Sorry Your Face Hurts

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Pretty album cover by Rick Ross despite the fact it featured Chris Brown notorious woman-beater who never has shown he’s sorry for what he did. Gotta love a bit of irony.

Elton John said sorry seems to be the hardest word to say, but it’s not. It’s pretty easy actually, especially when you have the luxury of text messages, emails and social media to type it down. What seems to be the hardest part is actually meaning it, and acknowledging what you are sorry for.

It is not simply enough to just say sorry, especially if you have wounded someone emotionally and you say “sorry you’re upset” because you are placing the blame on the upset person for their response to your thoughtlessness or cruelty. If I were to punch someone in the face and say “I’m sorry you’re mad” or “I’m sorry your face hurts” I have failed to take responsibility for the fact I assaulted someone. What I would be expected to say is “I’m sorry I hurt you, I’m sorry I hit you, I’m sorry I acted inappropriately.”

Why is it that when someone causes you emotional hurt they are allowed to get away without acknowledging that they did something wrong. They get away with passing the blame onto the victim of the emotional assault, by apologising that they reacted in a certain way. Even if your intentions were not to wound someone, if you hurt them, you still should apologise and apologise properly.

Sorry isn’t the hardest word to say, it’s all too easy, and if it’s not said with conviction or acknowledgement as to the person’s actions, it’s almost as bad as no apology at all, because in not apologising properly a person is reinforcing the idea that they still believe they are right and that they have nothing to apologise for and more often that they do not care about your feelings.

Forgiveness will set you free, and harbouring a grudge is never healthy – but you do not have to accept insincere apologies just because someone made an eighth of an ounce of effort by lobbing the s word at you. Your forgiveness can only be pure when the apology is.

Once a sincere apology is made, and acknowledgement that what was said and done was hurtful, and a person is wrong for having done so, I will forgive. Until that time, I will not harbour a grudge that will harm my own mental health, but I will certainly not interact with that person willingly. I want to forgive, but I am not a pushover and I will not forgive someone who believes they have done nothing wrong when a massive hurt has been caused. If that person can come to me with an open heart and apologise with sincerity, I will forgive. But all the while sorry is all too easy a word to say, I’m just not that interested.

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Anxious Minds and Nitpicking: Starting a Degree

I start a degree with The Open University officially in 2 days time. I’ve been rather nervous about this, as I’m sure pretty much everyone is, and when you combine these jangling nerves with PTSD and anxiety, it has some serious ramifications.

I’ve managed to find fault with my degree before I’ve even started. Why? Because I’m terrified I’m going to fail, and if I find the cloud in all that silver lining I should be seeing, if I do fail it will be less heartbreaking.

So, what’s wrong with the degree program? Absolutely. Nothing. It looks incredible, and the contact I’ve had with my tutor thus far has convinced me of how supportive The OU is, and their disability department have been incredibly helpful too. The course materials are a high quality, and the module website and the student home website are fantastic (if take a little time to get my technotroglodyte head around), and the reputation of The OU is so incredible that I know I’m in safe hands.

There is something fundamentally wrong with me (oooooh Kim, don’t open that can of worms!) because I have looked for something not to like about it. So what do I not like about it? The course materials are too good. I kid you not, I am nitpicking about the excellent quality of the OU’s materials. I have decided that this degree is a now or never for me and that to achieve this, I must push myself. I’ve always coasted by and done well without ever actually needing to really really push. I want this to be different, I want to push myself to my absolute maximum so I can take huge pride in what I achieve and never have to wonder what I could have done differently. For me, that means being that weird little nerd sitting away from everyone else, nose in a text book, picking apart and analysing every tiny detail, and doing everything by myself and for myself.

Why?

Because I have anxiety. I have PTSD. I am too afraid to open myself up, and take help and support, because I’m terrified of what might happen if the support comes crashing down around me and I’m scared of letting down a support network.
The hugest irony is that my degree is in Psychology with Counselling. I can’t even be my own therapist, so I’m afraid of failure even more. Which, as someone who is in psychotherapy and has discussed this many many times with their clinical psychologist therapist – it’s hardest to be your own therapist anyway.

