Bloomin ‘eck. 1st Nov 2015

I quit my job. That’s about the biggest thing, oh, i also went to Geneva for a conference at the WHO. Lindi came with me. it was fun if kind of pointless but i’m really proud of myself for managing it all. It was great to see Lindi even though I’d just come back from scotland a few weeks before.  We did lots of cooking/baking in scotland, as usual, and had a really nice long walk up in the woods, had a little picnic on a rock,  Went for 2 games of laser tag, apparently I’m the most accurate shooter so it was good not to fail. I went to leeds for a workshop at the uni.   This weekend I’m going to Manchester to Eves house for a bonfire night party thing, sleeping over, then catching the train to to chester in the morning for a cafe doodle tour with adele and her friends. So I’m very well traveled this year.  London, Birmingham, Manchester many times, Leeds, Cambridge, Chester, Geneva, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Bolton, not to mention Peterburgh and Norwich when I fucked up with the trains on my way back from Cambridge.

I’ve had fun in Manchester with Eve and Jo and Anna and more people. We went to the tory protest raleigh on the 4th of oct, it was a lovely day and everything went well. my first protest. We also went elderberry picking a week or so before and I went back to Eves house to make cordial. need I say it was really nice. the day, not the cordial, though that was tasty too. We played in a park for a bit like big kids. it was great to hang out with people who were so care free about doing fun things that most people would be too embarrassed to do, and to be with folk who are very understanding of each others needs and good with compromise. I feel like everyones voices got heard and for once I wasn’t the tag along or the weirdo that needed looking after.

I was invited on to the committee of autistic UK, and am now the secretary but its all kind of bullshit. nothing really seems to get done, russell stronach takes charge over everything and makes things difficult and awkward. the facebook group is a mess, the organisations public image is a mess because of it, and the meetings last three hours and im supposed to sit there and take notes, its kinda bullshit.  there’s an AGM coming up soon, probably be in london, I don’t know if I will be able to go.

At Blott, we have had a few little exhibitions and the current show (which i couldn’t go to the open night for) is up and running. I’ll be staffing it tomorrow I guess. I’m currently helping Corrine work on her ‘be her freedom’ feminism piece for the feminist show in march, she is also paying me to edit and format her MA dissertation.  We did a bit of oil painting but I had to take my paintings home to make space in the gallery.  we got the office redone,  Natalie and Sarah were two women (younger than me, scarily) who were helping out have both stopped working there. We’re not sure about being a CIC now.  I’m going to a Blackpool Bid meeting in the winter gardens on tuesday morning to discuss the towns christmas healthy something something.  I went to two training days at FYCreatives building, run by left coast. one on creative development, one on finance.  both were quite dull and obvious but at least I guess i can feel confident that I’m probably not missing some vital information and running a business isn’t as scary as it seems. (for the woman with a double applied GCSE in business studies)

I finished my level one sign language class. The exam was just last week , i will find out if I pass in a few more weeks or a month. I wont be surprised if I failed but it would be a pain to have to take it again. The exams are hard. we had two weeks were there was no lesson but some of us met at Sharon’s house to practice. mostly people just chatted though which was kind of annoying. I also attended Deaf Pool, the Blackpool Deaf convention. it was noisy.  ironic much. My bike was stolen. I’m still glad I went, I picked up a few things and it showed determination on my part to be serious about learning.
But I think I might take a break before starting level two.

and as for that quitting my job thing, Dennis has been a pain this year, I think his wife has something to do with it, them bitching together and him getting ideas in his head and reacting like a dick to me over things, and he was trying to power trip by threatening to not be back next year so I decided now was the time to pack it in. I left a week before the final week because he was being funny with me and i couldn’t he asked with it anymore.  I had a nice last day playing with shakira and shania, decorating two big boxes, complete with phones, bells, telescopes, open and closed signs etc.  I gave the family my number so they can have me babysit if they want.  if not I’ll still go and visit them next year. take them on the waltzers or the beach maybe.

oh, speaking of the beach. One of the best days this summer was when I was down there when Bob was on, Rosies mum was taking the kids to the beach with marissa and the boys, the kids asked me to come so I went too, and ended up playing deep in the sea with shakira and shania. it was awesome. a really hot hot day.  So maybe I can do that again in the summer as it would be a real shame to not see them all again.

