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Someone once told me that one sure-fire way to get laid is to read at a lesbian poetry reading.

I am here to prove that wrong, cause getting laid is NEVER that easy for me.

But please anyone who wants to come along and see me read some of my poetry, the support would be fantastic

http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=141227392616213


heres the text of the invite for those who don't have facebook;
Spring is here at last! Blossom is falling, bunnies are bouncing and love is in the air - so join us for a special Incite this Wednesday 27th April!
 
This month we're featuring Jordan Savage: Jordan Savage is a writer by religion and an academic by trade. Expect Americana-infused political licks with rhythm and blues, and a submerged desire to grow up to be Patti Smith. visit www.jordansavagepoetry.wordpress.com for more!

Ashleigh Yin Campbell: Hailing from North London, Ashleigh wowed the crowd earlier this year at Incite and returns with a new extended set. An artist as well as a poet, Ashleigh brings us her philosophical take on life.

and Ciara Doyle: Ciara is from Dublin in Ireland, and has been enjoying living the lesbian life in London for the last year and a half. She works in education, and has been writing on and off most of her life. She attempted her first novel at the age of nine, and for her pains got into much trouble from the teacher for wasting a copy book - the fear has stayed with her ever since.

as well as - shh! - some Very Special Surprises from our Incite crew, and our fabulous Open Mic!

Join us in First Out Cafe Bar basement from 7:30!

We're also having our monthly planning meeting upstairs at 6:30 pm, so if you fancy chatting over hummus and helping with the future of Incite, do come along!


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to tell my story. The events of my life have never been recounted, and I think endlessly at the momentn about making posts where I discuss that of the dim and distant past.

I was...
born in a war zone
a battered baby, an abused child
a homeless teenager
a sick, fucked up puppy
I helped bring down a multinational corporation and drive it from the country. Am I the last person in the world who remembers the debacle of 7-Eleven's brief stay in Ireland, and my brief days as a shop-steward?
I was...
a young mother
a college student
top of my class, great things expected, more 'college scholar' titles than anyone else

I was... adviser to government ministers
only as one of many on a committee, but still, ministers of state recognised my face, remembered my name and listened, briefly, when I spoke

I have had moments of a story worth telling, and I will have a story to tell again, if I can just beat this fucking illness! (except I don't really believe that, not deep down inside)

but for now, I don't tell my story, I just talk about wanting to, for I am waiting for a friend to arrive, and we will be shopping
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Today I went in to town to meet Dale. It was a great afternoon. We met at Covent garden for three, and I can't believe I have never been around there before. We started in a chip shop, strolled through the market as far as a pub where we had a drink, then got a bus up to First Out for cake. And thats it. But in managing all that I stunned myslef as thats the most walking together in one day for a very, very long time. it wasn't easy, and involved quite a few stumbles, a hell of a lot of rests on tiny stretches of walking, but no hit-the-ground falls. All in all it was a lovely afternoon/evening, helped in small part that Dales brain was whirring with her own problems so I got to not talk much about my health. That sounds terrible, doesn't it, like I'm glad a friend has issues, but its just a good break to be able to put my brain/sympathies somewhere other than my own jelly legs.
I was well and truely 'does he like sugared' though in the process. Dale wanted to start by getting a quick haircut, and I asked to use to loo when in the hairdresser. The hairdresser told Dale where I could find the bathroom, asked Dale if I was OK, and then stared in horror when Ii went in on my own, asking Dale why she wasn't helping me. He never spoke one word directly to me in all this time, although I was the one who directly asked him where the toilet was. Gurrrrr
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Ever read the 'spoons theory'? I know anyone looking at this has, but just in case, here it is:

butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf

It has its uses, I suppose, but in my opinion is grosly over-used. As I see it, there are separate problems with both the story itslef, and with the use that is made of it.

First and foremost, I'm a pedantic b!tch, and need to state clearly that it is not, in any way, a theory, its a frigging metaphore, for crying out loud. Not a theory. Thank you. Anyway, on to the more fundimental issues.

The metaphore itslef. As I said, its useful in many ways, but its greatest failing is in the fact that it pre-supposes a dichotomy. You are healthy, or you are sick. Most people are healthy. Most people have limitless 'spoons' (a metaphore for energy/physical strength/capacity). Any time, in any context, a dichotomy is used, failings occur. The world is NOT divided into the healthy and the sick - many, most people have health privilidge, in that thier life does not have to actively revolve around illness and/or disability, but thats not the same as saying that they will never catch a cold, and have lingering fatigue afterwards for a month or two because they couldn't aford the few days in bed to recover that they really should have taken. Or are prone to migranes that are crippling when they strike, but are fine the rest of the time, or similar. Thats my biggest gripe with the story, I don't believe that anyone has limitless 'spoons'. More about that later when I propose my alternative 'bath' metaphore. Secondly, it presupposes that all illnesses are illnesses of loss of energy. Not all are. Some are more caracterised by pain than fatigue, and some by other features - loss of capacity to breath during an asthma attack, for example, which is still a serious illness (people die of asthma attacks too), but can not fit the 'spoon' mataphore. Again, more on that in a moment.

And on to the use that is made of the metaphore - at it's simplest, it is basically a story in which the word 'spoons' is substituted for the word 'energy'. And its cool and trendy and a great way to show how with-it you are to always say 'spoons' and never energy. And this is my next big gripe - the use it is put to (not a problem inherent in the orriginal writing, but in its subsequent viral popularity). I can't get to the pub tonight, my totally-living-with-health-privilidge friend tells me, becasue I've been out every night this week so far, and I don't have the spoons. Hold on a minute, stop the clock. There is NOTHING abnormal, or beyond the standard human condition, to not be able to socialise every night of the week, and still hold down the day job. The 'spoons theory' was written by a woman with Lupus - a very, very serious illness that significantly reduces life expectancy. And in telling her story about the spoons, she was trying to explain the difference between her and you - but you have gone and colonised her words - and in doing so, not actually heard a word she has said! Read her words again, anyone who does this. noowhere does she try to claim that her 'spoons theory' (cough, cough, metaphore) is about all chronic illness, all invisible illness or any such thing. She claims its about LUPUS. So, in my opinion, the many, many people who use it to actually claim 'I'm tired' are in fact being very disrespectuf, becasue they are suggesting that the experience of a severly ill person with Lupus is nothing more than thier normal level weiriness.

