RSS Feed

In my mother’s eyes.

In 1959 my mum took me to the Dr’s as she thought I was, “Wasting away”…..”Like two boards clapped together”. I was a 4 year old active child, playing outside all day and doing what 4 years old’s back then could do.  I am sure I was the same size as all my compatriots but to a weight obsessed mother, something needed to be done.  I can only recall being given daily iron tablets after the doctor visit, not sure whether she started feeding me more.

This was the woman who after the birth of my younger sister would lay on the bathroom floor in hospital exercising to get her figure back.   This was the woman who in my young memory was thin.  In later years we wondered whether it wasn’t okay for me (or my 2 other sisters) to be thinner than her.

At age 11 I was put on a diet as I was now too fat!  I gave up sugar in tea and coffee.  I remember dad had bought some diet aids called Aids which you took before a meal to suppress your hunger.  My memory of these were they were sweet and probably just a bit of sugar to raise your blood sugar a bit in advance of eating.  I also remember dad buying some dry bread type rolls which were like eating cardboard.  I have no idea if I lost weight (I must have) and then recall that my mum told me I couldn’t wear a much desired (by me) trouser suit as I was too fat.  I am pretty sure that by age 13 I had lost any real idea of what I was.   Bearing in mind that I had grown up during the Twiggy years, so what chance was there for me to know what was normal.

Fat, thin, all things in between… body was not mine, I had only my mother’s interpretation of what I was.  My body image (that internal image we all carry was of a fat girl).


I saw this yesterday which is why today I am blogging.  It made me feel so sad that there are millions of little girls growing up being judged by their parents, society and being fed misinformation by the media.

In later years I looked back at photos of me as a young teenager and discovered I was “normal”.  My Levi 501’s looked good on me, my midriff baring tops (1970’s fashion) looked fine and my belly looked normal (not like Twiggys! but normal).  Age 15 I was probably a size 12 and when I got married aged 19 around a size 14.  I never in all this time felt normal.  I always felt that I was fat and this was reinforced by my mother and society.

At age 16 we moved away to a new home where I knew no one, too old for the youth club, too young to drive (we were 7 miles from nearest town) and as far as I was concerned life had become pretty shit.  I started getting headaches and went to the doctors where I was prescribed Lorazapam!!! FFS.  This is the same doctor who was prescribing Librium for my mother!  I guess early 70’s was a little too soon to expect a doctor to take a little bit more notice of what was going on for me.

So, what happened.  Well like all women I spent the next 3 decades trying different diets, watching what I ate, exercising, dieting, exercising,………….getting thin, getting fatter, getting thin, getting fatter and never ever feeling I got it right.  Seeing others who seemed to just be “right”.  Seeing others eating the same things I eat, not having to think about (or so it seemed) what they were eating.  Seeing others not needing to diet.  Wondering what it must be like to just be normal, to not be too thin or too fat and to not be judged by society.

After many decades of success and failure I decided to stop following any sort of diet and to just get on with my life and be me.  I am morbidly obese according to the rigged BMI scales and Obese according to the pre rigged BMI scales.  BMI scales created by an Actuarial working for a insurance company in America.  An Actuarial who knows nothing about dieting and weight but understands statistics about life expectancy.  In 1998 millions of Americans became fat overnight as the BMI table was reset.

Who’s fat?

People (those who judge me by how I look) assume I eat crap.  Assume I eat junk.  Assume I must be eating differently to them.  They will even be thinking as they read this, “I bet you do.  I bet you’re a secret eater.  I bet you eat sweets and crisps when no one is looking.”  Well I don’t.  I am sure they must do cos even I judge me and have an internal dialogue when on some occasions I am not eating healthy food.  I have my own little panel of judges sitting on my shoulder who give me a hard time.

I recall more recently being on holiday with friends who had a toddler of around 15 months old.  I can recall we’d had the meal where we’d been judged by the father (the conversation was around weight and how easily he could lose weight when he put on a few pounds).  The most shocking memory for me was when he turned to his wife and asked how soon before their daughter would be giving up her bottle of milk as she was getting a tummy on her!!  This from someone with obviously no idea about toddler abdomens and no idea about what is normal for a 15 month old, and no idea about the needs of her body.  Just plenty of twisted ideas about body image.

Why BMI Isn’t The Best Measure for Weight (or Health)

The weight loss industry if it worked would be out of business.  If diets worked, there would be no more diets.  If losing weight worked, we’d only need to do it once.  There is something wrong here and something still unknown about why some people can eat, can eat crap and stay slim and some people eat and eat healthy food and get fat.

I cannot count how many times I have been judged and found guilty by one of those people who have been slim or within “normal” limits their whole lives.  I have been judged by people who put on a few pounds on holiday or for some other reason and then lose it when they return to their normal lifestyle.  Yet all of those people are not nearly as powerful as my mother and the mother in my head and the mother on my panel of judges.  They’ve been there since I was a young girl and I will always be too fat whatever size I am and however much I weight.

I blogged this in June 2013.  I think the photo of the little girl standing on the scales reminded me of this.  Read this if you are a mother of young girls.

Passing on body hatred.

What we need to be passing on is love and acceptance.  Giving our daughters unconditional love and letting them know that they can be whoever and whatever they want to be however they look.


By Brute Force

By Brute Force


“Rumour has it there isn’t anyone left in Orbán’s inner circle to make him understand that the refugee crisis has no solution, or rather has no Hungarian solution. More precisely, there is no one magical solution.

The Hungarian government cannot stop the tide of refugees with a fence nor with the army mobilized after 50 years of inaction or some new laws, and it couldn’t take them in even if they wanted to stay.”

