A Question About Life With Endometriosis


In this journey of being honest about my struggles and my life with endometriosis, people often ask :

“How do you manage to cook and make smoothies whilst having Endo? I really struggle!

The truth is I DON’T manage. Social media only shows you the times I succeeded in getting out of bed and preparing food.

It doesn’t show you all the times all I ate was a cup of instant noodles, dry toast and maybe if I was lucky an apple

Doesn’t show all the times I ordered in because I couldn’t stand up.

Doesn’t show all the times I drank Pepsi by the litre and ate oreos by the box as I cried to myself on my sofa

Doesn’t show how full my freezer is of pre-prepared meals, from days I actually have energy, because sometimes I bleed so heavily whilst preparing food I have blood running down my legs.

Doesn’t show all the times I have tried and failed, all the times I just couldn’t no matter how much I wanted.

NEVER EVER feel like you are failing if you cant do it all!

Never ever feel like you should be living with this disease in any way different than what you are, you know what you can and cant do, only you live in your body.

We are all struggling. Its ok, its all going to be ok, somehow.

Stay strong fellow #endowarriors, I’m here with you in solidarity.


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Dim. . . Dimming. . . Diminish. . .

Considering my current tribulations an interesting and overly coincidental prompt for the day.


I am not dim but wonder if it may be better if I was.
Not in the intelligence sense, but in terms of my spark, the light, I emit, in terms of my opinions, loud mouthedness, feminism, politics, my selfishness and single-mindedness.


I wonder if to save what is breaking I should dim myself and hide.
Not be the “me” I am and worked so hard for the best part of the last decade.

Let your light shine and rise and hide mine as I always did in things between you and me.


Internally yelling at myself….

“ Natalie, that would make you the other kind of dim.”

I will remain and be who I am.
Please try and love me for it anyway.

The Problem with “Nice Guys”

( TW: Will contain themes of sexual assault, rape, possible violence, non-graphically and without detailed depictions of sexual acts and violence)

If the ‘Aziz’ story teaches us anything, it is that there is a problem with self-professed good guys.
They still think a no can be turned to a yes and don’t understand anything about coerced consent.

Assualt like many other things is not straightforward. Simply because a woman didn’t leave, doesn’t mean she consented, because she didn’t say “NO” emphatically enough for you, doesn’t mean she consented.

Just because you didn’t violently assault someone, doesn’t mean you didn’t act predatorily or didn’t violate someone and their boundaries.
Simply because you didn’t penetrate someone does not mean you didn’t not sexually assault someone.
Just because you call someone an uber and say, “hope you get home safe” doesn’t mean, you are a gentleman, doesn’t mean you have any concern for actual safety, just means you are good with appearances.

Just because “I am a nice guy, you can feel safe with me” comes out of your mouth, doesn’t mean it comes from your demeanour, or that you are to be 100% trusted.
It also doesn’t give you the “ In the moment, I didn’t understand” pass.

This whole thing with Aziz wasn’t just a “bad date”, it can’t just be marked down as ” we didn’t click
You should remember, for a guy a bad date or for that matter ” bad sex” is often, “We didn’t click, oh well, there’s always next time. ” Maybe it also leaves you an anecdote or two for the next time you are down the pub.

For women, the best case scenario is ” Thank the lord I didn’t get raped and/or killed tonight.”

We are socialised to minimise and survive, we are socialised that when asked nicely it is impolite to refuse.
We are told not to be a “stuck up bitch” which we don’t understand is a synonym for ” don’t be outspoken, know your place and don’t disagree.”
We are told to, diminish, diminish until we are seen with favourable eyes.
We are taught, that ‘NO!’, can’t ever really be said emphatically enough if you already kissed a guy, or blew a guy.
We are taught that; boys will be boys.
Taught we are exaggerating when we feel violated
Told we didn’t speak loudly enough, but when we do, we should keep “those kinds of things” private.
Taught our clothes made us victims and if not our fear did.

Taught that maybe only once in a generation will we really matter.



Can we tell it how it is? “Christian” isn’t a catch all excuse for bigotry.

The below scenario is based on the family of a boy at a Church of England school in the UK, removing him from school after a classmate returned to school one day dressed in girls clothes (of course, this isn’t the full and true story of a transgendered child, but I am using their words and the words of a number of media outlets I have read in the last 24hrs)

Let us imagine for a moment that your child, upon meeting a transgendered child, comes home and seems confused and maybe even a little scared.

