Friday, 30 December 2005

christmas survivor special

We're back!

Christmas dinner here was lovely - we swapped christmas tradition stories with Polish Lodger's Girlfriend's Cousin, who was mildly disturbed by the concept of flammable pudding, but impressed by the concept of stuffing.

Apparently, in Poland the Big Night is Christmas Eve, which comes at the end of a forty day period of Advent abstinence, similar to Lent. You eat clear beetroot soup with mushroom dumplings, followed by carp. The carp are bought live and kept in the bath for a couple of days before the event. You all share special bread, similar to communion wafers, with each other and wish each other good things for the coming year.

Our visit to Ma and Pa's for a few days afterwards went relatively well - I only had one minor stress attack which led to me standing in the kitchen, rocking, during teatime, because the teapot, the cups and the christmas cake were all in separate rooms.

It seemed like a big deal at the time :).

I may have chicken photos for later, if they've come out.

Sunday, 25 December 2005

seasonal cheer

I was going to write a wonderfully witty and heart-warming post to leave up over christmas, but events have rather caught up with me :(.

In a belated frenzy of christmas spirit we put some decorations up last night - do you know that Tesco knock everything down to half price on christmas eve? - and B finally took the Dyson apart and removed the enormous wodges of cat hair that were causing to blow rather than suck.


And then we drank sherry and ate mince pies in front of the fire while we wrapped our presents.

This afternoon Vic and Tom come round and Polish Lodger's Girlfriend's Cousin will be joining us for dinner.

Tomorrow we go to Ma and Pa's for a few days, so probably no blogging until the end of the week.

Have a lovely Christmas break!

Thursday, 22 December 2005

extra special present

As an extra special christmas gift to myself, I am reconciling the bank with my accounting software.

I loathe reconciling the bank. I would rather spend an afternoon stabbing forks in to the backs of my hands whilst listening to B's Gran's collection of Mrs Mills Greatest Hits than do it. Particularly since I generally put it off for so long that when I finally DO get round to it, the level of complexity ideally needs to be untangled by someone like Stephen Hawking.

However, I am so scared of our incredibly sarcastic accountant that I have finally pulled my finger out and decided that I need to make a vague effort at appearing competent. So:

  • I went through the enormous pile of filing that has been hanging around since we moved the office downstairs while the builders were here and I have not yet got round to sorting out
  • I found the bank statements
  • I reconciled my software with the bank statements
  • I worked out what we owe people and what people owe us and I plugged the figures in to my other spreadsheet to see whether the graph goes happily upwards or unhappily downwards (it goes up quite steadily for a while, and then it goes over a cliff and crashes somewhere in mid-August, which is okay, because that's six months away and we'll have done a lot more work by then)
  • I printed out the ten pages of VAT figures from last month
  • I printed out sixty three pages of audit trails since the beginning of June
  • I deleted the audit trails I'd printed, to prevent future duplication

And at that point I realised that the printer had run out of ink at about page five in the process.

Oops.

So I reloaded the back-up copy I had luckily made before I began and I started again.

And now I want to do a 'month end'.

Only something has happened.

Instead of giving me an option to do a 'month end' (which in this case would actually be a 'quarter end', because I am so lazy, but that's a minor detail*) there is only an option which says 're-create review copy for accountant'.

Also, the printer is making a worrying clunking noise.

I am going to have to go and drink cooking sherry until it all goes away.


* See! SEE why I am unsuited to accounting tasks of even a minor nature!

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

conversations with my mother #051220

We are in the middle of a management meeting. Okay, there are only three of us, but together, we are almost impossible to manage and it always takes us ages.

I go to make the tea. The phone rings. B answers it and I can hear him chatting away. When I come back in to the room, he mouths "It's your mother!", and passes the handset over.

