3 is the magic number…

Another late post! Letting it all slip a bit as I get my head as far into writing as possible (not always easy…) I’ve now finished all three analysis chapters (wtf, I know, right?) in 3 months and am bashing away at my redraft literature review, then I’ll do my methodology, then intro / conclusion, then edit the whole thing, submit to supervisors to read, then edit one last time before submitting in November…!! So bloody close now. Can’t wait to see what’s around the bend as well! So here are some musings from last month.

 

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Chapter 2 – People

I am actually onto my third analysis chapter now, but here is an old post about the second analysis chapter…oh how time flies!

Hello!

The sun is positively BEATING down here in Glasgow, ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ is blasting from the building site, and memories of loch swimming and 6Music Festival gigs are only recently fogging in my mind’s eye from the weekend…

It’s been a while since I’ve written and my brain is a little fuzzy today (turns out your natural alarm clock isn’t always the best thing to rely on…) so rather than wake up and ‘carry on writing my PhD’ I thought I’d have a bit  of free-writing-esque on this here blog, let you know where I’m at, that sort of thing.

Those who do, those who don’t

Hello! Happy New year, hope you had a restful festive season and a good start to the year, I’ll write a bigger post soon but just a quick thought which continues on from the last post about Daniel Bedingfield (….Daniel Blake).

I’m reading some stuff to put into my context chapter, and I’m looking at the Government’s lovely fluffy Immigration Act to find some stuff from the foul horse’s mouth about ‘hostile environment’ policy.

Crikey. the witch Theresa May holds no punches. I knew that already but it’s always chilling to read it first hand.

Here, she essentially talks about how those who come to the UK illegally (I mean, how many other options are we giving people to come here really…we’ve hardly put on any luxury cruise liners at a reduced rate have we…) are wholly undeserving of access to any of the resources they might need such as basic healthcare, employment and housing. Flippin’ heck, Theresa, you do not take after your elderly nun name-sake in your generosity of spirit do you? Again, knew this already but always good to remember who the enemy is. (Not Theresa herself, but rather she is a voice of a bigger disgusting, racist, xenophobic, nationalist system…)

Small Acts of Resistance

 

Hello! I know I know it’s been a while…I have a couple in the pipeline but I’ve been frantically finishing my interviews and coding the data and going here and there (long distance relationships are no mean feat) but here is an oooold one for you that I’ve dug out of the drafts box and dusted off. My flatmate has since started her PhD (hooray!) and I’ve moved into the third year of mine (more on that later). But here it is for you:

 

I was chatting through my research with my dear flatmate the other night. She is currently doing a Masters and is going on to do a PhD next year, and is great. Her research is about Islamophobia and racialisation, and we’re both drawing on similar thinkers to make sense of the work we are doing; Les Back and Stuart Hall are both making an appearance in our own work. Their work on the everyday, the complexities of identity and representation, and doing research as ethically as possible are both really important to our different subject matters.

So every now and then we will come together and talk about how our stuff is going, what we need to do, problems we’re having, that kind of thing. And we always come away with mind-maps scrawled on the back of envelopes-! (Thanks, Shiela’s Wheels – other insurance providers are available). It was a conversation about the news which kicked it off. She’d been away from the world at a festival for the weekend, and was saying that she looked at the news upon her return but then instantly regretted it, as the faces of the victims of the Orlando shooting spread across her screen.

 

Brexit and Belonging

So flying back from Menorca to a broken Britain was unpleasant to say the least. Although while I’d been away I’d created this image of carnage and chaos taking over the streets in my head, things are kind of just carrying on in people’s everyday as they were, just with the ever increasingly cold realisation that nothing will ever be the same again.

It’s fascinating because depending on who you ask, what you believe and what you are fighting for (or indeed against), you will have a completely different perspective on what Britain leaving the EU actually means. So here’s my two cents on how this creates a fascinating, and troubling backdrop to my research into the ways in which migrant, refugee and asylum seeking women make the city their home through the things they do in their everyday lives.