It also doesn't count for all illness, chronic, hidden or otherwise. But it is widely promoted as if it did. And in doing so, it then hides, minimises or obscures the very different difficulties that different illnesses bring. Take the aforementioned asthma for example. I've had asthma all my adult life. Asthma does NOT take away my 'spoons'/ energy on a daily basis. I do not have to stop and think 'can I have a shower today'? becayuse of my asthma. I DO have to think 'can I walk down that aile of the supermarket?' becasue of my asthma, because perfumes and cleaning chemicals trigger attacks in me. I have only mild asthma, it is true - although, it always stuns me how much is in the perception of the person experiencing it. I know so many people with asthma who have never yet had to be rushed to hospital with an asthma attack, and consider myself 'mild'' because it only happens to me very rarely. My sister in law calls unnoticable bouts of shortness of breath 'asthma attacks' and from her reactions to me when I had a very mild, needing no treatment but real wheezing episode in front of her, she had never even seen that happen to anyone before. And totally paniced. And I want to go 'arrrggggg' becasue I try and tell her about the things I can't do, and she'll always go 'me too', and then try to out do me, but she has no real conception of the word 'can't'. And thats my problem with the spoons theory - everyone applies it to themsleves, often in the most utterly innapropriate ways, and so still end up with no concept whatsoever of the distinction between themsleves and the person that really really can't do stuff, that really really is very ill with reduced life expectancy.
It all comes back to privilidge denying which happens on all layers of privilidge - race, class,gender, sexuality and so forth. None of these things are dichotomies, but lots of people experience privilidge, and many deny it flat out. And so it is with the people who's lives do not have to revolve around illness (by which I do not mean don't have some health issues, but whoes lives/all daily activities/employment prospects/family formation chances etc are not dictated by them) colonising the language, metaphore and imagry of the ill saying 'me too' all the time, and thus denying the reality of those without health privilidge. But that failing was built into the orriginal 'spoons theory' by its use of dichotomies, and its failing to understand that, as conterintuitive as it sounds, the healthy are ill too. (as indeed the ill can be healthy too, in specific ways, for every illness/disability a person has, there are a gazillion they don't)

And so, I said I'd propose an alternative to the spoons theory, and being the saddo that I am with too much time on my hands, I've actually put a bit of thought into this over the last week or so. For me, my experience of physical strength is like a bathtub, with a dripping tap, and an outlet that allows the person to pull the water (physical strength) out on demand.
Everyone has a bath. Except its not a bath preciesely - becasue we all come in different shapes and sizes, and our baths of strength come in different shapes and sizes too. An olympic athelite may have an olympic sized swimming pool of strength to draw on, with a fast waterfall of re-flow to replace anything used up - but watch the uber-healthy marathon winner and they will still probably fall to the ground after they have won the race, becasue they have just drained thier olymic-sized-swimming-pool of strength, and need to just lie there on the ground until thier fast flowing waterfall replenishes it a bit.
A normal healthy person has a normal household sized bathtub with a normal flowing tap - so, they can't run a marathon, becasue they will not have that level of reserve, but they can run for the bus. And arrive, puffing and panting and haveing to bend over and lean thier hands on thier knees becasue the bath-tub has just been drained, but let them sit on the bus for 20 mins, and thier normal flowing tap will have replenished the bath, and they can still jump off the bus and go to do thier days work. For me, my bathtub has, slowly and insidiously over the last few years, shrunk to a little sink full. With a clogged tap that will only drip at a slow steaady pace. So I can never run for a bus, no matter what, becasue my maximum reserve will never get that full. I can manage to get to the bus stop slowly, on my crutches, but that will empty my sink. And the drip of replenishing water will not speed up in response, so that will be me for the day. My sink-sized bath-tub will stay empty until after I have had a nights sleep.

Now this is important to me to expalin it in a couple of ways. First of all, there is the dichotomy issues. Simply becasue I've explained it a little differently, and my metaphore allows for all bath-tub owners, not just the ones who have shrunk to the sink, I'd be much less offended at someone saying 'my bath-tub of strength is empty' than waffling on about spoons when they clearly have no idea what its really like to have lupus/ other serious strength draining illness.
But the reason its much more important to me to explain this in this way is becasue of the variability of my personal illness. becasue every day I get a little sink full (although some days its bigger/faster replacing than others, its always tiny compaired to pre-sick me). And I get to make hard hobsian choices about what I will use my daily sink for. a shower? That'll use up a good bit of it, so thats something else I won't be able to do. A walk to the shop to buy food? I won't cook that day. Hurry down the stairs to answer the phone? Not leave the house at all, not even to the corner shop. but it doesn't mean that I can't once hurry down the stairs or cross the road to the corner shop, it just means I have to choose between those two. And I get sooooo very tired of the 'but you could do it yesterday' attitude I encounter. And my mother is the worst culprit, but so many people do it. How come if you can do this, you can't do that. becasue doing this used up my sink-full. Thats why. How come you could do it yesterday but not today? becasue today I used my sink-full for something else. but equally, I get just as tired of people not appreciating that using my sink-full, to its limit, each and every day is important to me too. You won't be able to do that, you can't do that, are you sure you can cope. its my sink full, only I know whats there, and even if I misjudge and end up lying on the street unable to get up, I would like to be let make those mistakes/judgements for myslef. The marathon winner gets critisism from no one for falling to the ground after winning the race, but if I fall to the ground I'm not supposed to try going out again?

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but the echo that comes back is just a manical laugh


eta: have just noticed my most wonderful typo for this first time, and its given me such a naughty giggle, I've decided not to even change it
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A defining moment of my childhood, one I can still conjour back the sights, sounds, smells and feelings from was when I was 8 years old. It was the day I discovered I was an athiest. This was a profound realisation for me, and, given the bizzarre reality that is childrens minds, led me to the conclusion that I was to grow up to be a nun.

It started like this. I was spoilering easter on my little brother, informing him with glee that no such entity as the easter bunny actually existed. But santy? he asked. No, no santy either. The tooth fairy. Duh, no tooth fairy. And so it went on. Until he asked a very good question (genius for a four year old, I suppose) WHY do grown-ups tell us all these things that are not true?
So we are good, I said, to make us afraid if we are not good we won't get our presents.
And baby Jesus? He wanted to know. Is baby jesus made up to make us be good as well?
Of course! I replied... and then paused. Wait. There is somethign wrong here. My brain started to churn. Christmas is a few toys stuffed in a  stocking, and clothes and school supplies we need anyway. Easter, a chocolate egg, tooth fairy a 10p under our pillow. But baby jesus? Thats a whole other ball game. Thats something that goes on all the time. Thats a giant building at the end of the street towering over the entire town, thats our parents putting money on the collection plate every sunday that we would only dream of having to spend in the sweet shop. It suddenly didn't make sense. So I took the little ones with me, and we walked up to that monstrous cathederal at the top of our hill, and snuck into the back pew to 'say our prayers'. And, on a non-mass time spring saturday morning I looked around me. A scattering of old ladies praying thier rosary in that otherwise empty cavernous space - none of them with children to be made to behave. And thats when it struck me, baby jesus is grown-ups santa, and we kids just get the fall out.