Hopefully once I start, I will be on track to eventually become a Clinical Psychologist, my career ambition, and I might be in a position where I can use my experience to benefit others. Here’s hopin’! So, brain, STOP BEING AN EEYORE.

Yes, I’m actually updating this blog: SURVIVAL

‘Hello!’ to my one reader that isn’t my mother! I am the worst at this whole blogging thing, I can’t believe I actually thought I would update this a couple of times a week when I first started. How utterly naive and ridiculous of me. I must try harder however!

So, what shall I bring to the table today? Will it be something light and breezy? Something fun? No, of course not. Today I will be discussing. Domestic abuse. There are thousands upon thousands of articles, blogs, forums and discussions about domestic abuse, and all of them have terrifying statistics, recollections of traumatic events, memorials, and harrowing insights. I’m not going to do that, because honestly I will not stop ranting. I will not stop throwing statistics at you, and I will not stop shouting from the rooftops about how the Tory budget cuts are killing women. And I will not stop telling you how the patriarchy (stop rolling your eyes!) has so ingrained the idea of male superiority over women and proliferates the violence and degradation towards women and it’s only when a woman is already in a terrifying situation, covered in bruises that (some) people start to notice – never the lead up to it from society that left her so vulnerable.

See, ranty… so I’m going to stop there and I’m going to talk about survival.

 

SURVIVAL.

 

Survival is rare. There are women (and, of course, men) lucky enough to escape the situation in which they have been controlled and imprisoned, and not end up as one of the fatal statistics, but there is very rarely *survival* . Survival implies that you are free from it, that you have made it through, and you’re okay. It has been ten years, and six since freedom, but I wouldn’t say I have yet reached survival. I’m getting there, but I still have a gaping hole in my nose which cannot be repaired by a leading plastic surgeon, I still have a metal shoulder and I still have scars across my body. I get terrible nosebleeds, and struggle with breathing, and have had a permanent sinus headache for 8 years because of the nose. I have limited mobility in my shoulder and am waiting for the other to be repaired too. My wrists crunch and crack and I’m in my (late) 20s and have been diagnosed with arthritis. Then on top of that come the seizures, including the potential for injury every time. But what is the worst is the mental scars, the night terrors, the fear of the phone ringing, the fear of the doorbell, the constant looking over your shoulder, the having to sit in the corner in a restaurant so there’s nobody behind you, the flinching when your loving partner wraps his arms around you in a sweet cuddle.

Ten years is a long time. But I’m doing okay. I wouldn’t call myself a survivor, but I no longer spend my entire life on a mixture of high alert and curled up in bed shutting out the world. There are days when I can walk out the front door and go to the corner shop now and get halfway there and realise I didn’t have to take deep breaths before opening the door.

This week I start a whole new chapter in my life: I am starting a new degree. So many positive things exist in my life already: a loving family, an incredible partner, and the support from him and my family, and his wonderful family; my super friends, my beautiful dog, a lovely home, and the gratitude I have for a roof over my head, clean water, heating in the cold, a bed to sleep in, and food to sustain and enjoy, and access to health care. However, this is the first thing I have done in my adult life that I am doing just for me. My degree at 18 was marred and robbed from me, and whilst I achieved well, it was always be with the knowledge of trauma attached. I will remember writing that essay with a fractured wrist, reading that book for the class cowering in the kitchen, but this time, I will be taking charge of my life and I will be achieving and I will be able to delight in my achievements rather than being afraid to declare my own success lest it offend someone so fragile in their self-worth that they had to destroy mine. I have come leaps and bounds, but I’m still not there. I have started to develop a sense of myself for the first time in my adult life, I no longer base my choices solely on what others may think or do in response. I have started making decisions for myself, and for the best interests of *both* myself and my partner, or whoever else is involved in the situation. I have cut toxic people from my life, rather than letting them have control over me.

I haven’t survived yet, but maybe one day, I will be able to look at both of my graduation photos (the one professionally edited to remove the torturer, and my second one) and I will say to myself “Wow, I haven’t just come such a long way, I’ve come all the way. Now I can say for certain that I have survived.”

