Saturday, 12 August 2017

Rehabilitation…


One thing social media has taught me is, the world is inundated with self-centred people who think everyone else’s world revolves around them. All they are concerned about are themselves and will blame anyone for their own failures to get off their backsides and go get what they want.  I am sick of hearing “oh immigrants take our jobs” from people who won’t take steps to improve themselves and they certainly will not leave their families and home countries to seek a better life for themselves. It is time to weed out the self-centred, ignorant people who do not care about other human beings. And don’t even get me started on the uneducated drivel!! Thankfully my boys will NOT be posting racist, sexist, misogynistic posts. Why? Because they have respect of other human beings and for themselves. It makes me proud to know even at eleven, my youngest is more socially aware some of the adults I encounter. It is not left wing to treat everyone equally... it is the right thing decent human beings do!!

The rise of the far right and State sponsored bigotry by Trump and May actually dances on the graves of our brave ancestors that fought the Nazis for our freedom. The irony of "patriotism"!!!

Anyway… I’m off my soapbox now.

If, on the first day I encountered the debilitating symptoms of Meniere’s disease or when I lost my career to it, someone would have told me, ten years on, I would have a first-class honours degree, a published novel, almost completing a MSc in Information Technology and about to start a PGCE in Computer Science, I would have said they were totally off their heads! But this is my life now and I am bloody loving it!!

It has been a rough journey with days out through illness but nevertheless I have persevered, gritted my teeth and fought through adversity to get where I am and hopefully, this time next year, I will have Qualified Teacher Status, teaching a subject that is so close to my heart. On top of that, I can still write my novels, screenplays and blogs. I have done this! ME! I have worked my socks off and hopefully shown the boys that you can get totally floored and get back up again and again and again. It has been a long road of rehabilitation, much longer because of silly jealous people but I knew I would never give up even if they tried to derail me. The truth is I won't give up and one lesson I have learned from Meniere's is I will hit any problem or situation head on! It doesn't matter how uncomfortable a situation is...if it needs dealing with, I will deal with it.

Lucas is away at the moment so I am working day and night to complete my dissertation. So far it is around 66 pages and rising. I love writing – whatever it is – blogging, fiction and academia. I am writing this in my break … I am off again now to continue creating. Have a fabulous weekend.

Keep going, remember my hero, Nelson Mandela’s words:

 
Source: Unknown



Much love


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

I AM FREEEEEEE….


I haven’t posted in while. You know what they say… time flies when you’re having fun… or is it just not enough time to achieve all I want to achieve in this short life especially when I’ve wasted too much time on the wrong people! It is so important for me the boys have the right guidance which I never got!

Still, I’m glad I’ve found my own way even if the path has been bumpy, hilly, curvy, led to dead ends and back again!

The last few weeks have been super hectic. I’m finishing my dissertation, taking professional skills test in literacy and numeracy, sitting a skills knowledge enhancement course in computer science, still writing and most importantly of all, supporting the boys, especially Lucas who has had a tough few weeks at the hands of adult bullies at school. Passive aggressive behaviour is abhorrent! Thankfully, he has left there now and moving on to High School. He is SO ready for it.

I feel guilty I cannot take them on holiday this summer but they tell me they’re happier at home… chilling. They’re such great kids.

One thing my past has taught me is, bullying and stigma can stay with you and affect your decisions throughout your life unless you actually break the cycle. Breaking it is extremely tough and heart breaking at times. It takes a special kind of strength but I really believe we all have it in us and if we feel we can’t do it alone, we need to seek help. It really does make an enormous difference to life – to decisions, to relationships and to self-confidence.


I’ve broken through so many barriers this year and broke another one last night! I went to a concert on my own. It was an intimate concert. In my twenties and thirties, I would go anywhere on my own but then Meniere’s robbed me of my confidence. When the concert was announced I spent the usual self- analysis of ridiculous “What if…” but ignored my own mind and followed my heart. The fear is definitely worse than the event. It did feel uncomfortable approaching the venue as if I had a huge sign above my head “single Meniere’s Mum”! Once I was inside and at the stage… I bloody loved every minute of it!

