I was a guest on the Crippled Stomp podcast

Last week, Shabaaz Mohammed invited me to be a guest on his intriguingly named podcast Crippled Stomp. Always keen to talk all things disability, I said yes.

We had a great chat about white men failing upwards, abuse in ATUs, the French far right, having EMDR for PTSD. Amongst much, much more. The article I discussed is here.


The transcript below was auto-transcribed, so expect errors.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of crippled stomp. Today we have another guest. Oh you and Pippa will introduce yourself over the paper.

Hi everybody, I’m Pippa or Philippa either goes, not pick that like that. But I’m Philippa Willitts I am a freelance writer and editor, and I have done a lot of disability rights campaigning and feminist campaigning and LGBTQ plus campaigning.

Right. Just to get kicked off right. I’ve good luck to you and yourself. Okay, and I have a couple of questions, obviously, what kind of work. If I was to ask you, what kind of writer you are, what do you devise.

It’s a slightly complicated answer because I’m, I’m freelance I’m self employed, and so I kind of do a bit of this and a bit of that but generally, my writing can be divided into two areas. One is what I call commercial writing. So a company might want to blog on their website and they’ve not got the time to write it themselves so they hire me to write that for them. And the other kind of writing I do is journalism. And in my journalism. I tend to write about social justice, but generally at the moment. That tends to be focused on disability rights and LGBTQ issues.

Right. He already did. You know that’s one kind of writing that I’ve never done, I’ve never worked on scripts, either writing them or anything them. I also don’t write fiction which is unusual in a writer I do sometimes proofread and edit fiction, but it’s not something I write myself. Why do you think that is. I don’t know I like, I don’t know because I enjoy reading fiction, you know I read plenty, but I just prefer writing nonfiction and opinion, and reporting really journalism, what, what journalists do you admire. Oh that’s a good question. There’s a number, there is a writer in America called s.e. smith, and they have been writing about social justice issues for longer than I have and I’ve been doing it for quite a long time. And I always look them up, if I see them on Twitter that they’ve published something new. That’s something I always look at there’s a writer called Sian Norris who has done some really good feminist writing reporting. Yeah, I would also there’s a writer who perhaps politically I’m not aligned with what he’s writing I enjoy is Marina Hyde at The Guardian she does some very good columns.

Yeah, in terms of disability writing TV versus Ryan is a good writer. Yes, I think she’s the Guardian, yes Francis is great. Yeah, yeah, without question. Yeah. Good disability. Dude, this is a guy who does some stuff for the BBC called Alex something. I caught him. I’m so bad with names. Often I will read something and think that’s great. I’ll make a note of that name, and then the name falls out of my brain. Until the next time I read something by them and think they’re really good I should look them up again, doing your part.

A little birdie tells that. I mean wrong. But why did you stop doing that, um, we, it was a freelance writing podcast, and it was great fun I did it with somebody who was another freelancer. And then a few things happened, we partly we’ve done it for quite a long time and it was a lot of work as you will know yourself. It was a lot of work, and then the other person I was doing it with went on maternity leave, and we just never picked it back up again when she was back at work and now that’s somebody, I am not in contact with anymore.

All right. So would you, would you be interested in doing a podcast again.

Absolutely. Yeah, I’m obsessed with podcasts, I listened to them constantly. My phone is always playing a podcast to me. And I have thoughts of doing a disability one i Excuse me, I am looking into also stopped potentially starting a social enterprise. And if I go ahead with that, I, I imagine, which will be mental health related. And if I go ahead with that I imagine there being a podcast related to that as well. Alright, the city.

What have you lost episodes. All right, with the Indian journalist, oh we do yeah yeah in 2014 I think he was. That sounds about right. And I thought that was very interesting.

I did too and you know that conversation show writer. Yeah, that conversation changed my work a lot, because what we were talking about was, in, in the freelancing world, there are a lot of freelance writers based in India, and they tend to have quite a bad reputation. People think you pay them very little they don’t do very good work, whereas Mridu came out of India, and said, I’m as good as someone in America so you can pay me as well as you’d pay someone in America.

