Tag Archives: me

Voting and why I do it.

I have mentioned before that I read this book around the same time I became a teenager.

It is the story of the fight for women’s suffrage in the USA. It made me aware of the countless hours women of many generations worked so hard for to get the right to vote some suffered horribly in vile prisons and some even died.

Women in Ireland did not have the Vote until 1928.
Yep 1928 which means we have not had the right to Vote yet for a 100 years.

Suffragettes including our most famous ones Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington seemed to think once women had the Vote the world would be radically changed as we would be then equal with men and able to change laws and make the world and the country a fairer place.

While I think if those brave ladies were to travel forward in time there are many things they would be pleased with but I do not think that the level social change and ‘equality’ would be something they would be happy with.

Women having the Vote did give us a certain amount of power but as we all know well now it was not the Pancea for all ills the suffragette had hoped it would be. But that does not mean it won’t be as we move forward and with the internet making it easier for us to communicate and collate information, making an informed choice and being informed on whom to vote for has gotten easier.

Every time I get a polling card with my name on it I think of the women who dedicated themselves in the fight to get women the right to Vote and didn’t live to get to Vote themselves. 86 years of having the Vote, I don’t think women have done enough with it. The old boy’s club is still very much the way things are in our houses of parliament. We deserve better.

I am refusing personally to vote for any candidate who is not pro choice to some extent. I will never give a preference to any candidate who considered women like me to have committed murder. I will never give a preference to a any candidate who does not see the need for a separation of church and state esp in our schools and health care system. I will never give a preference to any candidate who does not see the need for a comprehensive universal sex and sexuality education program in our schools.

I have had people ask me why bother, well that just means things stay the way they are. Often less then 55% of the people who are on the electoral roll turn out to vote and we have people who are eligible to vote who are not even registered to do so. If there is a low turn out in an area, which politicians can tell, due to the numbers being low then they don’t feel the need to work so hard on the issues being raised in those areas. You want to make a difference, get active, get informed and vote.
It is a lot easier to do so now, then it was when women first got the vote in 1928, it’s easier now then it was 50 years go even 20 years ago.

I Vote because I believe I have an honour and a duty to do so. I have never failed to do so in the last 21 years and I hope I never do.

Ladies who lunch? Part 1

So over the last 10 weeks my daughter has been in a Mindfullness program aimed at teens, to help them figure out their emotions, triggers and find ways to deal with a range of things, from negative thought patterns, panic attack, temper outburts. While the teens have been attending the 90min sessions some of us parents would go for coffee or lunch and chat.

The parents I did this with all turned out to be mothers, rather then fathers as it’s still expected or easier for them to get time off work to do bring their children or else they are a stay at home parent due to the extra care their child needs.

It was nice to spend some time with them and to exchange war stories, to know my kids ‘weridness’ is actually pretty normal for kids on the autism spectrum. Over the 10 weeks we laughed, cried, shared and reached a certain comfort level. Our last ladies who lunch session was this week. The topic of teenage sex and sex education and the pressures on teens to become sexually active was trashed out over lattes, tea and sparking waters.

The point was made that it’s not really that different from when we were teenagers and they started disclosing how old they were when they lost their virginity. This was the end of my feeling included and the same as them. I don’t even define virginity in the same way, or even sex it seems. I had to decide would I be the only one who didn’t share, should I share but only speak to part of my sexual history which was similar to them perpetuating bisexual erasure or would I flat out say my first sexual partner was a teenage girl like I was.



So I took a deep breath, while no one said anything mean or biphobic, some were startled, and there were a moment or two of silence. No one asked questions, but then the topic was swiftly changed to if anyone was going anyway over the summer holidays and how difficult doing that is with children who don’t cope well with a change in routine.

It was a few moments discord in what had been 10 weeks of all just getting along, but it still happened. It’s been said that we never stop coming out, but I can see why people stop, as it can make life easier. Maybe I just need to go to lunch with a different type of Ladies.