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are truly amazing artists who have got better with age yet remained totally unchanged. Paul’s music has been with me all my life – marriage, births, deaths and divorces. His music has been the constant throughout all the ups and downs. He and the BareNaked Ladies are my “go to” music when I need a pick me up – they are my comfort blanket!

It was the first time I had been to the Brudenell Social Club – what a great venue and what great staff they have. Super impressed.

So, from losing everything to Meniere’s, I am about to finish my Masters in IT, start a PGCE in Computer Science and I am finally free from all the shackles of bullying and low self-esteem, to pursue my own hobbies and interests. I am no longer afraid of what people think. I am no longer imprisoned by the self-doubts. I am totally in control once more. I AM FREEEE.

Much love






Sunday, 16 July 2017

Never Give UP!


My blog posts are going to be a bit irregular for the next few months.  I am finishing my Masters dissertation and preparing to start my PGCE in Secondary Education Computer Science which starts in September. I am doing a twelve-week knowledge enhancement course and loving every minute of it. It really helps that I am passionate about computing and ensuring our next generation of workers are not sold down the swanny, my Government who fails to plan for the future!!

Both the Masters and SKE have been a revelation for me. They have not just reinforced my passion for the subject, they have given me a much-needed confidence boost making me realise how much I already know.

When I think of ten years ago when I received that dreaded letter advising me I no longer had a job due to my illness and look at where we are now, I cannot help but smile. Yes, I have days when I think “why am I bothering” but they are usually triggered by some ignorant wally who wants to push my buttons. It works… well, until my son reminds me of how far we have come. He is absolutely right of course.

When I lost everything, I honestly thought I would never work again and be confined to the house and a life of poverty and misery. I still have days when I think I still have a mountain to climb especially when the Meniere’s takes hold and I must succumb to its demands! I know those demands will increase in time but for now I am making the most of every minute of my life – something Meniere’s taught me!

I really feel we are on the cusp of positive change. This is what drives me every day along with the huge belief the boys have in me.

This summer, we will not be going away but I have my outside office ready so we can balance my work and spending time with Lucas before he goes to High School in September. His last primary school report highlighted his kindness and consideration for others which sums his huge heart up perfectly! It seems only two minutes ago I was sending him to nursery school. Time flies by so quickly.

One thing is for sure – I am proud I have instilled resilience into the boys because goodness knows you need it with all the odds stacked against us from the minute we are born – unless of course you are born into an automatic right bloodline!!

I am still going to write whilst teaching but my ultimate goal is to achieve a PhD, to leave a legacy behind. I may not have a desire to be a politician but I do intend to change the world in my own, enchanted, if not conventional, way.
Much love



Saturday, 1 July 2017

Cold & Callous Government ... not British values!!


NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!!

I have not written a blog for a few weeks. In all honesty, I have been struggling. When did the UK Establishment become such a callous and cold beast? I don’t know why I’m surprised at how poorly it has treated people caught up in the Grenfell fire. Let’s face it, the Establishment has been this nasty since Thatcher. Neo liberalism and Conservatism has turned the UK into a callous, uncaring Establishment, totally the opposite of us Brits and how we react when our communities suffer.

I don’t know how anyone can cause the death of innocent people and live with the consequences or to continue to lie. Whatever happened to personal integrity, humanity and doing the right thing? It makes me sick! But it has been like this since the 1980s. Hillsborough, Orgreave, Shrewsbury, child sex exploitation, Grenfell and others are all symptoms of a self-serving elitist bunch of politicians who do not understand what makes their own people tick. Up until Jeremy Corbyn, there was very little difference. Now we have a real opportunity to change back to ensuring the Government we select and pay our taxes to, deliver for us not for themselves.