And what she’s talking about in that episode was turning something that some people would see as a barrier, turning it into an opportunity. And so for her that look like saying to somebody at the New York Times where you don’t have a reporter in India but I’m here. So I’m the best person to write this for you.

And we talked about it because I, up until that point, I think it was 2012 when I started freelancing. And I had been very wary of being openly open being open about being disabled. I thought that people would not hire me. I thought they would say oh she won’t be reliable or she won’t be good enough if they knew I was disabled, but that conversation with redo who now goes by Natasha. Made me, we think, and I started being a lot more open about the fact that I was a disabled writer.

And what happened was exactly what had happened with her, which was that rather than losing work. I actually got people approaching me specifically because I was disabled, and saying, We manufactured this particular disability product, will you write for us about it. And so, yeah, that that episode that conversation with her shifted the path of my freelancing and it means that being a disabled writer is much more central to my work now which I much prefer, as opposed to kind of trying to hide it, which never felt right.

Well, I’ve got a list of all the episodes of that case, I learned what I was thinking was like, you know, he’s interesting you say that because, like I have a disabled person right.

I buy don’t want to talk about disability all the time. Cuz I get fucking bored to the teeth of it, you know, yeah, there’s more to me than my disability, and my ethnicity, you know, actually means. Yeah, just get sick of it really.

Yeah, it’s a very good point. And I think if I was only writing about disability, I would feel exactly the same. I think the fact that it’s kind of one of three or four topics I write about a lot, means that it feels more balanced, it feels more like, you know I’m not just being a disabled person. I’m. I have more strings to my bow than that.

But equally, I think because my writing about disability is often in journalism. It feels like. Whereas, going back, 10 or 15 years, my way of changing the world was going to demos and going to protests and shouting. These days, I feel like writing about these things is more the way I’m currently trying to change the world.

And do you think is changing.

Oh, I worry. Well, I worry that things are getting worse for disabled people in this country, I think. Austerity has been devastating for disabled people. And then when you add COVID on to that. It is just awful. That is so much to worry about. Equally, I think, other things are. I think some people’s attitudes are improving, but I think the structural stuff is possibly getting worse.

I said I’d be boring by, I would agree with that. Yeah. But the only thing I would add to that is, authoritarian goolden have yet, as well. This slog made David Cameron look like pussycat.

Yeah, that’s frightening frightening people. But I suppose you could say he paved the way for the most polls, yes, I would say so and certainly what he did with Nick Clegg with the Lib Dems in coalition and the stock, because obviously benefit was starting to get more restricted by the Labour government by the end of the Labour government, but then it was the coalition wasn’t it that really made the most devastating cuts, yeah, yeah.

You provided me with a super link they’re based in Sheffield, if I’m correct, right. I feel a bit early.

Yeah What a disappointment he turned out to be. He was the hope of the country wasn’t and certainly at the city. He campaigned a lot in the cars we have two universities in Sheffield, he campaigned a lot around there, because part of his constituency is a very student II area. And obviously made all the promises about abolishing tuition fees, got a lot of joke, not jokes, that’s a Freudian slip that way.

And then I remember there was such like celebration, when, when he was doing really well, and then I think it was 12 months later, 12 months after the election, where the coalition was formed. The Lib Dems held their conference in Sheffield, and there was such a massive demonstration that the City Hall had to be basically boarded off to keep us I was at that demonstration from London delegates and that people were furious, including me, and that shift from celebration to hate, took a year if not less.

He’s kind of failed upwards, right. Yeah. Yeah, he’s to Facebook.

Yeah, I, some people, I don’t know if it’s a white man thing. Just do what you like and you carry on succeeding. Yeah, just, it’s just crazy. And him and George Osborne. He also fed up with. Yeah, yeah, I believe he’s not at the Evening Standard anymore but he got some other quite high profile, something. Probably. Probably. And they all pay, Robert.

