A minor issue of communication.

I’m having a serious off week. I’ve had a number of communications hic-ups, both verbal and written. It’s not unusual for people with Aspergers to have some form of communication issues, and I have found a few tricks have worked wonders.

The first is to be quick with the apology. Even if I can’t see the issue, an apology at least opens the door to contrition and makes the other person feel they are immediately being heard about their grievance. I was quick with my apology this morning for a flippant email that I sent out of frustration. It was well received, and it healed the rift quickly. This was my biggest communication mistake this week, and it made me re-evaluate how I go about replying to emails. It’s a small thing but it can make a big difference.

The second was a verbal encounter where someone tried to use my authority, e.g. “I spoke to Unnavigateableworld and they said X, so we have to do it”. It caught me off guard because I had already solved their issue and they rang my manager to try to leverage some position they had no immediate right to.  It means that I felt immediately defensive but it was no excuse for being short.

My final communication failure was in a work document, using the definitive article rather than giving myself some easy get out clause. This annoyed me because I had been warned of this before. 

I have an incredibly supportive manager who gently pointed out issues and I have done a more specific reflective practice piece for my work folio. 

This is a two-part post, with the part in italics written after a further development.

We had a team meeting today. It involved an awfully familiar stern conversation about professionalism, workplace appropriate behavior and communication. It’s an achingly familiar conversation. Pre-diagnosis, it was a familiar regular conversation from managers who, because I pass for neurotypical, would be baffled as to why I couldn’t manage to identify behaviors that would be considered unprofessional and inappropriate. I couldn’t identify and therefore change these behaviors, either by myself or with support, this conversation became the prelude to disciplinary proceedings that led to dismissal. An endless, irreversible cycle of frustration on both sides until I had it happen in London and an Educational Psychologist flag my autistic markers at the age of 27. 

One thing I have become particularly good at after diagnosis, with support, is self-reflection, and the insistence to communicate to my mangers that I require specifics. To learn from my mistakes, which I agree I still make occasionally, I require specifics, right down to exactly what I did, how it comes across, and strategies to fix it, including reflective practice. 

This has worked excellently in the past, especially as the manger who managed it really well for the first time in my career did so without any real support other than what they read on-line. They were very supportive and gave me the motto of “I don’t come for the work, I come for the manager” which I have since realized seems to be a lot of people’s rule for work. 

After the team meeting, I grabbed my immediate manager, because I required specifics and they would know. A block, stern warning was no use, and they know that I need specifics. We had a very reassuring conversation. 

So why am I blogging at midnight?

Anxiety. The deep internalisation that once again I’ve screwed up and am about to find myself back on the job market, living on a friend’s sofa, with no money to my name. The deep-self-loathing that once again, I’ve been unable to mask certain behaviors, and even after eight years of diagnosis, openness with managers, therapy, and support, things have gone wrong quickly. 

If I could push a button and turn off my autism, I would sometimes. There’s a very solid school of thought, which I support, that Autism isn’t a negative trait, but its fueling my anxiety right now and I’d give anything to just be able to switch it off and sleep. I’ve even got chest pain. 

For a long time after diagnosis I wanted to go back to managers who had let me go due to autistic traits and behaviors and show them how I had improved and grown. I think the best way to win in life is prove others wrong and show them what they have missed out on, which sounds a lot like the motivational speech a bunch of girls would give a friend after a bad break up but there you go.

I just wish tonight my anxiety would let me believe that.       

Tripod

Who’s got three legs and gives zero f***s? This guy.

If you go back to my 12th of April post, you’ll find a nice little piece about my orthotics, that I’ve always called my legs. It was originally a stand in term for them, but as time went on, I couldn’t think of anything clever to call them, the name stuck.

Its been about three weeks since I had some heavy object foot interaction (I wont subject you to another photo) and while the swelling and bruising have gone down, I’ve still got pain on mobility.

As I work in a hospital, I hobbled down to fracture clinic, who at first questioned why I needed more support than my “foot drop orthotics”. Then upon a X-ray review and a bit of a prod, they decided I’d be better off with the boot in the photo. 

It feels great and my mobility instantly improved, with lovely cushioning and comfort, although the first place I went to after getting it got me looks. Look I’m up and breathing, and aside from enlarged ventricles that I can’t do anything about, I have no brain damage, so I’m still a useful member of the team.

Anyway, call me tripod because, well I am. 

Real post coming next week.

Stay safe.

