Count me among the grumpy old women!

ISN'T a sense of belonging a wonderful thing? Can anything beat that glorious feeling of knowing you are in the company of like-minded people? Or match the thrill of cheering and nodding your head in unison with others? Don't worry, I'm not about to launch into the wonders of the World Cup, although that too is a truly joyful event - assuming your team is winning of course.

ISN'T a sense of belonging a wonderful thing?

Can anything beat that glorious feeling of knowing you are in the company of like-minded people? Or match the thrill of cheering and nodding your head in unison with others?

Don't worry, I'm not about to launch into the wonders of the World Cup, although that too is a truly joyful event - assuming your team is winning of course. No, I'm referring to something of much more significance. You see I have discovered that there are, spread across Suffolk and even the country, there are literally hundreds of other grumpy old women like me. Indeed there may be thousands of us, who knows?

One thing is certain though, we are most certainly a force to be reckoned with. Well that's what my hubby reckons. And going by the looks on the faces of the few other men present at the Grumpy Old Women show at the Corn Exchange recently I reckon they would agree.


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As soon as Linda Robson and Jenny Éclair invited us to 'tut' to indicate our disapproval of certain matters the noise in the hall rose to a deafening level. And it was then that I realised that my own level of tutting has reached almost astronomic proportions.

Now at first I found this quite scary because when I was a teenager and a regular victim of tutting myself I had vowed that when I got really old - around about 40 - I would never ever let that sound cross my lips. After all I was convinced that tutters - or should that be tutterers? - were just killjoys and that wearing mini skirts wouldn't give me a chill, platform shoes wouldn't make me break my ankles, playing Rolling Stones' records wouldn't turn me into some sort of brain-dead moron and having a long Cathy McGowan fringe wouldn't ruin my eyesight.

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But having experienced the pleasure of tutting with so many others I've decided that we are in fact powerless to resist the urge to tut, as it is clearly something we are all biologically programmed to do when we get to a certain age.

So as a fully-fledged tutter I would like to share with you some of the things that I regularly tut at.

Here are my Top Ten Tuts:

· Cyclists on pavements - may be safer for them but it's not for pedestrians!

· Cold callers who turn up or ring Sunday lunch-time - is no time sacred?

· Shops who keep moving things around - makes me want to move shops!

· People who make you wait in all day then don't arrive till past 5 p.m.- aargh!

· Bus passengers who put bags on seats - should pay double fare!

· Shops who think we are all 7 feet tall - haven't they heard of health and safety?

· Litter bins left full to overflowing - after all, people have made the effort!

· Shop assistants who lick their fingers to open bags - yuck!

· Small print - how can we make sure we read it when it is sooooooo small?

· Long fringes - they ruin your eyesight!

And whether you be male or female, if you are sitting nodding in agreement with these or indeed have your own list of favourite tutting topics then I say well done, and may I heartily welcome you to the Grumpy Old Women/Men Club! Why not drop me a line and tell me what gets your goat.

Well another college year is over, and I've been saying goodbye and wishing good luck to a number of my fellow students.

While some know exactly what they want to do, others are taking a break before making a decision.

Of these a few are going backpacking, and seeing as I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up - apart from writing this column of course - I thought that maybe it's something my hubby and I should consider doing. That would be next year when I finish my degree.

All I have to do now is find a rucksack that's big enough to carry the following essentials:

· At least a thousand teabags

· Giant jar of Horlicks

· Tins of powdered milk

· 5kg bag of sugar

· Several boxes of All Bran

· Pack of six litre bottles of mineral water - make that two packs

· Economy packs of nine toilet rolls - got to think cheap - I am a student

· Terry-towelling dressing gown

· Loofah

· Comfy slippers

· Extra large tub of anti-wrinkle cream

· Some bestsellers

· And of course a couple of pairs of dancing shoes

Being a lifelong fan of Worzel Gummidge I was delighted to be invited to help judge Sproughton's Scarecrow Party recently. It was such a difficult choice though I really wished I could, like Worzel, swap my normal head for a special 'thinking' one.

Winners were eventually chosen however and I'd like to offer my congratulations once again to Claire and Rebecca for their spectacular clown, and Francine and Hannah, not only for their incredibly realistic chimney sweep but also for persuading a dad to put him on a roof!

Thanks also to Olive for asking me along and for keeping everyone supplied with a nice 'cup o' tea and a slice of cake'. If I remember rightly, lucky old Worzel also had a special dancing head. Now if only I had one of those!

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