Lucy’s Diary (Colwick Park)

I have lived about five minutes in the car away from Colwick Park for the last five years yet I never knew this derelict church was tucked away in the corner. I almost died from excitement when I spied it. The gates are open for you to walk around it and the tiny graveyard.

Really it was quite spooky as the crows were cawing all around. I thought I was at Manderley! I almost had a heart attack when a pigeon took off flapping it’s wings noisily in the silence. But this might have had something to do with me squeezing myself through some railings (the husband couldn’t get through, hee hee) so I could get inside and therefore was worried I was going to get told off by a groundsman who owned the spade in the photo like a naughty school girl.

I will put the other photos from my trip in a later post.

Book Review (The Kings Curse)

First of all I would like to say I am a huge fan of Philippa Gregory’s books. I just want to make that absolutely clear because I don’t like this book. Trust me I never thought I would say that, EVER.

“She’s like an anchor that he has forgotten, but still it keeps him steady.”
Philippa Gregory, The King’s Curse

This book follows Margaret Pole, the daughter of George, Duke of Clarence who was executed by his brother Edward IV. She became a dear friend to Katherine of Aragon and her daughter the Princess Mary.

“heart of England; it cannot be attacked without hurting us all. The king listened to him, listened to every word, and at the end of it he said that”
Philippa Gregory, The King’s Curse 

The problem is I don’t like Margaret Pole but also I don’t think there is a story here. If, like me, you have read all of Philippa Gregory’s other books then you find this one is repeating everything that she has already written about.

“a title like ‘the Lady,’ for those who are too mealymouthed to call a whore a whore.”
Philippa Gregory, The King’s Curse

If you haven’t read any of her other books then maybe you will enjoy this one more than I did. She makes history accessible to everyone, not just the history geeks like me. I love this time in history and there is not much I don’t already know so maybe I am a harsh critic. But if you have read it, don’t let it put you off her other ones as they are brilliant.

“pilgrims and swore an oath? Who rang the”
Philippa Gregory, The King’s Curse

It would take a lot more than one dud book to put me off her writing but still it was a disappointment. I hope with her next book she is back on form with a more original take on our history.

Book Review (Game Of Thrones Book One)

“Fear cuts deeper than swords.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Now, this may be a shock to some people but I had NEVER watched the t.v series before I read this book. I know I’m probably the only person in the world!

I have said many times before that I am not really a fantasy reader although I do make an exception for Terry Pratchett and now for Game of Thrones.

I loved this book. It is a fast pace page turner. Events are constantly changing and the story repeatedly evolves. Seemingly major characters die yet the story effortlessly carries on. George R.R. Martin achieves storytelling on an epic scale juggling multiple viewpoints without faulting.

“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.” George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

I have since watched the first t.v series and is disappointing compared to the book, much more stilted. If you are a fan of the t.v series you won’t be unsatisfied with the books.The book doesn’t really have an end it flows from one to the other so I was very grateful I had the second book ready!

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armour yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Lucy’s Diary (Living with sexual bullying)

  • Sexual bullying and harassment are routine in UK schools. Almost a third of girls experience unwanted sexual touching in UK schools.
  • Nearly one in four sixteen to eighteen year old’s say that their teachers never said unwanted sexual touching, sharing of sexual pictures or sexual name calling are unacceptable.
  • One in three young women experience sexual bullying in school on a daily basis
  • If girls experience repeated sexual harassment, they are significantly more likely to attempt suicide.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, globally school is the most common setting for sexual harassment and coercion.

(These figures were taken from UK Femininsta website)

Thirteen years ago I some how got to the end of five years living in a hell of being verbally and sexually bullied. My own stubbornness and inability to believe that things one day will not get better is what I think got me through.

I know for certain it wasn’t my teachers who saw and heard it happen many times in the classroom but failed to help and wouldn’t let me move tutor groups when asked. They also failed to tell my parents what was happening. It certainly wasn’t my doctor who gave me no anti- depressants because I was too young and told us I needed a Councillor but there was no system to refer me to one. It certainly wasn’t my dad who believed I was doing it all for attention and it certainly wasn’t either of my parents who were too ashamed to tell family and friends I was ill/being bullied.

