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You know that three-legged stool model where if possible it’s best to only make major changes in one of the legs of home, relationship, and work at any given time? I seem to be doing remarkably well right now, considering that I’m encountering a certain amount of complicatedness in all three.

The relationship stuff is simplest - [livejournal.com profile] obandsoller and I are rock solid, before anyone worries; but for a little while I let myself get my hopes up about a possible something with someone else, and then that didn’t pan out (yes, that’s the sad thing I referred to in the last post). I’m okay, and have bounced back remarkably quickly, but it’s been an undercurrent of uncertainty and anxiety as well as hopefulness for the last couple of months, which takes energy.

House stuff is hard work and infuriating. We found a place, and we knew that our maximum price was higher than the vendor’s minimum, so we were confident that we’d reach an agreement, but then the vendor got cold feet and it fell through. And then we found another place and had an offer accepted and got pretty excited, and now that’s been stalled for weeks and we think isn’t going to happen. And then we found another place and made an offer way above the asking price but were still outbid… And it’s getting a bit tiring, not knowing when it’s all going to be sorted out. I mean, we’ll find somewhere eventually, and once we get to the other side we’ll have a shiny new house and we’ll never have to move again, and it’ll be great. But still, it’s a bit tiring.

A similar undercurrent of uncertainty remains at work. My contract ends in a few weeks, at which point I’m having some surgery and will definitely be taking a bit of time off to recover, but I’m still not sure what I’ll be doing afterwards. My client has indicated that he’d like me to come back in some capacity, but so far has been rather unforthcoming on the details, and although there’s nothing terrible per se about my role at the moment, I’m getting quite bored. There are definitely more interesting projects that I think I could take on, but it remains to be seen whether my vision and my client’s are in concert, and the longer I go without knowing, the less engaged I feel, and the more inclined to just go “Sod it, time to move on”.

But as I indicated at the start, despite having a non-trivial amount of stress and uncertainty to manage, I seem to be bearing up extremely well. I know how lucky I am, being in a position to buy a house in London at all, and having the amount of freedom of choice about where and how I work that I have, and knowing that whatever else happens in my love life I’ve still got this incredible, affirming, enriching partnership with Ramesh. But often knowing that on paper doesn’t stop stressful things from being incredibly draining and clouding out that sense of fortune and gratitude, and that doesn’t seem to be happening this time around.
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Something I need to get better at is remembering how profoundly mood can affect my ability to do practical and useful things, and applying that to my model of other people. The effect of depression and related mood disorders in this arena is something I mostly grok, even though it’s been a long time since I suffered more than the most transient and trifling of depressions, but I’m currently a bit sad about something specific*, and it’s taken me rather by surprise how much of a similar effect it’s had in terms of making it hard to get out of bed and go to work and do my chores and be sociable with delightful people.

For the last few months I’ve been overwhelmingly more functional and productive than I ever had before, and it felt quite robust, so it’s a little surprising to find it this fragile. I mean, it hasn’t crashed down to zero - I managed to lift weights and cook dinner and play bridge yesterday, and although it took me a while to get going this morning, I’ve still made it into work and got a reasonable amount done so far; but it has felt like far more effort than I’d become used to. I expect it’ll sort itself out over the next few days, and if it doesn’t then all the tools I used to become more functional are still there if I need them to get back again, but I think it’s probably good for me to realise that no matter how resilient I feel, there are definitely still squishy bits really quite close to the surface.

I’m also uncomfortably aware that there have been times when thoughts along the lines of “why can’t so-and-so just pull themselves together and get on with things” have been closer to forming than I might like to admit, and although I think I’m usually fairly good at nipping them in the bud with a reminder that different people have different capabilities and needs and responses, perhaps this experience of how quickly capabilities can change even within one person will make them less inclined to reach the point where that nipping is required.

*which is just one of those unfortunate things which is absolutely no-one’s fault, and was handled as decently and kindly as possible by everyone involved, so just in case anyone is thinking of feeling anything resembling guilt about this sadness, don’t you bloody well dare.
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One aspect of Ardgour-en-France that I meant to write about is the food. Anyone who’s known me for more than five minutes will probably have picked up that food is something that I’m passionate about. Making, sharing, and appreciating good food is an important part of how I relate to people, so the challenge of planning the catering for a group of that size, and making sure that not only are all the dietary requirements met, but everyone actually enjoys the food is one that I find stimulating.