When I became ill, there was no one there for me. The doctors took three years to make a diagnosis by which time I had lost my job, my livelihood, my self-esteem and self-confidence. Whilst I was relieved I had Meniere’s – at least I had a name for it – I had already lost everything but couldn’t claim disability due to the unpredictability of the illness. I had paid into this system for twenty plus years. I had paid all my taxes and extra on my company car and there was nothing!! The safety net did not exist!! I’d paid for something that never materialised – why are they allowed to get away with it? In the private sector, if you fail to provide the service people pay for, there are laws to protect you!

There have been times over the last few years when I’ve thought about giving up and wanted to end it all. The nasty bitches spreading malicious lies, the worry of where the next meal was coming from for the boys and the constant not knowing if I would wake up feeling ill and must stay in bed. The overwhelming feeling of uselessness and the guilt for holding the boys back from having a decent life. In reality, the boys have a great life, I know they do. We may not go away on holidays but they don’t want that. They love their home especially us spending time together, shut away from the madness of the outside world. They remind me of this every day. I love that they are home birds by choice. It means I am doing something right.

Despite feeling so low, I have never given up - because of them!
I am a fighter! I will beat the illness and the Establishment that has failed us. I am on the brink of rebuilding our lives. My Masters has gone so much better than I expected with five distinctions, two merits and just the final paper to submit. I’ve been accepted on a PGCE course to teach Computer Science and I’m waiting news on my second book. This week I started a twelve-week Skills Knowledge Enhancement course to help me with the teaching. It has been quite a revelation. I am totally out of my comfort zone but really enjoying the challenge. I hope I can inspire more children like I have inspired mine.

I’ve had a tough journey but I am not complaining. Meniere’s gave me time with the boys as they were growing up, a new career in writing and a prospect of a further career in teaching. I am one of the lucky ones but I never take for granted any one day, knowing it can all come crashing down again! Until then I am going to confront my fears head on and challenge myself to strive for a better life. My hard work is starting to pay off… again.

Meniere’s has taught me the key to a happy life is to live the life you want, with the people who matter and realise you can only influence the things you have control of - anything or anyone else are irrelevant.

YNWA #JFT96

The injustices of the 1980s have haunted me for my whole life – I know I am right about the corrupt, nasty Thatcher Government. Bit by bit the truth is coming out, thanks to fabulous, ordinary families refusing to let the Establishment ride rough shot over them! Anne Williams will always be my working-class hero. I am sure we will see new campaigners emerging against this Tory Government too. It is no coincidence that the greatest loss of innocent lives has occurred when the Tories have been in power!!! No coincidence at all!

It is time our ruling classes adopted our true British values displayed by the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, the families and survivors of Hillsborough, our emergency services, the volunteers that appear in times of crisis and us, ordinary decent people who want to live a community who treats every human being with value, equal importance and dignity.

Right, I’m off to do some more studying and count my blessings.

Much love

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Don't defend ignorance



No one sees the true struggle of an invisible illness. For a long time, I literally hid mine, pretended it did not exist. If I forgot something or couldn't string a sentence together in front of people, I would simply try to gloss over it. Trouble is, people, especially nasty people, don't brush over it. They pounce on at as a weakness. They attack you thinking they've hit a major flaw and they capitalise, exploit it. SHAME ON THEM!

When they do this, you go into defensive mode – it's natural but unnecessary mechanism. Nevertheless, it is the natural response to nasty people. When I was personally attacked, I did two things:


  1. Retreated into myself causing anxiety and depression on top of the anxiety and depression caused by Meniere's.
  2. Started feeling really negative about Meniere's Disease.

The insecurity caused is exactly what the bullies want and seek but when you're fighting illness and pain every day, the last thing you need is more attacks from ignorant, bigoted people. Then, when I plucked up the courage to fight back, I was accused of being a sociopath. They made me realise that whatever I did, they would not change – it was them not me!

This is why I have sympathy with Diane Abbott. It seems in life, no matter how hard you try, there are people who will always attack you, always think they are better than you and that, somehow, they have the right to judge and attack you and should not be challenged over their nasty behaviour!

