miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
I got the train into Bradford to go to work today. I get the train into work a lot. Sometimes it's late, and I gripe. Sometimes it's full, and I gripe about that too, especially if it's a smelly ancient Pacer. Sometimes it's empty, and the seats are nice, and I get a table to myself. Sometimes I get the sexy driver with the long hair and beard*. Sometimes I have chats with @NorthernRailOrg on twitter**.

Today is the first time I have ever been on a train that hit a person.

Bradford Interchange's platforms are all bay platforms, so I usually try to sit as close to the driver's cab as possible, to minimise the number of people I have to squeeze past when I get off the train. Today I was sitting at the nearest table to the drivers' cab. I was playing a game on my phone, and intermittently glancing at twitter and email. There had been a lot of emails in the morning because of an administrative error causing problems for one of my members who is attending Lib Dem Conference next month. I was checking to see if things were getting sorted out. I wasn't really paying attention to the train. The train just was.

Then there was a noise like crump and the train jerked. I think I swore. I looked across at the two girls sitting at the table across the aisle from me and was about to say what the hell was THAT? when a human body described a graceful arc past the window we were all three looking at.

Suddenly talking seemed a bit pointless.

The train pulled up and stopped for a while then took us in to Bradford. I texted someone I knew was in Bradford, because I needed a friendly face. As I got off the train I tried not to look at the dent on the front of it, but I couldn't help myself. It wasn't that big a dent, really. Not for a human life. There was a dead pigeon too, stuck to the rubbery bit which I don't know the name of on the front of the train.

The person I texted met me at the entrance to BDI and gave me copious hugs. They were very necessary hugs. He's a good hugger anyway, but today those hugs were especially appreciated. When you've witnessed a thing like that, any form of human contact is good, just to confirm that you're still alive and that people care about you.

And then I went to work. Because you've got to carry on, haven't you?

I have since heard that the incident was a fatality. I hope that the person who was hit is at rest, and that their family are coping, and that the driver of the train is OK, because Cthulhu knows that's got to be a horrible thing to happen to you at work.

I have the urge to contact everybody that I love and tell them all that I love them and how valuable they are to me, but that's impractical and they'd probably just call me a soppy bugger anyway.

I'll say one more thing. The next time I am umming and ahing about doing something, and the person who has asked me to do it says to me Oh go on, you could get hit by a train/bus tomorrow... I'm going to have some pretty mixed feelings about that. Life is short, and should be grabbed with both hands; this is an idea I am fully on board with, and today has renewed my determination to do just that. But every time someone says that now, I am going to see a train window, and a horizontal human body curving past it in slow motion...

*Not that I have a crush on a train driver. Nope. Not me O:-)
**often enough that I can usually tell when Tim or Lindsay is the one manning the twitter account, because those two are the ones I talk to most often.
miss_s_b: Captain Kathryn Janeway (Feminist Heroes: Janeway)
"I think we should train the dogs to make breakfast"
"A fine idea in theory, but I fear it would not work in practise. Spike would go into the kitchen, get the butter dish to butter the toast, and hide under the dining table eating it. Roxy would spin round in small circles making Wookiee noises while the toast burnt."
"But that means one of us has to get out of bed..."

PSA: Twitter

Sunday, August 31st, 2014 08:57 am
miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
Before anybody else asks: I haven't blocked you on twitter. I haven't blocked anybody that wasn't already blocked on twitter. I have deactivated my account. It is only temporary, don't worry. It's just that my whelm kind of went over for various reasons yesterday and I needed to shut down properly.

I've had a decent night's sleep now and I'm going to the gym and both of those things usually help my brain to sort itself out.


On feeling safe

Saturday, August 30th, 2014 06:19 am
miss_s_b: (Feminist Heroes: Kate Beckett)
I have been thinking about this on and off all week, and sleeplessness is making me blog about it now. Sorry it's not the cheeriest subject for a Saturday morning...

