18 October 2016

Standing With Women

I am not going to discuss the ins and outs of the case.  We all know the one.  You would have had to have lived under a rock for the past few years if you have not heard about it.

The girl, and the footballer.

Everyone has their own view and I am not here today to debate the outcome.  The verdict is, unfortunately, what has happened.  I do not support the verdict in any way but I do not want to talk about that.

I want to talk about rape complainants and what they still have to go through in Court.  From this case, to the one where the judge told the (convicted) rapist that "you simply could not resist" about an unconscious girl; to the one where a man got off on the defence that he "fell into her".

Women are already told many times that sexual assault is their fault.  My fault was that I have large breasts and as such. should expect it.  I cannot count how many times I have been grabbed over the years.  Women are trained to brush off these incidents.  We are told that we are making a big deal over nothing.  Like being grabbed at and assaulted without your consent does not matter.

So when the worst happens, why do we expect it to be any different?  Because sadly, it is not.

If the case even gets to Court which the majority of the time, it never does, what can we expect? Being treated like the Defendant instead of the complainant. Being asked what we say during consensual sex.  What our favourite positions are.  If we are promiscuous. Identities and addresses being revealed many times (in this case) on social media.  Rape threats.  Death threats.

Apparently all you have to do these days is find a mate who has slept with the complainant too and you are clear.

The comments I have seen about this case on social media has sickened me to the core.  But then, in darkness, there is a spark of light.  Jean Hatchet has created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal to share the monies between the complainant (if she accepts) and Rape Crisis England and Wales.

The complainant has not, at the time of posting, accepted the offer.  Whether she accepts or chooses to donate the monies to charity matters not.

What matters are the hundreds of people who have to date, after 2 days, donated over 14,000.  Nearly 800 people so far have shown their support in donations.  I have.  I currently donate to two women's charities every month but could not overlook this.

Whether you can donate a pound or a hundred, everything helps and it is going towards both the complainant, or a charity she chooses, and Rape Crisis England and Wales.  

I have to thank Jean Hatchet also at this point for having the ovaries to head this campaign which is also being run by others.  She knows, on a daily basis, what it is like to be harassed, stalked and threatened.  But she has the guts to do this.  I salute you.

We support you.  We believe you.  Some of us have been you.  Some of us may take the courage that you have shown and go forward where we might not have had the courage.  We are there for you.

Here is where you can Donate

12 October 2016

Can't Cook Will Cook

I have always been a fussy eater.  Finicky my mum calls me.  

The thing is, most of the time it is more about the way certain food looks, or its description that puts me off; before even tasting.  

A lot of the time, the way that a dish is cooked can either start your love, or hate, for an ingredient.  Sprouts at Christmas time anyone?  There is nothing worse that boiled sprouts sittings there on your plate.  But I now have a new love for them after trying out a Sprouts with Chestnuts & Bacon recipe.

Going to a great restaurant and having the taster menu is a great way of discovering foods that you would never think of trying, whether you are a fussy eater like me; or just not that experimental.  I have found many favourite dishes this way; things that I would previously have never ordered.

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Steak is something that I have always shied away from, not understanding how much people enthused over it.  The thought of eating a piece of meat medium rare was something that I could not stomach, pardon the pun.  

I remember a few months ago, being sit in a restaurant for a friend's birthday eating a seven course taster menu.  When the main dish of fillet of beef arrived, I remember looking down at it in horror. My best friend looked at me and said "If you are ever going to try a steak, cooked perfectly. this is the place.  Try it".  Two mouthfuls in and I was in heaven.

As someone who is learning to cook and expand my repertoire, steak is one thing that I really want to learn how to cook properly.  After (finally) discovered what all the fuss was about, cooking perfectly done steak for a dinner party is a goal I really want to accomplish.

Online recipes have been amazing for helping me to learn to cook.  Places like BBC Good Food and the Jamie Oliver website which tells you the difficulty rating of every dish have been really beneficial.

I recently came across this guide from Barbecoa Jamie Oliver with tips on how to cook steak.  As a novice, knowing what type of cut to buy (I would not have a clue) and what type of herbs to infuse the meat with is invaluable. 

I will let you know how my cooking goal goes!

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