Latest Posts

Wednesday, 7 October 2015


There is a new app causing a real uproar in the cyber world due to its fundamental vileness (for lack of a more eloquent way to describe it). The ‘Peeple’ app allows people (gosh they're witty) to rate other human beings that they know in the same way people rate hotels, restaurants, and stores. My first response when I heard about this was, WHY, dear god why do we need an app where we rate our 'friends?' Was there really such a void in the app world for such a thing? (Ding ding ding: NO).  God knows we don’t have enough unsolicited opinions/comments in the cyber world from know-it-all trolls who are dying to voice their negativity;  now we need an app where we rate one another? And let's be frank, we're a superficial (cruel) society. Friend or no friend, I highly doubt people are going to be writing about one another's scintillating intellect. 

The founders of this app assure the public that before anything is posted, it will be pre-screened for abuse. Uh huh. And there is this fantastic bridge I have for sale here in London if you’re interested. They of course go on to remind users that once you sign onto this app (UM, as it’s a choice, whatever moron signs up for this abuse, well, they almost deserve it), you will not be able to delete comments made about you, nor will you be able to remove yourself from the site once you sign on. So in short, for those of you still not in full grasp of the internet, once you step in the wet cement, your footprints are there FOR LIFE.

The uproar – as imagined – has called the app everything from ‘irresponsible,’ ‘creepy,’ to downright bullying. And honestly, they’re not wrong. However, from the sounds of it the founders of this brainchild are somehow trying to suggest that their app is going to singlehandedly spread positivity in the world. But of course! Cause now you can rate your friends and express how great they are (cause you couldn’t do this in person to your best friend; Nah, that would be too…personal and discreet). And once you say or receive these positive accolades, you can then share the positive things said about you. Oh my god, I can literally hear ‘Sound of Music,’ in the background, what a wonderful rainbow world we live in! Look everyone, people think I'm special, they really like me! 

Julia Cordray, one of the co-founders, says that for those of us fearing that people out there will resort to negativity instead of positivity, the site will heavily police what is submitted before it is posted to make sure nothing racist, hateful, sexual or profane is said. All I can say, is that this company better have a HUGE staff ready and waiting for the tsunami of negative sh*t coming their way, cause the cyber world as far as I can see, breeds negativity like a parasitic petri dish.

I think my altogether favourite thing said by Ms. Cordray is that it is perfectly normal for people to fear the app as it’s new. And people fear new, according to Julia….well, I don’t know about you, but I also fear negativity, bullying and people spewing utter bullsh*t to push a product.  Her brilliant scientifically steeped defense: “When the people found out that Earth was round instead of flat and that we revolved around the sun instead of the Sun revolving around us, naturally people were upset and confused and they pushed back with all that they had.” Haaaaaaaa. Yes, this is exactly like that, Jules. 

Trust me, I’m not confused nor are the critics of this app. In fact, we’re very much NOT confused. This is a case of the public knowing how the cyber world operates, the trolls it beckons from under the stairs, and the pointless negativity that ensues from apps like these. Not to mention the utter pointlessness of the app in and of itself.

But go on, tell your friends how much you like their new hairstyle on your new Peeple app (that will require 5/10 more minutes in your day to do so, so use your time wisely. Ahem.). You know what, I’m feeling more positive already.

Friday, 18 September 2015


A funny thing happens when you hit your 40's (yes, I am woman enough to admit that I’m indeed there). You start realizing that in many ways, you are the best that you have ever been [or at least you feel that way; I suppose in truth you could be utterly deluded]. You’re more confident and at ease in your skin, and you’ve trimmed the proverbial fat in your life and realize that more (friends, hanger ons, stuff etc.) isn’t necessarily a good thing. In fact, there is nothing more liberating than realizing who truly has your back and what you need in life. And trust me, by your 40s you figure this out damn fast.

Moreover, for many who are in your 40s, you’ve reached that place in love, career, and life where things have settled into an acceptable groove; You know what you like and more importantly what you don't like. You’ve hit a few meaningful benchmarks, you’ve hopefully found that life partner, and you can actually be proud of your accomplishments and have the confidence to pat yourself on the back. As opposed to those other pesky decades when confidence was in fleeting supply and you often failed to relish in the moments you should have. (Saying this, when I now meet a self possessed 20 year old who truly knows who they are and what they want, it takes everything in my power not to hug them and weep with envy). 

