emmelinemay: (Default)
It can be hard to feminist (if you’ll permit me to usdino for feminisme that word wholly inaccurately as a verb for a minute) especially once you pass the threshold of “wait, we’re not actually in the post-feminist society I was promised in 1997″ and enter the world of “this bullshit is everywhere, I can’t unsee it and everything I used to enjoy seems tainted.” Your friends think you’re too earnest, too sensitive, too…feminist. Random people on the internet think you’re a mouthy shrill bitch who isn’t getting enough good man loving but they wouldn’t want to give it to you because you’re too fat for them anyway. People at work look at you askance when you tell a colleague that saying “god, MEN, all the same, never ask for directions” is sexist and then they all awkwardly change the subject.

Read more: http://rockstardinosaurpirateprincess.com/2015/02/15/feminism-is/
emmelinemay: (Default)
I remember once, when I was quite little, back in nineteen eightymumble, finding a red box with some books inside, with pictures of dragons and monsters. I think there was also some dice, a map and some picture cards. My memory is hazy as it was a long time ago. I don’t remember where the box came from, but it did end up amongst my other games and occasionally I’d take out all the contents and try to understand them. I have a vague memory of asking MummyDinosaurPirate how it was played, but I don’t remember the actual answer, just a vague sense that it was ‘complicated’ and ‘for grown ups’...

Read more: http://rockstardinosaurpirateprincess.com/2015/02/08/paladins-and-paradoxes/
emmelinemay: (Watchment Night Owl is not Batman)
I just posted this over at [livejournal.com profile] maybetwisted and thought I may as well post here too.

head squirrels, the paralympics, and a question I find impossible to answer )
emmelinemay: (Doctor 11)
For those not on the Book of Faces, here is my costume from Saturday night. I was rather pleased with it! click on the picture to see the whole gallery - but don't blink!

emmelinemay: (Pirate ENJOY!)
Day 18, our first morning in Knysna, dawned bright and sunny with very little cloud, perfect for Monkey spotting and bird watching! Knysna is a beautful seaside town on the garden route, and I really liked it. I kept berating Mum and Dave for not moving here instead of Swellendam! I think it would be hard to make a go of a B&B here though, the tourist trade is a lot more established and there's a lot more competition. It's really pretty though, and I love anywhere by the sea, having spent my childhood in coastal towns before moving nearer london for secondary school. I think if I was to move to South Africa though, it would have be somewhere around here!

Two Nights in Knysna Part 2 - Close encounters of a monkey kind, birds in endor, 101 things to do with a powerstation, I Don't Spy and I am the Dassie Whisperer )

See all the photos from the two nights in Knysna here and here!
emmelinemay: (Pirate ENJOY!)
On Day 17 we got up as early as we could and headed off for an epic trip. I knew the basic plan - we would drive the long way round to Knysna, a pretty town on the Garden Route by the sea so that I could see some Ostriches. We'd stay overnight at the Knysna Terrace hotel where Mum (through a combination of Groupon and somenifty networking) had got an amazing deal on two rooms for two nights. The following day the plan was to go to Monkey Land and Birds of Eden, and then drive home the following day. Mum and Dave are pretty smart though, and had kept back some of their plans to surprise me!

Two Nights in Knysna Part 1 - Peace + Sex, Pink Port, Elephant cuddles, Ostrich massages, deep underground )

See all the photos from the first day here
emmelinemay: (Congratulations)
Day Fourteen - Lighthouses and shipwrecks at the bottom of Africa )

Day Fifteen & Sixteen - Rugby, Pizza and Paradise Organic )

You can see all of the photos here

Tomorrow we're off to see birds, monkeys, caves and ostritch! I am excited! We've got an early start though as we plan to head off at 7am, so it's an early night for me.
emmelinemay: (Default)
When Mum and Dave moved here, one of the first things they did was to try and get all the beautiful birds to come and eat in their garden, rather than anyone else's. They've been experimenting over the years with different combinations of fruit, meat, bread and positions in the garden for a bird table. They seem to have found the ideal combination, as their garden is FULL of beautiful birds. I have seen Sunbirds, Weaver birds, a few Cape White Eyes, a Hoopoe, a Shrike, Doves and lots of cute little sparrows. I need to put batteries in my camera to get good photos as my phone camera doesn't do them justice at all.