1st lesson: they are WRONG not YOU.
I suppose I was wrong in denying my illness but that’s absolutely no excuse for nasty, ignorant people. We do smile and carry on but if you stop due to illness you're demonised as lazy and scroungers.

2nd lesson: You're wrong in some people's eyes no matter what you do.
Whilst Meniere's Disease is a total pain in the backside, I celebrate it as part of me. It's here. It's invaded but it has not conquered, neither will nasty women who want to put me down because of their own insecurities. What they don't realise is most people with invisible illnesses fight every day. They are the strongest people in the world. 

3rd lesson: BE YOU.
It pisses them off if you pick yourself up and dust yourself down but this is what you do every day, right? I do, quite literally after drop attacks! If you can live through every day with pain and illness, you're already a thousand times better than your doubters. 

Let them get on with their miserable lives and you live yours! At the end of it, you'll be more fulfilled that they can ever imagine. This month I work on my final dissertation – I will have a MSc in IT – little old me!! Just remember your 50% contribution is likely to be more than their 100%!!!

Get well soon Diane. We're all human beings figuring out how to get through life but few, like Diane, give their whole lives to help others.

PGCE Computer Science

I did it! I'm in. From September, I am studying a PGCE in Computer Science. It's my time to help young people reach their full potential.

Writing


After this week's election rhetoric, the Nanny seems more relevant than ever. I have so much material now, it looks like I'll be ditching the sleep!







Labour Party

I am super proud of the manifesto, our leader, Jeremy Corbyn and every member of the party for running such a positive campaign. This was a dress rehearsal that exceeded all expectation. Bring on October, when I think, we will be voting again.  JOIN LABOUR 
 – be part of the caring, united UK we desperately need!

There have been two elections called by the Tories in two years – both have caused total chaos! May got her coalition of chaos! Her actions have demonstrated she does NOT care about this country, only fulfilling her own selfish ambitions. In that respect, she epitomises the Tories perfectly!

Right, I'm off for my CT scan in our glorious 24-hour NHS. Let's see what the Docs make of my brain… medals for them at the ready.

Much love


Friday, 2 June 2017

The best things come to those…


Yesterday was my birthday. I am one year younger than Sgt Peppers! It was an extraordinary day which started with waking up to two unexpected emails. The first was from a publishing company wanting to have a look at Beyond the Lies and another from a production company advising they would like to take a look at Streetwise. Both on the same day! On my birthday! If I’m honest I had to check they were legit! They are.

At 11am I had a Master’s presentation that went really well.

When I returned home I was lavished with love and gifts from the boys. What makes this year so special is they have done it all themselves. I have never felt so loved and appreciated. I am so, so blessed.

Only Trump tainted the day with his ridiculous, narcissistic withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement – there is always one!

We have one week to go to the General Election in the UK. To say I am proud of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn would be the under-statement of the year! As much as I wanted to be on the doorstep, the drop attack has scared me so I’ve been frantically doing all I can to promote and sell the policies in other ways. Sometimes you have no choice but to listen to your body. I have a CT scan this next week. Hopefully it will give us an idea of what is going on in my head – and that is a very scary thought!

I’ve even had to cancel our weekend to Liverpool for the Sgt Pepper’s 50th anniversary celebrations. I am truly gutted and frustrated!

Today I listened to Labour’s industrial strategy covering small businesses, climate change, sustainability and research and development. It is very exciting, transformative, innovative and inspirational. We finally have a party who will consult with a wide range of people and LISTEN. I make no apologies for backing a party that gives mine and everyone’s children a brighter future. Isn’t what we all want?


The manifesto is well worth a read and can be found here - Manifesto. Please judge for yourself.



Getting interest from a publisher and production company has reinvigorated my desire to continue to write. Now I am cracking on with the Nanny and my Master’s dissertation. I do have a 500 words essay to write on why I want to teach Computer Science for my interview next Thursday. I may have Meniere’s but it will NOT stop me from living a full life.



