Lockdown Nostalgia

I miss the lockdown. Technically, it’s still in place, although judging by the almost complete absence of social distancing being observed in shops and parks now, it’s as if the virus had gone away. Which it most certainly hasn’t.  Some call it lockdown fatigue, others say it all began to unravel after the prime minister’s chief adviser broke the lockdown rules by driving 30 miles to a beauty spot to test his eyesight on his wife’s birthday. Continue reading

It’s Not Me, It’s Your Prejudice

I was eleven years old when my teacher called me ‘disabled’ in front of the class, during what was intended as a lesson in tolerance and inclusion. I still remember how the teacher’s words burned as if she was branding me with a red-hot iron. The initial wave of shame soon gave way to anger and resentment. Disabled? Me? In what way was I disabled? Continue reading

White Privilege, Part 2

Part two? Well, yes, because I wrote a blog about white privilege a couple of years ago, but it turned out to be one of my least popular blog posts, so here I go again because this stuff is important.

Growing up in Sweden in the 70s and 80s, my surroundings were very white, something I thought little about because it seemed perfectly normal to me at the time. In primary school, I had a classmate who was adopted from South America, and in my brother’s year, there was a girl adopted from South Korea, but that was it as far as diversity went. When I started high school, I made friends with a girl from Eritrea and got a first glimpse of what it was like to be black in Sweden in the late ’80s. Continue reading

Five Years and Counting

Five years to this day, I wrote and published my first blog post. I still recall all too vividly how petrified I was to share my thoughts and words with the world; how I feared being met with rejection and ridicule. As afraid as I was to reveal myself to the world after years of hiding behind a carefully cultivated persona of the ‘intellectual academic,’ I had to take that risk. Continue reading

Face Equality

7586843F-87AB-47C2-9910-AB6E2EC37638Gender equality, race equality, disability rights, minority rights, etc., are all familiar concepts that inform the political, economic and social spheres of our society.

Less familiar perhaps, but no less important, is the principle of face equality, championed by organisations like Changing Faces, the UK’s leading charity for people with conditions or injuries that affect their appearance; and its sister organisation, Face Equality International. 

Face equality is about being treated fairly and equally whatever the appearance of one’s face or body. As someone who lives with a visible difference, face equality is particularly close to my heart and since this week is Face Equality Week I want to share something I wrote a few years ago and which reflects my personal philosophy on appearance, ability and the human essence: Continue reading

You Gotta Have Faith

 

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On Sunday night the British prime minister appeared on national television,  clenched fists on the desk as he spoke to the populace in what was his best Churchill impersonation yet. Never mind that Johnson doesn’t know how to comb his hair and needs a regular reminder to tuck in his shirt, who wouldn’t trust a man with such impossibly blond locks and deep blue eyes? He’s practically the embodiment of honesty and gravitas. Continue reading

Cleft Beauty

It’s Cleft Awareness Week and in honour of all beautiful clefties out there I am re-posting a blog I wrote a while ago.

Born Whole

Cute-Golden-Retriever-Puppy-640x400Some people get a happiness boost from watching YouTube clips with cute puppies and kittens.

As for me, I’ve never quite felt much love for furry creatures, perhaps because I’m extremely allergic to them, cats in particular.

If ever you wanted to kill me off without getting caught, a mixture of cat, dog and hyacinth will do the trick.

My parents and siblings all have furry pets these days, making any visit to their homes a health hazard for me, but perhaps that’s the whole point.

When my daughters ask for a puppy or kitten of their own, I say they’ve got to choose:

“It’s either me or the pet.”

Accepting defeat, they both vow to get not just cats and dogs when they grow up and have flown the nest, but horses and rabbits as well. I get the message.

No, furry creatures don’t make my day, but cleft…

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