There’s a slightly selfish aspect to it. When food is part of my identity in this way, and especially when I get positive responses to meals that I’ve cooked or planned, it gives me a layer of armour against the voices of disordered eating. It would be better, I think, if I didn’t need to get my validation externally at all, but somehow getting it from being a provider of nourishment and culinary pleasure is quite hard to make coexist with seeking it from being thin, thinner, thinnest, and I’m fairly certain that it’s healthier for me to crowd out the latter with the former.

I think we ate pretty well throughout - as ever, there were a few hiccoughs with me forgetting to order the odd ingredient, or not being able to find something in a French supermarket that would be straightforward in England, but all the cooks did a sterling job of improvising alternatives. I was particularly pleased with and proud of the Medieval Feast on the Tuesday night. A feast of some description has been a feature of several of these holidays, and this was the third time that [livejournal.com profile] strongtrousers and I have run the show.

And we’re getting good.

I mean, we’ve been decent cooks for years - it was whilst we were living together at the Suite that I first really got into food, and I learned an enormous amount, and through the years I think we’ve both learned back and forth from one another. But even so, in previous years the feasts have been hard work, they’ve been very stressful, and although we’ve made some fabulous food, not everything has worked. By now though, we’ve learned. We’ve learned what works for big groups and what doesn’t, we’ve got the confidence to make things up on the fly when we need to, and we’ve broadened our repertoires considerably. And so this time everything just worked. All day, I could barely believe how smoothly everything was going, and how unstressed we all were, and when we served the food, how well chosen and well received every single dish was. Look at the menu below and tell me you don't wish you'd been there ;)



With thanks to [personal profile] pseudomonas for the calligraphy.

Weekend

Apr. 18th, 2016 10:59 am
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I had a fairly quiet weekend, which I think was just what I needed, as the emotional impact of recent spiritual developments are still washing over me in waves, so the luxury of not having to do anything else challenging is very much appreciated.

On Friday evening I went to the theater to see “Such Things as Dreams Are Made On”, an immersive show based on The Tempest. Sadly I didn’t enjoy it much - on the scale of immersive theatre from “basically just a play but with some ambulatory bits” to “completely disconnected scenes on a theme”, it seemed right at the latter end, and I found it disjointed and difficult to make any sense of at all. That said, other people I went with appear to have encountered a lot more plot than I did, and enjoyed it more, so I may just have been unlucky with where I placed myself, which is always a bit of a risk with these things.

On Saturday I woke reasonably early and spent a couple of hours exercising. It felt more difficult than it sometimes does - the weights seemed heavier than I’d have expected, and the running was slow, and I didn’t much enjoy either - but I kept going, which is something. I napped in the afternoon, then slept for ten hours that night, and nine last night, so I think possibly I was fighting off some very mild illness. The vendor of the house we’ve been trying to buy is currently being made of faff, so we have resumed our search in the hope of finding somewhere better, or at least less faffy, and had our first new viewing on Saturday afternoon. It was decent enough, and had we seen it before the current place then I think we’d be happy with it, but it’s not quite as good, so we’re currently weighing that against the likelihood of the original vendor getting his act together, and planning to see a few more places next weekend.

Saturday evening I went on a dinner date with someone from OkCupid - he was pleasant enough, but no real spark, and I don’t think I’ll see him again. If I’m honest, I think I could have predicted that and saved myself the effort. There’s definitely still a part of me that is sufficiently surprised by someone showing interested that I feel an obligation to respond positively to any initiation of contact showing a modicum of thought. Actually though, I might do better to accept that I’m quite picky these days, and I’d make better use of my time if I only met with people I felt actively excited about.

Sunday started with Mass, but although I had anticipated the Annual Parochial Church Meeting to follow, poor Fr Daniel was unwell, so that was postponed to next week, and I got home early. That turned out to be a stroke of luck, as I’d got myself in a muddle about timings for our afternoon plans, and this let us rejuggle them. Ramesh & I had a lovely gentle stroll into Islington, where we had (very good, but I think a little overpriced) gelato at Amorino, then went to see The Man Who Knew Infinity at the cinema. It was a fairly meandering film, in which not a great deal happened, and we already knew how what conflict there was would resolve, but it was a pleasant, comfortable reminiscence. I’m not sure how much interest it would hold for someone without any connections to maths, or Cambridge, or India, but for us it was quite well targeted. I think that A Disappearing Number, which I saw a few years ago with [livejournal.com profile] jamesofengland is a much better piece of art on the same subject, but also a lot more challenging, and there is space in the world for both.

