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Talk Roundup
11 May 2007

Calling all campers! Don't miss the Guardian's brilliant Guide to Camping, free with tomorrow's paper. Including recommendations of the best equipment and a comprehensive guide to Britain's best 50 campsites.

An important debate this week on the best way to peg your washing out, started by pegging-novice, Fruitful, who must now be a grown up because she finally has acquired an outside washing line. A shameless Naughtynoonoo likes to get the net curtains twitching enviously by hanging her bras on the outside of the line "as I have large norks and my neighbour relies on chicken breast!" DanielAndOmi's laundry days are fraught with deep-rooted psychological baggage, "I feel guilty if I leave stuff out overnight, as my Mum says it's common." But MrsBadger is the proud owner of a different kind of family baggage, "my peg bag was made by my grandma as my first school shoebag … I do like a pegbag with history."

Who is the fairest one of all, wondered Blagger, convinced it's no longer she: "I'm looking older and it reallllllly bothers me … The biggest difference is when I look at myself in the morning. I used to think 'I need to have a wash', I now think 'fucking Christ almighty.'" MrsMar felt her pain, "I keep walking along thinking I look pretty damn good, then catching sight of myself and nearly running for cover." Scatterbrain has a secret terror of long-term incarceration in an intensive care ward, "What if I had a car crash and was in a coma - who would pluck my chin and throat? Imagine waking up after a few weeks and having a beard and a plaitable throat! Can you leave a "coma plan" like a birth plan do you think? And specify tweezing every two days?"

Alice Miles would not be impressed. 'Where are women in public debate?' she asked in the Times this week, worrying that women have "given up the fight and crept back into our kitchens." Using Mumsnet as an example, she argued that "If a woman has time to discuss her nursery or the relative merits of the different sippy cups, then she has time to post a comment on the failings of the school system or whether we should pull out of Iraq." JustineMumsnet popped out of her kitchen for just long enough to differ, Have just blogged on Guardian website re. Mumsnet, Mile for Maude and stuff. Read Justine's contribution and join in the debate here.

I turned to Mumsnet for help this week after marital unrest chez Morningpaper, "Am I being Unreasonable To put dd's names down for Scouts - DH thinks they are a 'pseudo militaristic organisation that pledges allegiance to the monarchy and reinforces class divisions.'" TheArmadillo did not offer much succour, "Yes the Scouts have always been militaristic and will always contain part of that about them… Pledge allegiance to the queen - yes. I think he claims 2 out of the 3." MrMariella's father was an Irish Republican "and I must admit seeing my dd in her Rainbows uniform, aged 5, when it was something 'for fun' did repel me a little." Disillusioned (I thought it was just camping and making fire), several people suggested the Woodcraft Folk as an alternative – they are apparently full of "pacifist hippie charm" (Fennel) and much "consensual dithering" (Puddle). HenriettaHippo's DH saw mention of the Woodcraft folk and declared them 'a bunch of commies' - Greensleeves was up in arms (or not) and rebuffed, "Better a Commie than an embarrassing anachronistic uniform-fetishist paramilitary freak." I think I may have lost the argument this time.

And finally … "We're pleased to say we have finally reached a settlement with Gina Ford," wrote JustineMumsnet, "We will continue to lobby hard for a review of the libel laws in this country with regard to websites." Ideas are welcomed for a Mumsnet campaign for a change to the libel law and in the meantime, you may now say "Gina Ford", although it still feels a bit like swearing in church. I could be wrong but I reckon that She Who Must Not Be Named will stick for a little while yet.


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