

I think the way I have been feeling of late the change of scene will do me well, as I am getting a little narky here (I think this post reflects that well enough), I seem to get ‘itchy feet’ after a few months in one place! God knows how I’ll cope when I don’t have another country to escape to, and am stuck in one on a permanent basis! I always thought I had some gypsy blood in me somewhere!

 

Anyway thanks for reading my rant!! I appreciate it as always.

Hasta luego!!!

The Bored Blogger


I have been absent from WordPress for a little while, and for good reasons, may I add.

I am thoroughly bored!!!!!!!

Blogging has begun to feel as though it serves as no use or ornament in my life; in short, it serves NO purpose for me any more.

I guess I am frustrated. I’m not sure whether my frustrations lie with the confines of WordPress or the fact I have little enthusiasm for the topics being written about. Who can tell!

 

I think I have realised that the more followers I have, the less connected I feel. I assumed followers/following would guarantee interaction, because there would be more people to ‘converse’ with, but I fear I have been wrong in that assumption.

The amount of times I have left comments on blogs, and so on and so forth, and received nothing in return is disheartening. Realising that the comments I take time to contribute mean so little to the person who is blogging just like I am, is harsh! I mean really, why blog if you don’t wish to even acknowledge your readers!

 

It seems everyone is so wrapped up with self promotion, selling something, writing, gaining followers and following blogs (they never visit). Hardly anyone seems to make the effort to really connect, to engage, to really enjoy what is being written any more. This for me is truly sad.

I know there are bloggers out there who do engage, respond and connect – I am lucky that those of you who DO read The Savvy Senorita are such bloggers, and have given my writing great support (which I thank you all for)! I hope that I have done the same for you all too (or maybe you think not)?

Anyway, its just that when I first begun blogging at WordPress, I felt there was more of a sense of real community. I spoke to fellow bloggers regularly, we interacted via trading thought provoking comments and there were so many different topics out there to debate. Now it seems to me that these ‘old school’ bloggers have become out-numbered by more disinterested and aloof types. Consequently, I feel the words have run dry.

 

I can’t help but wonder, why in the Hell do I blog???!!! AND no, I’m not expecting anyone to run the defence of my writing skills, or wise crack over my lack of skills, I am just asking; what is the point in blogging to an absent audience?????

I know I’m not the only blogger feeling disillusioned, deflated, disheartened and fed-up. Other bloggers have confessed to me that they are having similar feelings regarding their own blogs and efforts. Maybe these people choose not to make their feelings public, because they are afraid to broach this subject as they wish to avoid remonstrations, well, I’m not one for holding my tongue!

I know I want to see more of the bloggers who want to write and read and comment and respond and engage. All of that interaction IS blogging; sitting on the side-lines playing a ‘how many likes can I get in an hour’ while ignoring my readers ISN’T blogging!

It makes me question; has blogging become nothing more than a popularity contest gone wrong?????????????

 

Anyway, regardless of the fact I feel most of this blogging malarkey has become pretty vacuous and glib (sorry, but it is how I feel), I do really want to hold out a hope that WordPress will change. I hope it will revert to how I felt it was when I first begun this pointless blog of mine – interesting and connected; a place where bloggers want to be involved with other peoples writing and their readership.

So, if you too are feeling the frustrations let me know!!

If you don’t understand where in the Hell I’m coming from, well, lucky you!

If you think I’m being a malicious mare, just double check the meaning before you make any accusations!!