After the film we went to Ottolenghi for a late lunch/early supper of mushroom & leek croquettes and various salads. It was all delicious, but for me the highlight was “Mixed green beans with edamame, soy roasted peanuts, lime leaf and lemongrass“, which I could have eaten all day. In a great feat of self-control I managed to drag myself away without buying a single new cookbook, and we headed home. It was such a lovely afternoon, and I think both of us really enjoyed taking the time to put the busyness of life to one side and just focus on each other for a while.

In the evening I treated myself to turning into a prune in the bath, then did a bit of French practice before praying the examen and then getting an early night. Glancing back over this, it’s possible that I might want to revisit my conception of what a quiet weekend looks like, but on the other hand, whilst it was quite full in some sense, everything that it was filled with was revitalizing and refreshing, and surrounded by getting enough sleep, which can make all the difference.
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You may recall that about a month ago I talked to my spiritual director about being, in some sense, an atheist? He recommended the book God of Surprises as reading material that might help me process the tension of belief and unbelief.

Well, I certainly can't accuse it of false advertising in the title. I, er, appear not to be an atheist any more. Which is unexpected, to say the least. This evening has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, and I'm now feeling a little weepy and a lot overwhelmed. Prayers from those of you that do would be appreciated.
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There was one theme that came up for me in a variety of ways over the course of my recent holiday, of doing something that’s a bit outside my comfort zone, where I’d been putting in quite a lot of effort to practice and felt that I’d made big improvements, only to panic and fail when faced with doing it for real. This happened in three different spheres - speaking French, singing, and playing the piano. Naturally, the moment of failure was fairly unpleasant in each case, but I’m quite pleased with, perhaps even proud of, how I responded afterwards.

Read more... )
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Last week I went on holiday with fifteen other fabulous people, and it was absolutely bloody brilliant. I’ve been going away with (approximately) this group every couple of years since 2008, at first to Scotland, and for the last couple of instantiations to a chateau in the south of France.

Organising a holiday for a group that large is pretty hard work, and much approbation is due to [livejournal.com profile] emperor for doing the lion’s share of that work. It’s worth it though, not just because of the sheer concentrated awesomeness of my friends, but also because it opens up the opportunity for activities that need larger groups. We did readthroughs (William Shakespeare’s Star Wars and Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9) and singthroughs (Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar) and games and a ceilidh, none of which would have worked with significantly fewer participants.

The singthroughs in particular will stay with me. [livejournal.com profile] leonato had the leads in both of them, and as hot as he is just standing there, when he sings it’s positively indecent. There were a great many other spectacular performances as well - both shows were stolen by their respective villainous double-acts whenever they were on stage, and the various sympathetic malefactors of Judas, Pilate and Javert were all played to heart-rending affect. Fantine’s death drew out my first tears of Les Mis, but not the last by a long shot. As for my own performance, I’m simultaneously very pleased and very disappointed in various aspects, but that will get an entry of its own to follow.
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So, it’s coming to the end of Lent, and time for a bit of reflection, both spiritual and practical, on my disciplines. After a couple of weeks of going to sleep at 10.30 I found that I was mostly waking around 5.30 or so, and whilst it was refreshing to always be getting enough sleep it was also frustrating feeling that my evenings were being cut short in order to give me more time at such an unsociable point of the day, so I shifted it an hour later. Interestingly, relaxing the discipline actually seemed to make it harder to stick to - I still managed it most days, but missed considerably more than I had up to that point. However, I was still waking up shortly before my alarm more often than not, and with one or two exceptions, finding it fairly easy to get up when it went off even if I hadn’t preceded it.

It feels as though this has consolidated into a change of habit, and one that will continue into Easter and beyond, and although a part of me is concerned that this is me using Lent for self-improvement (particularly as regulating my sleep pattern is something I’d been working on for a while), I think that I’m probably just being over-scrupulous. Whilst I don’t think I can point to particular devotions that I’ve been doing more of by virtue of getting more sleep, I definitely feel as though God has been a more central part of my thoughts during Lent than in the normal course of things, and I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to attribute some of that to just having more brainspace when I’m not chronically underslept. I expect that increased centralisation to continue into Easter as well, and one of the things that Fr Angus and I discussed last week was how to continue to do that but with a more joyful and celebratory focus as befits the season.