Me: [cautiously] Hello?
Ma: [bellowing] Hello dear! I can only speak to you for as long as it takes to peel a cabbage!
Me: [thankfully] So not that long then?
Ma: [still bellowing] I've rung up to find out when you're in. I'm going to put your christmas cake on a carrier.
Me: [still back there with peeling cabbage timescale thing] .....
Ma: [continued bellowing] I wanted to know what days you'd be in for it to be delivered. I've managed to ice it, so I'm thinking that tonight after I make the forty holly wreaths that that chap in town wants, I'll wrap it up. It should be hard enough.
Me: [as before] .....
Ma: [now bellowing over background of cabbage peeling noises] And the pudding of course! Denise sent her mother some flowers by Amtrak and they were very good, so I was thinking I'd phone them.
Me: [finally finds voice] Yes? Or you could just take it to the Post Office and send it Parcel Force?
Ma: [slightly quieter, still clearly peeling cabbage] I hadn't thought of that. Yes, perhaps I could. I'll sort it out anyway, so long as you're in.
Me: Yes, I'll be in. And even if I'm not, they'll just put a card through the door and I can get it redelivered.
Ma: [bellowing, redux] Here, speak to your father. He said he was going for a wee and a sit-down, but he's put his big gloves on and his hat and scarf, he's going out I think.
Me: [vainly] We're kind of having a meeting ...
Ma: [now bellowing at Pa] Here! Speak to your daughter!
Pa: [in background, faintly protesting] But I'm going out! On my mobility scooter! Look! I've got my hat on!
Ma: [very loudly indeed] Here you are! Here she is! Say something!
[slight pause]
Pa: [resignedly] Hello.
Me: [resignedly] Hello. Are you going out then?
Pa: Yes. It's sunny. Don't want to miss the sun.
Ma: [bellowing in background] Here! You take the receiver! You hold it!
Pa: [suddenly bellowing back] I can't! I've got my gloves on! I told you! I'm going out!
Ma: [bellowing] Here, take it!
[bellowing suddenly becomes muffled]
[phone clearly drops to floor]
Pa: [comes back on line] I'm going out then. I'll pass you back to your mother. Nice to talk to you anyway.
[pause, as resigned grumbling gently recedes in to distance]
Ma: [slightly less bellowy] There, he's gone out.
Me: [finally finds voice] We're having a meeting, actually.
Ma: Well, I've peeled my cabbage, I've got to go and make those forty holly wreaths now. Speak to you soon!
Me: Yes, bye then.
Ma: [has already hung up]

Monday, 19 December 2005

update

Ah.

Tasks achieved from over-ambitious list of seven:
1 - Camping stuff moved from under the stairs.
2 - Logs stacked under the stairs.
Net result: Hallway full of camping gear. Floor covered in bits of logs and leaves.

Mysterious smells in dining room identified:
1 - Suprise kitten poo discovered under B's Grandma's Gramophone
Net result: Need more carpet cleaner.

Healthy things eaten:
1 - Banana.
2 - Tin tuna.
3 - Lots of water
Net result: Feeling of smug satisfaction.

Unhealthy things eaten:
10 - mince pies. See previous post re: comfort parcel arriving from Ma.
2 - glasses of lovely red wine.
Net result: Indigestion and a creeping feeling of guilt. Or possibly guilt and a creeping feeling of indigestion.

Husbands placated by promising six week trip to Australia in summer:
1 - The flights seem very reasonable.
Net result: Snogging.

Time for bed ... .

just checking in

The Turkey was a success - B cooked it on Friday night, turning it twice in the process to ensure even cooking. By itself the crown still weighed thirteen pounds and he reckons he only won by two falls and a submission. We had a really lovely evening - and guess what? There was enough turkey left for everyone to take some home :).

Dream has written down some of his thoughts about our Annual Christmas Get Together; and both a very nice piece of writing and sentiment it is, too. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a good group of friends. I am a relative newcomer of only five years standing, since most of them have know each other since school. They've made me unreservedly welcome and it's wonderful.

Yesterday we had a really lazy day, recovering. We watched eight episodes of Babylon Five and ate pizza in front of the fire.

A lot of my christmas-stress seems to have evaporated now - we did our christmas shopping on Friday night, via Amazon; and we wrote all our cards and posted them on Saturday morning.