Why I care so much about Trump all the way from The UK.

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A lot of people ask me why I care so much about Trump and his policies. “But he’s in America, he doesn’t affect you.” , “Why does a girl* from Kent care so much about Trump?” (*firstly ‘girl’? Come off it, I’m 27… I’m a woman!)

Well I shall tell you why I went on an Anti-Trump demo on 20th Feb 2017, and why I have repeatedly shared statistics, news reports, and opinion on Trump. He’s the President of The United States of America. He’s the Leader of The Free World. Allegedly.

He’s a man who got into position despite the fact that he talked about sexually assaulting women with pride, he’s a man who lies frequently and unashamedly, he’s a man who has no experience, he’s a man who throws temper tantrums, he’s a man whose administration is blocking the freedom of the press. He’s a man who has chosen a man who is so anti LGBT rights for his VP. He’s a man who signed policies on women’s reproductive rights in a room full of men. He’s also a man who is racist to the very core of his very few actual policies. When given a chance to say he was opposed to antisemitic violence, he didn’t say the couple of words, he instead talked about his election win.

He is a man who uses the racism and fears of those who are either willfully ignorant to facts, or unaware through a lack of education or worryingly, a lack of access to informative media. He stirs up hatred and uses it as a platform for his own success.

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“Yes Kim”, you say, “But that’s in America. You’re in Britain.”

Yes I am, and trust me when I say I do worry about our government, our country, our services, our welfare. I do a lot, stuff you may not see, but trust me, I do my share to tackle Tory policies that marginalise the already vulnerable, and practically seek to disenfranchise the most vulnerable members of society. I stand up to that too. I am frequently fervidly writing to my MP, tweeting him, and sharing things across social media with facts and statistics. I am also a member of The Labour Party, and have recently become much more involved, as I was about 4 years ago before my health slid so far down.

I am not jumping on a bandwagon of hating Trump. I hate Trump’s politics and Trump’s politics aren’t just relevant in the USA, they are relevant worldwide.
How many far right people in the UK celebrated Trump’s victory and made comments about America finally getting a sensible leader? Thankfully not too many that I saw, but it happened.
It gave people like those in UKIP and the increasingly less relevant (thank goodness) Britain First a platform. It gave them a glimmer of hope. If America was easy enough to lie to and dupe into electing Trump, they may be able to utilise his tactics and take on more pockets of Britain. They already got Brexit out of a pack of lies to the public after all.

Furthermore, do you not think that all the shining examples of democracy The USA has provided for us in history suddenly doesn’t count? America has been a beacon of tolerance, hope and equality throughout the years, and it stands as almost a yard stick by which other countries measure their policies on.
Do you not think to suddenly ban all Muslims from the States if they come from certain countries means other governments won’t try and follow suit? Do you really think it won’t impact our country? What about when Sir Mo Farrah is banned? What happens then when it actually affects someone in the public limelight in Britain?
What happens when our government suddenly stops people coming into our country, and sends people “back” who are already resident…. Oh wait… Isn’t that what’s already happening?
This spread of nationalism, fascism and racist fearmongering is happening on both sides of The Pond. It’s terrifying. And the more credence Trump gets, the more it spurs on the (thankfully minority) of extreme right in this country.

Do you remember when Nigel FarRightAge repeatedly banging on about using the Australian Government’s Points System with regards to immigration?
How many people did you hear spouting off the same thing, not understanding it (and ironically not realising that Australia had a far higher rate of immigration). Do you not think that those same people will start talking about Trump’s version of this, Trump’s version of that?

It doesn’t matter where in the party Farage is, leader or not, he is still the mouthpiece for their vile spewing of hatred. And he is still the soapbox that your racist Nan listens to. He told the EU Parliament they were “antidemocratic zealots” whilst defending Trump’s first Muslim Ban. He said that people who thought that it was undemocratic to ban an entire race of people were antidemocratic. Let that sink in. According to Farage, it’s democratic for Trump to deny democracy to people. Whilst this gave Seb Dance an opportunity to become the hero of social media, it is deeply disturbing that this was ever given any credibility in the first place.