That was the day I realised, of course baby Jesus is made up - its a very silly story anyway, and couldn't possibly be true, but (and here's the shocker) grown-ups don't know this! And so, following the logic, I guessed that priests and nuns are to ordinary grown ups what grown ups are to kids - the controlers, the ones who tell the stories to make them be good. And if I *knew* the truth, then I too would become a controler. I had enough sense to know that if I went home and stated that I knew baby jesus was a lie I'd have the shit kicked out of me, so I only gave the second half of the revilation. I went up to the church and realised I'm going to grow up and be a nun! It was proably the only time in my entire life I saw aproval in my mothers eyes, mixed with a kind of horror its taken me to adulthood to understand. I continued to insist until adolesence that I was going to be a nun. Quite funny really.

Anyway, there is a point to that story. I realised I was an atheist when I was 8 (or more accuratly, realised that most grown-ups aren't, which was quite shocking to me). This is who I am. I am not a gullible person. Do not tell me a story and expect me to accept it as a tennant of faith, for I will not. I will, however, look at two other acpects, where is the evidence and logic of your story, and why are you telling me, what is your motive. As that funny old methodology lecurer in Trinity used to say 'It could have been otherwise' and in exploring the otherwise, knowledge is found. I suppose in my own way I've been a sociologist from that time.

All that brings me on to my current health crisis. The idiot doctors are suggesting that, because they haven't found clear evidence yet of a cause of my illness, that therefore it does not exist. That it is somehow 'in my mind' instead. They are shoving Freudian psyco-babble down my throat, and I'm playing along and agreeing to go see thier neuro-psyciatrist for now, so I can get access to the physiotherapy I need. Oh, how like a cavernous cathederal it is. Yes, you can send your kids to school, but only if you behave the way we like for our good catholic school (the only one in the town). Yes, you can access supports around your disability, but only if you play the game, and admit that its 'not real' (the only option available to you). And the real definition of madness is to keep on carrying out the same action you always have, magically expecting different results. This is a very mad system.

So, where is the evidence, and where is the logic? The evidence, first of all, clearly points to physical disease. My reflexes are wonky, the doctors can clearly see whats not working right. They just can't explain why because I don't have MS  or brain cancer. Woptdedo. I'm supposed to be delighted by this? I'm slowly dying here while a black beast eats me alive from the inside out. Just because you cannot name it, does not mean it is not there. The base line physical evidence is actually very simple.
Where is the logic? Is it logic to say - we have ruled out physical, therefore we jump to the dichotomy of that and lable it mental? No, that is not logic, for that is based on aintent, totally outdated cartesian philosophy shoved through a filter of freudian psycoanalysis.
Becasue, on the most simple level, it is NOT logical to suggest that the mind and body are a duality. If that were so, getting drunk would not be possible.  But we know that drugs (physical) alter mental states, that the brain is a physical organ, and there is no seperate 'mind' - not in any real logical sense. The body is not a machine seperate from the mind, but equally the mind is not a floating mysterious object seperate from the body. They are one. There is no duality, and that is why an explaination that insists that there IS a duality is doomed to failure. So far, this looks a little like I'm advocating that the mind can have control over the body, and therefore arguing for the doctors diagnosis... but when you look into it a bit further, it gets more complicated than that. Because whats actually true is that, since the mind and body are one, they have profound effects on eachother. Get the flu and you will feel miserable (body affects mind), get stressed and you are more susceptable to heart-attacks (mind affects body). But thats precisely why 'its all in your mind' is not an answer to any illness. IBS is a totally psycosomatic illness, it is nowadays suggested. It still gets medical treatment. Droping dead of a heart attack is the ultimate life-style and stress induced physical event. If heart-attacks were treated by neuro-psycs then they would stand over the rappidly dying almost-corpse and say 'we are not going to do anything about this because its caused by your mental state, and therefore you can just stop it'.

Cartesian philospophy as a route of understanding medicine has been utterly discreditied. That the mind and body are not seperate dualites but in reality one and the same entitiy has long been established, but the idea of a 'conversion disorder' goes further than this, because it also posits not only a mind link, but also an 'unconsious' mind link. I, for one, am fully aware of all my consiousness, and percieve no rationality to the idea that this is 'another' me under the surface that I know nothing about. And this is where we fall far further into tennants of faith. How the hell can anyone prove that someone has an 'unconsious' mind that fakes illness? It is an inherently closed system of belief that is neither provable nor disprovable. It is identical to religion. Argue with a religious believer long enough, and even if they tolerate your logic and evidence for a while, they will resourt to 'you don't have the gift of faith' or 'you just have to accept these things, they are miricals' or my mothers favourite 'it's not supposed to make sense' or some such closed loop defensive thinking after a while. 'Conversion disorders' are an identical closed-loop belief system. You could never, ever prove that someone has one, for the simple reason that you can never, ever prove that someone doesn't have one. Give me a totally healthy person, and I'll find some tiny tick somewhere that I'll then show you la belle indifference towards. You can only accept it on faith. And until the theory can be made either falsifiable or verifiable, then it has no place in a thinking persons repotoire of possible answers. It is no different from religion.

But, as said earlier, the researcher has not finished until they have asked 'why is it this way, and not otherwise?' Where is the gain that the doctors or patients get from diagnosing so called 'conversion disorders'? From what I've seen so far its really very simple. It doesn't help the patient in any way. The 'cure' rate for conversion disorders from the journals I've read so far is considerably lower than even a placebo effect should produce.  You have some chance of Cognitive behaviour therapy helping if A) you have had symptoms of only a short duration, b) had symptoms that started suddenly c) have no neurological signs whatsoever (the US clinic that churned out this batch of journal articles would not accept me as a patient because of my reflexes giving positive nurological signs of illness) and d) are less well educated (easier to brain wash). And thats a tiny proportion of all patients. The vast majority stay sick and get worse. So, if 'therapy' doesn't work, why are all patients sent that way? Because it controls help-seeking behaviour, I'm guessing from what I've observed so far, and frees up neurologists offices of the patients they can't explain, leaving it free for those they can, making them feel less impotent and powerless. I know from my own experience that, following the horrendouse episode of three years ago I've not only not gone to the doctor until now, but activly hidden my neurological problems from doctors when there with unrelated problems so as not to open that can of worms. It took a huge worsening before I was willing to reconsider, and after this, well... I'd want to bloody well stop breathing altogether or something before I'd be willing to subject myslef to such hell in the future. And the medical profession wins. Glorying in thier own potency and power. There sits the 'otherwise'.



