I Guess This Is What I Am Doing This Month

April was meant to be my ‘drink more water and cut down on chocolate’ month…

I started off relatively well, I was drinking more water than I have ever known myself drink. I also managed to cut down on my chocolate intake to 1 bar every other day instead of 2+ bars a day (small bars).

Then Easter break happened and I came back to my mum’s. The cupboards are full of treats and so much food that I have had to stuff myself full of it to make sure it gets eaten before it starts growing its own organisms.

I have not been drinking water, instead, I have just been drinking tea.

(Still not buying carbonated drinks though!)

I have had 3 small diet Pepsi’s since February and that has only been due to me socialising at the local bars/pubs.

However, surprisingly, what I have not had this month, (at all) is… crisps. Something I was eating 2 bags of a day most days. My cupboard at my mums is stocked with 2 big variety packs of crisps – they remain untouched. I guess this is what I am doing this month!

 

Now, what about next month?

 

Learning Something New

Today, within my University lecture I learnt something new – kind of the point, I know… but still…

In my Law and Policy lecture this morning, we discussed all things law related and we were pointed in the direction of a case involving the Mental Health Act and the Human Rights Act. No other information was given other than the name of the case (Bournewood Case).

As my interest in mental health is quite a healthy one, I immediately noted it down and made a mental plan to go and look at it when I had chance.

I now have a 3 hour break (11.00 – 14.00) and find myself in the library getting a laptop out on loan to look at what I can find.

As someone who has spent years working with individuals with various learning disabilities and conditions, I find it horrifying to read that a person with autism could have ever been detained under the Mental Health Act ‘informally’. Surely the aim of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act is that it is the last resort and only done as a way of providing treatment and ensuring that the person is in a safe environment to heal and recover…

(Though I have never been detained or sectioned – my own experiences assure me that the system is not a kind one and that my view that people should be made to feel safe and secure may not be the case)

 

“They engaged a solicitor on his behalf and took a case for unlawful detention to the High Court, which ruled against him. The Appeal Court overturned the decision in October 1997, and the hospital chose to section HL, although he did not meet the criteria, and in December that year he was finally discharged by the hospital managers…”

“In 1998, the House of Lords overturned the ruling that HL’s detention had been illegal…”

“Mr and Mrs E decided to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights, which in October 2004 ruled in HL’s favour. As a result the government introduced the new Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, which came into force in April 2009…”

This case changed the law (in Britain) – thankfully, although I find it incredibly disheartening that change came from such trauma. As is usually the case.

I recommend reading about it (Bournewood Case), if you haven’t already.

 

 

University

In 2016, I had to go through the process of UCAS. I had to apply to several different Universities and hope that one of them would invite me to an interview.

In 2017, all but 1 sent for me (the other 1, no longer ran the course I had PAID to apply for).

My top choice asked me to go for an interview. How exciting!

Except it wasn’t. My cat had just passed away and the world felt incredibly numb. All my coursemates were applying and interviewing and giddy.  I just wanted it all to be over with. I would never be accepted anyways, I would just go and do it, just to say that I had.

So off I went…dxxcvvzxcae746f.jpg-large

The interview included: a one to one interview, a group interview/discussion and a written piece of work.

I was never once nervous, I did not fret. I said what I thought and was honest with my educational background. I wrote what I thought and did so with an academic flare.

Today is one year since the interview.

I am now a student at that University.

Sometimes, those days where you really do not want to, are the days where you absolutely should.

 

Unimaginably

“Residential Population: 21,707.”
“The proportion of ethnic minorities is 4.6% – significantly lower, by 12.2%, than nearby regions.”

This is where I grew up. I do not recall any child being from an ethnic minority at school. I do not recall seeing a person who was not white.

This is where I grew up. I do not recall, as a child, seeing anyone who was not heterosexual. I do not recall being aware of any existence other than white, straight, employed men and women and/or stay at home mums…

I grew up with every single person not having an issue with this. I grew up wondering where the hell everyone else was. I grew up watching TV and films and wanting to meet those people.