This morning, Ma's long-promised cake and christmas pudding arrived in the post. It smells fantastic, and the only thing that's stopping me eating it on the sly while B is out, is that it reeks of brandy and it somehow seems wrong to start the week drunk on cake.

And of course, I'd also reek of spirits and he'd be able to tell.

My to-do list today includes:

  • moving the camping gear out from under the stairs and up to the eves of the attic.
  • putting the logs in the space under the stairs that that creates, so they don't keep shedding all over the hall carpet and sneakily falling down while we're out and blocking the door so that we can't get back in.
  • seeing if the dyson is really broken or whether I can fix it by vigorous shaking, random poking with a screwdriver and yet another change of filters.
  • if it's broken, I need to phone the dyson repair shop.
  • if it's not broken, I need to use it [sigh]. See comment about logs shedding bits.
  • cleaning the bathrooms.
  • dusting. I HATE dusting. I think it's Quintin Crisp who says that the dust doesn't get any worse after five years. If I could bear it, I'd experiement and see, but I can't, so I won't. If that makes sense.
I will reward myself with another trimphant post later on today when I've done all that. And maybe some cake.

Friday, 16 December 2005

return of the monster

The Turkey has arrived.

It is enormous, as predicted.

However, thankfully, it is in two bits.

A front bit.

And a back bit.

The legs are on the back bit. We have put them in the freezer to have ourselves on Christmas Day. Kate is going to use them to make a kind of Cockatrice - she's going to bone them and stuff them with chicken. She's a clever lady.

She also taught me how to take the breastbone out of the turkey - the farm hadn't done it, which was fine. Although I am in no way good with raw meat, particularly *identifiable* raw meat, she started me off and I finished it myself. I was surprised at how easy, and unsquicky, it was. I am going to stuff it with some red pepper, sage and shallot stuffing that I've found. We'll cook it later today, or maybe overnight, and we will take it round to Nina and Tom's for Saturday evening and have it cold. It will slice nicely, apparently made easier because the wishbone is out.

Kate has also apparently seen some Stinking Bishop locally ... I have passed the information on to the Stinking Bishop Quest team.

Thursday, 15 December 2005

geeky interlude

I have discovered a wonderful new geeky tool for Firefox-enabled blog addicts.

A little while ago, Milt told me about Feedreader, a news aggregator which I immediately installed and started using to read blogs and news articles that it notified me had been updated.

Then I realised that although it did the job well, it slowed my laptop down a bit - probably because I had millions of feeds loaded and I need a memory upgrade, rather than because of any issues with the sofware. I didn't like the way it didn't let you view more than one article on each site at a time. And I also didn't like the fact that it is a stand-alone program.

So I did a bit of rummaging around on the Firefox Add-Ons page. And I found Sage.

I have seen the light.

It's a Firefox extension that opens in a side-bar on your browser like the 'Bookmarks' pane; it searches out feeds for you on the page you're looking at at the click of a button (which was something I found inconvenient about Feedreader - you had to find them yourself and load them in); it lets you see the last few entries on each site immediately; you can click through and view the whole website or an individual post; it is furry and cuddly and user-friendly and I love it.

It is all over for me and Feedreader. We'll never be together again.

[/end of plug]

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

turkey crisis

I've made a cock-up.

A very large cock-up.

It appears that I was so shocked by the fact that our turkey was still alive at the moment of ordering, that I got my pounds and my kilograms confused.

I have therefore ordered a TEN KILO TURKEY for next weekend. Rather than a ten pound one. That is somewhere in region of TWENTY POUNDS. There will be, at most, fourteen of us.

Oh good grief.

What am I going to do?

B phoned the farm first thing on Monday and asked them if the turkey had already gone for the chop and if not, could we please swap it for a smaller model.

However, it was bad news. Our turkey was (to quote the farm shop chap, who turned out to have a sense of humour as well as being relatively helpful) an ex-turkey.

There was no going back.

