February 18th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] skibbley at 09:26pm on 18/02/2017
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 10:03pm on 18/02/2017 under
Chased down photo & references today, so citizenship application is DONE!

Need to sort out payment form and collect all the passports and marriage certificate and proof of passing the Life in the UK Test in a big envelope with all this. Then on Monday I can take it to the post office.

Having (extra) cake and (another) glass of wine to celebrate/destress. I didn't realize how miserable working on this today had made me until it was done.
sashajwolf: photo of Blake with text: "reality is a dangerous concept" (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sashajwolf at 08:30am on 18/02/2017
I am not really using LJ or DW any more - I don't have that much time for social media at the moment and find that Twitter is currently the platform that best fits into the rest of my life. If you'd like to stay in touch and have a Twitter account that I am not yet following, please drop me a comment with your Twitter handle or follow me at @sashajwolf. I am planning to start using that account for my (relativey few) Pagan tweets as well as general stuff and will be setting up a Pagan reading list there, so if I'm currently following you from @druidsass, you will probably shortly get a follow request or notification from @sashajwolf as well.
February 17th, 2017
lovingboth: (Default)
On the way to IKEA on Tuesday, JA and I went through Hucknall, where there was this (click on it to get a bigger version):



That's a bucket of water, isn't it?
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 02:50pm on 17/02/2017 under
The other day, Citizens UK e-mailed encouraging people to get in touch with their local councillors to try to get individual cities to do what the government won't do as a whole and continue the Dubs scheme for refugee children. You can write to yours with WriteToThem. I've just written to mine, based partly on their template.
I am deeply concerned at the news that the Government plans to close the Dubs scheme for unaccompanied child refugees by the end of the financial year, and am writing to ask for your leadership.

Last year the British government accepted Lord Dubs’ amendment to the Immigration Act, which established a safe route to sanctuary in the UK for unaccompanied children. At the time, many councils supported the call and pledged to work with Government to establish the scheme.

Manchester really should be one of those. I see "Refugees Welcome" signs all around Levenshulme, from Inspire to spray-painted on the path near the train station, and yet Manchester has shamefully not done its bit in fulfilling that promise.

Please help us change that by helping keep the Dubs program going here in Levenshulme and in Manchester.

Thank you.
Manchester has been shamefully resistant to let refugees in. But I guess it can't hurt.
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 10:12am on 17/02/2017 under ,
So Gung-Ho!, the 5k obstacle course I signed up for sent me an e-mail this morning called "Gung-Ho! helping your relationship...or lack of it".
Did you know...

Fitness can help to build relationships!

A 5K race, yoga class or a workout at the gym may not seem like a romantic outing, but a growing group of experts agree that couples who exercise together can not only stave off the extra pounds that are often linked to marriage, but they can strengthen their relationship and possibly live happily ever after.

So get in and book now, as it seems the couple who exercises together stays together...and if you're single you never know who you might meet giving you a helping hand over our giant inflatable wall 😉
It just seems a really terrible way to encourage more people to sign up. If the couple who exercises together stays together I'm fucking doomed because I've never done that!

This is the first I've heard about the "extra pounds that come with marriage" that I should be "staving off," too. I'm so dismayed that everything about exercise also has to be about losing weight because that has a terrible effect on my mental health. So it doesn't really work to tell me it's not about conforming to beauty standards because it's about health.

And the idea that helping somebody with a ridiculous bouncy-castle kind of obstacle should be a romantic or sexual encounter...no. Just seems like a license for men to be creepy at women, assuming they'll need help and then "oops my hand slipped, didn't mean to touch you there!..."

I'm probably overreacting, but I find this kind of talk so off-putting on so many levels. I don't need to lose weight I don't need my partner(s) to like doing everything I do, and I don't need anyone with more than fellow-feeling towards humanity to help me with anything, thankyouverymuch.

