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I have a love of life. Some may call me a cynic but I'm truly an optimistic realist. I work on the philosophy “If you expect the worst but aim for the best, you'll land somewhere that's comfortable.”

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30 December 2017

My Love For My Sweet Grey Fluff

A draw representation of my childhood soft toy
More of my drawings here…

When you hear the bell strike twelve,
You know but for this teddy, you’re by yourself,
In eight hours or less,
You’ll wish to feel only this amount of stress.,
The nurse will come,
Her aim to tease and antagonise your tum.

This time tomorrow,
You’ll be full of pain and sorrow,
In ten hours or so you’ll crash through the theatre door,
You will fight, struggly and renounce your sight,
This is all before the main show.

This warm, soft thing,
Gives you the stength,
Not only to quietly sing,
But to know you’re going to be fine when your hear the lift bell ping.

Through it all,
These fibres woven tight,
Never reject you even when you bite,
In and out of this hospital,
Not so any longer as my softy has gone.

Ward rule number one,
Mess with another kids snuggle,
Expect a scrap or a struggle,
We all know it’s just not to be done.

The people that placed me here,
Are the ones who stole me from your soft ear,
You went to a better cause,
Or that’s how they justified it after a short pause.

When by eye was cut,
They bandaged you up too,
I loved you so much but I’m not sure you knew,
The tears you absolrbed,
The words that you spoke,
The fears you way-laid,
Nobody as much as me, happy could you of made.

The sun is rising,
I can no longer sing,
I’m exhausted,
You are dead,
Hears the nurse,
My breakfast I am fed.

To another child you don’t belong,
Knowing you’ve been assaulted and damaged feels wrong,
Once more as an adult I wish I had you to hear my missery song.

Through thick and thin,
Sight and none,
Until adolecence from cot,
I miss you so and everyday,
I’m full of woe,
I only know I can say,
I love you my little snuggly grey.

Weather you were a bear or a cat,

You were warm, soft, absorbant and fat.

25 December 2017

Beyond & Below

a drawing of a multi-tone blue eye with negative words written on the skin around it.
Click here for more of my drawings.

The obvious is by design,
It stands out to distract,

Deception can’t be accidental,
What it may hide needn’t always be mentioned,

With each exposure,
Less the viewer can believe,

The truth is always there,
Written faintly over,
Never genuinely wanting to deceive,

Once the interior has its’ confidence,
The inferior unveils its’ composure

You can’t dislodge a limpet before it’s ready,
True to is this of the obvious,

Tug, pull and wrench at your own risk,
The fragile sculpted will smash,

You will stand with dust and mud,
The owner will be hurt,

If you deceive,
Only to chor eggs from the nest,
You’re nout better than a rich thief,

Trust can shatters,
With the vibrations of a distant clatter,

On to your hands will the gore splatter,

24 December 2017

50 Shades of Identity Crisis

I can’t be a snow flake - snow is white and my identity covers most of the colour wheel. This makes me a wonderful butterfly of diversity and understanding… No, it makes me confused, very confused, very confusedx50,

I can’t embrace all of the colours because their values are in conflict. I can’t reject all of them because then that leaves me with nothing. I could take the existentialist view and say, I’m first and foremost a thing at least in my own perception. This then leaves me wondering, how to connect to my perceived surroundings and what’s the point if they only exist in my mind. Well, I use my ‘physical’ body to move around and communicate and what’s the point? There isn’t one but why does the lack of a purpose matter if everything is real only to me, because I want to and I find it satisfying is enough. Now this is where the problems start. If I make the rules for myself then I can only be limited by my own internal limitations, which explains why there are lots of investment bankers walking free - after all, nobody is going to jail themselves. Of course, not everyone is detected breaking laws so perhaps I’ve/they’ve not got the same subconscious’s internal limitations as those who put themselves in prison.

The flip side of this is that, our ‘entity’ is our core with our identity encapsulating it. We are changeable and these experiences stay with us and change us. This is sort of sensible since we know if we have a bad experience, unless we are intent on repeating it we approach a similar situation differently the next time we come across it. These changes and bits of knowledge make up our identity. However, what happens when we approach a familiar problem with two or more tools to deal with it?

  • Grab one and see if it works. Anyone who’s ever done flat pack knows this is a good way of stripping a screw and finding the problem getting more complicated.
  • Consider the situation and which is best. This too can make a problem worse since you’ve decided you know the whole situation and only need one method to solve it. Since you’ve given it consideration before hand you might think you’ve solved the problem but in fact it’s temporary and the situation is worse in the future.
  • Methodically consider all your tools and all your possible steps and the potential outcomes. The problem is in life we can’t predict everything always. Even if we can accurately estimate an outcome there is probably going to be a short fall between our estimation and the actuality. So, we over compensate knowing this. We expect to come home from a days hill climbing but we also know that might not happen so we take kit to keep us going just in case. This is fine on one hand but where is too far? Wearing a crash helmet on the bus; taking a spare set of clothing just in case; wearing a seat belt?

It’s this last point that brings anxiety. When these tools are parts of your outward persona, if you’re self aware, you might be conscious of being misread as two faced or hypocritical. Here in this dichotomy lies the anxiety/crisis/conflict/dissonance.