Farm Shop Chap suggested asking Turkey Producer Chap to crown the turkey for us - ie, to remove the legs and perhaps the breastbone. This should make it a bit smaller.

And therefore it might stand a vague chance of going in the oven.

So we did.

It's arriving on Thursday.

Next year, I am going to volunteer to bring something simple, that isn't so reliant on me actually being a competent human being.

Like wine. Or cheese*.

I fear the turkey.


* Thanks to Dream for reminding me that this sketch existed. He has been looking for some Stinking Bishop, with no success.

Tuesday, 13 December 2005

spreading the infection

Cheryl has tagged me for a 'ten things I haven't told you yet' meme ... as she says, difficult to remember what I've confessed and what I haven't confessed yet, but here goes:

1. We had ponies when we were growing up. We were small and fat and so were they.
2. I have always wanted to keep pigs. I think pig-scratching is one of the best kinds of meditative practice.
3. When I was ten, our school put on 'Charlie and The Chocolate Factory'. I played 'Mrs Gloop'. The best bit was seeing my younger sister in the chorus of Ooompah-Loompah's, complete with a large cellophane-wrapped sweet on her head.
4. I like caviar and smoked salmon but I don't like champagne.
5. I can't wear high-heeled shoes, I fall over. Boots on the other hand ...
6. My mother says that money spent on bras and shoes is never wasted. I agree.
7. I like gardening. See above, 'pigs and meditative practice'.
8. My favourite poet is Thomas Wyatt. Particularly The pillar perished is whereto I leant.
9. I am also a Dorothy Parker fan. My favourite of her poems is 'Of a woman, dead young'.
10. I won't watch horror movies. Too scary.

There you go. Not too boring I hope, I feel like I'm running out of steam :). If you want to play, tag yourself and leave a link in the comments.

Monday, 12 December 2005

new project and a tummy ache

Short post today. I've got a new project on the go.

It involves nuns.

I am fascinated by nuns; I always have been. I think it's because I find the idea of a life of contemplative service genuinely appealing. The thing that makes it unworkable for me as a real personal choice is a reluctance to believe wholeheartedly in one particular faith, eschewing all others.

A couple of conversations I've been involved with recently have touched on the wide variety of different nuns there are around. And a couple of friends came back from the airport the other week awestruck by the height of the head-dresses of a pair of nuns they had encountered.

Hence the new project:

Nun Silhouette Identification.

I intend to log all the different kinds of nun, in silhouette, with a brief description of their order.

Hints, tips, helpful URLs all very welcome indeed.

I think I have some kind of bug - sore stomach, feel sick, aching muscles, general tiredness. I am going back to bed with yet another chamomile tea.

Friday, 9 December 2005

gobble smacked

A group of us have made a tradition of having a pre-christmas meal at Nina and Tom's house for the last few years. We all volunteer to take along a different part of the meal.

This year, like last year, we have been designated Bringers Of The Turkey.

I have just phoned Northern Harvest to see if they have any available ... the last-ditch-ordering-date for christmas meat was November 24th, so I couldn't just do my usual point-and-click ordering on Monday.

The woman on the phone was very helpful, if rather direct:

Me: Would it be possible to order a Turkey, for this week? It's for a meal on Saturday the seventeenth.
Lady: Possibly. I'll have to phone the supplier and ring you back.
Me: No problem - I realise it's rather late on.
Lady: No, no, no problem. It's just that the birds aren't dead yet.
Me: Pardon?!
Lady: Well, they're still on the farm. So if they kill them themselves, I am sure it will be fine. But if they have to send them away to slaughter, it might be an issue.
Me: [on autopilot] Ah. I'll wait for your call then. Thank you. Goodbye.
I don't know *why* it stunned me in to silence, *of course* I know that they keep the birds alive right up until the last minute. But I feel rather peculiar and think I need to go and have a cup of tea and a biscuit to recover.

I faithfully promise that my next post will be about something other than food.

Thursday, 8 December 2005

want some seafood mama ...

Today, let's talk about fish.