I have applied for PIP and am waiting to hear back…

and Monique has asked me to look after her kids some times, and i can be paid for it through an independent living fund they get. So i’ve done a few days looking after nick and matt, it can be a challenge but I’m up for it, handy now that I’ve packed in caricatures. So I just have to get all that officialised as a proper registered employee now and it sets me some what on track with this adulting thing.  I’m next booked in with them in late november when Monique is away in Russia doing cool advocacy things.

I have a few commissions to get done, hopefully before christmas, and then I have to focus on the art shows I have coming up. my own at the galleon (might submit ink sketches)  the joint feminist one which I have one painting for so far but could do with another… and will also see how i feel about the one that ive already done..   and then possibly my own at Blott that corrine mentioned.

There is also the autism show again next year which I can give speeches for but I might want to not do London as accommodation will be difficult.

as for identity-first autistic, the website is up and running and looking fab. I don’t have much time to focus on doing much work around actually campaigning but the page grows with likes and I have cool little business cards printed which are fun for me if nothing else.

So now caricatures is over, BSL class is over, Corrine wants me in Blott two days a week, I still have Kady to see every other week, commissions to do, unexpected invites to things and places that I’d love to attend. Work at the blakemores at the end of the month, maybe by december it will wind down and I can have a slow lazy winter in preparation for 2016.

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25 of July

Almost two months have come and gone. I gave my speeches, had fun adventures in london with Nara, attending the autism pride gathering in hyde park, visiting the cutty sark, wondering around soho, and staying at Aofie’s tower hamlets flat and playing cards against humanity.

I met Paul Wady at the show in Birmingham, that all went fine. in Manchester, i met up with Jo, eve and a few of eves friends. also saw monique there and Katherine who I met in london. good times.

I had another north west aspie women meet up which was great. I’ve been to cambridge twice to do a medial study on oxytocin. I got stranded in Norwich on my way home the first time and met a woman called Nora who talked to me all the way to wigan the second time.

Work has been awkward, I don’t want to go. the kids are still fun but dennis is being unpredictable and emotional and falling out with me over silly things. sacked me and rehired me again. i dont want the stress. im applying for PIP.  Kady is having a hard time with his flat falling apart. I got upset about things that he said to me/the way he spoke to me recently and im not ‘over it’

ive been volunteering as a listener at  7 cups of tea. its been quite rewarding other than when some numpty gave me a poor review then blocked me for telling them i was too busy to talk, after my status was set to busy.

Corrine has plans to relaunch blott as a new social enterprise type thing and as made me official  computer tech person (im shocked too) and head of accountancy. im even more shocked at that one but im willing to push past my fears of being totally inept at that and prove to myself that im not dumb with numbers.  I am quite capable if I give myself a chance and wok hard (rrght? right?)  so this should be a beneficial life/learning experience if it all goes ahead. ive still being oil painting with corrine and doing other office computer things.  ive met claire griffifths whos now changed her name,  and sam simpson.

I passed my level 1 sign language exam with 100% but the classes are too slow for me and im bored in them. also everyone is getting much more social and friendly with each other and I’m feeling more and more excluded because I cant realate to them or join in on the convos.

So I’ve really toured the UK recently. three times at Birmingham new street station, adventures on the london underground DLR and cable car flight thing. managed to use an oyster card.

I’m due up in scotland in two weeks and have been invited to geneva in sept.

long awaited update.

it is wednesday the third of june. I finished my foundation sign language a few weeks ago and started the Level 1 course. I have my second level one class tonight at 6.30.  I have a free day tomorrow then on friday Im going to Blott to paint Sally in oils.  After that I might go to the blackpool art venues open evening and have a mingle.. but it may be a waste of time or I may be too tired. I don’t know about the weekend. the next monday I have Blott again and then BAASG in the evening.

The past few weeks I have written stuff for Monique to send to the UN and UNICEF and WHO etc. it’s cool to be involved with that. apparently I’m quite good with words. yay!