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And despite the fact champions like Seb Dance say “woah, hold up a second, no!” and people throughout Twitter, and the media, continue to fight Trump with facts, it still doesn’t matter.
It’s starting to take that shape in the UK. I am not going to say whether I am pro or anti Corbyn, as that is a huge and separate issue, but Corbyn published his tax returns and he was accused of making mistakes and not declaring things: this was proven by facts to be utterly false. But the retractions either didn’t come or were so insignificant that it didn’t hit those that readily believed that Corbyn was tax dodging or whatever.

The image at the top of this page is the famous quote by Martin Neimöller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

This is precisely why even if something doesn’t directly affect me, if it affects the world, I care. Neimöller was referring to guilt by non-action when it came to Nazi Germany. How just because it didn’t affect him, he was not willing to stand up and say anything. But that meant that the more control and the less opposition the Nazis faced, the easier it was for them to come after other groups until eventually they came for people in his position.

American policy will affect UK politics and life, through immigration, economics, and general world view of minority groups.
I’m not prepared to sit by quietly whilst Trump and May cosy up to one another and slowly dismantle Western society piece by piece. I’m disabled, I’m a woman, and I’m LGBTQ+. I’m not the first target because I’m a White Christian, but I’m pretty high up there, so I’m going to stand up and not let them take down the first target. It might not directly impact me, but their atrocious policies impact others, and that’s just not good enough. If I don’t stand against that, how can I expect anyone to stand up against anything that personally affects me too?

We cannot expect to be involved nationally if the grassroots do not exist.

Oh gosh, darn and golly. My poor neglected blog! It has been almost an entire year since I tended to the garden of tranquility for my poor chaotic mind.

Why have I come back today, and not cut and run? Well, because I just followed a new blog site, Southborough News , and it got me thinking about the importance of the grass roots of local politics. (And that’s where I’ve lost half the people who read the first few lines) .

Since I last updated my blog two pretty major political events have taken place and I’m pretty sure my faithful readership (all both of you) are probably surprised I didn’t have a big old Brexit rant and that I didn’t turn the airwaves (is it airwaves when it’s the internet? The webwaves? Or can we just live with metaphor?) red (white) and blue with ranting and raving and a LOT of cursing regarding Donald Trump’s election and inauguration.
(Please note I have been very good and referred to him by his correct name and not the very unaffectionate pet name I used around the house when ranting at my poor long-suffering partner. Suffice it to say that it involves enveloping Trump in a particular 4 letter word and a trumpet. If you can’t work it out and are curious, message me and I’ll tell you… But you have to swear not to tell the NSA. I want my blog privileges and my fake news status.)

So why have I come back to blog about my local by-election? I’ve every doubt if you’re not in my area you have no idea where the Southborough North Ward is, and if you are, you may not even know where it encompasses. It’s because of a huge hot button issue in Southborough which may finally give the Tories a bit of a bloody nose in this area, and may see them losing to Liberal Democrats (no Labour candidate standing): the demolition of a particular landmark in the area – The Royal Victoria Hall.
I’m 27, and I fondly remember this particular place from my childhood, but I know people older than my mother who also remember going there as a child.

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The Royal Victoria Hall was built in 1900, and it has been a focal point for the community of Southborough for such a long time. It is also where our council offices are held. People assume that because Southborough is a part of Tunbridge Wells and also falls under Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, that it’s one and the same. But NO! We have our own Town Council here in Southborough and if/when The Tories pull down that landmark building, the Southborough Council will be left without an office (actually they’ve been offered an attic at the TWBC offices, how very generous…)

It seems that the Tories have had their greedy eyes on this building for a long time, and build “The Southborough Hub”, and have been selling off land in other locations to fund this project. Local Councillor Nick Blackwell from Labour has said that they “seem intent on selling off every asset STC owns to satisfy their vanity project” (Quote source here) and sadly, I would have to agree very strongly with that sentiment.
I love where I live, but it doesn’t take much to see how overlooked Southborough is in the area. Abandoned derelict spaces are smattered down our version of a High Street, and yes, the RVH isn’t in the best of shape. But what do the local government do here? Nothing.

