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.

Friday Feminist Ramble: Three

What the hell can I possibly say?
What is there left that hasn’t been said before, what of our struggles are somehow different than they were 100 years ago?
Yes, we may be allowed to vote, but that certainly doesn’t mean we are being represented. I am perhaps more represented as a white, hetero girl.
But black girls, latina, transwomen, most members of the LGBTQ community? All Governors worry about is where they wanna pee, or what country they arbitrarily were expelled from a birth canal in.
Whilst rights get slashed, whilst our elderly have their meals taken away from them, whilst women and the poor have their healthcare removed, whilst they sit with your tax dollars covering their care.

What else is there to say?
The world is in a sad state.
I always prided myself on being British, not in a nationalistic sense, but what our “values” had always represented of the fact my state was a “welfare” state, that Medical was paid, that nursing homes were paid, that being without a job didn’t mean you are without a meal, that being ill didn’t mean your life felt meaningless, now it is the world in which a private business can sue the NHS for losing a contract.

It would be easy for me to blame Trump for everything wrong in the world, hell he has been responsible for  SO FUCKING MUCH, but it is a sickness that is spreading around the world.
Europe used to feel safe and a bastion for acceptance and goodwill, but with separatists getting more emboldened and Brexit and the uncertainty, even here things are starting to feel lost. At least as a Brit.

I am aghast, but I am not defeated.

I shall continue to write, eventually I hope, with fresh words, that have more meaning, I will continue to be opinionated and loud and “Brash” I will always #resist,  I will always march. I will always be for all women everywhere, I will always be feminist, I will always be egalitarian and I will always be a socialist Liberal girl. I will always want what is fair.

Perhaps this isn’t a rant, more a” Friday Feminist Introspection” but alas, I am but human.

This is all I can really say on Trump et el at this point, just be strong, I am here, I will be loud, I am an ally.

Reach out wherever you can, I promise I shall respond.

Much Love,


Mini Musings: Wednesday Edition on Thursday

I got caught up in International Women’s Day.
I tried to avoid the anti-female rhetoric a great number of men posting on social media and talking in the streets of this country care to engage in.
Tried to focus on my female positive and feminist husband
and the cider he brought home for me to share with him along with a bunch of flowers and my favourite coffee,
In a show of solidarity with me on this day when men take great pride in attacking.
More simply just a man bringing his wife flowers to make her smile.

I deliberately held back posting this until the day here had officially passed.

To those men:

“Feliz Dia da Costela do Homem*”( Happy day of the rib of man)
Is disgusting
It doesn’t make you a “Homem Tradicional”( Traditional Man)
It makes you a dinosaur
a pig
a disgrace.
To a specific man, I know
You have a daughter,
Grow up.

To all my sisters around the world

*Reference to the biblical story of Eve being made from Adam’s rib

Endometriosis and me: Part one

I dread the turning of every month, I dread feeling that little stab my fallopian tubes give me to signal “Your eggo can get preggo.”
My ‘period incoming’ bell begins to ring and I rush to complete any tasks both professional and social  I may have outstanding in the next ten days.


The word I first heard associated with my uterus aged 19. Having begun my period at the ripe young age of 9, I had at that point grown used to the profuse clotting, bleeding and pain that came along with each of my periods.
Constant iterations from my aged, male GP offered no solution to my life-ruining monthly visitor.
“You are young, hormones are raging this will even out”
“Try this, three times a day, during the worst days of your cycle let me know if it makes a difference”
Prescription after prescription, I would have preferred my teenaged self not to have to swallow.

I had assumed this is how periods were for all women, A painful, dreadful monster it was my lot in life to withstand because I had drawn the XX card in the genetic lottery.

“This is to be a women” I had been told, Normally by well-meaning middle-aged men or baby boomer women who either had never had to deal with a uterus of their own in their lives or whose uterus had long since desisted in its monthly shredding and for whom their uterus was but an abandoned first home of their now-grown offspring.

I am not bitter you understand, but at my now nearly 28 years of age, holding back against 18 years of “It can’t be that bad” has gotten me done, just fucking done. Most women do struggle for 8-12 years to get any kind of diagnosis, so I guess for once in my life I was right on schedule.