Let me say first I am not a great fish fan. They have wierd bulgy eyes and gulpy mouths and are cold and flappy. They are not cute, easy to identify with, cuddly or sexy. They don't purr, play 'fetch' or come when they are called. I don't even much like eating them.

However ... I got my Greenpeace annual report this morning, and apparently, there is a Fish Crisis.

Brief summary of the issue:

90% of fish eaten in the UK is now sold through supermarkets. In some cases, three quarters of the marine life caught in fishing nets is killed and thrown away as too small or not the right kind of fish. Some supermarkets are more ethical in their sourcing policies than others. Apparently ASDA is at the bottom of Greenpeace's league table and is currently not even making a token effort to change it's buying strategy. It has no sustainable seafood policy.

What can we do?

  • Try to eat fish from sustainable resources - the harsh alternative is that if we don't, our children may not have the option. The BBC has a good ethical guide to eating fish.
  • Try to get your fish from a local fishmonger, so you can ask where it's come from. This also has the added advantage of helping a local business rather than a multi-national.
  • Ask your supermarket what their policy is on sustainable seafood and shop accordingly. The full Greenpeace report is available here - but be warned, it is a quite big .pdf file and I haven't managed to download it succesfully.
  • To send ASDA an email asking for them to change their policy, go here.

Less photogenic than the Giant Panda. But possibly more important.

Including this in my Ethical Living Links.

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

actually quite dull

Yesterday, R and I finally did B's expenses and fed them in to the VAT return.

Doing B's expenses is a quarterly trial. He doesn't often have time to do them himself and I initially declined to do them, not wanting to take on the roll of nagging secretary as well as wife, co-director and office administrator. So when R joined us, he volunteered. More as a way of keeping the peace than because of a heady delight in collating miscellaneous receipts. And in a blitz spirit kind of way, I started helping him.

Twelve months ago, when he took over the task, the main part of the process was actually locating the receipts. We would turn out B's pockets, go through his various bags, rummage through his wallet, look in old job files, the glove compartment and the ash tray of the car, even in his tool-kit and his work boots.

Now, however, we have introduced some technology to help us.

A receipt spike.

All B needs to do when he comes in is to empty his pockets and his wallet and stick the bits of paper on the spike.

As a tool, it also has the handy additional advantage of being useful to jab sharply in to the back of his hands if he's a bit slow off the mark.

Then once every three months, R and I sit down with the largest teapot in the house (half a gallon) and we start to collate the receipts. The first thing R does is go through them and throw out the ones that aren't actually connected with the accounts in any way.

This time this included three raffle tickets and a small map of a central London hotel car park.

Then, he divides them in to three piles - one for each month in the quarter - and hands them to me. I read out the date, the type of item, the amount and whether it is VATable or not. And R enters it on a spreadsheet.

It sounds simple, doesn't it?

However ... without B to tell us what the receipts are actually for, filling in the ITEM bit is sometimes quite hard. And since some of them are printed on wierd shiny paper in special ink that is designed to fade a bit more each time someone reads it, occasionally reading the date and the amount is also quite difficult.

So, after struggling through the current quarter's pile, we have Implemented A Strategy.

We have created a Receipt Voucher.

B is going to write the details of each receipt on the voucher and then attach it to the receipt, using that miracle device, a stapler.

I am even prepared to let him use my stapler for this - the one that I keep tied to my desk so the thieving magpies who seem to haunt our office can't make off with it to line their nests. That is how serious this situation is.

The only fly in the ointment is that so far, neither R nor I have got up the courage to actually inform B of the new system.

Tuesday, 6 December 2005

dear people who used to own our house

Dear Bob and Carol,

Last night, I spent half an hour trying to change the lampshade in the hall.

All issues of aesthetics aside, had it not occurred to you that for safety reasons, updating the light fitting to one manufactured in the second half of the twentieth century might have been wise the last time you replaced the lampshade yourselves?