“Aha, but Kim!” I hear the defenders of the blue team cry, “The Southborough Hub! That’s hardly nothing!” And yes, you’re right, the Tories want to build a community hub with council office space, a new theatre space, a drs surgery, and it’s all going to be shiny and new and exciting!
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? Tis the very essence of showing off and a waste of money.
I have seen and heard this community hub being referred to as a vanity project by 5 different people in as many days. And it is. It is an ego massage of the Conservative Council who just want to appear to be doing something phenomenal without actually doing anything. Everything they proposed about the funding (it would be self funding apparently) has been blown out of the water, and many people are highly dubious that it will be what they have promised.

So many people are opposed to the Hub, but more particularly, the demolition of the Victorian era hall. Opinion in the area is not massively split (of course some people support it, but in general, most people have joined the campaign to save it.) Most people believe that the money for the Hub should be used to renovate this century old building. It won’t cost as much as the Hub, and additions can be made, creating spaces that the Tories allegedly have dreamed of.
But opinion of the electorate has not been listened to. Is it any wonder that people become so despondent with politics, when at the very basic level, people who they actually may run into down the pub who they elected won’t even listen to them? How do people think they have a chance of being listened to by anyone in Westminster, if their Councillor won’t even listen?

Furthermore, and here’s where I go all Brexit ranting on you, (you just knew it was coming, didn’t you?) if the opinions of the nation are enough to pull us out of a decades old stable political alliance and trade agreement and risk our nation’s entire economic security, as well as our nation’s moral compass smashing to pieces as our PM desperately forges an alliance with a Racist Dorito … whoops… an unqualified statesmanan unfairly elected bigot the President of the USA, as a result of being friendless in Europe , then why do the opinions of the residents of Southborough not matter?

 

The Southborough Community Hub, in very basic theory, sounds like a grand idea. A place for those in the community to share, a space where people can go and be a part of the fabric of our local area. But we already have a place we can do that – it needs renovating not destroying.
There is very little wonder as to why that old sense of community has vanished in modern Britain. That Blitz Spirit that Baby Boomer Brexiteers so extolled, and used as a reason to think we can make our country great again just doesn’t exist. Why? Not because of “foreigners”, if that spirit existed still it would be all encompassing and would extend to anyone and everyone – kind of the point. It is my opinion that it is the fault of politicians with bigger ambitions than serving their communities, overlooking their electorate, and completely destroying our local community pride, that has led to the desecration of that spirit. It is also my opinion that areas in which the local community actually act like a community are the areas where people are more likely to be trusting of those from different backgrounds.

If you get people at a grassroots level, and encourage a sense of community pride, that all adds up to national pride NOT nationalism. And that is how we avoid the election of Wax Faced Bigots and Fascist Tangerines in gelded rooms whilst blaming immigrants for why you have less money.

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National and International politics may seem more important to you, wherever you are, than my little Ward’s problems with an old Victorian theatre, but honestly – this is important. This is where politics loses people. People don’t see any benefit in their area, so they become apathetic. They allow people to get into local office, to become an MP, and get a tiny bit of influence because they just don’t care to vote in their local election. That MP gets noticed, gets more influence in Parliament and before you know it is an ESA-cutting, anti-abortion (ie denying women rights to bodily autonomy), pro-homeopathy, NHS selling supporting, Junior Doctor bashing, Cabinet Member who campaigned Remain but is voting in favour of Hard Brexit due to the cushy promotion he got in the Post Brexit Chaotic “Shuffle”. Yes Greg Clark, I’m looking at you. Thanks for your spineless letter I received today saying that whilst you ethically opposed Brexit before June, you’d prefer to vote for it now.

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So yeah, meet Greg Clark, Business Secretary as of July 2016. He is my LOCAL MP. He was my grassroots local MP.
He is now in a position of huge influence. Theresa May was once “just” a local MP. Last week she outraged her entire nation by keeping quiet and not standing up to vile racism and dictatorial policy making from the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world. She shook his tiny hand and sold off our NHS whilst keeping quiet about his policies for far too long (for comparison – Canada’s PM immediately condemned it and offered asylum; not to mention the majority of European political leaders, and many many UK politicians.)
Theresa May was there. Theresa May was silent. Theresa May, MP for Maidenhead.