I love being queer but I know other people would kill me for it. I love being neuroqueer but I know this is something other people consider it weirdness. I love being an army brat but hate having no ability to keep friendships or not having an answer to where are you from. I love being blind but hate being excluded because people don’t consider difference. I love being ‘British’ because it’s a beautiful country and it’s rich in history; I hate the history that means queer people were tortured, murdered and excluded moreover, the class system that denotes difference but doesn’t allow for difference. 

I’ve wrote about these different aspects in several posts before. This is one of an unintended series, as I’ve just realised. Now, I’ve been able to see that my problems exist in the space between:
  • My wants/desires/needs and reality.
  • My image of self and who I want to be/am seen as.
  • My ambitions and those of others for me.

I can’t erase my differences and I honestly don’t think I’d want to if I could. It might make life easier for that person but that person wouldn’t be me. I could also say screw it and ignore the space, this has been tried before and I was angry and deluded which wasn’t good for anyone in retrospect. If being me is good and I should embrace it, that solves part of my problems but how do I reject others while still caring. You can’t subtract and add the same amount and expect to keep 0? Red -5 (others’ perceived reality); Blue = 5 (measurable reality); Purple = 0 (my perceived reality). If I can only slide either way to within 0.01 of either end there will still be 0.01 of the other left. Of course I could revert to an existentialist belief and the problems vanish and are replaced with only purple but we know we don’t have absolute control because that’s 1 not how science works and 2 that’s not how society works.. Sugar wont cure death even if we declare it to. It takes more time than what any of us have in life to affect change that has no flaws, actually - is there one? There isn’t by the way, there’s no such thing as absolute certainty of that I’m absolutely certain. :D

7 December 2017


This morning I woke up to the fantastic news that the British state wishes to kill some of its' citizens. This news is always warmly welcomed and why wouldn't it be? After all, they're trying to protect us from some incredibly dangerous people.

In some respects I do agree, if you are on a battle field fighting for a side that is causing global terror and death then yes, you do deserve to die. However, the words used by the most recent Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, are scary. I felt like he was suggesting more than just battle field killings as part of air strikes. "hunted down" suggsests assassinations, suicides in the countryside or 'gang crime related' deaths,  this is a different kettle of fish. Obviously, I don't have and never will have evidence that this kind of thing has happend before. The state would cover it up with more than just a false tash and glasses with rubber nose attached.

It's also impossible to legally make the returning daesh fighters stateless since that would be a breach of the internation convention on statelessness. Moreover, setting somebody loose would only make them somebody else's problem or executioner.

What could be done instead then? Well, this Danish town might have the answer. Rather than using such profiling that leads to a bad experience from Prevent, that's been oh so successful in the UK. In summary, this town has strengthen connections with the local muslim population and uses the intel from them to intervene and tries to fix some of the problems that the young people are having that lured them to daesh's propaganda. It's a practical solution, it's also flawed but so too will any program trying to break idealism and brain washing. Nothing will be 100% successful 100% of the time. We can't have both complete autonomy of self and still have a guaranty of safety from the state. Even with 0 autonomy we'd probably be victims of horrific personal violations but from the state, like those in fiction from George Orwell and Margaret Atwood.

At risk of slipping into a philosophical criticism of most people's dilution of safety, let's get back to what the Defence Sec said.

In the grand scheme of things killing people while there is potential for them to kill far more people than their combined number isn't such a bad thing. They signed up to die. People going about their lives didn't. My concern is, where does it stop? Not only that but how do we prevent terrible tragedies such as the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005 from happening. It was all down to bad intel but it was still a murdered sanctioned by the state of a foreign national who didn't pose any known threat. I would also say it's evidence that assassinations have been planned before now.

If the state can convince us of the real risk of death from these people, why would we then not give them the nod to do what it takes to keep us safe from 'them'. We could quite easily creap to having our very own wall to be reminded of the greatness of the state.

I really do wish I could say we've come so far since public executions and that this was just an insight from a deranged person's mind. However, I can't. The rise or maybe uncovering of hatreds in modern society makes me wonder quite how far things could go. Not just with state control to prevent unwanted behaviour but from people that are full of misinformation and fear.

First it's a legitimate target like daesh. Correction, secondly daesh - let's not forget the victims from 300ish years of witch hunting. Then what? People who protest with violence such as those seen in BrixtonToxteth and English 'riots'? Nope the British state have done that before, in 1819 at the Peterloo Massacre, slightly more recently Fuadaichean nan Gàidheal (The Highland Clearnaces) - oh and once more, let's not forget the most recent atrocity by the British state upon "its" people via Dúchrónaigh (The Black and Tan) in the 1920 war of independance.

I'd hope that the international community would intervene but the UN doesn't seem to be able to do very much. Trade embargoes screw the little people not those doing the harm, if citizens can't resist and fight the state with food in their bodies doing it hungry will make it so much more possible. Weapons embargoes do work incredably well, the DPRK (N.Korea) has been stopped in its' tracks with the embargoes against it. Travel bans would stop those trying to find safety from leaving, presuming the embarkation state doesn't stop them. NATO hasn't intervened to stop the death and ill treatment of indigenous people or those hit by austerity.