Offensive Terms.

There’s been many terms for disabled people throughout the years, like retard, spastic, cripple, or Dotard (see, even North Koreans can insult Trump in ways we didn’t know). Obviously, none of these terms are acceptable, and this isn’t the ‘Obvious Blog’, but there are some terms that the disabled community have taken to use for themselves. I often use Aspy to describe myself, and if I could be bothered I might use the term Cripple for my CP, which obviously isn’t very Politically Correct, but I’m using it on myself, so suck it. I should note, like the rest of this blog, this view is extremely subjective. What slang term I use to describe myself may be offensive to someone else, so this isn’t a carte blanche for you to use these terms.

I posted the attached photo the Soft Skills Facebook page (hint hint click click) but also to a Simpsons Facebook page. It immediately got a comment from someone saying that the term “Aspy” was offensive. The commenter explained they too had Asperger’s and felt it was offensive. This is very valid feeling if you have encountered the term in a derogatory sense then obviously it will feel offensive.

The term Queer has been reclaimed by the LGTBQ+ community, in fact the “Q” stands for Queer. I asked a small group of friends of they found the term derogatory and the responses seemed similar: they had taken ownership of the term, to describe themselves. This seems to make sense; the sting of a slur can be taken away if you use that slur as self-descriptive. Although, to bring The Simpsons back into this, John from “Homer’s Phobia”, I suspect LGBTQ+ people like to have their names and pro-nouns used in favor of the terms queer. 

I reached out via Autistic Questions on Facebook to ask what others thought of the term Aspy. I got a slew of answers, some of which are in line with the ownership theory, that it takes the sting out of it. The other frequent answer was that it is ableist and linked closely with the Nazi Doctor who the disability has gotten its name from, Hans Asperger. I found this response really interesting, as its grounded in the idea that it differentiates between high-functioning neurotypical passing Autism Spectrum Disorder from the non-verbal “low-functioning” Autistic people, and that the Nazis used it as part of eugenics and race hygiene.

Molecular Autism had a study published in 2018 about Hans Asperger and his problematic work with the NSDAP and its impact on his research and career. (Czech, H. Hans Asperger, National Socialism, and “race hygiene” in Nazi-era Vienna. Molecular Autism 9, 29 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13229-018-0208-6). This is a personal blog, not an academic paper so feel free to read the paper, it’s a pretty deep rabbit hole.

With these implications, it is clearly understandable why the shortened term Aspy might be offensive or problematic. Several respondents suggested that it should be retired as the term ASD should replace it, representing the idea that it is a spectrum rather than an arbitrary categorisation.

Personally, I’m not bothered calling myself as Aspy, but the more I’m writing this and thinking about it, I can feel the discomfort with the background connotations. Nazis, eugenics and race hygiene, so it might be time for me to retire that term.

What started as a simple question has taken a bit of an odd turn. It has really left me wondering about the use of language of terminology and how it affects what we do and how we perceive the world. Is there a two tier ableist system running as an undercurrent to our discussions and conversations about autism and disability in general. That there’s a “good” form of autism, one the media and public perceive as clever and gifted (I’ll come back to that media portrayal in another post, we aren’t all Sheldon Cooper) and a “bad” form of autism, that’s non-verbal and challenging behaviour with weird, rather than cute, special interests. This suggests there is an arbitrary line between the two, when in reality there’s a blend of traits, abilities and behaviours.

How we describe ourselves matters, not just to our own identity and self-esteem but how others view us. If I straight up tell people, I’m autistic will it give them an immediate image of me in their head? One comment that caught my eye was that people are tired of discussing language as it is such a minefield, and I would tend to agree with this. I have been admonished twice (on Facebook) this week about not considering that not all men have penises and not all women have vaginas when I made an offhand comment about why condoms are free but feminine hygiene products have VAT added on in the UK. Words mean things, for example pro-nouns are especially important to people. Challenging the labels we use for people makes a difference, not just for ourselves but also society.

I started this post to try to reclaim and own the term “Aspy” but through the writing, in discussion with others about its ableist connotations and reading up about the more problematic research behind the discovery, I’ve decided to stop using the term.

Stay safe.  

Working from home.

Hopefully the photo attached to this post hasn’t just made everyone lose their lunches. It’s what happens when a heavy object drops on your bare foot. 