Blowing off the cobwebs…

It’s been 6 weeks from my last entry here, it’s been busy trying to enjoy what was left of the summer holidays with my brats and getting them back to school. I’ve gotten to the stage where I miss writing. Often I had ideas and even started to parse them in my head but I just didn’t seem to have the will to sit still and write. Time to change that and get back on the horse.

Bigger on the inside.

This, this is art and sharing and why I <3 her work so much and respect her as a person as well as an artist. This had me sobbing quietly and willing myself to stay to the end and listen, rather then fleeing to cry where no one could see me. As I did, those people around me who I am blessed to call my friends, gently touched me to let me know they were there, but not in a way which would make me falter.

When she was done I fled to the ladies and sobbed my guts out for 5 mins and then went back to sing and laugh and dance. The last two weeks for me have been wonderful, I have been happy, I have been content in my own skin, no panic attacks, I have been feeling in charge of me and my life. Twice I have felt awful, that flash which reminds me that I had not been that way for a long, long time.

I was enjoying myself on Thursday with abandon, no cloud to struggle against, no dampers on me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and then this was played.

I am bigger on the inside, other people see it, I haven't been able to.
But I know so many wonderful people, I got and gave amazing hugs to 50 people on Thursday alone.
The last two weeks have been so healing for me.
I am blessed and I know that I am bigger on the inside.

Blog for Choice day: I had an abortion.


Today is Blog for Choice day, and people all over the world will be writing blogs to as the site puts it “gets more people reading and talking about reproductive rights” I know that is what this entire wordpress site of late has been about.

So really it’s not surprising that I got involved last year with the new level of activism about abortion in Ireland. It’s been online engagement, writing, meetings, plans, demos and marches. I was at the meeting which saw the naming of the new Abortion Rights Campaign. I have been a small part of the process of making that happen and will be involved.


I was there with about 150 other people all of whom are pro choice and listened to the speakers and contributors. We heard about how the Aviva stadium holds 50,000 people and 3 times that number of women have traveled to the UK for abortions. We heard about that for everyone of us who have stood outside the Dáil protesting there are 1,000s of silent women and some thing inside me snapped.

Before abortion was legalised in France and Germany 100s of women came out together and said “I had an abortion.”

I think we need Irish women to do that, but I would never ask someone to do something that I would not myself.
So I addressed the meeting and asked to speak as a woman who has had an abortion. Stated that I was happy the campaign was to use the word abortion and that we need to break the taboo, end the stigma and we need women to be able to say I had an abortion, and so I addressed them all and said “My name is [Sharrow] and I had an abortion and I only regret that I had to travel”. The response was nearly over whelming, but I kept it together and didn’t start sobbing. I quietly tweeted what I had done as I had been live tweeting that part of the day.

I had so many people say to me that day in person that I was very brave to do that.
Why should standing and saying I had an abortion in a room full of people who are pro choice, who are there to fight for abortion rights be brave?

It shouldn’t be.

I had people respond to me on twitter and by text message saying the same, all being supportive but time and again saying I was brave but I don’t think it was about being brave, it was and is about being fed up of being talked about as a statistic.

I am 1 of the 150,000 women who traveled to have an abortion.Each of us is a person with hopes, dreams and rights. I hope that more Irish women will be able to step forward and say ‘I had an abortion’.

Tori time.

Some days need a little bit of Tori time in them to lift the spirits and make you think.

Her music has always drawn me in but it is the lyrics and layered meanings which keep me coming back, it’s musical poetry, it’s a story, it’s conveying complex emotions. I never got ‘pop’ music which didn’t do that growing up, I wasn’t a brosette or or a boy band fan.
Music which has meaning and makes you think was and still is what I like and many of the
bands I listened to while my peers were drooling over the twins and the other one,
like the sugar cubes, the cure, the smiths, the stunning I still dip in and out of.