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I don't know if I will get better or not. That is indeed the big question. And its the one consuming me right now. I need to battle, scream, yell and fling myslef at this illness until I beat it, but there are two ways it could go. I could spontaniously get better soon, go into remission as it were, or this could be it, this could be my new level, and I have to adapt, learn to cope, figure out how to deal  with this amount of physical strength I have now.
I hope to return to better than I am, but hope is a funny thing. It can only exist in the presence of fear. If I wasn't afraid of the bad outcome, I wouldn't need to hope for the good one, I'd simply know. And the hope-and-fear are atrophying me. I don't see a clear path through the dangerous swamp ahead because I don't know which of the paths I see ahead of me will be the real one.

I've been thinking about it, and one thing I particularly fear is that, if anything, I've been misleading the doctors. I keep talking of 'massive attacks' where my symptoms get suddenly worse, followed by improvments and steadying out. But I bought myslef my first disability aid yesterday (more on that later) and it really set me thinking. I've been so busy telling doctors about the worse times and the better times, but what I'm really telling them about is not the underlying illness but my coping skills and ability to adapt.

When this illness first hit I fell apart, and played up to it, and say 'I can't' a lot. The doctors on exam would ask me to squees thier fingers and I'd go 'uhh' and do something pathetic and not try becasue I was terrified by this sudden loss of mussle strength and needed them to see how bad it was, and they saw my lack of effort and wrote me off as a fraud. but it only took the first 6 weeks or so before I decided, fuck, I'm going to beat this thing, and began to find ways of being strong again. But I was already not seeing the doctors any more.
This time around in the hospital I didn't do that. When they said 'squeese my fingers' I'd enjoy the chance to cause some minor discomfort to the doctors in return for all the discomfort they caused me, and from that they were able to see the illness more accuratly - a mussle weakness that is profound in my upper arms and legs but does not affect my lower arms and legs when I'm lying in a position that my sholders or hips are supported. I've been telling them this ALL ALONG, I can knit but not reach something down from a shelf, ever. But of course nothing I tell them has any validity until they can see it for themselves. And then still not.

And so, the question becomes, did I get over the loss of strength the first time not because I spontaniouly 'got better' but because I learned not to put items I need often on high shelves, and not to reach up, but to stand on a stool to get it down? And so my illness stopped being visible. Because if I'm not trying to do something I can't then there is no visible illness. Normal adjusts to what I can do, and then my life becomes 'normal', I don't have to see myslef as a sick person, and all importantly, others don't have to see me as a sick person.

I think in particular about the first year I lived here in England. That was the key time that I felt 'in remission', that I talked about (wrote here in my journal about) being OK, all the neuro stuff dying down. But as I think about it, I can think about a million adaptions I have made. What was significant in that year was that, on moving country I had no choice but to re-write my life, and did so based on my capabilities, and so created a life without physical strain.  I took a consious decision when I moved over that I may be living in the heart of London, but I would not try to go and see any art gallaries or museums, because thats the kind of walking that triggers the weakness fastest. I met friends in hiking dykes, but laughted when asked to join. I leared to shop on the internet as I can't do supermarkets. I bought all kinds of different gadgets for the kitchen to accomodate the things I cannot do. And slowly, insidiously, almost beyond my notice, the tremor spread from my right to my left, the weakness from my hips to my sholders, and all this migration where the illness colonised new areas has happened NOT when I've been in a 'massive attack' but during the coping times, where I've adapted at the same speed and not let it interfere with daily life, and not gone running to doctors saying 'its getting worse, its getting worse'.

But now the illness has hit a critical mass point. I cnnot walk without walking aids. I cannot do simple things like shower or cook food without massive difficulty, and its been time to take my head out of the sand and yell for help - a help that has not been forthcomming. But even in yelling for help I've been going out of my way to tell the doctors 'because this has happened before, I know its only temporary, simptoms will not go away, but they will lesson off again'. But what if they don't? What if the only change in the past has been me coping, and the only change in the future will be me coping?

And so, yesterday, with fear and horror and disbelief at what I was doing, I ordered a 'perching stool' over the internet - a tall stool with a sloping seat for people who are 'less able to stand' to lean on when doing kitchen work and so still carry out tasks at a sink or counter. And I can't help but wonder - will this be the new remission? Crutches and wheelchairs and perching stools? Because up till now my mantra has been I'm not disabled, just a little differently abled. And what of the future - do I move house, install grab bars by my shower and toilet (ever tried to wipe yourslef when your legs won't lift you the inch you need from the toilet seat? I really need a grab bar for beside the toilet right now) And so, I think of coping strategies, but they all involve major changes I can't aford, like moving house, or items like grab bars that are unambiguously disability aids.  And I'm not a happy camper right now.

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I am 100% out of cope.

yesterday morning I thought I could cope, because I hadn't tried yet. I phoned work and asked to come back off sick leave - no more reason to stay out, if things aren't going to change. Work made an appointment for me to see occupational health for the 22nd to assess if I'm fit enough to come back. Yesterday I thought that was good, today I think there is no point going for that appointment. There is not a chance in hell.

Since I got home from the hospital wednesday night I've eaten twice - a pizza Susan bought for me, and a bean-burger in First Out last night, except I was too tired to eat the second meal, it kept going up my nose instead of down my throat as my throat spasamed instead of swalloing properly, and I just threw it up again.
I know I should eat, not in a hungry-hungry way, just in a logical 'eating is sensible' kind of way, but I cannot stand without the crutches long enough to open the tin of beans, or pop the toast in the toaster, so not eating becomes the easier option, and I know that can't be helping with the daily worsening weakness.

I got out of the hospital wednesday night, felt like death, and slept after the pizza. Yesterday I stayed in bed all day, and then headed out to the usual meet-up. Big mistake. even only 2 weeks ago it would have been the sensible thing to do. Yes, the yourney is hard, and takes me an hour and a half instead of half an hour that it should, but once I get there I can just sit down and have people bring me what I need. It actually is easier than cooking at home. The First Out staff are lovely and know me well. Except I couldn't get there. I just couldn't walk even the tiny short distances between tube conections. I ended up lying on the street, phoning friends and asking them to come and get me. I sat for an hour, tried to eat, and headed home. Except I ended up lying on the street within yards of the pub, and deciding that the 20 quid for a taxi was worth it, because it was that or an ambulance. I wasn't getting up again. Friends had to call the taxi, and the taxi driver had to pick me up and put me in it.

Thismorning I tried going to the shop accross the road for some urgently needed cat litter. The shop is right across the road from my house. it took me three quarters of an hour and I had to lie on my floor in the hallway and just shake when I got back.

This afternoon I had wanted to meet Conan for coffee somewhere in town, and thisevening I wanted to go to the gay kiss-in. Tomorrow I wanted to go to the Hat party. I'm profoundly realising that none of these things are options. Not unless I use taxies door to door, which I cannot afford.

