Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumnal Equinox

Happy equinox everybody :) It is indeed today, and was ushered in last night with a drop in the temperature that left me sleeping really badly.  From tomorrow, the nights will be longer than the days which means that I can finally accept that it is Autumn.

To celebrate, I am going to make minestrone soup for dinner, then poached pears.  I will not worry about the calorific intake of anything I eat today, instead I shall just enjoy the food.  We haven't got any decorations up today because there's a lack of room due to furniture moving to accomodate the broken boyfriend.  Instead I shlal just light some candles over lunch and dinner instead.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Link time!

Several things I've seen that I want to pass on -
Landry Walker and Eric Jones talk about the delays on Danger Club - the delays came about because two of the colorist's kids got hit by a car while our cycling recently.  Obviously, this struck a nerve with me.  Motorists - drive more carefully will you?  And cyclists?  Wear helmets, please.

Comic booked redesigns the DCU - a twitter friend of mine has started redesigning the DCU, for fun.  That link will take you to his Wonder Woman redraw.  I really like it.  Incidentally, this is the same guy that drew me this piece of art, which is now hanging on my wall.

An article on how racism works in the comics industry - it's not as simple as one person yelling racial slurs.

Gendercrunching in the comics industry - Comics creators broken down by gender and race.  I'd really like to see similar stats for the staff at Marvel and DC - the editors and publishers and administrators and suchlike.  I'd also like to see how it's broken down by staffing level.

How not to write comics criticism - and if you don't read comics but are interested in them, have a gander and you'll probably learn more about the medium.

Why I'm not going to pick up the Amyethst book, despite the preview looking all kind of awesome.  Seriously writers, stop with the rape tropes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

ASN September bulletin

Welcome to your September ASN e-bulletin

Fabulous funders - Give us your Gift Aid!

ASN has now registered for Gift Aid and asks all donors past and present to register to make donations go 25% further. ASN made the news a few more times - print, online and radio. September and October bring many opportunities for pro-choice activism in the UK and Ireland. Women we’ve helped this month. And ASN asks you to spread the word as well as help us prepare for a non-event.

• Give us your Gift Aid!

• ASN in the news

• Opportunities for pro-choice activism

• Women we’ve helped

• Help spread the word

• Get ready for the non-event!

Give us your Gift Aid!

If you are a UK taxpayer, ASN can reclaim 25p for every £1 you have donated since May 2011 at no extra cost to you. Put another way, registering for Gift Aid automatically increases your donation by 25%. If you have donated to ASN since May 2011, or plan to someday donate to ASN, please register for gift aid so that your donation can go even further to help the women we serve.

ASN’s Gift Aid registration page gives you the option of filling in your details online or downloading a form that you can post in to us. Thank you in advance for helping your donation go further!

ASN in the news

3 August 2012 - KFM Radio’s Kildare Today. ASN’s Mara Clarke is asked about women who terminate as the result of rape.

27 August - Womens eNews “Catholic Ireland Awaits Report on its Abortion Law”. Also picked up by! 28 August – Daily Mirror “I couldn’t afford to be a mum”. Student’s tearful decision to have an abortion despite wanting kids” [Story not available online]

29 August – XOJane “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Have Children. Talking about the need for abortion rights in Ireland.”

Opportunities for pro-choice activism

There are a number of events happening around the world on and around 28 September, including meetings and actions in Belfast, Dublin, Derry, Cork and London. ASN representatives will be at many of them, and we hope to see you there! For more information about the global campaign, go here.

A few of the events:

27th Sept. Public meeting in Central Library, Foyle St, Derry at 7.00pm

28 September – Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion

28th Sept. Street activity planned in Derry followed by an evening public meeting in Belfast, location TBD.

29th Sept. March for Choice in Dublin, 2 pm. See here for more info'. 1st Oct. Voice for Choice public meeting – “Taking abortion out of the criminal law”. Find out more and reserve your free place here

6th Oct. Pro choice street action planned in Belfast’s Corn Market. Take a look here for further details.

