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I'm tired. I'm tired because I've been out all day. First to a doctor's appointment, then shopping, then home again. Then out again, to the Museum of Wigan Life for a history chat-and-coffee. Then a while reading a history of Wigan in the archives. Then home again, having been out pretty much from 9am to 4:20pm. I did all my travelling alone by bus, and have taken six different buses today.

This is actually pretty major. I've been more or less housebound, other than for short walks, since the migraines set in hard several years ago. After I came back from Spain, I tried to go without painkillers at all for four months, to kill forever the idea that they were 'rebound headaches', and made everything very much worse. Bolton Pain Management team worked wonders with me, and I've been following their advice ever since. Now I can think straight enough, and see well enough to travel around Wigan, even if I have a great deal of trouble remembering which bus number goes near my house. I had to keep pulling my day ticket out and checking the number. I was still able to cross roads, and to remember where I was *and* where I was going *at the same time*, abilities that migraines had previously taken away from me.

It's possible that I'll have repercussions and end up quite ill again as a result of all this excitement, but frankly I don't care. Worth it.

I still haven't done my double-entry bookkeeping homework. Also, it's British Black History Month and already the 18th, and I haven't so much as read an article about, well, anything. The history I've been reading has been Wigan history (Saxons and Danes and Britons) and Chinese history. I'm probably not going to start tonight either: I've asked Pol (who has just come home) if he wants to go out to eat. He said yes. My phone's been dead all day and he woke up to find me gone and the back door unlocked, so he wasn't *entirely* sure I wasn't dead too. Oops.
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Today I learned (again) that it is much worse to call someone a racist than it is to do or say racist things.

Also, that if a racist act happened a long time ago, it becomes magically not racist and so you mustn't say *anything* about it having been, you know, racist.

So, you know, don't discuss racism ever. It will magically go away all on its own and you can make white people feel more comfortable in social media, which is a lot more important than making black people feel more comfortable in social media.

Well, fuck that noise.
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I've culled all my dullest snails and kept those with lighter or more rufous markings. I'm now down from several hundred snails to about two dozen. Given the sheer number of eggs I destroyed, I'd have had over a thousand within a fortnight. The rotting plants have been taken out, the living plants put back and the tank water is clear again instead of murky green.

More people in my friendslist are dropping Livejournal and switching to Dreamwidth. I gather livejournal have been doing something even nastier with advertising, while Dreamwidth have just brought out a whole load of new features. I do like the way DW ask 'what do you think?' and take it all on board.

The weather continues sunny. It's very, very odd, at least for the North Wet of England it is. We're getting drought warnings. I like having the windows wide open and listening to birdsong all day. It's especially sweet when Moth's curled up under my right hand and occasionally prodding me in the midriff as a reminder to keep stroking her head. Poor Pol is going to be melting.

This article from last week offers a picture of how racism is affecting people in the British workplace today. To quote: Blatant racism is still far too prevalent in the workplace: more than a fifth still said they had been offended by a racial remark in their place of work. Chinese were the most egregious victims with 35% citing an example, followed by a quarter of Pakistanis.
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Carol made me this wonderful, wonderful necklace, all brightly coloured metal beads clustered on a silver chain, which would be perfect even *without* the silver spoon charms strung on at intervals. The necklace jingles, I love the colours and the spoons made me giggle very much.

I have Chorley cakes. They're like Eccles cakes but more buttery and with less fruit. I live about ten yards from Chorley but have never seen them for sale here. These are from a garage in Tonge Moor, the one I used to go to on my dawn walks.

The Asian Women Carnival is asking for submissions for the fourth Carnival. Yayness. The posts are not for or about me or people like me but they never fail to make me think, so I am very much looking forward to the next one, which should be in late October. Truthrages says here I’ve been thinking about various cultural ideas of silence when it comes to Asian women, the ways that our words and voices are so often unheard or discounted. I’ve been thinking of the roles that Asian women play in fairytales and myths and in today’s media, and the ways they compare to the roles we play in real life. I've been thinking of the stories and images we Asian women create for ourselves, as compared to those fed to us by others.

Herein lie mentions of racism and sexism in science fiction and a post that made me giggle a lot )
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And then I didn't remember or mention that it is International Blog Against Racism Week as of, I think, the 2nd of August. Find out about it. I can almost guarantee there will be some great posts.
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I got all posty and thoughtful a while ago about RaceFail 09, and then my posts on race and racism stopped. I haven't stopped reading, or thinking, or looking our for, or noticing. I've just run out of spoons to gather all of that into articles I can then go on to defend or explain further. I have to say more than grawr: racism=bad or grawr: racism=everywhere. I would like to discuss sci fi books still being published with protagonists who are not white, but appear misleadingly white on the cover, because 'characters of colour don't sell'. I would be able to give a brand new example. But I have no brain. I would do reviews of books I have read, but I am back to the same old white-written brain candy. I have a Books I Want To Read list, and no spoons to winnow through the list and buy the ones I could deal with reading just now.

I would discuss how Neville Shute writes of New Australians in a sympathetic way, but scrubs Aboriginal Australians from the narrative. How this is not remarkable. How Ray Mears *doesn't*, but how he is remarkable for bothering to remember that his same surviving explorer heroes were despoiling holy sites kept sacred for thousands of years. Admirable people doing terrible things. I have no links though, and no ability to hold the ideas together to explain how indigenous peoples get disappeared, treated as irrelevant, by the media and press.