I grew up in a place that was not meant for me. I was placed in a box, I should never, ever have been placed in. I never fit into it, it was never comfortable.

So many people I had known as a child talked about leaving, travelling… they are still there. I never imagined I would leave, it did not seem an option for me. And yet, unimaginably, I was the one who did. And yet, somehow, they are still there.

It baffles me, so completely. Perhaps it always shall.

The one with all of the odds against her was the one to leave.

Irony is an amazing thing.

 

January

Happy January!
It is already a month of discovery and firsts.

I have started the year off with a bang and already done several things that I have never before done. What an experience!

I am a teetotal person, I have zero interest in any kind of substances or drugs (apart from caffeine). This did not, however, stop me from:

  1. Going to a last-minute party on New Year’s Eve (despite only knowing 2 people there)
  2. Playing cards against humanity (for the first time)
  3. Dancing on my friend’s pool table (despite my brain telling me that I would look stupid)
  4. Attending a nightclub at 2am (even though I’m usually asleep by 22:00)
  5. Dancing with strangers (who were big on invading personal space)
  6. Arriving in bed at 5am (without any anxiety)

I have started January off with being super proud of myself. These were things that I have always wondered if I would ever have an opportunity to do (I never did them in my teens/early 20’s). While the jury is still out on whether it was my cup of tea, I have no regrets and remember a night full of fun, laughter and smiles.

For the first time, EVER, I feel as though I have started the New Year off right! Reminding myself occasionally throughout the night that it is okay to just be in the moment and enjoy it for what it is.

I saw in the New Year with friends and strangers who were all superb – it was exactly what was needed.

Snapchat-779160266.jpg

 

 

And then, this morning… I got attention from this Mr.

 

 

 
And while I miss my own boy terribly, I felt comfort from the cuddles I received from this little feline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I carry your heart
I carry it in my heart

( https://www.hitched.co.uk/wedding-planning/wedding-poems/i-carry-your-heart-by-ee-cummings_315.htm )

 

 

Listen

“You want me to speak? You want to hear my voice? Then listen to me. I’m a subtle person, I ain’t about to start shouting just so my voice rises above yours. You want to hear what I want to say, you gotta shut up for a second and listen to me.”

-JustMe

I Found Some Books

Manual of English Grammar and Composition
J. C. Nesfield, M.A. Macmillan and co., Limited, St Martins Street, London (1913)

Dialects of Old English:

Northumbrian
North of the river Humber and up to the Scottish Highlands. Represented by Northumberland and lowland Scotch. Less perfectly used by Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Imported by Angels.

Mercian
Between the Humber and Thames, the great ancestor of modern English. Closely allied to the dialect of Saxons than Angles and Danes.

Wessex
South of the Thames, imported by Saxons. Named in the 16th Century as being Anglo-Saxon however it was never referred to as this at that time.

Back to Basics: The Education You Wish You’d Had
Caroline Taggart. Michael O’Mara Books Limited. Tremadoc Road, London (2012)

Classical Myths:

Helen of Troy
She was actually the wife of Menelaus, King of Sparta. She only ended up in Troy due to running away (possibly abducted by) with Trojan Prince, Paris. Thus resulting in a war.

Hercules
He was a demigod, the son of Zeus and a mortal woman. He went on to have to complete 12 near impossible labours, hence the modern expression ‘a herculean task’.

Poems and Prose
Edgar Allan Poe, Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, Vauxhall Bridge Road, London (1995)

Spirits of the Dead

Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the gray tomb-stone –
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy:

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is no loneliness – for them
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee – and their will
Shall overshadow thee: Be still.

The night – tho’ clear – shall frown –
And the stars shall look not down,
From their high thrones in the heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given –
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish –
Now are visions ne’er to vanish –
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more – like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze – the breath of God – is still –
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy – shadowy – yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token –
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries! –

[sic]