The magic solution Mum has discovered is sugar water with red food colouring. They've also tried blue, yellow, green, vanilla flavoured - all sorts of things - but the birds won't touch the others. They just love the red water! They scold us when we're late putting it out, and surround me on the bushes when I am putting it out, just waiting for me to get to a safe distance (about 2 metres!) before they swoop in. Mum says if she goes out to feed them wearing red they don't even fly away. I am assuming there's some reason for this about the way birds see colours? They are also really picky; if you don't get the right amount of sugar in there they don't drink it, and seem to scold you as you walk in the garden!

I have no idea, but since I finally managed to get batteries for my camera I've been sat on the porch (or Stoep, as it's called here) sitting still as anything trying to get photos of some of the regulars here. I am quite pleased with the pictures!

some of my fave pics. Picture heavy, but entirely safe for work, unless someone at your work is really offended by pictures of birds. )

the rest of the pics are over on my facebook
emmelinemay: (Default)
Day Five, in which we drive a long way for a very short shopping trip )

Day Six, in which I go jam and liqueur tasting and get a ride in a bakki )

Day Seven, in which we pretty much do nothing. )

Day Eight, in which I move in to the Leopard room and go over the mountains, and a bird gets trapped inside )

Day nine, where I see lots of PONIES, fall in love with a photo, drink lots of free wine and eat the sweetest fried thing in all of existence.  )

Tomorrow is Mum's actual actual birthday, and she's having a party at the B&B, so I am prepared to be introduced to many many people and say "yes, I know, it *is* a strong family resemblance?" about fifty times.

I am still in the Leopard room, which I have decided is my favorite!

To see all of the photos, go check them out on facebook.
emmelinemay: (Default)
Blog coming soon, photos are up now!

photos are here

The updates will feature:
Lots of Bok, whales, zebra, sundown, swellendam TV, clever plants and the CSI Miami drinking game
emmelinemay: (Default)
At 10am on Friday 26th August I set off for Gatwick, with a large but surprisingly light backpack (having packed and unpacked 3 times, and ended up with a bear minimum of clothes) to start my epic 24ish hour journey to Mum's b&B.

This was the itinerary:
2pm flight to Dubai from Gatwick - 6 hours
Arrive midnight (Dubai is 3 hours ahead of UK)
4am fly to Cape Town - 10 hours
Arrive midday (South Africa is one hour ahead of UK,2 hours behind Dubai)

in flight entertainment, travelling in the future, thieving birds, covered in bees and stroking a cheetah )

Check out my facebook for the full gallery of photos!
emmelinemay: (Yay2)
Four years ago I visited [livejournal.com profile] shackers in her new home for the first time. She's now been out there for 6 years and I've finally just about got the money together to go see her again. EXCITE!

As before, I will be detailing my adventures here on LJ. Photos will be going on Facebook though, because it's way easier to upload photos there and LJ has a habit of losing photos. I plan to keep the photos public, so even if you're not a facebook friend you should be able to see them.

Mum has already made a few plans, they involve wine, birds, birthday parties and MONKEYS! Those of you familiar with my previous trip know that I was very disappointed to see hardly any monkeys and didn't get any good photos at all. So I am especially excited about the MONKEYS! I hope to take a trip back to the Fairy Sanctuary as well. In real life of course, rather than just in the dream plains. If you want me to bring you back a fairy, or something fairy related, speak now!

If you want a postcard, please comment here and send me your address! Emmelinemay[at]gmailDOTcom.

I fly out at 2pm from Gatwick, which is not an airport I am familiar with. I'm not even sure how to get there! I stop over in Dubai at midnight and fly out of Dubai at 4am, so I have 4 hours to kill in Dubai airport at ridiculous oclock, which will be fun. I may take a blanket in my carry on...

I get into Cape Town just before midday on the Saturday, so will have been travelling for nearly 24 hours and will probably not have slept and will be theremore most likely VERY grumpy when [livejournal.com profile] shackers and her housekeeper, Beauty, my sister from another mother, meet me at the airport.

