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2017 personal retrospective

This has been a year of reassessment of projects and priorities, personal development, and reshaping of what I put time and energy into. Much of this is ongoing, rather than neatly concluded in time for a new year’s retrospective. But I feel at peace with where I am right now and that I am midway through a lot of current personal projects and reassessments, and that’s ok.

In May/June I had an unpleasant debacle with a flatmate who was moving out. Mostly I haven’t discussed this publicly, and (being a believer in drama minimisation and not dragging people into fights where avoidable) I’m not going to give much of the details from my point of view in this post. However they did decide to bring a lot of mutual friends into our disagreement, lied and misled them* and some did decide to make judgements purely from listening to their side of the story, and are gone from my life. Additionally they weaponised an internal grievance procedure and have (at least temporarily) got me removed in a particularly nasty way§ from the local political organisation (Glasgow anarchist federation) which I have been a member of for 10 years.

Overall I feel super positive about what this has resulted in however. A lot of people were super there for me, and I feel my friendships deepened, and I lost some crud. Like many things that you fear, once you actually are in them, its oddly liberating. They tried to cause maximum damage to me, within the small subculture we share (radicals and queers in Scotland and wider). And that kind of playground politics I hate and dread, yet I actually found an inner strength and peace even in the middle of it. An acceptance that the people and groups who want to believe I’m some greedy landlord can ostracise me as they like, but that I have enough inside me, and wonderful people around me, to keep on keeping on. I feel more free and light because, not despite, the entire fiasco.


The ex-flatmate clusterfuck, combined with a bunch of thinking and feeling about politics to lead to a major and ongoing reassessment of my political activism and commitments. I’m still going through it.

This year has seen TERFs in UK increase their visibility and organising to attack trans rights, specifically the gender recognition act. They had an anti-trans intervention at the london anarchist bookfair and a bunch of nastiness and splits have resulted when even folks who are not anti-trans didn’t understand the necessity of challenging TERFs and removing such oppressive politics from our spaces.

However even without all that, I’ve been feeling a need for reassessment on what I think I should be doing politically. The context is so so dire (climate change, wars, brexit, austerity, racism, militarised borders), whilst we have hopelessness and inaction in the wider class. So I have resolved to spend this externally imposed break from the group I have been most politically active in for 10 years in order to do some reading and thinking and discussing what is useful for me to do now in order both to alleviate some of the suffering in the world as well as challenging the root causes. Climate change is particularly urgent and important but I as yet have no clear idea what to do, and that is one of next year’s priorities.

Open University

I have started studying again, because I enjoy and miss it. Open University courses are fully funded in Scotland and I’ve been loving the level 1 maths course I’m doing, and plan to do more. I am looking at doing various maths, physics and electronics modules, not for any formal qualification (I already have a masters…) but because I love learning.


I am not closeted about my mental health so if you feel uncomfortable reading about such things, look away now!

I have variable mental health, probably related to various traumatic incidents that happened over my life including sexual assaults, 4 months in Palestine with 2 friends killed in front of me, violence of the police / state to me and those close to me, and awareness of horror in the world; the deadly, man-made brutality of borders killing our fellow humans for the crime of being born elsewhere, climate change, the occupation of Palestine, disregard for human life or any accountability for man-made disaster in Bhopal that is still causing suffering over 30 years on.

My GP has been great – very supportive. For several months when I was unable to work due to PTSD he signed me off, and has also referred me for help when I’ve needed it. However even though I rarely have acute symptoms anymore, my life is a balancing act and my mental health is a major reason I only work part-time. Also I suffer from chronic insomnia, poor memory/recall, emotional blunting, and “brain fog”. During Vince and my otherwise amazing LEJOG bike ride in 2015 I resolved to start “feeling” again as I felt like life was happening without me being in it, or remembering it. So I returned to my GP for help. When a short course (12 weeks) of counselling only started to touch on helping me, I was passed on to a more long-term service. Since May this year I have been getting weekly psychotherapy which is open-ended (initial time-frame is 2 years). It has been very intense and difficult and draining. I am super lucky to have amazing support from loved ones during this challenging time.

