Call The Midwife – Continence Heroes (Part 1)

feminism, incontinence, patient, shame

Last week’s episode of Call The Midwife caused a Twitter storm before it had even started.  The continuity announcer introduced it as gentle nostalgia. The sort of adjectives suggesting a quaint, mild, uncontroversial, quiet show. I wonder why, I think, snarling and growing another skein, why does the announcer emphasise the idea this show is […]

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AND Another thing. Antenatal Depression

birth, babies, bodies, breastfeeding, depression, hope, shame

Being pregnant is a fragile time, and yet it is easy to imagine any complex feelings you have, from ambivilence to fear, from hysterial to doubt, are unusual and some sort of personal indicator of your lack of worthiness. I always think of Antenatal Depression as Postnatal Depression’s slightly more stigmatised and demonised little sister.  […]

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SMTWTFS

hope, patient, shame

Every Sunday morning I have a chore. It is just a small job, five minutes, maybe ten tops, but crucial. I have to refill my pill box for the week, and note down if there are any I need to re-repeat. It doesn’t take long, though it is fiddly. It is also a useful thing […]

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The Power

feminism

One of Barack Obama’s books of 2017 was Naomi Alderman’s The Power. Mine were Adam Kay’s This Is Going To Hurt tied with Mary Beard’s Women And Power. But all three had a profound effect on me. I’m interested in Obama’s view, not because I agree with him on everything but because I will always […]

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The elephant in the room


family & parenting

Father’s Day is here. And the season of summer birthdays. When thinking about the former I realise someone is often missing from my blog, which talks a lot about sons and mothers, husbands and brothers, sisters and friends. I think this can often be the way with the big things in your life. Big things […]

17th June 2012

HAPPY?


depression, family & parenting

I sometimes think about when I die. @MindCharity and others fill my twitter with discussions of depression and suicide and other nasties in the name of raising awareness. I like these, they are usually messages of hope. And there have been a couple of terrible news stories lately; the worst, probably, a father coming home […]

28th May 2012

Age Appropriate


family & parenting

I’ve written before about Spider-boy’s attachments and obsessions when it comes to TV, notably his hearty love for Fireman Sam and later Gigglebiz, which have now also been consigned to the scrap yard for all things too babyish. He is now, with typical four-year-old full immersion, hooked on Horrible Histories and Deadly 60. I think […]

21st May 2012

Guest post: birth story


birth, babies, bodies, breastfeeding

Here is the link to the birth story post I wrote for blogger The Mule. I discussed the emotions stirred up by recounting birth yesterday Her blog is on my blog roll and can be found here. She has always been supportive and kind to me, whilst producing a provocative, poetic, thought provoking body of […]

14th May 2012

Birth stories…


birth, babies, bodies, breastfeeding, hope

Two weeks ago we were back with my second son in the hospital where my first was born. More hours to think, gazing at our London, which now of course, five years on from my start at mothering, has a great shard across it, cutting up through the skyline. While there I was mulling. A […]

13th May 2012

Technology baby: out of touch


words

All children I know and have ever met have been obsessed with technology. I suspect it is somehow linked to their connection with the future – they are, of course, closer to it than us. Kicking off the edge of the past, as represented by us, floating out further than we can reach to find […]

28th April 2012

The power of chocolate – Part One


family & parenting

Easter. So much sweet stuff; so little time. My lads love chocolate, though Newborn has a faith of sorts in cocoa. He attacks eggs and bunnies, crams so much in his mouth. He’s prepared to let a third dribble away to get the rest in, and he scoffs with suspicious eyes. They are live with […]

13th April 2012

Mother Tongue: Only connect…


depression, family & parenting, words

This weekend I had a fleeting online chat with Michael Rosen , a massive hero of mine. We tweeted about the inner meanings of Roald Dahl’s The Twits. It was one of my proudest moments when he retweeted my undergraduate analysis (that The Twits is all Foucault innit, a parable on internal flaws exposed). Or […]

2nd April 2012

Fun with medicine?


family & parenting

I love Citizen Kane. I’ve been round the houses in formulating my view, seen its bombastic flaws and stupid overindulgence and returned to loving the audacity of the hero and, furthermore, the way this chimes with the audacity of the film-maker behind it. It is hard to watch this canonical film, though it is utterly […]

8th March 2012