One of the consequences of my past is that I never feel 100% safe and secure. Even in a blissful post-coital embrace with a lover, even if I trust that person with my life, there is a part of me fretting about my safety. And not only do I never feel truly safe, but I have different things that increase my meagre sense of safety to most people. So where most people feel safer at night if they have locked the doors, I feel less safe if my escape route is impeded. I understand that locking the doores at night keeps burglars out, but I don't like it. I HAVE to know where the keys are, and I don't like having interior doors shut at all, at any time.

I feel safer sleeping on the side of the bed nearest the door. If I go to a new place I have to plan how I would get out, and am anxious and jittery until I have. I need to know where the train station is and that I can get to it at all times, wherever I am; and I always need to have a travel pass, or enough money to buy a ticket to get away if I need to.

When you've had a relationship where the person you love IS the danger, even if it is only one of many relationships, it really screws with your head. And there's always a part of you wondering if it WAS your fault, and if you could make THIS lover treat you the same way.

Intellectually, of course, I know it wasn't my fault. He was just a violent person. I also know that were anybody to try to treat me that way now
1, I am physically strong enough (and have done enough self defence classes) to make sure it wouldn't be me came off worst
2, it would only happen once, then I would end the relationship.
... but that's still not enough for the creeping sense of "what if" to go away. It worms around in my heart, and makes me doubt myself and other people. In this context, allowing myself to love ANYBODY at all is counterintuitive.

I am lucky enough to have more than one person to love. There are people I would trust with not only my own life, but my daughter's. They have proved to me on countless occasions that I could feel safe with them, if only my treacherous heart would allow me to do so. They understand, and they are patient and kind, and do what they can to help when I don't feel safe at all. Allowing myself to love them is my small act of rebellion against the forcible indoctrination that if you open your heart to someone it only leads to physical and emotional pain. I WILL NOT allow myself to believe that is true in all cases, and so I prove to myself it's not by loving people as hard as I can.

This can be a bit intense if you're on the recieving end of it. All I can say is that I am grateful, hugely grateful, for the people willing to be subjected to my love.

You know who you are. Thank you.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Grateful)
So I had a really not-good day at work today. Things bothered me that shouldn't have, and other things didn't go my way for odd reasons, and the phoning gods were agin me (RIDICULOUS amounts of wrong numbers today, like seriously ridiculous). And then I got on the bus home, and there was a girl talking to someone on her phone, trying to estimate how long before she got home. I asked where she was going, and told her how long it would take; and then we got chatting.

She was smart and switched on. She was interested in politics, and she had opinions. She was passionate about what she believed in and she wanted to enthuse other young people... she really cheered me up, frankly, after all the cynicism and world-weary no-point-doing-anything stuff I hear on a regular basis.

So thank you, girl on the bus, for giving this jaded old political hack some hope on a bleak evening. I really value that, and will continue to do so, even if we never meet again.

Thank you.
miss_s_b: (Default)
There are some people whose emails I always want to read - parents, partners, daughter, close friends. There are some people whose emails it is important for me to read - my PPCs, my treasurer, my council group leader, stuff from work, or from region. Maybe 1% of the email I get falls into both of those categories; 95% of the email I get does not fall into either one.

I use gmail labels extensively, and this has worked very well for me. So, while I was in Devon, I put the vacation responder on. I'd seen other people do it. How hard could it be?

The reaction of most people not covered by the two categories above (hereinafter referred to as "those on the list") was astounding to me. Huge numbers of them seemed to take the vacation responder as a reason to send me MORE email. Whereas the people on the list, they generally sent me less email. So the overall effect of vacation responder was to increase the amount of crap and decrease the amount of nice and/or useful email.

Now perhaps I shouldn't have said "Don't worry, I'll be checking my email when I get back" but "if you email me during this time it will be automatically deleted and you'll have to send it again when I come back so don't bother". Perhaps I should have used the vacation responder in conjunction with actually turning email notifications off - but then I would have missed the ones I actually wanted, or were important for me to get.

Or perhaps I should just delete my entire email address and start again from scratch...

The thing is, I now have an inbox full of shite I don't want, have undoubtedly missed some stuff I *did* want, and am intensely annoyed, and thus I want to do something about it. I'll certainly not be using the vacation responder in the way it's currently set up again, but in general, there are decisions to be made. And this is where you come in:

Poll #15723 What Should I do About Email?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11

What Should I do About Email?

