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February Antics

Well March is here already, can you believe it? This year is just flying by, it will be Christmas before we know it. But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s plenty of time right? Anyways, back to the point, March is upon us which means it’s time for my monthly catch-up and the first part of my New Years Resolution, as for the second part, I didn’t go anywhere to take photo’s per se but there was plenty of opportunities to do so, and if you’re lucky I might even show you a couple 🙂

So, what happened in February? Well, for starters I (I should say ‘we’ and include the wife in this one) became aunties again 🙂 My brother’s girlfriend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and lucky me got to meet her before she was even 24 hours old.

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I also took part in a photoshoot with the wonderful Tom Dingley who is working with Arachne Press on a project called Outcome.

“The concept of #Outcome is to show that LGBT people can grow up, come out & still be the same person they’ve always been and that they can still be what they’ve always wanted to be! There’s a rich and varied life out there for LGBT people, they just have to make their own way in the world like everyone else! #Outcome is a great way of showing that there’s a myriad of opportunities out there for everyone – so dare to dream big!” – Taken from Tom’s website.

If you want to find out more about the project, get involved or pledge some money to help get the book published then take a look at the following links:

http://www.tomdingleyphotography.com/project-news/project-brief/

Outcome

February also means Valentine’s Day where everywhere you go there are hearts and flowers and every business offering some sort of deal to try and entice you in, even if it has nothing to do with love at all, Valentine’s Day has gotten so commercial. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Valentine’s Day and having an excuse to spoil the wife rotten, not that I don’t anyways but hey, I guess I’m a sucker for romance. This year we decided to do something different, we made a plan to not make any plans, we would just get up and see where the mood takes us.

I did make a secret plan to get up and make the wife breakfast in bed. I went for heart shaped vegan blueberry pancakes, I also decided to make her some vegan peanut butter cups: she used to love the Reece’s one’s but they are not vegan. I have to admit they went down a treat, I didn’t get many of the chocolate cups though lol. My mouth is watering just thinking about these, I may have to get back in the kitchen again.

So, after breakfast we headed out into the world with no plans. We headed towards the River Thames, a nice romantic walk was on the cards?, but decided it was too cold so ended up at the National History Museum viewing the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. A fascinating show with some amazing photo’s, I would love to have a photo there one day. We had to eat and so found ourselves in Leicester Square at our favourite restaurant, Chiquito’s and before we knew it we were sitting in the cinema watching Deadpool – no idea how that happened 😉 Overall, a very successful, and enjoyable, day considering we had no idea where we going/what we were doing when we left the house.

I was also lucky enough to win a pair of tickets to the baby show so I took my sister and my other gorgeous niece. We had a fab time, got lots of freebies and bargains and I even got to sit in a giant high chair. I think I had more fun than the niece judging by this pic lol.

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And, last but not least, a 1982’s greatest hits all-nighter at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square. I love this nights, you turn up, in your pyjamas, around 9pm and you leave around 8am the next day. 12804724_10153291618386962_3953003431421349618_n

So, overall a fab February. Bring on March and all it has to offer!

 

 

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New Year’s Resolution – Broken Already?

At the end of 2015 when everyone is making their new years resolutions I was struggling to come up with any that aren’t the usual eat healthy, get fit etc when this blog came into my mind. I realised that it had been quite a while, years in fact since I had written anything and so henceforth my new years resolution – write more blog posts, preferable once a month and due to the fact that it is now February already – already? what happened to January? it only seems minutes ago that the wife popped the cork and sent a waterfall of champagne halfway across the room – anyways I’m getting distracted, where was I? Oh yes, new years resolutions, I’ve broken mine already, oh well, maybe I can make up for it by writing two this month, what do you think? Or maybe I haven’t broken it, maybe my plan was to write them at the beginning of the month for the previous month? If that’s the case then I’m right on track.

