Who Needs Normality

It takes days like World Mental Health Day to remind me that many people are scared witless of people who are ill, or healing from trauma. We’d hope that people wouldn’t expect someone who had broken their leg to just walk it off, and yet that same attitude seems applied without any sense of irony to so many of us when it comes to mental health. If not dismissive, the reaction is often one of fear, fuelled by media imagery and folklore. We can’t win.

Grrr, and indeed, arghhh.

My disconnect comes from being aware of so many people in my life, between partners and friends, who struggle every day, and yet I still stumble across people who seem shockingly misinformed on a regular basis. It’s not as if the information isn’t out there, and the people getting it wrong are often intelligent individuals – so there sadly continues to be a need for days like today.

Go, read widely, starting with MIND, and listen and talk and engage with the people around you. A huge number people suffer from some form of mental illness at some point in their lives – at least as many who suffer some form of more easily visible physical illness – but because it is invisible, it is often downplayed.

I’d feel upset, if I wasn’t already mad.

Costume Bemusement

There are three things upcoming that demand costumes, so I’m in the process of looking around at the Halloween costumes and props to see what I can use.

The first event will be the MCM London Convention, for which we’ve decided at almost the last minute to get tickets. That decision has been equal parts a desire to support Lady P as she gets her confidence back, and fond memories of last year’s convention.

Our Death Eater costumes last year seemed to intimidate an awful lot of people, so our original plan was just to go in casual attire. Then temptation struck to do something simple, just because.

The second event will be a combination of Halloween and a family-friendly birthday gathering for Lady M. I’m inviting people to dress with a literary, or at least popular culture, theme.

The third event will be the more raucous main celebration for Lady M’s birthday (well, why not make a week of it?). The same rules of engagement apply for that, so my costume needs to be simple and reasonably hard wearing.

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So, to that end I’m creating a Clark Kent costume. I’ve found a good T-shirt with a design based on the recent film, and will be wearing that beneath a wrenched aside shirt, tie and glasses. I was thinking of going with just my usual black jeans, but I suspect I’ll end up wearing a suit with them. As the current comic book depiction of Clark Kent is crop headed, my currently freshly clipped hair should be a good match, and I’ve already shaved the goatee back off to get my skin used to seeing daylight again.

That said, I did see a very nice mask in Tesco that, with only a little modifying, will make a very nice Death Eater mask…