I’ve had a run of bad luck recently, I broke my car, I had a minor car accident and the hot water tank in the ceiling packed it in and leaked through the ceiling, causing us to need to move heavy objects out of that room, hence how I ended up laid up with my foot on ice. 

We discovered our hot water tank was plumbed through EVERYTHING, which if you’re familiar with UK housing, isn’t how things are supposed to be. So, in the midst of not having a car, I also didn’t have a working shower or toilet. Thank gods for family. 

Fix all those problems and I break my foot. Because of the cerebral palsy, I have altered feeling in my foot, so after screaming the house down and teaching the neighbors new words, I ended up in fits of laughter interspersed with painful spasms. The drive to A&E was fun, mainly because I wasn’t driving.

The upside of all of this, of course, is that I have had to take a week away from work. When the pandemic started, I bought a fancy gaming laptop for…. work…. honest guv, and its been a godsend this week. It means instead of having to take a week off I’ve been able to work from home, answering emails, updating different things and acting as online support. Its meant I’ve not been away from my team, I’ve been able to talk to senior management using video calls, which seems so weird when you see others doing it, and you’re sitting in a T-shirt instead of uniform. Also, I’ve not had to use up sick leave. It puts a whole new perspective on how privileged I am to have such a good job. 

Ten years ago, I worked for a roadie company that was a prototype gig economy job, if you didn’t show you didn’t get paid. There was no sick leave, paid holidays, or benefits. One of my colleagues dropped something heavy on his foot and broke a toe and his choices were work or starve. It shows that hard work and perseverance pays off. It also grows my hatred of the exploitation of workers under the gig economy. 

I worry constantly that I have missed the “boomer bus”, the chance to have a stable “normal” traditional life, a house, a family, and that I’ll end up in an unstable housing and working situation. I guess any fight I pick to promote the rights and equality of younger people, who are now heading into the worst recession since records began has a selfish element, but then if I have skin in the game it makes me more passionate. 

I know Aspies crave routine, but I have always struggled getting into one. It usually takes some training, lists and practice to gain a good routine and I can disrupt it very easily. Working from home has forced me to fit a routine, which would match a normal work routine, albeit with a shorter commute. The top of the stairs junction can be hell, like going round Hyde Park corner on a moped. I shielded a workspace, the sofa, so I can elevate my foot and rest. This means I am running my laptop off my lap on a portable table.

I have had one huge upside; my Chi has been faithfully asleep at my side throughout the day. She is my spirit animal, as all she does is sleep and eat. At this point I’ve made her an honorary member of the team and I’ll miss her when I’m back in work come Monday. 

Hopefully, my foot will be fully mended by Monday. After six months in the office, shielding but in work, I have been given all clear to go back to regular duties. There will be a dust cloud left as I rush off to do all my other duties.

I’ve had enough of screens and emails and datasheets for a while. First thing I’m doing is going to the top of the tower and look out the windows. We take the freedom of movement for granted, and I’m going to enjoy traveling around the sites. 

Here’s to normal duties, and hoping that we all pull through Covid, the Recession and Brexit.

Stay safe.

Slightly miffed

At this point, f**k covid. F**k what it’s done, f**k my country’s inept and incompetent response. F**k the way it’s forced us into lock down.

Right, Now I’ve got that off my chest, let me back up.

I’ve been under work restrictions for five months and I’m waiting for a review to see if August will see me at least being able to leave the office. I suspect not, with parts of the UK going back into lockdown. While I’m here, how dare the aforementioned useless government blame BAME people for a second spike. That is victim blaming at it’s worst. 

I’ve had five months of sitting at a desk with a computer and I feel like I’ve achieved exactly nothing. In my better moments I tell myself that I’m the middle of a global pandemic, just getting by is enough. I’ve studied, I’ve produced reports, presentations, learnt how to use excel and a few other bits, however I still feel like I’ve got nothing done. Even my manager is happy and upset on my behalf that I’m trapped in the office.

One of the more seasoned team members casually mentioned I didn’t seem usually chirpy self and began gently nudging me to book time off. A long weekend it would be. 

It got me thinking, and if the tone of the post hasn’t given it away, I think I’m fairly depressed. 

The weekend was nice. We went glamping, wore a mask and tried to avoid people, not just because of the covid thing but to avoid stupid.

I felt slightly better but as with anything, life takes away your cookie and kicks you.

My cars handbrake failed while parked and bumped another car. No-one was injured and minimal damage was sustained. Then my car snapped a brake disc, so the garage had two jobs. Finally came home to a leaking water tank that has left us with no toilets or a shower. Fortunately we rent, so not our expense, but we have to move out while things are fixed. 

