free your mind, and the rest will follow…

By amy ~ September 20th, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

Since it is the weekend, and specifically the day where notoriously nothing ever happens (I was not tempted to visit Hyde Park for the Papal Mass yesterday evening and instead spent the time pretending to finish the August accounts while watching the X Factor) I may as well update folk whilst I wait for my Tesco online food delivery (also ordered last night in a completely unselfish gesture towards saving the planet rather than a lazy way to avoid spending two hours in Tesco, which rivalled only B&Q for Sunday busy-ness last time I went in person). As much as I enjoy pottering up and down the aisles in search of the next big discovery, I am not afraid to admit that I returned home to something of what is known as a shitstorm and am in no hurry to leave the house just yet. I have managed to stagger over to the gym (where I tired of the Vibrogym within minutes and will be sticking to the pretend rowing/walking/hill-climbing from now on) but apart from that I am likely to remain behind closed doors for most of the week; there is a definite chill in the air and I intend to spend the rest of today preparing the autumn/winter wardrobe (not that the summer wardrobe got a great deal of airing, considering the global warming we are all supposedly experiencing), digging out warmer bedding and bleeding radiators. Sausage casserole to follow directly, as soon as the bloke turns up with the sausages (and the cream cake selection box, ordered whilst wild-eyed with hunger but a good move nonetheless).

The last few weeks have seem to have seen a considerable upturn in media interest as far as our industry goes and for the first time in a while, a lot of it has been, if not always positive, at least reasonably balanced. Leaving aside the disgraceful, embarrassing and woefully misleading ‘Hunt for Britains Traffickers‘ on Channel 4, a documentary following the shambolic Pentameter operations which, you may remember, were truly remarkable in that despite utilising every police force in the country, raiding hundreds of premises and arresting 406 people (106 of whom were released without charge and a further 47 after having been cautioned for minor offences – figures here) they spectacularly failed to find or convict a single person of forcing anyone into prostitution – not that you would think so from the carefully-edited three part offering shown the week before last. Helen Mirren (narrating) ought to be ashamed of herself.

I myself have personally been contacted by three journalists in the last fortnight alone, one in particular who was a pleasure to talk to and appears intent on making a balanced programme about the law and our safety, although since she will be doing this in Wales I will not be featuring in it (the nearest I have been to the Principality is the Gavin and Stacey DVD box set, although this is something I would very much like to rectify before too long). Plus, a SKY TV offering featuring Gail Porter (admittedly not the first name that comes to mind when discussing edgy journalism, but then nor is SKY TV) which apparently, since I do not have satellite, actually broke some boundaries by talking to some ordinary working ladies in various locations around the world, and whilst our Gail was still not quite able to get her head around the idea that some women would actually choose to and enjoy working as prostitutes, she did at least acknowledge that plenty of other people do jobs they would maybe prefer not to, and none of it was relevant to providing all concerned with the safest working conditions possible. Curiouser and curiouser.

The Economist’s recent debate also resulted in a clear win for common sense, despite some seriously shrill and high-octane (read emotive, simplistic, sensationalist) diatribes on the anti side; poor old credibility-free-zone Melissa Farley continues to peddle elderly, carefully manipulated ‘research’ from her equally carefully selected sample groups (neither she, nor any of her accolytes have ever asked me or anyone I know about our working experiences and I think it’s fairly safe to say they never will) but the public apparently aren’t buying it any more than those of us involved. All in all an encouraging shift and having had a pleasant conversation with the BBC lady concerned, I am very much looking forward to the BBC Wales programme too; taking this into account, plus the general live-and-let-live tone of many comments whenever the subject comes up in online newspaper articles (and poor old Guardian readers could be forgiven for thinking that nothing else ever happens in the world) could it be possible that one of the final achievements of Mad Hattie and Nu Labour, as far as public perception of ourselves and our clients is concerned, was to shoot themselves squarely in the foot?

The biggest surprise for me was an article (and see below) in the Highland News, not a publication renowned for its sympathetic and forward-thinking attitude to sex work (and quite the opposite judging by its less-than-salutory previous) mentioning two of my lovely fellow-blogging ladies and for once positing the radical (for the press) theory that not all women working as prostitutes are coerced, exploited or under duress. Has something been added to the Grampian water supply? Who knows…Thus, in celebratory mood (helped along by the timely arrival of the giant food shop) I am looking forward to a busy week and whilst there is a little availability left dotted towards the end, I am to all intents and purposes fully spoken for until the weekend. Next week is shaping up nicely before my long awaited Jersey trip, availability for which is vanishing at a tremendous rate and my hopes of doing some exploring, or at least a ride on the little train (just to make me feel at home) are fast disappearing. For now though, I’m shutting the curtains on the cold outside world and off to cook my casserole. I am of the erroneous belief that 2km on the rowing machine and another two on the arc trainer roughly = three coarse pork or one Cumberland ring, but I may have to Google it.

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1 Response to free your mind, and the rest will follow…

  1. Amanda

    I think it says a lot about me that although I am pleased to have the article in which I feature so highly *cringe* mentioned on your blog, I am more pleased that it is mentioned in the same blog post as sausages.

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