Remember that before you cast aside grassroots politics.

Remember that before you think that local election is a waste of time.

Think local.
And politicians – remember your electorate. Remember the people who put you there. And remember the percentage by which you won when you ignore the will of the people and remember how much that can change.
Hopefully, this lifelong Red will get to see that change next week.

Oh, and for goodness sakes SAVE SOUTHBOROUGH’S ROYAL VICTORIA HALL.

Teaching ’em young

This is my sister’s blog and my god she’s amazing.
VOTING MATTERS. Teach them young, teach them well.

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Even if you aren’t into politics, it probably hadn’t escaped your attention that there were some elections across the UK last week. As a Labour Party member, activist, and councillor, I concede that I probably take more of an interest in this than some, but I really do bloody love an election.

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Shakespeare +400 years (and one week)

I started this post on the 23rd April (2016) but unfortunately I was quite ill and therefore didn’t finish this, and I thought that good old Will deserved a good post and he wouldn’t mind if it was a week late!

So indulge me and pretend it’s today!

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There is a joke (one my father used to say every April 23rd) “What would William Shakespeare be famous for if he was still alive today?” The answer, of course, is “Being the oldest living man” whereas the first time you hear the joke, you may leap to the conclusion of being the world’s most famous playwright and poet.
When people think of Shakespeare, they think of his immense catalogue of works, and often that he supposedly was born on the same date he died. (It is suggested that he was born on 23rd April based on his baptism date of 26th April 1564 and the custom of the era to baptise after a few days). Whatever his date of birth, he was famous by his death, and we know that he died on 23rd April 1616.

Today marks the 400th anniversary of the death of the playwright, William Shakespeare. But it is not the death of “Shakespeare”. It was the death of the man, but the legacy that is Shakespeare still lives on.

Many people died on 23rd April 1616, I have no doubt, and many will die on 23rd April 2016. We will never know all of those names, and we, as a world society, will not remember them for years to come. But Shakespeare, Shakespeare we do.

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William Shakespeare (April 1564 – 23rd April 1616)

Be Not Afraid of Greatness

In Shakespeare’s play, Twelfth Night, there is a famous quotation spoken by Malvolio (although he believes it to be the words of Olivia):

Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them (Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene V)

It is amusing to the Shakespearean scholar that this is one of the most famous quotes, particularly from this play, and that it is often used as an inspirational quote. Why is this amusing? This letter from which Malvolio is reading was not written by the high born Olivia as he believes, but the incredibly bawdy characters who are the play’s comedic plot device. Malvolio is being made a fool of, and this letter is part of it. I could pick apart this brief part of this scene for hours, and write a couple of thousand words on it, but I will spare you that. It is just bordering on ironic that this fool’s line is the line that one could arguably use to describe the life and times of Shakespeare himself.

He was not born great, he achieved greatness, and one could argue that in some way, he had greatness thrust upon him. Would have have known that 400 years later, a 26 year old woman would be sat at her desk using a strange device to wax lyrical about him? Would he be prepared to know that every student in the English speaking world knows his name and will study him at one point? Would he want to know that half of them would love him and would pick apart every minute detail and write thousands of words on his technical ability and potential hidden meaning, trawling through his life to try and pick apart his psyche, whilst the other half would loathe him and never want to read or watch his work through their own free choice? Would he have wanted his works to be studied and read by millions more than ever watched them? Would he be content that his work was arguably treated much the same as novels in schools, rather than as plays? Would he want his words to be read by any other than actors?

 

Shakespearean English

 

The man was a genius – nobody will ever deny that. He invented a huge part of the modern English language: words, phrases, and even names. People refer to that style of language as “Shakespearean English”; as popular as other writers are, it’s very unlikely that the entire English speaking world would refer to their language as their own. We have Medieval English, not “Chaucerian English”; we have 19th Century English not “Austen English”. We use certain writers to describe their era, such as Dickensian, but we all know that Dickensian is synonymous with Victorian. Shakespearean should be Elizabethan and Jacobean, but it has become an entity all of itself.

