Thursday, July 28, 2005


Anyone into poetry - the Poetry Free For All is a great place to read and publish your own writings - either in a Forum for criticism, or in the Pink Palace of Poetitude if you just want to publish and not get comments.

You have to comment to at least three other people's poetry before you can publish and you can only publish one poem per day - fair enough.

Thanks to mattdalby for the link to pffa. Matt's blog is well worth a look.

lad's mags

I am not strictly anti-porn - we humans have always pictorally represented sex and made pictures that titillate and arouse.

I am not into censorship either.

But I do think that we need to be responsible and recognise what is suitable for adults and not children. We should also represent things that are overtly sexual, as such - honestly. Especially when they are strongly reinforcing gender stereotypes in a way that degrades women.

Object have a campaign to encourage retailers to either remove lad's mags from sale or place them on the top shelf only. Having read their research the average lad's mag has more images of naked women in sexual poses with comments about "large tits!" and sex ads than Playboy which is still considered to be soft porn.

The Sport has more breasts and sex ads than any of the mags is on sale as a newspaper! 92
% of the content is sexual - including adverts about pictures of teenagers.

They are asking people to write to their local shop - the Co-op despite it's ethical policy is still not putting the mags on the top shelf. Their website has a standard letter you can use.

Alison Lapper

I watched a programme on TV a couple of weeks ago about an amazing woman - Alison Lapper. She is an artist and campaigner for civil rights for disabled people. She is a single parent. And she is the model for the fourth plinth - the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square - the statue has been designed by Marc Quinn.

This statue is so beautiful - I am so impressed that it was the chosen design for such a prominent site in London - maybe things are changing ........

Alison Lapper - fourth plinth Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


I found this wonderful little blog type thing yesterday - it was a link off Shivering Naked which is a brilliant blog by a group of people who share a body (a multiple)...

I particuarly like stuff about tolerance and prejudice.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

proper blogging?

I think this is what I understand as proper blogging - what I read of other people's is more stream of consciousness-like blurblings than what I've blogged so far.

Yesterday was my first real day off sick. I went to the doc's on Weds last week at 3pm and got 2 weeks off. I then went shopping in a bit of a daze. On Thursday I had a long sleep-in and then went out shopping again. We went out to a friends for tea that evening. Friday I did more or less the same but with T as it was his day off and then we went to Z's BD get-together in a pub - that was good - I talked to D a lot. We have thought a lot about getting a campervan since going to Scotland and D has one.

We were going to be having our best friend- C's daughter over to stay on Saturday but her Mum was really ill in hospital so we looked after her and her brothers, while S went to visit C. We had another friend over for the evening. On Sunday we went to visit C in hospital and I was distracted - partly by the 70's film of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with Gene Wilder on the TV in the ward, and partly by nothing at all- just unable to concentrate on C which has never happened before.

I went for a long lunch with P on Monday which I really enjoyed - she is great company. Afterwards I had a counselling session that I was late for due to traffic jams. It was good though. I was reminded that I don't need to try and think things through whilst I'm off - that's what I usually do - that I can "feel" instead if I like. I realised I have been trying to fill my diary with plans for doing things - especially catching up with friends, housework etc. - and that leaves little time for real rest and recuperation. When I got back I cancelled Tuesdays lunch date - with a friend who I used to work with - knowing that seeing her would mean talking and thinking a lot about losing that job that we both did, and would put off the "recuperation". I felt guilty for a second or two, but not as bad as I often do about cancelling people.

So, instead yesterday I slept in again then lay in bed reading for ages - a book about depression. I did the exercises in it - all of them - so you see I just have to "do" and "think"! I worked out that I have mild depression that is short term and the main symptom is fatigue causing lack of concentration - I think of it as stress not depression as it is not long term clinical depression - that's my self-diagnosis anyway!

I gave myself a really painful back though - sitting up in bed. So I took some photos in the garden for a short while and then starting surfing the net again. My Mum called round with a new quilt for us - it's an early Christmas present!

Yesterday evening T took R out somewhere that was obviously very difficult for them both - the old anxieties, sadness, anger and worry came flooding back and I felt unable to help. Two years is not long after someone dies is it? It was 2 years yesterday.....

So - where does this rambling lead us - well today (Wednesday) I have slept in again, spoken to Mum on the phone, and am now writing this.

One of the things that struck me yesterday is that I am splitting myself in two by having two blogs - I decided to have 2 so that this one could be anonymous and I could write stuff I don't want everyone to know is me writing it. The other one is the "public" one. I often don't know which one to write on and it's confusing me. I want to be whole - wow I guess I don't feel whole at the moment - there are things about me that I know people can't deal with and I have been trying to be confident that it's their problem and not mine, but not succeeding.

That's interesting isn't it - that there are things I don't feel confident writing as my real name in case I am judged- I am realistic that people do judge me. In fact - the second post I ever did on this blog got me an offensive comment - something like " I hate you and people like you make me sick, so die!" As you can see I deleted the comment..... That was not a good start but it helped me justify the split! But now I am starting to blog more it's harder to manage.

I had decided this morning to give up having two blogs and just have one, but writing about it now just scares me into keeping them separate. I wanted to be able to blog about stuff that I wouldn't want people I don't know very well to know about me - like this post in fact. How do other people do it? Most people's blogs seem very personal....

Well, at the moment I am going to carry on - I was going to say what my other blog is called but I won't - although anyone who knows me well will work it out - but they are the people that know all this about me anyway. Of course all this assumes anyone is actually reading this at all - if they are not then what is the point? Some feedback would be good I suppose.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

time to think and write

I am off work.