Who can we rely on to protect us from our protectors? Why would the entity that protects us from the state be any less dangerous?

Let's hope that we can maintain our ignorance of state sanctioned murder and violance, in an overt mordern way, othered and out of our internal feeds of fear for a bit longer. As long as it's only indiginous people, the poor and people of colour its fine.

It's a bad situation when the government openly suggests murder of one group of citizens and the media doesn't seem to highlight the genuine need for fear and alarm. Or, when the media makes a decision to not reference times before when the state has done such terrible things but push one group out to show us that, this group are the worse of any. We got here from the past, much like getting fat, it didn't just happen. it's beyond naïve to ignore history and not see pattens and to not try and stop them from continuing. Why yoyo diet, to carry on the analogy, we need to make real sustainable changes, what they could be, I'm not sure.

15 November 2017

The Queer Questions: Good v Bad | Murdering Queers Good - Violence Bad

TW/CW I refer to violence against minorities generally and historically.

I hope to do a series of posts considering the basics that we're taught as a child.

We're sure black is black and white is white. Everything can be put into one of these boxes, good or bad – right or left – correct incorrect – true or false – fact or fiction, you get the idea. As much as we'd like everything to be placed neatly into a box and better still into two simple boxes. In my experience, I've not found that to be the case.

Good v Bad

All rise for the honourable power of your brain.

Kind people of the readership, I will present both of these words to you. Good and Bad. I will use the Oxford English Dictionary (online version) for definitions. I will try to demonstrate to you that perhaps your believes in a good or bad 'thing' is flawed and that you should consider situations more in-depth before making a judgement.

In a criminal case you'd be asked to decide based on 'reasonable doubt'. Meaning: would a reasonable person be moved to a guilty verdict beyond all doubt. Or, something like that – I'm not a lawyer – I'd be financially better off if I were. I want you to use a similar idea, 'fair enough' – if you feel my argument is fair enough then perhaps you should move to consider things in greater detail before calling on it.

Good is bad.

The OED offers 7 adjectives; 3 nouns and 1 adverb. Some of these offer sub-definitions:

1. To be desired or approved of.
Murdering queer people. Good?
It's approved of by many. All queer people being murdered is also desired by many people. So that meets the criteria of Good by those people's belief system. However not everyones.

1.1 Pleasing and welcome.
A drugs gang being eliminated. Good?
What, who would argue that this is a bad thing!?! I will :) A known entity is better than the unknown one which will surely move in afterwards. Not to mention, 'illegal' industries do add money to the visible economy. So to do they give people employment. There is likely to be a level of violence from rival gangs who want to take over the patch now available.

1.2 Showing approval.
Adolph Hitler's political believes. Good?
In 1938, a large number of people turned out to celebrate Hitler's politics at the Nuremberg Rally. Showing their approval for his politics. Even today nearly 80 years on, there are still people that would show approval for Hitler if they could do so.

2. Having the qualities of a high standard.
VW diesel car as an environmentally safe car. Good?
Sure, the CO2 output might not be at the level that it was advertised at but what about particular matter. Even the damage required to get the fuel to fuel the ships and equipment to get the fuel to fuel any car.

2.1 Skilled at doing or dealing with a specified thing.
I am a construction material expert, and I approve this material. Good?
This is the person who approved the Grenfell tower cladding.

2.2 Healthy, strong or well.
She's out of hospital. Good?
Perhaps but why is it good that a terminally ill person isn't being helped to die as they wish. Instead they've been 'made comfortable' and now they are in a place with less care…

2.3 Useful, advantageous, or beneficial in effect
Unlimited guns. Good?
Useful, advantageous and beneficial if you're in a world where you have to fight to get to the shops for some food. Less so in a world of humans with poor judgement and psychological issues maybe. The latter may feel they already live in a world like the former.

2.4 Appropriate to a particular purpose.
We should tell someone that this girl is pregnant… Good?
Only problem is her parents are extremely religious and will force her to keep the birth going dispite of her body not being capable of supporting it.

2.5 of language - with correct grammar and pronunciation.
Blow winds and crack your cheeks. Good?
It's missing a full stop at the end. Otherwise it's fine, isn't it? No, it's from King Lear and should be “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks.” The comma before 'and' probably isn't quite right for today's rules of use in everyday writing. The comma was used to signal a breath I'd imagine. How far we've come since ancient Greek where they didn't even put spaces between their words. How ever did they spend their days on social media… They got out more :D

2.6 Strictly adhering to or fulfilling all the principles of a particular religion or cause.
Heaven's Gate – Good?
They all killed themselves as instructed by their leader and a few even made sure that there were no survivors before killing themselves.

3. Possessing or displaying moral virtue.
He reported his neighbour to the police for breaking the law. Good?
Sure, if your neighbour has murdered someone and asked for a spade to bury the body. Less so if your neighbour was hiding a jewish family, earning a little cash to help them buy food their welfare doesn't cover or growing a little weed to help with their chronic pain problem.