So January, what happened in January? Well, I went vegan for a start. I took part in something called veganuary, where lots of people go vegan for a month. You can find more details about that here.

http://www.veganuary.com/

I said to my wife, who is already vegan, that I would do it for the month (be vegan that is, get your minds out of the gutter people) but there is no way I will be able to continue it full time, I love my cheese and eggs too much to give them up completely. Boy, do I have egg on my face, pun intended, as I have to admit that I was wrong, so totally wrong. My wife is already vegan so most of the main meals I ate at home were vegan anyways – she does most of the cooking. So, it wasn’t that hard to make the leap, being totally honest I didn’t really miss the dairy, it was a lot easier than I thought and so going back on what I said when I decided to take up this challenge, I can, and am going to do it full time, I am giving up dairy. Aside from the fact that it’s a lot healthier, and I did feel better health wise than I have in a long time, I can sleep better knowing I am doing my bit to help stop the suffering off animals. If you are thinking of going vegan yourself and/or want to know more feel free to ask me or click on the link above, it has lots of tips and recipes to get you started.

Another resolution I made was to take more photographs, more nature and wildlife photo’s to be precise. I finished my college course last year and haven’t done much since then so I have set myself a challenge to go out at least once a month with my camera. I went for a lovely walk around Barnes Pond near where I live and then along the river Thames and around my local reservoir. I had been told there were some Egyptian Goslings at the pond so I wanted to go and see if I could get any good shoots. Here are two of my favourite shots I took that afternoon.

If you want to see more of my photography you can find me at:

https://www.facebook.com/Amy-Withnall-Photography/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/crazyaimz/

An open love letter to my wife

To my beautiful wife Anya,

Firstly I want to say Happy Anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already, where has the time gone? I still remember when we first met: me, the shy ‘straight’ girl and you, the older butch lesbian telling me would get married one day. Oh, how you used to make me blush just by looking at me, not so easy now is it sweetie? 😉

Ok, I had it all planned out in my head what I wanted to say but my mind has just suddenly gone blank, I can’t remember it lol…

I’ve been trying to write this for 2 days now but being at Blackpool for the weekend it’s hard to find the time. All I really want to say is that I love you, more than anything and you make me so happy, more happy than I ever imagined I could be and for that I want to thank you… Ooh you’re back now, better put my phone away ;-p and carry on with this later!

The day you asked me to be your wife was by far the best day of my life (apart from this day one year age when we got married, but that goes without saying) and I really can’t believe how lucky I am to have you in my life.

You are a truly amazing, wonderful, beautiful woman and I still sometimes can’t believe that out off all the millions of people in this world you chose me! This past year together has been one of the best of my life so far and I’m looking forward to the many, many more wonderful years we are going to spend together. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for us 🙂

I love you to the moon and back. Your loving wife… xoxoxox

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Anya Nyx: Writer, Author, Maverick

As today is World Book Day I thought I’d tell you all about my favourite author and my wife.

Anya writes for both adults and children and has previously written poetry, plays, lyrics, articles, and short stories. Her first novel Escape from the Eleventh Dimension is now available to buy.

ImageEscape from the Eleventh Dimension

By Anya Nyx

When fourteen-year-old Tom Bell wakes from his pleasant flying dreams to discover his friend Maya standing in his bedroom in a state of panic, nothing can prepare him for the phantasmagorical day that is about to follow. Both his and Maya’s parents are missing and when the friends set off to search for them they are swept into something much bigger than they can ever imagine. UFOs, ghosts and future worlds are only the beginning as they set out on a journey through time and space and as they soon discover, it is not only their parents that need saving but the entire world! Will these friends be able to escape from the eleventh dimension and save the world in time?

Recommended age 12+
ISBN: 9781782990215
Total Pages: 342
Published: 7 December 2012
Price: £8.88
Excerpt from Escape from the Eleventh Dimension
“Excuse me, do I know you?” Tom finally asked.
The other boy wore a knitted jumper with a collared shirt underneath. His trousers were neat and looked freshly pressed. His shoes were shiny any polished. He looked Tom up and down and then he turned to Maya and spoke, “I am so sorry to have to meet you both this way.”
Maya was taken aback. The boy’s voice sounded just like Tom’s too except that he was more composed. “Why are you sorry? Who are you?” She asked.
“My name is Thomas. Tom knows me but he doesn’t know it. Do you Tom?” The boy looked at Tom solemnly. “Not to be rude but it’s not a pleasure to meet you.”
“Charming,” Maya retorted sarcastically, “Pleased to meet you too.”
“You don’t understand. It’s a bad omen. We are not supposed to meet face to face – EVER -. Doppelgangers are not meant to cross paths– we are seriously out of alignment.” Thomas said turning his head away. He lifted his watch to his ear and listened closely. He dropped his arm down and turned to look Tom straight in the eye. “Do you know what a time paradox is?”
Escape from the Eleventh Dimension can be purchased from:

http://www.feedaread.com/books/Escape-from-the-Eleventh-Dimension-9781782990215.aspx

