What Happened in October?

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Whew, has October flown by for anyone else?

It feels like I’ve been constantly busy, but I can’t remember why I’ve been busy – or even what I’ve generally been up to.

October tends to be the first month my SAD symptoms turn up, so that could be a large part of it. Plus, at the time you’re reading this, I’ve just taken my last (hopefully ever) dose of antidepressants – it’s been a wild ride!

6th October – S&C’s Birthday!

Can you believe I’ve been running Sass and Clacks for a year already? Feels like only yesterday I was drafting up my first post and hoping I wouldn’t get laughed off the stage.

I can’t wait to see where I can take this little slice of the internet in the next year, and I hope you’ll all join me for the journey.

11th October – Nottingham Beer and Cider Festival

Three small beer tankards, filled with beer

I look forward to the Nottingham Beer Festival every year. Hosted by CAMRA, the festival features hundreds of beers and ciders from local breweries. Every year we set ourselves a silly challenge to find certain themed beer names, and this year the challenge was to find the meme-ist name. There were some great contenders this year, but in the end, ‘Juicy Boi’ won.

Highlights include the best dirty fries I’ve ever tested, the band playing Africa by Toto (with our group being the only ones dancing and singing along), and finding our favourite brewery had not only fixed the recipe of their legendary ginger beer – but had a new version made with berries that was just as delicious.

23rd October – Ninja Sex Party!

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You’re amazing, Manchester!!!

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This has to be one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. I’m not even kidding. It’s up there with Green Day’s Revolution Radio tour.

The first act, Planet Booty, blew me the fuck AWAY from the minute they walked on stage, carrying a glitter ball shaped like a butt. A body positive comedy band that sings about butts? Sign me up!

Planet Booty were followed by TWRP, a Canadian synthpop band. I’d only heard one of their songs, which was a recent collaboration with Dan Avidan from Ninja Sex Party, so it was great to hear their solo stuff.

The best part of the gig was, obviously, Ninja Sex Party. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to hear any new music from them – I was 100% hoping for a new non-cover album announcement – but chanting along to the refrain in Danny Don’t You Know was an absolute dream!

But the absolute best part of the entire night was finally getting to meet the absolute gem of a person that is Lacey!

Lacey is the powerhouse behind LaceyFitspo, and we started chatting a few months ago, but as I’m based in Nottingham and she lives in Manchester, this is the first chance we’d ever had to meet in person. Y’all, she is a delight.

30th October – The Co-Working Business Book Club

It was awesome to finally get chance to meet Jess and the lovely folks at the Co-Working Club in Nottingham! This month’s read was The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon*, so we had an evening of discussion around what we thought we should be as freelancers, forging your own path, and mental health. It was also a great opportunity to get to know other freelancers and creatives in and around Nottingham, and it made me realise that I’m really not alone in my freelancer life.

While I can’t make it to their weekly meetups (rush hour be damned), I hope to make it to their monthly events a little more regularly and keep in touch with the wonderful people I met last night.

October Blog Post Roundup

I was inspired to write this post by a good friend of mine who teaches pole in a very consent-focused way. In this post, I talk about the differences between express and implied consent, why we should ask for consent both as students and as instructors, and how we can help make pole studios a more welcoming environment for everyone.

I treated myself to a new pole set from Hoodlum Fang in August, and finally published my review this month! In this post, I review the Lattice Plunge Crop Top, High Waisted Cheeky Shorts, and Knee Pads from Hoodlum Fang.

This post rounds off my Pole Goals 101 series with a look at how to ensure you’re taking care of your mental health while pursuing your pole goals. I talk about how lifestyle changes that come from chasing your goals can affect your mental health, how to recognise when you need to take a break, and why we need to treat goals as ambitions, not obligations.

Why You Should Never Work For Free – Medium

This post is the first I’ve published on Medium in a while. I did play around with Medium on an old account (hi to anyone who’s found me through my posts on there, I know there’s a few of you here!) but I stopped using it for a while while I was building up Sass and Clacks.

This post is about the exploitative practice of clients asking freelancers for unpaid samples, why unpaid samples suck on a professional level, and what you can do when faced with a client who asks for an unpaid sample or – shudder – asks you to work for exposure.

Gaming

With both myself and Nick being ill at varying times throughout the month, we’ve not been playing all that much as we’ve been bundled up on the sofa under every blanket we own.

We have been playing a lot of Destiny 2, though, which we both love. I grew up playing World of Warcraft but gave up on MMOs as so many of them – particularly WoW – always required time dedication that I no longer had in adult life. However, Destiny 2 is proving to be a lot of fun and has no monthly subscription fees, so that’s a win!

We also played a Dungeon World one-shot with a couple of friends last weekend, which was perhaps the best Dungeon World session I’ve ever played. Highlights include our Wizard, the Great Gangini, showboating for most of the session until his Fireball spell pinged off a monster’s shield and killed one of the other players, who thankfully was able to come back to life at a cost. She lost her arm, and our Wizard felt so terrible about it he conjured her a magical arm, and was humbled for the rest of the game.

Always fun seeing the character development between players, even if it was only across one session.