View Answers

Skip inbox for everyone except *list*
7 (63.6%)

Set up separate email address for people on *list*
4 (36.4%)

Kill it all with fire and move to a place where email can't get me
0 (0.0%)

Something else
0 (0.0%)

Do feel free to repond on twitter as well as in comments ;)

Alone Time

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 10:45 pm
miss_s_b: DreamSheep/Matrix icon (Blogging: DreamSheep: Matrix)
One of the peculiarities of being me is that I need alone time. I need to know that I can have some time where nobody is going to make demands of me, and I can just read, or play on the Internet, or whatever, & it'll be fine and nobody is going to judge me. I need to know that I can just lie on the sofa and nobody is going to say "shouldn't you be doing the washing up" or "there's a bunch of laundry needs putting away" or whatever. I need to know that at some point it's going to be possible for me to relax.

When I first got together with [personal profile] matgb we were both very insistent that we would need our own space and that there would be times when we would need to be alone and... Yeah. Mat and I discovered that it's quite easy to have Alone Time with another person in the room, so long as that person respects your need for Alone Time. It's quite possible - easy even - for me to have Alone Time with Mat in the room. We just have to not be bothering each other. We can even be CUDDLING and having Alone Time.

I have spent this evening with three of the four people in the entire world who I can have Alone Time with while they are inthe same room. Of all the people in the world, possibly even the universe, there are four people I would trust to understand my need to not interact at any given moment, and it has made everything SO much better to be able to spend the evening with three of them.

I am a very lucky Jennie.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 10:23 pm
miss_s_b: (Love: Addams)
So I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself this week. Those of you who follow me on twitter might have noticed that I have been afflicted with a mystery spotty disease, which it's looking increasingly likely is shingles*. And there have been a couple of other health-related things which... yeah, I'm not going to go into those. But some of you know why they are upsetting. I never realised how much my self-esteem was wrapped up in my appearance, despite being the kind of feminist who doesn't wear make-up etc., until I suddenly have a face like a half-chewed pizza... Anyway, rather than wallow, I thought I would count my blessings:

  • I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and all that jazz. More than many people have.

  • I have an amazing daughter, and doggie-nurses who snuggle me when I'm feeling bad.

  • My boys. Some of you live with me, some of you don't**. You're all amazing. You're all utterly different to each other, but you're all such good people. I am incredibly grateful and privileged to know each one of you.

  • I have the best friends in the world***. By tweet, by text message, by phone call... You have all been there for me this week. Thank you. I wish I could repay you all for the worth you are to me, but there's not enough gold in the world.

  • Gin.

I'm sure I have more blessings to count, but right now? Right now that last one is looking like the best one I've got. Hopefully my next blog post will be less maudlin.

* the doctor said he didn't think it to be shingles because it was too widespread, and he'd lean towards an allergic reaction, but for various reasons (including my dad the human biology teacher turning up at my house, taking one look at me, and saying "well that's CLEARLY shingles!", and the fact that I have had further outbreaks when I have been nowhere but home...) I think it probably is.

** One of you is kind of half and half right now...*cough* Anyway...

*** if you're thinking "oh she probably doesn't mean ME..." I probably do. Y'all have probably heard of micro-aggressions. There should be a similar term for micro-acts-of-kindness. There are some of you who have said something that you probably think of as a throwaway comment, but which has literally shown me that life is worth living this week. That's very valuable indeed.

On Not-Smoking

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 07:03 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Miserable Brian :()
So I'm still at the point where I'm counting hours, rather than days*. I don't want to jinx it, but so far it has been easier than I expected. It turns out that all I needed was someone to offer me a bet that I really didn't want to lose**. But there are a few weak points. I have a list of things I am currently finding it difficult to deal with:
  1. Work. Once an hour, at work, I used to get to walk away from my desk and let all the stress melt away. I haven't been able to do that today. I need some substitute, or I will go postal.

  2. On trains/buses. On every journey I take regularly, I know exactly when the optimum moment is to get out my fag tin and start rolling so I have a cigarette ready for disembarking. This is a very ingrained habit.

