I am British Sri Lankan…or am I a Sri-Lankan Brit? My answer always changes when people ask me where I am from. Lately the spiel goes that I was born in the UK but my parents are from Sri Lanka. It’s a tiresomely long-winded explanation but such is my story; someone born on one island to parents from another. For me it’s been a particularly troublesome pairing. One island a former mighty colonial power that conquered and subjugated the other- my native homeland. This is me, my heritage, the dichotomy of my cultural identity. Both nations are central to who I am. But tell me to pick a side and I can’t pick a side because I don’t feel completely at home on either island. Here is my tumultuous tale of two islands.
My period arrived bang on time this month! But 2.5 days in, it’s on its way out. I felt bad using sanitary towels for so pitiful a period- definitely a slap on the wrist from Ms Thunberg! ‘What’s the problem?’ I hear you ask; A period so brief you barely noticed it? What a result! But what if I told you that last month this flighty visitor was 20 days late preceded by a fortnight of continuous cramping, no sleep, teary hissy fits, sluggish days at work and bloating? You might not think me so blessed. And I’m not. My period has been under the spell of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) for the last 20 years. It’s been one of the most defining conditions in my life but within eighteen months, since the start of the pandemic, I went on a path of discovery that has set me on the foothills to figuring my way out of this. So much so that I think it’s important to share this journey, not only to support fellow sufferers who might be at the beginning but also for women curious about how their bodies work.
Over the last couple of months I have struggled to blog. My job at the BBC is stressful, my brain deep fried from constant computer work. When I get home I can barely type two words together. So I relent and crash on the couch. The weekends I reserve for fitness and recovering from the intense working week. But this life has taken its toll. Starving my creativity has hollowed me out.
London kills me. It’s like riding white-water rapids where at any moment the currents will dash you against the rocks. I daren’t park up at a posh restaurant in Mayfair just to while away the hours writing- do you know how much an hour is in Londoner years??!
So I decided to take five, five days to be exact and flee to Florence. I lived here in 2006, and since then have been back many a time. So it’s perfect. There’s no pressure to devour the art, history or sights. I will however devour the food. Willingly.
The real argument for why children with smart phones are just plain stupid
Kids with their own smart technology usually divides us into 2 camps:
1: Those, usually with kids, that say it’s the 21st Century and we’re giving them the head start to being the CEOs they were born to be.
2: Those, usually without kids, that say it’s divested the youth of social graces and imagination.
I am of the latter contingency. And it’s not just because they turn children into 1D drones- although Lord knows the amount of times my conversations have been disturbed by a noisy iPad in use by an a-social kid at a restaurant. Ps. I know it’s essentially no different to a colouring book, but at least colouring keeps them creative and it’s quiet! Anyway I digress…