3.1 Showing Kindness.
They were hungry and were offered all the food they could eat. Good?
This they, is the singular they and this they is a morbidly obese person with serious health issues. Killing someone with kindness…

3.2 Obedient to rules or conventions.
See number three. Good
I think this is a great example to stop on. There is often times in everyone's life that following rules could have caused something to have happened that wasn't what they would of wanted to. Choosing too spell words wrongly isn't gonna cause a deaf noar is it bad. It's difficult and annoying but if you still understood what I wrote, I was 'good' at communicating my point.

Bad is Good, do I need to re-explain how someone choosing to do sex work is good if they are free to make that decision? Or, how punching Natzi is good despite assault and violence being bad?

Next time in, the queer questions – Truth! If I remember to write it or perhaps I'm not intending to ever, who knows…

23 October 2017

Noise, Noise Everywhere No Silence To Think

Pipa Riggs via Instagram
Image description available here l(ink opens in new tab)

As I said in a previous post years ago about the 'bedroom tax', when the dog left we would move. T with going a bit mental and trying to get fixed up a little, this didn't happen right away.

The awful noise from our neighbours was tolerable while we were able to leave the house for a while each day. However, since we've had abuse from a band of local young people leaving home isn't exactly a nice experience either.

On one hand, we can stay in an witness our neighbours arguing, copulating and generally being noisy. Along with having the youngsta's lurking around our door and gate, if they're not lobbing stuff at it.

On the other, we can leave once the human noise generators wake up, presuming it's before the kids get out of school. If the kids are out of school, then, although the direct abuse has stopped (for now), we have to make it from the door to the car. It's only a short distance but the path is narrow and they tend to either hang around just by our door or by the gate. The way they go silent and stair at us is almost as threatening and anxiety inducing as actual threats or verbal abuse.

We can't even exist in our 'home'.

Our neighbours rise somewhere between 0700hrs → 1700hrs, and go to sleep between 0100hrs → 1300hrs. When they are sleeping we can hear them snoring or rolling over in bed. I don't want you to think I'm being hyperbolic here, but when they roll over it sounds like an engine grinding to a stop. This noise along with the noises involved in sex is fairly horrific. Being forced to witness people having sex isn't ever fun on its own. Now add it the gaming sessions that last all night; five or so daily sessions of arguing at full volume with doors slamming and feet stopping and oh, hearing every plop and dribble when they use the toilet.

Staying in drives me bad, going out when the kids are around is scary and before you say it, why should I have to make changes to my life to account for other people's behaviors?

We've got quite a few points on our local authority housing application yet, despite having 'urgent housing needs' – we've been waiting for around six plus months. Now we find ourselves in a cycle of anxiety and depression. Trying to workout which would be the better of the two crap options.
1) Stay where we are until we get allocated an appropriate place. Due to my disabilities, a bungalow is all that we're allowed.
2) Move into a privately rented place and lose all the points we've accumulated, meaning being at the will of a private landlord and market rents. Loss of points would mean we'd basically never get another social housing solution.

Such a first world problem. Perhaps I should be glad to have a 'home' but sooner we move sooner someone else can have this place. It's a lie to say, I've not thought about packing up the bare minimum and just walking away and living in a tent. Only problem with this is that you need an address to claim social welfare.

I don't quite know why I'm bothering to write this post. It's not relieving the stress or tension and if anything it's probably making me feel more angry and hopeless.

All I want is a good night's sleep, to be able to live peacefully and feel safe walking from my front door to the car. It shouldn't be too much to ask but it feels like I'm asking to move into a palace with armed guards and a private garage…

Finding time where we don't have to shift medical appointments or whatever is one issue. The other is, if we go away and we get allocated somewhere we get seven days to let them know if we're interested in the offer. This is generally from the day the letter was sent and it's sent 2nd class 2-5 days… It also comes back down to the 'why should I' point. Going away is hard when you know you have to come back to somewhere that is making your situation that much more difficult. The thought of going away seems as futile as the situation you're trying to escape.

10 September 2017

Lonely Like A Summer's Day.

I look through my windows,
Out into the world,
Shades of brown, green and gray swirl,
What I see, the potential beauty never to be found.

The rain pours down,
Much like my hopes, dreams and corners of my frown,
The drip, drip drop onto the,
Sucking, sopping swollen ground,
To much rain has arrived,
The earth it feeds,
No longer can it give it the space it needs.

It feels like it rains more than it shines,
And inside I cry and wine,
More than I show my pain,
When I flood there's nobody around to drown,
It's only me damming in the emotion,
Never do I let it breach to flow through my network or rivers,
The things inside wont make it to the ocean,
Because there's nobody connected closely enough,
To be my river,

Maybe I'm an angel, maybe I speak nothing but guff,
Either way,
I'm struggling,
For me life never feels like a meadow on a summer day,
Weather you know me or not,
There are many people that will be the same,
Internalized pain and their eyes are the only things that feel hot,
They push it back,
Stop their emotive rain flowing into your river,
Allow you to be free by taking your weight,
Enjoy walking through the fields eyes wide to see,
The beauty and the sun drying out the hay.

Perhaps you think I'm being fluffy,
That is fine,
I'd just like to thank you,
I know whom not to wine,
I hold no hate,
But not can I call you my mate,
I shrug my shoulders,
Now it's time,
For you to carry,
No wait,
We have to be there for one another,
Just you're the one and I'm the other,
Keep going and roll your own boulders.