  3. While Cooking. Nipping over to the back door for a fag while something warms through is also an ingrained habit.

  4. To get away from an argument. If I get into a row with someone there will come a point when I want to walk away, and I would normally do this by announcing I was going for a fag. This is no longer an option.
I suppose I am lucky in that the After Sex Fag is not that heavily ingrained in me***. If I want to have a fag after sex I have to put my clothes back on and leave the room - or sometimes the building - and mostly I'd rather just cuddle. But the situations on the list above are not really situations I can avoid. So suggestions for coping mechanisms will be gratefully received.

For various reasons****, taking up biting my nails again as a substitute is not an option.

* 67.5
** You're not getting ALL the details, but suffice it to say there's a bottle of gin and Yorkshire Pride riding on this.
*** because of having non-smoker partners.
**** not least of which is that Pauline would kill me -_-"
miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: DCI Gill Murray)
So today is Beltane, and this means contemplation of summer and less-covering clothes, and lots of us are going to be feeling a bit insecure about what we look like. I've seen a lot of posts about making your body "acceptable" for beachwear, and I've seen a lot of other posts decrying those posts and condemning the way they concentrate on percieved flaws and make people feel insecure.

I have a LOT of insecurities about my body. I'm going to list some of them: NOT because I am after sympathy or argument, but purely for illustrative purposes. cut for length and ickiness )The thing is, despite all these percieved flaws, I still have several people who are willing, nay enthusiastic, to fuck me. I have people who, with heartrending sincerity, will lovingly stroke my skin and tell me that I'm beautiful**. Now, I'm fully aware that the plural of anecdote is not data, but the number of people who have fucked me and/or are enthusiastic to fuck me is approaching statistical significance, and they all seem to be in agreement.

If that applies to me, with all my physical flaws, then surely dear reader, it applies to you too. Yes, you may have imperfections. Yes, they might really bother you. But so does everybody else, and none of us judges anyone else as harshly as we judge ourselves.

As it comes to summer and more revealing clothing, be gentle with yourself, don't worry about your flaws, and remember that we all have imperfections but are none the less deserving of love and acceptance.

*your definition of "too much detail" may vary from mine.
**and yes, I'm aware of the old theory that to get anywhere with girls you tell a smart girl she's pretty and a pretty girl she's smart, but I'm as certain as I can be that these people genuinely believe what they are saying.
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
... has been mostly spent knocking on people's doors and talking to them, or shoving leaflets through people's doors, all in the name of Lib Demmery. I shall be singing Letterboxes with more than the usual amount of fervour at the next Glee Club, especially given my injuries*.

Today I alone I have knocked on doors in five different wards, and travelled through a further three on my way between the various canvass sessions. This chairing lark is not all just signing stuff and telling people to shut up in meetings, you know. And the thing I love most about it? Apart from the stunning landscape I get to look at pretty much everywhere in this borough, the people are so lovely. Even those against us (and such strange people do apparently exist) are uniformly lovely about it. One of the antis called me "flower" and wished me luck today; you don't GET that in many places.

Props to all those from m'team who have been out doorknocking with me, especially Mick who has been doing it every day like a one-man canvassing machine, and our MEP Rebecca Taylor who has been in the area too. Also Abid and Chris, and Ruth and Margareta, and Janet and Mike, and Mat; and last but by no means least, my lovely Calder Valley PPC Alisdair who has been to NEARLY as many sessions as me.

So yeah, I'm knackered, but happy, having basically spent my entire "holiday" working. If you'd have told me ten years ago that this is what I'd be doing now? I'd have laughed in your face.

*I actually found myself mumbling lines from it, especially from the "should be subject to regu-la-a-ations" verse - e.g. as I knelt down to push something through a low one muttering "all at waist height" etc.

I had a nightmare....

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 03:22 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Oh dear)
... and it's one of those nightmares that's quite funny when you're not in it, so I'm going to blog about it because that will help me calm down from the panic/frustration I felt on waking.