But if I cannot travel from one place to another on a simple short journey that just involves sitting down and socialising at the other end, then how the FUCK am I going to get back to work? I feel profoundly angry right now, and all out of cope. Its probably good that my arms are too weak at the moment to lift a hammer, because if I could I'd smash the shit out of the universe. This is not fair!
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I'm looking for a collection of the most stupid questions that generally healthy people ask for a little project. To anyone here with any kind of chronic illness/disability, whats most anoying - is it the 'have you tried rescue remidy' brigade, or just the endless 'whats wrong with you then? The stupider the better - entertain me!
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I marched for the alternative. Sort of. I added my voice to the very many. How many exactly?  A few thousand, over a million – who knows? I’ll go with the higher number, just based on what I saw.

I marched for the alternative, and was very glad I did. It was a wonderful feeling – the one time that maybe, that silly political slogan of being ‘all in it together’ actually seemed like a reality. Stupid o’clock for a Saturday morning (or 9am to be precise) I headed to the train station and struggled with the first flight of steps of the day. On the platform stood a small woman with a giant furled banner, and that’s where the excitement started to mount. I don’t do soccer, but maybe that’s what brings sports fans together – that ability to look down a railway platform and see a comrade – someone that can be spotted on sight. I felt an overwhelming urge, so unlike my normal self, to go and chat to my fellow marcher, but was just a bit to proper for that at 9am.

Struggling through the interchanges on the underground – seeking out the routes with step free access, I shared lifts with 2 families of mums-and-kids all heading the same way. Children proudly sporting their parents union badges, with whistles round their necks. The kids I did wish good luck too.

On route to Soho square I saw my first group of pink and black clad people – no one I recognised, but wearing the distinctive colours choses to signify those marching with the Queer Resistance block. With an extra skip and jump, I arrived at the park, to join the general gathering.  It felt like a little party – the mood was, perhaps, slightly nervous, but dominated by friendliness and joviality. Chatting to friends old and new, with a quick detour to Starbucks to use the loo. 130 people turned out to Soho square, and the effort that was made in general to wear the designated pink was just amazing. We looked great, we sounded great.


 

 

At about 11 we headed on to meet up with the other LGBT blocs at Charring Cross. I struggled along on my crutches, enjoying the easy pace of the walk and the wonderful cheerful company. Huge rainbow flags greeted us as we arrived where another 30 or so LGBT protesters had gathered to join the rally. Finally we headed off to merge with the main rally on embankment. The route was slightly chaotic. I couldn’t help wondering if the police had not been told the march was going to happen. We closed roads by force of numbers as we walked, but there was no barricades – most of the bus drivers seemed happy to let us pass, one lone car driver got quite irate and tried to turn a corner as perhaps 1000 people (us and at least one other feeder march) walked down a footpath and an inside lane of the road.

The closer we got to the main rally point the larger the crowd got. Long before I had expected we were many. People were everywhere, people with joy and anger, voices raided in chants and songs, proud banners raised high. Banners of every description were held up with pride. Most of those near us were education focused, which made me feel particularly at home. The London School of Economics UCU branch were directly behind us, and a primary education group with excellently executed placards were in front. By that point I began to stagger and fall quite a bit and realised that my plan to just go to the beginning of the march was perhaps misplaced. Here I was, caught up in the very centre of things, having walked too far already, and not yet there.

A long slow walk around the corner, filled with singing, dancing, drumming, and finally we were, technically, on embankment, at last. By that point I could no longer manage at all. 2 men came up, and assisted me to the side – they could see that there was a little park to the side of where we were. After a lengthy sit-down I was able to get to my feet again, and head the next few steps to embankment station. A very grumpy police officer was shuttering the entrance and not allowing any one else in – I’ve no idea why, people were still streaming out the other side. I fell on the steps, and looked up at him a bit helplessly. ‘I’ve got to get home now’ I said to him, I can’t walk any further. He slid open the shutters wide enough to let through a mother with a small child, and came down and basically carried me up the steps (I still do not understand why no one else was being let in. No one else really wanted in, anyway)

However, that was my March. It ended by me being helped through embankment station by 2 police officers and 3 Transport for London staff who did everything they could to help, and then some. It actually got a bit embarrassing as my muscular disease responds well to rest, so by the time I’d sat on the tube for 20 minutes I could stand again, with the crutches anyway – but because the police had officially asked TfL for help getting me home, they rang ahead to every station on my slightly convoluted route, and someone was there to meet me and get me onto the next part of my journey.

All I’d planned to do was see the march off, and in the end, that’s exactly what I did, leaving at the start, but somehow I left the house at 9am and didn’t get home until about 3. I had notions of going back to meet the others again at the 6.30 meet up at Hyde Park, but my body had other ideas and I spend the rest of the day in bed.

It was physically hard, and left me sicker than usual for the next few days, but worth every second, and I only wish I could have stayed around longer, maybe gone on to Fortune and Masons.

 

 

 

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This isn't going to be a science post. The science exists, its out there. Developental psycology has been working away for the last 200 years, and none of it suggests in any way that any 2 year old benefits from being taught to read. Some of it sugests that it might actually be quite harmful.

But no, this post isn't about that. Its about the idiotic  classism of the middle class parents who choose to sing the lalala song in thier heads when anyone points out the above, because they WANT to teach thier toddlers to read, and TOTALLY IGNOR ALL THE SCIENCE AND EXPERTS
who say 'please don't do it'.
Because somehow they can show that they are more intelligent, that thier progeny are more intelligent, by doing something so totally dumb? Honestly, how does that work? I can prove how intelligent I am by ignoring all given knowledge?
Its the same with maths. ALL science shows that maths learning is developmental, closely tied to a childs age. So *all* 3 year olds (short of MAJOR developmental delays) can be taught to recit times tables. NO 3 year old can possibly understand multiplication. Pure and simple. Teach your three year old to recite multiplication tables and what are you doing? YOU ARE BEING AN IDIOT! You are waisting your time and theirs on something with no poetry, no soul, no real learning potential of any sort. *At the right age* all other kids will catch up in a week what it took you a year to teach your kid. So was that really a year well spent? When you think of how many other things you could have been teaching your child? Things that ONLY a 2 year old can learn. Like the importance of a hug when your sad, and why sharing biscuits is more fun than eating them by yourslef, and how bridges are real but trolls are not, and mammy's fairy tales are more fun than the ones in books because her princesses kick ass, and after the corner past the lions in the zoo always come the llamas. Seriously, you want to spend THAT important time doing for months what a trained teacher can do in a week at the right time?