Well, that is me for now. We were going to have barbecue but the British weather has temporarily halted this until tomorrow afternoon. Have a fabulous, safe and happy weekend.


Much love




Monday, 29 May 2017

Meniere’s… the Teacher


Meniere’s has taught me so much and completely transformed my life… for the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

It lured me into a false sense of security, made me believe in some miracle cure... then wham… it struck! It’s like a volcano – lays dormant until it chooses to waken… then strikes with ferocity and anger, the eruption coming anytime, anywhere and usually when you least expect it or want it!

A month on from my recent drop attack, I still feel like crap. It’s, once again, stripped me of all my self-confidence and if I didn’t force myself to leave the house, I would become a total recluse – not a bad idea when it’s not forced upon you!

I ventured into University for a meeting with my Master’s supervisors. The feeling of the sun on my face was amazing but the speckles glistening on the floor of the food hall made me feel I was back on that ship in a force ten gale. It’s horrifying to feel the rug being pulled from under you! The meeting was good apart from sitting there trying to hide the swaying and sickness feeling whilst speaking coherently.

No matter how much Meniere’s thinks it is winning, life must still go on. I have caught up on my Masters works mainly by typing with my eyes shut and working at 3am when I could not sleep. I’ve done it… all five of them and three presentations. Are they perfect? NO! One, in particular, is well below par. Realistically, I’ve downgraded my target of distinctions across the board to a merit overall. A pass is a pass – sometimes only a compromise will work! It’s not okay as I wanted to hit my target but what can I say? I’m a fighter!

I now have three months to work on my final dissertation and thankfully, I have some of the work already done. I feel I’ve overcome the hardest part of the Masters – it is not the reading, research or writing – the hardest challenge was being able to meet the very tight deadlines! Again, I have found limitations in my capabilities - live and learn!

For the last three days, I’ve had an eye infection – a by-product of the fluid I think. I’ve finally, after a thirteen-year fight, been given a date for a CT scan. We can finally see what is going on in my head – I pity the doctor who should see that!!

Masters

My Masters dissertation covers a subject close to my heart – computer science in schools. I think our children are being short changed by our education system particularly in secondary schools. I would like to develop this further in a PhD which will start in 2018. Between now and then, after my MSc IT, I am going to doing a PGCE – teaching course in Computer Science. I have my interview on election day! Wish me luck!



Writing

I am still writing… well…typing…with my eyes shut. All I can say is thank goodness for grammar and spell check. Some of the spellings are very funny indeed.  I have looked at voice recognition software which I may invest in later.

My latest project is to find a literary agent. It’s blooming tough. Believe me, writing 100,000+ words are the easy part!


#VoteLabour


How can we solve the problems if we can’t have a grown-up debate about them? However uncomfortable the subject, in a democracy, we must be able to discuss issues openly. Terrorism IS a by-product of disputes and wars. That fact does not detract from the evil of perpetrators or the suffering of the victims. It means we can start to look at ALL these issues and look at how best we stop atrocities from happening.


In protecting its citizens, the Government should look at ALL aspects of evil including turning the spotlight on themselves. The nasty Tory rhetoric of xenophobia fuels hatred and must stop as well as their collusion with States who fund terrorism. Someone is paying for the equipment, the training – who? Why? How? It is common sense and Jeremy Corbyn is absolutely right but then he has been on the right side of wrong decisions over the last 30 years. He has earned his right to be listened to and is a true principled statesman. Everyone deserves peace!

Last Tuesday in Manchester was horrific and I find it hard to put into words how sickening it was. My heart felt love goes out to everyone affected. This includes our amazing emergency teams – doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, armed forces, firemen. We all take them for granted. People don’t join our emergency services for the money (what money??). They join because they possess one of our true British values – they want to help other people. They deserve, not just our respect but our backing and they deserve to be given the tools for them to do their jobs effectively. Please vote Labour on the 8th June and give our amazing emergency services what they need and truly deserve.

Life is so precious! Celebrate it! Live it!