And the other thing was the day Craig lost to a disabled person, he did, Genoa, who he also turned out to be a nightmare in his own way. he was called Jared, O’Mara, I think nobody expected him to win. And so he was the Labour candidate in Nick Clegg’s very safe seat. And he, it was so unexpected that he won that they had to delay, announcing the result so that somebody could go to a 24 hour Tesco and buy him a suit, so that at least when the results were announced, Jared O’Meara would be wearing a suit, so somebody went found a Tesco bought him the suit, got him dressed and then the results were announced.

And yeah, it was promising a disabled guy in Parliament, who, you know he was young he could have been really promising. He was on the equalities committee I think and then things came out about sexual harassment and he wasn’t turning up a lot and, yeah, he’s, he’s long gone now. Live completely kind of unrelated, but I’ve just thought I’d share it anyway. Well, he will say that I knew very good politician or Murphy Weaver. Okay, who was really big and he was governor, state as one of the many can say that can’t remember which one, But he, he fell from grace has to even start at 32 bit is a bit weird to people. Hello. Word is we have these things happen and then they go through syllogism sounds like this is decibels.

Yeah, yeah. And there was stuff from someone uncovered, like some forum discussion from years ago where I think he’d been, this is back to a Mara I think he’d been homophobic and maybe racist and, yeah, I think be, I don’t know whether labour thought will. It’s a seat, we’re not going to win so we don’t need to put too much into vetting him, or, or if their vetting went wrong, I don’t know.

But yeah, it was, it can disappointing he could have been promising, he could have been a breath of fresh air and it was, it was just a disaster really low, Like, it seems that both politicians really look Obama, for, for a big period everybody thought he could walk on water. I do still like him though

He’s smooth, he’s got going for him. He’s smooth.

Yeah, is smoother than Nick Clegg anyway put it that way. Yeah, yeah.

Yeah, going back to you with your writing. And could you tell me a bit about global common. Yes, global comment is a website that has been around for nearly 20 years, and it showcases the writing of journalists from anywhere in the world. We have a regular writer from Venezuela, a guy in Serbia. People from all over who write about something interesting, that’s of interest to a global audience, but it doesn’t have to be a global story. It can be about something that happened in your neighbourhood, or, or tradition or a custom from your country or anything really. Or, I wouldn’t also there were reviews of films and books and TV and music and that kind of thing. There was not a music review for ages.

Anyway, so I, I wrote that for them a few times as a freelancer and then they offered me a weekly column, which I took up. And so for a good few years, I wrote a weekly opinion piece for them about anything, anything, maybe it was mostly UK politics, or almost specific to disability LGBT feminism, You get the idea.

And then a couple of years ago, after I done the column for a few years, the previous editor stepped down and I was appointed as the new editor Editor in Chief, if I’m being formal. So I write for the site less now. But I commission, and edit and work with writers from around the world. And, yeah, a post goes up every weekday.

And it’s a great site it’s not huge, it’s but it’s really well established and the writing is really great.

And what, wow, what level the FBI to write for that.

To be honest, you need to be able to be engaging, or tell a good story, and some of the writers out there English isn’t perfect, it might be their second language or their third or fourth language. But there are, to a degree that can be fixed by me, editing, so you don’t have to have perfect English, you don’t have to be perfect with your spelling or punctuation, a certain standard makes it easier, but really it’s about being telling a compelling story that’s more important than your technical skills, would you ever be interested in playing an audio clip for that. We’ve technically we have a podcast but it hasn’t, we haven’t had an episode for ages, that’s not my remit actually that’s the one bit of the site that I don’t particularly work on audio clips, possibly, I do something called the podcast showcase, which I should get you on, once you’ve got, oh you have more than five episodes so yeah, where I feature, a different podcast and that just asked a set of eight questions. Okay, for a bit of promo for them and a bit of interesting content for us because as you’ll know podcasts are huge at the moment everybody wants more and more and more of them. So if I can help people find them through that. Then, you know, I’m more than happy to and, and, yeah, there have been some really interesting ones. Yeah.