Aged Nineteen, I was taking an antibiotic that seemingly interfered with my birth control at a time I was beginning a new relationship, with all the sexual vigour that entails. I became pregnant, it was unexpected, unwanted and confusing. For the three years previous, I had been struggling to reconcile the more catholic parts of my upbringing ( on the part of my grandma) with everything I now knew about myself, my politics, opinions and agendas. I was a completely pro-choice, feminist liberal, moreover, I was an atheist.
My Grandmothers death when I was 16 had the most profound effect on me that hasn’t been seen before or since.
She had been my mother, friend, competition, teacher and moral compass.
For these reasons, the typical teenage confusions of feeling and hormones, the struggle to reconcile with myself and my overwhelming feeling for the 27-year-old father I didn’t go through with an abortion.
The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and the repercussions of my indecisiveness travelled with me until I was 26, in fact only 6 months ago was I able to say out loud
“It was for the best, you need to live your life!”

One very unexpected ‘perk’ of carrying this pregnancy, however, was that for around three years my endometriosis was seemingly “cured,” I had no pain at any point during my cycle besides some light cramping on the first days of my period and a few clots. Finally, I was having the periods I had always heard about. Functional ones where I could be a member of society, work, socialise, shower, eat… LIVE!
It began to be believed perhaps I had been misdiagnosed, perhaps I truly was “growing into” my period and this had all been a mistake.

One afternoon mid-2012, I began to have the strangest rumbling and cramp in my abdomen/pelvis, now a distant memory, endometriosis didn’t cross my mind, a parasite did, endo did not.

I had a very sudden, very real need to either poop, vomit or give birth, dashing faster than I ever imagined my portly frame could muster I ducked into the nearest bathroom with relief etched upon my face.
Diarrhoea, comforting diarrhoea that proved I wasn’t about to be the next feature on ‘I didn’t know I was pregnant’
“Must have been something I ate?” I told myself as I quickly recounted every morsel that had passed my lips in the last 48 hours.
A sobering recollection of quite how much of a gannet I am.
As my bloating and cramping grew, I began to consider going to the E.R. Fits of overwhelming heat followed by soul-freezing cold, convinced I could feel the parasite burrowing deeper into my intestines.
It was there on my bathroom floor, dripping with sweat, naked and fetal that I felt the first globule of this new era of endometriosis in my life.

I was barely able to leave my bed for 4 days, considering with each passing hour how much time I could sit on this sanitary pad before I would have to muster all my strength to move to change myself and clean up this mess.
Once making it to six hours before I was overwhelmed with sitting in cold dampness and the smell of rotten clotted blood and also having left a sufficiently large blood-print of my ass on my crisp and new white marital sheets. A blood print I would live and sleep with for the next two days because the effort required to move to change and launder the sheets honestly, made me want to use my sheets to hang myself if nothing else.

Long suffering Ren, bless him offered to help me but the effort required to transport my bleeding mess from the only comfort of a fetal position to an upright human on a couch literally felt like the longest few feet in the world. Marathonic proportions.
Eventually on the third day and both sides of the same bed bloodied and arse-printed, I armed with 2 chocolate bars, diclofenac tablets and cream, weed and three simultaneous heat pads moved long enough to allow a sheet change and mattress provisions to be made ( Old towels and old sheets and replacement mattress protector were needed)

Thus re-begun the monthly disruption of an otherwise relatively successful life. I was writing as I always had, as I had always wanted, I was free and outside of the corporate machine and my art was mine alone.
I was living in the peace of the country, with nothing to do but write and live happily. Alas, I could not, more and more my days were consumed with cramps and discomfort, bloating a desire to eat everything in the house then not want to eat anything for three days because my stomach was turning inside out.
“I’m on warm milk and laxatives, cherry flavoured antacids” became my life.

This disease, illness affliction tom-foolery whatever you wish to call it, overtook my life with such ferocity I was powerless to resist. My writing leaving me was the cruellest thing endometriosis took from me, my body after 15 years of constant battle had given up on me and wanted to rest, shut down and barely functional we skulked back to the city for job opportunities I would never be able to take anyway.