I am a soldier,
A soldier for my own army,
I can't stop myself from being a dam,
Unless you are ready to catch the corners of my froun,
Here comes the torrent,
Take a breath,
Listen, hold on and try not to drown,

Are you ready to look from the world into my windows,
To see shades brown, green and gray,
I hope you realise the beauty and choose to stay.

Weather is wet,
I will always fret,
With or without you,
I'll still have me - come what may.

27 July 2017

Gàidhlig Agus Mi

Ciamar a tha sibh? (How are you?)

Tomorrow sees me do the last few modules of level 1 Gaelic/Gàidhlig. For those that don't know or are confused as I was – Gaelic is pronounced Gah-lic at least when speaking about Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic). What the Irish choose to do is their choice.

The course I've been on is ran by Fife Council. It's usually ran over 24 weeks/6 months and conprises 24 units. FC didn't invent the course, they use Ùlpan, which was developed by a clever linguist fello.

I wont say it's been easy because it's not. It's been doable with occassional periods of genuine crashing of the brain. On one unit my head went numb, I was flicking my forehead and couldn't feel it. Given I've ADHD it could be I over applied myself. My brain was still recording and I was able to do a document recovery the next day when we did our breif revision of the previous units.

I am yet undecided weather or not being blind is an advantage or not for learning how to speak Gàidhlig. Since the words look nothing like English phonics your brain struggles to work out where on earth the sounds are coming from. A bhail thu deiseil? Are you ready, pronounce ah-vel-oo jehshul. The only issue I really have is know how many words are in a sentence or phrase. A bhail thu runs into one word. Tha gu math, I'm well - the T is silent and so is the TH at the end so it runs into, hagewmah.

Thankfully I've an ear for languages so when I listen to BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal my brain is able to desypher the phonics and find some sense in all these lovely new noises that I'm hearing and making.

The educator said that there are 8 fewer letters in Gàdhlig but 40 more phonics. Some of the phonics are almost indistinguisable from one another either because they're slightly softer, change in internation or it's a double sound with one of the two parts being different.

As with a lot of languages Gàidhlig genders it's nouns. This confuses me generally coming from a place of genderless nouns. Eggs, I think we can agree are pretty much excusive to females but in Gàidhlig are masculine… Milk however is feminine yet males can produce it too… Since 80% of nouns are masculine, I've decided to make everything masculine and 4/5 times I'll be correct. This as a feminist is not ideal however it's more important to be correct most of the time… that way I'm showing women can, right?

I used to think Gàidhlig was pointless and should die off naturally. After all, it's just as imported to Scotland/Alba (al-ah-pa) as Latin or English. However, Gàidhlig was spoken more widely than Latin historically - so Gàidhlig is the de facto native language of Scotland. If there are any Pictish speaking folk out there do let me know. I now feel it's important to save Gàidhlig both as a language and the culture around it. If we can get people growing up bilingual with English and Gàidhlig that would be great. Is it useful? Not for calling your ISP no. But for conversations with others that speak it, especially as an act of exclussion :D; to save beautiful poetry and songs and to make the world more interesting and less samey for sure it is.

I don't think there are many, if any Gàidhlig only speakers still alive, so changing road signs to include Gàidhlig place names seems somewhat of an expensive action by the Scottish Government. So does re-marking the Scottish Police helicopter while we're going through a time of great gabs between those that, hae meat and can eat and those than wad want it – to crudely paraphrase Rabby. (Rabby burns wrote in Scots not Gàidhlig FYI :) )

I'm very grateful that my partner and I got our places funded on this course and I believe teaching as many people as possible to speak and/or read and write Gàidhlig is important. But, most people wont see “Poileas Alba” on a chopper which doesn't serve the biggest population of Gàidheal. It is based in Alloa near Stirling half way (ish) between Glasgow and Edinburgh 270Mi south of the outer Hebrides. If however, they were to re-brand their land vehicle that would maybe be more logical. Even if they only changed from POLICE to POILEAS. Obviously this would be done on the basis of when a vehicle dies the new one is given the new branding, so the costs would be roughly the same as adding the livery to any new vehicle. The helicopter was re-branded as part of the lease agreement with Bond Air Services after the lost of the helicopter that cashed into The Clutha Vaults in 2013. There are figures of £100,000 knocking about but I don't know how accurate they are despite quoting them else where, oops, bad me for poor research.

I do know the resigning of roads etc cost £2,000,000. Once again, I have been quoting higher figures in real life when I was against Gàidhlig and even still think that it's a silly amount of money. Partly because no Sat Nav yet supports Gàidhlig so you'd have to be reading the English or translating the Gåidhlig. If you're navigating by road signs only then please let me know how the 1800's are and your horse. Yet again, a replacement rather than remediation scheme would be more logical. It would still be a novelty project to a degree.

