Fighting fatigue


On the challenge of prioritising in the face of illness and a limited ‘window of activity’

It’s worth having a look at Black Dog Tribe at if you’re not familiar with this area. It’s been over 3 years that I had a mental health crisis that resulted in me not being able to work full-time hours. The past few months have been particularly tough healthwise too – not least my inability to shake off a head-cold that keeps me in a state of permanent sinus-congestion. As a result, I’ve not been able to be nearly as active as I would have liked, and am having to rethink and reprioritise what I do locally – especially now that my focus is job-hunting.

Your annual flu-jab reminder

I’ve been getting mine done at Boots for as long as I can remember ( because my community activity means meeting lots of people in enclosed spaces, and/or commuting back in the day meant being stuck in long metal tubes with wheels underneath. I remember the first time I had the flu – the full-blown version. It was back in 2001 and it completely knocked me out for a fortnight. It put every other cold virus I had before or since into perspective.

On reprioritising my community action

In days gone by, I’d normally fight through colds, being ‘lemsipped up’ as I’d often say at work when I replaced coffees with ick-tasting concoctions. But the combination of my state of health and recent depression has hit me for six over the past few months. To the extent that simply getting out of the house is an achievement. Hence why it’s all the more frustrating when I go along to a public meeting where my contribution seems to have been a complete waste of time – as this recent clip from the Greater Cambridge City Deal Assembly shows:

It was a 2 hour round trip by bus to be given the answer to those questions above. Was it worth it?

Concern from others about Cambridge’s fragmented community action scene

I went along to a gathering of various activists from a variety of Cambridge’s left-wing campaign groups.

A number of people mentioned how it was difficult to find out what was going on because there were so many small groups not co-ordinating or communicating. I’ve seen similar mentioned not just in the realm of politics and community action, but elsewhere – such as business & leisure. Where is the ‘one stop’ place where we all know we’ll get a comprehensive snapshot of what’s going on that’s easy to read/filter & isn’t a wall of text?

Another interesting point was made at the gathering – the number of people turning up to recent public political gatherings in Cambridge was far higher than could have been expected even a few months ago, and that most of the ‘established’ groups were not familiar with who these people were. ie these are members of the public with an interest in politics/community action, but for whatever reason have been off the radar of existing groups (and vice versa?)

Online, my main focus is going to be connecting people, campaigns, organisations & sources of information. In terms of face-to-face meetings & gatherings, for now you’ll probably be seeing less of me. I simply cannot manage all that is being asked of me at present.


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