So I was having an argument with someone I know well in the nightmare. I'm not going to name names because that would be unfair. And after some time of argument I could tell we weren't going to get anywhere, so I asked the person to leave...

Me: ok, I need you to go now
Them: *nod, smile, stay exactly where they are*
Me: no seriously, I need you to GO AWAY.
Them: Understood. Will do. *Still not moving*
After several more attempts of increasing lack of politeness, including begging and attempts at bribery
Them: I am doing! Honestly, I don't understand why you're getting so angry *still not moved at all*

This went on for quite some time with my getting more and more scared and frustrated by my lack of control over the situation and utter inability to get this person to leave... OfC now I'm awake I can appreciate the absurdity of it, but....
miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
Current hair colour is the remains of what I did for conference, and needs sorting. I have no outside-the-house engagements this evening, and I'm bored of washed-outness. I'm not going to bleach the roots this time, so this will be a tide-over till the next dye-job, and as such I am just going to use what I have in the cupboard. And I won't have the time or energy for separating out for several colours.

So what colour should I dye my hair tonight? If you haven't a DW login, feel free to tweet your answer at me (people usually do anyway :))

Poll #15213 Hairdye
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 18

What colour should I dye my hair tonight?

View Answers

Fuschia pink
2 (11.1%)

4 (22.2%)

Royal Blue
7 (38.9%)

3 (16.7%)

I am a Liberal and I am Against This Sort of Thing
2 (11.1%)

ETA: twitter/email votes so far:
Fuschia Pink 4
Violet 3
Royal Blue 4
Turquoise 0
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
So this lunchtime I had an interesting conversation with a Green on Twitter. I have a lot of time for Greens; I agree with a lot (if not all) of their aims and I think there are many areas in which Greens and LDs could work together. But I'm not, and never will be a Green.

If you're a Green your main aim is saving the planet. This is a laudable aim, and not in my view one that any sensible person could oppose. But it's not the be-all and end-all of my politics. The Green I was talking to told me that a good third of his personal politics were staunch Liberalism, and expressed surprise when I said 100% of mine were. Where Greens want to save the planet full stop, I want to save the planet because that will enhance and increase personal freedom.

All the policy aims I support, I support because they will enhance and increase personal freedom.
  • I support the educational policies I support because they will enable people to make informed decisions and thus increase personal freedom.

  • I support the reduction of poverty and wealth inequality because you can't be free if you can't afford to eat.

  • I support a lot of green aims because you can't be free if you don't have a safe planet to be free ON.

  • I support freedom of movement within the EU because you can't be free if you're restricted as to where you can travel.
I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now I may disagree with other Liberals on the best way to achieve any or all of these aims, or even whether these aims would increase personal freedom. But that's OK. I'm a Liberal, and am happy to have discussions, or even stand-up rows, in the cause of freedom. I'm also willing to look at evidence and change my mind if necessary, that one or other of my aims might not increase personal freedom. But at the end of the day, it all goes back to that.

What matters is that we should all be as free as humanly possible*. That's why I'm a Liberal. If you're one too, do join up. You'd be welcome.

* within the strictures of The Harm Principle, obvs. You can't be free if someone else is restricting you by harming you physically or mentally, after all ;)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Drama queen)
So I am physically ill, again. I don't think it's anything serious but it is leaving me exhausted and yet insomniac, which is always a great combination.

I've also been under a bit of stress the last few days - entirely of my own making - which has pushed my never-particularly-stable mental state into full blown beat-myself-up mode. This means that the tiniest thing I get wrong feels like a disaster, and the smallest of my flaws feels like a reason I should be put to death to save the rest of the universe the embarrassment of having to put up with me.

I'm not able to do anything that involves leaving the house because of the physical illness (which makes me feel incredibly guilty and makes the mental problems worse), and because ofthe mental stuff I'm incapable of concentrating enough for books or games or even telly. I'm just about coping with Twitter (while starting the odd pointless argument).

