Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Fully accepting your disability will make you stronger

Even though,

  • you may first have to peel back your psyche so that you can learn to trust yourself
  • you will still have challenges that many people will not understand
  • there will still be roadblocks
  • you will still imagine headbutting politicians
  • you will not suddenly get fully integrated and accepted into society
  • it will not stop doctors from f*cking up
  • there will still be many facets of life that are out of your control


  • it means identifying community
  • it means having a firmer sense of self and stronger reality
  • it means not beating yourself up when you need help
  • it means having permission from yourself to ask for the help you need to live in the best way that you can
  • it means finally seeing that you deserve to access support services
  • it means knowing that you deserve to find solutions that lay outside of the “norm”
  • it means using the tools that empower you
  • it means letting go of pushing yourself when it is bad for you
  • it means giving yourself space to let go of shame
  • it means giving yourself space to be honest with yourself and others
  • it means seeing the ways in which you are whole
  • it means identifying the places where you do have control
  • You are already fighting against so many things.

But if you stop warring against your own reality, whether other people share that reality with you or not, then that is one place you can find peace.

Acceptance does not mean giving up. It just means recognising the reality of where you are now, so that you can gather yourself up in order to figure out where you will go.

Reblogged from Explaining Sick Stuff

Image by Patrick Neufelder from Pixabay

Monday, 25 March 2019

Detained in Spain, Bank Robbers aged 80 and 73

Don't know whether to laugh or cry, but I couldn't resist translating this report (just because I can). It's one way to eek out a meager pension, or proof that retirement ages are getting pushed further and further, even for career criminals.

Agents of the National Police and Mossos d'Esquadra, in a joint operation, have arrested two men aged 73 and 80 for armed robberies from bank branches. They had entered the banks dressed in reflective clothing and wielding firearms, hobbling employees to seize cash and flee by public transport. (What, were they using a Senior Citizen's Bus Pass?)

These individuals, of South American origin, are attributed two robberies to bank branches in Barcelona in which they took loot of 32,000 and 45,000 euros. Two other people related to the operation have also been arrested, one man for a crime against public health and another who was caught with one of the robbers when they were preparing to carry out a new assault in Madrid.

Hold-ups in Barcelona

The investigation began after the robbery at a bank branch in Barcelona, ​​carried out by two individuals 'of advanced age' who wore reflective vests and wielded pistols. These men forced the workers of the entity to give them the money, waiting for the time delay on the safe, to seize 32,000 euros in cash. After that they tied up the workers and fled.

Two months later, while agents carried out investigations into this crime, they learned of a new assault at another bank in Barcelona. Witnesses pointed to two elderly individuals who spoke with a South American accent, one of them possibly Italian wearing an anorak from a parcel company. The robbers intimidated bank workers with weapons and seized a total of 45,000 euros. They tied up the victims and escaped with the booty.

Coordination with Italian agents through Europol

Once the profile of the assailants was established, Carabinieri Milano confirmed that they had an extensive criminal record in Italy. The investigators located the homes of the assailants, one of them in Madrid and the other in El Vendrell (Tarragona), for which a simultaneous police raids were initiated to carry out arrests and searches.

The agents verified that the man resident in El Vendrell had plans to travel to Madrid with the intention of meeting with his partner and committing a new robbery in the capital. He was located and detained in a hostel in the center of Madrid in the company of a third individual when they were about to imminently assault a bank branch in the capital. At the time of the arrest they carried two revolvers, two motorcycle helmets, gloves, shackles, flanges and a fake badge with the caption "Special Police", as well as Italian identity cards with false IDs. Moments before that intervention, the other robber was arrested at a home where they resided in the Madrid district of Vallecas.

In the search made in El Vendrell, police discovered 'facilities conditioned for the cultivation, processing and storage of marijuana', this plantation being guarded by a fourth man, who was also arrested. Two Italian identity cards, two revolvers, a detonating pistol, a vehicle, two motorcycle helmets, gloves, shackles, plastic flanges, a false plate, several mobile phones and 3.1 kilos of marijuana have been confiscated.

Detenidos dos atracadores de 80 y 73 años por robos en sucursales bancarias

Illustration by Joe Alfaraby from Pixabay

Monday, 11 March 2019

Syros Carnival 2019

Συριανό Καρναβάλι 2019 - Syros Carnival 2019
Putting this on the bucket list for a future year: Carnival in Ermoupoli on the island of Syros in the Cyclades, Greece. Syros Carnival is a three-day-event with festivities on the Saturday night - the traditional Zeibekia (masquerade) custom in Markos Vamvakaris Square - in Ano Syros, a procession along the harbour front on the Sunday afternoon that culminates in dancing in Miaoulis Square, with a Latin party on the Protopapadaki pedestrian street and, on Καθαρή Δευτέρα (Ash Monday or Clean Monday), the customs of Koulouma with kite flying in the countryside and particularly in Gallissas village.