I’ve been working out of a different office building while I don’t have a car. 

I tripped over a curb this evening coming out of work. It only wounded my pride. I’ve been extra stumbly this week.

To top it off, I’ve left my orthotics in the other office.

2020 can just get in the fire now.

(according to my editor, I’m not allowed swear on my own big boy blog)

Verbal ticks

I hope this post finds everyone safe and well, just because UK lockdown is easing doesn’t mean this absolute scourge of a pandemic is over.

One of the characteristics of Asperger’s and Autism is that we are unaware of our own odd behaviour. This comes from failing to pick up on social cues but also the inability to realise that what I consider normal behaviour (stimming, special interests, being loud or not interacting appropriately) is not socially normal.

My verbal communication leaves a lot to be desired at times, although I have gotten much better with therapy and reflective practice. I can’t decide if this tick is a stim, a coping mechanism or just a get out clause but it was pointed out that I often start what I consider argumentative or intrusive I open with “I don’t mean to speak out of turn” or “I don’t mean to be rude”.

A colleague pointed this out to me yesterday and teased me a little, telling me to spit out what I needed to say.

I guess it prompted a review of my communication skills. I am using these phrases as a cushion or shield to soften the blow of anything out of key I might say. It gives me a valuable get out clause if I do end up saying or requesting something that is inappropriate or out of line.

The follow up question is of course, do I begin to break this, at least with people I work with? I don’t say it with friends, they can suffer my bluntness.

The only thing I can do is try and see. Stay tuned for embarrassing updates 

Featured

Masks

Sorry there has been a little gap in posting, there has been this pandemic on and it’s been difficult to get the time.

In the last week, the UK has made masks mandatory indoors, not that anyone is paying attention to it. I am not here to make political commentary but seeing as this batch of Tories seem bent on ruining disabled people’s lives, why not make some snarky commentary on Government policy.

The Lockdown, at least in England, was weak sauce at best, and nicely undermined by Cummings and senior advisors breaking it. Loosening the lockdown has basically greenlighted any behavior, with the usual science ignorance and “I know better, common sense” attitudes prevalence. So, to keep myself safe, even though I have not got a lovely shielding letter from the Government, I am continuing lockdown, so no going outside or trips to Durham Castle for me. As part of this, I am wearing a mask, partly because they are free in work, but also because I am not trusting of the general public.

I am fortunate that I don’t have any major issues with things touching my face, which is an issue with some Aspies. However, a heightened sense of smell makes the degradation of the mask when in contact with moisture all the worse. I also find I need to stay on top of my oral hygiene, because those things trap halitosis like farts in a spacesuit.

What I am most enjoying is the forced exaggerated expressions its forcing people to have. Whereas without a mask, a smile would suffice, now a nod and a word of greeting is required. I guess in some way’s masks are forcing people to be their inner selves, with the actual cloth / paper acting the way their faces normally let them hide. It is a refreshing change; no-one can fake a smile and there no ambiguous facial expressions to read.

The downside of course, is now I must focus extra hard to spot non-verbal cues, eye movement, eye expressions, and other subtle signs humans have developed over the years. It is incredibly tiring but so far, I have managed it, mainly by cutting down my interaction with colleagues.

Anyway, enough ranting, stay safe, wash your hands

Facing Death

I posted a Facebook post that I wrote on a closed group in response to someone worrying about the worst outcome from the Covid-19 pandemic, and it got an overwhelming positive response, with people saying it gave them comfort and hope.

So let’s take a hard right at morbid street and  prognostication Avenue and explore death and at least my personal philosophy.

This is not a religious post, privately I’m atheist, and I’m trying to claw back Norse Mythology from White Supremacy, but that’s a conversation for another day. Suffice to say, what you believe is between you and your God / pantheon / personal philosophy, (may they care for you) and that what you believe is none of my business.

So, let’s talk my creation myth. We all have one, born at home, born in a taxi, caught by dad, etc etc. Mine is that I was a predicted still-born, and was an emergency C-section to save my mother from having to carry a dead baby to term, so sure where the obstetrics team that they didn’t even believe an incubator was a viable resource. I call this my creation myth because my father always tells how he and my mother’s mother where sat in the hall outside delivery suit and the lift doors opened, revealing two midwives pushing an incubator.