First off, who you ever wrote, way back, I had a blog, a personal blog in the days when you had to explain to people what a blog was nobody knew. And all I will answer but it was, it wasn’t articles so much as just a bit of a diary I think. So it’s just my thoughts and opinions on things.

And, and then I was approached to join a website called the F word which is a UK feminist website. So I started kind of getting a bit better at it, then because it had a bigger audience, but I can’t remember what the first one was no. All right, yeah. Questions that, you know, but you probably have probably been asked before. Oh yeah, you know, like questions.

People could just read the answers on your blog. Definitely yes I was looking at your plugin says ListView. So please ask us a question. I don’t want to do that. They can just go to the website and, yeah, definitely. So what was the point I was having a conversation. So it is like to visit break, how can we change the world as has to people. How through through the both love our work, how can we change the world.

Do you think, I think.

I think there are many different ways to do it. And I think just two people having a conversation can make the start in changing the world, like we’re doing now. But I also think that because if you get 100 disability activists together. They would all have a slightly different priority or a slightly different focus. And they would all have a slightly different way of working. And I used to do, you know, when I was younger and a bit over enthusiastic, I used to think my way is the way, and my priority is the most important one, but now I think that actually, when you’ve got 100 people doing it slightly differently. That just means we’re covering all bases. Because if my priority. Like today, I was writing an article for a local magazine I write for called now then, because a week or two ago, there was a genome about assessment and treatment units.

Yeah, yeah.

They are places where learning disabled and autistic people who are struggling with their mental health might be sent, and they’re meant to be a short term thing but often people are in there for months or years and become institutionalised. And so they’ve been campaigns against assessment and treatment units for several years. And a couple of weeks ago, the one in Sheffield got a report that found it inadequate in every area. And they’ve been banned from taking new patients in.

And so, yesterday, I attended a group of adults with learning disabilities to talk about how they felt about this place which is called firshill rise, how they feel. Yeah.

So we can name them and shame them.

Absolutely, it’s called firshill rise. And this group of people were very upset and very angry, obviously because while they weren’t in there, they might have been, or, you know people they knew might have been. And so today, I was writing up an article about first hill rise, and when it’s published, I’ll send you the link.

And then, been a few articles in the press about it, but nobody else nobody at the BBC nobody at the Sheffield star nobody at anywhere, thought, let’s ask people with learning disabilities, what they think about this. Whereas for me, changing the world is saying who does this affect the most and that’s these people. Let’s see.

Their voices are the most important in this conversation. So I was. I wrote this article covering the facts, covering all the details but also really featuring these people who should have had the most important voices but actually hadn’t been heard. And so for me today. That was my way of changing the world. And for somebody else, it’s, well you know for me 10 years ago it was yelling at Nick Clegg and I think we have to go with what feels the most important to us. At any given moment and we have to go with what feels the most effective and suitable way. At any given moment and that will change but as long as there’s a lot of us, and there are a lot of us, then I think we’re covering all the bases we need to.

Yeah, is not to be too glib about it but I think partly for me doing this is partly changing the world.

I agree. Absolutely, yeah, yeah. I want to be intensely local and global at the same time. Yeah, so he though, so. So that’s why, why I want to do a survey like this, because I feel like we’re speaking from the bunker. Yeah, and, and the idea, the idea of people in other countries, who is okay for disabled people below it fucking love.

Yeah. Yeah, I mean, the people at first. All rise. Apparently, you know, they’d requested food and drink and hadn’t been given it, they were being restrained. They were using isolation. These are things that we should not be seeing in the modern world, especially when somebody is in a mental health crisis. And yet, this is happening in the happy UK where things are supposed to be advanced and futuristic and they’re just not, and especially the concepts of limited view and all that kinds of those kinds of scandals that have already happened, like something like the size lower.

Yeah, right.

But when I was talking to the people in this group, yesterday, repeatedly, they were bringing up Winterbourne view and a place called Whorlton Hall, which was a couple of years ago and, and none of them I don’t think were surprised that this had happened again I think we all were horrified that it had happened again but, but I don’t think people are really surprised when they understand the context we’re living in, and luck I have to say, yeah.