All understandable, in the mind of a child, being confronted with something they haven’t experienced before or an explanation that has made them confused.

Would you A)
Talk to your child, help them understand and answer as best you can any questions they have. Tell them that the Trans child, is just a person who deserves love and respect and that your child has nothing to be scared of, go with them to school the next day and try to foster friendship between the two and be an ally.

Would you B)
Talk to your child, determine that the school behaved badly, go to the school and talk to the teachers and maybe other parents, but remain respectful and show your child through action that everyone should be respected and respectful and that the trans child is not at fault or the thing to be angry at?

Or would you C)
Be disgusted that this “agenda” is being allowed into Christian schools, use your “faith” as a reason to have this child removed or to remove your child, or referred to their birth gender and called their “original name” and further to that contact whoever will listen to “stop the madness” because won’t” somebody think of my traumatised child”
Ultimately going to the media and onto TV, because ” a six-year-old, can’t understand these complex things and this is a political agenda.”


Firstly, you underestimate a child’s capacity of understanding, of empathy and ability to cope with things we as adults struggle with.
Secondly, let’s remember, the person ultimately suffering your wrath is an innocent child, who feels uncomfortable and probably confused in their lives every day, their parents are trying to make their child feel “ok” be their true selves, to stop THEIR child being traumatized and internalizing so much hate.
Let’s remember how brave this child is, let’s remember that any child, male, female, trans or nonbinary, is a child, deserving of compassion


Please, when your choice is option “C” explain to me how you dare call yourself a Christian?

Please tell me how you have managed to forget:
Matthew 18:1-5
Matthew 18:10
Psalm 8:2
Matthew 19:13-14

Me the atheist seemed to manage to recall them all just fine.

Trying to exemplify your Christianity with
“As Christians, we believe that all people are loved by God” just doesn’t cut it anymore. You are not examples of the love my Christian grandma taught me, even in times when things changed and society changed in ways that confused and maybe even scared her. She was love and compassion and strength.

She was a true Christian and should I be wrong and god, indeed even an afterlife does exist, she will be one of the righteous to inherit it all, not you.

On Professionalism and Portugal

I struggle often.

I think everyone does, it is human.

But often I am made to feel that I am just weak and making excuses and you know what, sometimes, maybe I am.

But most often I am not, I push beyond what is my limit on a daily basis and yes my limit is perhaps smaller than yours,
but so what?

Am I less human for that? Am I less an adult?
I struggle with pain management and hormonal imbalance. Some days I am just in a mood and I don’t wanna be but my stupid brain has gone through the washing machine backwards and come out all crinkled and hormonal and bleh. Plus I have my house, cat husband and extended family to think of as well as developing my business and creative endeavours.

Yet, I always strive to remain professional and to remain polite… and it is taxing, because so few people offer me the same courtesy, especially in Portugal.

Professional conduct here I have found to be anything but, there is an unspoken rule if they say it will take 15 minutes, expect to wait 30 if they say it will take 7 days expect it no earlier than 10.

That is an incredibly annoying way to live life, either admit to me you are not going to be able to meet our deadline or give me the 10 day deadline rather than the 7 day one from the start be blunt, don’t play nice and give me the shit eating grin and expect me to smile right back as the shit hits the fan, ’cause that way all that happens is I get shit between my teeth and no deadline met either.

Can you guys just… be professional.
If you wish to be the new tech capital of Europe, if you have set up a “ task force” to poach businesses away from the UK after Brexit, get your shit together, because this isn’t going to fly with lots of companies, especially those from outside of Europe.

I expect professionalism both in tone, performance and general etiquette, as do lots of other people, do not look at me like I am the crazy one and need to relax, look to yourselves, you are the odd ones out. A lackadasical approach doesn’t cut it to the wider world.

In this country, more adults feel a fulfilling career is the deciding factor in a happy life, but lots of people report not being happy.

Perhaps if you became more efficient, took pride in even the most menial job, (Yes you may be assembling a burger in Mcdonalds, but you are feeding a person who is hungry, you are paying taxes and you have a job, you’re better off that at least  30% of the population) and didn’t have to spend hours after work fixing miscommunications and departmental cock-ups everyone would in general just feel better and feel their work life balance exists and their time is well spent.

Apologies for the rant, its been one of those days.

Writing and Coffee

I was never much of a coffee drinker

I preferred tea, hot chocolate and honestly… Pepsi.

As I get older I find myself writing more often than not with some form of milky coffee to my side and I begin to realise.

I am turning into my grandma.

