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A Light to Guide

I have worked with arts collective Responsible Fishing UK for the past eight years or so. It is made up of myself, my husband photographer Timm Cleasby, and our best friends; artist James Brunt and Graphic Designer Caroline Hayes. We have done work all over the UK and one of the projects I played a bigger part in was A Light To Guide, a story told through light tubes hung in a forest for Coastival in Scarborough.

I wrote the story of Johan, a little spider who goes on a journey through his home town of Scarborough and then the words were carved into cardboard tubes and lit from inside. We hung them in the woods so the story could be read as you walked through. You can watch the video here.

I have always loved creating art, whether that is through writing, textiles, ceramics, painting or any of the amazing projects I have been involved in with RF. Over the past year, this creativity has been a life saver. It has been my therapy, my escape and my joy. I have loved making more and more art projects but I have always felt a little shy in sharing them.

I want to change that. I want to recognise myself and know that it is OK to feel pride in the things I create. And so I thought I would start with the beautiful Light to Guide that I am so proud of. Hopefully, this will encourage me to share more.

Peace and love

Sam xx

I feel so lost

This is a post from my facebook page, I just wanted to explain where I am right now. But I am posting this at 4am because after a long time, I just sat up in bed and thought ‘I want to write’. So I am hoping there will be more blog posts coming soon.

I feel so lost at the minute.

This time last year I had a job I loved, I had my own radio show on the BBC, I was blogging and I thought my surgery had been successful and the future felt bright.

Right now I’m recovering from 9th surgery. I have no job, the radio show has been put on hold due to corona and I just feel like I dont even know who I am any more.

During the last surgery in hospital I was really poorly. My bowel didnt wake up from the op for 17 days and then my kidneys packed in. I had a stage 3 AKI and I was very very ill, they said I was lucky to have come through.

And at the time you are just surviving. Getting through each hour, each day. But now I have time to reflect and i feel quite traumatised by it all. 

Then to come home to the world turning upside down with corona, lockdown and so many people dying. It is all a bit much.

The one thing I’ve always loved is writing. But I have lost my confidence even with that. I try to blog and just stare at the screen. I just have lost it. 

That’s why there have been no updates. But I’m trying. I’m writing this on my phone so it doesnt feel like “real writing”. 

I just feel a bit hollow and that I have nothing to give. 

So I’m sorry I’m absent and miserable right now. I’m going to try working on me and I’ll be about as much as I can. Because I bloody love sobadass, both the blog and on fb. I have avoided because I dont feel I am a good writer and I dont want to be sharing crap. 

I am lost, traumatised, sad and empty. And when you feel like this, you feel like you have no talent, nothing special and nothing to give to others. 

But I am trying. And I’ll keep trying.

✌🏽& ❤ 
Sam xx

Blogging – with great power comes great responsibility

Yes, just like spiderman anyone writing for the public really do have responsibilities to those around them.  OK perhaps not EXACTLY like Spiderman but Im hoping you will catch my drift here…

with great power comes great responsibility

Bloggers are sharers, we like to write, we find it cathartic, entertaining and enjoyable.  Some of us are guilty of over sharing and some of us like to hold back certain things, things we aren’t comfortable sharing with the world.  We all have our boundaries of what we like to talk about and what we don’t want to put out there, my rule of thumb is that I don’t blog anything that Id be mortified my mum reading, or things that would upset or embarrass my children.

I think through my posts before hitting that publish button and though occasionally Im on the fence as to whether it is 100% right to discuss, I think I get it fairly right.

Its something I have been thinking about recently as I have been asked to do some work with teenage girls, and at a meeting we discussed how we can work on blogging with them whilst ensuring their safety online and making sure they understand the importance of what their content could do to themselves and others.  How they have to take ultimate responsibility for the things they choose to discuss online, whether that is sharing photographs or opinion.

Obviously the subject of my illness can be seen as something impolite to discuss in public, and I write about it because its important to me to share my experiences in the hope that it will help others.  I talk in detail about my health, my illness, my surgeries and how my mind processes all these things.  Because they are MINE, these things belong to me and I am happy to share them with you.

I suppose the responsibility of a blogger is a big grey area, Im no lawyer and so don’t know the laws around such things.  What feels right for one person to talk about is a massive no no for someone else.  This week I added another rule of thumb for myself which is I won’t blog about another persons life without theirs or their families permission.

I feel I can talk about MY illness all day long because its what I am going through and I own it.  I have friends who have all manner of different illnesses from depression to cancer, infertility problems to other chronic illnesses.  I will never blog about THEIR illness, their personal problems, naming them, because it just seems wrong, do you know what I mean?

Equally I would be horrified if I found a friend was writing publicly about me and things that I hadn’t put online.  Id be devastated.  And so would my husband and family.

It comes back to the fact that bloggers are sharers.  When something happens, our brains start thinking about how we can write this down, how we can pour our feelings and thoughts onto the screen.  But when you have an audience, especially if it is a big audience, that power has to come with responsibility.

I am all for talking about difficult subjects, raising awareness and bringing things to the forefront of peoples consciences in the hope of helping others, but I do think that we need to be mindful of how this can come across and that we don’t share things that don’t ‘belong’ to us.

Love Sam xx