I spent quite some time in an incubator, my mother’s first chance to hold me was when I did what all babies do. She died when I was six, and as the years progressed, I’ve lost many family, fortunately at more age appropriate times.

I’ve ridden with death as a constant shadow in my life, and as a premature baby, 36 is a fairly decent age. I also have a number of co-morbidities that Venn diagram nicely to put me in a high risk group.

Before I talk about death, let’s talk about work. I’ve worked in care for 16 years. It has brought me into contact with tragedy, illness and death. It has put my life, my disabilities, my illnesses into context, but it has also built a sense of bravado and fearlessness. I’ve learnt to simply shrug off risk exposure, death, illness, tragedy, horror. That is gross over simplification, but this isn’t a work blog, so only an over view is needed.

I worked a lot of elder care, which of course involved a lot of palliative care. I had a residents relative once tell me she thought of death as a river, and healthcare staff had waded into this river to help people cross it to the other side, whatever anyone believes it to be.

It made me think more about the walk towards the river we all must cross. I think of our life journey as a forest walk, mainly because I like a walk in nice forests, surrounded by nature, as much of a dream that is right now after a lock down announcement.

Sometimes our forest walk is bright and airy, passing through summer meadows, beautiful wild flowers, stunning views of mountains, our achievements, surrounded by friends and family, a babbling brook far off in the distance.

Sometimes, the forest closes in around us, the path becoming more difficult, the trees becoming tight around us, only letting us glance our friends at intervals, the hum of the river an ever constant background.

And sometimes the trees close completely in around us, the canopy sinks in above us, blocking out the sun entirely, the path disappears entirely into overgrown thorns and brambles, while all we can hear is the roar of our rivers rapids.

With a global pandemic breaking around us, it can feel like that last description is coming alive, but we have a secret in our packs. We can reach out and speak to each other over the wall of undergrowth and trees. We can connect like never before, and call out to each other, checking we are holding up, surviving and soldiering through, pushing away the thoughts of our river. In the coming isolation, remember there are ways to keep our mental health and self care refilled.

When we reach our own river, remember healthcare professionals have waded into it. They will do all they can to turn you back, send you back into your life forest, it’s not your time to cross, but if it is, they are ready to hold your hand and guide you across.

I’ve had people tell me they think of it as The Long Sleep. I have thought that when we sleep, we update our afterlife. We add to it, so let it be ready when we arrive.

What you believe is up to you, but all I can say is leave no regrets. Tell that special person that important thing. Hug your child a little tighter. Play with your dog a little more. Cook that dinner.

Tough times are coming, but we can get through this together. Take care of yourselves and others, and be well.

Thoughts on isolation

If you follow the Facebook page (hint, hint, click, click), you’ll see I had a brief flirt with quarantine on Wednesday. It was meant to be for 14 days, but because I wasn’t the sick one in the house and I had zero symptoms, I was told I could come back to work. I have been now given reduced duties, although I expect to eventually be told to suck it up and get on with it, which privately I feel would be a perfectly reasonable response. 

I did get work to do at home, that I promptly locked myself out of and still haven’t been let back into. I kept myself busy in other ways, naps and such, and convinced my managers I’d done some work. It did, however, make me reflect on how “being out of work” makes me feel. I may have told my manager during my morning check in phone call (see I told you I did some work), I felt like I was being punished.

Through various disability issues, I have a patchy work history. I have been at various times, let go, suspended, put on leave, disciplined with leave, you name it. Most of these, baring one notable exception, pre-date my rather late diagnosis of Asperger’s, so a diagnosis explained a lot from the first 26 years of my life. In those nine years since my diagnosis, (soon to be ten) I’ve had no real work issues. This is due to a huge amount of support, both work provided and self-organised. 

I find work is a solid structure in my life, and I, like most disabled people, would much rather be working than getting benefits. I find it forces me up, and out. I spent a year working as a Roadie, ad hoc, split shifts when available. I spent days off asleep, eating junk and basically not leaving the house. Even when I went to gigs, I slept between shifts and generally neglected myself. 

Being quarantined brought back a lot of those feelings. I suddenly felt very isolated, rejected and somehow in trouble. We’ll ignore the fact that I always feel as if I’m in trouble to some degree. I guess in some ways it’s a hang over from childhood social isolation, when I never got picked for teams and found making friends difficult. I find when I get included in work activities, even when it’s just helping carry or organise things, for work and as part of my work duty obligations, I feel included and grateful. 

