Sunday, 22 June 2014

Leaving Negativity Behind


you can't always choose what happens to you but you can always choose how you feel about it // danielle laporte // NEW MOON #16

About two weeks ago I made the decision to not have a bad day again, I'm not saying I am going to stop bad things from happening to me but I'm going to stop them ruining my day. A bad thing happening doesn't make a day a bad day, just like a bad day doesn't mean a bad life. I used to be the type of girl that thought that how her breakfast went would dictate how the rest of the day went, say if I accidentally put out of date milk on my cereal my day would be a total right off, now that is just silly. There is no use ruining an entire day over off milk.

This decision to change came after a Changemakers coaching session which went in a totally different direction to what I intended but was also probably more useful than what I had planned. We talked at length about how I distinguish between a good day and a bad day and it appears that I thought if one thing went wrong it meant that my whole day was going to go wrong. I'd never really noticed I did this until we were talking about it. It was getting to a ridiculous point where on the day I got a new job I still deemed it to be a bad day because something bad happened both before and after finding out about my new job. Both of the things that went wrong were entirely out of my control yet for some reason I let them control how I felt. After this I decided I was going to graph my days into how I felt on a scale of one to ten and why, so if there was a thing that happened to make things good or bad. If it was a bad thing I could then think about whether or not it was in my control and if it wasn't I would 'bin' the thought.

It is quite tiring having twice as many thoughts, as in asking myself what I think of my thoughts but it seems to be paying off. I feel like I have come to terms with the fact that I shouldn't let other people's actions affect me, I can't feel bad for every bad thing someone else does. That is just silly.

Take control of the negative thoughts, don't let the negative thoughts take control of you.

Hannah x

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Emily Park Appreciation Blog


I feel like I've been living in Emily Park's pocket for the last few weeks so here's a blog telling you why she is mint.

1. Emily's pocket is usually in Starbucks.

2. Both me and Emily have horrendous phone batteries so we are kinda impossible to contact. However I think I have some sort of Emily tracking device in my brain because I can usually track her down even if we don't have phones. Best friend telepathy.

3. Emily enables me to feel like a cat lady despite the fact I have no cats, when you have five there's enough to go around.

4. I need someone else who is marginally obsessed with hip-hop dancers.

5. Emily is not alarmed when she needs to meet me for an emergency "my life is a mess" coffee. We'll pretend this doesn't happen every other day. Soz mate.

6. Everyone needs someone who they can bond over having equally foot-like faces with. My face looks like a foot most days.

7. Being Emily's assistant is mint because she feeds you with sweet potatoes at 3am. Very good brain food!

8. Emily is very accepting of my Buzz Feed Quiz problems, so much so that we are the dream team. If there was a degree in Who Said It James Franco or Kanye West we would definitely get firsts.

9. It's nice to have someone who can sympathise trying to fit about five lives into my one life. I have no idea why we do it to ourselves though.

10. Because someone has to make plans to go to Canada with me even if it never happens.

Bet you are all jealous that Emily Park isn't your bezzie.

Key Change


Key Change
Live Theatre
Saturday 7th June 2pm
Written by Catrina McHugh
Directed by Laura Lindow

It's been awhile since I've taken part in a standing ovation at the theatre but Open Clasp and Dilly Arts' Key Change was fully deserving of the entire audience being on their feet at the end of the show. The project worked with female prisoners to explore their stories to then put them on for a male audience. Following this, Key Change has came to Live Theatre to share their stories with the wider community.

The play shows, in simple terms prisoners are people too, everyone has a back story. Everyone has a reason for getting to where they are. Key Change tackled the issues of domestic violence and drug abuse in a brave, head-on manner, giving me a few teary moments. The stories aren't just stories of five women prisoners, they are stories of nations of women suffering domestic abuse in silence or feeling like taking drugs is the only way to escape their lives. The women featured are far from prison sentences, they are stories to be invested in and supported to regain their lives.

Key Change is far from an all doom and gloom production, in between the serious more teary moments were points of absolute hilarity. Kudos to Jessica Johnson particularly, for a truly believable and animated performance of Angie.

Leaving Live Theatre the revolving door people of the criminal justice system were still whirring in my mind. It's no wonder people get stuck in what seems like a crime routine, if it is what you've always known how does one undo that learning and create a new life for themselves.

I never fail to be overwhelmed by the power of a well written theatre piece, Key Change shoots straight up into the best theatre I've seen lately.

The Dementia Monologues


The Dementia Monologues
Thursday 5th June 2014
Live Theatre
Fiona Evans

Displaying Lauren Kellegher in It's Not Rocket Science! by Fiona Evans.JPG

Produced as a result of twenty-one workshops in Newcastle care homes, The Dementia Monologues explores the lives of people with dementia, their families and the people working with them. The evening of films provided a powerful insight to the reality of dementia.

The five films take from laughing one minute to being entirely heart-broken in another, a perfect depiction of dementia as a disease. Many think that as soon as someone is diagnosed with dementia it is somewhat of a death sentence, they lose all of what they had been. "The Dementia Doctor" demonstrated that that negative effects of dementia are not necessarily a constant state, the illness.

The films have great potential in educating a community in becoming more dementia friendly, this was evident in the post show discussion and it was nice to be an environment in which people were talking openly about dementia; a topic which is all too often shied away from.

Fiona Evans' writing is an absolute testament to the lives of people with dementia and their stories. The considerations taken to where the people had came from is an absolute delight to see. It will be great to see the films have a life beyond Live Theatre in education.

You can become a Dementia Friend by visiting where you will learn a little bit more about dementia by watching a short film. Dementia Friends will then send you a pack of information and tips about supporting people with dementia and their carers. Dementia is everyone's business and we all need to become more clued up on it to best support our communities.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Weighing Up Education


& it's an amazing feeling that fills your heart when you finally realize that you're so much more than that number

I was eleven the first time I weighed myself. Before I was eleven I had only ever been weighed at the doctors but even then I have no real memory of it, I'm just assuming it happened. However, at age eleven I was made to weigh myself at school, in a class full of people. Not only did I have to weigh myself, I then had to plot it on a graph against everyone else in my class. I've been thinking about this quite a lot recently and find it very worrying that my first exposure to the body as some sort of competition was as part of a lesson at school, it was so called education.

Before this first weighing I had been brought up in a nice little bubble with no concept of body weight only to be popped by such a bizarre scenario. Given this, I had no idea what classed as heavy or light but when I had to tell my classmates my weight so they could graph me I was met with "oh my god you're so skinny" comments. I didn't really understand what that meant, was that a good thing or a bad thing? I can't remember much else of the lesson, I don't remember the point of this weighing and plotting, I don't know what was good and what was bad. I just know it happened and I felt really weird about it. I was always quite small through school and have countless "you're so skinny" memories of getting changed in PE, I didn't understand that then and I still don't understand it now.

In my adult life I still get the "you're so thin" and "eat some pies" type comments and I never know what to say back. Well, I have quite a quick answer to the second one, I don't like pie because one time I got food poisoning from a pie. But the first one, what is that supposed to mean and why is it even said? If it is meant as a compliment I don't take it as one, my size says next to nothing about me. Or is it supposed to be an insult when followed with the pie comments? If so, why is that an insult? I've found myself just saying "okay" to these comments now, in a sort of protest against negative body talk, I'm not sure if this is the right response though.

I just feel really angry that at age eleven I was taught to compare my weight to others. What on earth is that all about?! My body weight wasn't a competition then and it isn't one now so why do people act like it is?