After a three-month break, I’m back writing my blog to help raise awareness of autoimmune disease and I’ve an update on my Ankylosing Spondylitis which I’ll talk about shortly. I also want to say a big thank you for all the wonderful messages, you’ve inspired me to continue to write.
Since July I’ve taken up yoga which I’ve been meaning to do for ages and I’m loving it. I can’t do classes due to the lockdown, but my daughter sent me a link to an online class and it’s amazing. I didn’t think online would work for me, but I’ve really surprised myself and I’m hoping it will help with my AS too. In addition to my normal working week, I’ve started to write my book and still do a daily workout so I’m reducing my blog to one a month to make sure I keep up with everything and don’t bore the pants of everyone.
So, here we go, let’s start with a rant about this bonkers world we find ourselves in. Not only are we intent on eliminating history, but my favourite Christmas song, Fairytale of New York, will no longer to be played in its original form. The wonderful lyrics have been the focus of much debate in recent years, as they include so called “derogatory” terms for gender and sexuality.
For goodness sake, it’s a dark song about two poor, probably doomed Irish immigrants in New York; they are drunkenly arguing, and the lyrics reflect that. It’s a masterpiece! It’s not about snow or sleigh rides or mistletoe or miracles, but lost youth and ruined dreams. A song in which Christmas is the problem. It’s also a great reminder of the lovely Kirsty McColl who sadly died in December 2000 in a tragic accident Mexico. I always find myself singing along loudly, especially to the bit below, where I inevitability jumble up all the words in a very loud, tuneless rendition 😊….
You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night
The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day
You’re a bum
You’re a punk
You’re an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last
Leading into the subject Christmas we’re so hoping to have our family together. There are 11 of us now and it will be our new grandson’s first Christmas where he will meet his cousins. I’m certainly hopeful life will start to return to some sort of normality in 2021 given the good news about the progress of the vaccinations. We’ve already booked our trip to South of France in July and I can’t wait to board that EasyJet flight 😊… I never thought I would miss an airline so much!
Another subject making the headlines this week is one I feel very strongly about – bullying. Bullying in the workplace has come to our attention as the Home Secretary, Priti Patel had to issue an apology as a recent report found that her behaviour towards staff did break the ministerial code. I dislike politics (especially at the moment), so I don’t want to make this a political blog, but I do think bullying needs to be addressed as it comes in lots of different forms.
Even now in 2020, it still remains taboo for women to speak out about woman-on-woman bullying at work. The Workplace Bullying Institute found women bully other women up to 80% of the time which I think is totally unacceptable. Women have fought and continue to fight for a seat at the table and to be seen as an equal to their male counterparts; we should be supporting each other big time not bringing our female colleagues down.
During my career I’ve mostly worked in male dominated environments and I’ve certainly had some spats 😊. Most of the women I’ve had the pleasure of working with have been kind, inspirational and, like me, often lacking in confidence. However, on the flip side, I’ve also felt more intimated by other women. For me it often came as a snide remark after a success. Perhaps I’d won a deal or been asked to take on more responsibility and, of course, it always had the desired effect – me losing my confidence! Personally, I think it’s so important that we make a conscious effort to be kind and thoughtful, but I do appreciate it’s not always easy.
Finally, this week I wanted to share an update on my AS. Working with my Rheumatologist we’re investigating some new symptoms that have materialised over the last few months. I’ve developed a tremor in both my hands along with some really odd muscle spasms in my fingers and nerve pains in my arms (and no, I haven’t started drinking copious amounts of spirits 😊). I had an MRI scan of the Cervical spine and whilst the Ankylosing Spondylitis is continuing to cause damage, there was no impingement to explain the nerve pain. There’s lots of simple explanations for these new visitors and I’m resisting the temptation to visit my good friend Dr Google for a self-diagnosis. I suspect it may take a while to get the answers as we go through a process of elimination and I just need to be patient and go with the flow. I’ll keep everyone updated throughout my journey.
My finale this week is a suggested change for the lyrics for Fairytale of New York. Not only is it funny, it also removes offence but maintains an 80’s kind of vibe!
You scumbag you maggot, you’ve taped over Taggert!
Bye for now and thank you for reading and sharing my story xx