Tips for surviving a long journey are most appreciated, and if anyone has any particular photo requests leave a comment. (Although for the record, [livejournal.com profile] shewho, I will probably struggle for a photo of a baby monkey on a pig going backwards.)

emmelinemay: (Protect and Destroy)
According to the BBC, MPs are discussing introducing a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling.

Personally, as someone who cycles pretty much everywhere I can, I think this is a great idea. I've seen so many near misses in my time, and if I'm honest not all of them have been the car driver's fault!

If I'd been hit yesterday by the stupid bastard yesterday - he wanted to turn left at a crossroads while I was going straight ahead, but too slowly for his liking (it's on a hill) and so he decided to speed up and turn left around right in front of me, not only nearly killing me but the guy in the car behind me who was just trying left - then he'd have been done for dangerous driving, and that's as it should be. Cyclists that cause accidents and at worse deaths pretty much get away with minimum sentences.

I just hope that should it be introduced it is introduced fairly and not as a way to demonise all cyclists. Some of us stop at red lights!

This article about deaths of female cyclists being much higher than male cyclists by lorries is interesting. It suggests that it could be because men are more likely to jump red lights, while women wait at the junction. How about this for a revolutionary thought. If there is a lorry, or a bus, or ANY big vehicle that could crush you if it turns left, at a junction, DON'T CYCLE DOWN PAST THE LEFT OF IT. Wait for the big bugger to turn left, THEN go.

I also don't think that cycling up the right hand side of it is necessarily a good idea either. Just a few weeks ago I saw a cyclist knocked off her bike as the back of an HGV side swiped her as it turned left and she just passing up on the right hand side to go straight ahead. She was unhurt, but pretty freaked out.

It makes some intersting points about road rage from drivers who don't always seem to know about correct cyclist behaviour. Part of my journey to and from work involves two roads which are one way for cars, but two way for cyclists. There are clear signs at either end, and at the "wrong end" for cars there's a little feeder lane for cyclists too. Roughly once a week I get drivers honking and shouting at me that the road is "one way".
emmelinemay: (Default)
Article in the BBC:


Text under the cut )

I should note that the founder of Hollaback!, named as "Emily May" is not me, but I am pre-disposed to like her!

I will also highlight this quote from the article, as it's relevant to a number of debates that have occurred here on my LJ before

"Not all men impose unwanted attention upon women, and Kearl agrees that it's important for these men to join in the movement to stop street harassment."

Edit: I find it very interesting that a lot of the comments there are similar to comments on my journal in those previous debates, from offended men going HEY not ALL of us do this THIS ARTICLE IS SEXIST. *sigh*

Edit: my word, some of these comments are anger-making.

Edit: the comment from "Emmie" is not me either.

emmelinemay: (Joker)
The government's 'big society' becomes clear.

They make councils across the land make cuts to front line services making many unemployed and reducing the support to people in the community.

That means there are plenty of people with spare time on their hands to run those services for free as volunteers! Clever, huh? And we've saved LOADS of money!!

Tell you what, lets forget about that silly vote change too, shall we? I mean, you don't really want us to spend all that cash on overhauling our electoral system to make it more democratic? Of course you don't. KERCHING! More money saved in the bank.

And with all that money we save, we can pay for a high speed rail line that will get people to Birmingham FIFTEEN WHOLE MINUTES faster than they can do now! You heard me, FIFTEEN MINUTES. Amazing. And it will only cost £17.5 billion. Or possibly £30 billion.I am not sure, as it varies depending on what you read. But costs don't matter, right? It's REALLY IMPORTANT that people can get to Birmingham FIFTEEN MINUTES FASTER. It will make us £44 billion pounds, somehow. Probably because tickets will cost £200 at off-peak rate.

I despair. Would anyone like to annex a small county and declare independence? I am done with this unelected government pissing on my chips. How about somewhere in the Chilterns? I hear they are very pretty. Well, they are right now. Less so when there's a 17/30 billion train line running through it.
emmelinemay: (Kiss my arrrrse)
I saw this blog entry linked on facebook today, which I rather enjoyed reading. My post isn't about her post, as she makes the point she's making very well indeed. However, one part of it really struck me.

