Jan 8, 2015
Dec 30, 2014
Dec 29, 2014
A simple blog where I will keep track of my penny pinching ways whilst surviving the War on Poverty waged by the Coalition Government.
Much of my focus will rest on food and cooking because I really love stuffing my face with delicious eats but I very rarely have enough money to eat out, or to buy fancy ingredients.
I'll also document my move away from London in search of affordable living.
I am 29 years old, a three time university graduate, and I am unemployed. I survive on £72 a week Job Seekers Allowance, and with this money I am expected to look for work 40 hours a week, have access to a telephone, a computer, the internet, print my CV, travel to and from the jobcentre and various interviews, and maintain a work appropriate wardrobe ready for an immeadiate work start. Oh and I have to eat, heat my house, wash, socialise and top up my rent.
To put this into perspective, I top up my phone £10 a week, thats phoning jobs, advertisers, recruitment agencies etc... I go to the Job centre once a week, thats £4.90, I pay electric, gas, and internet at my house, thats £17.5 a week, and I top up my rent £3.60 a week.
That leaves me with £36.40. To eat, to travel to interviews, to buy clothes and toiletries etc... Thats £5.20 a day. It is madness, it is my life.
Dec 22, 2014
Aug 20, 2014
Aug 4, 2014
"Faith begins as an experiment and ends as an experience"
One day I was feeling particularly contrary and I decided to challenge my beliefs, my 'faith' in science and technology which was based on a 'reasonable belief' that what people told me was true. I can't even do long division so if a scientist told me XYZ I would believe it. I realised that in my case, this was the kind of blind faith I criticised in religious people. I decided to nosey around this religion thing and test myself.
I was so anti-religion that I never expected to convince myself of anything other than religion was a bunch of hocus pocus for people that needed comfort and that I am just terrible at maths.
In the end I had earth shatteringly spiritual experiences that shredded my atheistic beliefs, of course I didn't reject 'rational thought' and modern science (I still can't do maths) but I realised that there was so much more to the world, so much more connecting us to each other and to the earth and that went beyond numbers.
I used to scorn those door knocking Christians when they said 'it can't be explained, its just faith' as the stupidest thing you could ever say but actually, when I feel it, when i touch that spiritual experience, it cannot be explained, it just is, and that's HOW I can believe in God (not the bearded guy in the clouds mind you).
So that's HOW I do it. I was stupid enough to pull the rug from under my own feet. I suppose what I was trying to say with the maths metaphor was, if someone does something crazy with Maths that is just way beyond your comprehension, you don't immediately think 'oh they must've made that shit up because I don't understand it and I have no point of reference to know if its true' which is what I did with religion. Once I started learning about the reference points, I started to get it.
A question I always like to discuss with groups I'm teaching and studying with is the classic Jewish question: Does faith inspire (religious) practice, or does (religious) practice inspire faith? In my case I went though the practice as a non believer and came out the other side unexpectedly changed.
Anyway, here's a brief answer to a question you probably weren't really asking but its the truth as I know it and as I feel it.
Aug 3, 2014
After several months of back and forth with the case worker and continually being humiliated I lost my temper, started crying and the manager came. The manager told me that there was a 'blocking system' that would make my name and gender change invisible. At the time it seemed like the perfect solution.
Jun 22, 2014
Jun 21, 2014
Feb 20, 2014
Feb 10, 2014
Dec 8, 2013
Nov 24, 2013
Nov 23, 2013
Nov 20, 2013
Oct 24, 2013
Amazon Mp3: http://tinyurl.com/oe3hzg8
An Interview with Zachs & Krieg.
Why do we need a special song just for TDoR?
Josephine: There are so many reasons that I wanted to be a part of a song for TDoR. There are some experiences that are so difficult to express through language, that sometimes art, music and song, are the only ways to really get across what we mean. I am at a loss for words sometimes when I think of why TDoR is needed and what it stands for. I don't know how to express the feeling of fear and isolation one can experience from a culture that can be so hostile to trans people. Sometimes it is hard to reach out with the sense of hope that I really do have for our communities.
I want to express that, and I think this song does that. And more than that I think a song can sometimes reach out in ways that other mediums and media can't. My hope is that this song will be heard outside of our communities. Perhaps express our stories, our fears and our hopes to the rest of the world and help people understand what we are trying to do with TDoR.
Max: What better way for us to reach out to people all over the world? Music transcends borders and cultural barriers. It travels on the air, it can be hummed and passed between people, it can be played quietly on headphones or blasted from the roof.
One of the things you will notice when you attend a TDoR event is that when the victim's names are read aloud they represent every language, every continent. We want our message of survival and hope to be shared by every Trans* person wherever they may be and a good song can go anywhere!
For me it was also about Trans*people creating their own culture, if we're going to have a song played at a TDoR event then that song might as well be by a Trans* person.
What inspired you to write this song?
Josephine: Well my friend Max wrote the song. What inspired me to sing and play it with Max was that this story rings so true to me. It is a sadly all too common experience that is given form here. Event though this is Max's personal story, it could just as easily be mine. And I think it could be many trans people's stories. Something I share with Max's story is also a sense of hope, and care, and a desperate wish to help ourselves and other people understand and survive. If this song does anything, I hope it speaks to that.
Max: You have heard the saying 'Take it one day at a time.' It's a nice idea but when you are convinced you'd be better off dead and thats its only a matter of time before someone kills you or you kill yourself a day feels like a really long time. I got to a point where instead of one day at a time I was surviving minute by minute, I would say to myself "That's it I can't take anymore, even one more second is too much" and then I would fight back, I would count to sixty, I would survive another minute in spite of myself. Then I realised that if I put on a song I could get through several minutes. Your average song is around three minutes and that's where the idea came from "I'm going to keep you alive for the next three minutes" was my way of reaching out to people I had never met, people who I knew where out there somewhere, staring at their hands thinking "I can't take anymore." It was my way of saying me and you, were going to have this song and we're going to get through the next three minutes and if we can do that then perhaps we can do even more.