This is where I blog

A somewhat random collection of things that have popped into my head. Take nothing too seriously, and nothing too flippantly - like life really. My shorter ramblings are on Twitter at @oxguin.

Having been outraged at Brexit, foreign wars and the collapse of public services last year, it was good to get my teeth into a new controversial topic for 2019 - the Greggs vegan sausage roll.

So Greggs, the UK's favourite baked food on the go food outlet (excluding cake shops, obvs), have launched a vegan sausage roll. That's launched as in it's available in (some of) their shops, not that they've teamed up with Elon Musk on some hair-brained space programme.

A tale (tail?) about my cat, Bilbo. The hardest cat in the universe.

Tap, tap, tap, CLUNK. Tap, tap, tap, CLUNK. Tap, tap, tap, CLUNK.

That was the sound Bilbo made as he moved from one warm spot in the house, to find another even warmer spot. Or, perhaps to check if the food bowl had been refilled. And, if it has been done so with Whiskers, to give you that look that said "Where's my steak, motherfuckers". I don't think he ever checked the water bowl - he was more or a Jack D on the rocks sort of cat. Bilbo was, in the vernacular, hard.

My mum with me and my brother

I've been overwhelmed with the responsive to my last post - that you all x. A common response has been "no words". And there aren't any. To know that you have read it and have compassion for me is very comforting, and more that I expected. I've only been able to reply to you with "thanks x" - because sometimes there really are no words.

View from Torridon - a place we both loved

"FUCK" John shouted.

It was enough to rouse me from my sleep on the back seat.

Next thing I knew I was out of the car screaming at the top of my voice "Bonnie, get out now! Get the fuck out. Now. Bonnie, now!"

Interview room
Being the second part of my largely true tale of bein banged up by the local constabulary. includes house raids, pigs and bolt croppers!

Now, where was I. Oh yes. In the pub having beer and ciggies bought for me by my lovely friends have spent a day in clink. You can read about that in Banged up - part 1.

Being a largely true story of my run in with the local constabulary, involving condoms, broom handles and three course meals.

"What you reading?" the friendly middle aged and, dare I say it, slightly portly Police Sergeant asked me as I sat crossed legged on the 'easy to wipe blood, vomit, etc.' mattress in the cell.

"Fountain at the Centre of the World", I replied. "It's really funny."

"Not heard of it. What's it about?" he asked as he used a broom handle to fix the cell toilet in what was clearly a well-rehearshed maintenance task of his.

I spend quite a lot of my life thinking about and doing things to improve women’s rights to help move towards a gender just world. Somebody recently what in my life had led me to this. I was a great question that made me reflect on my own experiences that led me here.

Quite a ramble – perhaps think of this as a first draft of a far better post!

There have been many experiences and people that I’ve met on my journey that have been influential. However, there are four that stand out.

A friend in need is a friend I want to help. There are many ways to help. Sometimes a bit of advice. Sometimes an emergency loan. Sometimes letting them know where they can get help from. Sometimes just listen.

Recently I've been exploring a new (for me) way of helping, and of being helped. Do nothing. Well, not quite nothing. Listen, and be there in the moment with them. Speak no words to them. Clear your head of trying to think of anything to say. Just listen. Hear everything they say, but have no verbal response. Create a shared space where nothing is said except what the person wants to say.

Depression, anxiety and self harm. This post is all the fun. Though I'm still determined to find the light at the end of the tunnel!

As many people, I sometimes struggle with mental health. I've a long history of anxiety and depression. I'm fortunate enough to be (just about) able to pay for a therapist, and I've been seeing one for years now. It's helped me massively. I used to have episodes where I could barely get out of bed, let alone my flat, for weeks. Meeting people I knew was incredibly hard - meeting new people was impossible. I've come a long way by working with my therapist and many other people.

Oxford tweet up
Saturday 27 August - be there or do something else


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