If bears can s*** in the woods…

It can be said that we learn everyday or that we are always learning new things. We tend to take for granted that we learn some very basic things at the early stages of life that come in handy very often. I am missing one very important skill.


I don’t know how to have an al fresco wee.


I was taking my dog for a walk with my boyfriend in the woods when nature called. The boyf said “Just go behind a tree.”


Just? JUST? JUST?!?

For starters he is a he and has the genetically given ability to urinate both standing and in any required area. He also had the experience. I, however, lacked all of these vital components. Do I pull my leggings down to the floor? Do I squat? Am I capable of aiming? Will it go all over my feet? Or all over my legs? What if I fall over and get sexually assulted by a tree?


So I am in the middle of the woods. The boyf is on look out and assures me the coast is clear.


I tried.

I really did.

But somehow partially exposing my buttocks to a tree full of squirrels made the waters stand still. I could not pee. I was bursting at the seams but it would not work.


Ok so it’s not a skill exactly. But I feel it’s something that could and would have come in handy, instead of the five car pile up I caused, racing my car to get home. If someone could be so kind and explain how it is done I’d really appreciate the pointers.



The Men still wear the trousers.

I have been seeking far and wide for a pair of suit trousers that I can wear for interviews, and occasions I want to be a smarty pants. However I have come across nada.

I have been to many shops and found nothing that I like enough to be seen in. There are many problems I have been faced with; colour (the pathetic lack of choice; plain grey, plain navy and plain black), cut, length, material (shiny or matte), and overall style. While one pair might be the right colour they don’t seem to sit right. I managed to find one pair that looked OK, however they were too short on the ankle. The shop assistant suggested I order them in tall.

Because I am a giant right?


I am 5 ft 4. Petite sizes go up to 5 ft 3 so I have only just made it out of the munchkin section of the store by a mere inch. I, even in my own deluded world, do not qualify to shop in the BFG section of any shop!

So I had a wonder around the shop before I started launching clothing around. I ended up in the men’s section…

…what an array of trousers there were! More colours, even patterns! I thought how foolish I was to bother looking at the 3 styles and colours in women’s, when men’s literally offered over 50 pairs to try on.

I found myself plenty of trousers in 28″ short- my jeans size- and skipped down to the dressing room…

Problem number two occurred.

I could not fit my hips or my bum into these trousers because I forgot that I am not a man that lacks Latino hips and a big butt. Instead I am a woman with in-the-way hips and junk in the trunk.

(Cue hurricane of trousers launched around the dressing room.)

So yes very few men wear skirts. Obviously this means they get a decent choice in trousers. However why do women not get this same choice? Or at least close to? I found that the trousers offered to women were more expensive and yet a cheaper quality. That makes no sense to me. Fewer choices, worse quality and higher pricing. In the workplace (yes women can be seen there- they even let them in the pubs now) women shouldn’t have to remind people of their femininity by wearing skirts and dresses. Both are a personal fashion choice. It seems to me, however, that the fashion industry still dictates what items of clothing women can wear.

I pledge more choices for trousers!

Gender Defender

I Charlie Victory Whitham am a hypocrite! I blab on about how we shouldn’t let our gender be defined by our sex and I go on about how people should be exactly who they want to be but when it came down to it…I didn’t do the right thing.

Recently during a rugby training session a fellow player and friend was injured and I accompanied her to hospital. Whilst waiting to go into A&E, a woman next to us said “Oh dear, now tell your boyfriend that playing rugby leads to injuries.” I just stood there and smiled like an awkward idiot, hoping she’d go away.
“So how did he do it?”
I said, “We, we were at training.” I thought I emphasized that the lady was wrong by saying we.

Who was wrong?

I was. I was trying to spare an old lady from being embarrassed for thinking my friend was a he instead of thinking how my friend felt. Even now I haven’t asked if she felt uncomfortable on that day. So she has short hair and plays rugby and I let a total stranger make an ignorant blunder that could have hurt her feelings. I should have been more concerned with her than an old woman who has archaic ideas of gender based on very small things such as the sport we play and the way we dress. Our gender is our own construction and not saying that my friend needed me to batter an old woman in a hospital but I should have been more concerned with her feelings.

So to my friend, if you ever read this please know that I am sorry and I hope you don’t think less of me. And if you ever read this blog and think I am a total arse for writing it then please give me a shovel to dig myself a bigger hole.

