You know that I love a freebie night out - and I have managed to blag 2 recently. 1 brilliant and very thought provoking, the other not so.
On Tuesday, I booked hubby, the dancing queen and I on a lecture by our local "Business Link" which was billed as an "Inspirational talk" by Martyn Ware co founder of the Human League and Heaven 17 - 2 very iconic Sheffield bands of the early 1980's. His talk was based around how he found himself in the fortunate position of making a living out of his hobby. These days, as well as still playing with Heaven 17, he owns a company with Vince Clarke (of Yhazoo fame) that creates 3D music and sound installations. He talked about the future of music and sound in our lives and the media (which is why I took the dancing queen as its the industry she wants to get into). It was fascinating and very exciting stuff. The talk was held in a fabulous space at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield which was huge and one wall was entirely made of glass. It was snowing gently outside and it made Sheffield look as if it had been ensconced in a huge snow globe. Business Link kindly provided a fabulous buffet afterwards so all in all it was 9/10 freebie (would have been a 10 if they had provided a glass of wine!).
The lesser inspiring night out came in the form of 2 tickets I won to the Crucible Theatre to see Germaine Greer. I was looking forward to this as I thought she would be sparkling, witty, clever and thought provoking. She was none of these. She looked tired and weary - every sentence seemed a huge effort. She came across as bitter and twisted and not a great advert for feminism at all. Some of her comments I thought were just plain stupid. For example - She objected strongly to the conservative party talking about giving tax breaks to families because families "don't need any extra money as they have 2 incomes anyway". My own opinion on this is that I don't expect to get a tax break because I chose and am fortunate enough to live as a "family" (and by that I presume she means Mum, Dad, and kid/s). When hubby and I decided to have children, I was mature enough to realise that my social life/bank balance/half decent wardrobe/nice holidays/career prospects etc were never going to be the same again - and it has worked out exactly as I thought. Most double income couples embarking on having children will loose either one income, or half an income or keep a full salary only to pay the majority out in childcare - for a very long time. Its the way it is. You find yourself needing more space to live, so at a time when you have less income, you often have to have a bigger mortgage, and you find that once they start school, your holidays will cost 3 times more than holidays which can be taken outside of school holidays - and when they get to 12 years old, you have to pay adult prices for holidays too. I am horrified at how much it will cost to educate my two to University standard (a low estimate for this is £30, 000 per child!!!) but I am prepared for it - as it was my choice to have them. However, I feel that Ms Greer should feel a little in the debt of anyone who gives birth and raises the children that empty her bins, serve her in the supermarket, pilots the aeroplane that she travels to Australia on 3 times a year, treat her in hospital etc etc because without those prepared to make the sacrifice, the human race would grind to a halt! She also stated that women who tried fertility treatment were stupid and ought to spend their money on other things. Other elements of the evening made my blood boil too - but I'll climb off my soap box now.
Her poor views of family life seemed to stem from being brought up in a bad family environment which sounds as if it has scarred her for life. Hubby, who didn't enjoy the evening either said that she just needed the love of a good man - only he didn't use those words!!! I give this freebie night out just 1/10 as I got to see the new look Crucible Theatre which has just been refurbished.