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Some phrases that we still use today that Shakespeare invented (or at least popularised)

The Bard

 

A bard is a medieval English and/or Gaelic term for a professional storyteller, poet or musician; and it was often that they were employed by a specific patron, or that they were itinerant (traveled)

In the 21st century, if one thinks of the term “bard”, one automatically thinks of Shakespeare. He isn’t just a bard, he is The Bard. He embodies an entire profession and he is now synonymous with the word bard. Some would argue that Shakespeare is known as “The Bard of Stratford/Avon” and there are other bards of other areas, but there are people who know very little about Shakespeare, who when someone says The Bard, they picture that man with the funny hair cut around his bald head, a little fuzzy goatee, doublet and ruff.

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Shakespeare, funny hair cut and all.

In fact, Shakespeare isn’t just “The Bard”, he is also known as “The Immortal Bard”, so yeah, he never really died: his title in history is that of The Immortal Bard. His works have lasted 400 years so far, and they’re not going anywhere any time soon! Most films now have some kind of Shakespearean (or Dickensian, but that will be another post entirely!) story root to their plot, or at least in their structure: the Act and Scene structure Shakespeare utilised has become standard for many play and script writers now. This is immensely technical and incredibly nerdy, so I shall spare you the details, and just give you my nod of assertion that this is true!

Shakespeare the man passed away from this world on 16th April 1616, but in April 2016, he is still very much alive.

Huzzah for William Shakespeare.

First blog post – and for some reason stuff about Oracles

This is cheating slightly to call this my first blog post here, because I’ve imported a load from my Blogger when I realised I preferred WordPress (and no they’re not paying me to say that, although all contributions to the Kim Gets A Pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Shoes Fund are very welcome)

So what do I want to tell you today? What inspirational words of wisdom and comfort do I have for you today?

Well, today in the post I received a set of Oracle Cards. If you don’t know what they are, they’re kind of like Tarot, and are particularly used in healing of the mind and soul.

No no don’t run away, I’m not trying to give you a Tarot reading! And no, I’m not going to get out a Crystal Ball and pretend to see things.

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Who else remembers Mystic Meg? She used to scare the bejesus outta me when I was little!
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I much prefer Mystic Mog!

As a Christian, I thought I would go along a more Christian line when picking my Oracle Cards, and mine are a set of Archangel Gabriel Oracle Cards (by Doreen Virtue – again, Doreen, all contributions to my Salvatore Ferragamo Shoe Fund are welcome!), particularly as Gabriel is an angel who is said to continue to bring us joyful messages, and supports those particularly who are also messengers of some kind: ie. writers, artists, craftspeople, musician, teachers, and journalists etc.

Not to discredit those who do believe in the power and the process behind this, you continue on with your beliefs, I just want to say that it’s just not my persuasion as such. I personally don’t believe that Gabriel is going to take time out of his busy schedule and help me pick a card, or rearrange the cards in my deck so I get a specific one which is perfect to me.

Much like a horoscope (or horror-scope as I like to refer to them as) a lot of the information on these cards is very generic and can and will apply to my life, as a writer, and the lives of every other person who buys these cards, particularly if they fall under the category of being a human messenger as listed above: the creative minds essentially.

BUT I really do believe these WORK.

As I said, I don’t believe some Divine mysticism is behind me picking specific cards, I believe in a Divine being and I do believe that He has influence over my life (perhaps even my choosing to buy the cards in the first place, who knows?!) but I don’t believe He is picking me these cards. (Not that I think you’re wrong if you do believe that, I just feel for me, with my mind, it’s not the case.)

So wait a mo, I said they work, right? Well, how I believe they work is based purely on the thing that means they shouldn’t – they are so generic that they literally can be applied to any day of my life.
So I should apply them when I pick the cards at random! It gives me a point of focus, a reminder, and something to encourage me. How many times have you ever just sat there and thought: “Hmmmm… I should do something, but I don’t know what!” or how many times, if you’re an artist or writer or similar, have you had a complete block and lost focus? These are a little gift to your creative mind that help you spur yourself on, and reengage your mind to their task, and also to remind yourself that you’re pretty awesome!