Tori came a bit later and it was not under the pink which really hooked me but boys for pélé with it’s richness of sounds and range of instruments.

Some of the tracks were recorded here in a church in Delgany.

I do believe that certain types of music will change the way I am thinking and can be good for focusing the brain, the same way Mozart is said to have that effect on kids
certain types of music can move you through your day and help your brain switch track,
and some days need to have some Tori time in them.


My daughter is now bespectacled.
She had been having some difficulties in school and I knew she has a slight turn in her left eye or stigma which mirrors my own esp when she is tired, so we had the dreaded chat and prepared her for going to the options and having to wear glasses.

She had a dentist appointment earlier in the day which was just a check up and cleaning and then on to the opticians. I found that I prepare her for such events in the same manner that I do her brother. The same running through what will happen, answering as many questions beforehand, explaining what will be acceptable behaviour and make the process easier for then they are in a place they have not been before.

All of which means they both thankfully tend to be cheery and confident and ask only a small amount of questions and focus on what they have to do, which makes things easier on the person examining them and the trip less stressful over all.

It is also fun as a parent to see thing from the point of view of the wonderment of your child as they have a new experience. I was also 9 when I first had to get glasses and I remember by parents doing their best to make sure it was a positive experience for me.
I wanted to do the same so that getting glasses wasn’t a negative thing but just a thing which some people have to do.

Yes, they are, Pink!. There was some difficulty with getting a pair in Pink to fit her as she has it seems a wide head which made finding a pair that fit properly and comfortable an issue to begin with never mind a pair which is Pink. But it was managed with the staff at Vision Express being very helpful and as she likes them and how they look on her, she has been told if they have to be replaced due to her breaking them or being lost then I get to pick the next pair for her.

So far she has had two days in school with them and they are making a difference and thankfully she only has had positive comments from classmates and teachers. Her Dad on discovering she is shortsighted like me did comment that it was my fault but bless her she was swift to correct him saying it wasn’t my fault it was just my and her genes and she may have gotten cool things from having my dna not just short sightedness. I do how ever hope that she will ‘grow out of it’, but the same was said of me and it didn’t happen, so we will see.

Timing is everything.

I started up this blog about a week ago, finally fed up and disheartened with the broken and lack of functionality of the outdated version of wordpress which was running on journals.ie and the fact that it was honestly not a priory for the boards ltd tech staff as they were tasked with sorting out the main site and honestly it’s good that is the way things are esp when things like today happen.

So I got out and got the data files from the old blog roughly 5 years worth.
I do intent on transferring the files to here if I can find away to do it, journals.ie exported it all as 1 rather large XML file which is 4 times the size of the limit for uploading to this blog and this one is looking for WRX file, oh the joys.

But hopefully there is a way to do it, and hell I may even learn a thing or three trying.

I will miss journals.ie but at this stage only myself and on other were regularly using the site and I miss how it use to have blogs by a lot of people I got to know on boards.
Not everything someone wants to talk about can fit in even one of the numerous forums on the site and most of what they posted was well worth reading.

I’ve never done the blogoshere thingy, it’s very odd at times and can seem very cliquey from the outside looking in, I have used live journal for a similar amount of time but that again was a different group a different community and most people in the Irish Gaming community. So I don’t write here to get notice or acclaim I write here mostly for me, things I want to say and things I want to remember and look back on.

Which I guess is why I clung on to the journals.ie site for so long, there I have scrap booked so much of what was going on in my life and what I was thinking about certain things and I didn’t want to have the hassle of trying to put it up else were.

So what will be up here, as the title of the blog suggest what ever I get passionate about, things which interest me, irk me annoy me, and information on things which other people not knowing does my head in so that I can point them to them. I guess with the zip file on my desk top and journals.ie being down and the gods only know when it’s coming back it is what has forced me not to think of here as a replace me for the other one but this is now my new scrapbook and rant space and after 5 years I wonder what the next will hold and what I will write about.