Yes, well I, yeah. I just did the day came out that there was no real disability plan is grateful for our yellow. Yeah. It’ll be fine. Yeah. Yeah, and like, if what happened there wasn’t bad enough already. Yeah, just horrifying. And I do not feel well but the government level, though, big Disability Strategy today.

Yes, you know, I’ve only seen headlines about it I’ve been aware that it’s there but I, because I’ve been writing all day. I haven’t read the detail, what have you found out more than I have. No, I’ve just said fuel to the headlights. All I could say is I just seems complete bollocks. Why does that not surprise me.

I like how can anybody trust the government the way they’ve treated disabled people over the last 20 years, and all of a sudden, we do a Disability Strategy, where you haven’t spoken to any disabled, about the strategy, and this is a government that a few months ago said, oh, good news, we’re not racist, as the country. And, you know, you think, Oh come on, and so of course I wasn’t, I don’t think any of us would have had high hopes for what this strategy was going to announce, but yeah, I, when I can bear it, I’ll have a look at the detail.

I did a consultation that I was one of the people that filled in, just because I wanted to know what was there, but apparently already 14,000 People feel bad. And then somewhere around 14 million. They will people. Yeah, this country. Yeah. You know, so that just tells you that they did it, It does, it does do otherwise.

So, where did your love for, for French come in.

When I was a kid my parents were both German teachers. Okay, and when I was very little, my dad used to speak to me, kind of half in English, half in German. And, my theory is that that just switched on the language, bit of my brain, the language learning bit of my brain. But for me, rather than German which I forgot quite quickly once he stopped doing that. It was French, I just really enjoyed it.

I was always going to do music as a career, I played the flute and I played the piano but I played the flute a lot better and I was doing really well and then became unwell and it just became clear that I wouldn’t be well enough to be a professional flautist. And it was at the time I was doing my A levels and I had to make a really quick decision if I’m not going to do music at university. What on earth am I going to do. And I was also doing a French a level and I was really enjoying that. And I quite liked the idea if you do a French degree, you tend to do two years and then a year in France, and then your final year. So I quite like the idea of a year abroad. And so I applied to universities to do French without much thought because I was in a panic of I’m not doing music I don’t know what to do. And yet, so I came.

That’s when I came to Sheffield was to do my degree and then I lived in the South of France for you which was amazing, and then came back here to finish my degree, and I’ve been here ever since. So, is the thoughts of thoughts on it’s hard to be then it is, It’s gorgeous. It’s sunny. It’s um, yeah, it’s the only issue where I’m because it was the late 90s When I was there. And I know from just seeing the news period that he that this is still an issue. Is there far right, party, but then National Front.

[Couple of sentences missing]

Look more successful than any of the far right parties we’ve had here, and that the racists in France, mostly object to the North African people so people come from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and because you have Africa, and then the south of France is above, Africa, there’s quite high populations of North Africans in the south of France, which I loved. My best friend there was Moroccan I adore her still.

But it meant that the racists, tried to exploit that for points. And so the prevalence of the far right, politics, they’re worried me. But the south of France itself if you take away the racists and the bigots is stunning.

Yeah, and was selected for that for disabled people in France. i What. Well, I was disabled, Ben, but I didn’t realise he’s, which sounds weird but at that stage I had quite severe mental health problems, and I didn’t have the awareness that that was a disability issue. I thought it was a me.

And I was aware of disability I’d always known disabled people, but I wouldn’t say I was politically aware of disability so much. And so I wasn’t looking out for how France was doing it at the time. From what I remember looking back now, there wasn’t massive visibility of disabled people. But I’m slightly embarrassed to say I don’t know, beyond that, because I just wasn’t aware enough of the issues that the time is okay you don’t have to be embarrassed I was just asking. Yeah, no, that’s a good question.