I also started up the Identity First Autistic campaign.. the idea being to promote awareness and understanding of how language can affect attitudes towards disabled people and how disabled people are seen as lesser humans when they/we shouldn’t be.  I’ve emailed various charities asking for their support but not many got back. I’ve made a website and set up a facebook page and made lots of graphics for it… so far I haven’t launched the site or anything. I’m hoping I don’t get too down about the idea to continue with it. it would be awesome for it to actually get some recognition.
Monique also said I might be able to help out with looking after her sons which would be fun.

I have to rehearse my speech with the slides and make some cards with the script on for pointers. I just found out im speaking at 2.55 at the autism show in london so I have to arrange my train travel stuff.
I’ve got it sorted that Nara is going to meet me at the station and I can rely on her to get me to and from the EcXel centre and to where I am staying with some friends of hers. I’ll write down my own instructions in case she doesn’t show or something.
So I think I’m just getting on a train, changing at preston, getting off at euston, meeting nara, going to the show, signing in, finding the hub, waiting, speaking, looking around, leaving with nara, and doing whatever. then on sunday we can either go to the pride event in hyde park or the one in reading. not sure yet. I’ll make sure I have instructions for both. All I know is that trains leave from euston to preston at 28 mins past every hour and the latest one I can get is at 8.28 since that will mean changing at preston at around 11. .. eargh. its on a sunday though so that might even mean replacement bus… hope not.
I might cancel blott that following monday…

yesterday I went to work on the tram since the weather was predicted to be crazy winds. dennis came to close up at around 2 in very heavy rain. I went back to his place to see his hand printing stand/trolley thing and we did some hand prints and practiced drawing them.

I need to get my scanner back from bolton and also would like to meet Monique’s sons who also live in bolton and I wont get a chance to do this for six weeks if i don’t do it this weekend. I don’t know if I’m working though. also I don’t think Kady would appreciate the short notice.

I could do with going food shopping, getting something i can take to london…
and i need to tidy up and do laundry/hoover etc.

I went to a ‘skills swap’ evening three weeks ago, run by Ruby Coupe, met some nice people who are environmental activists and stuff, or linked in with the art community in some way. I said id give  a guy some piano lessons through videos. did a few vids and not heard back from him in two weeks. Robin Ross has said I can do an exhibition at the Galleon Gallery next year in May so I will have to make some new art.
I stuck a little gallery website together as well.
I haven’t done art in ages. I’m reading Moby Dick, I just finished the Scarlet Letter and before that, Wuthering Hights, before that i think it was sherlock holmes but thats getting on to last year.
I’m half way through 2015 already.   I probably still spent most of it in front of my computer.

the year so far consists mostly of
Mondays at blott
sign language one evening a week
work
bolton
speeches.
Baasg and NW aspie women stuff.

that’s all so far.
there was also the general election.

I hope to make it to scotland this year to see Lindi.
maybe next year… or come autumn.. i can focus on art.
I did a few ink drawings for the frames dennis got for me. that and the oil painting with corrine seems to be all I’ve done so far this year art wise. and the secret garden. and wasting time on 7 cups. aught to stop that.

that’s all I can remember for now.
2.20pm  got to leave for BSL class at 6.10.
I think I will eat, then tidy a little, then write london lists. (figure out train times)
tomorrow I might go food shopping.

22.4.15 Wednesday

I had a day off yesterday, changed my bedding, anything else I may have tidied is now messy again so no point mentioning that. Dennis rang me at 6ish asking how i was doing at the pier, i told him i wasn’t down there. he got pissed off insisting that i had agreed to to every tuesday and wednesday when i only meant I wanted them over the easter break. he told me not to bother coming in for the whole season and hung up on me. I text him telling him not to fall out with me over one missed day and he seemed to calm down and we agreed I’d do tomorrow (today) and have  a chat.
I woke up at 12 having turned off my alarm and fallen back to sleep. I rushed down to work but did nothing all day, tidied a little, read a lot of The Scarlet Letter  sitting out on the bench in the sun. I didn’t have any customers. Dennis had installed a TV in the studio. he came at around five having just got off community service we had some tea and he explained that hed been tired and pissed off and I was forgiving.  he gave me one of my frames. ive ordered 20 white square frames through him. it will come to £48 in total.

I’m working tomorrow and will hopefully pick up more of my frames from dennis, then BSL class in the evening. I have the doctors friday morning and might get things from town after that. I’m after an ear ring and maybe some bras or white tshirts or leggins.. what ever I can find.