I am posting this so that if I am unexpectedly grumpy or short with you, you know the reason. And I am turning comments off because, frankly, if I get the sort of comments I usually get on an entry like this they will only make me cry at the moment; I know I have people who love me, but right now I can't understand why they do when I'm such a useless piece of crap. This will probably pass. But until it does: apologies in advance if I say something bitchy or cruel or below the belt to you. It's not your fault.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
Dear Everyone,

If someone tells you I have barred them from a place, or banned them from doing something, or that they aren't allowed to say something in front of me, that person is almost certainly lying. In fact, that is a big flashing red neon sign that a person is SUCH a liar that you ought to take everything else they say with a pinch of salt too.


Dear Liar,

if you're going to lie, a few protips:
  1. Don't lie about me to my friends. I WILL hear about it
  2. If you're going to make stuff up, at least make it plausible. For example, if you didn't join the liberal democrats until after the area party AGM, it's unlikely that you would be area party secretary (and I suspect my area party secretary would be surprised to learn she's been replaced without warning or consultation).
  3. I am a pretty forgiving person. However, if I have already forgiven you a vast number of things, do not assume that I will forgive this as well. I do not appreciate being lied about. I really don't.
You are no longer in my good books. You may never be able to get into them again.

no love,

PSA: Bad Brain Day

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 10:45 am
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
I am having one. Work was horrific yesterday, and there were various dramas outside of work as well, and work today looks as though it's not going to be any better. So I'm not tweeting, I'm not reading blogs, I'm only checking emails from people on my important list, and my phone is on block mode*. Cut down and shut down.

It's Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, Nina Simone and various other bluesy jazzy type people on the playlist today.

Still, I did manage to nip into Waterstones and pick up a payday book** on my way into work today, so it's not all bad. I got this. Because how could I resist that when it was displayed so prominently?

*this means that if you try to phone or text me you will only get through if you are one of nine people. Four of whom are work-related, and one of whom doesn't have a working phone at the moment.
**yes, THANK YOU McGREGOR for that idea. Bloody candidates, costing me money.
miss_s_b: (Who: Dalek porn)
There are people in this world who like to be nannied. To turn their brains off and let other people do the thinking. To let someone else make all the decisions and have everything handed to them on the plate. These people are traditional statist Labourites.

There are people in this world who like taking orders. Who like the smack of firm Tory Government.

Good luck to both those sets of people. I'm a Liberal, I don't understand them, but I can dig that that's what they like. It's not what I want, though.

I want hot sexy liberalism, pure and unsullied by authoritarian bullshit. And by Cthulhu I'm lucky enough to know lots of people who want to give it to me. I'm a lucky, LUCKY girl.

miss_s_b: (Mood: Philosophy du Molesworth)
It's trying to snow outside the office right now, so I figure it's time for this public warning:

Many years ago, I was in an abusive relationship. Since that time I have had some measure of martial arts training because I don't EVER want to be in the position again where someone can hurt me physically without coming a LOT worse off than I do. If you surprise me with a physical attack, like, for example, throwing a snowball at me, I will break your face before my conscious brain even realises what I am doing.

For your own safety, do not throw snowballs at me. Or drop them down the back of my neck.

Thank you.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
I'm still not used to the idea of not-working New Year's Eve. It's just WEIRD. But last night was lots of fun. It involved good company, industrial quantities of gin, silly card games, and snuggling on the sofa in front of Jools Holland. I woke up this morning in a happy (if somewhat bleary) tangle of limbs and got brought tea in bed and there was moar snuggling and much relaxed conversation. I cooked breakfast for the boys, and then went back to bed. So yeah, 2014 has been quite enjoyable so far. As for 2013... Well, it had it's ups and downs, but...

Things I learned in 2013
  1. Never underestimate the value of a good support network. This is a lesson I have learned before, but it bears repeating I think. So, in no particular order (and probably missing out a hell of a lot of people) thanks to:
    • my amazing daughter - I really am the luckiest mum in the world.
    • Mat (as always)
    • James (for putting up with my crazy)
    • Helen
    • Caron
    • Alisdair
    • Andy
    • Andrew and Holly
    • Richard and Alex
    • Ozzy
    • Daddy Dave
    • Sarah Brown
    • Other Sarah Brown
    • Zoe
    • Douglas
    • Other James
    • Mick
    • Jezz and Stace and Abjtal and the rest of the Lib Dem twitter massive
    • Everyone else who has been there for me at various points when I needed you.
    You made my life that bit more survivable this year. You all rock, and I am immensely grateful.