Of course, it isn’t just the sleep that’s been contributing to the increased brainspace. Not being on Facebook has done that as well. One thing that it has definitely led to is writing more on DreamJournal, which tends to encourage more longform and thoughtful pieces. Another is that I’m keeping up much better with email correspondences, which are a lot more fulfilling because they’re more personal. In both cases I’m feeling as though I’m communicating a lot more, even if I’m doing so with fewer people. I do still get value out of being on Facebook though - partly because there are many people I’m in touch with there but not elsewhere, and partly because it can be updated with a lot less time and thought, so doesn’t fall into the trap of having a dozen things I want to say but not enough time to craft them into a well written post.

After Advent ended I said I was hoping that I’d continue to spend less time using Facebook, but that didn’t really last long. This time I’m going to be more deliberate about it. I shall refrain from installing it on my phone, and stay logged out on my computer by default. I’m hoping this will mean that I only spend time on it when I’m consciously choosing to do so rather than having it as constant background noise. We’ll see how it goes.
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I, er, accidentally a half-marathon. Oops. Also gosh, well done me! Also ow.
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This post gets somewhat introspective and a bit disjointed. Content notes as per the title, so read with care if necessary.

Read more... )
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I’d say that he took it surprisingly well, but actually I wasn’t a jot surprised. His response was just as considered and wise and useful as I’ve come to expect.

I started meeting with Fr Angus for the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Advent. I’d found it such a powerful and useful experience on our parish pilgrimage to Walsingham that I wanted to take it up regularly. After having asked Fr Daniel’s advice about suitable confessors and undergone a certain amount of procrastinating and faffing, we began that discipline. After a short while it became clear that actually, important and useful though confession is, there’s a point of frequency above which it starts to feel repetitive and rote. We discussed this and agreed to move to taking a more general approach to spiritual growth, which would include, but not be limited to confession.

He’s very good. His way of thinking about and relating to God makes a lot of sense to me, and gave me some useful ideas about how to start thinking about and resolving the tension of alieving but not believing in God. I still have a lot of work to do, but before I started meeting with him I'd been letting my faith drift and stagnate a bit, whereas now it really feels like there's some important growth going on.
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Darlings - I'm playing a role in a readthrough in a few weeks which would benefit from a long, Victorian style skirt. The only skirts I own nowadays all tend to the slinky, and I'm really looking for something voluminous. Does anyone have something that might be suitable that they'd be willing to lend me?
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Project read more non fiction is go, starting with the above recommendation from Oliver. This rather odd little book is part biography of James Tilly Matthews, considered by some to have had the first documented case of paranoid schizophrenia and John Haslam, his physician at Bedlam, and part social history of the way we view and treat mental illness.

It certainly gave me a new-found gratitude that my sojourn at the tender mercies of England's madhouses took place at the end of the 20th century rather than the 18th, although sad to say I can definitely recall shades of Haslam in some of the doctors I was unlucky enough to encounter as a youth. I did feel at points as though the writer were stepping slightly over the line between recording history and spinning narratives out of whole cloth, particularly when speculating about the events which preceded Matthews' committal, but I'm not sure whether that was just because it made for a more interesting story than could be fully justified by the primary sources, or as a deliberate device to echo Matthews' own meandering between implausible fantasy and a truth which was stranger than fiction. In any case, it was a thoroughly diverting read.

Waste,

Feb. 29th, 2016 12:30 pm
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I went to see Waste at the National Theatre this weekend. It was extremely bleak, with barely a single likable character, but that's kind of what you look for when going to the theatre with Oliver. I enjoyed it immensely. It asks interesting questions about idealism vs pragmatism, and the difference between what one does and whom one is, and about how the relationship between church and state should work. I'm not sure it tells you how to answer any of these questions, or even how the writer would, but that uncertainly and lack of resolution feels appropriate.

The acting was excellent. Restrained and pointed for the most part, but with intensity bubbling away underneath and building tension until it couldn't help but escape in brief passionate moments before being locked up again. I was particularly taken with the set design, which was simple and sparse, and perfectly reflected the mood of the play.
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Learning French continues well, I think. It’s pleasing, because at school languages were always one of my weak points, and it’s nice to know that I can do reasonably well if I apply myself. I’d be interested in how other people’s experience of learning languages compares, and especially in any resources you think I might find useful.

I’ve finished the Duolingo tree, although I did the last dozen or so badges fairly quickly, which means they haven’t fully sunk in yet, and I’m struggling to keep them all gold. I’ve now finished seasons 1-3 of the podcast Coffee Break French, and am just getting started on the fourth and final season. These podcasts take a variety of forms, some of which I find more useful than others.

