I do love a good election

Mon 28 Oct – Sun 3 Nov 2019

Election time

In the week of Halloween, it was announced we are finally off to the polls for a general election on Thurs 12 Dec. Lets hope it’s not pissing with rain or even snowing in minus temperatures. Our first December election since 1923 but will it resolve anything? Personally, I think a new referendum would have sorted things better but we are where we are.

I am trying to think how I can help out during the election for the Lib Dems. They have good candidates with the possibility of winning in several seats near me. Though I would definitely encourage tactical voting elsewhere. The problem, as with many things in life, is simply lack of time and too many demands on it to do everything I want to do. 🙁

Friends

Old school friend

I don’t keep in contact with people from school or university. Not intentional, simply it just doesn’t happen. And I don’t both with the alumni of either. School and university were OK but I have no wish to give my hard earned money to either one as they can both access money pretty easily.

Being bullied at school

Pumpkin head

I wasn’t bullied at school until I came out when I was 17. Pretty horrible then and the school did nothing to assist me. But some people were bullied far worse than me and one of those was a guy in the year above. He contacted me on Twitter and we met on Mon night for dinner and a drink, the day the general election was confirmed.

Surviving but what has been the cost?

Very good to talk through memories of school good and bad. Plus we reflected how our lives had progressed afterwards (we have much in common such as being gay) and the long-term damage done by being bullied. We are both survivors but it was also therapeutic to share stuff from a long time ago that perhaps casts a shadow far longer than I had realised.

Books and Reading

‘Amateur’ by Thomas Page McBee

Hero

Strange to have read this book in the week when I thought about being bullied. The full book title is ‘Amateur. A reckoning with gender, identity and masculinity’. It’s the true-life story of a transgender man who takes part in a charity boxing match partly to ‘prove himself a man’. There’s lots about the training involved and the issues he is dealing with around masculinity.

Poisonous masculinity

Perhaps not as good a book as I was expecting with a strong element of stating the obvious plus self indulgence. However, I have no doubt it was cathartic for the author. Perhaps the most important thing for me was the concept that in some places ‘being a man’ is based on not being a boy whereas in other places ‘being a man’ means you are meant to be everything that proves your are not a woman. The latter really is poisonous masculinity.

Don’t forget you can check out all the books I have read here.

Health and Efficiency

Jog-run

One of my best ever 10K times on Sat morning. And I managed to get it done just before the rain and strong winds set in. 1 hour, 1 min, 30 secs. Still some major discrepancies between km stretches which varied from 5.40 mins to 6.45 mins. Good to have nothing over 7 mins but I need to aim for nothing to be over 6.30 mins and km stretches to be more consistent. 🙂

Gym

Slightly skewed number of times at the gym last week because of working pattern (all day Thurs for Mental Health at Work training). 3 gym sessions: mornings of Mon, Tues, Sun. All good sessions with overall body workouts. I do love the gym. 🙂

Yoga

Went back to the community yoga group in Kings Cross on Fri morning. Really nice to have a long walk there – Victoria to KX. It’s a friendly group and the trainer focused on lower back, hips, abs, and hamstrings. A bit more spiritual than I am used to plus a strong focus on meditation. 🙂

Mental Health

I don’t feel I specifically write about my mental health problems

Interestingly, when I write about ‘health’ in these blogs it is usually regarding physical health such as my INR (blood-clotting), HIV, and joint problems. I think people can read my mental health status through the general impression I give; I have really been dealing with depression all my life.

Mental Health at Work training

Under pressure

Thurs we had ‘Mental Health at Work’ training. Originally just for managers, the positive response has meant it is being rolled out for everybody. This is a good thing. The training is about how to manage others’ mental health problems at work as well as to maintain your own good mental health.

Coming out about my mental health problems

Overall, very good though the perfect clinical scenario of training is not always easy to do in messy real life. I shared about my long-term depression and previous breakdown. In part driven by defence of medication to help mental health in a world where we are told counselling, talking, and CBT is the answer. As I pointed out, if somebody told you they were pissing blood then you wouldn’t tell them to get counselling. Rather you would tell them to go to their doctor and so it should be the same with people dealing with mental health problems.

Mum

Work have agreed I can work at home one afternoon per week so I can support mum with her generally immobility. It isn’t really working out as I need to be in the office. 🙁 However, my re-arranged work days last week meant I wasn’t working on Wed afternoon. So I used it to be with mum but it did mean I lost an exercise opportunity i.e. a 4th gym session.

Her leg is still bad though no worse. She attended the muscular-skeletal service who basically told her to keep warm and see how it is in a month’s time. 🙁 I’m doing shopping and laundry to help. I sincerely hope there is recovery and this isn’t the start of long-term mobility problems. Gonna be interesting to see how I fit in work, exercise, mum, and doing stuff for the election. 🙁

The Week Ahead

  • Lots to do at work before I go away to Spain on holiday. And the problem still of fitting in exercise, mum, and doing election stuff (latter probably on hold till I come back from Spain later in Nov).
  • Aim is 4 gym sessions, a yoga session, and a 10K weekend jog-run weather permitting
  • Meeting up with my tech mate Darshan on Tues morning for a coffee 🙂
  • Another discounted classical musical event at the Royal Festival Hall on Wed evening with Dave 🙂
  • Velvet Page Book Club on Thurs night, I should have finished the book by then. Also hoping to finish the classic sci-fi book I’ve been simultaneously reading on my kindle.

And Finally…

This could be the most important election in your lifetime! FFS register to vote and get everyone you know to do the same. Deadline is midnight on Tuesday 26 November. Register here.

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