The seemingly politically condoned public racism which ensued following the referendum result has been vile to see. This post by Dr. Anna Matthews for the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network blog talks about this, and similarly relates it to her own research, which I intend to do in this post.

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Glasgow Welcomes Refugees March, June 2016 – photo taken by me

And now you’re back (from outer space…)

Hi!

So in the last 3 weeks I’ve been in Leicester, Manchester, Menorca, Manchester, Leicester, Bradford until finally returning back to the flat in Glasgow.

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Really detailed map illustrating my recent travels…

It’s been a rollercoaster ride of leaving things behind by accident, nearly missing trains, and being many multiple formations of myself in different places at different times. I’ve been a daughter, a girlfriend, an old best pal, an ex, an auntie, a cousin, a student, a new friend and an aquaintance, and it’s been fascinating to reflect on how I am me in those different spaces, all of which have been home for me at different times in my life.

Love Hawk – In Praise of Here

A blog post to come (I know it’s been a while) but I’ve just been on Mull for a weekend for a research retreat and I got back to this email, which I feel really resonates with the weekend and the work I’m doing on the whole. I love this guy; David Hale aka Love Hawk , he’s such a beautiful artist and I want to get a tattoo by him before I leave this world behind me. He’s in the God Squad, which I’m not, but I take from it what resonates with me, as lots of his work does.

 

I’ll leave you with his words for now though.

– here –

This place is woven with stories and reminders that create a mythology called “Place” or “Home” or in reverence, “Ikunu ‘tchaka” the “Beloved Land.”

– here, I rescued a Black Rat Snake and gave it new life -here is where an old Red Oak fell and  I cut it and felt its weight in my long arms – here is the place I remember my son walking the woods and I have witnessed the two growing together – here is where I learned I would be a father – here is where I learned my mother’s father had passed -here is where my wife would sit and nurse my soft son and nourish him with life – here is the place where a fox looked deeply into me and my dear friends’ eyes – here is where the full moon struck a circle at the most opportune time -here I had great Vision- here I washed my sins in the River-  here we helped a Bluebird raise her young – this is the place I sat on the forest floor in my darkest hours and cried –  here I was quiet – here I saw the Grace of my Wife – here I opened my Heart and sang to my Father’s pain and the love in his eyes- here I stood – here I sat- here i walked – here i laid- here i loved-  here –

Filled with all these stories, I mark them down on surfaces placed before me.  These serve as markers, like tags each hung on thousands of tangents that radiate out from me.  All of these people, locations, creatures, experiences, and so-called “things” have tangents which extend back and are anchored in Ancestry.  There are tied taut to the Ancestors; the Ones that have come before; of the People, the Land, the Creatures, and all those So-Called “Things.”

Then, unfurling out from this great Mythology are endless tendrils, growing like Muscadine Vines.  Some find your eye and reach you there, some find your hands and reach you there, some find your home and reach you there, a special few find your flesh and reach you there.  Like a web being woven these Stories extend out from there, knots tied in the Hearts they reach along their Course.  The strongest bonds are made in this way, for the Creator, the great Web Weaver is given Container to tie taut these knots.   From here you carry these tendrils, more tangents, creating a silvery web connected through so many Hearts.
And so, I give thanks for -here-

Welcome, sunshine

On a sunny day, walking up through the city, to a viewing point, I notice gentle inscriptions into the stones beneath my feet.

The word ‘welcome’ is written in many different languages, and next to these I notice inscriptions of poems, which I assume have been written by people who live locally as part of a community project, but I’m not sure.

Standing there in the sunshine, with some height and distance from the city, the view reaching above high rises to the long majestic row of mountains in the distance, populated by snow, windmills and walkers I don’t doubt on a day like today, you get the pleasing, and for me necessary, sense of perspective that so much more lies beyond this network of towers and bridges and tenements. I am reminded of the importance of senses in understanding and feeling our way through, round, within the places we live. That familiar smell of marmite on toast sweeps in from the east as I look out, imagining walking up those majestic mountains that lie beyond the city.

 

“The soft breeze

The lovely flowers

The sound of buses

The lovely sun shining on me

A great view of the dear green place

Rumbi Gore”