Blood may be thicker than water but it won’t do much in times of thirst

My title may be misleading and a bit odd but it means a whole lot that needs a blog attached to it.


Lets think about family. What does that mean to you?

It could mean a mum and a dad and perhaps siblings. It might have at some point become a step mum and a dad and a step dad and a mum and perhaps some step siblings thrown in with your already perhaps siblings.  Family can be as easy or as complicated as it wants to be.

Does family matter?

I started by looking at the nuclear family. I am not saying it’s the best…I’m not from a nuclear family so I don’t even have first hand experience of that let alone any authority on it. By family what I am really trying to boil down to is does blood really matter?

For example.

I came to be on this earth as a big accident. My parents decided to not be responsible and 9 months later I rocked up. About 8 months before that my dad decided he wasn’t signing up to the whole parenthood thing and off he went.

So I’m born, flipping gorgeous I might add,and my mother raises me as single parent. When I say single I mean my nanny and aunts and uncles and all the other people in between have been there along the way. She’s done most of the grafting but I have to thank so many other people that have contributed to this fabulousness. My father on the other hand wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. He had other kids (shinier and more his style I believe) and got married and still wanted absolutely nothing to do with me.

So a whole lot of life happened for me. Finding out my step dad wasn’t my dad (moved school at 6, Head teacher refers to Richard as “Charlie’s step-dad”, got home, “Mum, What’s a step-dad?”, earth shattering moment)and I had another dad to my sisters (in technical terms they are half but I love them with my whole heart) and then my mum and step dad divorcing and alllllllllll that mess. I got to 14 and thought it was time to meet my dad. My mum asked him and he said…..


That was pretty crushing but I got over it. The best thing I remember from that time in my life was my uncle Pete (non-blood relative but this blog is pointing out why that doesn’t matter) saying that he would be “proud” if I was his daughter. Another male figure in my life Rob and his wife Sam sent me a card saying that they thought the world of me and that it didn’t matter what my dad thought because he didn’t know me like they did.


I got to 15 and three quarters and fully developed my attitude. I decided I was going to meet him whether he knew it or liked it. He is a hairdresser (it’s how my parents met) and owns a salon in a town about 20 miles+ from my home town. So I rang up and booked an appointment under the name of Carrie Taylor. My aunt dropped me off and I went to meet my dad for the first time. I sat in the chair and my heart was racing. He was jokey and seemed nice. Well dressed and nothing how I imagined. I tried to see how he looked like me but it was hard to look for myself in a person.

“So Carrie, is this your first time here?”

“Erm yes it is.”

“Whereabouts are you from?”


“Oh I see, quite far to travel for a haircut, how come you chose to come here?”

“A er my friend Jess recommended it.”

“Oh great, Jess. I know her. How’s she getting on at work?”

“Erm It might be a different Jess.”

I relaxed and he chatted away about stuff, some stuff about my hair and what I wanted and then bits about his own life.

“I thought I was having a heart attack the other day, I was racing my bike and got some terrible chest pains and had to go to hospital”

I was worried then. I thought, Great I am about to give you another one!

“It turned out I had indigestion!”

I breathed a sigh of relief. But I decided I was going to let him discover who I was.

“So Carrie, who normally cuts your hair?”

“My mum. She’s a hairdresser but we always fight over it.”

“Ha just like me with my son. You don’t sound like you are from Kettering are your parents from them originally?”

“Well my mum was from Finedon.” I could see the penny starting to drop but I paused to let him get there himself.

“What’s your mum’s name?”


“You’re not Carrie are you? You’re Charlie, aren’t you?”

Now if you were expecting a fairy tale ending then tough luck they only exist in fairy tales! He was nice at first and apologized for ditching us and never contacting me and all the other stuff.

But then fast forward to now. I am 25 years old. He last spoke to me on the phone a year ago when he rang thinking I was his neighbour. He last saw me 4 years ago when I went for a haircut and he cut all my hair off so I wouldn’t go again to see him. He told me he won’t ever let me meet my brother or sister and generally speaking has come off as a big of a dick.


What have I learnt from this?

I have learnt that blood is only thicker than water in the literal sense and not in the metaphorical family ties thing. This man saw a picture of me as a baby and knew his blood ran through my veins and chose to turn his back on it. He then met this living breathing teenager with thoughts and hopes and aspirations of a relationship and chose to turn his back on it. He met this adult woman that was about to go to University and had a whole grown up life plan but wanted some thread of a relationship and chose to turn his back on it.