Conor at three could sort of read - some words - but mostly that came from knowing that story time was his favourite time of day. He also knew the order of every animal in the zoo, and had memorised the entire compound so he could always shout out the name of what was coming next. A few silly people had weak-kneed moments thinking they had encountered a genuinly psycic child when I had to stop and explain that the maternal relative had purchased a season ticket for us as a chirstmas present and we came every week. The child wasn't a genius (sorry, Conor). He just had a deep and abiding love of all things four legged and furry.
In addition, something he discovered totally on his own was the range of colours that existed. A social worker tested and recorded him on one rather strange occasion. She was mesmerised, I'd taken it for granted. Because it had just seemed like a normal part of my child, (of every child?) - the fact that at 2 years and 9 months he could name 30 colours accurately. The poor old SW had made the mistake of calling 'peach' orange, and Conor was quick to put her right. He went to his toy box, got a colour wheel he had made me read to him so many times, and correctly named 30 shades from it. She got her recording equipment out and made him do it again.
But the thing is, Conor as a baby loved colour, he found it on his own, he played with it on his own. he refused to paint or colour in - getting endlessly frustrated at his inability to make things life-like, but would mix colours from his paint pots, giggling away and crowing loudly at every succesful mix. I used to call him my little mad alchemist. This wasn't something I showed him, this wasn't something anyone showed him, it was HIM, aserting his own artistisc self, as he had every right in the world to do.

Now my wonderful, stupendous baby boy is finishing his BTEC, (in art and design, of course) and already has three uni offers (in animation, his life long dream) from, he tells me, the top 3 unis in the UK for that  subject. I watch him with our new born kittens, who are all on antibiotics as a precaution although only one was sick. He has taken over caring for them and is swift in giving the drops, and calm, and competent and caring as anyone could guess he would grow up to be, even seeing his little 2 year old self strapped in the buggy learning to love every single animal in the zoo.
I look at him now, at 18, getting ready for university, and I know all the more that letting him learn what he wanted to learn, when he was ready to learn it, was so seriously the right decision. We were trying to fill in Student Finance England Forms together yesterday, and took the decision that he needed to bring it in to college and ge the career guidance person to fill it in for him. Because we just couldn't. We kept arguing about the precise meaning of every question, where his very dyslexic mind was clashing with my very dyslexic mind, until we conceeded that this was written by muggles, for muggles, and needed to be filled in by muggles. He will always be dyslexic, and will probably always need help with forms. its not that he has any trouble reading - he doesn't - he was after all the best reader in his class at 4, and only today all household activity had to stop because he lost his Necronomicon ( which turned out to be a book. How was I to know? Geesh!) He just can't do forms.
He will still read himself to sleep with his necronomicon every night, but in part (in major part) because it gives him vivid dreams, vivid images, to animate in his waking hours. He will never do forms, he will never do phonics. End of story. If he had been forced into those things too early, too exclusivly, I dread to think how that could have stilted, stimied, totally stopped my artistic, creative, beautiful baby, who dreams in technicolour and gives off a magnetic attraction that makes the grumpiest cat or dog instantly compliant and affectionate.


Anyway- what am I actually saying? If any of my few friends on here suddenly found thesleves carers of a 2 year old, what I'm really saying is that - TRUST YOUR CHILDS TEACHER! They were selected from interview for sutability out of many, trained for betweeen 3 and 5 years, and KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Its thier job and they are paid for it. Its your job to be a parent - to love - to take your little one out into that glorious technicolour world we live in, and start pointing out the joy. Which will never be achieved in stuffy rooms with flash cards.

todays post has been brought to you by one LJ post on the importance of books to babies (which I never actually answered- like so many things they are useful BUT REPLACEABLE because they don't suit all families, and no one should be guilt triped for not using them)
One gingerbeer thread on 'teaching my toddler to read' where every single teacher has pleaded with the mother to stop, but she and her cronies have ignored those posts because it suits thier particular middle-class snobbishness to keep going
and a bottle of echo falls white zinfandel. That was the yummiest part - but is sadly now empty.
thksgenbai


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Thats been done 4 times this year already thanks very much.
And besides which, how in the hell is 'being aware of breast cancer' a good thing?

I get up in the morning. I'm aware of breast cancer. I brush my teath. I'm aware of breast cancer. I eat my breakfast, and oh lordy, I'm aware of breast cancer. And so it goes on during the day untill somewhere around midnight I'm going to bed, wanting to slit my wrists over breast cancer.
Seriously, what has been achieved. Is any money raised by all this awareness? No
Is it a promotion of healthy living that would avoid breast cancer developing? No
Are people with breast cancer specifically discriminated against in society in ways that sufferers of other illness aren't? No

Will me being aware of breast cancer all day every day help even one person, even the tiniest bit? No

Is there other consiousness raising stuff I could be doing? Oh, hell yeah.

So f*ck off with your turn facebook pink campaigns already. Its been done to death. and thatsd the only reason you are doing it, just to jump on the bandwaggon, you silly silly people - and deep down you must know that, you manipulative f*cks. It's adolesent playground cr*p, defining the 'in' groups who are 'good' people and the 'out' groups who are not 'good' people. Thats all it is.

kthnksbai

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I keep telling myself that if I could start with a small target, like making a proper post every day on a sensible topic, I could perhaps drag myslef out of the bed-rest doldrums somewhat.
Having nothing to do is killing me, andleaving me doing nothing, including hte 2 essays I should be writing, and, and and and... and all the many things I could be doing.

It's driving me NUTS!

Of Kittens

Mar. 10th, 2011 01:41 pm
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We have kittens! 3 of them. They are tiny, and black, and go *meep* a lot. others who see them are compelled to go *squee* endlessly. They will be 2 weeks old on saturday and are starting to get big enough for visitors, if anyone wants to see tiny cute adorable kitties while they are still very very tiny
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On Saturday a group of us headed to Brighton for the day. This was a trip I'd suggested weeks ago, before the dark beast started his current raging, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. And I decided not to cancel just because I'm a stubborn bitch and won't give in. I'm glad I stuck with it, too.

Anyway, I had 2 choices - bring a borrowed wheel chair with me, or hire one when I got there. I opted for the latter as my local train station is totally inaccessible and my only way onto the train network is on the crutches. Arriving at London Bridge I was delighted to see so many people waiting. There ended up being 11 of us in all. I knew 4 were coming but it’s hard to tell when arraigning something over the internet if others will turn up or not. I had met about half the people before, so the group ranged from good friends to totally new friends. It was a really lovely mix. The perfect balance of getting to meet new people without the stress of not knowing anyone.

The first 2 trains were cancelled, the ticket machines were broken so people got caught up in queues and panicking to collect their pre-booked tickets as the train departure time came and went. Usual TFL in other words. Finally we all managed to get on to a very overcrowded train. Not surprising since the previous 2 trains were cancelled. 3 train loads of people trying to squash onto one train, but it made the journey there somewhat unpleasant.