Um, because, yeah, culturally, there are, there was a bit of a culture shock, which you don’t think just moving one country along, you don’t think there was there was a lot more open, like, by then, in this country, you didn’t really see ads with topless women more, you know advertising a car you wouldn’t have a woman in the bikini advertising a car was in front of still very much the thing. And, yeah, I wouldn’t, I suspect they were a few years behind us. I think they’ve caught up now, at least on feminism which is what I was politically aware of at the time, they were certainly behind on LGBT stuff, because I had come out by the time I went to France and that was weird, there was a lot less visibility of that, so it would fit that there would be a lot less Disability Visibility of disabled people as well.

In that context, asking, Could you tell me about about you, Kobe.

Yeah, sure. Um, I grew up Catholic, which meant that as a, as a teenager when I was becoming aware that I fancy girls not boys. I couldn’t cope with that at all, it would pop into my head and I would push it away, I just couldn’t cope. And then there was something about leaving home, going to a new place a new start. I didn’t know anybody, where I started to think, if I’m going to explore what this means, this is the time to do it. And I was meeting new friends, who were gay or bisexual, and I would see them living happily, you know, with a girlfriend or with a boyfriend or whatever and I would start to think, maybe, maybe it’s okay, maybe you know maybe it’s not the end of the world if I am gay.

And then I started to kind of ease out of the closet, and then I thought it was like putting my toe in the pool and going, this is fine. And then I just leapt in, and, like, all I did for two years was be gay, like technically I was doing classes, technically, doing university but really what I was doing predominantly was everything I did was gay. I went to gay clubs I went to gay meetings I went to gay groups, and it was exactly what I needed. After the kind of negativity around that, that had been in like the culture I grew up in.

Yeah. So did it. Did it feel, Still a prison. Yeah, yeah, yeah, something like that. Um, but it felt like being released out of prison, when, when you’re in prison. You think the outside world is terrifying, and then you’re released and go do you know it’s not terrifying actually it’s fine, it’s great. Yeah. Yeah, it was. He was like, I love it. Oh, massive, massive and I think it’s part of where my mental health problems at the time came from, and was just not just denying this big part of myself but hating it and being really scared of it.

What advice would you give, Then you do you think I would say you are a lesbian, and although that feels like your biggest fear, it’s actually fine. Yeah, this is I would have saved you a lot of trouble.

Yeah, because I used to read, teenage girls magazines. I used to read the problem pages, and occasionally somebody would write in and say I think I fancy girls not boys. And the problem Paige would always say, Don’t worry, doesn’t mean you’re gay, it’s just a phase. And so I think if just one person has had said, you know, you might actually be gay and that’s fine, I think, made a really big difference.

And it sounds like a small thing but for a kid in a town with a very kind of strict religious thing and I very much believed in it. I was very Catholic at the time. You know, it sounds like a small thing but that could have been quite transformative here.

Yeah. You know, in terms of, did you go with the language. Yeah, I got really good at French sadly I’ve forgotten a lot of it now cuz this was 20 something years ago. But yeah, I was pretty good. By the time I got there, and then because I had a lot of French friends, and spoke it. Because I saw some other British and Irish students kind of congregated together and so we’re mostly talking in English still whereas nearly all my friends are French, so I was talking in French, the whole time so I got.

By the end of my year there I got to the point where people thought I was French, which was pretty impressive. But then, you know, I haven’t used it much since graduating so because I oh yeah cuz I came back to Sheffield after the year there, and then had a full on breakdown. So it took me a year longer to graduate. And then I was off sick. I was on benefits for a good few years, mainly mental health related and it was only about 15 years ago that physical disability came into the mix to join that so it was a complicated time.

And as I said I didn’t recognise, depression and PTSD as a disability issue. And it took, I had a lot of self blame about that. I thought I was living wrong. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong I didn’t realise that there was the whole context to it and the world is quite cruel to people, and of course some people struggle with that. And then I became physically disabled and started to understand all of my experiences in more Disability Rights context.

What do you think triggered off your mental health problems.