I would point out yet more adverts that rest on the idea that the viewers of an advert will be white, and will view other countries as exotic and strange and their people as Not Like Us. But I have forgotten which adverts those are, other than the flash of annoyed disgust as I recognise the same old othering game being played out once more.

What I do know is that, when I get better again, when I have spoons, and a brain that can put these ideas together, I won't be short of brand new, topical, relevant examples to link to, from the news and current media. I will be able to spend a single day looking, and come up with hundreds of examples. I have no spoons now, but I haven't forgotten that those posts still need to be written. Be assured that, when I can, I will write my share. I haven't forgotten and it hasn't gone away.
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Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Roma persecution and Norse Pagan racism. )
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Today's offering from the world_of_wol Dreamwidth community: Popo-chan, the amazing transforming owl which has to be seen to be disbelieved. I've seen it before, but it was great to go there again.

I learned today about Missing Black Woman syndrome - where the main character is a white male and his two sidekicks are a) a white female and b) a male who is either socially inept or black. The post I linked to illustrated the phenomenon in an amusing way.

I've read lots of recommendations for books by non-white authors where the protagonist, the main character, is not white. I am looking forward to buying some. What are your favourite chromatic books? (I like 'chromatic' as a term). I already recommended Returning My Sister's Face, but I have to also mention having been charmed by The Marriage Bureau for Rich People, an Indian take on the Jane Austen milieu. The link is to a review of the book. I did get the feeling it was written very much with non-Indians in mind, but what the heck. If there's a sequel, I will read it.

I also went out in the very much pouring rain, only to be greeted very quickly by bright sunshine and a large rainbow over the hills. It was well worth getting wet for, as was my eventual tea of a white poppyseed-topped plaited bun, boursin, on-the-vine tomatoes (bought days ago) and a chocolate eclair. *Nom*.
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I haven't posted, mostly because by evening, when my Daily Posts would be made, I am so tired and headachey I can't face making the post. Anyway, I am over the flu and embedded in yet another RaceFail, now with added mammoths.

Positive things do actually come out of these heated online discussions. For example,here is a list of recommendations for Indigenous/Anti-colonialist science fiction books and stories which is chock-full of new things for me to read.

I did just read Nameless by Sam Starbuck, which is a M-M romance (no porn at all) I found enchanting. It's warm and generous and has a strong sense of mythology. Equally enchanting, for different reasons, read a few weeks ago, is Returning My Sister's Face, a collection of Far Eastern based tales by Eugie Foster. I thought every story was as pretty and well-crafted as a Fabergé egg, with much the same jewel-like shiny qualities. Both books are ideal to curl up with on a rainy day.

Anyone who can tell me new things about Gaddi culture(s) is welcome to. I've been google-searching where I can, but what I can't find is stories by Gaddi people, Gaddi myths and legends, and how Gaddi people live day-to-day, either at home or while on pasture. I can get Gaddi Weddings, because they're exciting and easy to film, but not much else. Gaddi people raise sheep in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, the Indian state that creeps up the sides of the Himalaya Mountains. That's a very simplistic overview, by the way - Himachal Pradesh is large and I get a strong impression that the Gaddi are not a monoculture.
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The clinic that oversees my migraine treatment, the City of London Migraine Clinic is in deep financial trouble. They undercharge for their services (their suggested donation is too low to cover costs) so they're begging for enough funds to carry on. They were the main push that got me into the pain clinic and thus a reason behind my being remarkably sane for someone who gets anywhere from one to three full-blown migraines every day. I am short of funds, having splurged on going to London to see a play with ruthi, but I will scrape together what I can.

I like living within sight of a farm. I can see the farming year going by, even if I need binoculars for most of it, and even with binoculars I am not really impinging on privacy since people are still little stick figures. The sheep wander from field to field. Today there was a yellow digger. I've no idea what the farm is called, but I like it being there.

There was a comedy thingy on Radio Four, which I missed most of, but it ended up with a nasty slap in the face for me. A joke that had a punchline including the words 'you stupid cow'. Well, thanks for that, Radio Four. Women have traditionally been seen as being stupid, and this was a reminder that we're often still seen that way, in jokes and sketch shows. It's only three words, but there's so much history behind those three words, they really hurt. The song before that sounded like it may have been advocating violence against men, which I am not keen either.

Moth's tending to not sleep through the night so much and be more keen on sleeping through the day. It makes it awkward to give her medicine. When I was getting up every dawn, medicating her was easy. Perhaps I should start setting a wake-up alarm again.

Trout, fennel, lemon zest (not juice), carrots and almonds go together really, really, really well.

If you're going to claim not to be a troll, why randomly put in a gender slur and then hang a lantern on it? There's also been someone kicked from a community I am in, for being a leeeeedle too racist-trollish, so I went to their LJ to check them out, and urgh. There were some very not nice racist things in their journal. I am so glad to see them gone. They'd jumped into the conversation and were replying to *everything* anyone said on cultural appropriation, doing everything on the Derailing for Dummies website, from raising other subjects, to 'whites have it bad too'. Someone else pulled a 'this discussion is too academic' and 'we need to be colour blind'. It was like all of RaceFail 09 in one post.


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May 2014

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