This post contains some issues that may be triggers for people. Please do comment below if you would like to.
When I was 13 I was walking across the courtyard of school, just chatting to a friend and heading to a lesson. Three older boys were walking in the opposite direction, one veered towards me, groped my breasts and walked on laughing.
When I was 16 I was traveling on bus in Oxford, sitting by the window when a young man came and sat by me. When he sat down his hand brushed my leg, he apologised and I said not to worry. As the journey progressed his hand resting against the side of my leg started moving further up my thigh. I squirmed towards the window to move away but there was nowhere to move to. I got off the bus three stops early to get away from him, but he stood up followed me, pushed himself up against my bottom so that I could feel his erection. He smiled at me, shrugged and walked off.
About a year ago I was in a very bad place. I hated my job; I felt like a complete failure because I hated my job. I felt like I was imposing on my friends by staying with them. I felt like I had no good options ahead of me. I was sinking into one of the worst bouts of depression that I have ever experienced.
A year later I have part time work, I’m off medication, the doctor doesn’t want to see me regularly any more. I’ve made friends and I’ve settled into the city. I feel calm and almost contented, which is something I’ve not felt for a very, very long time. I don’t feel guilty about as many different things as I once did. I speak to myself more kindly in my own head. I can recognise my worth again.
There are little things that help me recognise my improving mental health. When I am at the worst of my depression, I cannot laugh, I cannot sing, I cannot dance around the kitchen like a loon.
I am stupidly busy, but going out and working, even odd shifts and hours, feels much better than sitting with a Netflix binge (although that’s still a big draw now and then). Spending time with people, talking about everything and nothing helps me as a person. I don’t have to feel guilty about having a bit of a social life, despite being poor.
And now I feel like I’m on the verge of something new and different. Something that could be quite special, but even if nothing really comes of it, it will still have been a positive boost. Usually, this is when I would feel nervous and awkward, but instead there is this calm radiating inside me, a hitherto unknown confidence and sense that actually, everything is probably going to work out alright. I’m actually quite excited by the unknown for once!
I guess I’ll just have to wait and see…
Name: Jen Gale
Company Name: Make Do and Mend-able
Make Do and Mend-able is an online resource to promote Making Do and Mending as an alternative to buying new, and to facilitate the learning of new skills. On the site you will find tutorials, and inspiration for all things Make Do and Mend, as well as a nationwide Directory of classes, workshops, repair and re-use events, and pre-loved and ethical craft supplies.
I live in Wiltshire, but the site is nationwide!
Make Do and Mend-able
FB: Make Do and Mend-able
Name: Louise Checkley
Company Name: Garment Technologist at Mountain Warehouse
Company Description: Budget Retailer of Outdoor Clothing & Equipment
The WI Walks:
This year I have officially joined the WI. Having dabbled in finding a suitable group for a few years, I am now apart of Steel Belles WI in Sheffield, a very new group full of great ladies.
2015 is the centenary of the formation of the WI and as we are entering the week of the centenary celebrations I’ve been thinking about the women who inspire me and why they do. So here’s a top 4 women (in no particular order) that I think are awesome. They are all people I’d like to be when I grow up please, or at least steal aspects from…
I bought ‘Bossy Pants’, Tina Fey’s autobiography and it’s hilarious. I’ve read a huge number of funny books, but I’ve rarely laughed aloud to one as often as I did with this. In my eyes, Tina Fey can rarely do any wrong – she wrote Mean Girls, she wrote 30 Rock, created ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, she turns up in all sorts of things and is a breath of fresh air; I even really like Baby Momma and Date Night, I know I’m somewhat in the minority with the last two.
As regular readers may know, at the moment I am looking for work. I’m doing volunteering and applying for loads of jobs but no luck yet. It’s only a matter of time.
What this does mean, however, is that I have to regularly go to the job centre so they can see how I’m getting on and I can get a small amount of money to live on.
About a month ago I had an interview at Sheffield Uni and then had to go in later than usual to the job centre. Everyone was on their lunch, but I had to go and pick up a little boy I was babysitting, so the supervisor agreed to see me and was lovely and very helpful. She was going to head downstairs with me to find some extra forms that might be useful for me, but just had to deal with something else, so asked me to wait a second.
Now since I had been to the interview, I was a little dressed up – a 1930s style green dress, cardi, heels and even had foundation and mascara on. I got up from my seat, started putting on my coat and one of the security guards came over to keep an eye on one of the other visitors and started talking to me. He said I looked nice, I said thanks, I’ve been to an interview. He didn’t ask how it went but asked me if I had a boyfriend.
Today, March the 8th, is International Women’s Day.
These days it seems that every day is national this or international day of that, so why should we take notice of this? Why should we care about today and celebrate it?
Three years ago, on my 28th birthday, I went for a smear test.
When I think of activities I’d like to do for my birthday, I’d normally go with bowling, seeing a play, taking some art class like pottery or printing, cinema trip etc. rather than have a smear. But, since I’d moved between surgeries when moving houses, the NHS thought this was my first smear and an over due one at that. (It was my second, first had been all fine. Wooo)
A couple of years before my Dad had been diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct. Obviously this is not connected to cervical cancer, but they always do that things of ‘Do you have a history of cancer in the family?’ and until that point I didn’t think we had. I still had both parents, my Grandmother was then 99, my Granddad was 88, all uncles and aunts were, as far as I knew, in relatively good heath, as were my siblings. My Grandfather had died of a heart attack at 75, my Nan died 9 years before of various things, not including cancer.
As it’s International Women’s Day today, I thought I’d theme my songs to fit with that.