All posts by Jojo Debrazza

Jojo Debrazza is a writer of young adult and children’s fiction. The Charm is her debut YA novella. Jojo has a vivid imagination and likes to make up stories. Her friends call it lying but she calls it writing. She lives mainly in a dream world with her partner and a house full of small furry animals. It’s a carefree happy place where everything is bright and fluffy. Jojo’s other passion is football (soccer). As well as playing and helping to run a club she works as a football development officer in Cambridgeshire, England.

Some People are Vegetarian – Get Over It!

Let’s get it all out in the open now. I’ll admit it, come clean and out of the closet. Please don’t be shocked, scared or angry. I’m vegetarian! No big deal. I just choose not to eat meat.

However, my choice seems to worry, offend or confuse some people and the apparently shocking news often provokes the need for a barrage of questions.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind general curiosity questions such as how long I have been vegetarian or whether I cook with quorn or tofu. Those are fine. It’s when the questioning goes into my moral values that really gets my goat.

Understandably, some meat lovers are concerned I will frown upon them for eating meat around me. I won’t. Then there are people who think I will try to turn them off their meat with talk of animal rights or the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Fear not. I don’t care if people eat meat, are vegan, gluten free or a cannibal, well maybe that last one would bother me, but you get the idea. People can eat what they like. That is their choice. And that is my point.

My real beef is when people quiz and question me with bouts of never ending questions and arguments about my choice not to eat meat. A typical line of inquiry goes something like this: “Why don’t you eat meat? Do you eat chicken? Do you eat fish?”

But then comes the real interrogation, “Are you into animal rights?” And then my real bug bears, “Do you wear leather? Do you eat polos or haribo?”

If I happen to fail this cross examination I will probably be accused of being a hypocrite.

A hypocrite? I have never claimed to be saving the world or every animal. All I am saying is I don’t eat meat!

The point is, I would never dream of asking someone why they ate meat. In the same way as I wouldn’t ask someone which party they vote for. It’s a personal choice and none of my business. I don’t want to get into a moral debate every mealtime. I just don’t eat meat. That is all.

Huntingdon Town Ladies FC Are Set for a New Start

ImageThe 2012-13 season marks a new start for Huntingdon Town Ladies FC. After twenty years in the Eastern Region Women’s League the club have decided to switch to the S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women’s League. Huntingdon got off to a good start yesterday (Sunday 2nd Sept) with an 8-0 win over Wisbech St Mary Yellow.

The club formed twenty years ago when women’s teams were few and far between and travelling across the region to play against other teams was a necessity. Now, after the huge growth in women’s football there are more good quality local teams and the Huntingdon players are looking forward to playing against some new opposition.

Full match reports can be found here.

The doom of the fitting room

I sometimes wonder if I’m the only woman in the world who does not like shopping. Actually, it’s not really the shopping I dislike. It’s the fitting rooms that bring me out in a cold sweat.

The first obstacle is the attendant. Perhaps I’m paranoid but I always imagine they are thinking: ‘You are way too old for that’. Or, ‘If those jeans fit you I’ll eat my hat’. They seem like the devil’s assistants leading innocent, hopeful shoppers towards their own private hell.

Communal fitting rooms fill me with the most dread. There is always a group of young flawless looking girls performing their own private fashion show and admiring each other’s choices of perfectly fitting summer dresses. Then there is the nudist, demonstrating how comfortable they are with their body by stripping right off and taking far longer than necessary to put any clothes back on. I desperately look for a nook or cranny to try these clothes on in private but to no avail. So with my chosen garment still on its hanger, I hold it up to my body, shake my head, and make a swift exit.

Cubicles with curtains are not much better. I have never found a cubicle curtain large enough to cover the opening. Pulling the curtain across to close the gap on one side just opens a gap on the other. I try to position the curtain so there is just a small gap on each side. This is a waste of time because whilst struggling to balance on one leg, with one leg in and one out of my jeans, I usually find my backside has reopened the curtains for the world to see.

Cubicles with doors are usually better, except those ones with low doors where fellow shoppers can see the look of disgust on my face as I examine my outfit in the mirror. Doors with high gaps at the bottom are just as bad. No-one wants to see my unshaved calves, partly covered by odd, worn out ankle socks.

It’s a relief to enter a cubicle with a full length, locking door. I hang the clothes on the hook, and then sigh. There is only one hook. Where do I put my clothes? A quick glance around the cubicle and I notice several balls of dust, a stray button and a tag. A tag? Who takes the tag off? A shoplifter perhaps! Then my paranoia really sets in. Are there cameras in here to catch shop lifters? Are recordings played back for the amusement of the staff on their lunch break?

I have a quick think about how to try on the clothes while revealing the least amount of flesh. I start the balancing act, trying to get my jeans off without them picking up the fluff balls from the floor. Bending over is not advisable in these confined spaces. I dread to think how many cubicle mirrors I have accidentally left my buttock prints on.

Standing under a harsh light it is impossible not to notice my unsightly bumps and bulges. I try looking away, but there is no escape. I’m surrounded by mirrors which show them from a different and usually worse angle. Instead I try to focus my vision on the clothes I’m about to put on. This causes another moment of horror as I notice white deodorant marks across the top. Who else has tried this top on?

Eventually I get the clothes on. I look horrendous. I need to get them off as fast as possible. But it’s not that easy. My calves refuse to leave the skinny jeans. I have expanded inside them. The heat from the lights is making me sweat. I’m glad of the deodorant marks now. At least people use it! I’m starting to panic. I tug at the clothes. Then I hear the worst of fitting room sounds. A rip.

I exit the cubicle red faced and looking like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards. The final humiliation is when the attendant asks, ‘How did you get on?’ As I hand over the garments I swear I can hear her thinking, ‘I could have told you it wouldn’t fit’. So I leave empty handed and drained of confidence. I think I’ll stick to internet shopping!