The first season starts with introducing basic vocabulary and grammar, pretty much all of which I’d already covered. It was somewhat useful to revise in an audio form and get used to hearing spoken French, but I did skip a fair amount of it. The final ten lessons of the season are more interesting though, as they were presented as a series of conversations which occurred on holiday in France, so there was a short piece to listen to, followed by some discussion and analysis, and then the piece played again. This sort of practice was definitely useful, and I could see clear improvements in my ability to understand excerpts of spoken French longer than a sentence or two. The second season followed a similar pattern, although the earlier lessons, whilst still mostly revision, were challenging enough that I listened to them all.

Season three was much better, in that nearly all of it had the “listen to a piece”, “discuss some of the language used”, “listen again” structure, with only the odd lesson here or there to formally teach a couple of the trickier bits of grammar (ugh, conditional mood; even more ugh, subjunctive mood). Over the course of this I went from understanding maybe a third of what was going on in the first listen, to getting maybe 90% of the gist, which feels like real progress. Also, a lot more of it is going "hear French ---> understand concept", rather than "hear French ---> translate into English ---> understand concept".

So far I’ve only listened to half of the first lesson of season 4, which feels like quite a big step up. A lot more of it is in French and not translated for you afterwards, so you’re pretty much forced to figure it out for yourself, and it’s also quicker (although I suspect still a long way from being at normal conversational pace). I’m thinking about buying the premium version of this season, which gets you extra lessons and transcripts and learning notes, but is pretty pricey. I’ll see how I go with the free content and then decide.

I’m becoming aware of just how many different skills are involved in learning a language, and of what I find effective and ineffective for learning each one. Learning grammar through audio definitely isn’t something that works for me - going over the bits that I’d already learned, or having examples pointed out is fine to cement things, but I don’t feel as though I understand the conditional and subjunctive any better now than I did before I started those lessons (and I need to sit down with some written resources and practice them more). On the other hand, the podcasts are great forcing me to just keep going and move on to the next sentence, and then pull out the whole meaning from the bits that I managed to pick up. I’ve read a couple of YA novels on my kindle, which is great for vocab, both cementing and learning anew, and is much easier to do when the dictionary is a click away rather than in a separate book. I’m not sure how much it helps with grammar - at the time I was still in the fairly early stages of learning, so mostly just picking out the key words and guessing at the grammatical structure, but I suspect that now my understanding has grown a bit, it will help with that as well.

One area that I’m not doing very much of is constructing sentences, either written or spoken - you do some of that in duolingo, but a)more of it is going from French to English, b)it’s all written, and c)it’s only one sentence at a time. Once I’m managing to keep my tree golden I’m going to work through the tree for francophones learning English, which will help with a), but then I really need to branch out a bit more and find opportunities to write and speak in French. [livejournal.com profile] oedipamaas49 did recommend going to conversations meetups, but that is obviously utterly terrifying, so I’m probably going to put it off until I feel at least a little more fluent.
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I started writing this a week and a half ago, saying...

I feel as though Lent has started well for me. As I anticipated, the first few days with no facebook were quite challenging, and I think that had I not taken the step of uninstalling the app on my phone and logging out on all the computers I use I would have slipped far too easily, but by now the instinct to load it up every half hour has become far more infrequent, and also less jarring when I remember.

My other discipline, which I expected to struggle with rather more, is getting to bed with the lights out by 10.30 every night. I am having slightly more difficulty getting to sleep when I go to bed that early than when I go exhausted, but by that I mean it takes me 10-30 minutes to drop off, rather than the moment my head hits the pillow. I had wondered whether that would mean waking before my alarm (which goes off at seven), and on Thursday & Friday it didn't quite, but I was definitely in the waking process by the time it went off. Over the weekend with no alarm set I slept quite a lot - 9.5 and 8.5 hours between going to sleep and waking up each day, but this morning I woke just before five, feeling quite refreshed.

...and then got interrupted, and haven’t got back to finishing it since. I’ve not quite had the discipline to stick to it perfectly every day since, but I have managed to be in bed by then, and lights out by 11.30 or thereabouts. I’m definitely finding that although I’m spending less time awake, I am finding much easier to spend more of that time being thoughtful and prayerful and in general more the me that I believe God wants me to be. So that’s good.

The lack of FaceBook is definitely helping with that, but is also leading me to feel quite disconnected in ways that aren't entirely positive, so I need to give some further thought to how I might be able to regain that connectedness without giving back so much of my brainspace to it.

