Fathers be good to your daughters…

Last Sunday was Father’s Day, so my sis & I treated dad to a bit of lunch. We also bestowed upon him soppy cards & our delightful chatter. As the sun still had it’s hat on, we also snapped some outfit photos. 


I had opted for a wee bit of gold brocade dressed down with a vest & some pins. 

Skirt – Glad Rags

Bandeau Vest – Primark

Cardigan – New Look
The cardi wasn’t really required; a lighter floatier cover up would have been more suitable. It’s hard to choose outfits when the weather might change at any minute. Glasgow fashionistas have it hard! On the plus side, finding a bit of greenery for a an impromptu photo shoot is never a problem. 


These songs of freedom…

Wow, it’s hot. This little heatwave we’ve been having is just what I needed. Sunshine puts a little spring in everyone’s step & it’s certainly lifted my mood. Part of the fun of summer is shedding some clothes & indulging in some flirty fashion. In years gone by I’ve missed this pleasure due to ALL the things I felt I had to hide. So, once again I want to celebrate the beautiful freedom the body positive community has brought to my life.


For so many years I believed that my body was ugly. I had completely internalised the fat phobia that society is drenched in. I felt ashamed of my scars & my flab & my uber pale skin & often unshaven parts. I’ve always had a healthy disregard for other people’s judgements, but aspects of my physicality were weak spots. I did what many women do; hid the shameful bits. I protected myself with loose fitting clothing, long sleeves & maxi hemlines. Additionally I built a wall of false, self depreciating confidence. I was always the first person to make a fat joke at my expense because it hurt so much less if I got in there first. 


I often doubted why romantic partners would want me. I felt huge & unattractive when socialising with slimmer friends. Shopping was a battleground of anxieties. So many special occasions were ruined because I never felt comfortable or even worthy. I missed events because I couldn’t find anything cool to wear that covered all the things I was scared to show. Countless opportunities to capture significant moments were lost because I hated how fat I looked in photographs. Most of all, I felt trapped.  I was caged by the standards society told me I had meet. 


Then came bopo. This idea that I was enough swept into my life & blew away a lifetime of bullshit. Immersing myself in a community who told me I was enough changed me. Actually seeing other fat bodies portrayed in a positive light was magnificent. I realised that when I looked at these women wearing amazing clothes, doing exciting things & generally rocking their lives, I saw beauty. 

From there is has been a gradual acceptance of myself. A growing appreciation of how my body looks. These last few days of scorching heat have made me realise that I might have reached peak self love. Not once have I worried about flashing my flesh. In fact, I have loved selecting outfits & enjoyed wearing them even more. Stares don’t phase me because I feel fantastic. I am sexy & cool & deserving of respect. Anyone who feels differently can kiss my fat arse. 


I find myself truly taking pleasure in my body. Be it snapping pics because my butt looks cute, being unabashedly naked with my boyfriend or feeling the fresh breeze on my scarred arms; I feel free. And it is joyous. 

Sunshine reggae…

After a tough week I was ready to let loose a little today. Happily, the sun shon & I had fun plans. All I needed was a killer outfit to rock Saturday. 

The answer was another of my sheer dresses. I have a surprising number of see through garments & I rather love wearing them. This full length lace number is soft & lovely to wear whilst also being pretty damn sexy. Teamed with a pale nude slip it gives the illusion of nudity. I was amused by all the lookiloos today as even hardest stare won’t actually reveal anything shocking. 


Dress – Forever21

Slip – Simply Be

Cardi – John Lewis 

I also went bold with my make up. I never go this heavy on my eyes, but I’m loving the results. 

We spent the afternoon enjoying some Scottish reggae in the form of Umbongo Nambarrie & sipping some boozy refreshments. The music suited the balmy weather. Plus you can’t really go wrong with a band who does a reggae version of a Star Wars tune. We finished the night with Sushi & headed home to snuggle on the sofa. 

And so it is the colder water…

It’s been around 8 weeks since I miscarried. I think all things considered, I am doing ok. I mean, I’ve not completely fallen apart. I haven’t turned to scalpels for comfort or absented myself from the world. I’m getting up & painting my face & taking part in life. I wish I could say it was easy, but on days like today, it feels like drowning. 

I am attending the recurrent miscarriage clinic to see if there are any issues I am not already aware of & the midwife I see has been wonderful. She had given me info on a ‘support group’, which I’m considering. I’m on some new meds to help with PCOS & tracking my periods etc to keep on eye on things from that side. I’m socialising & blogging & getting more politically active. I’m doing everything i can think of to keep moving forward. So why do I feel like I’m wedged in wet sand?

