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A couple of weeks ago now I met artist and super blogger Elena Thomas for the second time. We’ve had a slow burner kind of friendship and wanted to follow up on various exchanges via email and FB messenger. Elena is someone I trust and admire as both person and artist. We also have a laugh together, sharing something of mischief about us. A sparkle, a cackle, a guffaw.

A fantasy emerged on our long day together that we might have been school friends – though both agreed it was probably best not. Two rule breakers together may have taken things just a little bit too far!

So I was tickled to find this picture during my Easter clear out – something has gone wrong with the regulation school uniform and, of course, the 1970s hair is priceless. I looked tanned and am betting we’re just back from the Summer holidays and the beaches of Barcelona all those years ago.

Meantime in the present, I’ve found the Easter break and the aftermath of the ACE application tricky. Sorting through my papers and rearranging the furniture is my way of getting my head into a new and hopefully productive space. I enjoyed juxtaposing the more recent image – a contemporary selfie – and trying to connect the two people.

My diagnosis for Asperger Syndrome has been troubling me too, euphoria followed by anxiety. Do I need to reassess everything and find out who I think I am all over again? My identity is suddenly, and I think temporarily unstable. Not surprising perhaps. It helps me to see images from the past, in which my gaze is steady and I look strong. Even I myself, having raised an autistic child, have internalised the societal notion that to be autistic is to be more vulnerable. But, it’s not necessarily so. I am not vulnerable – I’m tough and I’m a fighter. Most autistic people I know are the same.

Growing up they didn’t call me the earthquake for nothing.

I like this image. I had to be tough at school, and I was.


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