I think there’s never one thing is there. I think I do think it was partly being gay and hating myself for it for a long time. And there was some kind of traumatic things and just I think it’s just a mixture of what was it about to this country. Possibly, possibly, I did love France, I did love it there. Yeah, proficient, going back to the Great. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Yeah, I just wondered, because it’s always good to talk about mental health because it could help other people, you know, I would definitely definitely a lot of people are very afraid to talk about it. Yeah and it’s very hard to find somebody that’s willing to talk about it. When asking really, yeah. Did you say your PTSD. Yeah.

Yeah. Yeah, I had a traumatic experience. That was just really horrible and my brain couldn’t process it and so just turned into a big terrified blob. So I spent a long time just afraid of everything. And, yeah.

And have you had. Have you had therapy well though, I have.

Yes, I have, um, it did. It took a long time for it to help. I think I had a lot of course, like person centred counselling, which is very much talking things through exploring your feelings and your emotions and your experiences and that kind of thing. And then I got to a point where I thought, I feel like I’ve explored everything and I’m still not right. I feel like I understand myself now, but I’m still scared of everything. And so I was referred for kind of therapy called EMDR, which is eye movement, decent, EMDR II E. Yeah, I movement desensitisation and reprocessing. And it’s a weird therapy, I’m not gonna lie. You think about traumatic things that have happened to you while watching a light move from left to right. Okay, all while having someone tap your knees alternately left and right.

And I heard this, and I thought, what, like, I, why is the NHS funding that that sounds like nonsense. But it was offered to me so I looked into it and it turns out there’s a load of evidence for it. So I thought, well, I don’t know what else to do so I’ll give it a go.

And it turned out. I’m not saying everything is 100% fine now, but it turned out to be immensely helpful in just making me less of a big ball of trauma. I know. Yeah, I’m not constantly terrified of everything anymore. And it’s not that you know if something’s on the news, I might get upset and it might trigger bad memories and that kind of thing. It doesn’t turn you into a perfect zombie. But it just took the edge off, you know, so I don’t know how it works I don’t know why it works, but it for me and for a lot of people it’s really effective.

I was it called again, sorry, EMDR. Yeah.

I was listening to one of your radio with CPS the other day. Oh yeah, you did for Sheffield, oh yeah BBC Radio Sheffield today yeah. He said something very interesting there. One of the things was that either you could like work from home and study then you can think that to say level of disabled people have been calling for a few years, which is true, but was the the way to break up with you and Paul into the world was that the thing I’m scared about is the people that decide policies and stuff. They give home doing everyday though, as the solution in terms of them being, meaning that you will see terbaik everywhere accessible, stuff like that, you know what I do, that’s a really valid point,

I think, for me, it works really well, it. Excuse me. If I had to be in an office at nine o’clock every morning, I think I wouldn’t last longer work. As it is, and especially when I was living with a lot more fear, I was afraid to be out sometimes. So you just wouldn’t have been realistic. Whereas if I can set up at home where I’m comfortable where I’m happy. It works for me.

But that’s not to say it’s the solution for everybody by any means. A lot of people seem to be interested in. Oh hybrid like a hybrid model, where they might say two days a week in the office and three at home or something like that I think I’ve known a lot of disabled people, a lot, who have had to leave a job because they couldn’t get the accommodation of working at home a couple of days a week, and they were frankly disgusted to see how quickly everybody adapted. Last year, too. Okay, everybody’s working from home, as of today, and it was just all fixed and that is unforgiveable but the same companies that a month earlier said no we can’t accommodate you working from home.

Yeah, we’re certainly doing it but you’re absolutely right. There should not be that should not mean that a company that has an inaccessible office can now say, Oh, it doesn’t matter that we’re inaccessible because you can just work from home instead, you’re absolutely right, there’s no it shouldn’t lead to losing rights in other areas.