I think about what might have been every day. Not all day long, but it’s never far away. There are so many reminders. So many painful things that can’t be avoided. From appointments at the maternity hospital & other people’s babies to just the scent of something that made me nauseous when I was pregnant & doesn’t anymore. I don’t want the world to stop. I don’t want to rob anyone of their joyous moments; it’s just so hard. The happiness I feel for others comes with a stab of sorrow. It’s been this way for so long, but my recent loss has given that sadness renewed potency. I let all my hopes out of a place I kept tied up tight. Blueprints for a life that I hadn’t dared to examine sprang to life & folding up those plans is proving difficult. 
I have my period again & I know that impacts on my mood. All of the sensations of menstruating mirror miscarriage symptoms. The cramps & sensitive nipples are reminders I don’t want. The blood remains wrapped up in my trauma. Forever a trigger. And yet, I’m glad to have the period. Not so long ago I had practically none. It’s a relief to have this increasingly reliable sign that my ovaries are doing something. Like so many other things the positive is marred.


I think from the outside I probably look fine. I want to look well. No, I want to BE well. I’m really fighting not to let my life slide. The truth is I’m struggling. My creative output is vastly decreased. I lack the motivation & clarity to write. Not writing is not good for me. I process my experiences through words on the paper. The less I write the more anxious I become. Of course the more I stress about it, the less I am able to curate my thoughts. It’s a predictable cycle. There are obviously more practical concerns; my words keep a roof over my head. 


My physical health hasn’t been good. My sleep is appalling. I know that takes it’s toll. I attempt to rationalise myself out of days like this. My exhausted, pained, grieving & traumatised self will obviously have lows. I know this is to be expected. That knowledge doesn’t change the dread. It does nothing to chase away the fear when I awake to a complete inability to function. When nothing shifts the weight crushing me or the desire to disappear. 24 hours isn’t a long time except when your swamped in depression. I can get through the bad days. I’m just terrified of the days multiplying. 
That’s the crux of it. Mental illness feels a bit like being an alcoholic. I will never completely recover. The lows will always come. Life will always have ways to trip me up. The fear of everything unravelling sits quietly on my shoulder. It’s a bad day. I’m still grieving. I hope for better. 

When the bee stings…

It’s been a dick of a week. Debilitating fatigue followed by intolerable pain & some vomming to top it off added up to a big NO. However, antibiotics, oramorph & a good night’s sleep have made a big dent in my misery. So, excuse me if I get a wee bit Julie Andrews on you, but I wanted to talk about the random things that get me through. 

Whiskers on kittens…

So, starting by just lifting straight out of the song. The whiskers & everything else in one specific feline are definitely one of my favourite things. Some folk think I’m daft, but Bronan really does take care of me when I’m struggling. He’ll stay snuggled up beside me for days. He will wait for me to wake on my own rather giving me his usual breakfast call at 6am. He sits on my feet whilst I’m throwing up in the toilet & gently paws my face when I cry.  He’s a darling. Call me crazy cat lady if you like; I believe my cat has my back. 



Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…

We don’t get a lot of wild geese around my way, but the moon can lift my spirits. Be it a dazzling full moon, spooky cloud shrouded moon or rare coloured one; I love the moon. It can be so striking & yet peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, the moon isn’t curing anything. It’s just nice to have something beautiful to gaze on whilst I feel like shit. 


Sunsets fall into a similar spot. A sky alive with colour can be momentarily distracting. Pink skys are always my favourite as they remind me of my muffin. When in Australia I spent most evenings on the deck with my niece watching the sun go down. Every night we frolicked whilst pink hues faded into darkness. It was magical.


Bright copper kettles..
.

Alas I don’t own a shiny copper kettle, but I do love a steaming cup of tea. Mint tea is my drink. It’s a great digestion aid & can help settle reflux. It’s basically an extra med in delicious form. Besides that nothing beats the comforting warmth of sipping a big mug of tea. 

From here I drift away from the sound of music & onto a few more fav things that don’t have Sister Maria’s seal of approval. 

A good book…

I’m a reader. A good book relaxes, distracts, thrills, comforts & engages me. Curling up in my big comfy bed with some quality literature is one of best things in the world. 



A bath that goes with a bang…

Of course I am referring to bath bombs. Sylvia Plath said 

‘there must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know any of them’

Whilst both she & I know that’s not true, a hot bath can be a wonderful thing. Add a bright fizzy bath bomb & you can’t lose. Baths serve so many purposes for me. Hot water eases muscles pain, they relax me, help clear my head & leave me feeling fresh & clean. If you can do all that plus be left with sparkly skin, why wouldn’t you??

Nail (works of) Art…

I don’t know why, but I feel better when my nails are on fire. Maybe it’s because my mum always had glamorous nails. Or maybe it’s because it makes my stubby fingers look more elegant. Regardless, I find it easier to face the world when my nails are a work of art. 


Flower power…

I love to buy myself flowers. I love the scent & how pretty the make any room. Most of all I love the feeling of treating myself. It’s great to know I don’t have to wait for someone else to buy me flowers. Giving yourself something beautiful just because is an excellent feeling. Try it. 