I should of seen a psychiatrist instead of a Councillor, the bullies parents and my parents should of been told, I should of at least been moved tutor groups. Really if  anyone had done something, anything that would of been great! Back then the care for mental health was ridiculous and the stigma surrounding it was suffocating. Even though much has improved there is still a way to go which is why I tell my story.

When I tell people I was bullied no one is shocked, lets face it, who hasn’t? But when I tell people I was bullied by two boys, surprise registers. Most people are bullied at lunch/break time after/before school but not me. I remember once being bullied after school but for me it was always in class in front of teachers, in fact many times the whole class was involved, whether that was because they were laughing or sticking up for me varied but the teachers were certainly aware. When I say my parents knew because I told them I always get this reply “If it was my kid I would be straight in there and remove them to another school” then I have re-telling of stories about when they or a friend has done such things because their child was bullied and how they cannot believe my parents didn’t do the same.

I have nothing to say to this because I have no idea why they didn’t either even though it is something my Councillors, Psychiatrists and I have discussed many times. I have given up trying to stick up for them because it tired me out a long time ago. Some questions cannot be answered and it useless going over and over them again. My parents are my parents no matter what and what happened to me happened to me no matter what.

These two boys and my dad were the first encounters I had with the opposite sex. Because of them I thought this was normal behavior towards a girl/woman and no one else told me otherwise. As an adult I have had to re-teach myself that men can be kind, that not all men will hurt me physically and mentally and I have had to re-learn that I am worth more then a body that men can do what they want with.

Why didn’t I commit suicide? because I am selfish. That is my belief now looking back and was then. At the time I felt I was a bad person that I brought suffering to my family because of my illness (depression) triggered by being bullied. I thought I would be doing the people I loved a favor by ending my life. I stayed in the world because I decided I didn’t care about those people enough to end their suffering.

No matter how many tablets you take or Councillors you see your memories will never go away but you learn to live with them. Every time I am in a room/lift by myself with a man I feel in danger. The only man in the world that is not the case with is my husband. But over the years I have got used to this feeling. I don’t panic anymore I just accept that this is the way it makes me feel and carry on.

If as a teenager you had told me I would be in a  normal relationship with a man I wouldn’t of believed you but I am now a married woman to a man that would never hurt me but it has been a battle at times that I do not always feel like I am winning.

The news can be a constant reminder of a past you would rather forget. Historical sex abuse cases are an example. I am sick to the death of these being in the news. These women are brave and these men should be brought to justice but I am pretty sure every woman/man who has been assaulted/abused does not need reminding on a daily basis that we have things in common we would rather not. But people who have never been through these things don’t think about it.

Then there is always the customer at work who is a pervert and touches woman’s asses in the store. He was arrested and statements were taken but this is what got me upset not the actual ass touching. He was arrested for ass touching, which in my mind is normal behavior. It is what I grew up with and no one in my life said it was wrong even though I felt uncomfortable but now it would appear that it is wrong.

Getting searched at work/airport is a daily annoyance for most people but for us few it is a huge ordeal. If you have been sexually assaulted having a man look you up and down to check you are telling the truth about not having anything in your pockets but actually making you feel like an object again and therefore bringing back all the humiliation again is awful.

This is the legacy of sexual assault/bullying that no one talks about. I was suicidal and many teenagers and young women/men who are being bullied for all sorts of reasons do commit suicide. I am certainly no stronger than any one else and I defiantly had no more help than anyone else.

Can you imagine the uproar if this sort of thing happened at work? Oh Lord the Police involvement and the disciplines would be endless but I was at school and in  the eyes of the law that is acceptable. Who cares if a boy sexually assaults a girl for five years (to quote my school bully as an adult) “kids can be so bloody mean” or a common adult saying “kids will be kids”. I appear to be the only one that thinks this is abhorrent. Sexual assault is sexual assault whether that is at school/work or home and there for should not be tolerated. What happened to me is long gone but this still happens and is so common that in fact bullying charities now have a term for it “sexual bullying”.

The biggest lie that has ever been told is by a school that says it does not tolerate bullying. This has got to stop.