  2. If I break my own moral code I will get hurt. Also other people will get hurt too. And the way to sort things out is NOT to compound the breaking of my own moral code with more breakage. I should say, it's not that I haven't learnt this lesson before, it's just that if I ever forget it life will leap up and smack me in the face with it again...

  3. Cuddles are ace. People always assume that being poly is all about shagging (and being bi, for that matter); but sometimes a person just needs hugs. I am lucky enough to know some very huggy people. This is also something I am immensely grateful for.

  4. I'm still not good at the Not-Over-Committing-Myself thing. I too readily agree to do things for people and help people out and then run out of time to do it in. And then I end up letting people down. I always have. I am getting better at not doing this (with the aid of Google Calendar) - and yet also getting worse (seriously, I thought being chair of the local party was going to NOT involve overcommitment? D'Oh!)

  5. Doing Stuff is useful. Not just lying on the sofa with laptop all the non-work time might have led to less blogging, but it's also led to me having a usable bedroom now, getting more campaigning done, and spending more quality time with the people I love. These are all good things.

  6. I need to look after my health better. I've been doing reasonably well at the physical side of this, although I need to go to the gym more, but the last couple of months have involved a couple of worrying mental health slipups. Part of this will involve working harder on 2 & 4 above, I reckon. Almost certainly with the help of 1 and 3 ;)

  7. I'm a pretty lucky person, really. I've got a roof over my head, enough to eat, clothes to wear, lots of people to love who love me back, and lots of Doctor Who toys. I should remember that more.
What of the Year to Come?

Well, it's going to be interesting. I have more responsibilities than ever before, and I'm almost certain to cock up horrifically on occasion, but I'm actually pretty hopeful. I'm not going to make a New Year's resolution because I'm rubbish at those, but I am going to work harder on some of the stuff above. I'm feeling reasonably positive, which is something I hope to hold onto.

And, you know. Chairing. I'm sure I'll get used to the idea at some point...
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bugger)
I am now 36. For various reasons a number of things that have been percolating for a long time all decided to come to fruition at once yesterday, PLUS lots of new and exciting problems all decided to crop up at once too. In terms of personal, political, and mental health issues it was Not A Good Day to put things very mildly indeed. Most of the things that went wrong were at least partly my fault* and as is usual when I'm having a bad brain day this all got magnified in my head till I was fully convinced that I was the worst piece of human scum to have ever walked the earth.

And then I snapped, and went to the pub.

I sat there in the pub feeling like the worst lump of morally bankrupt detritus on the planet, and consumed with self-loathing. I felt like all I had in the world was the glass of beer in front of me and huge amounts of chest pain**. And then I finished the beer. And it was oddly liberating. All the various things that I fret about all the time had either blown up spectacularly in my face or gone away; but whichever category they were in I suddenly realised that meant I didn't have to worry about them any more.

What does one do when one is suddenly freed from all one's worries? Well, I'll tell you what I did. I ordered a large brandy and tried to recruit the barmaid and her friend to the Lib Dems. And I think that tells you more about what is essential to my being than pretty much anything else I have posted on this blog ever.

*with the honourable exception of First Busses stranding [personal profile] magister in Leeds, which meant he had to get a train to Huddersfield and then a taxi from Huddersfield home...
**which is OBVIOUSLY not true, I am in fact incredibly lucky, but when I get into a boo, I don't go halves.
miss_s_b: (Self: boobies)
So I got a parcel today:
New shirts in box on bed

James took pictures of me trying the shirts on. SOME of the pictures were not me pulling ridiculous faces, or blurry from James laughing, so here they are. All pictures can be clicked to be embiggened.

It all started reasonably sensibly...
Me in stripy shirt and suit jacket, posing

more under the cut )
miss_s_b: (Mood: Drama queen)
So last night I got sent home from work after fainting at my desk whilst complaining of chest pain. My dad came to pick me up, and took my pulse and did various other first aidy things and decided that I probably wasn't having a heart attack (yay) so took me home. I spent a fitful night of yet more nightmares and the chest pain was still there this morning, so I went to the doctor.