We arrived and made the short walk down from the station to the beach in record time. Record for slowness that is. Not speed. Despite physically struggling I really enjoyed the walk. My first time smelling the sea and hearing sea-gulls since moving to London a year and a half ago. I've never been to Brighton before in my life, but it gave me that instant 'at home feeling' that sea-side towns tend to evoke in me. It was therefore a lovely amble down the street trying to find the shop mobility place, even though we did lose the main group and somehow kind of got lost ourselves on a clear straight stretch of road - if that’s possible.  And it was at that point we discovered that it is only OK to need a wheelchair in Brighton Monday to Friday. All people with mobility issues are expected to miraculously recover from 5pm Friday to 9am Monday. Or stay in bed and only semi-exist perhaps. Something like that. Now we had problems. Couldn't get a wheelchair on the train, and now can't get a wheelchair having got off the train. Not good for Susan or myself. There wasn't much choice left except manage the day with as much resting as possible and breaking all walking stretches into bite-sizes pieces.

Next challenge was meeting up with the rest of the group who had got separated. Phone calls were made. Texts were sent. Meeting spots were agreed where no one then showed up although we waited around for half of forever. And then the 2 of us headed for the pier because that’s where we (wrongly) thought the rest had gone. There is in fact a difference between a pier and a promenade and this is why precise language can be important. But never mind. The point is we made it to the pier and the others joined us there. We all went for fish and chips and it was wonderful. Now, when I say wonderful I mean that it was fantastic company, and everyone seemed relaxed and happy and chatting away and there was a really friendly atmosphere. The fish and chip restaurant on the other hand sucked! I really liked it at first - a funny place that tried too hard to make fast-food posh. They had kings pattern cutlery with proper fish-knives in all place settings. It  gave me a little nostalgic smile and made me think of my grandmother and what she would have considered a proper day trip to the beach. The cost was quite reasonable too. Having seen the bill I know it worked out at an average of ten quid - although obviously that varied person to person. The problem arose with the staff. They were not busy, and they got less busy as time went on. But somehow they couldn't manage our one group of 11. Orders were forgotten. Repeatedly. Food was not brought to the table. Staff sulked and brought us our bill and stood around waiting for their money when the deserts and coffee hadn't arrived yet. We then stayed. For ages. And enjoyed doing so. When we finally did put the bill together they played their own little games and wouldn't come back to our table to get it from us, standing there staring instead - so in the end we had to all get up and walk out leaving the cash (sans tip, naturally) on the table. It was very childish of them but not enough to ruin what was shaping up to be an enjoyable day.

From there we walked down the rest of the pier towards the amusements. I fundamentally do not get why anyone would want to get on a spinning thing that goes round and round and makes them sick and fear for their life- but, you know, each to their own and YKIOK and all that. I had great fun watching others. I just kept my feet sensibly on the ground. Or wooden planks above the ocean in this case. I also bumped into an old friend I hadn't seen in years, but more about that in some other post. This is also where I discovered that watching out for 11 lesbians around Brighton Pier is a lot like herding cats, or minding mice on roundabouts, or some such. I had occasional wibbles  that I had 'organised' this day and I wasn't doing a very good job of taking care of people. Except everyone there was an adult and competent and capable, and on a purely physical level I was past being able to take care of myself at that point. If involved in something similar again I will suggest set times and meet up spots so that no one has to worry about where the wanderers have gone. Most of us already had at least some other peoples phone numbers but that wasn't much use when background noise was so loud that phone use was virtually impossible. So yes, lesson learned for another occasion, but again we were still having a good time. There was something for everyone, and personally I would a computer game machine that let me kill zombies. Happy times. I also really wanted to win one of the supermario cuddly toys but I'm not enough of a gambler to actually bother putting money into the machine. I'd rather just buy one if I found them on sale.

And finally we headed to the Marlborrogh for a drink and to meet up with the last 2 beeries. There was beer, (or cider in my case) and fun gingerbeeries hanging out playing pool, and everyone relaxing having a good time. And pretty girls snogging down the other end of the bar if you wanted something to ogle. This is life when it works well. Although apparently a fight broke out after we left! Typical that we would end up missing all the excitement.

Anyway, that just left a taxi back to the train station - with the more hardy ones walking, and we were homeward bound again. A carriage almost to ourselves this time instead of standing room only on the way up. So one final hour of chatting and laughing and planning where and when different Pride events are happening.

I didn't actually get to go down to the shore-line which is a shame, even thought I really wanted to. Or get to see any of the many, many things I'd made a list of in advance that can be done in Brighton.  We actually did very little - just hung out and enjoyed the atmosphere of a busy sea-side town. And I guilt-trip myself a bit  that it was my mobility difficulties set the pace for the day and others would have had a lot more fun without me there but most people most of the time looked like they were having a blast.

So ... pride. The beast should be back in its cage by then, I'll be back on my feet, and if the whole group goes ahead and block-books a youth hostel now, as planned, then Brighton Pride should be awesome.  I feel a spot of nagging coming on to get people to commit.


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This is a test post ... while contemplating abandoning my old home on livejournal due to the overinvasivness of the adds recently

So basically all I have to say here is:

test post
test post
test post
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The dawn had a particularly grey, cold feel this morning. Not surprising, really. Only yesterday Brittan clung to the last vestiges of a welfare state. This morning, this ConDemNation boasts the most expensive 3rd level education fees in the entire ‘western’ world. It is, after today, more expensive to send your child to university in England than it is in the United States.  The United Kingdom is the only country in the ‘Western’ World to have a specific policy of abolishing all arts, humanities and Social Science education, and providing it with zero state support.

Last night, as the sun went down, that was not yet so. There was still a sliver of hope. There was still a trembling, fearful belief that perhaps, if enough voices were raised, someone might listen.  And it was in that spirit that I tried to join the rally and candle-lit vigil on Victoria Embankment. It was not an easy journey, what with tubes not running and stations closed. You would almost suspect that the powers-that-be did not want us there. I should have been early, but the complicated rout and barricades made finding the rally difficult, and speeches had started by the time I arrived. The crowd seemed, if anything, disappointingly small, and one of the first announcements was that the organisers had been informed that many various parts of the protest were being kept separate, so we would not be joining/joined by any others, and apologies for the small numbers. Still, it did not take long for numbers to swell. And while I can only assume from looking at the people around me that they too were mostly lecturers, there was many other groups, Trade Unions and associations present and ready with their banners. I ended up, having straggled in by myself, standing right next to the ‘Pensioners Against Fees’ group. Four grey haired elderly gentlemen, not one could possibly be a day under 80, and still between them they carried not only a gigantic banner that has to have been 12 or 15 feet tall, but also personal placards speaking of the grandchildren they were thinking of that day.

