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Page Three?

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 29 January 2015
I hate to be made a fool of. And, last week, I fell hook, line and sinker for the gag to end boobs in The Sun newspaper. Actually, News International tricked quite a few of us as we leapt for joy that – finally – our national rag had come to its sense and realised that boobs in page 3 don't sit as well as they might have done 44 odd years ago.

The thing is I'm not a prude. Not really. There's a time and a place for big bouncing boobs but I'm just not sure it's page 3. A couple of weeks ago my 10 year old and I were admiring Allen Jones' exhibition at the Royal Academy. She took the bondage pop art in her stride. I, in turn, glorified Jones as a pioneer and artistic rebel. A prime example of boobs that don't disturb.

But how can I explain to my daughter as she flicks through a copy of The Sun that this is how some of our society choose to view women? Men who love cheap thrills and have forgotten what a beach in the South of France looks like. It becomes tricky boob messaging.

So, my point here is that I'm just not sure we still need Page Three, now that it appears to be back. I'm certainly not trying to restrict free speech nor ask women to hide under a burka. The debate is really one of national pride and not about banning a pair of naked naughties. It's about the society in which we live and perhaps relocating the boobs to a less visible part of the daily newspaper.

I can't sleep

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 29 January 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

Every night for the past 2 months I have struggled to get to sleep. When I eventually do I wake up feeling like I haven't rested at all. This started when I began my new job and I just can't seem to switch off. Is there anything you can suggest I try as it is naturally effecting my mood..

Thank you.

Patricia Marie says.....

You say you have been unable to sleep since you started your new job, so what is happening in your place of work that is preventing you from sleeping? Any concerns must be resolved as lack of sleep effects our emotional state, and if prolonged can have serious consequences on our health.

Writing a list in the evening is a good way to organise your thoughts, clearing your mind of any distractions.You would still be dealing with matters, but putting them aside until the morning when you are rested.

The most important thing to achieving a good night's sleep is working out a bedtime routine that works for you and sticking to it. A bedtime ritual teaches the brain to become familiar with sleep times and wake times. It programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a routine.

Winding down is a critical stage in preparing for bed. This could be in the way of a warm bath, followed by a milky drink, then settling down with a good book. Avoid watching television or anything that stimulates the mind.

Ensure you fall asleep in a quite, dark room, which is not overheated. If you do wake up and struggle to get back to sleep, get up. If anything is playing on your mind, write it down, so it becomes removed from your thoughts, or read for a bit to clear your mind of clutter. Then once calmer, get back into bed. If you have to repeat this pattern many times during the night, don't worry, you should soon decrease the times you get up, until your waking stops altogether.

In addition to this, you could try some yoga classes, where you will be taught light yoga stretches and how to breath correctly - promoting relaxation.

You may also benefit from hypnotherapy which helps treat psychological problems that causes sleep disturbance. Hypnosis puts you in a deeply relaxed state allowing one's body and mind to become rejuvenated.

Contact the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis (BSCH) for a qualified therapist in your area. www.bsch.org.uk/
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An evening with Hugh Grant

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Thursday, 22 January 2015
It's not often you get the opportunity to catch a world famous Hollywood actor perform in the flesh from mere feet away, but for one unique evening I was lucky enough to have that chance.

Earlier this month, I went to see Hugh Grant join a small group of disabled actors and dancers from The Baked Bean Company, as they performed live at Sadler's Wells theatre in Islington, London for two exclusive shows.

The Drama Group was co-authored by Hugh Grant, Nigel Hollins (A member of The Baked Bean Company), Baroness Sheila Hollins and the founder of The Baked Bean Company, Jade Hardrade-Grosz.

When I arrived the whole studio was buzzing with anticipation. After a wine reception for the revellers, the cast kicked off with a routine which saw more energy and excitement in one dance than most professional dance companies manage in an entire two hours. The play's storyline explored facing one's fears onstage and performing without fear of judgement. As the play developed, the acting and dancing drew many cheers, tears and laughter from the audience. Hugh was incredibly relaxed and humble throughout, and in the end the audience gave a standing ovation.