Ireland and Wales have kept their languages alive along side English so why shouldn't Scotland? If Scotland had more of a separate identity from England I could maybe see the logic in Scottish Independence. I can understand the view point of Siol nan Gàidheal as far as the English didn't exactly bring us wine and chocolates when they came calling. But the U.K. isn't England it's a newer separate entity. Don't say the words out loud someone may hear you – I'm beginning to feel Scottish. I'll always be British first. I've lived in Scotland for 19 years, I was born in Scotland and half my family are Scottish; I speak and understand Scots and Scottish English yet I've never felt all that Scottish until now. That maybe a bit of an exaggeration, it's been a growing sense of Scottishness since last year. Learning Gàidhlig has only served to strength that part of my identity.

In conclusion :) :
• Gåidhlig as a language and culture needs to be saved.
• As many people as possible need to learn it.
• Overtime we should re-brand everything to Gåidhlig and English where possible.
• Scotland might be worth more with its own true identity but not at the cost of required resources.
• I used to dislike but not like Gåidhlig.
• Gåidhlig reading and writing is going to take me far longer to get than speaking.
• Learn Gåidhlig if you can, it's a lovely language, even if a little tricky.
• Always keep hydrated and wear sun block…

8 June 2017

Foot of The Bridge

This is a poem reflecting on a sailing trip that didn't go to plan. It talks about successful suicide. It's weird why it's only come to the surface, forgive the pun, after so long. I have to cross the bridge in question pretty much anytime I go south and back north.

The only way I could express this is in a strange set of rhyming couplets.

Foot of The Bridge

I went out to sail my boat,
She went out because she couldn't emote,

We both ended in the same place
but we arrived there by traveling through a different space,

I went under
She went over,

The wind turned
Her brain burned,

Pan, Pan Pan I called over the squawk box,
She said nothing before hitting the rocks,

The lifeboat came,
By now she was lame,

We abandoned ship,
She wasn't to take another trip,

We rushed to the scene,
But no signs of life were to be seen,

At the foot of the bridge is where we met,
I was warm and dry and she was dead and wet,

I couldn't travel that way again,
She would never travel that way again because of her internal pain,

I still wonder why,
That she had to die,

I went out to go sailing,
She went out because nobody heard her wailing,

24 May 2017


Yo! Talking about terrorism here peeps.

• Once more the UK has been hit by another terror attack against private individuals.
• Once more people have started shouting about closing borders, raising draw-bridges and rolling our the cannon.
• Once more everyone is scared.

I grew up as did most 20/30 somethings in Britain with terrorism. Maybe they didn't have foreign names and/or different hue of skin, but they still wanted us to be scared.

Unlike most kids I grew up in a military family. This made the areas we lived possible targets for terrorists. Maybe they thought they were freedom fighters and that they were fighting for a cause but if they are killing people because those folk don't believe in their views thus making everyone fearful, they were taking freedom from other individuals. I don't care what you want to believe, if you can pray to your God and do it openly without state interference and in all other ways, live a law abiding life without hounding from the state you are free.

The Black Panthers were labelled terrorists… They, black people, weren't given/aren't given the freedom to walk down the street with equal rights and without suspicion. They had to fight – they had to be in the spotlight. Given the shootings of unarmed black people in the US, I'm surprised a militant lobby hasn't re-appeared. I know why it hasn't though – in today's world the best way to make change happen is by changing minds. Now private citizens can have a voice on a world wide platform, they're not just shouting at televisions, politicians have to listen. Plus force, it seems, will always be met with force.

I get that the bad stuff in the world needs to be covered. However, when images are being beamed into everyone's faces, there needs to be a primer/decoder because not everyone will see the images for what they are. Pictures of terror incidents are horrid and evocative. What they don't say is that we all have the potential to do these crazy things. Maybe not to do them in the name of a faith or overtly political ideology but in the name of freedom and protection. Killing those that threaten us doesn't help. It only makes a group of confused, angry, isolated and threatened people get more of all of those things.

If you want your country to only be ran by BRITISH (swap for your own nationality) people, that includes people that might not be the same colour or faith or political stance as you. The people that carry out attacks against 'soft targets' aren't fighting oppression – they are fighting us all. The only difference is that we can't/wouldn't/shouldn't meet their death toils with an equal or higher score sheet.

I know that this post will get launched into my echo chamber and wont change the views of anyone that I'd like it to but it's here for them if they get curious…

Once more to attacking the media – Saying things like the threat level is at its' highest level, does, not, help, anyone. People themselves are all ready hypervigilant. Words like highest, critical, severe are all very strong words. Those that are numb/not caring people wont change because of them but those that do care will be made more scared. A colour system maybe more useful. I understand this isn't the medias choice to increase or decrease the terror threat but they choose to cover it. The information is right on the MI5 webpage for those that want to see it. I'm guessing that the people writing 'highest threat level in a decade' haven't used the webpage because they'd see that it was set to 'critical' for 3 days in August 2006 and for 4 days in July 2007. These are short periods of time that will keep people scared for longer. Once it goes back to 'severe' people might think they are safe/safer when we're not.