Then the irony hits you, with all this new found knowledge and inner peace that you’ve managed to accrue, you realize that this is the decade you NEED it the most. Perhaps it’s just me, but suddenly everywhere I turn, I encounter another tale that sobers me right up in regards to the fleetingness of life. (I partially blame sobriety for this, as in my 20's, I was simply moving too fast and loose to care about the realities of life). In the last few years, I have lost close friends to cruel diseases, the C word starts rearing it’s head everywhere I look (that’s cancer, not the other C word. Then again, any four letter word comes in handy at this point in my life), and the realities of life – such as death, disease and divorce, start coming fast and furiously. Then of course I quickly find myself wanting to curl up beside the King at night and compete for his teddy bear. ‘Damn it, you don’t need it like I do, you’re 5. You’re worst trauma is that the supermarket runs out of cheese!’

It’s not that any of these things failed to occur when one was younger. For many, sadly their young lives are rife with certain tragedies the rest of us have been lucky enough to avoid. But with one’s 40s (and 50’s and so on), you truly realize the preciousness of everything. In short, what you have to lose and how grateful you are to have it - and losing it would require a world's supply of Xanax. And moreover, you like life damn it, and you don’t want things to change! 

I suppose this is the thing people have been saying our whole lives, it’s only until now we can truly hear it. Life is indeed precious. And fleeting. So engage in your life and truly be grateful. It’s that simple…or at my age, it should be. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015


Whoever came up with the idea of schooling one’s children was a genius – and no doubt, a parent of many children (apparently one of the oldest schools on record was from the Shishi Middle School in China 143–141 BC. God bless the Chinese). Hmm, how do I legitimize sending my children somewhere (in a supervised capacity of course) so I get a break and they actually do something of worth that doesn't involve driving me nuts, playing Minecraft or obtaining swimmer's ear?? Yes, of course, we teach them stuff in a structured environment - preferably in large building with an even larger gate -  and do it for as many hours as possible!! Eureka!

Can’t you just see the first conversation about determining the length of the actual school day: “Let’s create a place where children can go and learn and play for a couple of hours each day….Actually why not make it a half day….To hell with that, there is so much to learn, let’s make it ¾ of the day and throw in some after school activities to make the parents happy! Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer holidays and the King had a riotous time doing this that and the other, but by summers end, every parent has that look about him or her. You know that, ‘if someone doesn’t take my kid for me I’m going to implode’ kind of look. Let’s be honest, there is only so many ‘why’ questions I can answer per week until my brain starts to feel like it's going to melt. By September, it’s up to a teacher to navigate the curious rapid-fire assault of wonder that is my son’s brain.

Not to mention, the holidays are also awash in consumption, frivolity and NO discernible schedule in sight (as it should be really). Hence by summer’s end, if you see one more ice cream van you slip into some sort of PTSD episode and start clutching your wallet as you run the other direction screaming, I swear, I don't have any change!!  The other pro and con of summer days is their sheer length. I love cherish summer activities with the King, but when he starts going to bed at 9/10 o’clock every night come summertime, I start looking for a more powerful night cream and a pillow to rest on.

Luckily, at the moment, he is a kid that adores school (oh school, I love you so much) and at the first sighting of his male posse, he ran and joined them in tightly knit huddle – this is what I love about 5 year olds, they are so not about cool and all about showing their emotions however they see fit. And then you see the shift in parents all around the neighborhood. That summer look is quickly replaced by the other look of ‘YES’ my kids are back in school and I can actually use my brain look and get stuff done…followed by the ‘oh sh*t look, my kids are back in school and I forgot how nuts it gets….you see, you can never win.

Alas, the King is officially in year one and hopefully they will have him reading War and Peace by month’s end (I kid, I kid). Then again, if he is counting grains of sand, I’m fine with that too as long as they keep him until 3 o’clock and teach him something aside from the schedule of the ice cream vans around our neighborhood.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015



Here’s another unbelievable story for you; unbelievable in a ‘dear god are people that utterly stupid’ kind of way.

