Archives for the month of: March, 2013

Soooooo, what did I do today? What am I thinking about? I can’t remember what is in my last blog and I haven’t reread it… I’m going Punk. I can’t expect my Nan to and not do so myself, I ain’t no hypocrite!

Last night I stayed up a little later, thinking to myself that I can have a lay in, as I’m on a late. 1am, not too late though. At 4.30am I am wide awake. Same at 5. Okay, tea, toast, mandala. 7am back to bed… mmmm sleeeeeep. Wrong. 9.30am the work man comes to fix my land line. I have been phone less for weeks and to be honest I quite like it.

As the Nan is in hospital and the mobile is out of action too, I thought I’d best get it sorted. I’m on the east side now, what ever that means. He leaves about 10ish but needs to ring me. So, tea and toast it is. Then I turn on the computer do a little work from home. (tee hee do you hear that? Work! Paid work!). The technician rings at 10.30am.

What to do? Nan needs pajamas and tissues, it takes two hours to get there, then to work doing some decorating stuff, no point having a bath must remember to take food, hour to work, then two hours home, five hours traveling for 3 hours of doing stuff, seems a little wonky to me, no matter.

Stay up then ok. Do a bit more work. Then it all gets a bit boring so I’ll skip bits… The people in my Nans ward are all complaining because of one woman in obvious distress, they want to put her in an ‘asylum’. Despite being assured she is not mentally ill, they still are not happy. You let it go though, cos at 80 some and being poorly and unable to sleep your not going to appreciate being corrected.

I advise they close the door. Silence, but with 4 pairs of eyes staring at me intently. What door!? I point to the sliding door in the wall. They look at me again, “we had best not. There might be a reason they need it open”. A while later a nurse comes in, I ask if they can shut the door. She looks at the women in the bed. I think she hasn’t heard me, the women bristle even my Nan, they want me to shut up I can tell…

“Can they shut the door at night?” She looks around again, all women looking pointedly at me now, saying “It was her” with their eyes… The nurses hearing aid is whistling, I shout, “CAN THEY SHUT THE DOOR AT NIGHT?!”. “Oh, my hearing aid must need it’s battery replacing I can’t hear you. Yes, you can shut the door, that’s what you do at night isn’t it? Shut the bedroom door.”

I smile, pleased with myself, my Nan looks relieved and the other women are pleased the nurse hasn’t exacted some kind of terrible revenge on me, because of my impertinence. She checks charts and leaves. The women immediately say, “She doesn’t have the authority to tell us we can close the door”. I shift in my seat, just because I’m moving into a better position and one of the women says hurriedly, “YOU CAN NOT CLOSE THE DOOR”.

I raise an eyebrow, “I wasn’t going to” I say, “but you have been told you can close the door”. “She doesn’t have the authority to tell us we can”, they say. My Nan looks worried and disappointed, she’s tired I can tell. I say to her, “Clearly, we are not amongst the rebels here Nan”. She giggles. “You will have to show them what rules are for!” She starts laughing and the women are horrified. HORRIFIED!

I can see them all laying there tonight, wide eyed and delirious with sleep deprivation and my Nan creeping on tip toes to close the door and being ratted out by one of the women pressing for the nurse… SHE DOESN’T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CLOSE THE DOOOOOOOOR!!!!

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This is the thing that I wrote for the One Billion Rising. I have been told it’s quite punchy, so with that in mind, apologies in advance if I tweak a raw nerve.

“We are told that men are violent. We are told that Strangers abduct and rape little girls and women. We are told that real men don’t hit women. We are told that men are the heroes to women’s princesses. These things are not true. Men are capable of non-violence. It is rarely strangers that hit and rape women, it is usually people they know very well, fathers, husbands, brothers, uncles, even grandparents, sometimes sons. Men are people, ordinary people, just like women.

Men make mistakes. They lose their tempers and they shout. Some men hit out in anger. Some men like to feel powerful by bullying someone weaker than them. A smaller amount still like to grope, molest and rape women in order to feel powerful. And all the time this happens behind closed doors, we tell ourselves that although men are violent, they never hit women. They don’t rape girls and women, strangers do. Women know who hurt women. And they are rarely believed. Everyone is a stranger till you have met them.