Women we’ve heard from

In August, ASN heard from 28 women seeking assistance, including the following emails we received:

“I am 18 years old. I recently found out that I am 6 weeks pregnant. I have spoke to a support network agencies about my situation and I feel it is best for me in my circumstances that I would be unable to care and look after a baby by myself. I have a part time job, however I am not in the financial position to support my decision.”

“I have recently found out that I'm pregnant again about 6 weeks gone. I'm desperate to get an abortion. I was taking the pill but I was caught while on a course of antibiotics. I already have 3 brilliant children one of which has autism. Have another child is just wrong at the minute. I'm barely coping with the 3 I have. I’ve checked the cost of having an abortion and I just can't afford it”

"I am 31 and single mother of 2. I suffer with severe depression and anxiety and am 8 weeks pregnant. Continuing with this pregnancy is not an option. I have looked into having a termination but i just cannot afford the fees and flight. please can you help me i cannot continue with this pregnancy and am becoming very desperate."

"hi i was wondering if u could please help me i am a single mother of three children and need an abortion i am 25 years old. I can’t afford to have pay for it. i can barely cope as it is with three young children please help me thanks "

“I am roughly 6 weeks pregnant and I need to get an abortion. I think I will be able to afford my flights but I am worried I cannot afford the procedure by myself and I am not able to tell my family as they would not allow it. Is there anything I can do?”

“I am in need of assistance of getting to England as I have a baby of nine months old and was born wit congenial cataracts in both eyes and need help of finance to go England as i found out as i am expecting again to soon again and would be grateful if u could contact me as soon as possible.”

“I was pro life until I found out my younger sister was pregnant which has changed everything for me. I never realised what it might mean for someone not to be ready to have a kid and I am immensely grateful to you for your support. I want to go out into the street and scream with relief!”

We thank these women and men for allowing us to share their stories.

Help spread the word

This month, we're not going to ask you for donations. Instead, we'd like to ask you to use the 'Forward to a Friend' link at the bottom of this eBulletin to send it to three friends (or 1, or 5 or 10) and encourage them to sign up to learn more about ASN's work. How easy is that?

Get ready for the non-event!

October is coming up, which means it will soon be the third anniversary of when ASN opened our doors. This year, we’d like to invite you all NOT to come to our 3rd birthday party. Intrigued? More details to follow . . .


Thank you again for all your support. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to provide financial assistance, accommodation and confidential, non-judgemental information to the women in difficult circumstances who have contacted us.

+44 (0) 7897 611 593
Registered Charity Number 1142120

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hospitals and broken bits

So you may remember me writing a few weeks ago about my boyfriend getting hit by a car and broken.  Well he's home now, relatively mobile and slowly recovering.  I've been considering writing a post ranting about the support and lack of support you get, and our experiences with the NHS.

But quite frankly I'm knackered.  I was shattered from all the hospital visits, twice a day with a 2 hour break in between, then when he came home I was finally able to sleep properly at night, but seeing as he's now using a wheelchair there's a lot of stuff I have to do for him. We have set up a bed for him downstairs as he can't do stairs just yet.  Because we live in a Victorian terrace he can't get into the kitchen in his wheelchair, because the doorframe and galley kitchen itself is too narrow.  Thankfully, he can get between his new bedroom and the dining room.  But this means I have to sort out all food and water etc.  And do all the housework because he can't walk yet.  And go to work.  I'm knackered.  Thankfully (another one) his folks are coming down and spending alternate weeks with us, to look after him during the day when I'm at work. But having other people around also tires me out.  And I'm emotionally drained because I've been so worried about him.  Thankfully (there's a lot of thanks in this post) he will recover from his injuries and he'll have no side effects.  He's just got another 8 weeks in the wheelchair and then he can start putting weight on his bad leg.

