reflections

Thought this summed up the powerfully hopeful thoughts the brave protesters in Egypt are inspiring.

Working in progress: Pondering Gendered Expectations

Born without limitation

Well that’s not true

Made to feel I could do

Anything

Run the country

Change the world

As for gender

I don’t remember

Except keep your knees together 

If you’re wearing a skirt.

Instead there’s pressure

Not measured against gender

To do well, Be strong

To stand out, Get on

But wait… I recollect

It’s my job to care

To accommodate, 

Alleviate and compensate

For the struggles of others

Their flaws and complaints

Their tantrums and stutters

To stride where they faulter

So this is my skill

My strength my achilles heel

As a woman it’s assumed

I’m born capable and honed

to juggle my struggle

And everyone else’s

To hold them all together

And buffer their jolts

But here I pause again…

Is this what I want?

Time ticks by and

Advancing years daunt

People say ‘You’re still a baby’

But the scientists claim

Just a few more years

And my eggs will go stale

So it’s high time to choose

To try before I lose

The chance to nurture by choice

Why am I complaining?

Because I have a voice

And the luxury of sharing

Honest and free

Who knows you might be feeling

Just like me. 

***Bit scared of putting this on line as it’s a work in progress but here goes…***

Gorgeous little film capturing Robin Hood’s Bay and its surroundings in the mid 50s, while the changes are obvious, much of the magic of the place still remains.

Snow Anxiety

We’ve had an incredibly lengthy period of freezing conditions and heavy snow. Our back yard has a constant 8” on the walls, flower pots and anywhere we haven’t trampled, as it melts slightly and settles we get more inches on top. Yesterday I walked to collect my new bike and it was hard work with most pavements covered in a couple of inches of ice, slush and snow.

By the early evening it was worse and a trip into town to pick up prescriptions and food supplies left me feeling really worried.

I’m self employed and have to travel all over North and West Yorkshire for work. If a session is cancelled by my employer under 24hrs before I still get paid, if they cancel in advance or I cancel because I can’t get there I don’t get paid. 

In this economic climate where we’re scraping together every penny aware that our work may all but disappear in March, this is really scary. My partner’s had 2 session’s cancelled already.

Last night, with the weather getting worse - cars abandoned in the middle of the road in town - I was tired out from trudging through the ice and snow and feeling increasingly worried at the prospect of getting stuck in some random place on a train. Anxiety set in. 

Thankfully my partner is amazing in situations like this, as I crumbled with the decisions I had to make he told me to stay home, not to worry about the money, we’ll find a way. Better that I’m safe.

I got up intending to give it a go but my first session was cancelled by my employer which gave me the strength to realistically say no to the second session of the day. 

Personal safety versus making ends meet, that’s an age old problem for the working person. I’m grateful I have the luxury to choose safety for now.

Autumn Sunshine on the Foss
Lovely walk after baking some bread to save the pennies and having pancakes for brunch. Made the most of Sunday after a difficult week.

Autumn Sunshine on the Foss

Lovely walk after baking some bread to save the pennies and having pancakes for brunch. Made the most of Sunday after a difficult week.

31st October 1975

It has been an epic weekend.

On Thursday I travelled to Robin Hood’s Bay to visit my Grandma’s house for the last time before it is sold. The house clearers were due 1st thing Friday morning so after a last meal around the dining room table we set about salvaging the last of what we wanted to keep. Such a strange feeling as so many things were filled with memories that these last moments to decide were fraught with a sense of desperation. Exhausted with anticipation and dread we tried to get an early night.

I woke early and began the day immediately with that hazy, groggy, gritty feeling, like the morning before a funeral. Before long we’d picked up final odds and ends and moved bits of furniture onto the lawn ready to go into my Dad’s house for storage. Seeing those things stacked outside in the half-light of daybreak felt utterly dream-like. Reminding me of one of my Grandad’s favourite films - The quiet man. In it the main character marries a feisty irish girl who moves her dowry of furniture  -  her ‘mother’s things’  - into his cottage. So there in front of me was my chosen dowry to move into our new home when we have one. A physical symbol of their all their investment in my life and in my future.