I always thought that some day[...]I will become smaller, and when I become smaller literally everything will get better (I've heard It Gets Better)! My life can begin! I will get the clothes that I want, the job that I want, the love that I want. It will be great!

I always believed this. From when I was very little, I believed that (not fat = better). That (thin = everything is ok). Some of this may have come from SOCIETY, but some of it (sorry Mum) may have came from seeing my Mum battle with her own weight issues. Whereever it came from, I entered adulthood having always been veering between a little bit and a fair bit overweight and with a cast iron belief that if I wasn't overweight, everything would be ok. I liked food too much to diet properly, and was given a huge fear of exercise from tortuous PE lessons as school, so I spent my late teens and my early twenties overweight, wishing that I wasn't, because then everything would be fine. Much of my difficulties I experienced in other areas of my life - relationship breakdowns, stress of my final year at university (I also lost my Grannie at that time, to cancer), permanent money worries, housing issues, job stress; all of those things that come with suddenly being a grown up and thinking "oh god, how can I be a grown up? I'm not a grown up" - well all of those things I knew, somehow, deep in the very make-up of my being, would be FINE and not so bad if only, IF ONLY, I was thin.

If I was thin, I could wear anything I wanted and look great. People wouldn't look at me and go "what is she wearing?". I could wear zip-up boots instead of having to always get lace ups. I could wear tight jeans and little shorts. I could wear skirts and shorts without having to wear leggings to prevent my thighs chafing. I would be able to buy tights without having to snip the waistband and then wear cycling shorts over them to keep them up. People would tell me I looked good, and would mean it. People would want to know me. No one would look at me and call me fat. All my difficulties and insecurities would diminish and fade away in the face of the beautiful THINNESS.

And then, one day, I decided to do it. To not be overweight any more. I got a weightwatchers CD, and the calculator. I learned about calories and fats, carefully simplified into easily understandable 'points'. For a year, nothing would be bought in a shop without being run through the calculator. Shopping took 2 hours longer. Nothing would pass my lips without being recorded on my food spreadsheet. I joined a gym, aided by friend who lived nearby who encouraged me to go. Over the months, I started looking good in trousers. Getting compliments. Fitting into size 12s. Feeling like I didn't have to breathe in all the time. It took me much less time to get dressed to go out, as I started looking better in clothes. It was happening! The rest of my life was starting! Here I go! I am NOT FAT! HELLO WORLD!

And then, a bit like a wave that starts from far, far away, slowly at first but growing in size and pace until it finally crashes with immense destruction on a tiny fishing village, came the realisation that everything is not ok. All of the other worries were still there. All of the anxiety. The self doubt. The grief. The unresolved issues from deep, deep inside my childhood years. My relationship problems, The money worries. The crippling low self esteem. It was all still there. Being 'thin' hadn't cured it. It had maybe hidden it for a little while, but about as well as an elastoplast on a broken arm.

This might all seem very obvious to you, but to me it was catastrophic. Remember, my entire world view and firmly held belief was that everything is fine if you are thin. I was thin. And everything was not fine. I don't know if you've suddenly had something you've believed your whole life suddenly been proved to be not just a little awry but completely and totally wrong; if you haven't I hope you never do. It's not a good feeling. I can pretty much pinpoint that time in my life that the depression took hold, and thus followed many years of ill health, physically and mentally. I don't think that this incident was the reason I became depressed, I think there were many reasons, but I do now look back at this as a catalyst of sorts. Perhaps if I'd never lost weight, I would have maintained that belief and never had such a crash. Perhaps I would have become depressed anyway, due to the belief itself. Who can say. Other than the Me in an alternate universe that lived that alternate life.

I feel a bit sorry for that Me in the alternate universe. While I haven't exactly had the easiest or most perfect time of it, I have certainly learnt a hell of a lot from it, and all of these learning experiences, awful as they sometimes are, in teeny tiny ways help make us a better person, if we are open to it. Also, I am so much more at peace with my own body. I now know that the only thing that is better about my life if I'm less overweight is that I am less overweight. That's IT. I am pretty fit, thanks to the gym and the roller derby, and I go to those because they are fun, and to keep me fit. Not to lose weight. Also, I love food. Eating nice food makes me happy. Not eating nice food makes me miserable. And sure, my thighs chafe and rub together if I don't wear leggings. I still have to buy lace up boots. But if you are a roller girl, having powerful legs is a good thing.

