I really enjoyed On The Come Up by Angie Thomas about a young female rapper named Bri.
The story covers the pressure to live up to a parents past reputation; love and friendship; institutionalised racism; taking a stand whilst simultaneously trying to keep out of trouble; drug dealing and past addiction and struggling to pay the bills and keep the refrigerator on.
A realistic description of life in a dangerous neighbourhood, which is also a place where Bri has grown up, where she has family and possibly the best chance of realising her dream.
There are a lot of light hearted, funny moments between Bri, her family and friends which balance out the struggle and worry of everyday life.
This novel really is brilliant at showing the confusing choices presented and the emotional strength it takes for a young woman to remain authentic and respected when coming up in the industry.
It’s been International Women’s Day today. Have you done anything nice or supportive for a special women or yourself today?
I’ve done lots of little selfcare things. 😌
Even if you don’t have any women in your life, you can support women’s charities or RT important feminist issues and news (both good and bad) on your social media to spread awareness.
I’m also looking to buy more auto-biographies by inspiring women with powerful and wonderful life stories. The last autobiography I read was by Tina Turner, who has had to deal with abuse and chronic illness but who has also had an amazing career and has found love later in life.
Any suggestions for autobiographies?
I have to give a shout out to the character of Tank Girl who, back in the day, was the only young woman (fictional or IRL) who’s style and attitude I could identify with. She taught me it was okay to not act ‘girly’ and look ‘pretty’ and that it was also okay to be confident, or blunt and to kick-ass sometimes!
Which strong women have inspired you in your life?
When it’s not possible to pile on anymore topping 😁
My tea from Zad’s Vegan Takeaway
Hotdog – odd little pieces of red stir-fried onion, okaaay 😐 but loads of spicy BBQ seitan pieces (to bulk up the skinny sausage), mayo and jalapeños, which tasted lush as a whole but I really missed having a big pile of soft, brown onions
Curly fries – who doesn’t love a curly fry!
ZFC – spicy fried cauliflower, so much like popcorn chicken
This time two years ago I posted the photo below to Instagram and said I was having a girly-night to myself and made it sound so positive.
What I didn’t say was that I’d had to go on Just Eat to find somewhere local which sold food and beer/wine because it felt like an overwhelming physical AND mental impossibility to go to the local shops. I was so hungry and really needed something to cheer myself up too.
I’d gotten into the habit of not getting (dragging myself) out of bed until 4.00pm (sadly after it had gone dark) so I hadn’t seen daylight for five days. I’d stopped being bothered to get dressed or comb my wildly frizzy hair or to tidy up.
The bloke had to be elsewhere and he was so stressed and busy he really needed to get on with it and I was trying to be as supportive as poss. But I was on my own all week, until weekend and felt really lonely. But I also felt guilty and silly bothering him.
I realise looking back that the Depression had crept back but at the time I was kidding myself that I was having fun enjoying not having any responsibilities or structure.
Ironically that is exactly what helps me, as it stops the endless days and nights all blending together. Plus someone to bounce my thoughts off so they aren’t swimming around in my head and growing more negative and repetitive is vital for me.
I wish I’d put an honest caption on Insta about how I was feeling at the time or told my Dad or my bloke how I felt. BUT I’d been fighting for decades to have my disabilities and chronic illness recognised and to get on ESA benefit so I could rest at home all day. I felt guilty that I wasn’t now happy and thought I must be being ungrateful or overly-dramatic. But actually, when you can’t or aren’t doing much, whole days and nights alone can seem like an eternity.
After doing this on repeat for about a month (literally just living for the weekend when my bloke would be able to come back basically) I phoned him in floods of tears.
We talked for an hour and worked out a better way of doing things and it made a vast amount of difference to my mental health.
There isn’t always a reason though. Sometimes clinical depression can hit you for no reason at all and that’s perfectly normal, not your fault and just as valid.
If you are feeling crappy or apathetic to stuff you normally love doing or are struggling to keep your head above water, please don’t fool yourself you are ‘fine’. Admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling okay and then tell someone else, even if it’s just one other person (i.e. a considerate family member, a friend, an empathetic friend of a friend or your GP for instance) IRL or online.
You don’t have to be fine all of the time and forcing yourself to try can do more damage than good. Being open and honest about your feelings can lift a huge weight.
The Hip-Hop Chip Shop has gone mobile! They are parked throughout February at The Carlton Club in Whalley Range, Manchester.
We decided to book on their pop-up website (which I now think is mostly booked up) to make it easier ordering food from their pop-up van. You can visit the van but you might have a bit of wait so (as they advise) wrap up warm!
This is the Vegangstarr Sausage Meal
Skin-on chips; Mushy Peas; Battered Sausage and Tartare Sauce; with a side of Battered pickled gherkins and a Chocolate Brownie by Lush Brownies (Chortlon) for desert.
They also have a battered halloumi meal if that’s more your deal.
The fact that people peel potatoes when making chips now amazes me. Battered gherkins have some real bite to them in texture and flavour. The inside of the sausage has a soft consistency like sweet potato pakora but it tastes exactly like a chippy sausage – whaat?! The choccy brownie is perfection.
FYI This is enough food to last me for my tea tonight and breakfast and dinner tomorrow.
I was having a very Dyspraxic day (knocking everything over/dropping everything/getting stuff tangled up/bumping into stuff/tripping up/behaving more drunk than when I’m actually drunk!) so upon arrival to his flat, my Bloke surprised me with (gluten free, dairy free) Mac n’ Cheese to cheer me up.
I spontaneously dropped quite a bit of dosh (a rare thing for me) on these Docs ages ago but I have no idea what to wear them with with!
Some suggestions have been a) 80’s Hair-metal b) 90’s Girly grunge/Riot Grrrl teaming them with a floaty short dress c) Sexy grunge teaming them with a leather/denim mini or skinny jeans, which I guess plays into suggestion a.