So the various people came to clear the house and after an hour or so we escaped to walk and process the day while we waited for them to finish. There was an unexpected feeling of relief that all this was finally happening, we could get on with letting go.

It was all over by mid-afternoon so, exhausted and overwhelmed we said a last goodbye and journeyed home.

My grandparents bought the house on 31st October 1975, 35 years to the day the contracts were due to be completed and it would no longer be in our family.

That afternoon I was exhausted so I began reading A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I spent the next 36 hours, reading, sleeping and talking to my partner about all that had happened. Saturday felt awful, exhausted, emotional and grumpy. I finished the book before I went to sleep.

I’d like to talk about the amazing and haunting relevance I felt in reading this book but I think that blog post must wait for another time. For know I’m just grateful that it provided a buffer of escape after such an epic weekend. 

advertising’s image of women

 fuckyeahsustainability:

akashasaurus:

sweetcalamity:

faiiler:sealegslegssea:boppinlindsbopp:girlwiththepearl:dr-grumbles:newfilosofee:hustleforchange:

advertising’s image of women. watch this and get your mind blown. 

Everybody should watch this.

We just watched this in Sociology of Gender the other day. Definitely worth it.

wow.

This is absolutely worth five minutes of your time. I was just talking about this the other night with friends, how for some reason eating disorders are not talked about in the media AT ALL. They seemed to be more prevalent in the 90s, and got a lot of attention. It’s sad to think how many people think these things just go away. But they don’t. Millions of girls AND boys are still struggling with eating disorders/body images, and they are looking for help. So if you know someone, or knows someone who knows someone who has an eating disorder and needs help please reach out to them. We are all different and that is what makes us all beautiful. 

It’s around the anniversary of my mum’s death (18 yrs ago), I guess that’s what made me look for this today.
When I was a child I didn’t see my mum for many years, one evening my Dad and I were watching a UB40 concert on TV, the concert was in Finsbury Park near where I had lived with my mum, years before. Her face appeared in the credits at the end. I decided to find it today and here it is, the wonders of the internet. It’s definitely her, her smile… her frame, her hat (among her belongings when she died about a year after this photo was taken).
A ghost in the media.

It’s around the anniversary of my mum’s death (18 yrs ago), I guess that’s what made me look for this today.

When I was a child I didn’t see my mum for many years, one evening my Dad and I were watching a UB40 concert on TV, the concert was in Finsbury Park near where I had lived with my mum, years before. Her face appeared in the credits at the end. I decided to find it today and here it is, the wonders of the internet. It’s definitely her, her smile… her frame, her hat (among her belongings when she died about a year after this photo was taken).

A ghost in the media.

A wonderful way to begin the weekend

I had a wonderful dream last night:

I was at the Coastguard Station in Robin Hood’s Bay, my Dad and Grandad were there. It was evening, I had just passed my driving test and bought a little old banger of a car (something like an old Lada with cream and green paintwork). I decided I wanted to use my new found freedom to drive to Whitby to rent a video and get some food. The last thing I remember of the dream is driving the car up Bay bank, it almost didn’t make it but I managed to get it up there and drive off into the exciting darkness, full of possiblilities.

This dream was lovely on so many levels:

  • It was evocative of new found freedom, achievement and adventure
  • It was so comfortably ordinary, every day and safe, feelings I yearn for when I visit Bay.
  • My Grandad was alive which always brings me great comfort in dreams.

Left me with a lovely feeling today. It’s Saturday today, the sun is shining and I have a whole day off apart from errands which seem nothing compared to the last week (working with 6 different groups and travelling all over Yorkshire to do it as well as about 15 hrs of admin at home). 

Tomorrow I must succumb to accounting and tax return but for today I am free.

Life Roles

I have been thinking a lot about the roles I play in my life. At the moment I seem rather stuck in the role of facilitator, partly because that’s my job but I seem to have been facilitating in my personal life recently because that is what is required of me. It is exhausting but inescapable and necessary. 

I want to surrender to the chaos but I won’t.

I look forward to the day when this big, huge chunk of  sorting out in my personal life is done and I can explore my other life-roles. I dream of being:

a participant

a mother

a tourist

a visitor

a guest…

…and many other things, someday soon.