Grateful.

I was sitting on the train this morning in a bit of a mood. The same old feeling of comparing myself to other people plus not getting enough sleep combined to put me in a funk. But then I suddenly thought that this is bullshit and started thinking about all the things that I should grateful for. I must admit, I’ve seen those ‘gratitude list’ ideas and was sceptical about them as I would make a list and be pissed off about something else ten minutes later- so bang goes my gratitude. But I might as well give it another go and see if it snaps me out of this funk I’m in…so here goes:

I’m alive.

It’s a beautiful sunny day- a little chilly but glorious.

It’s Friday!

I’m wearing my bright pink nail polish and red lipstick. Now this made me wonder- does this fall under the category of being ‘grateful’? Then I thought, yes it does. In some countries or in the past, I wouldn’t be allowed to rock my red lipstick or such fluorescent fingernails- I’d be branded a Jezebel or worse, so thank goodness I live in a country and a city where I could wear glitter on my lips if I wanted to…just not necessarily to work.

I got a seat on the train. Always got to be grateful for such a thing. I’ve seen people fight for a seat and it’s not pretty. Now I’ve got one, I can have a nap or read a book or observe other passengers and imagine what kind of lives they lead once they step off the train.

I’ve got a job (and a decent one at that).

Got a roof over my head. My heart breaks think for all the people in Texas and Louisiana who are battling Hurricane Harvey as I type, wading in horrific levels of water just to find shelter. People who have lost everything and have nothing but the clothes on their backs. Or closer to home, those people who are homeless in this country, so I’ll be forever grateful for such small mercies.

My family and friends. They’re all here and present, as mad as ever but that’s how I like it.

Once my bleary-eyed self has fully woken up in the morning, I usually do feel a sense of gratitude. I’m not the type who awakens with a spring in their step singing ‘Joy to the World’ but being vexed on a beautiful morning like this when there is no need to be is something that needs to be nipped in the bud. So here’s to trying to be more grateful for all the good things in my life.

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Pepsi Lost Their Fizz.

The internet has gone bananas about the new Pepsi ad starring Kendall Jenner...and not in a good way. Naturally, I have to throw in my two cents:

First of all, why is this advert nearly three minutes long? Unless it’s a charity appeal, there’s no need for any advert to have that duration.

Secondly, what was the point? I watched it thrice and still didn’t get it. I thought it was a parody. It was like a stylised, ultra glossy version of an American protest, with extra layers of FA-SHUN added by bringing Ms Jenner to the mix. 


What were Pepsi thinking? I wasted my time watching something that felt like a very colourful Gap ad or a music video than a pointed illustration of modern American life.

The advert was utterly pointless. Even if they were attempting to make a point (and I still don’t know what that was), this was probably the dumbest way to do it. Was there no person of colour at Pepsi HQ (or any person, in fact) who could have said, ‘Are you sure this is a good idea?’ 


Who decided that little ‘Wonder Woman’ bit where Jenner whipped off her wig was a slice of genius? It only succeeded in making me laugh. The fist bump between her and the black guy dancing throughout was cringeworthy, as was the mini-flirting with the violinist who cannot sip properly from a can of Pepsi. But let’s be honest, the entire ad was two minutes and forty-six seconds of cringe and I’m still trying to figure out WHAT THE FRIGGING POINT OF IT WAS. 


So if peaceful protestors of the past such as Martin Luther King and Malcolm X had a Pepsi on their person, maybe the powers-that-be would have been more sympathetic to their plight? If Black Lives Matter had a Pepsi multipack, things might have been less problematic? If only real life was as simple as handing a fizzy drink to a member of the riot police, eh? Why did Pepsi think they could crowbar themselves into this issue and turn it into something palatable, edgy and trendy (ugh)? It’s as bad as that time Sky Sports turned their Super Sunday credits into WAG Central: an unrecognisable football crowd full of gorgeous model-esque women, suited blokes and happy families all waving their hands to ‘Loving Each Day’ by Ronan Keating, with not a single regular-looking football fan in sight. 