Psychotherapy reminds me a lot of the physiotherapy I had to have after my 2008 shoulder (rotator cuff) operation and subsequent 3 month immobilisation. I dreaded physiotherapy sessions – it was painful to slowly stretch open those muscles and ligaments in order to regain mobility and function. And like going to a gym, for couple of days after psychotherapy I am drained and achey and need rest.

Its definitely having effects, but I can’t yet see the end result. I can feel that things are happening and changing. I have decided to trust the process and give it time and energy for 2 years. Its a big commitment – I am arranging a lot in my life to make this happen. But the alternative is wasting this only life I have. Also I have the ability to put this time aside because I have some financial and temporal wiggle room after fulfilling my weekly commitments. So here goes!


I have a brand new nibbling! She’s a cutie. I now have four! Thanks siblings! :) Being an aunticle is very cool. This year I’ve had more time with the 4 year old, and the beginnings of building an independent relationship with one of the eldest with whom I had a fun day out. Trouble is they’re all the way down south, so this heavily constrains how much I can see them. One of my 2018 resolutions is to see them more often.

Personal relationships

I continue to be polyamorous with multiple sweeties in my life. There have been some comings and goings during the year, which all feel right and true to who we are. I feel super blessed to have wonderful delicious humans wanting to be close to me <3 <3 <3


Due to weekly psychotherapy I have had to curtail travel plans. I am still managing 3-4 monthly visits to see long-term lover in San Francisco bay area, mostly arranging them for when therapist is away or clinic closed anyway.

I had a fabulous 10 day cycle trip with awesome pal in Shetland over Summer solstice.

Other trips this year have been 2-4 day mini breaks close to Glasgow, eg Arran.

I feel a huge pull to be out exploring the world. Whilst I am having to hold off on that, I am saving into “future travel” bank account so that as soon as I can, I can fly off again! I want to feel the wind pulling me over the next pass, not knowing what I’m going to see next, what’s round the next corner. Free and living moment to moment to feel and experience and see as much as I can.



2018 resolutions / plans

  • See more of my niblings.
  • Continue to read and think about radical politics and what is useful to be doing.
  • Fitness / upper body strength.
  • Continue studying – currently looking at maths, physics and electonics
  • Finally get that ham radio licence!
  • Flat decluttering and address hoarding issues.
  • Continue to commit to psychotherapy
  • Multiple walking/biking/camping trips to explore Scotland
  • Continue to save money into both rainy day and future travel funds. 2017 was the first year I had to raid my rainy day fund (when ex-flatmate fucked me over) and that emphasised importance of having one.




* Ex flatmate claimed I evicted them by changing the locks on the flat. Omitting to say that:

  1. They hadn’t been paying their share of the bills for 18 months
  2. They’d become aggressive with me in April, and when I told them to not shout at me again (by email as this felt safer) they handed their notice in giving 2 months notice and asking me to write a letter evicting them so they could access social housing (I did this but only stated a moving out date, not that they were evicted)
  3. End of May, after I asked them where their share of May’s rent was they told me they were withholding it, leading to major financial repurcussions for me. They claimed I owed them money for the short amount of time they were contributing to council tax, ignoring the 18 months they hadn’t paid anything, nor that they had never given anything for broadband
  4. I changed the wifi password and asked them to stop using my kitchen stuff. A week later, whilst I was at work, they moved their stuff out and were not in the flat for 2 weeks.
  5. Early June, as they had not paid rent for well over a month by this point, and were due to be moving out a few weeks later anyway, and believing they had moved out as they had moved their stuff out, and the huge strain on my mental health that having this malicious person have access to my home was causing, I changed the locks and prepared to move on with my life.
  6. They then told people including my housing association, that I had illegally evicted them.


§ By email I was told I was to be removed from the group, and that the conditions for re-entry were to apologise to my ex-flatmate, and to lose the secure tenancy I have with my housing association. There has never been any criticism by them that ex flatmate unilaterally stopped the mediation process the group had initiated between us and had decided that instead of looking for resolution, they would to try and get me removed from the group for this personal dispute.

Categories: politics
  1. February 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    All the best with the radio licence!

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