Reading

Book Covers collage:
Left top: Things No-one Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker
Left bottom: Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee
Right top: Troublemaker by Leah Remni
Right bottom: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

So, surprise surprise, I’m still working on quite a few of the books that I was last month. But, I also finished a couple, so I’m counting that as a win!

Still reading:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood*

Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini*.

Finished:

Things No-one Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker*. Keep an eye out for my review, coming soon. Spoiler alert – this book is amazing!

The Multi-Hyphen Method by Emma Gannon*. I picked this up as the monthly read for the Co-Working Club’s book club, and it covered a lot about what I thought freelancing should be. It highlights the issues with our current work environment, encourages us to think about success beyond monetary value, and find ways of working that fit around our lives – not the other way around.

Stopped reading:

Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee*. While some of the earlier sections of this book were good, the later sections didn’t really have much information in them past what I could have found on Wikipedia. The author started to come across as arrogant and pretentious because he was able to talk to these people, but these conversations aren’t as enlightening as the book (or the author) leads you to believe. It’s an interesting read, but My Favourite Murder does every case in here far better than Berry-Dee does.

Watching

Left top: Korra, from the Legend of Korra
Right top: Keanu Reeves as John Wick
Left bottom: Aang, Momo, Katara, Sokka, and Appa from Avatar: The Last Airbender
Bottom middle: Pikachu from Detective Pikachu
Right bottom: A still from the TV series Bodyguard

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Netflix). This was my third watch-through of this series and I fall in love with it every time. Even though it was made for, and is directed towards, people a lot younger than me, it’s an extremely witty show that regularly discusses morality, mental health, and the value of holding on to your playfulness in a harsh world. The only downside of watching it again is watching the episode Tales of Ba Sing Se, and in particular, The Tale of Iroh – if you know, you know.

The Legend of Korra*. While its predecessor was aimed to a younger audience, it’s clear from the get-go that TLOK is aimed towards a teenage audience. In the setting of this show, Aang’s children are now fully grown with one of his sons having a family of his own, and you get to see how the children of the original Team Avatar deal with their legacy. TLOK deals with topics like terrorism, politics, and has a very real portrayal of PTSD and recovery. Not only that, but this show introduces the Avatar universe’s first canonically bisexual character.

Men In Black: International*. Kinda wish I had waited for this film to come to Netflix before buying it on DVD. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are, as always, brilliant together. Aside from that, the film’s…okay. It’s fun to watch, the effects are great in places, and it has Liam Neeson and Emma Thompson. Aside from that, I feel like there’s too much of scenes that don’t add anything to the film, and not enough character development. It doesn’t really add anything to the MIB franchise and is pretty much a nostalgia-cash-grab.

John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum*. I love the John Wick franchise, but with this being the third film, I didn’t have huge expectations. However, this film is pretty consistent with the rest of the series. There’s great gunplay, interesting new characters, and some development with old ones too. Plus, John Wick’s pittie pup features a lot in this film, and there’s two badass German Shepherds who deserve all the treats. I appreciate how Keanu Reeves portrays John Wick as exhausted, angry, and just done with the whole situation.

Bodyguard (Netflix). I’m not a huge fan of fictional police/political dramas, so Bodyguard wasn’t really high on my watchlist when it originally came out. Nick started watching it when he was ill, so I caught the first episode while I was working, and stayed for the rest of the series. Bodyguard was gripping, harrowing, terrifying, and was so full of suspense we binged the two series over a weekend.

Detective Pikachu*. I never thought that in 2019, I’d be saying that we have a live-action Pokémon movie – and it’s actually kinda good. It has some pacing issues, and the acting in some places leaves a lot to be desired, but let’s be honest – the studio knows we’re watching it for the Pokémon, and they’re beautiful.

Million Dollar Baby*. I wasn’t expecting to be captivated by this film, but I was. It’s not your standard boxing rags-to-riches story, which we were all expecting it to be.

Pole and Fitness

I don’t really have all that much to share about pole, because it’s been another month where I’ve struggled to make it to class regularly. My SAD really started making an appearance this month and, despite being on my supplements, I’ve struggled to have the energy to do much at all.

Next month I’m booked on to do a Jazzy K workshop at Twisted Pole, which I’m super looking forward to!

Mental Health

I’m so proud of myself, because this month, I took my last dose of fluoxetine. Hopefully, ever.

The last few weeks of weaning myself off my medication was surprisingly smooth sailing. I’ve had bursts of anxiety and my down moments, but mostly I’ve been pretty stable and my symptoms haven’t made a major resurgence.

I’ve also noticed that while my SAD symptoms are starting to make a comeback, they’re not as prevalent as they have been in previous years. I started taking supplements early this year, which has really helped, plus remembering to set my daylight alarm clock before the clocks went back meant I could stave off some of the fatigue from the darker mornings.

I’m still taking things day by day, and my depression and anxiety are by no means cured. I think I have a low level of depression that’s constantly with me, but it’s still way better than switching between catatonic depression and high levels of anxiety every two weeks like I was prior to my meds.

So, yeah. We’ll see how it goes!


Join me next month as I’ll be talking about:

  • The opening of Olivia’s Townhouse in Nottingham,
  • A family wedding,
  • And a Jazzy K workshop!

As always, you can find me over on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if you want to keep up with my ramblings about life.

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