Its the first e-mail I've had from Gung-Ho! since I signed up, too, which doesn't leave a very good impression. I've unsubscribed now so I hope I don't miss anything important or useful.
February 16th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 07:15pm on 16/02/2017 under
Almost as soon as I'd posted that tweet, I remembered that the nice man from Scope, the disability charity, had asked for a landscape picture to go with the blog post he was doing about me.

Unsurprisingly, I've done everything back-to-front because I was on TV first, and signed up to tell my story and be a media volunteer (someone they could call if someone asks for registered blind people or people in Manchester or whatever other category I might fall into) only afterwards.

So after Christmas the guy I've been chatting to from Scope, a friendly dude called Phil, called me up and asked me a bunch of questions and then was left with the unenviable tasks of typing that all up and writing it into a linear narrative. We went all through me emigrating here, the Shoe-Tying Occy Health Cowbag story that the BBC people had liked so much, trying to claim benefits, the intersection of disability and immigration status, all kinds of things.

Last night I saw they'd posted this...with the picture I'd just taken, and a couple more I'd sent (the bottom one is me showing off the NASA t-shirt JT got me for Christmas, so it's no fair them cropping it as viciously as they did!).

It's pretty good -- a few quibbles with the narrativd but they're most likely down to me not being as clear as I'd like to. And I'm kind of annoyed that all my terrible speech mannerisms have survived intact -- I appreciate that most people will find it easier to tell than write their stories, but I'd much prefer to write.

But when I said this on Facebook, a friend said "I was just thinking how like you it sounds -- in a good way. I like your way of framing things. It's a good article, pointing out what you weren't sure of, and how awkward it is to challenge fail when it is you in a vulnerable position employment and power wise." And this coming from someone whose disability activism I admire and which had among other things personally helped me very much, this is especially nice to hear.

The day before the Scope people asked if I'd talk on LBC (a radio version of tabloids, though of course that isn't how they described it to me!). I only had a minute, literally, so it wasn't that interesting except that the presenter told me they'd also asked people to call in with positive stories about employment while disabled and not. one. person. did. Afterward the nice Scope lady called me back, said I'd been brilliant, and finished with "national radio! that's pretty good!" and I was nice and didn't say "dear, I was on Woman's Hour once, that's better than talking to Iain Dale."
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 05:39pm on 16/02/2017 under


I took this picture on Tuesday night, for the #loveknowsnoborders campaign, started by [twitter.com profile] ZoeJardiniere, which you can read about. It's close to my heart because while obviously I was able to move to the UK to be with my spouse, his income only barely exceeded the requirement at that time, £15,000. The current income requirement to bring a foreign (non-EU...for now, anyway) spouse to the UK is £18,600, which might not sound like much but that would've kept me out of the country for all but a few years of our marriage so far.

It's especially unfair if the British partner is a woman, a person of color, young (in your 20s, ages at which many people including us get married), or otherwise on the wrong side of a pay gap, which makes it even harder to reach that arbitrary income. (Part of the reason we ended up here rather than in the U.S. is that Andrew is more able to earn a good income than I am, which is basically just down to the patriarchy.) It's the same threshold all over the country, too, so it'd be much harder for people living outside London to clear that income threshold.

It's also infuriatingly inconsistent, not that we can expect better of our governments of course. This income is supposed to guarantee that neither the foreigner nor their British spouse need to resort to state funds -- which they're not allowed to do. But years later when I couldn't work and was allowed to apply for benefits, I found that I wasn't entitled to any income-related benefits because my partner worked more than 24 hours a week. It could be 24 minimum-wage hours a week and yet this was expected to be enough for us to live on? Even though it'd be a damn sight less than £18,600 a year. (A tweet I saw yesterday said that working full time on £7.20 an hour isn't enough.)

#loveknowsnoborders made for interesting reading yesterday, for all those who were able to celebrate thoroughly multinational backgrounds, raltionships, addresses and children, there were also people saying "my valentine hasn't been able to bring me to live with her in the UK for four years" or whatever, which my brain just rebels from being able to even imagine.