That was my protest yesterday. A sedate little affair for the most part, and mainly in the company of some very elderly and truly gentle men. And yet, though we were kept strictly and forcibly away from parliament square where the students demonstrated, we saw scenes that would have brought a sense of shame on Stalinist Russia. We were ordered off the road with no acknowledgment that we were barricaded in on all sides and had nowhere to go but the river, so that many hundreds of heavily armed storm troopers could come running through in formation.  And time and again we were interrupted by deeply anxious looking ambulances under police guard, going in either direction. To and from Parliament square.

5 O’Clock came, and as Big Ben, right above our heads, chimed the hour we held out candle-lit vigil – with glow sticks. Word had come down from the police that we were not allowed form as a crowd with real candles for a candle lit vigil. Apparently, they didn’t trust what we might do with the candles, and I’m making no suggestions here, though I have plenty of ideas, as to what that might be! We stood, sadly and sedately, waving our pathetic little glow sticks to music, until 5.30 when the vote was cast. First the news came though that 2 members of parliament had resigned rather than vote for the increase in university fees, and there was much cheering for we knew that at least we had now damaged and weakened this pernicious government.  Later, we heard it was not enough. By very narrow majority, the vote was passed, and there was first a wave of petrified silence. The sound of sobbing shattered our shock and the collective roar of anger followed. At first each latched on their own word, if any at all, to place structure on their angry roar, but in time one vocalisation took over from the others.

Strike, strike, strike

But those on the podium, safe on the top of the bus from which they addressed us rabble, merely shook their heads. No, they would not use their leadership to call a strike, though the crowd of thousands at their feet roared, cried, begged and pleaded for it with one voice. Strikes cannot be called without due procedure, and having, in the eyes of the organisers, now started to behave like petulant children we were then sent home. Our leaders became the mouth piece for the state that chose to strip of all that we do, all that we are. ONE road is being opened for us to exit from. We may go THAT way. All routes to Parliament square, and any other location where protesters are gathered are blocked, so please don’t try. Well, try we did, but sadly what we were told proved to be correct. It was possible to get from where we were to one very scary tube station, and nowhere else. Perhaps if I had kept walking, and walking, I could eventually have got beyond and around the police cordons, but at that stage my strength was truly gone. I was limping severely and could only stay standing with the support of the wall. My arthritic hips had had enough – 3 hours on my feet in the cold was more than they could tolerate. Seeing me limp produced a strange reaction from the teaming multitude of police. An immediate and clear assumption that I had been hurt while up to no good crossed their minds. While walking down a road deserted but for about 20 police, 2 chose to walk along side me, shoulder to shoulder, one left, one right, touching up against me – IN TOTAL AND ABSOLUTE SILENCE, without addressing me, just looking down upon me from their patriarchal height. Fuck it, I though, time to go home – and allowed myself to be herded into the terror of the underground. It was so crowded that it wasn’t possible to actually step off the escalator without falling on to the ground. Every single one of us fell, and we ended up in a twisted bundle of limbs belonging to about 20 people – finally disentangling ourselves we got to our feet only to see it happen again to those behind us.

Somewhat dazed and profoundly saddened I found myself at least on the central line at last, and in sight of a sensible journey home. But I chose not to go. For once I was home I could switch on the news, and the sickening truth of what those ambulances were all about could not be denied. I got off in Tottenham Court Road and headed to First Out, in the hope that some of the Thursday crowd were around. No one was – either that or I was in too much of a daze to recognise them – for many hours later checking Gingerbeer many said that they would be there. Either way, I sat for an hour, ate a dinner and waited until my legs worked again, before braving the rest of the journey home, on a now spookily deserted underground.

 

I still have not found the courage to check the news. I spent the day in the hospital not because of any crisis but for a scheduled appointment discussing impending hip surgery. Checking the news channels and newspapers I was not, for I had other things on my mind. So far, I have seen nothing but my face book feed, and that does not bode well, with reference after reference to students, violence and injury. Let me just finish so by saying this. I was there. I was prevented from joining the main group in parliament square, I was at the University College Unions vigil on Victoria Embankment. Like many other groups, we were kept separate and apart from each other.

I saw no violence. Except from the police.

I saw no intimidation. Except from the police.

I saw no cruelty. Except from the police.

I saw no brutality. Except from the police.

 

I saw perhaps 1,000 people gather on a street to practice their democratic rights and protest a wickedly evil bill no member of the electorate gave any mandate for.

 

Oh, and I will finish on this last note. I saw one member of the police force, by himslef, having removed his riot helmet so he could converse with the crowd, wish us luck and express a strong hope that we win and the bill is defeated. He seemed like a righteous dude if there ever was one. Perhaps one day we will meet again and I can buy him a drink.

 

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So many thanks to everyone who came along last night, and collectivly made for a wonderful party. Hugs and gratitude to everyone.

And blagtently stealing from [livejournal.com profile] friend_of_tofu , if you want to say hi to anyone that wqas also at the party, and/or friend them on facebook or here, then this is the thread to do that.

Obviously, I'm Ciara, the party was in my house, I was in the black corsett, and as the night wore on and I got uncomfy, I changed into the wonderful red jammies with blue dressinggown. Totally fab and sexy (not!)
If you are reading this, you are on my friends list anyway, so you already know that ... but still, your go now...
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OK, I know the chances are one in a million, but stranger things have happened!

I need a bed. 2 would be better, but thats being greedy.

Una arrives over in 2 weeks and at the moment she only has the really uncomfortable camp bed to sleep on. Its been manageable up to now as she has only been staying for a week or 2 at a time and then going back to college. She will now be here for at least the entire summer and possibly a lot longer since she has finished her degree and is looking for another course/work mainly in London.

I will have to buy one for her, and at some time soon, buy one for myself too, as the one I'm sleeping on is really bad, and affects my sleep. All of that is fine in the long run. On 31st July I will have been here a year and will be able to apply for credit. So its not like its a total crisis situation.

However, if any of my friends just happened to have a bed (single or double, doesn't matter) that they are genuinely not using and would be happy to lend or sell and accept payment in installments over a couple of months then please let me know. I would be forever grateful!

One last thing, I don't drive and have no transport, so can't collect
and yes, I've looked on freecycle, nothing so far
farnam: (Default)
But right now I've got this nasty fluy bug back again, 3rd time since Christmas. I'm tired of it. It leaves me exhausted. Every time I think I'm over it totally it leaves me for a week or two , and then whammo, comes back with a bang ... same bug, all the exact same yuckiness each time. I'm going to phone the doctor at 2 pm and see if I can get an appointment for thisafternoon. Time to get over my dislike of antibiotics, because this is way beyond funny. Today is an important day in work, and here I am, sluggishly grading the papers at home - papers that should have been marked weeks ago, but I didn't have the energy to get through the stack.

The conference was great, life is great, so much good to write about. No energy to do the big long posts I want to do about whats fantastic, so I just briefly moan. *frustrated sigh*

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farnam

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