Putting cops and soldiers on the street with firearms, or cops without firearms in reaction to this kind of attack is pointless and doesn't make anyone feel safer. Maybe I'm generalising. If you see someone carrying a firearm you don't think they are there to keep me safe, you think what are they keeping me safe from. The truth in my mind is they're not keeping us safe/safer. Not because they're incompetent but how can they. If you have people acting on their own with knives and cars and less often with bombs, none of these people know what's coming. If a terrorist is successful, security has failed. If they're not stopped before they get out of their door then it's too late. It might be a cop or a soldier that gets killed rather than a private citizen. Does this make a difference to their family? Does this stop hate towards the people that are already feeling so isolated they have to do crazy shit for us to notice them? Most importantly, does it give the public a sense of safety or the terror organisation a point on their kill sheet?

Sure we need to stand together against hate (in all forms) and terror. BUT, we need to do it along side the people that are being hated against. Something can't be talked about without hearing everyone's voice. Don't fear people who are brown because they are brown and they MIGHT be a terrorist. You are playing the game you are being expected to. You are being manipulated and you are better than that right? Don't fear anyone, except for maybe yourself. If you can judge someone because of their faith, race, sexuality, sex or gender identity among many other variables you could be the next person doing the next news flash.

FYI – You get people of all faiths with all different skin colours. They don't all need to be converted' they don't all need to have a different voice from you and they don't all have to be from countries outside of your's.

22 May 2017

Do Medicines Discriminate Against Blind People?

I've been playing with a hypothesis for a while now. What if in the words of The Verve, the drugs don't work, because I'm blind?

What difference would that make I hear you ponder. Well, there is some evidence that suggests the colour of a drug influences the outcome for the patient, even only if perceptually. In a review study from 1998, red, yellow and orange are suggested to be good for stimulents and blue or green for calming drugs. There is a whole load of colour combinations and cultural factors too but the previous is true for western folks. (While finding the sources to link to I also found this article from The Atlantic discussing "The Power of Drug Color")

Although I'm not totally blind, I don't have enough sight to see the colour of my pills every dose.

There has also been a recent study on the power of open label placebos. Open label means that the researcher and the participant/patent both know what is in the pill/substance. Placebo, is a control pill/substance that contains no active ingredient. I've an amusing anecdote about using a placebo on someone which I'll save to the end.

In the study report it doesn't say how many patients, if any, where blind or visually impaired so i'm going to presume 0. The study found, in brief, that the body can sometimes fix itself by power of suggestion. That is not to say the people with the conditions are faking it or are deluded rather the ind is a powerful thing. I suspect that the 1998 study about colour plays a part in this too. Since the participants knew they had been given a medical sweet – it can only be put down to two things:

• Physical Action
The action of taking a pill and expecting that pill to have an effect, despite knowing it has nothing in it. Then feeling slightly better and then this becoming a gradual but significant improvement. It helped last time, why shouldn't it help this time?

• The Colour
This pill is, insert colour of your choice, therefore the patient feels less pain. In this study the pills were presumably white. I can't find a description of them other than being OLPs. In the 1998 study, white was noted as improving perception of pain and pooping problems.

It's really quite impressive how good our bodies are at fixing themselves, despite being told by big pharmer for the last few hundred years that we need to take X, Y and Z. I also find it a little worrying how easily our minds have bent to think a pill of colour X can help with problem K. This is NOT to say we don't need drugs at all.

Big pharmer doesn't want to make us better, they want to make money. The truth is, some of their products we do actually need. In fact we need more of their products. We need cures and vaccines along with medicines to manage conditions. Colours aren't just used to trick our silly little brains. They are used to help identify medicines along with their shape. In an ideal world, all pills would be white and the same shape. That would then allow a better look at what works 'really' and what works through the power of suggestion.

In drug trials, before the drugs are tested on the people with the problem, they are tested on animals. The animals are injected with the substance more often than not, in my understanding at least. This allows the developers to see if it helps or not. It also gives them an idea of potential risks and side effects. Then human trials, healthy humans are tested upon. This is to see if the drugs will be harmful in humans, which sometimes it turns out they are. If you take part in a drug trial you are generally told:
• How much they'll be paid
• how long they will be needed for
•What they will be expected to do, rub on a cream, take a pill or be injected for example.
• What the drug is being designed for
Not always in this order, generally – what the drug/treatment is being designed for is one of the first things people know.

When you are paying someone to test drugs with the expectation of a certain outcome, especially with the knowledge or the two previously mentioned studies, along with the fact everyone wants to be approved of and help sick/ill/disabled people get better; all you can test for is side effects.

In phase two and three trials the drugs are tested on people with the problem. Unless it is something that isn't based on perception like an infection or growth, I'm not sure how we can be sure these drugs actually work. Of course drugs are tested against other drugs but when you are chronically ill you will, will anything to help. Obviously, with pain we can look at neuro-functions under the influence of substances and the same is true for other issues in the brain. But what can't be done is ask a desperate person for a non-bias opinion of how they feel a substance is helping them. I know, I would try anything to fix my body's dysfunctions. I would take any pill or injections or eye drop. I have tried many drugs for many things and they all for for a while. Maybe in light of the placebo trial we need to be asking, is it drug tolerance we develop or is is that we stop believing that the drug is helping?

