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A drag queen with bright pink hair and long earrings smoking a cigarette with her hand on her hip wearing a black dress, lightly lit with a dark background.
Taken from Pexels

First of all, I want to say, how awesome is this image? There are so many ideas connected to it that I’m sure it could be used in a lesson exploring personality adjectives, fashion, entertainment – the list could go on. There are now various image websites which have diverse images for professionals to use, so do check them out – in this case, I’ve used Pexels but there are others – that’s not the focus of my post today.

I haven’t posted for a while because I’ve felt myself getting overwhelmed with what is going on professionally and it’s started to affect other areas of my life. Don’t get me wrong, what I’m doing is important (just like you, who are reading this, are doing important work and making plans). I suppose what I’m trying to say is that we need to remember to take a break. Yes, there might be deadlines, but if you find yourself getting overwhelmed (like me), you need to stop for a bit. Last week, my head was everywhere, filled with plans, professional responsibilities, training commitments, campaigning, as well as supporting my OH with, what is turning out to be, a challenging new(ish) job role. Last week I felt a little lost, even with my regular #stetwalks.

This week, I feel clearer – I feel I’ve compartmentalised my different responsibilities into different areas of my brain – trying to switch off one section so I can concentrate on one of the others. There are many exciting things in the pipeline, and although I may not show it outwardly, I am excited.

In keeping with the theme of throwing inclusion and diversity resources out there and giving thanks to Beth Cox’s course, here is another one.

There are many different words which can be triggering to some people, and these are words that many of us use on a daily basis, without even realising that they could be triggering. Now, disclaimer: not everyone will be triggered by these words and phrases, but I think it is important to realise how affecting they can be.

This post on the blog autistichoya looks at some of the words and phrases that I referred to above. If you do have a look, read through the introduction first as it is a very good disclaimer and shows the reasons for the post.

And now, while I’ve got your attention…

You might have seen me bleating on about Virginia Woolf – and this is probably the reason why. As part of my campaigning, I’m a member of the Virginia Woolf Statue committee and we’re fundraising to erect the first, bronze life-size statue of her in Richmond. Above is what she will look like when in position, although slightly higher up on the riverside. It’s clear that there aren’t enough statues of women commemorating real women of achievement – just look at the Mary Wollstonecraft controversy – yes, it’s created debate, but possibly for the wrong reasons – and our statue isn’t nude.

The campaign featured in the Guardian and other media, which has boosted the fundraising. We’re also having an online celebration of Virginia Woolf and we’ve worked hard to get creative people involved – we’ve got Mark Haddon, Deborah Frances-White, Frances Spalding, Sarah Gristwood to name just some of the writers, alongside comedy, theatre and song sections. It’s on Saturday 12th December from 7-9pm GMT and tickets cost just £10 – please do consider buying a ticket here.

Failing that, our donation page is here – just a small donation would be great, but if you know of any companies or business owners willing to part with £5000, they can have their name/company name inscribed on the back of the statue.

You’ll also notice that my book was written to coincide with the statue campaign – and it’s still available.

I’m immensely proud of the work I did to create the book and well as the work I’ve done on the statue project. I’ve done talks on the book for local societies as well as schools, and for me in the last few years, this has been terrifying – even the book launch at the Richmond Literary Festival was frightening – so this is why I’m proud it’s out there.

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