I really should cook something tonight, also should make date bars and flapjacks. I must also shower.

20.4.15 monday

I had a good day, ate breakfast, cycled down to blott, we didn’t do oil painting, I fixed/built Corrine’s Rebellion punk art website all day. she insisted on paying me. when we finished I cycled home, ate, changed and went back out again to  the A team youth club. Julie met me there. I told her about Ryan from Matthews hub wanting to help us. We did ‘circle time’ with the youth, most seemed to have learning disabilities but a few seemed ok. I explained about our group, there was one boy, Daniel who was 15 that seemed quite bright and friendly. after we did circle time I hung out with emma , a youth worker doing an MA in art therapy and Daniel and did some arty stuff until the time was up. it went quickly.  Then i cycled home.  They asked me to come back next week as a member and then in three months when I’m 25 I could work there as a volunteer if I wanted. that sounded quite nice. I did like the place.

I’ve just got off the phone with Russell Stonarch from Autistic UK about my talks at the autism show. I’m in Birmingham  on sat the 20th at 2.55.-2.25 and Manchester on friday the 26th at 12.00-12.30.  good to get that sorted.

Monique Blakemore also told me that she asked the people of UNICEF to reconsider me for the position of youth rep since I never heard back from Erich from Switzerland about it. Possibly I didn’t sell myself very well in my Email, I mentioned anxiety and that.

I might not end up going to geneva this time for the world health organisation  since i don’t think we were given a speaking time, or if we were it was at 6pm when hardly anyone is left to listen. so maybe not.

I enjoyed my second sign language class, I learned to tell the time and a few other things.  I spent the weekend in bolton, we played some chess but it hurt my brain. (kady keeps playing for me so I win)

I’m now going to let someone know what day im on in manchester, email kady, and offer kyle the oppertunity to come to the next youth club meeting with me.

where did the years go?

It’s gone midnight, sunday night/monday morning.  I’m going to Blott gallery today (after a sleep) for my second go at oil painting with Corrine. in the evening i will be going to the fourth adult aspergers group in Blackpool. I will go to work on the pier on wednesday and thursday though i doubt there will be any point being there so I will probably get home earlier than late. On thursday I will have my second BSL foundation class. (five in total). on friday I will hopefully be going to bolton to see Arkady but I will have to be back on sunday night to go to Blott again the monday morning and then going to check out an autism youth club that evening.

Over the weekend I have been writing my script and creating a slide show for my upcoming speech on autism and mental health at the Autism show in Manchester and possibly Birmingham in June.

I may also be going to to the UN in Geneva for a day in May to talk about autism and mental health but i don’t know for certain if that will happen yet.

I dont know what I’ve done the past five years.. how long ago was it since I left university? four years?  this is the year of advocacy, last was the year of stupid trauma therapy and work, before that was the year of failing work but writing the bird lady book, getting an autism diagnosis and talking to angela at the simeon centre, the year before that was the year of blackpool advocacy paintings, work and stupid CAT therapy. before that was work and being in primary care, making a police report, finishing at MRC and graduating uni with an animation. then uni and kady and uni and college and school.  so come summer it will be 4 years since leaving uni. I’ve done some art, ive fucked around in therapy, ive learned a few things about history and the world and people, ive worked. I’ve done some other stuff.

the other week I held an acceptance stall at an autism open day (on autism awareness day), ive been regulalry attending and facilitating  north west asper women meet ups in manchester every few months and I’ve had a few trips to scotland and had lindi come to stay a few times.

mostly I’ve been wasting all my time on the internet. I don’t really play the guitar anymore but occasionally put songs together on garage band.

I’m 25 in three months. I’m quite depressed. I believe it is my fault. (other than the rest of the sucky things in the sucky world making everything suck) I cling to having things to do so I don’t have to do art. I should just do art really… I feel like I have failed my goal if I’m not putting most of my effort in to doing art. it is what i decided I would spend my life on.

there is an election coming up, ill be voting green. its frightening because I really don’t want the Torys back in but it’s the most likely outcome.

moving out would be good. give me a feeling of independence and progress.

BSL classes, speeches, meetups, blott, work, kady, art.  that’s the plan for the year.  geneva and scotland would be nice too.