There now follows a link to storify, as I have already told this tale on twitter. And can't be arsed typing it all out again. And I'm not embedding storify on here because it looks AWFUL and takes ages to scroll past for those who have already watched it unfold on twitter.

Basically what it boils down to is this: if I get mega-stressed and I can't utilise either of my usual coping mechanisms* my intercostal muscles will pull so tight that they will tear my ribcage away from my sternum. I do not see the evolutionary advantage in this capability of the human body, but apparently it's pretty common.

So I have to take a couple of days off work (which work have been very gracious about) and avoid stress. Trying to avoid stress is going to be very stressful, I think... -_-" For one thing, how do I stop the nightmares? Any tips gratefully recieved.

In slightly cheerier news, I got the results back from being a responsible poly person and going to get tested today, cos I know you're all waiting with bated breath for this. As expected, I am all clear on all tests.

*one of which is admittedly healthier than the other. Neither of which are available to me at work.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Mad as a flibble)
So channel 4 did Psychopath Night, and put up a test on their website so you can see how many psychopathic traits you have. You can take the test here. The only reason I know about this is because I was chatting to someone last night who expressed surprise at getting 63% on it, and was mildly offended when I said I wasn't at all surprised.

I then had to elucidate further: I lived with a psychologist for ten years. I got tested a LOT. I know the signs and symptoms of a LOT of psychological problems. I know I have some interesting quirks. I also know I'm not a psychopath, although I bet I would score higher on an online test than the person I was talking to.

I took the test today. I got 85% on it. I was unsurprised, and not a little amused.

The problems with web-based agree/disagree tests are manifold and well known, but with this particular one, I think that my aspie traits combined with non-tradtional attitudes to a number of things, addiction to thrill-seeking, and my tendency to tick agree/disagree strongly rather than moderately would ring the alarm bells. But of course the defining trait of a psychopath is their inability to feel/express emotion. Anyone who has ever met me for more than ten seconds, or indeed read a few posts on this blog, knows that is NOT a trait of mine.

Psychopaths don't have panic attacks, don't self harm, don't wake up screaming in the night from post traumatic nightmares. I do. Plus, pychopaths are not necessarily bad people anyway. So I guess this blog post is meant as reassurance: if you take that test and score highly, don't fret.

ETA: Also:

miss_s_b: (Mood: pervy)
So we're just getting to the end of National HIV testing week, and as I said in my post the other day part of being responsibly poly is not just to play safe, but to get yourself regularly tested. I last got tested for everything as part of the huge numbers of tests they did for my mystery abdominal pain* in May, so it's been about 6 months. So today I went to get tested. I suspect that this is another one of those posts people will accuse me of being "brave" for writing. As usual, I'm not being brave, I'm doing something necessary.

I can't talk about what it's like for boys, because my equipment is different, but I can go into gory detail about what it's like for girls under the cut )

Some of the swabs might get parcelled up to be sent away; some of them might be tested right there and then. I suspect this depends entirely on the facility you get tested at. In terms of my tests today three were done while-u-wait and the rest I have to phone up for in a couple of weeks.

And that's it. I'm not going to try and claim that it's fun, but it's not that bad, and it's necessary.

*Still mysterious, but the surgical adhesion theory seems to hold water because the pain is mostly gone since I lost over a quarter of my body mass...
**Other high risk groups include men who have had sex with other men and anyone who has had sex with filthy foriegners, as well as the ones everybody thinks of like sex workers.
***YAY for knowing everybody who has drunk in a pub in the lower valley the last 15 years
****seriously, one of my funding priorities for the NHS would be astroglide. Even if most people don't bother going for sexual health screening, half the population has to have smear tests on a regular basis...
*****thrush is not actually an STI per se; although it can be sexually transmitted, most of the time it just develops all by its own sweet self. But when you go for sexual health screening makes sense for them to check for that while they're down there.

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

Charities I support:

The Survivors' Trust - donate here
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CAB - donate here


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