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Since their modest beginnings, The Baked Bean Company has flourished holding 22 classes a week in 3 different locations throughout Wandsworth and the surrounding Boroughs. These classes include Drama, Performing Arts, Musical Theatre, Singing, Djing, Dramatherapy and Life skills.

Jade Hardrade Grosz the founder of The Baked Bean Company and the director of The Drama Group said: "We are all so proud to be a part of something so amazing. Every day brings new challenges but it's the incredible people that we work with that make it so special. We all hope we are making positive steps towards breaking down the segregation and preconceptions of society."

To find out more about The Baked Bean Company and the services they provide in South London please call 0208 9440024 or email Lisa Glithero at lisa@acttoo.com.

Sinéad Nolan
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FOMO free (for this month only)

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Thursday, 22 January 2015
Have you noticed how positively amicable everyone is in January? Is it because we're all in 'this club' of the longest, toughest, coldest, greyest, penniless month together? Or is it simply because no one is possessed by that green-eyed monster, aka suffering from a lethal case of FOMO*?

Going out and ending up on a dance floor is so very non-January that we've all (temporarily) softened our desperate fear of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. And this makes me wonder where on earth this need to be at The Party comes from... I mean, it is just those modern day insecurities rearing their ugly head or are we never content to just be present, right here, right now?

I think it all comes down to good old fashion confidence. And while insecurity is curiously appealing, and even a little charming, it seems only to be so when someone else is wearing it. So if vulnerability makes friends and drop dead gorgeous seems to be ridiculously alienating, who is having the most fun?

Of course Instagram and its constant scrolling fuels all this FOMO, magnifying the desire to be with the cool gang. But, as I mentioned, we've managed to drop our fears for the month so snap yourself in your pjs and repeat after me: snug is smug**. I already have.

*fear of missing out
** for a limited time period
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Devastated by death of Coronation Street Deirdre Barlow

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 22 January 2015
Dear Patricia Marie,

I feel rather silly writing this, but I am a loyal Coronation Street fan, and am devastated by the very sad and sudden death of Anne Kirkbride, who played the character Deirdre Barlow for many years. I am the same age as she was and have grown up watching her in the soap. Many of her story lines seemed to parallel events in my own life.

I find it hard to believe that she isnt going to be on the programme anymore and don't even know if I can bear to watch it again. It just won't be the same without her.

Since the news of her death I have been unable to focus and feel extremely tearful most of the time.
How on earth can I move on from this situation?

Patricia Marie says.....

You are most certainly not alone in mourning the very sad unexpected death of 'national icon' Anne Kirkbride, who died aged just 60 on Monday. Playing Deirdre Barlow for 43 years, she leaves a huge void in not only her family, friends and colleagues lives, but for you and all the other viewers who adored her.

Don't feel silly to be upset for the loss of someone who through the years played the story of life brilliantly, who connected with so many of us, and whose sudden loss has shocked the nation, proving hard to accept.

Deirdre showed her vulnerability by embarking on an affair with her husbands worst enemy Mike Baldwin, as well as having a fling with bad boy Jon Lindsay, which resulted in her being locked up in prison. Yet when required, she displayed great strength of character by standing up to all those who criticised her badly behaved daughter - story lines that resonated with many.

But who could possibly forget the comical banter between Deirdre, her husband Ken and eccentric mother Blanche, providing viewers with side-splitting laughter. At this time of sadness, its comforting to have such fond memories.

Of course Coronation Street will be different without Deirdre; but the programme will go on, as life must - just as her colleagues will have to find the strength to continue to work without their familiar friend beside them. And be assured the writers of Coronation street will ensure this iconic character will continue to have her presence felt in the street.

I hope you can get comfort and support from knowing others are feeling sad like you, and that as time goes on, your grief will ease. Anne's passing sends that familiar important message to us all, that we must embrace life, and cherish every moment, as it is so very precious and should never be taken for granted. One thing we can be sure of, our beloved Deirdre Barlow will never be forgotten.
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