I’m a woman of many positive qualities if I say so myself, but even-tempered has never been one of them.
I spent much of my childhood in a state of permanent rage, most of which was directed at my parents, teachers and doctors. My instinctual response to any threat was rarely flight, but fight, which in hindsight, served me rather well, especially when confronted with bullies.
I’m finally back from a much-needed summer-long hiatus, during which I’d planned to reflect on the future of my blog. It’s been five years since I started blogging, and I was beginning to ask myself, do I continue as before, change something or, stop blogging altogether?
Pubs and restaurants in England open this weekend, and the government is so desperate for us to start spending our money again that they’re practically pleading with people to get drunk on Saturday. Some people have even suggested that we turn 4 July into a day of celebration. Celebration of what, I wonder?
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
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
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 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
The lockdown has brought about some unexpected changes in my household; I’ve finally learned to cook, and I have even managed to make a pretty tasty curry; we’ve gone from being dependent on our car to cycling instead; and my 10-year old has stopped calling me ‘mummy’.
Gender 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
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