Recently in Abu Dhabi, an area rife with money beyond one’s comprehension, a mobile phone number sold at auction for £2.1 million pounds. I’ll let you sit with that one for a moment. Yes, a phone number, not a house, or a yacht, or a priceless work of art, but a simple set of digits. The number 777-7777 (okay fine, it’s easy to remember, but honestly? Get a notepad if you can’t remember numbers) sold at auction to an anonymous (moron) individual, but as with anything in life, there is a catch. This proud new owner of said number doesn’t even own it, they are just renting it essentially from the government. But on the flip side they are lucky recipient of a two-year contract, which includes 22,500 phone minutes, 22,500 text messages, and 100GB of data every month. Gosh darn did they hit the jackpot, come to think of it, they better start limbering up their texting fingers.

I don’t know about you, but I locked myself into a two-year contract almost 2 years ago and I have been counting down every single day until my liberation. I think if I had paid 2 million for it, I’d be a lot more depressed. The other catch, cause this story just keeps on giving, before the bids were placed, the bidders were warned from the phone regulators that they had the right to change or withdraw the special numbers at any time. And yet, the auction went ahead and one lucky minted individual with clearly too much cash to burn bought himself a two-year contract. I may be frugal, but even if I had a billion dollars, I would not be shelling out that kind of money for a number. Then again, I don’t have a billion dollars.

I suppose for some (obviously), there is real power in a number. I’ve had the same mobile number for over 10 years, it’s nothing special, but I figured it’s helped keep my brain from turning to mush as it’s not all 7’s. Where’s the challenge in that? Funny enough, certain numbers no matter what you do stick with you over time. To this day I still remember my best friend’s number from childhood (don’t worry MF I will not repeat it) as well as a restaurant that delivered on my college campus (which speaks volumes about what I did my freshman year) over…well, many years ago.

The most surreal part of this story is not that people have this much money (although the disparity of this world is depressing at best), but that they spend it on this sh*t as opposed to putting it to good use. My advice to the upper money set of Abu Dhabi, challenge your brain and get a more complicated phone number and give your money to charity. You’ll feel a whole lot better I promise you and may even stave off dementia for a few more years.

Friday, 17 July 2015


Today the King is 5.  It’s a very hard one to swallow. It just sounds so…big. And of course in my parental brain I’m already calculating how many willing hugs I have left until he turns his lip up at me and tells me to stop embarrassing him (I will of course enforce many a hug when he’s past the age of willingness). At around this point – or who am I kidding, this started long ago – one finds themselves going through old photos and videos in weepy realization that their child has lost their baby fat and is no longer that sweet little blob of…well, baby. And it's a terrifying moment because you realise there is nothing you can do about it. Time does not go backwards as much as sometimes wish it would. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are many advantages and amazements that happen with a five year old. They can feed and wash themselves; they are no longer a potential hazard (ahem) or loose cannon (in public places, airplanes and the like…actually, the jury is still out on this one); They can actually sit still for longer than two seconds and engage in things in a more profound way and somewhat grasp the concept of reason (and if that fails, bribery works like a charm). And of course, they have developed an intricate personality of their own and have the communication skills to back it up. Which of course has its positives and negatives. The ironic thing is that you spend the first few years aching for them to actually say something so that you can communicate with them and then when they reach four or five, you realize that there is no off switch and every thought they have comes out their mouth like a tsunami. In the case of the King, some of his thoughts are utterly charming and insightful and you wonder where they heck they got them from, and other times when he’s discussing his poo and private parts in front of all the wrong people, well, not so much.

The other thing that occurs for us one-child parents is that you realize this is it. This is your one. And your one is growing faster the weeds out back and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Of late I have found myself doing things purely because I know that one day soon things may change (I’m of course being dramatic as my 14 year old nephew still hugs and kisses his mother and damn it, the King will do the same) and I will no longer be the apple of his eye. In short, I turn down nothing. If he wants to sit and hug for me for 20 minutes, I’m there. If he wants to kiss for so long that my face starts turning blue (for some reason long kisses at the moment are his thing), I do it. If he wants me to lie down next to him and talk about how great Lego is and what Ladybugs eat, I do my best to accommodate him (Note to self: find out what ladybugs eat). If he asks me to pick him up, I….sod that, he’s huge, and I have a bad back, I tell him it’s no longer an option. 