Pepsi released an apology which only apologised to Kendall Jenner rather than those who complained about the ad- why I do not know. Ms Jenner is twenty years old. She is not a child. She can make her own decisions regarding which projects she takes on and those she does not, so why they aimed their apology at her and her alone is weird. 

Seriously Pepsi, stick to what you’re good at. In fact, all big brands should probably do so unless they’re absolutely sure they have got their message right. I’m not looking to you to make a statement on the world today- I want you to carry on making mindless and insanely expensive adverts that I can roll my eyes at and not expect anything other than you selling your cold beverage to me through heavy-handed product placement. Trivialising the protests of recent times into happy vignettes of aesthetically-pleasing young people in technicolor (I saw no diversity in terms of age in that crowd at all) walking through sun-drenched streets clutching cans of your drink is not the one.


© isanynamefree 2017

Heading For The Brexit.

Fresh from watching Alastair Campbell and Nigel Farage squabbling on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning (with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid grabbing the metaphorical popcorn), Britain’s European Ambassador delivered a letter yesterday lunchtime to trigger the start of our departure from the European Union. 

Yes unfortunately, the time has come for Brexit and for those of us who voted to remain, there’s not a lot we can do about it. We have to endure the incredibly smug faces of Farage, David Davis and the like blabbing haughtily about how Brexit will be A Good Thing (even though they don’t have a clue what’s going to happen next). 


As I wrote after the referendum was done and dusted, many Brexiteers seem to think that Britain still has an empire and we can lord it over our foreign neighbours. They think that we can swan into negotiations, demand what we want and not face any consequences for what we have voted for. They think that other member states of the EU such as Germany and France will not (for want of a better word) punish us for leaving. What a load of bollocks. 
The EU will be driving a hard bargain and will make life very difficult for us when the   negotiations begin. And when those talks are in the hands of the likes of our foreign secretary Boris Johnson, you’d be right for thinking that this could turn into an almighty shitfest. 


I keep hearing the phrase ‘global Britain’ being used over the past few days. What does that even mean? It’s just another bullshit soundbite- an empty phrase meant to have the public nodding their heads furiously in agreement even if they are as baffled as I am. If they mean ‘global’ as in selling our companies and industries off to China, Saudi Arabia and America, leaving us with no industries to truly call British then yes, they might be right. 

Show Love.

Today is World Mental Health Day so I wrote this. 💛

Show love and be kind to yourself,

Don’t compare yourself to anyone else

It is futile and makes no sense

(I know this from personal experience).

Life is not supposed to be a race

We’re all slightly odd, there’s no disgrace

If you’re feeling down and lost and low

And you feel there’s nowhere you can go

Or no one to talk to, take a look around

There’s always an outlet to be found

That’s available, so try and take heed

Whenever you’re ready or feel the need

Sometimes in life, the shit hits the fan

And ruins all your best made plans

It might sound trite but be positive,

Because you’ve got so much to give. 

© G. Holder 2016.

The EU Referendum: My Vote.

With less than two hours to go until polling stations close, the people of Britain are voting in the biggest and most important decision in years: to determine whether we remain or leave the European Union.

Over the past year (and particularly the last few weeks and months) things have become very nasty and fractious between both camps. Inflammatory campaign posters, snide and vicious comments which has not done either side any favours.

Whatever way the vote goes, I’m not sure this country will ever be the same. There’s too much distrust and fear and loathing that’s been whipped up on both sides and it’s all been very ugly.

I know which side I’m on: I voted to remain. Yes, the EU is not at all perfect but I’d rather be in than out (shake it all about, woooah, Hokey Cokey…sorry). I would rather keep our friends close and our not-so-close-acquaintances closer because at least we can influence and make a difference rather than go it alone and hope for the best.

Many British people think that we can prosper and flourish without being shackled by the EU, to which I reply: with what? We have no industries- look at what is happening with the steel industry. Tara Steel is up the creek without a paddle and who is having to bail them out? That’s right: us, the taxpayers. When are people going to wake up and realise that BRITAIN DOES NOT HAVE AN EMPIRE ANYMORE. 