Clearly the hashtag is an aspiration and not a reality so far, but reading it gave me all kinds of feelings and I wanted to be a part of it. I didn't have the brains or energy to of a video, even if Andrew would've tolerated it which I don't think likely. So I just took a picture, where you can't hear the low in-your-throat growl he's doing, like a dog who isn't barking yet but is warning you, and tweeted it.
My husband hates having his photo taken but he hates systemic xenophobia towards me more! That's how bad it is, folks.
A decision is expected next week on what's known as the MM case, a judgment that will affect thousands of families affected by the Family Migration Rules. There's a good explanation of that case here, from last year.
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 09:24am on 16/02/2017 under
Yesterday I was on local radio with a couple of my fellow WI members talking about what we're up to (especially an event we're proud to have gotten funding to do as part of Transport for Greater Manchester's Women on Wheels initiative in March.

Then I caught up with a friend I hadn't seen in a while, who's also on the WI committee so that's one of the things we chatted about.

Then it was our WI committee meeting that evening. And then I stayed on after with a few of the others to have another drink and talk about all sorts of lovely things and stay out until other people's spouses texted them to ask what on earth had happened to them or to say that they'd gone to bed.

So I suppose it's no surprise after a day like that I ended up dreaming about the WI!
February 15th, 2017
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posted by [staff profile] denise in [site community profile] dw_news at 05:35am on 15/02/2017
Hello, Dreamwidth! And thank you to everyone who wished me and my wife a happy vacation -- it was an excellent one. (Rumors that it was to help distract me from a significant birthday starting with 4 and ending with 0 are totally unfounded. Really.) It was also awesome to come back and see all of the new activity going on! I hope that everyone who's joined us in the last month or two has been settling in nicely.

Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:

* Image Hosting Frontend
* HTTPS Beta
* Create Entries Beta: progress report
* Selective comment screening
* Other alphabets in site search: fixed!
* Icon file size limit increased
* Dreamwidth: Did You Know?
* Team Dreamwidth

DW News, 15 Feb 2017 )

*

That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page.

Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:35AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
February 12th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 07:07pm on 12/02/2017 under
5k obstacle course with bouncy-castle-esque inflatable obstacles. Look at the video! I tried to enbed that but of course it won't work.

All signed up and everything. It's [twitter.com profile] survivorkatie's fault, but at least she's doing it too.

I've always been one of those "won't even run for a bus" people but I've tried 5k at the gym the last few weeks to see exactly how much I suck at it. I'm okay for a rank amateur, but I think my yoga and weightlifting will come in as handy for all the obstacles. Might need a better strength training plan than "whatever I feel like," but I already thought that!

I also need new shoes and sports bra and clothes and everything. Sigh. I like exercise but shopping too? Now that's cruel.
February 9th, 2017
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posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 10:20am on 09/02/2017 under ,
"I've served you before," the woman at the ticket counter in Piccadilly said when I said yes thanks I was fine changing at Huddersfield, I'm used to it. "Because not many people want to go to Brighouse, she explained, as if to offer a reason (maybe one that wasn't "oh yeah, you're the blind one"). "Yeah, boyfriend, Brighouse, you're an old hand at this aren't you," she said and we both smiled.

She handed me my tickets and said "poor thing, can't you get him to move closer?" My smile changed to that of someone who'd just remembered she is presumed monogamous.

But even without that, why say I should make I'm move here, why couldn't I move there? I'd love Brighouse as a place to live if it didn't mean being so far away from the rest of my friends.

Even if it weren't for the fact that we've both got established households where we are, I don't really mind traveling to visit. Yes it'd be nice sometimes to just be able to see somebody for an hour or whatever or without having to plan it, but I like the train journey (in the daytime at least) and I think the change of scenery does me a lot of good.So much that at first I was wary of how much I liked James, recognizing the possibility that part of what I liked was an afternoon's vacation from my normal life every week.

Turns out I do like that but James is even better than I thought he was at first.

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