Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Head buzzing with ideas

I don't sleep amazingly well, and I don't seem to need that much anyway. But recently I've been up, tired and grumpy but wide awake at 5.30. Since I can't get to sleep before 12.30 at the earliest, sleep is in short supply. The reason is two-fold. I've been given a baby dose of thyroxine to counter a slight shortfall, and like all hormones, it has a strong effect. At least I'm not feeling cold all the time. But the main reason is that my brain is buzzing with ideas.

As a writer who is a bit compulsive about writing (yes, I'm back writing everyday like a word junkie) I want to write the twins book. I'm working on a local writers' anthology, which is coming on well but I always forget just how much work these are. And I'm contemplating The Project, complete with possibilities of PhD etc. I don't know what I should do, but my time seems split between different projects and all I want to do is write.

I've been reading books on 'hermaphrodites' and intersex (or disorders of sex development) through the ages. While the historical picture is predictably blunt and shaped by patriarchal societal norms (some boys with very small penises were 'adjusted' to look more like girls), terrifyingly, the picture in the 1980s and 1990s wasn't much better. Babies with 'ambiguous' genitalia and/or chromosomes were operated on so they would look normal at school. I'm glad to say my genitals were not, at any time at school, shared with the class. And if they were, if a wide range of 'normal' genitals were accepted and the person's own feelings on their gender (or not) were considered, how many children would have avoided being mutilated? The picture has improved: as long as a baby can pee and poo, time is now allowed to explore physical development, the hormonal picture and how the child self-identifies. Fascinating stuff but more work needs to be done to allow people who do not choose a polarised view of their gender, whether intersex or not, to be themselves. All grist to writer's mill, though.

Otherwise, we're worried sick about an older relative. It cuts at our family, even our sixteen year old (who has just got into college without a GCSE to her name, go Rosie) and is probably one reason I wake at 5.30 and lie awake thinking about being old. “Old age ain't no place for sissies.” ― Bette Davis     

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