Much love

Sunday, 14 May 2017

PEOPLE! Use your VOTE… it is your voice!

Time to pin your colours to the mast… for me… it is RED all the way for me!!


Anyone who knows me, knows I love inspirational quotes and signs – not signs as in cosmic revelations (you know what I mean!) but placards around our home giving inspiration to the boys and me.

This one I saw this week for a bargain price of 90p. It really captures the mood of the General Election, don’t you think?

We have an obvious choice – continue with the status quo where only 1% of the population have the rewards on the back of the hard work of the 99% or we choose a peacekeeping statesman who wants to stand up for all of us. For so many years people have told me ‘they’re all the same’ and ‘why vote…nothing changes’.

PEOPLE! If voting did not make a difference – they would have given it freely without a fight!

PEOPLE!! The world does NOT have to be this way – we don’t have to:

  • Fight wars

  • Have children in poverty in 2017!

  • Have ill people dying from inhumane sanctions

  • Have schools where parents pay for essential equipment

  • Have women prove they were raped

  • Have essential services – fire, police and NHS on their knees

  • Have infrastructure not fit for purpose

  • Have corporations exploiting workers and avoiding paying tax! We can’t, why should they?

AND we certainly do NOT need the return of barbaric fox hunting!!

This week’s cyber-attack has been a bit of a “I told you so” moment. I have been banging on about the real risk of cyber terrorism and it has fallen on deaf ears. The fact that Trident is controlled by computers and so are our national grid and water services, should make everyone very nervous indeed!

Labour all the way

I am immensely proud of the Labour manifesto. Every announcement this week has given me goose bumps. There is real hope for the future. Progressive policies, sensible costings, peace and prosperity for all but do you know what I love the most? IT’S COMPASSION.

Tackling loneliness, homelessness, job insecurity, providing lifelong learning – my struggle after losing my job through Meniere’s would have been much easier!!

Patriotism is not waving a flag, attacking people from different countries or cultures or singing a national anthem. Patriotism is paying your taxes, treating every citizen with dignity and providing an environment where everyone can make their contribution.

Meniere’s is preventing me from canvassing this time but I’ll do everything I can to give my children and everyone hope for their futures – Jeremy has handed hope to all of us. Grab it with both hands. Really…what do you have to lose?



IT’S NOW OVER TO US. We do have incredible power in our hands… if we use it wisely.

Steps to change our country:
  1. Register to vote here - deadline 22 May 2017.
  2. Read what is on offer – don’t rely on the media – don’t let them lie or hoodwink you!
  3. USE YOUR VOTE!
Do NOT lose your voice and if you don’t vote… don’t moan!
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is giving this country hope. If Brexit was taking back control… this Labour manifesto takes it back and hands it to each one of us. How exciting is that?

Choose wisely my friends

Why can’t people be nice?

Why do people want to play me? I just don’t get it. Yesterday, a girl who has totally ignored me and written some inaccurate stuff about me, based on someone else’s lies, wanted to befriend me. I am guarded due to past experiences especially when she’s already said she doesn’t want to get to know me. Being a budding MI5 agent (I wish!!). I did some digging. To be fair it was not that hard. People who play games tend to give themselves away on social media. I may be naively trusting but I am not stupid. Research is a wonderful gift.

Meniere’s has taught me life is way too short to put up with silly girls and silly games.

The world is a tough place and there are so many issues we can concentrate our efforts on. Small minded people play games – caring and trusting people make the world a much better place for EVERYONE!

It is always acceptable for you to say NO to being treated badly! Remember that! I wish I had learned that years ago. You don’t have to suffer to be polite! Stuff that. If they can’t treat you well, don’t have them in your lives! You deserve to be treated so much better than that.

It’s my birthday soon and the boys have bought me an early birthday present. I’m not sure Theresa May will approve!! It’s great isn’t it!

Right, I’m off to do the ironing. This afternoon we are at a children’s birthday party…well Lucas is. I may have to try and find a TV screen for the Liverpool game or F1. Have a lovely day and week.

Much Love