Recommendation / loan from 41065. First section I read last night while half asleep was quick and felt uplifting and fun. Her use of language is lovely and refreshing and it helps that this is bright lush autumn morning.


“Women who behave in a certain way are sometimes called patriarchal collaborators. They are also sometimes called DICKS!”

Bridget Christie.

10 years since The Walking Wounded has crept up pretty swiftly.

I remember hearing about the accident on the radio. I remember thinking I’d seen them shortly before it and I shook John Holohan’s hand because I was drumming and I was 15 and something like Bayside was the dream and he was pretty impassioned.

I remember thinking it changed the way I thought about death. Up until that point I’m not sure I’d thought about how humans can be so lively and then gone, it had always been more of a fade away.

When we were young we never cared

And now we’re scared of jumping in

Like we’ve forgotten how to swim

But if we try and if we tread

Then we can teach ourselves again

‘Cause it’s worth the chance we take

When we were young we never cared

But now we’re scared of jumping in

Like we’ve forgotten how to swim

But I think that we should try and we should tread

‘Cause if we never take another dip again

We’ll never know the joy that failure brings

Book 12

Despite the nagging from Bridget at the beginning about listening to this and not reading a hard copy I’m counting it in my twenty books this year. It’s November now and I’m only on 12!

11 is taking too long.

And I like listening to her Gloucester accent.

While walking with Sparkles last week I was listening to a Ted Talk by Naomi McDougall Jones on What it’s like to be a woman in Hollywood. Initially I was turned off by her buoyancy and general manner but then I softened a bit and I appreciated a lot of what she was saying. The most pertinent part for me though was what she said about stories being important in shaping the lives of other human beings.

Stories are important. Being read to, told stories and bought books every birthday and every Christmas, even watching films with a solid narrative, I think are some of the ways that more avenues seem open to individuals. Not only does it hold so much importance to the ongoing development of a fair and open society, but the mental doors it opens for those demographics who are less documented in history is where stories of what is possible will make the most difference.

The stats Naomi rattled off were startling but the relationship between specific stories being told involving women and the amount of uptake from women of particular sports or activities or careers is REAL CHANGE.

It made me think of Grace (Grainne Ní Mháille) O’Malley, who I think I was first told about by either my Aunty May or Uncle Fred. They were the main Irish contingent of my family still living in Ireland. I’d thought it was folklore and not recent history until a few years ago when I read a little bit more. It turns out women were present and relevant in 16th century Irish history, or at least this one was. Some of her maritime exploits have found their way, elaborated, into folklore.

Grace was a lord of the O’Maille line of hereditary rulers in certain areas of the west of Ireland, having taken over from her dead father. She had a living brother so I can only assume she was particularly suited to the role. As a child she had cut off all her hair to disguise herself as a boy in order to be allowed to board her father’s ship.

Because a lot of her leadership was by sea and she tried to limit the power the kingdom of Ireland had over her part of the country, she was thought of as a pirate and a rebel.

She was a strong leader and most battles fought with her at the helm ended in retreat on the part of any expedition launched against her or her land. However, as far as I know, in the long run, the cause she supported would fall in defeat to English Rule in the nine years war.

She had 2 sons and it seems did not let that or anybody else slow her down, returning to her clan to lead them to a sea fought victory having only just given birth to one of them.

Grace worked hard and petitioned to Queen Elizabeth to have her male counterparts freed from captivity and that Elizabeth remove the English contingent attempting to rule over Ireland at the time (lord Bingham, who sounds like a tool), Elizabeth agreed so long as Grace stopped supporting the Irish rebellion against English rule. The agreement was made in Latin as Liz didn’t speak Gaelic and Grace didn’t speak English and it didn’t last very long.

The parts of the story I liked were that Grace didn’t bow to the queen as she didn’t see her as the queen of Ireland, and due to Grace’s position as a lord and the ongoing power struggle in Ireland, she did not feel it right to do so. Grace carried a dagger in her dress which she said was for her own protection and I can only imagine that she could handle herself in any sticky situation.

Grace was a chieftain known as the pirate queen, queen of the sea and a noblewoman, and her story is important because it tells women they’ve got options. I imagine she was fierce and I wish I had her sea legs.


A woman was helping me in M&S while I was trying to buy adults clothes that weren’t scruffbag (none of them fit me in any way). She was polite and sweet and then she sort of scanned down and saw my stomach and she grimaced slightly then became really abrupt. I don’t understand this at all. She seemed to have no problem with the ring in my nose but was clearly unable to control her reaction to a tattoo. I understand not everyone will like it and I’m not asking for that but I will also never get used to the general attention some tattoos garner.

I really enjoy the way Tom strokes animals

‘A thousand tiny cuts’ Bill Tench, Mindhunter

Yes street vets! That quote above is just reiterating why I sometimes buy tins of dog food for the homeless.

Love, loyalty and enthusiasm.

When I was trying to label my feelings towards TFH in the early days I sought the exact definition of devotion. The first is above and it fit like a glove (and Ace Ventura’s precise parking).

I’m now feeling increasingly devoted to the dogs in my life and the dog/ animals of our future. But I’ve realised that devotion is basically what dogs give to us…and their walks, food, toys: love, loyalty, enthusiasm.

Cats however, they’re something for the secondary meaning of devotion… they’re something for us humans to religiously worship.