The world has long moved on and we are not at the centre of it. The world is now a global community, therefore things such as free movement and human rights are an absolutely essential part of our lives. Immigration has been the buzzword for the Leave side. They want a points-based system like the one that Australia has, where people enter based on their skill set and what they can offer to the country. In an ideal world that sounds good…but this isn’t an ideal world. Immigration will happen regardless of how we vote- that is a fact. 

If we leave the EU, the government- the majority Tory government that the public inexplicably voted into power -will get rid of workers’ rights to the point where there are none. The powers-that-be will pick and choose elements of the Human Rights Act that they want to follow and interpret it in their own unique way. You know those certain aspects of the law and the EU that make you puff out your cheeks in despair when you read about it? You ain’t seen nothing yet because if we vote to leave, our exasperation will be on another level. They will eliminate our right to strike and all you numpties out there who think this isn’t a big issue…well, when your employer screws you over and you want to exert your natural right to protest, make sure you re-read the above before you hold your head in your hands and cry.

There is an arrogance around that school of thought among potential Leave voters that worries me. So many people seem to think everything will stay the same if we leave the EU. As if the likes of France, Germany and Spain won’t make things harder for us if we dare to vote no. Those countries will stick the boot in if we leave- in fact, they will relish it. 

The ease with which we travel to our European neighbours will disappear and we will have to get visas to go there. Budget airline fares will go through the roof until they are no longer deemed ‘budget’. 

Our (current) European neighbours will be reluctant to do business with us. Even those outside of Europe will make life very difficult because they want us to stay. I know things won’t be easy in the short term, but that’s expected. It’s the long term situation that unnerves me should we leave. 

The NHS is the elephant in the room and it is likely it will be privatised within a couple of years should the leave vote be successful.

If my arguments have failed to convince you then ask yourself this: do you really want to be on the same side as Michael Gove (the pillock who is currently our Education Secretary and is unanimously despised by all teachers), Boris Johnson (who was the Mayor of London until last month and was pro-EU but has now changed his mind. What’s that all about, eh?) and Nigel Farage (whose only topic of debate is immigration. Countless other topics that he could talk about but no, he’ll only focus on that). 

My main hope is that things get better politics-wise and those talking head wind-up merchants (I don’t need to name them, you know who they are) somehow cease to get work in the aftermath of this vote, but I cannot see that happening. I hope that whatever the outcome, this country can learn from the numerous mistakes made during this lengthy, exhausting process. Fingers crossed. 

Life’s A Beach.

So 43,000 people have now complained about this beach body advert plastered all over the London Underground:

image

I have three words for the moaners:
Get over yourselves.   

I have seen this advert everyday on my commute and am baffled by the fuss- a slim woman in an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow non-polka-dot bikini is standing tall and supposedly ‘beach body-ready’ and some people are boohoo-ing about it. I have heard that it is ‘fat shaming and offensive to larger sized women’. In my humble opinion, that is bollocks.

I have a big wobbly stomach, bingo wings and thighs that could start a fire when they rub together, but this ad has absolutely no effect on me. I just see a woman looking nice on a poster…and that’s it. I certainly don’t feel ashamed for being curvy because everybody is different. Besides, I wouldn’t wear a bikini.

I am astonished at how such an innocuous poster could cause such a mad reaction. Plenty of ads like this have been plastered on the tube and various other places for years and nobody cried foul over them. Everyone is bleating over the smallest thing nowadays and it’s so tiresome. I thought we were better than this.

People say it makes them feel ‘physically inferior’ and even asking for it to be banned. Give me a break! I am all for women (of all shapes and sizes) feeling confident and looking their best but seriously, this moaning needs to stop. I look nothing like this woman. I’m self-conscious and had my fair share of body issues but this poster does not make me feel inferior and you should not feel that way either. In fact, the more people are kicking up a fuss, the more I want it to stay. Be more offended by the numerous posters plastered around telling you how you can get a loan with 2000% APR.