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Escape-Eleventh-Dimension-Anya-Nyx/dp/1782990216/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362670331&sr=1-1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-from-the-eleventh-dimension-anya-nyx/1114021769?ean=9781782990215

What other people have said about Anya’s work:

“Written for teens but a great read for adults too. The author’s vivid descriptions bring the characters to life and draw you into their magical world(s). In addition to being a thoroughly enjoyable read, this story teaches the younger reader about empathy, loss, friendship and trust. Most of all though it’s a fast moving adventure which is hard to put down. Aliens, ghosts, talking animals and parallel universes – this book’s got the lot!” – Flossy – Amazon Reviewer

“This book is well worth the read, It keeps you coming back, couldn’t put it down.

So well writen you can loose yourself in the imagination of the Author’s word’s.

Suitable for all ages.” – Thehumans.org.uk – Amazon Reviewer

Anya is currently working on her next novel, Palace of the Butterfly Bird which is a psychedelic love story about a lesbian photographer. If you would like to find out more about Anya and her work (I highly recommend you do) you can find her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/anyanyx777 or over at her blog http://www.anyanyx.com/

Can we really trust the police?

A while ago (sometime before Christmas I think) I was out with the family, we were in Pizza Hut, when all of a sudden there was a commotion and a man came running through the doors followed by a group of other men chasing him. I immediately jumped to the conclusion (as most people would I presume) that this guy was in trouble and had come into the restaurant for safety, he had yes but he was being chased for a veery good reason.

As he ran into the restaurant he went and hid behind one of the waitresses and teh grup of men following him told the manager of the restaurant (at least I think it was the manager but that’s not the point here) to phone the police and not let this man leave as he had just punched a woman in teh face outside the pub and gave her a bloody nose (he was covered in blood), he didn’t deny this and went to the back of the restaurant with the anager where he called the police, the guys following him waited outside, incase he tried to leave I presume.

After hearing this I have to admit that I secretly wished the guys had caught him before he managed to reach the restaurant. Now I do not advocate violence, not at all, but after witnessing my mum go through domestic violence for a number of years when I was child I can’t find any sympathy for guys who do this (or for women who do it to men either, or in same-sex relationships) I’m not proud of wanting this guy to get a piece of his own medicine but when you’ve witnessed what I have you sometimes can’t help the way you feel, even if you know, deep down, that these feelings are wrong and that by giving this guy a beating they would be just as bad as he is.

Now, that’s not really the point of me telling you this, the point I really wanted to make was what happened after the police arrived! There were quite a few officers that turned up (i’m guessing because they had been told the perpetrator had been chased by a group who were now waiting outside the restaurant. Some stayed outside, and from what I could see, they were getting information from the chasers who I’m guessing we’re more than happy to tell the police what they knew. Two more came inside the restaurant to arrest the guyand it is what happened as they were taking him out (in handcuffs I will admit) that really prompted me to write this post.

Where we were sitting meant that they would have to walk right past us as they left the restauraunt. I couldn’t help but notice as they were leaving that the police officer who was leading the guy out was laughing and joking with him like they were best buddies (admittedly I didn’t hear what they were talking about but the officer certainly wasn’t treating him like he had just bloodied a woman’s nose) and I have to admit that that incident really made me angry! And if I’m right (this bit is just speculation though) I’ll bet he was just given a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again!