I’m also reading Meeting God in Paul by Rowan Williams. In fact, it’s short enough that I finished my first read through of it last night. I found it interesting, moving, and enlightening, and definitely feel as though I have a better sense of both who Paul was and what he was trying to say in his writings. I haven’t magically stopped finding him difficult and at times frustrating, but it’s easier to view him with nuance now. I’m going to go back and re-read more slowly, looking up the various biblical passages referred to, and writing some short notes.
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I think I would like to read a bit more non-fiction than I do currently, and I have a couple of things on my to-read list, but not a lot. Most of what I have read recently has been about psychology or economics, but I'm keen to broaden my horizons (as well as reading more interesting stuff in those genres).

What are your favourite non-fiction books? What do you like about them? Are there any that you found life-changing?

I would also like to read more plays (which, outside of readthroughs, I almost never do), so the same questions apply.
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Does being aware of the existence of the bystander effect reduce its likelihood of occurring? How would you test this? It's hard to think of a test which wouldn't make it very obvious what was being tested and therefore mess with the results.

(Brought to you by reading the bit in Thinking Fast and Slow where people continue to underestimate the likelihood of bystander effects even after being told about them, and especially when predicting their own behaviour, and then thinking "but of course it'd be different for me, because I know that bystander effect is a thing, so would consciously make an effort to avoid it", and then wondering whether there's any validity in that at all.)

Engaged!

Oct. 12th, 2015 10:40 am
wildeabandon: me kissing my beloved boy (pretty boys kissing)
As most of you have probably seen on Facebook, [livejournal.com profile] obandsoller and I got engaged over the weekend. I am, predictably, a huge sappy pile of mush jumping over the moon.

We've had an understanding for quite a while that we'd probably get married eventually, but a few weeks ago I asked Ramesh how he felt about us getting engaged now, even though church stuff meant that we probably wouldn't actually get married for quite a long time. He said he wanted to think about it, and then on Saturday night he said that he'd thought about it and "Yes." I'm very very happy.

We're intending quite a long engagement. We're probably going to be buying a house in a few months, so we won't even be thinking about planning until that's done and the dust has settled. And then there's still the church stuff to figure out - I'm both the one who really wants the church wedding, and the one who is more invested in marriage generally, so I suspect it largely comes down to whether the point at which the impatience for the latter outweighs the former happens before or after the CoE drags itself kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but that is a worry for another day.

Right now, I'm just going to glow in the knowledge that this wonderful, beautiful, kind, fascinating man is daft enough to want to spend the rest of his life with me.
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All the evidence I have ever seen is in favour of legalising or decriminalising sex work, this has been the view of every sex worker I've ever known.

I'm a liberal, so I need to be very confident that an action restricting freedom will reduce harm to others before I can endorse it.

One of my most beloved friends is facing having her livelihood destroyed because of the censorious attitudes of our current government about the sort of videos that consenting adults can make.

And yet....

All the sex workers I know, and all of the ones I read in the not-mainstream-but-popular-with-our-kind-of-people press are pretty privileged; they might not be entirely wealthy, but they're not impoverished. They might struggle with misogyny, queer acceptance, transphobia and transmisogyny, but most of them don't actually struggle with how they're going to feed their kids tomorrow.

And there are people like Fiona Broadfoot, Bridget Perrier, Rachel Moran, who for those reasons or others feel like they were co-erced into sex work and are not happy about it, and feel that the Amnesty position is ignoring or silencing them.

And it would be easy, so easy, for me to construct a narrative where queer people of colour weren't systematically ignored, because the one I spend the most time with rarely brings it up, and it wouldn't be that hard to stop hanging out with the rest. And it would be so so easy to just not worry about whether I was paying enough attention to the voices of PoC, but I try not to do that because I'm not a complete cunt.

I am pro sex worker rights. But I am worried, that the decisions about what is in the interest of sex worker rights is all about the people who have a university education or a bunch of funding from Patreon, or a popular blog which results in offers to write for the Guardian or the New Statesman, or one way or another already have a voice, and is ignoring the Fiona, Bridget, and Rachels of the future. I would like to see some evidence from the SWU, and other pro-decrim organisations that they have sought out and listened to the voices of women who are in sex work through desperation, or trafficking.

Edit: I should probably have read it before posting, but actually, Amnesty's draft proposal provides this evidence quite clearly on pages 12-15. I am now convinced.
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