I want men to think of a time, when they where touched when they didn’t want to be. Remember what it feels like to shrug that person off, the anger, the pain perhaps, the claustrophobia, the upset all rolled into that shrug, that says “Take your hands off me, NOW”. I want you to imagine that a shrug is not enough to make someone stop touching you. I want you to imagine, you are powerless to stop someone from touching you and I want you to imagine having to endure that, for prolonged periods, with out anyone coming to help you. I want you to imagine that someone is touching you in your most private place, in your most vulnerable moments and you know that you can not shrug them off.

This is what some women experience, some on a daily basis. And the people who do the harm are not strangers, they are loved ones. The Heroes that are supposed to come and rescue women are deaf to their cries. The men who could stop the hurting are silent. Because they are telling themselves the lies: strangers hurt women and children and real men do not hit women. They might also be thinking that what happens in another man’s kingdom is none of his business. But these lies hurt us all.

If you think hurting women is criminal, then you have to say so. You have to be the Hero or Heroine and say to men who hurt women, “NO MORE”. If you see a man call a woman a name, say “Please don’t”. If you see a man grab a woman, say “Please don’t”. If you hear a man brag about groping a woman, don’t laugh, say “Please don’t”. You have the power to stop men from hurting women. These women are your friends, lovers, sisters, aunts, grandma’s and sometimes daughters. These women deserve to be able to shrug someone off, with out further threats of violence. If you believe that women should be able to say “Please don’t” and be heard, then step up and say “NO MORE”.”

So the weirdness continues… yet another man comes back into my life out of the blue. I had met him at a social last year, promised to FB him and duly did so. Eight months later, he messages me, to tell me he missed my email. For 4 or 5 days we send each other a message everyday and then. Nothing. Gone-ski. No longer present. 9 days and counting.

We talked about various interests many of which are mutual. Shared light jokes and talked about the state of the world. Then poof! I am grateful that he wasn’t another douche looking for an affair. Unless he was and I missed that bit. But even my pals are confused with this one. What gives menfolk… why are you all being a bit weird?

Anyhoo, been looking after the paternal grandmother, who has been barely able to breath for two weeks. It’s been a very worrying time, but she seems to be coming around.

Did some shopping got me a free bottle of Champagne. And I have a lot to celebrate. I have this wonderful project that looks like it’s got legs. I have managed to develop it so far, that I am looking to role out a pilot in the next couple of weeks. Will be applying for funding soon.

Will also be admitting pieces of my writing into competitions. I am not nervous at all. In fact the opposite, I’m ready to rock people. Completely excited to “stand in my power”. Have I said that already? Time for a disco I think…

Saved all the email notifications so that I could read all your blogs… 164! You have been busy.

I haven’t been listening to anything new recently, more of the same old in all honestly, but Cee Lo Green has been a favourite. And look, don’t tell anyone, but I have been listening to Beyonce too. Roots Manuva made a guest appearance today.

So, look who’s practicing gratitude…

I suppose that I could tell you where I have been and what I have been doing, but at this moment in time it feels like some kind of justification for being an absent friend. I could moan my life away, because there is enough drama for a long running TV show documenting the lives of the ordinary.

At the moment I do not want to feel ordinary. I want to feel like I am making a mark on the world a significant and enduring mark. My friend is going to Africa, India is not enough now, the universe has spoken. I have already told her that I am small minded and jealous. Somehow, my plans and projects are not enough, based as they are in my own country. Lacking the exotic and the erotic, I am feeling small.

I am wroking in my charity and I am developing a Creative Writing course for hard to reach people. I have a theme, a programme of work and a client group to deliver it to and I have created this with in 2 days, somehow it is not enough. I was told to dream big, but the dreams are not forth coming.

I wrote this as a responce to my own project…

The Wallpaper

was anaglypta. If I watched it long enough my eyes would convince my mind that out was in and in was out. In out, in out. Shuffling my feet to find the warm spot, cold spot, warm spot; my body still pushed into hers, my arm still slung over her torso to feel the blanket of her hand over mine.

Warm, cold, in, out, me, her, we, us. She, chest rising and falling, anchored me in safety, allowing me to explore past, present, future, providing a safe retreat in the form of a sleeping woman. Grandma, if you only knew how many hours I had lain there in the rythm. If you only knew the bitter sweet sensation of the change in tempo as you woke and turned to smile.