Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane

On Wednesday I picked up a new book from the library despite telling myself I wanted no new books for a while. But I just had to read The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. I've like Neil Gaiman for a few years now. Sandman is epic and American Gods was a brilliant read. But it was reading Amanda Palmer's blog about the book which made me really want to get it.

I am so glad I did.

I will try my best to talk about it without spoilers. It should be easy to do. You see, what is good about the book is not the story. It's the feeling I was left with afterwards. I felt sad and a little bit lost. I felt like the teenager I was an still am in many ways. This book left me remembering every time I had felt lonely or scared. Every time I had felt small in the face of the universe. Every time I had felt that I knew nothing and everything at the same time.

When I finished the book I cuddled up to my husband and laid my head on his chest just so I could hear his heartbeat. I needed to be grounded. I needed to be pulled back into my present and away from my past. Because, for me, that is what this book is about. The past. Our individual pasts. It doesn't matter who the book is about or what happens to them. This book could be about each and every one of us and how we felt as a child, as a teenager and even as an adult. It's about when we felt small.

There is so much more to say about this book but I don't have the language to do it. There are not words enough to describe it's beauty. You should go read it for yourselves. Now.

I'll be here with a hug when you're done.

Friday, 9 August 2013

A Rainbow of protest

It's been a while since I blogged but there is something I want to talk about. I say talk but I mean shout. I mean get on my soapbox and berate the world until it listens to me. But I know that is not the way to go about these things so I will talk.

I will talk about Russia and their new laws banning the promotion of "non-traditional relationships". We keep hearing stories of violence, intolerance and bigotry happening in Russia. And what do we do? We give them the 2014 Olympic games. 

Now forgive me if I'm wrong but hosting something like the Olympic games is an honour. It brings revenue and a certain amount of status to your country. It is a sign of support for your country by all who take part. So why are we rewarding a country that is marginalising part of it's population?

The first 2 points of the Olympic Charter read thusly:

1. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the 
qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism 
seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good 
example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development

of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the 
preservation of human dignity.

I don't see how the IOC can say they are upholding these ideals if the games go ahead in Russia. 

So now to the protest part. I would dearly like to send a message to Russia that the above is not ok by inundating their embassies with Rainbows. The rainbow insignia is effectively illegal in Russia now due to it's association with LGBT rights. So I'm calling all knitters and crocheters, all sewers and cross stitchers, all artists and sculptors. Anyone who can put crayon to paper. Make a rainbow, make several, and send them to any and all embassies. Send them daily, weekly, whenever. Here is a list of all the addresses.

To send directly to Putin the address is 23, Ilyinka Street, Moscow, 103132, Russia. It must be addressed to the President of Russia or the Presidential Executive Office.

Spread the word!