The overall point being, I know soon enough his bedroom door will be locked and he will find his phone/tablet screen much more tantalizing than anything else I can put in front of him and that will be that. Obviously, I will fight like hell not to let this happen (or I will just put my face across his phone screen in a big annoying flashing image…or a hologram, by then we'll definitely have holograms in every room), but part of it is inevitable. Kids grow, change, seek their independence, and then, gulp…go out into the world and forget to call their mothers.

So for now, I embrace five and all that it entails. And pray like hell it will still mean that he views me as the greatest thing since sliced cheese. And man o’ man does the boy love cheese.

Thursday, 9 July 2015


With all this talk in the press lately about nature vs. nurture and being who we’re meant to be, whether it’s gay, transgender, heterosexual, bi etc. it is easy to forget that from conception, we are simply one big recipe that thanks to our parental chefs could’ve gone either way in terms of our genetic combinations. And trust me, there are no choices in what we get, it’s a set menu if you will, like it or not.

The interesting and most ironic thing about the entire debate that most people don’t know - especially those uber male dissenters who insist that being macho is the ONLY way to define masculinity - is that we all began in the womb as female. Yes, you heard me, no matter who you are, be it a macho, beer guzzling lumberjack or a gay male dancer…or for that matter, a gay lumberjack dancer, we began in the womb as females and followed that blueprint for the first few weeks of development. Then, thanks to hormones, we progressed down one gender path or another. But when you look at it in those terms, you (hopefully) realize that not only did we all start from the same (female!) place, but it’s a fine line between masculine and feminine; furthermore, the cooking process is a bit haphazard in terms of how your human cake will turn out. Take a highly testosterone male, vs. a more metrosexual, female oriented one, it’s simply a difference in the amounts of hormones that ended up in the final product. It wasn’t chosen by your parents, it wasn’t bought, it was decided almost randomly in the womb. It just is.

For those skeptics out there that refuse to believe that in utero they were female (take that misogynists!!) let me break it down for you scientifically (with help of course). In short, we all start as a generic embryo. We have a set of female or male sex chromosomes, but the differences don’t really kick in until your hormones enter stage left. So without, say, testosterone, you would remain on the path to womanhood. So, for those of you that have not had your coffee yet, I repeat, we all start the same. It is our sex hormones that make us different in the long run. Furthermore, scientists explain that the mere existence of men’s parts emphasize that lady parts were indeed beginning to form in utero. So, you myopic, pig headed homophobes out there, get a grip, once upon a time, you too had a vagina!

The first telltale sign that men started out as women: nipples. Yes, there isn’t a day that goes by that the King doesn’t ask me what they’re for. At this point, his are just decoration. But in my belly, with the right hormones introduced, the King’s pointless nipples would have developed into potential milk machines later in life. And how happy he would’ve been, as I secretly believe that if most men had (real) boobs, they wouldn’t leave the house.

The second sign: a man’s beloved unit. During a boy baby’s development, various hormones are produced that cause the internal and external genitalia to develop differently than their female counterparts. So because of a hormone called DHT, the little bud, if you will, then grows into a penis. But without it, it would grow into a clitoris. And with the help of another hormone called MIS, it means that men won’t grow reproductive tracts. But of course, the existence of hermaphrodites is proof that sometimes the recipe isn’t as fine tuned as one thinks.

Lastly – and yes, I’m going to throw more fun biological words at you – the last sign that you males were once up for gender grabs, is that seam running down your, ahem…joystick, so to speak. In scientific terms, it’s called a raphe line, and if you didn’t have it, well, you’d have a vagina. In utero, at one point, all embryos have an opening at their genitals. Depending on the hormone contribution, the opening is either fused together (and you become a dude) or isn’t, and you ‘remain’ a woman.

So, as you can see, hormones (as I’ve always screamed from the rooftops) are the most powerful little forces out there. And of course, it’s a delicate balance and depending on how you’re marinated, so to speak, will determine how female or male you become. So all you men out there that think you’re the sh*t cause you’re oh so manly, well you started out female, so simmer down the next time you feel like railing against men who want to throw on a dress and to be frank (or Shirley) you could’ve gone either way.

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed