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Learning the World.

Musings on relocation, exploration and other general oddities.

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Why I’m (still) marching

This post was originally published here as part of the Abortion Rights Campaign’s “why I’m marching” series relating to the 2020 (virtual) March for Choice.


Alright I confess – I won’t actually be marching anywhere this year for International Safe Abortion Day. Perhaps I’ll do a couple of laps of the garden with my toddler, and get my wife to follow us yelling “our bodies, our lives, our right to survive!” Perhaps I’ll even rope the neighbours in to lean over the wall and call us babykillers, just for the feel of the thing. Perhaps not.

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Writing about (not) writing.

I write. It’s something I do. I am not arrogant enough to call myself a writer – I respect the work of far too many wordsmiths of fact and fiction to count myself among their number. But I enjoy writing. I write publicly, privately, academically, activistly (not a word, but I’m not a writer, see?). I write letters, journals, dissertations, this blog. Even though I update here infrequently, I write bits and pieces all the time. Or rather, I should say wrote. Because I haven’t really written in a long time. And I’m writing tonight not because I have something to say, but because I think I need to be writing again.

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Holding together while staying apart

Today was not a good day for me and my brain. I don’t really have a bad brain days anymore, not the way that I used to. But a global pandemic and an anxious mind just aren’t a great mix. I didn’t want to do anything today. But I had to. So I did.

It is not easy keeping it together through all of this. We aren’t meant to be alone. I want to write more about it all, about how privileged I feel to have a back garden, about the impact this is going to have on a generation of kids, about how my heart aches for everyone going through the wonderful and terrible milestones of life with this as their unwanted backdrop. About how fearful I am for the vulnerable people I know and love, and for those who must stay in a home that isn’t safe for them, or who have no home at all. About how we’re not meant to raise children like this, in little pockets with screens between them and the rest of the world. About how hopefully this will all make us realise how fucking terribly society treats so many essential workers, and how completely fucking immoral billionaires are. About how I almost wish I wasn’t a parent right now, so I could sleep in and play video games all day. About how I can’t get this songout of my head. And about how even when I have days like today when I don’t want to do anything, my daughter gives me such joy that I can’t imagine being without her. And how grateful I am for the sound of her laughter and her squashy little hugs.

But I can’t right now. Those few sentences are pretty much all my brain can string together. So I hope you’re okay. And I hope you and I and everyone can keep holding it together, for just a little while longer. Until we can be together again.

New Year, old me.

Today is Nollaig na mBan – Women’s Christmas – the day on which women get a day off after all their work over the festive period. For me however, it was my first day of paid employment in nine months. Today I left Spud with a kind stranger and went to work.
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Anger and change.

I am so fucking tired of being angry.

It is draining being this fucking angry all the time. It’s always there, bubbling in my chest or just behind my eyeballs. But there is so much that I see everyday that makes me angry. And I can’t keep quiet. I just can’t. Even though I just want a shower and to watch Christmas movies and eat ice cream and be oblivious. Instead I’m sitting here writing in anger and tiredness, needing to get it onto the page so it doesn’t all stay in my head.

No prizes for guessing why I’m angry today.

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Why I’m Marching: Last year I marched while pregnant, this year I’ll march with my daughter.

I wrote this piece for the “Why I’m Marching” series on the Abortion Rights Campaign‘s website (Original post here). I’ve written a few times here about abortion and the campaign, if you’re really desperate to know what else I think.

This year’s March for Choice is on 28th September. There is still work to be done in Ireland and around the world in realising reproductive justice. I hope you can join us.

Continue reading “Why I’m Marching: Last year I marched while pregnant, this year I’ll march with my daughter.”

Fuck you Simon Harris.

I have other things to be writing today. I have more thoughts about Dumbledore – even after the shitshow that was the new Fantastic Beasts film. There’s an essay I need to write to get another scholarship cheque, and I’ve programs to write up for work, and y’know a masters dissertation to write at some point. But today, I am too angry to write any of that. Because the Dáil is debating Ireland’s post-referendum abortion legislation. So, brace yourself folks, it’s time for another abortion rant. Specially, about how very DONE I am with politicians. Particularly, Simon Harris.

Continue reading “Fuck you Simon Harris.”

Lest we remember.

I have complex feelings today.

In truth, I have complex feelings most days. But today, and all this week, I have had complex feelings about being British. Monday was November 5th – Bonfire Night – and today is November 11th – Armistice Day, and the centenary of the end of World War One. So, for a Brit living in Ireland, with 139 days until Brexit apparently becomes a reality, it’s a day for complex feelings.

Continue reading “Lest we remember.”

Lessons learned.

My current status: emotional whirlwind. A week after the polls have closed, I almost still can’t quite believe that we won the referendum to repeal the 8th. A landslide no less. I think it’s going to take a while for that to sink in. There has been many media/internet opinions on how the campaign was won – many, sadly not emphasising the grassroots feminist aspect, and ignoring the importance of donuts, or correctly folding t-shirts. But today, I am not going to give you another hot-take – instead, in another attempt at using writing as personal therapy, I’m going to talk about genies, ants and growing up.

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