The Outrage (or shocking lack thereof)

Recently in both the UK and Australia there has been a big debate in the news about women’s safety, or as it really should be called, male violence against women.

Chris Hemmings gave an excellent interview (you can watch the 2 x clips here on Twitter) about this problematic framing of the debate, and I have seen it previously posted before in a very succinct way that I like:

The constant framing of sexual assault as a women’s safety issue should OFFEND you as a man.

Men should be outraged when someone claims that women can prevent rape by not wearing certain things or not going certain places or not acting in a certain way.
That line of thinking assumes that you are incapable of control. That you are so base and uncivilised that it takes extraordinary effort for you to walk down the street without raping someone.
That you require a certain dress code to be maintained, that certain behaviours be deployed so that maybe, just maybe, today you won’t rape someone.
It presumes that your natural state is rapist.
Men should be outraged every time someone suggests that a woman’s body in an invitation for attack or abuse just because parts of it are visible.”

Continue reading

2021 Book Challenge

For the 5th year in a row, my dad and I are embarking on the Popsugar reading challenge. It’s been a fairly slow start to the year what with one thing and another, but here’s a few I’ve read so far.

Book 1: The Survivors, by Jane Harper

Category: A book published in 2021

I love this author. Her first book The Dry was AMAZING and has just been made into a movie. I didn’t love Force of Nature, her second book, but her third The Lost Man and this one were both also excellent. They are proper, gripping, page turners. There is almost always a murder or suspected murder and a whodunnit style exploration of a small town and it’s inhabitants, who all seem to have secrets and motives etc. They are quintessentially Australian and the scenery and setting is vividly pictured.

This was technically released in Australia in 2020, but is not released in the UK until later in Jan 2021 so I’m counting it. My friend in Oz sent it to me as a Christmas present so I was able to read it before it’s even released here, and I literally raced through it in 2 days. A strong start to the year! Continue reading

Light at the end of the tunnel

So since I last wrote we did another week in isolation, it was hard, and I was still utterly exhausted all the time and getting awful headaches most days.

I had another really tough day on the Friday (our last day of isolation) and woke up knackered and weepy and just couldn’t stop crying all morning. My lovely mum came down to stay for a few days, as it turns out 26 days in total isolation trapped in the house with a small child was enough to break me completely. After a few days of rest while my mum helped out with my daughter, the kid went back to nursery at last and I took a few extra days off work to really try and rest properly without a small child around. The doctor also prescribed me some antibiotics in case the headaches were related to sinusitis or a secondary infection, as my temperature was still going up and down a lot and something clearly still wasn’t right with my body.

I don’t know if it was the rest, the antibiotics, or just time, but I finally started to feel properly better, and I have now felt well (and normal) for two weeks, and my temperature has been completely back to normal ever since the antibiotics. Continue reading

The road to nowhere…

Well I am slowly starting to feel better again, and I’ve had a few much-needed calls with good friends which has certainly helped with my crappy mood.

The last few days I’ve just felt tired, knackered, exhausted, and had near-constant headaches. The trouble is I can’t tell how much of it is a Covid-relapse, and how much is just tiredness from being stuck at home alone with a 3-year old with no break, rest, or respite while trying to recuperate, and how much is due to having a low mood and feeling really miserable and down in general.

On Friday, I realised that I need to keep my poor car Polly running long enough for us to be able to collect the new car, and the battery keeps dying due to total lack of use. It is a struggle to start these days at all, and so we decided to take a drive.

Now technically we’re isolating and can’t go anywhere or come into contact with any people, even though it’s clearly a false positive test at this point, so you know what we did?

We drove around the ring road. We aimlessly circled Oxford. That’s how rock and roll my life is now.

We couldn’t use the Sat Nav, as it’s software designed to take you to your destination via the shortest/fastest route possible, so it’s very hard to make it take you in an aimless circle with no purpose only to bring you back home where you started.

Turns out the ring road is harder to navigate than I anticipated, so we managed to get lost twice, which feels like a new low.

We drove for 24 miles, and with the wrong turns drove for almost 50mins, which I hope is enough to keep the car battery going a bit longer. The kid had a mini nap in the car, so it was surprisingly peaceful just driving in a big circle around and around. It’s really sad but it felt like an outing, and it’s the furthest we’ve physically been from the house in about 5-6 weeks. If you’d told me a year ago that I would consider driving aimlessly around the city with no purpose or reason an exciting trip out I’d have thought you were insane.

Now, of course when you’re isolating you’re supposed to stay at home, but frankly after 16 days straight in serious hardcore didn’t-leave-the-house isolation as a single mum alone with a toddler, and then going into another 10 days, I feel that our sad, aimless drive around the ring road was ok and was still within the spirit of the law – we stayed in the car the whole time, didn’t stop anywhere and didn’t go near anyone else – which is more than Dominic Cummings can claim…

Was our journey essential?

For Polly, yes, she barely started and needs to limp along a bit more until we can go get our new car.

For the sake of my mental health – also yes, but I don’t know how essential my personal mental health is to the people who make the rules.

On Sunday I had another bad day – shocking headache all day and super tired. I had to give in and take a nap at 3pm as I physically couldn’t stay awake any longer so the kid watched cartoons while I dozed on the sofa, then got an early night. I’m chomping through paracetamol and drinking tons of water but it doesn’t seem to help at all with the headaches, feels like my brain is being squeezed in a vice. My temperature is still going up and down and is higher than it should be. I am still getting little mini-flushes of fever now and again, and in general my resting body temp is definitely higher than it normally is though I haven’t had a proper fever again since Tuesday.

Hoping it starts to get better soon, it’s all very very boring now, I’m tired and fed up and cross with it all, and just so over it. Something is just not right with my body at all, and I’m really bored of waiting to see what it will do next.

Only 5 more days in isolation to go….

Isolation Blues…

So, after my 2 weeks of Covid awfulness, and 16 days in isolation with a toddler, I finally really truly did start to feel better.

My symptoms properly went away and I went back to work and the kid went back to nursery. We both had a good week, she loved being back at the nursery and I had a busy week catching up on what I had missed at work and launching a new online/remote training course I had developed. Continue reading

Bit more plague…

So my optimism about feeling better last weekend was short-lived.

Sunday I felt mostly ok, though my fever came back in the evening, which was weird and annoying.

Monday I woke up feeling MILES better and had some actual energy for the first time in ages. I actually logged on and did some work for a couple of hours while the kid watched tv, and while I told my boss I’m not back yet properly I was cocky and confident that I was truly getting better.

In the afternoon I slumped a bit but figured it was just from being so refreshed and energised in the morning. My fever came back again in the evening and I sloped off to bed for another early night.

Then came Tuesday….. Continue reading

Plague House

So, on the 3rd January, I wrote to the kid’s nursery and asked if they were planning to reinstate the bubble system they had before. When nurseries first reopened back in June after our first lockdown, they had to split the children into 2 bubbles, with separate areas for them to play in and separate entrances for the parents to reduce contact. This at the time was Government-mandated, though the Gov lifted this guidance in July, and our nursery kept it in place until the holidays in August, but when they went back in September they had gotten rid of it so all the kids could play together again.

I asked the nursery if we shouldn’t consider putting this precaution back into place even though the Government hasn’t required it this time around, as a voluntary measure we could take to reduce the risk to everyone. They decided not to do that, unless the Gov changes the guidance. Continue reading