Aren’t the police supposed to be here for our protection? To protect us from violence? To make sure that people get punished properly when they have done wrong? After witnessing what the police were like when my mum was going through this I can’t say that it suprised me one bit! I recall many a time when the police were called to our house in the middle of the night and what did they do? Absolutely nothing! Told ths man to calm down, they wanted to take him away and drop him off somewhere else – and of course he wouldn’t just come straight back would he? They did take us to my nans house but not once did they arrest him even though it was absolutely clear he was the one in the wrong! Why should a woman with three young children have to leave the house and the violent drunken man be able to stay? Doesn’t seem fair does it?

We’ve also seen a lot of evidence lately, especially during the student protests, of the police not behaving very nicely, attacking and beating up innocent people. It just seems to me that the police can’t be trusted anymore. Now I’m not saying that all the police are corrupt and bad but just that I can’y say I’ve seen any evidence/had any personal experience of that lately!

Will we ever be truly equal??

A few nights ago I was out with the wife in one of the many ‘gay’ pubs in London. It was fairly empty when we first went in but as the night wore on it started to get busier (it was karaoke night) and at one point during the evening I noticed that there were a lot of straight people inside the pub, I would probably say the ratio was 50-50!

Now I’m not saying that bothers me at all, in fact I am quite glad that straight people now feel it is safe for them to be in a gay bar. As long as these people are behaving themselves and are not being homophobic or causing trouble then I have no objections at all I mean we do want full equality right?  What I am saying is we have bene fighting for equality for years now and even though we are getting there slowly it sometimes seems to me that we are fighting for the straights to be equal in our world (the bars, pubs etc) but it is not so equal the other way round. I mean I wouldn’t feel comfortable (or even safe in some places) going into a lot of the straight clubs around the country: I just wouldn’t be able to be myself! I have even been turned away from a straight club before because I was wearing trousers and a shirt!

Other area’s where I’ve found this equality thing isn’t quite equal are the many pride festivals that take place every summer. Brighton is the one that sticks out in my mind a fair bit. The year before they started charging at Brighton I can’t say that I really enjoyed the park event too much. It was way overcrowded and full of drunken straight teenagers trying to cause trouble. Again, I don’t object to people who identify as being straight from attending these events but they should be there as guests of gay people only, not in big groups who are just there to have a laugh at “the gays” and treat us as if we were animals in a zoo that they can point and laugh at! Some people even went as far as to say that we should add the letter “S” to the LGBT so that it would include straights as well. Now, if we do that why bother having these pride events at all? If everyone is equal why would we need to celebrate and have these marches? That’s right, because we are not equal yet, we are far from it!

It’s the same with the so called “women-only” bars, they are not women only at all, men are allowed in as guests etc. (Just to clarify, I am not a man hater, there are many men in my life who I love dearly, and guess what? The majority of them are straight).

Is it too much to ask to have just a few spaces/events where I can totally be myself, walk around holding my wife’s hand and not have to worry about being started at or have names shouted at us as we walk past. Is it too much to ask to not have those two straight blokes sitting in the corner making lewd comments as you walk past about why all the lesbians look like men?

Write a letter from your 2013 self to your 2003 self.

Saw this question somewhere I can’t remember now but thought it might be interesting to give it a go…

Write a letter from your 2013 self to your 2003 self.

Dear Amy,

I am writing this from ten years in the future.  What I am about to tell you I am fairly sure you won’t believe but trust me (I am you after all) all of this is 100 per cent true.  Right now you are looking forward to your 18th birthday and already starting to decide whether to have a party or not, don’t stress about it too much, everything goes great and you have a fantastic night, even if you get a little (ok, a lot) embarrassed at times. Ok, here goes, here’s the big news I want to tell you: you are gay! Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking, I am you after all, that this can’t be true, that you like boys, want to get married and have children. Well, you will do this but it will be with a woman.  You will meet the most amazing woman ever, eventually fall in love with and marry her (well when I say ‘marry’ it is actually called a civil partnership – gays and lesbians can’t get married yet but that is something we are working on). It takes you a while to come to terms with and admit to yourself you have feelings for this woman but if you want my advice act on those feelings sooner, it’s going to happen anyways so why not just have more time together?  There’s no need to be worried about how the family will take it, they already know anyway and just want you to be happy (which you will be, I can promise you that). So to finish off I just want to say enjoy the next ten years (and the rest of your life) be true to your feelings and everything will work out.

Love you in 2013.

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