Why Raggedy Ann Girl in a Barbie Doll World?

Several  years ago, while rummaging through a craft market I came across a little wooden wall hanging. In the shape of a rag doll it had the slogan "I'm Just A Raggedy Ann Girl in a Barbie Doll World".  It 'sang' to me - don't forget that, as a woman, shopping is an emotional rather than scientific process! I'd bought it as a bit of a joke about the WAG dominated society in which we find ourselves, but that simple slogan came to represent something much more to me. In particular, that the world can sometimes seem to move at way too fast a pace and be far too harsh for my liking, and I suspect for that of many others too.

Don't be mistaken, I'm a thoroughly modern girl. I love modern life with all its choices and opportunities.  But I miss the simplicity of childhood and I'm uncomfortable with the way we're all forced into each other's lives. The way we're exposed to thing we'd rather not be. Not the news, because it's important that we know the truth of  the world in which we live. But the intimacies of other people's existence. The way we sometimes seem to have no privacy. The way many or our peers willingly live their lives in full public view. I used to stress about it, sometimes I still do - it's not like there's a 'cure' for modern life. But I've gradually found that by taking a step back, or at least to one side, it is possible to  just 'be' and it's really rather nice!

I wear plenty of makeup, I have 'fake' coloured hair. I love fashion and I happily admit to being an enthusiastic consumer. I enjoy being pampered. Sometimes I'm decadent. I like gadgets and shiny things. I'm as shallow as the next woman. That's part of who I am.  'What's so Raggedy Ann about that?' I hear you asking. I've asked myself the same thing. But, for me feeling like a Raggedy Ann Girl has nothing to do with being a rag doll. It's about enjoying what's modern but appreciating the simple things. It's about taking a slower pace from time to time. About embracing modernity AND holding with tradition. About eschewing pressure to be something we're not comfortable being and rewarding ourselves just 'because'. And most of all, it's about being with people and doing things that make us happy and content and about finding a 'place' to be where we can all retreat and just 'be'.

Come on in … it's nice and cosy inside …

Nicola Rippon

A true Raggedy Ann in a Barbie Doll World, Derby-born Nicola Rippon is a freelance writer. She has been a regular contributor to the Derby Telegraph and Derbyshire Life & Countryside. She is the author of a number of books of both local and national interest, including Derby Our City (2001) and Derbyshire's Own (2006); and is the co-author of Goodey's Derby (2003). In 2001 she wrote and co-produced the highly-acclaimed film Derby: A People's History released by Last Hurrah! Productions. Educated in Derbyshire at Dale Primary and Littleover Schools, she is a happy but long-suffering Rams season ticket holder. Her book The Plot to Kill Lloyd George: The Story of Alice Wheeldon and the Peartree Conspiracy was published in 2009 and she is still ridiculously excited that she can search for herself on Amazon! She has a new-found love of growing her own, and a long-standing affair with cooking and baking. But no amount of grubbing around in the garden or kitchen gets in the way of a bit of pampering and she has a serious nail polish habit as well as an addiction to buying books that already necessitates a twice-yearly seasonal bookshelf switch.With a number of exciting projects 'in the pipeline', two cats to wait on and a vegetable patch to tend, Nicola is grateful for this opportunity to vent and muse here at Raggedy Ann Girl.

Some of Nicola's work can be purchased here.

Nicola Rippon, author, creator & writer of Raggedy Ann Girl in a Barbie Doll World

Everyone who lives in Britain should visit Stonehenge at least once! It's a vital part of our history!

Please also take a look at some books by Nicola's wonderful dad - Anton Rippon