Ice-cream money

I wished I had an ice-cream;
so I looked in my purse for money
and all I found was myself.

Ticket from pharmacy weighing scales with a quote from Sandman written across the back
one handwritten and three printed love poems by people I never have/never will meet.
A card with information of Asthma attacks and what to do if I have one.
A tiny drawing of a poké-ball with the words “Pikachu- I Choose You!”.
An out of date student card from when I was still in formal education.
A note from a second hand book saying “Enjoy Your Summer”
Three first Class stamps with Doctors nine to Eleven on them.
A purple piece of card with stuff about Sagittarians on it.
A torn list of my favourite songs from when I was 15.
two 87p stamps: good for a letter to Ireland
Five receipts from Oxfam and WH Smith.
A library receipt of someone else’s loans
A card with contact details for my bank.
Two “Fighting Animal Testing” badges.
A small wire coil (Not a contraceptive).
A drawing of the Cheshire cat by Zoe
An Astérix sticker from a small boy.
My Co-operative membership card.
An attempt at keeping to a budget.
A picture from Rock Paper Cynic
Gloucester County Libraries card
A secret challenge from college.
A sticker with my name on it.
Wagamama’s discount card.
Santander bank debit card.
A card for the local gym
A Blockbuster Card.
A childhood photo.
2 airmail stickers
Bus tickets.
A hair grip
£1.92
€1.21

Make Grá The Law

So a month or two ago a friend of mine asked me my reasons for being behind a yes vote, and it’s taken me this long to reply for a number of reasons. One was because the last few months been mad hectic for me, and another was because I honestly can’t think of a reason not to!
I have honestly never thought seriously about getting married someday. Never since I came out six years ago people have asked me if I’d ever get married to another woman and my answer was always “Not until it’s fully legal in Ireland.” and I honestly thought that it wouldn’t come up for years in Ireland even as a thought.

The no side seem to have decided that the way to win this is by focusing on family as the issue. But their idea of family is so so narrow! They insist on making any form of family other than the heterosexual two parent “norm” feel inadequate every time they pass by a poster.

People say marriage is to protect the children of heterosexual couples only, but my parents never got married and I have never been any worse off or less loved for that.
People say that it’s not what God would want but their religion is not my religion so why should it dicate my life? And does he not say love thy neighbour? Are all men not created equal?
People say we must think of the children, but I grew up thinking certain things would never be for me because I was different.
Any time this is discussed in public forums children see, and they will interalise that information.

Because I live in England at the moment I can’t vote in this referendum and if it doesn’t pass I honestly don’t know how I’ll be able to cope knowing that the country I adore doesn’t love me and mine, doesn’t respect us enough to let us marry the people we love.
Please vote yes in the upcoming referendum, if you vote for anyone vote yes for the children of Ireland who will be able to grow up tall knowing they are equal. Vote to prove that Ireland is leaving the past behind.
Make grá the law!

VOTE YES

Make grá the law.

Christmas Eve’s Eve

It’s Christmas Eve Eve. Me and the fada are sitting the kitchen compiling our festive playlists for our respective blogs (or blobs) while everyone else is very sensibly asleep. I’ve been home since Monday, finishing up a Christmas post for Gaelick (Link to come later), wrapping last minute pressies, tidying a bit, singing with my niece & family and cooking like mad. My brother’s partner and I decided to cook a gormet vegetarian meal from Terre a terror and took her, my sister and I most of the day to prepare. But at the end of the night it was great food.

Here is my small selection of Christmas Choons for 2014. Some of them are old favourites, some relatively recent and some that have nothing to do with Christmas as such but are still lovely.

Every year a friend of mine has a party and it’s one of the highlights of my Christmas where we are asked to draw a heartwarming picture with our non-dominant hand. It’s the Cratchitts being able to buy a new house with the money they got from Scrooge.

Ninja's Christmas Party

New year, new home, new baby! Much joy for Bob and Emily.