As long as I am fit and healthy, then who gives a monkeys if I am still veering between a little bit and a fair bit overweight? If I don't care, no one else will. And if they do, they probably have their own issues in life to deal with, and so make me a target for their pain. Feel free mate, call me a fat cow. It bounces off me like a rookie skater trying to knock my 5'2" 10 and a half stone ass to the floor. They usually fall over.

Moral of the story, boys and girls. Being thin, or being not-fat, will NOT make you happy, and it will NOT make all of your problems go away; unless it is the only thing in your life that is making you miserable. And if it really *is* the only thing in your life making you miserable, then cheer up, because you have a really great life!
emmelinemay: (eye)
"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes" - from Preludes and Nocturnes, Neil Gaiman

I had a beautiful dream last night about Gangy. I need to write it down so I can remember. There were other parts to it, some quite exciting adventurous parts about looking for hidden passageways (one of which turned out to be through a trapdoor in the surface of a swimming pool); running from unspecified threats; searching for the protagonist or perhaps for treasure in underground passageways. But then I was in a house I don't recognise. All the rooms and objects were familiar, I think they must have been made up of rooms I've known in the past, but all mixed together to make one house. I'd been staying with my family, and needed to go soon, I don't know why, but I knew I'd stayed too long and needed to leave.

I heard laughter, and a happy sigh, and saw Gangan watching my family, who were over the road in the living room of their house. It was somehow separated from the house we were in, on it's own, and the windows were larger, and ran around all four sides of the room, like a transparent cube. The blinds were only half turned, and the lights were on, so we could clearly see into the room which was lit with a beautiful warm light. My family were all playing some sort of game, perhaps charades. Everyone was animated and smiling and clearly having a lovely time. "I would love to be able to join in" says Gangan. "Let's go in then" I say, "Let's go and knock on the glass so they can let us in". "No darling" says Gangan, with that lovely warm chuckle of hers that I keep trying to hear in my head. "Let's not disturb them, we don't want them to realise we can see them, it might stop the game. Lets watch them. They look so happy, and are having such a lovely time, let's not make them self concious." So we moved around to the side of the room, and sat down, and watched them laugh and play. I felt so peaceful just sitting there with her, side by side, looking into the warm room and seeing my family all together and so happy.

Then Tigs looked out of the window, and saw us. He waved at me, and smiled, and pointed at me then the door, a gesture to say "come in, come in!". I motioned that I couldn't stay long, I had to go. I realised that he was only looking at me, as if he couldn't see Gangy. I tuned to her and asked her if she was coming in. "Oh, my darling, no" she says. "I will watch you from here." So I went in, and stopped worrying about whatever I was going to be late for, as being with my family in that warmly lit room was more important.

At that point the dream shifted back to the house and I was packing up lots of cake for whereever it was I was going - it alternated between being late for work and late for school - and trying to sell people roller derby t-shirts. I often have dreams like this, where I am late for Unspecified Thing and Stuff keeps happening to prevent it. I am pretty sure it's a good old classic anxiety dream. Only in this one, I didn't feel too anxious about being late, I just accepted that I was going to be late, and would take my time in leaving.

I can't help but be comforted by dream. I guess you can draw your own conclusions as to what it means, what my subconscious is saying about memory, family, acceptance, moving on, and allowing others to move on. But I found it comforting. I woke up sad, and missing her of course; but also with my post of yesterday in mind, feeling that she lives on through us, and that the family hold her in us all, and I hope that if she were to look in on us that she would see us full of love, and celebrating her life, and enjoying our time with each other when we have it; rather than spending our time rushing around and regretting things and missing the tiny precious moments of love and laughter. I want to keep that memory of her looking in on us in that warmly lit room, being silly and happy, and it making her happy just to see us so.
emmelinemay: (eye)
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Canon Henry Scott-Holland

Read more... )


emmelinemay: (Default)

February 2015



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