As well as questioning if I'm not getting the full effects of the pills I pop. I wonder, maybe I just don't want to get better? It's not a case of the pills don't work, it's a case of I don't want them to work… Maybe, I need to be more positive and be demanding of myself. This is partly a true thought but also slightly sarcastic. I know I can't think mountains smaller or places closer. Bodies and drugs sometimes get on and sometimes not. But, when someone is desperate they'll generally reach out weather that be for a hand, pill or something else. We, I, need to accept it's ok to not be ok. Never-the-less it's crap to feel crap.

Final note; The Open Label Placebo trial had 83 people at the end and it only lasted 3 months. It's a small number of people and a short time. For it to be more useful you'd want more people taking part and the assessment period to be much longer. I also think a mixture of pill colours, shapes and sizes would be useful. After all, it's the concept of a placebo you're testing not if that one placebo pill works.

The placebo-dote:
my partner had a practice test before their driving test. I had floated the idea of them taking one of my beta blockers to help calm their nerves. They weren't sure it would be a good idea incase they had an accident and they had a drug that was prescribed to them in their system. I used their trust in me to convince them to blindly take a pill, which would definitely help calm them. They went away and aced the practice test and came home happy and confident. Since they did better than what they thought they could, they demanded to know what I had actually given them because they didn't want to take the test without knowing what it was.

It only served to give them more confidence the next day in their actual test, which they passed, when I told them it was a multivitamin and nothing more…

9 May 2017

I Want To Die…Sometimes…Lots of Times

Heads up! I talk about suicide and crap MH…

Thanks to @bossarocker on Twitter for 'inspiring' my writer's flow to write this. This might not be 'magic' but it has been cathartic to admit to myself/the world how I'm feeling.

This week, in the UK anyway, is “Mental Health Awareness Week”.

I'm always aware of mental health. Not only do I have mental health, so does my spouse, my dad, your mum and brother… We all have mental health.

We're all fed the rubbish that we need to have this stunning body like all those basic bitches desire so they can be individuals, while being all the same. We're also all fed this image of people being able to cope through everything in their life. When characters in all medums depart from the 'normal' behaviours that come with such an imense ability to deal with everything, they become sinister, comical or pittiful.

My mental health exists just as much as the next persons;. My mental health is as capable as my physical body. That is to say, it isn't reliable.

I have Generalised Anxiety Disorder and depression. I don't mean life isn't going my way and I'm a bit 'meh' rather I often battle with thoughts of : topping myself; offing myself; harikari; premature ejaculation from life or just suicide.

My anxiety has me sitting here wondering if I can cope with my shift on a helpline this evening or will it be too much. I'm also aware that it will be fine and I have all the support I need if it was too much. My anxiety also means that if I hear a creak during the night I think there is someone malicious outside my bedroom door. I've been sleeping with a window open in my room and for a spilt second my eye has been telling my brain there is someone standing by my bed. My anxiety can be triggered by too much noise, too little noise too many people or the look of a car's behaviour – following our route for too long. All these things affect my sleep, conscious decision to go to places and when to go.

My depression gives me feelings of suicide, it also gives me feelings of pointlessness and hopelessness. When you feel everything is collapsing it's hard to keep hope alive. I'm optimistic sure but only selectively.

When I was younger, I was able to roam the hills; helm boats; ride a bike, swim and run at competitions. I had free movement. By which I mean, I could move freely within a space. Now, I have to rely on one of three things: a white stick; a person or a dog. Neither of these feel truly comfortable. A person feels lame, it feels like you're a child again who needs to be supervised so they don't try playing with the traffic. A dog is okay, when you have feelings of “I can't be fucked” it makes it difficult to care for another living thing – even more so when you're not too bothered about your own existence. The stick, well, I've been a stick/cane user since I was fourteen. At first I was self conscious and not very keen on it. I eventually saw that it made people treat me special which was cool and kind or fun. Then once I learned it was because they saw me as vulnerable and/or weak compared to another person similar to me but with sight, I resented it. Now I know it's a symbol of vulnerability – I don't feel safe going outside on my own because in todays world, may in every age, criminals have no self respect and will attack the vulnerable in society.

I know I'm more than just a queer crip with tits. I'm a whole person. I don't know how most people label me at first contact but crip, tits and queer feel the most likely. Only after they've noticed these things they'll find out true me. For most people however, biases influence their future thoughts. For a blind person you're pretty cool. You're pretty for a queer… these are things that have been said to me.

Ask yourself, what reasons do I have to be a happy person? When I'm happy inside it's more than likely, you wont notice. I put on a show and get the best comments, 'For someone who has so much going against them, you're really positive…”. I am positive, positive that I hate my situation. Unlike the person(s) that have said such things, I'm not an insular muppet. I know things could be so much worse for me. I could be in a wheelchair, missing limbs and being tube fed while being blind and having pain and mental health troubles. Why don't I use that as a constant thing to boost me up? It only does to those people who are less able – what more able people do to me. They're no more inspiration/positivity porn than I am.

I will go to my shift this evening, I might cope (probably will) and I probably wont kill myself. I will be guided to the toilet; I will be driven to the building and I will have my dinner cooked. I probably will have a crap sleep, I'll probably feel glum then happy and then glum again. I wont give up though. I am not strong or resilient. Most of all I am not well/healthy but this doesn't mean…

I'm Your Inspiration