Do you have a step-parent that calls you their daughter/son? Can you think of a non-blood relative that does stuff for you without payment or letting you owe them? Are you part of a family of amazing people that care for you? Do you have gay parents that fought to make their house your home? Are you adopted?


Because these I have learnt that THESE are the people that love you. They made it their choice beyond any physical connection or blood tie. I have the most excellent extended family that keeps on getting bigger and better. So dear father….

I don’t need you. I am surrounded by far better examples of fathers and family than you could ever provide.


Looking good at 25

University messes with people’a heads and there perceptions. On a night out recently I was told I “look good for 25”.

Erm excuse me?

Good for 25?

Is that old?

This is a list of FHM’s top ten sexiest women 2014 in ascending order:

Scarlett Johansson (29), Nicole Scherzinger (36), Lucy Mecklenburgh (22), Beyonce (33), Mila Kunis (31), Kaley Cuoco (28), Emily Ratajkowski (23), Rihanna (26), Michelle Keegan (27), Jennifer Lawrence (24).

So it appears that there is still life even after the very ripe old age of 25 for the female body. I mean it is shocking that Nicole Scherzinger is 11 years older than myself and isn’t a great grandmother by now!

Seriously people, if you left school and went straight to University and you think that at 25 you are an adult with your whole life figured out then think again. Well done if you manage it but I am still enjoying the irresponsibilities of my twenties!

How to meet women

I feel that I have hit this strange old limbo place in my life right now. I am at University (as a semi mature student) but I live with my boyfriend, in a village which is fairly far from my parental home and I have recently stopped attending the church for the religion I was raised in. Lots of information there. But what this means is that in a short space of time I have moved away from some big circles of friendship groups.

So how do I meet women?

I am perhaps a bit young for the WI I love making jam etc but I am pretty sure that most members of the WI don’t generally share my enjoyment of going out and dancing like a praying mantis in a nightclub. And in my final year of University lots of people plan to either go back to their parents homes or move to London (where the streets are paved with gold and hopes and dreams) leaving me behind driving my tractor and all the other countryside stuff people in rural villages do. Of course I’ll visit my Uni friends in their new flashy lives but what about where I live?

Is joining a dating website to meet women going to end in disaster? I could put interested in Women and ‘Looking for Friendship’ but could that be seen as completely weird?

We have key points in our lives where we make friends;

1)Very early childhood- our relatives of a similar age and the children of our parents friends
2)Age 4+- School, classmates obvs (including primary and secondary)
3)Age 16 – college or sixth form or work
3)18- University or friends at work
4)Motherhood- in the playground we meet other mums or the mums of our kids friends

At this point I am in-between stage 3 and 4. I have my Uni friends but soon to leave and I am not quite ready to have the baby to work towards the playground mum meet.

What a pickle! I can’t be alone in the world when it comes to friend shift, can I? Are you part of the 20-30 age range, that has made big changes in their life and is finding that you are looking to meet girlfriends?

You never know when you have it so good.

Girl meets Boy.
Boy is the best.
Girl doesn’t appreciate what she has, freaks out about commitment and ends it.
Girl messes about.
Girl realises how good Boy was.
Boy with his heart of gold and wonderful forgiving person that he is takes her back although she does not deserve it.
Boy has an accident on his motorbike and goes to hospital.
Girl hears nothing…..

If you are given a second chance to be with someone after you treated them badly and they are taken away from you it’s like having all your insides removed.
I had made a huge mistake but Ben took me back and I was so happy. Life was going so well. I had my puppy (Ernie the mini schnauzer), I was living with Ben, we were having date nights and I was living the life I’d always wanted with the best person….

Hours went by without hearing how his operation had gone. “It’s just internal bleeding” was the last thing he text me at 4am before he went in.

My biggest fear as a child was internal bleeding. (I watched lots of hospital programmes with my aunt and that’s what always seemed to kill people off when you thought they were ok)

So here I am feeling the sickest I’ve ever felt. My heart in my mouth and bouts of tears. Poor Ernie was confused and kept climbing up for cuddles. And all I could do was wait.

Do you know what went through my head?

All I could think was… ‘Why did I let this man go and now I could lose him forever?’

I was lucky. Twice I was lucky. I was lucky he took me back. And now…

I am lucky he was ok. His operation went well and now I can spend time with the person I love most proving how much I love him.

Don’t ever be stupid like me. You don’t realise you are happy so you take it for granted and one day someone or something could take that happiness away and no amount of regret can take that back.