I chose my card from my deck earlier, and to be perfectly honest they’re quite pretty to look at if nothing else:

angel card angel gabriel
The card back (you hold them back facing up so you do a blind draw)

And then came the part where I turn it over to discover the wisdom offered to me:

angel card express your inner truth
My card – Express Your Inner Truth. Hmmm okay…

Okay, so any skeptic out there would point out to you that this could mean anything and be applicable to anything and everything.

So let’s make it applicable, I say!

That’s actually really good advice, and it’s no less special because it’s got mysticism labels attached to it (and in my opinion, sorry, no more special either). This is just some really great advice and something to focus me on, make me reflect, and will open my mind. It gives me something to think about, and how I can go about applying it to anything and everything in my life, because I’d rather do that than sit around thinking “nope” and “sham” to everything. I’d much rather be open minded, and even if I don’t believe the same as some people who do these Oracle Card readings, that doesn’t mean I should just outright reject them: I’m displaying interest, and refusing to close my mind off to the possibility that it will help me.

It already has, I got my first blog post out of it. Thanks Oracle Cards – you do work!

Love and peace and all that jazz
Kim

Justice for the 96

I would like to say something about The Hillsborough Disaster which may stir up a hornet’s nest.
I think the public at the ground were blameless, they didn’t know what was happening, and I think that they should have had justice a long time ago. Yes, it was actually a couple of month’s before I was born – but to be fair, none of the British public really had any facts about it 27 years ago, so I’m pretty much in the same position in that sense as all of you, whether you’re 80, 50 or 20.
It was a horrible tragedy, and entirely preventable and those responsible for utter negligence MUST be held to account for this. It is also shocking how inept those in charge were, and how vulgarly those in a position to do something have treated the campaigners, the friends and family of the 96 victims of the atrocity, in the years since, when all they have done is ask for justice for their loved ones.
But the thing is – the police made mistakes, but that is not generally the fault of individual officers. They were the mistakes of the general administration of the force, which is orchestrated by politicians, not boots on the ground bobbies.
There were 172 less police officers at that ground than there had been the previous year at the FA Semi Final game, and cordons which could have prevented the crowd-control issues were not set.
The then Chief Superintendant David Duckenfield has admitted his failures, this is the actions of one upper echelon officer, who is answerable to the government – not every police officer that was there that day, and more importantly in general.
Please stop hating police officers – hate corruption and ineffectual practices, especially in this case, and direct your hate at the governing bodies, not the boots on the ground.
The ambulance service has been implicated in the scandal, but we all know that the emergency services are dependent on what the government allows them too – this includes the police. The government and their policies are what is usually at fault in these cases, no matter if they’re red or blue in parliament: but unfortunately history suggests that it’s usually the pressure instigated by a blue lot.
What happened was a disaster, a tragedy and a massacre and it should never have been allowed to happen, and it breaks my heart, even though it happened 4 months before I was born, in an area of the country a couple of hundred miles away from where I live, and I don’t support Liverpool FC, it still hurts that such an atrocity happened. And the fact that it was entirely preventable, is just galling and sickening. The Liverpool anthem of You’ll Never Walk Alone is so poignant with this campaign – and the fact is that people beyond the loved ones of the 96 care about justice and want to see people held to account, showing that that spirit is embodied.
I am so glad that some justice has prevailed and that the families of the 96 are able to get some answers now – I really hope that the horrible politicians, from the vile Bernard Ingham to (the vile) David Cameron eat their words, are forced to apologise for all the disgusting and atrocious comments they’ve made regarding the disaster, and the campaigners, and that The Sun goes out of print. No tits, and Liverpool “haters” were right – what the hell do they have to say anymore?
I hope the loved ones of the 96 will be able to sleep safe in the knowledge that they have some justice, even though it will not bring the victims back, at least people are being held to account.