And the wheelchair. It's not modern and it's not slimline.  But it's not as heavy as you'd think and it's easier to manoeuvre than I'd expected.  The Red Cross supplied it.  The hospital supplied a zimmerframe (to support him when he stands up on his good leg to shift from bed to chair) and a commode (because our bathroom is upstairs).  No one supplies a ramp.  Social services came and had a look at the house but because the doorframe is upvc they can't easily fit one.  I forget the exact reasons.  Because he's only a short term wheelchair user they won't go to greater effort to fit something for just a couple of months.

I've gone through various emotions about this - disbelief, rage, frustration, sorrow, annoyance, and back to rage again.  It's not the hospital's fault, or social services.  The nurses and OTs at the hospital were mostly great.  They have limited resources and have to allocate them to those who need them most.  But I cannot quite comprehend that the budget holders think it is OK to force someone to be house bound for 2 months.  It's just not on.  It's not a good atmosphere for healing.

Before anyone starts giving me advice about what to do - the boyfriend isn't sure that he wants a ramp. he doesn't like a fuss being made, he doesn't want to put anyone out.  That's not the point.  The NHS should have enough resources and budget to provide ramps for people like him.  He's got a follow up x-ray next week. I've had to arrange for hospital transport (an ambulance) to come pick him up because me and his mum cannot get him out of the house.  We will not be able to physically lift him and his wheelchair over the threshold, and he cannot hop over.

We (me and the boyfriend, not his mum) are meant to be going to ThoughtBubble comic convention in Leeds in November.  This will be 5 days before he's due to be allowed to put weight on his bad leg.  We don't know if he can go or not.  ThoughtBubble's venue is accessible (thankfully).  The trains and stations to Leeds are accessible, but if he can't stand on both legs he'll need his zimmerframe to lean on to be able to shift from chair to bed or chair to seat.  We can't take the frame with us.  The hotel we are staying at isn't wheelchair accessible.  How would he get over the threshold?  If we were to stay over what would we do for dinner?  Where could we go that is accessible?  We were meant to be staying in York - that's another journey and more hassle.  I don't know if he'll be able to come or not.

So. all this has been on my mind.  I'm knackered.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coming out in comics: Black Cat

This probably isn't news to anyone else but as I don't read much Marvel I don't know a whole lot about the Black Cat.  I have heard rumours that she's bisexual but I only got proof of this when I read the MC2 Spider-Girl series.  In it, Felicia Henderson is now 40 something and has a teenage daughter called Felicity.  They don't have a great relationship.  Before this particular issue, we had hints that Felicity was unimpressed with her mother's love life, but we didn't know for sure who her partner was until this page, from Spider-Girl 53:

Ok, so it's not explicit, and I guess that if you were particularly blinkered and maybe naive you wouldn't see it, but it's fairly clear that Felicia and the woman in the top right hand panel have just moved apart from a romantic clinch.  And that Felicity isn't too happy about it.  Nothing more has been said about this, and seeing as I'm now at issue 73 ish I don't hold out much hope for this being looked at again.  We shall see.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I went to buy a new rucksack a few weeks ago.  I needed something fairly small as I don't want to strain my back and I use a pannier on my bicycle for big things.  I headed into the local Cotswolds shop and found their only small rucksack.  It was purple.  Well that's ok, thought I.  Purple is quite nice.  then, whilst searching for the price, I found the description.

What? Whaaaaatttt?  It's a fecking rucksack.  There is more:

The blurb says:
This women's specific rucksack makes a great companion on the hill, whilst the internal organiser makes it ideal for commuting to school, the office or the gym.

The internal organisiser is a useless bit of material separating the main space from the back of the rucksack.  The internal pocket is non existent.  I feel patronised and fooled because I've bought an inferior product (inferior because of the stupid non existent internal pocket).

For reference, this is what it looks like.  It's by Berghaus:


(Title is hashtagged for the benefit of twitter)

Wednesday, September 05, 2012