Yeah. Yeah, because when he was at Lowe’s I would just say hello, I really expensive so there’s still the auction as the value, the possibility of being able to go as kibune If I want to, you know, of course, like I’m a massive introvert so I’m quite happy on my own but a lot of people cannot cope without being in the midst of other people, and a lot of people like they’ve managed to work from home but they hate it and they wish their colleague was next to them rather than on Zoom and oh and I completely understand that we’ve all got our styles of working and our styles of living, and it shouldn’t be that accommodating me means not accommodating you or, you know, Joe Bloggs on the street, yeah, without question the other day to ask, is it would be another way of making disabled people, third class citizens.

Yeah, well, I’m keeping us hidden away as well, you know like in the old days where a disabled kid or be sent to an institution from the minute they were born and wouldn’t ever be seen again. And we must not go close to that. We mustn’t feel like we have to be shot in the. Yeah, I just thought that we should vocalise that, and absolutely yeah put out that as clarify because I just think it is important because, especially when everybody wants to do everything on the cheap. Yeah, yeah. Yes, zero, and then. Level two is to football is cheaper for companies and things.

Yeah, it definitely can be. And because I’m self employed, obviously, you know, apart from the old day where I would take my laptop to a cafe or something and work there for a change of scene. Then the work I do for other companies it all. I’m still self employed, when I do it I’m still a freelancer. But if I worked, you know, if I was an employee, I might look at it quite differently. And as you say, I would think, are they saying yes work from home for your benefit. Are they saying yes work from home, but our benefit. And it’s a different story.

Gather right very fanzines, I never have a nice days I wouldn’t have the confidence that My French was good enough, perhaps, you know, way back, I would have, but, but no, not these days.

And do you have any, like, international, like writing movements that you think everybody should be aware of any international magazines that you want to give a shout out to, obviously, check out global comment.com I think the joy and problem with the internet, is that it’s all there, isn’t it, which is brilliant and awful because we can never see it all. And some of it’s terrible.

What I really like about my journalism, part of my job at the moment is that it’s half global comment which is a very international look at the world, and it’s half now then magazine, which is purely a Sheffield look at the world, and they seem like the opposite, very local, and very worldwide. And I love that contrast, and because I love Sheffield, it’s a great city. I have been here since 1995 and I’m still not bored of it. And there’s always new things, there’s always new stuff going on, and so being.

I’ve only been with Now Then since February. And I’m again seeing it in a slightly new way as a local journalist, as opposed to a national one, which I’ve been doing on and off for years, and an international warm with global comments so I think the key to finding the good stuff is just keep looking, and it’s there and when you find something you like. Follow the writer, or, you know, read more from them and share it with your friends and see what your friends recommend, because there’s so much of it that it’s, it’s impossible to put your finger on really isn’t it.

Yeah, what do you like about Sheffield so much. It’s difficult to define, it’s got a really good vibe and I know that’s a bit meaningless but it just has a good feel about it for me. We all right. Well, I was gonna say we’re right on the edge of the Peak District, But some of the Peak District is within the city boundaries. I read yesterday, I think I shared this on Facebook. But, 61% of the city has green spaces, which I very much appreciate and so I like.

I grew up in a town I grew up in Wigan which is your side of the Pennines, and having grown up in a town, I love living in a city, I feel like I’ve got everything I need. Things are happening comedians come and play here, you know bands come on play here. There’s good campaigning going on, but also a quick drive or a quick bus journey, and I’m in the countryside. So it feels like the best of both worlds, really, you’d like to say to me or to the world.

Finally, I think, just keep doing your thing, be that you are be that the listener, whether that’s your podcast, whether that’s writing a letter to your MP, whether it’s talking on Facebook, openly about your life, whether it’s applying for that job that you’re not sure if you can get what you really want, I think, keep like the world is exhausting, but it can also be brilliant, and it’s when we come together and support each other, that we see the best of the world.

And so, whatever your heart is telling you to do, unless it’s like murder children. Then do it because there’s a place in the world for it I think that’s a good place to end, and it just left for me to say a big thank you to you very, thanks for having me. I was really pleased. Thank you very much. Bye bye everyone. Bye.

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