UK Sleepwalking into Fascism: Workhouses for Disabled, The #RacistVan, Racial Profiling

I don’t tend to reblog, and I hate for my first post in a while to be someone else’s thoughts, but this is important.

Scriptonite Daily


This week has seen a plethora of actions by the UK government, which if adopted by any other country, any compassionate person would consider fascist. Government sponsored vehicles are roaming the streets telling people to dob in suspected illegal immigrants, the UK Border Agency are stopping mostly non-white commuters on the transport networks and requesting they display credentials to prove their right to be here, and disabled people are being carted off to modern day workhouses. Yet in spite of all this, many are still reluctant to face the gut wrenching reality that all is not well in blighty.

Godwin’s Law? Oh Give it Up


No doubt someone is already preparing a comment accusing me of Godwin’s Law for making this comparison.  So I’ll take a moment to set out why I am making it, and why it does not conform to the term.

Godwin’s Law was intended…

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A musical interlude

I’ve got a lot on my mind at the moment. Thinky thoughts. Sneak preview:

This is how I feel about Lancaster sometimes.

For those of you who can’t (or won’t) watch, the song is ‘The Kids Aren’t Alright’ by The Offspring.

EDIT: This was apparently my 100th post!! I should have done something special to commemorate.

Tiny Celebration

Today, this blog got its 50th like 🙂 I just want to take a sec out to say that since this blog is almost entirely about myself and my experiences, each and every like, view, comment and follow is like a little affirmation that what I’m saying is worth taking the time to say.

So, thank you, everyone who’s liked, commented and followed this blog over the last couple of years – it means a lot to me and I hope you’re getting as much out of reading this as I get out of writing it 🙂

Cute Bats

Cute bats for every follower 🙂

Quote Me Happy

January 3rd Daily Post:

Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?

There are a few quotes which I find I never tire of, and there are a few reasons.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was an incredibly inspiring man. He’s one of a few people who have shown beyond all others that depression only makes the going tough, and not completely impossible. He guided the country through one of the toughest periods of the 20th century while fighting an internal struggle on an equal scale.

He also coined my favourite metaphor for depression, and the name for this blog – “The Big Black Dog”. It’s powerful and evocative, especially if you get the chance to read I Had a Black Dog by Matthew Johnstone.

“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor” – English Proverb

This is something I’ve quoted once before on this blog. It was in an image, as these things often are. Despite my considerable Google-Fu I’ve not been able to find an original source for the saying, beyond the ambiguous “English Proverb”.

The thing I really like about it is the reminder that whatever has happened to me in the past, today, now, this is where I am. It’s something I really need to bear in mind sometimes, or I’d easily get stuck, bogged down by heavy yesterdays.

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe – Carl Sagan

I use this quote all over the internet, as a tagline, or a summary, or whatever else may call for a short but important statement. It says a different thing to different people at different times. There’s a great interpretation of the Carl Sagan quote at that link but to me it means something simpler; don’t walk before you can run. Build your tower from the ground up.

There are a lot of other quotes which I find inspiring and interesting – what are your favourites? Let me know, you might give me one I’ve never heard before.

Notes on a Young Woman

If I could choose any author to write my biography, it would have to be someone skilled at drawing interest and humour out of the mundane, so I'd probably go for Bill Bryson or someone of a similar ilk.

Bill Bryson could probably make even a rather unexciting life such as mine seen amusing – you'll know what I mean if you've ever read his book "Notes on a Big Country", which is a collection of writings on the mundanity of American suburban living in the 90's. It's possibly one of the most amusing and easy to read books I own.

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Why I blog, or sometimes not.

I don't know how this compares to other's experiences but I find I have so much going on inside my head sometimes that I can't follow all the trains of thought.

Sometimes, mentally collating these strands of thoughts and feelings into a structured blog post is the only way I can make sense of them. Unfortunately this mental process doesn't always coincide with keyboard time, so there are a lot of posts which have gone unwritten, simply because I wasn't in a position to type them when I wrote them. Once the tangled thought-strand has been extricated and sorted, it tends to remove itself to a back seat.

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Changing of the Guard


handwritten for your amusement.


more of my spider scrawl

More Money Raising….Eventually

It’s been two months now since I did my charity haircut for cancer research and the little princess trust. My hair is kind of growing back now, all short and spikey and a bit haphazard,  and I’m considering more charity event ideas. The one down that link is my favourite idea so far, but not at the moment. It’s winter, and I don’t know about you but I’d rather a hot chocolate than a chilly smoothie at the moment. Anyway, people were very generous when I last raised money, and since it wasn’t that long ago, they need time for their generosity to recover.