This in my opinion applies to all politicians who are wringing their hands. There is no magical solution and you cannot hold back this tide. You must take head of your citizens and provide good care, warmth, food and health care and housing whilst you seek your solutions. I am despaitring of humanity.

Originally posted on Refugee Crisis in Hungary:

Author:Zoltán GÁL J. Original title:    Erőnek ereje , Photo:MTI-Balázs MOHAI Date: Published in the 12/09/2015 issue

By Brute Force

Are they doing this on purpose, or is this really the best they can do? As if the refugee crisis was holding a magnifying glass above the country, we might have never seen Hungary like this before with such strong contours — in such detail. Beyond the magnifying glass now appears a world that last showed itself in this country in 1944, but there is also a yearning for an inclusive, tolerant, European country. And the distance between the two is not a crack, but an abyss.

View original 804 more words

The Age of Ignorance: Adventures in the Fetid Bog of Prejudice, Ignorance and Misconception Surrounding the Refugee Crisis


I do hope those who are still making excuses read this and sadly I don’t think they will.

Originally posted on Johnny Wishbone:

Decades from now historians will study and opine on the current era in which we exist. Human societal development has reached a watershed moment in its evolution: we, in the UK, have fought for emancipation from serfdom; universal suffrage; the trade union movement; freedom of speech. All wondrous achievements for the betterment of individual lives. But this evolution has recently experienced a tumultuous and malignant change in trajectory. With the advent of 24-hour news media, the world wide web, digital technology, paradigm-shifting scientific discoveries, we have never before been exposed to such an abundance of knowledge.

We have unprecedented access to the public sphere following the radical ‘Big Bang’ of social media and online academic content and digitised archives of material. But, alas, it has not ushered in an apotheosis of high learning, nor has it engendered a population of well-informed and engaged individuals. No, civilisation has reached the era…

View original 5,489 more words

About connection and about shootings.


This is an article that needs to be repeated:
Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who doesn’t even know who to request?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.
Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands – is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.

And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.

All is love- even math. Amazing.

Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.

TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.


More about guns in US.




Getting shot
– at work
– at school
– at the movies
Isn’t something people in other developed countries worry about.

and finally

A map for pre-menopausal moon howling.

Lots of lovely information in this blog about menopause and peri-menopause.  Thank you.

Source: A map for pre-menopausal moon howling.

More Menopause! sheesh

There Won’t Be Blood: Suzanne Moore on the menopause


The lack of information around the menopause is one of the things that has shocked me most. It is a mystery to many well-informed women. The perimenopause, for instance, is an all-purpose diagnosis for all kinds of ills. Many women are told they are “peri” with no idea what this means. Erratic bleeding, insomnia, itching, vaginal dryness, memory lapse and vasomotor disturbance are just a few of the symptoms that could make you “peri”. You are post-menopausal when you haven’t had a period for over a year.

The lack of definition bothered me. The female body can be a mess, so I simply decided to have it – the menopause – one cold November weekend a few years ago. I took to my bed, decided that my time was over and nested in a cloud of self-pity. By the Monday I was bored and went out and saw a great gig. These are a good menopausal activity, as they occur in dark spaces and no one cares if you perspire.

But I am not surprised so many women end up utterly depressed. If the menopause is seen as basically a disease, as lack, then women’s bodily chemistry must be rebalanced with hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants.

When you shut the gate could you waft it back and forth to create a draft please.

Menopause & Smell distortion

In 2013 I wrote a blog about the issues I was having with my sense of smell during menopause.  I discovered after a quick but short trawl of the internet that it is not uncommon and has a name.  It’s called Dysosmia and some weeks after discovering it, it began to dissipate.

Previous menopause blog

Partly I’d hoped and suspected down to my new role as a Consultant for Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic and my consequent use of essential oils.  I had bought a lovely Zen Soto diffuser and had found that diffusing essential oils was very helpful.

My menopause symptoms began to subside and for a period of several months I thought it was over.  Late last year I was back to hot flushes and this time sought help from my doctor.  I don’t/won’t use HRT so was seeking an alternative.  I’d tried several different supplements which had helped initially and now were not working.  My doctor prescribe Abufene

Médicament Abufene 400 mg

images (1)

I am not sure if this available in the UK.  I have just recently been on my 2nd outing with it (you only take the tablets for 10 days and then stop).  I understand it is an Amino Acid and is often prescribed for sports people.  It certainly works for the hot flushes. There is a side effect that is mention.  You get a hot sort of tingling in your hands and feet, or just feet.  I get this regular as clockwork at 10pm each evening.  I know from my previous course that this side effect will last many weeks after you stop taking the medication.  I don’t mind and in winter it’s quite comforting.

Anyhow, back to the smell.  It’s back in a different form now.  I cannot describe it but once it arrives in my nasal passages it is hard to shift.  It really spoilt my lunchtime meal out as of course smell and taste are interlinked, so my plate of fish didn’t smell or taste much of fish.

Back home and I am now diffusing essential oils to try and fill my nasal passages with something more pleasant.  I have a new diffuser and have added some Patchouli and Ylang Ylang.

Aria Diffuser

Diffuser 019

I don’t normally diffuse such strong floral smells but hope these will be potent enough to do the trick.

I am really blogging about this once more as there is so little on the internet about it and I know for some women their distorted smell is distressing for them and causing low self esteem.  Somehow knowing about it and understanding it helps in the management of it.   I am disappointed that after 2 and a half years I am still dealing with this and am heartened to know  that it will disappear eventually and give me a break.

Aromatherapy products





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 403 other followers