The dates of Clean Monday in Greece let us work out when this carnival takes place.

Photos and videos from Syros Carnival 2019

Rail-Ex Taunton 2018

A few details from Rail-Ex Taunton 2018 on 28 October 2018

Monday, 4 March 2019

CVMRC 10th Annual Model Railway Exhibition

Seen at the CVMRC 10th Annual Model Railway Exhibition 15 September 2018

Monday, 25 February 2019

Exmoor Rail 2018

Photos from Exmoor Rail 2018, Minehead, 4 August 2018

Monday, 11 February 2019

Monday, 28 January 2019

Time management is energy management

Sometimes you read something and it makes something else suddenly become clear and fall into place. The following passage is from an article on time management, but explains exactly how we should consider energy management for pacing.
For years, I thought time management was about time. So when I planned how to spend my time, I would look at my calendar and book up the vacant hours.
Those plans worked on paper–but I couldn’t follow through in real life. Because time management isn’t just about time: it’s also about energy. 
These days, I’m paying attention to not only how much time events take up on my calendar, but how much–and what type of–energy they demand from me. I’m asking myself, how does this event affect me? Do I have the time I need to recharge? Can I maintain this schedule? If I can, will I even enjoy it? 
From 3 time management rules I wish I’d learned 10 years ago

Thursday, 24 January 2019

ME and Temperature Regulation

It is so difficult to explain to people why I so often really cannot leave the house in winter, but I'm glad to see this phenomenon explained so well and that I'm not alone.

That's one of the major problems with ME and the isolation it causes: we feel as if we are the only ones; even we cannot believe the bloody weird symptoms we get, so believe ourselves to be "making them up". Well, we're not and it's bloody hell.

Only this week, I've had to postpone some (very needed) health appointments and one of several reasons for doing that was because I knew what it could mean in terms of symptom exacerbation if I was to go out at this time of year and it was a risk I was not willing to take. But also know how wingy, whiny, pathetic and unbelievable the reasons sound - which invariably causes people to react negatively - so I've given up explaining "in person" and wrote that my husband had drafted the email instead. Sounds more authoritative from a 3rd party, who is also a man. I shouldn't have to do this, but it's just one of the methods that those of us dealing with this crap have to employ to cope.

Anyway, getting back to the temperature. I can be shivering one minute, profusely sweating and overheating the next. I can have a temperature below normal, but be suffering fever-like symptoms. Nobody and especially not doctors will believe me.

"My personal thermostat was blown. I am mostly OK in temperate climates but even the generally moderate temperatures of a normal British winter are enough to cause me significant problems. If I am outside for more than a few minutes, my core body temperature drops very quickly. It can even happen inside, if the heating is inadequate." 
Snap ...
"If I stay out for too long, I begin to enter a catatonic state whereby I lose awareness of what is happening; at this point it can become dangerous. I then have to very deliberately monitor myself and everything that is happening around me and get myself back into a warmer environment as quickly as possible. No amount of extra clothing prevents this from happening.
In fact, I would add that extra clothing makes it MUCH worse. The weight of the clothing just adds to levels of fatigue; extra clothing restricts movement further and adds another stress to already painful and tired muscles and joints; and the extra clothing will cause overheating - not just sweating, but nausea, faintness, maliase ... VERY quickly.

That's how I've ended up lying on pavements or sitting on shop floors. And that brings a whole raft of other vulnerabilities to abuse, which at the very least has included people clearly avoiding me thinking I'm drunk; people not offering any help because of those misconceptions - and I am speaking from experience, not some vague anxiety.

The exposure and overheating, in turn, then causes us to get colder still to the core.

I've tried to explain before that cold actually hurts. It always has for me, even when I was a child and I don't think cold hurts "normal" people, but I have nothing but my own experience to compare. All I know is that it is painful beyond function or distraction; that if I am allowed to get cold, it will feel like my bones have been replaced with sticks of burning freezer ice and, once cold, it can take MONTHS for me to warm up.

It's not unreasonable for me to avoid anything that will make things worse. And as with Valerie Eliot Smith, a move from the UK to a warmer climate is, I feel, the only way of managing these symptoms and being able to not be housebound for most of the year.


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