Berry Smoothie

Delicious AND charitable!

A really cool plus point of the smoothie bikes as a charity event is that there are a lot of possibilities involved. I could open it up to the public, make more of an actual event out of things and not just me doing something on my own to raise money. I could sell smoothies in Alex square-  people donate money and get a hand (foot?) cycled smoothie from me. Or, I could charge people to cycle their own smoothie. As long as I can rope in a friend or two to help it shouldn’t be too much hassle, and if I were to do it in the summer there’s plenty of time left to plan.

There are other things I could do, but I’m so smitten with the smoothie bike idea that I’m almost reluctant to look too hard. Someone suggested that I try the three peaks challenge (climb Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike in 24 hours) but those of you who know me must be in fits of laughter imagining me trying to climb a hill, let alone three mountains!!

I suppose there’s always the ol’ bath fulla beans fall back. It’s not like I’ve got any hair left to shave off.

Guess who got some fancy new tech

This has been a decent few days. Got ourselves a big ginger cat, name Zeus, and I got a tablet. This is essentially a practice post using the snazzy new piece of kit. I’ve been trying out all the various features, and they all seem pretty nifty so far. Keep missing the space bar when typing though. Gotta get used to these touch screen shenanigans. 🙂

Furious New Year

We’re now into the second week of 2013. Most years, January is to December is to November and November is to October, and so on. This year, though, is palpably different. There are huge differences in my life now, compared to a year since. I’m coming into the year with a little less optimism, a little less spring in my step. 2012 was a year of facing up to the real truth, and oh man was it scary. The reality of….well, reality, I suppose. It came and didn’t so much take me out of my comfort zone as blow my comfort zone to kingdom come.

There has been a troublesome trend recently to begin a new year with a larger than strictly necessary dose of reality. This year, I spent the lead up to Christmas trying to come to terms with the loss of my Grandmother (Nan Kay, my Mum’s Mum). When my Dadcu passed on in April, it was hard to accept because he had been, perhaps not in good health, but certainly in better spirits than he’d been in for some time. In my memories, he has been unwell since I knew him, but so vital and full of life. Never was there a man with such a cheeky grin when slipping me £5 and saying “Now don’t tell your Grandmother!”.

Then, inevitably, some time later my Nan would catch me and do the exact same thing, “don’t tell Dadcu,” she’d say with a chuckle. I think they both knew, but it was more fun that way. Dadcu was a fisherman and a Navy man. He had flags on his coffin and they played The Last Post as he burned. My Nan Kay, who always knew what to do, took him out to sea one last time, on the lifeboat that he was an avid supporter of. Shortly after that, she  suffered  what at the time appeared to be a stroke, but was actually misdiagnosed [name of rare brain problem that I can’t remember]. Nothing has ever pushed me closer to moving back to Wales, but I didn’t. I sent her cards, not as often as I should have done but it was all I could manage.

The most heart-breaking part of it all was that she seemed to be improving for a while. Then it all changed, the progress she’d made fell away and left her nude and unprotected. We’ll never know if she was in pain after that, or if she was still the same person inside. We will never be able to tell whether it was harder for her or for my Mum. Nan Kay lived until December. I can only hope she’s resting now. She never really got the hang of resting.

Lightning storm image


It’s difficult to do so, but looking beyond that I learned a lot in 2012. I learned a lot of harsh truths about friendships and how fragile they can be. I learned what it’s like to work full time in an environment that is really foreign to me (an office), earning enough to pay the bills but almost nothing beyond, and the value of staying because the job, the company and the other people there are all great. I learned that no matter how keen I am about them, stupid ideas remain stupid ideas. I learned that no, not everything IS fair in love and war. I learned a healthy new fury at the current government. I learned that you can’t sit about all day and eat junk food and maintain a size 8-10 figure. I learned I don’t trust people as much as I thought I did. I learned that there’s a proper medical term for the type of insomnia I’ve had for the last few years. Much more besides.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I do take the start of the year as an opportunity to assess myself and often, to give myself a good talking to. This year, I was sterner than usual. I may not be starting the new year happy, but I’m fierce. I may not be convinced but I’m determined. I may not be perfect, but dammit I’ve got to keep trying to be.