Suddenly, I found myself at home, not only a little lost for work, but also, how do I prove to management that I actually did a full seven and a half hours work? Am I allowed sit outside (a fantasy, as it was an awfully soft day outside)? My computer wasn’t logged into work systems, due to an access issue, so I couldn’t even be “logged on” to allow management to see me. I rang work at least three times, I followed a daily routine as if I was driving to work, as if there was a desk for me to go to, as if there would be a manager with me. I was at my desk, by the time my manager called, I’d already tried to log into the business system to no avail. 

I got around this by putting pen to paper and doing my online work the old-fashioned way. I read work related textbooks, managed to find an alternative training program that gave me access to the work program. I wrote a reflective piece in my work diary. I managed to have an individual workspace, set aside from my relaxation space. This is very important to have mental spaces for work if possible.  

It eliminated the pangs of worry that I’ve had before, the fear that I won’t be going back to a job. That I’ll be, again, cleaning out a workspace and making the walk of shame. The awkward phone calls to my understandable worrying parents, the worry I won’t get a reference, or work for decent pay again, doing a job I enjoy. The rabbit hole of worry goes deep. 

I don’t qualify for benefits, so its work or starve, or sit on job seekers. Being in quarantine makes you realise how boring a day at home is. I’m sure I would have felt very productive watching Business Lunch, because I’m just a well-motivated go-getter sitting round in my pants watching daytime TV on a Wednesday. I nearly felt like having nap, but then realised that napping mid-day would push my work finish time back later, as I still had to do 7.5 hours of work-related activity. 

The only plus was I got home made Irish soda bread (fresh out of the oven) and homemade barley soup for lunch since I wasn’t the only one in quarantine. 

I skipped into work on Thursday in excitement. NOTHING makes you appreciate your work, your colleagues and your silly work rituals than a day sat at home, beginning to plan out 14 days of 7.5 hours a day. 

If you are in quarantine, or self-isolation, and working from home, take care of yourself. I’ve posted advice to Facebook that’s come from other sources and friends, but while we may be socially distancing, it doesn’t mean we can’t care for each other.   

For now, wishing you health and safety in the coming months.

Isolation while being introverted.

There’s a joke going around Facebook that you realise how much of an introvert you are when everyone gets told to self-isolate and you barely change you daily routine. I’ve found this to be true, and even worse since I entered 14 day quarantine. Not even having to go to work really proved I didn’t have to change much.

Blogging about a pandemic while disabled is a gold mine. I’m 36, which for a preemie baby is decent age, but with under lying conditions, a nasty dose Covid-19 could finish me off. I could blog about the disruption to services causing me mobility or transport difficulty, but I live in rural UK, and drive everywhere because the transport links are exactly what you’d expect, poor at best.

What I am going to blog about is something that’s going to affect us all, much more than Covid-19. I’m going to bang on about hoarding, which I know is already be addressed by supermarkets themselves and every other blogger and person with a social media account and a phone but bear with me.

As a disabled person, watching things run out can be very unnerving, the same I imagine as everyone else who feels the pressure of empty shelves. I’ve set myself a rule for shopping: do a normal shop and add minor extras. As a household, we bought two hand soaps, plus one for our mother in law. We are already stocked on toilet roll, but that’s because we have a lot which was bought before everything kicked off.

I’m trying to set a good example, be jovial when I go shopping, because right now I’m glad I don’t work retail anymore. Watching fights over bog roll is worrying enough through social media, I don’t want to be the staff member caught in the middle of that and the last thing any one wants is the spastic™ thrashing about grabbing for roll and wailing (and the Award for best Crisis Actor goes to…)

Plus, with so many cameras around, I’d never show my face in public again if footage of me punching someone over a carton of milk went viral.

The British are constantly going on about “stiff upper lips” and “Blitz spirit”. While I believe that’s rose-tinted historical revisionism, its worth trying to embody the qualities that they proclaim, such as empathy, solidarity and charity, sharing your last of something so that those with none can have some. If I’m going to get this stuff shoved in my face during Brexit, which I miss discussing terribly, I might as well try to hold everyone to those standards, as futile as that can feel.

After much rambling, I guess todays post is about caring for each other, remembering that having twenty hands soaps and enough toilet roll to build a fort out of isn’t protecting you from Covid-19, its actively impeding others from surviving. Practice social-distancing, wash your damn hands and be kind to each other.