I can tell from the shade that you chose that you did so relatively recently and I must therefore thank you for cross-threading the fitting to such an extent that it took me three snapped elastic bands, a sprained wrist and the actual destruction of the old lampshade AND the lightbulb, before I could get the thing apart.

The new lampshade throws out much more light. It therefore illuminates beautifully the badly painted polystyrene cherubs with which you chose to adorn the hallway. Unfortunately however, the placing of the light fitting in no way illuminates the useful storage space under the stairs.

In some ways this is a blessing, as the plastic coated cladding with which you have chosen to line the space is mercifully left in the dark.

I wish I could say the same for the cladding with which you seem to have lined the rest of the house.

Whilst the clashing-shades-of-green colour scheme in the living area is not my personal choice, at least the walls are clean and and the carpets of relatively good quality. I marvel daily at the hardboard with which you have lined both the dining and sitting rooms below the dado rail. It is such a comfort to know that the damp that was discovered in the rest of the house before we moved in is safely confined behind it.

Speaking of damp, the cladding in the bathroom was a stroke of genius. Successfully covering up the leaking roof for such a long time was a wonderful idea. The fact that the old lathe and plaster ceiling actually collapsed, bringing the cladding down before we could ascertain that there was a problem was merely a minor inconvenience.

Bob, the fact that your profession as a Gas Fitter meant that you were able to install your own central heating system must have been a real money-saver to you. I am sure that you take as much care with other people's houses as you did your own. I expect all your customers are thrilled at having enormous gaping holes in the internal walls to let the pipes through. And they probably all enjoy the challenge of daily negotiating the old gas inlet pipe capped six inches above floor level as they get stuff in and out of that space under their stairs.

When we moved in, I was particularly looking forward to designing and creating a courtyard garden. I want to thank you for making some of those designs so simple for us to choose. We have decided that the best way forward is to lay some decking immediately behind the house, in order to make safe the two foot deep trench our builders had to dig at the back to get the damp course to work properly. Anyone could have overlooked the fact that raising the entire yard by two feet and topping it entirely with concrete slabs that slope slightly would mean that any rainwater run-off drained directly through the external wall in to the utility room.

It was particularly cunning of you to use the rubble from the disused wash-house as a hardcore base for the raised patio. A two feet depth of broken stone certainly makes a sturdy foundation. And blocking up the gate from the back lane in to the yard with the (green) cladding with which you have lined all the courtyard walls has made our decision to go for raised beds so much easier. Much as we could do with the exercise, wheel-barrowing four tonnes of hardcore through the house has very little appeal.

So, thank you. And in conclusion, now nearly three years have passed, do you think you could consider getting a mail redirect set up and letting your various creditors have your new telephone number?

Hoping the future brings you all the good things you deserve,

- Ally and B

Monday, 5 December 2005

oh no it isn't!

I've done at least two fun things this weekend:

1. We went to see Aladdin at the local panto group - we got some free tickets because B gave them a Lighting Masterclass when they got some new lights and we felt that it was a friendly thing to do. OH YES WE DID!

Pantomime as a genre scares the willies out of me. I haven't been to one since I was herded up on stage at the Bristol Old Vic at the age of about eight and forced to participate in singing a 'comedy' song in front of a theatre full of people, a young woman dressed as a high-heel-wearing boy, an elderly man dressed as a woman, an evil sorcerer and a beautiful princess. I think it's a British thing - I've been trying to explain it to Polish Lodger's Girlfriend's Cousin, with not a great deal of success.

Despite my long-harboured reservations, it was a pretty good amateur production, with a 'junior chorus' so junior that some of them were less than two feet tall. There was no designated 'child wrangler' in the programme, but I am sure that there was one - we could see the curtains at the edges of the stage moving as they shepherded the little ones on and off - only one burst in to tears, so it went very successfully all told; and some of the older performers had really good voices. Next year I might even go voluntarily.

2. We went to see Harry Potter And The Crucible Of Pilchards. Better than the book, I thought, and nice that the characters have grown up a bit and caught up the real-life actors, so they can now film all of Hermione rather than just from her neck up.