I’m going to make a cup of tea and head bedwards but I will leave you with a photo of our Christmas twig from this year.

Christmas Twig

Our Christmas Twig

A Song Flung Up to Heaven: Goodbye to Maya Angelou

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

 maya-angelou

Renowned poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou was found dead this morning. The award winning author was 86 years old and had apparently been in ill health for some time now.

She’d written numerous plays, film scripts, poetry collections and autobiographies as well as receiving multiple awards and honorary doctorates. She was also a strong-willed civil rights activist and we have lost an incredible woman today. One of my favourite books of hers is called Halleujah! The Welcome Table, a collection of anecdotes and family recipes and it shows how and why despite a traumatic childhood, featuring abuse and racial discrimination, she absorbed the unshakable faith and values of community, family, and a deep love of the arts.

She was elective mute for years following sexual abuse and the subsequent death of that abuser. She had become scared, believing, as she said, “I thought, my voice killed him; I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone…”. It was during those years discovered her passion for reading and the written word. It was this love that would cause her to become the writer known as “the black woman’s poet laureate”.

In 1981 she became the lifetime Reynolds Professorship of American Studies at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she lived until her death. She called herself “a teacher who writes”. Angelou taught a variety of subjects including philosophy, ethics, theology, science, theater, and writing, all of which reflected her interests and passions.
Throughout her life she was not only a writer, she was also a dancer, a fry cook, prostitute, mother, singer, producer, professor and lecturer. She worked closely with Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. and in 1993 become the first poet to recite at a presidential inauguration since Robert Frost did in 1961.

She was an inspiration to many, as an author, feminist, teacher, and phenomenal woman. A song has been flung up to Heaven today.

Since I first came across her writing she has been one of my favourite poets. Her words have changed so many lives and touched so many people. And she will be deeply missed. And I will finish this leaving you with my favourite of her poems.

Still I Rise


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Mapmakers Do It Cartographically

For Merry, though not about her.

Veins crisscross your skin like winding roads cover maps,
The AA Ordinance Survey map of you.
I can almost see the contour lines that denote your body’s hills and valleys,
As I kiss you
Up
and
Down them.
Stretch marks cover your breasts and belly like river lines.
I am glad you cannot see inside my head.
You would not appreciate the cartographical beauty I can see in your body.

The Yawhg or Co-Operative Gaming FTW

I’m a big fan of a website called The Mary Sue. Now, contrary to the images the name may conjure, it is awesome, sub headed “A guide to geek girl culture”, blogs about new releases, feminism, geekery and wonder. It’s basically my perfect site.
(Also on a similar page but not something I’m going to talk about now is http://www.epbot.com/).
Now a good while ago in April, I found a review there for a new independent game that had just been released, The Yawhg. This game looked amazing, Becky Chambers’ tales of playing this game drew me right in and I knew with no other information that this was my kind of game, that I would love this game completely. I kept the review open for about two months as a reminder to go to the site, buy the game, but as things so often do with me I forgot and kept putting it off. But eventually I bought it…

The Yawhg is an interesting mishmash of genres and game types, part board game, part tabletop game akin to D&D, you have a character, a tiny picture of a person, and that’s your starting point, all four have the same starting stats, you just have a picture and a portrait that paints itself more with each round. Blue woman, Green man, Red lady, Orange guy, all moving between eight different locations one move a round, with six rounds.

The Yawhg Will be here in six weeks...

The Yawhg will be here in six weeks…

There is a great evil coming, very soon and there is absolutely nothing that can be done to deter it, no one knows what The Yawhg is, and no one mentions it, so you and your companions do the only thing you can do, live your lives.
When I bought it, I was slightly prepared by Becky’s review, I knew that aiming high in one or two stats would benefit me, but I didn’t understand how really, and on my first playthrough I lost the fight, we were defeated, the town was doomed. I sat at the kitchen table, arms wrapped tightly around my legs, staring bereft at the screen, my girlfriend doing something else on the other side of the kitchen came round to see what was going on and I roped her into playing the next game with me…
We failed again and sat together on the verge of tears as the town was doomed a second time and our characters’ epilogues rolled across the screen. It took us a few minutes to gather ourselves together enough to try again, but we did. Both of us armed with the knowledge of how we had failed last time, we tried harder, rather than playing one character each, we took two. We payed attention to who visited which location, we allocated jobs best suiting our stats and it paid off! This time, instead of the burnt and crumbling husk of our town, we saw the flag fly high over towers and blue skies. I changed my desktop background to that ending picture so that even when we lost I would have the reminder that we had won and would again.