It took me 3 weeks to work up to talking to the doctor about it... I just kept pushing myself through the feelings hoping they would go away and worrying about not being at work. I eventually accepted that it would feel uncomfortable and asked the doctor anyway. I was tearful as soon as she asked if I had been feeling tearful!

I am reflecting on life's up and downs, work, myself and how it all fits together. I am also sleeping a lot. I guess I will write some more soon....

Friday, July 22, 2005

4x4's in the suburbs and towns...

don't you just hate 'em?

Wear and tear on roads, high fuel consumption - two good reasons for increasing tax on 4x4's.

Higher chance of damage to pedestrians on impact in an accident due to the design- higher off the road. Bull-bars on the front? - don't get me started on those! - Ever seen a bull in the middle of town or suburbia? All they do is increase the risk of death or injury if you are hit by the vehicle surely?

There is a campaign against urban 4x4's - some interesting facts - sign the petition if you share my views...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

bras and breast cancer

I stopped wearing a bra about 12 years ago - I was too hot in a shop uniform one summer and going braless helped cool me down. I wore one on and off for a while after but stopped altogether a couple of years later. I felt self-conscious sometimes, but got used to it.

Significant people in my life have told me they have problems with it recently. I have been thinking hard about what it means to me. I read some websites and what follows so clearly expresses my thoughts I wanted to share it.

According to -
The average white American woman wears her bra for more than 12 hours a day. From the survey results the authors have determined that, "The average white American woman is 19 times more likely to develop breast cancer than is a woman who wears a bra for less than twelve hours daily." Remember that some of these women claimed not to wear bras at all. In the sub-group of women who do wear bras, "women who wear bras for over twelve hours daily, but not to sleep, have a 21-fold greater chance of developing breast cancer than do women who remove their bras before twelve hours."

Bra wearing is a psychological addiction, or hopefully, just a habit for you. You can reduce your cancer risk by dispensing with this one garment. say -
Society's concept of the "ideal" breasts are breasts that would remain in their firm, uplifted attitude, on their own, for our entire lives. Advertising and messages in today's media have done a good job of convincing us of that myth, and the myth that breasts will sag unless we "properly support" them. The point to remember is that they will assume a more relaxed, adult position whether they are supported OR NOT! Some breasts never seem to reach that lower, relaxed position, even into a woman's sixth decade of life. This phenomenon is not a result of constant bra usage. Bras will not prevent that from happening. Constant, unnatural, external support from the bra will allow the ligaments to atrophy. If the ligaments are allowed to weaken from the lack of use, they will become sore when they are later required to fulfill their designed purpose of supporting the breast.

When a nipple shows through the outer clothing, it often causes embarrassment to the young woman. The tendency is for her to hide them, as if she were ashamed that they are there or that she should not have them. Even bras on adult women have trouble keeping an erect nipple covered. Maybe we all need to consider working a little harder on our body image?!
A woman's intentions are often misunderstood by how she dresses. Women that elect to not wear a bra might be considered by some immature individuals to be signaling many things, including sexual desire, a lack of good taste, a lack of moral fiber, or just plain being "out of style".

We truly send mixed messages to everyone. Does society want us to wear a bra or not? How can the average woman ever know?

Movement of the breasts is a concern of many women, and they may wear bras only to control that movement. We have to ask ourselves whether this is a concern that is based on the myths of fashion, or on the common sense of science. Unsupported breasts (of any size) will most likely move when the woman is walking or moving about. This is a natural movement, and there seems to be a reason for it.

The results of much of the research have been interpreted as there being a positive correlation between restrictive clothing and breast diseases. Until more research is done, we are left to decide for ourselves what we want to do with our bodies. Hopefully, the day will soon come, when the fact that a woman does not wear a bra will be the "norm", and will not attract unwanted attention.

Much great discussion to be had here - I can't find a good UK website that picks up these issues - does anyone know of one?

democracy 2

democracy Posted by Picasa

Yes - just imagine!!

I saw this poster displayed at the Council for Voluntary Services in Birmingham when I was there a few weeks ago. "It's the only life I know" is a project that has developed through discussion between [insertspace] and artists Hewitt & Jordan. Dave Beech, Hewitt & Jordan, Mark Hutchinson and Oliver Ressler will each produce a text-based poster that examines public space and its relationship to democracy. Download the posters here or get them free at certain outlets in Birmingham (listed on the site).

Don't you just wish that was the way it worked??


This is rather a long post - I make no excuses.

Emily Duffy, the artist that produced the braball makes so much sense.

She says -
“Breasts are often a source of conflicting emotions for women. Our personal body experiences are rarely reflected in media images we see. A woman may feel ashamed, proud, annoyed, and sexual about her breasts during just one menstrual cycle, or even a single day. Almost every woman has a bra story to tell. Some are traumatic, others joyful. A first bra is one of our culture’s rites of passage for women, yet it’s often a secret, mumbled between teenaged girls and their mothers in store dressing rooms.

Using bras as an art medium (something I’ve been doing for several years now) is a way of disrupting some of the longstanding taboos surrounding them. It reconciles the narrow stereotypes of virgin and whore and fills in the true definitions of women that are missing in between. We’re old and young, tall and short, thin and plump, rich and poor, straight and gay, famous and anonymous, and every racial background imaginable.

The BraBall sculpture is solid bras, except for a "time capsule" in the very center that contains several pertinent items: documentation about my dispute with the other artist, one of my own bras, a scalpel, a replica of the Venus of Willendorf (one of the oldest known art artifacts - a plump, busty, female figure), documentation of my best friend’s battle with breast cancer (thank goodness she’s winning so far), a breast cancer ribbon pin, and a broken, red glass heart in a box. The last item is from a difficult therapy session I had several years ago, about being an incest survivor.”

braball Posted by Picasa