Save the NHS, don’t vote Conservative…

I had been having a rough couple days pain wise when things took a turn for the worst last night. By 7pm I was experiencing such intense pain that I could not cope. I have a number of chronic conditions & so live with daily pain. However, this was extreme & unbearable. Luckily for me I have access to the NHS. I called NHS24, after speaking to a nurse I was given an immediate appointment with an out of hours gp at my local hospital. I was seen swiftly by a nurse who checked my vitals & then by the GP who examined me. He concluded I had a possible infection, which combined with a flare of my stomach problems was creating the pain. My heart rate was also too fast, so he made me an emergency gp appointment with my regular dr this morning. He also wrote me a prescription for antibiotics & oramorph. 
Fast forward a couple of hours, I am in my own bed with completely manageable pain level. No longer throwing up or feeling scared. After a reasonable night’s sleep, my gp checked me over again, took bloods & referred me for further tests. Put simply, the NHS is a marvel. 

I am so incredibly grateful to have to expert care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sure, our national health service had problems (many caused by Tory policies), but it still a remarkable assest. As someone with chronic health problems I rely on the NHS. I could not cope without it. In truth I doubt I would survive very long without free at point of access healthcare. I could not afford to pay for the 2 or three medical appointments I need each week. I would never manage to pay the unsubsidised costs of my many medications. Frequent hospital stays & tests would be beyond me. My pre existing conditions would make health insurance difficult to obtain & ultimately prohibitively expensive. Without the care I receive from the NHS, I would suffer greatly & possibly die. 

My story is not unique. There are millions of people who rely on our health service to survive. Beyond that there are all the people who can’t afford co-pays & prescription charges for our if the blue illnesses. Even if you are super healthy & financially stable disaster can strike at any time. No one can predict when their health might take a hit. Cancer, car accidents, depression, job loss & a million other conditions can happen to anyone. Life changing events rarely come with a warning. You never know when you or someone you love might need medical care. We all need the NHS. 

Does anyone want to live in society that puts money before saving lives? Do you want parents to be unable to take their sick child to the dr because they cannot pay the bill? Do you want insurance companies to have the deciding say on what treatment you can access? If the answer to these questions is no, please use your vote. If you care about the vulnerable & less fortunate members of your community, please do not vote conservative. 

When you step into that booth today, make saving the NHS part of your decision. Accessible health care for all is fundamental to a fair society. Please, vote for whichever candidate can beat The Conservatives in your constituency. 

Anti-woman of the week…

This week is a little different as instead of celebrating an amazing woman I’ll be having a pop at a contemptible one. The dubious honour of being my first anti woman of the week goes to Theresa May.

As a participating member & now leader of a Conservative government who have consistently gone after the most defenceless members of our society, she has earned our scorn. May has been complicit in cuts that have resulted in the deaths of sick & disabled people. Some due to the overwhelming stress of the fitness to work assessments have exacerbated their conditions, some through being forced to undertake work they are not physically capable of sustaining & others who have taken their lives because their disability benefits have been withdrawn. Thousands of disabled have found themselves facing homelessness & destitution due to assessments designed to get people off benefits regardless of their needs. Those with mental health problems have found the entire process geared to exclude them. A government who will ruthlessly attack the weakest members of society is despicable. Theresa May is an integral part of that. 

The Tories have presided over a series of cruel cuts to the NHS & social care. Increasingly large chunks of our health service have been sold off. Hospital closures, wage freezes & shrinking budgets leave us with a decimated health care system. Try to book an appointment with your gp or get seen at a&e this century and you you will know the struggle is real. Don’t be fooled by the nasty party’s attempts to shift the blame. The NHS is not failing because of immigrants. It is in its knees as a direct result of May & her cronies’ policies.

This post could go easily go on for pages. This a woman who loves selling arms to Saudia Arabia, who is happy to steal pensions from those who have worked all their lives for them, she proposes income tax & national insurance rises for working people whilst pledging 3bn in tax breaks for the rich. May has voted in favour of removing benefits for young adults & a whole raft of anti lgbtq+ proposals. Her party is responsible for Brexit & her ‘little England’ rhetoric is likely to destroy any chance of positive negotiations. Listen, this bitch held Trump’s hand; she can not be trusted.

I know there will be some people dying to question my feminist credentials for this, but let’s be clear, the PM is not a feminist. She’s the leader of a party who is cool with humiliating & endangering rape survivors. They promised to direct the taxes from sanitary products to women’s charities. They ended up funding an anti abortion group. Last year Phillip Davies (Tory MP), attempted to derail legislation designed to target violence against women. Only this week Mrs May gave her support to Tory Mp hopeful, Peter Cuthbertson a man who says that ‘promiscuous’ women are likely to make false rape allegations. Theresa May is no friend to women & it is incumbent upon those who are to hold her to account. 

So, congratulations, Theresa. You are my official anti woman of the Week (month, year). Both you & your party are toxic. 


Please, please, please do not give this anti woman (or her party) your vote. This election is not about finding the perfect candidate. This is survival. If you value a compassionate & fair society, DO NOT VOTE CONSERVATIVE. Get tactical, put that X wherever it will defeat the Tory candidate.