Since that first day I’ve played it loads; quick games by myself trying to get new endings; with various friends trying to get them hooked, with my siblings, who didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I hoped; and with my delightful partner, again and again. The replayablity of it is somewhat debatable, the game changes, and you won’t ever be able to play the exact same game twice, and there are lots of different endings (I doubt I’ve uncovered even half) but I can imagine some people getting impatient with it, however I love it and will probably continue playing long after everything has been revealed.

I curled up today for a couple more games with my partner, and it really is the perfect game for a lazy Sunday afternoon, great played cuddled up with tea and a duvet, made perfect by that cozy content feeling when you flourish (as we did). I’d recommend it to anyone who likes stories and playing games with friends around. I think in this age of internet co-ops and online gaming, it’s good to have a game that you have to band together over a single computer to play.

The Yawhg is a lot like life, you do what you can, you have to take chances and try as hard as you can, and as in life sometimes you fail, but it’s worth the failure because you could succeed and at the very least you’ve tried. Sometimes buildings are devoured, sometimes you don’t understand the jokes, but sometimes you get to dance, to help an orphan, to have meaningful conversations late into the night.
My only real other advice is this- If you see a wall-like hedge, run, destroy it, whatever.  Just get away.

Insert 2

7 MORE Questions I Get Asked As a Lesbian

This is dedicated to two of my good friends, one in England, one in Ireland, who ask me many questions, almost all of which are welcomed and answered properly, and who occasionally ask some of these questions! Love yis.

11.“Do you check out girls when they’re changing?”
No, not generally. I’ve been changing with other girls since I was tiny, it’s not a sexual thing, generally I don’t even notice, unless I have a massive crush on someone, in which case I’m generally too shy to change in front of them.

12. “How do you know you’re gay if you’ve never slept with a guy?”
I should not need to explain the stupidity of this. How does someone know they’re straight if they’ve never slept with someone of the same sex?
Often leading into…

13. “And you’re sure you don’t fancy me? (Guys)”
Often followed directly by me laughing while they list their attractive body features I am missing out on.

“You don’t even find my ass a little bit attractive?” No, not even slightly.

14. “I want to go to a gay bar to see what it’s like, will you come with me and pretend to be my girlfriend if I get hit on?”
This always just seemed a bit of a teasing move to me, just say you’re straight, surely?! That’s what I’d say if a man was hitting on me.

15. “Was that your sister? Your… Friend?”
Quite often, that was the girl you saw me kissing a minute ago. Frankly I’m pretty disturbed that you thought that was my sister, it should have been pretty obvious she was not my sister! Or people try to ask if she was my partner or girlfriend but without saying those words, in case they offend me? I don’t know…

16. “I have this friend, she also likes girls, do you want her number?”
I’ve only had this a few times but it was always a bit weird that people would try and match make me with someone based purely on sexuality, but then, I’ve never taken anyone up on this so I don’t know, maybe we would bond over a mutual love of cats, wolf t-shirts and Indigo Girls?

17.“Which of you is the man in the relationship”” Alternatively “Who wears the pants?”
The second ones makes a nice lead in to my favourite ever retaliation to this question. “Sometimes I wear the pants, sometimes she wears the pants, sometimes neither of us wear pants at all.”
As a lesbian, I think that should make it clear that we are both always the women in the relationship. What you’re really asking is who tops, and I won’t answer that either, not matter how often you ask.