Showing posts from September, 2012

Whats the real story about breasts for the media?

Ok I admit it. I have been a bit angry this week! And that's because there has been a great deal about breasts in the press last week. Our media is almost as obsessed by them as they are with tales of the royals...and of course one of the stories had them both. I guess we aren't surprised that the Duchess of Cambridge has them? Are we ? Is it legitimate to photograph them and publish them without her consent...I don't think so. But that's not the big story for me. This week a petition was launched to end page 3 in The Sun .3 . When I last looked it stood at over 30,000 signatures. By people who believe that showing women in this way diminishes all of us, male and female. It seems bizarre that we are still having this debate. How can women be seen as equals when popular newspapers portray them like this? But that's still not the big story for me. THE story about brea

Cara...its Irish for friend

I had a dilemma about the title for this blog. Because I recently watched a TED talk called " Before I die I want to " which I really wanted to write about. My dilemma was if I call it that people will think I have had bad news, it's a breast cancer blog I write after all! And I guess the fear of dying before our time is the shared theme for many of us. But another theme is the sharp focus it gives on what you value in life. What in life you treasure most. I have touched before on my bucket -or my personal favourite -the "f*** it" list and I know that when the chips are down top of my list is time with those I love... my family and my friends. What I loved about the talk is how the project in a very simple way brought a community together. And not only did it come together but they heard each others voices and enriched their community though it. Wonderful. Again it illustrates the power of hearing the voices of communities to build a future. I d

From the coal face.....

I come from a mining area in Fife, not the area of pretty fishing villages or world leading universities. Its the one of chronic unemployment since the loss of its industrial past and with a legacy of serious and chronic disease from working in them. It's statistics are lost in the much larger challenges of the West of Scotland but  poverty in all it's  guises is no less of a reality for many communities there. But why am I telling you this now? Well recently I attended a reception in the Scottish Parliament hosted by the Scottish Council of Voluntary Sector ( SCVO) and the important point was made that voluntary sector , with it's foundations in geographical or communities of interest has an important , crucial role to play in shaping future policy and strategy for change. But that role is sometimes not valued or allowed and the voices left unheard. And it reminded me of a local tale from the village I grew up in. A decision was made ,before I was born , to build a mi

Not a glamorous as a shark bite.

                     "Wisdom is simply pain that has healed." Oh ok I admit it, I have been a wee bit obsessed watching the Paralympics and also fascinated by the individual stories of the athletes. One young man, describing how he lost part of his leg,  explained it was because of meningitis when he was five. Not as exciting as a shark bite said he.....I laughed with him as he said it and admired his attitude. Even more as I watched him win his gold on the track just 13 years after his amputation. And the photo of him hugging his Mum, says it all about how challenging his young life has been and the important role she has played. But I have kept coming back to those words , not as exciting as a shark bite. So true of most illnesses. Often they aren't glamorous they are just hard , unpleasant, painful, distressing and in the main we hide that bit away. We don't want others to see it, we put on our brave faces, we say nothing. We are tempted by a more

Going for Gold.

"To overcome difficulties is to experience the full delight of existence".   Arthur Schopenhauer In the same week I got advice on the physio to improve my back problem I have watched the Paralympians challenge themselves in quite extraordinary ways. From those whose disabilities from birth have meant they have always had the challenges integrating into a less than understanding world, to those whose lives have been absolutely changed by devastating events,  they exude courage and grim determination. I am awed and like many , moved by their passion to exceed. The games give them a goal, an opportunity to challenge their situations and really reinforce that message to the world;  see the person not the disability. They can teach us so much. There is undoubtedly a mind set that helps them achieve but also I guess an ability to read their bodies and know when and where to push and when to adapt or ease off. I know my own challenges are so small compared to thei