She was always a coffee drinker, coffee with that “coffee mate” stuff.

I would make her a coffee every day,it would be something we bonded over when I was little and a relatively menial task I could do as teen that let my grandma sit down and take a load off.

I would make the coffee and we would sit and watch countdown or deal or no deal or come dine with me.

They were precious after school moments that added so much to my life, I am not sure how I have gone 11 years without them.

I am turning into her, but the question is…
Will I do her justice?

Much like every new “doctor”, the people they are wondering.. ( aside from if they will ever measure up to David Tennant)

Will they do them justice?

I am like her, but I am not her.

For better and in many cases I am sure worse.

Would she be proud of the woman I have become?

Would she take great delight in the things in which I am like her?

Would she be ok with the few tweaks and changes I did to her character? In my own interest, my own politics,my own generation?

I don’t know.

One thing is for sure, every time I say a word with a potteries inflection and take a sip from my coffee, I get an urge to watch quiz shows and talk about race horses and eat cottage pie.

Its one thing of this regeneration I would never change.

The truth is perhaps a little more complicated than that- An Essay


Recently, I have been unabashedly declaring That “ I am a writer that hates to write”, it’s too much work, I wanna float around.
Woe is talented little entitled me.

The truth is perhaps a little bit more complicated than that.

Writing has long been my passion, I mean, truly, I always had notebooks and little scraps of paper hidden inside my other very obvious loves, books and/or CD cases.
Reminders of things to write a poem about, reminders of my otherworldly, world changing wisdom, proof of my own sense of brilliance.
Thinking myself the next great voice of my Generation, if not, at least the best voice from Stoke-On-Trent.
As I ‘grew’ to adulthood, quickly it became apparent that with all the other crap life gratuitously throws at you, whilst it sure makes good material for my next poem or novella, it sure as hell does take up way too much of my time too.

Truth is…
Life IS work.
Love is even harder work.
Throw in the creative, back at school Husband… Well, “Work, Work Work, Work, Work, Work, Work” is pretty accurate.

I don’t hate to write, I really shouldn’t say that. I have to write, It is pretty essential to my existence, I hate that I don’t have time to get to it and when I do, I am so exhausted I fall asleep at the keys.

What I hate, is the tips, the tricks, the encouragement that just amplifies my “failure” and makes me feel like never writing another word.

Yes my ‘writers ego’ is fragile, I am a very good actress of the ‘tortured artist’.

I hate every idea I ever had that held so much promise, that became nothing but more and more aged pieces of paper that withered, ripped or just plain got lost.

I hate every idea I developed for someone else’ dime, at the loss of mine.
I hate that I live in a country, whose language I speak and write, but I can’t be “Natalie” in, I don’t have all the words, all the vitriol and most importantly all the spade-to-the-head bluntness.

I feel like I will forever be the chump writer for hire for the crappy jobs or jobs I pick up freelance via my own little thing because I can be automated in Portuguese and its what is hired these days.

I hate every poem lost that I destroyed in one of my grief riddled fits of rage.

I hate every blog I had attached to my old email and no matter how I try I can’t find them, I wish I was as scrupulous a ‘backer-upper’ back then.

I hate every essay I wrote but felt was too personal… or not personal enough.

I hate my own doubt.

I hate that I allowed my own creativity to go on the back burner to my( admittedly brilliant) husband and I took to caring for him and his process at the expense of mine.

Life, thus far, has treated me pretty fairly, I have been through lots its true, death, disease, poverty the pretty big hurdles of the human condition I have experienced.

I have experienced the great blessings of the condition too, love, laughter, travel, education, passion, acceptance.

All, however, experiences that took me away from my words, took me away from my true love.

Either I am too much in the moment, caught up in the sights, sounds, laughter, sex, booze, movie, music.


I am so deep in a  ‘I hate the world, must eat all the foods’, cycle, that I have no free hands to write in-between ‘fries-in-mouth-stuffage’ ergo my only chance of catching the moment would be if it tried to nick one of my fries.
I’ve cried, I have binged I have held everyone up when they couldn’t anymore, I became a very good copy of my grandma, a role I was bestowed with at the ripe ol’ age of 16.
I have been ok, not been ok and come out being awesome again, or quite the opposite.
But so little of this I have immortalised.

In that life has been unfair.
Mostly, I hate that I am still so bitter about it all, that I had to put in the work to get it out.

But, ultimately I guess I am not a writer that hates to write.

I shall try and rectify it, but we shall see what becomes of that.. I’m a magnet for distractions.