Today, R and I have completed the move in to the redecorated office, put the stuff on the shelves and set up the computers on our lovely new round table. This has meant that we have had a good reason not to sort out B's receipts and do the VAT Return. I realise that this is an ongoing blog theme - every three months I spend a couple of weeks listing all the stuff I am doing instead of jumping to the tax man's whim. However, if I didn't blog about it, I wouldn't be able to use blogging as a reason not to have done it ... it's kind of a circular argument I know, but it's all I have, so bear with me :).

In other news, I have finally found the disc with my phone software on it, buried underneath three boxes of old accounts, Schott's Miscellany, a mug with mold growing in it and three volumes of out of date Yellow Pages; so Triumphal Attic Conversion photos soon.

Thursday, 1 December 2005

rape and sexual assault support - can you help?

This post is intended to a be a support resource for women who have been sexually assaulted or abused and who are looking for information about how other people in the same position responded to what had happened to them. (There are also a few links specifically for male victims at the bottom of the page, but this is not an area I feel able to address in any depth. Amendment - also, see Richard's story.)

I would be very grateful if people felt able to write a small post linking to this one, to raise awareness - male or female, with personal experience or not. The person you work with every day, your friend from college, your sister, your mother, your cousin - they might all have experienced something like this and have never told anyone. Things CAN change, if enough people stand up to be counted. Think of it as a meme. Those 34% of people that Amnesty cite are wrong. I want to convince them.

Being raped or being subject to domestic violence is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to many, many people and there are as many different ways of dealing with it as there are people who experience it.

I hope that by drawing together like this relevant posts and some resources, other people may be helped in their search to work out their own way forward.

I would be grateful for suggestions for other links, whether they are accounts of people's experiences or support resources. Or please contribute your own experiences if you would like to, either by sending me a link to include, or writing about it in the comments section below, openly or anonymously.

I think this is important, as victims can feel very isolated, very ashamed and very much as if they have no-one to turn to who will understand what they are experiencing.

I am going to put a link to this post in the sidebar and any further links or info will be added here - I do not want my blog to become a one-issue place and this is probably the last actual post I will make on the subject. What happened to me is a part of me, but it is does not by any means define who I am and I don't want to dwell on it or become defined by it. As various other people also say, I am no longer a victim.

People and blogs:


Support and information:

Support links for male victims:

rape and sexual assault support - can you help?

This post is intended to a be a support resource for women who have been sexually assaulted or abused and who are looking for information about how other people in the same position responded to what had happened to them. (There are also a few links specifically for male victims at the bottom of the page, but this is not an area I feel able to address in any depth. Amendment - also, see Richard's story.)

There is also an up to date list of support links that started out as a copy of this post, at The Green Meadow.

I would be very grateful if people felt able to write a small post linking to this one, to raise awareness - male or female, with personal experience or not. The person you work with every day, your friend from college, your sister, your mother, your cousin - they might all have experienced something like this and have never told anyone. Things CAN change, if enough people stand up to be counted. Think of it as a meme. Those 34% of people that Amnesty cite are wrong. I want to convince them.

Being raped or being subject to domestic violence is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to many, many people and there are as many different ways of dealing with it as there are people who experience it.

I hope that by drawing together like this relevant posts and some resources, other people may be helped in their search to work out their own way forward.

I would be grateful for suggestions for other links, whether they are accounts of people's experiences or support resources. Or please contribute your own experiences if you would like to, either by sending me a link to include, or writing about it in the comments section below, openly or anonymously.

I think this is important, as victims can feel very isolated, very ashamed and very much as if they have no-one to turn to who will understand what they are experiencing.

I am going to put a link to this post in the sidebar and any further links or info will be added here - I do not want my blog to become a one-issue place and this is probably the last actual post I will make on the subject. What happened to me is a part of me, but it is does not by any means define who I am and I don't want to dwell on it or become defined by it. As various other people also say, I am no longer a victim.

People and blogs:


Support and information:

Support links for male victims: