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The after shot - weeds undercontrol and trees standing proud
May 18, 2020
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The family is out on another morning cycle ride and so I’ve got the radio on. A connection to the outside world, a chance to be outside my box. Today there’s news about family feuds at the richest end of society “something that puts our challenges under lockdown into perspective” apparently, I’m not sure that I can ever connect myself with the family that used to own the Ritz but perhaps I should, maybe it would have made more sense if I’d listened to the first part of the news item!

The next piece was more interesting and relevant to you, me and Chrysalis. What is going to happen to the humble office? How do we keep those social, essential, links with our colleagues when it’s been found that for some of us working from home is possible, perhaps even preferable? What happens to a charity which exists to break down the barriers of isolation when society shifts to a model where isolation becomes the norm? These are questions which we have been discussing for the last few weeks. For some colleagues going back into the office is essential, not because they can’t do their job at home but because they can’t do their job at home. When you don’t have space to create an office you rely on the office space created for you and so we think about coming back together. How can this be managed, will we be safe, who can make those choices?

But working remotely has brought some fantastic benefits to Chrysalis, allowed us to connect with people across the country, bringing the best of the best back into the team as Sheila and I were able to reconnect with Callum, our social media guru. Callum left us back last summer as he moved up to Leeds and we were bereft, no one has been able to fill his shoes since and we have been operating with one hand behind our back. It is my great pleasure to welcome him back onto the team, and to recognise wholeheartedly the benefits of all this remote working.

For some of our group members and team being out is only possible outside of their home. The only space they can be authentic. How can we support those people, how can we find safe spaces for people to be when the safety of spaces is still a matter for health advisory bodies? We have been working on Park Life, a way to help people whilst still social distancing, as well as continuing to develop our online support services.

So in, and out, and connection is very much in my mind. I’m connected now, yet another piece of IT equipment and hopefully I now have stable internet up in confidential corner. I like to see your lovely faces even if I’m sick of the mirror image of mine and very happy to find the ‘hide self-view’ function. I just wrote “hide self”, now wouldn’t that be nice sometimes? The ability in our small spaces to turn off and disappear.

My out this weekend was all garden related; my fruit trees are now straighter than they were, perhaps not a gold standard for my house of individuals but better for trees. We’ll know when we get apples, I’ll update you then.

A wooden bench sitting in front of a house

Andi's garden, floppy trees and weeds
Andi's garden, floppy trees and weeds
The after shot - weeds undercontrol and trees standing proud
The after shot - weeds undercontrol and trees standing proud
3 Straight trees and an unusual second living room, "an inside, outside"
3 Straight trees and an unusual second living room, "an inside, outside"

This week is all about being outside, whilst in. I have back to back supervision with all our wonderful counsellors Monday – Wednesday and two, yes two, conferences. #truinclusion on Tuesday when I’m hosting a strand about being Visibly Different – talking about subculture identity instead of trans stuff for the first time in ages, then on Thursday and Friday I’m virtually going to London to attend the Third Party Fundraising Conference which has now gone online.

Keep your eyes on our Social Media, and my LinkedIn for more articles and information and watch out for #TourdeTrans as Paeton gets that show on the road. Can you cycle, are you interested, do you want something to look forward to? Then check out www.tourdetrans.co.uk for more information. We are looking to connect up trans organisations across the West side of the country, encouraging anyone and everyone to get involved in some way as Paeton leads on their own personal challenge to cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats on the West Pennine Route

Next week I will be quite – no more gardening talk- as it’s half term and I’m taking some annual leave. Some time to stop and refocus, to rest and perhaps play some board games, maybe even some 40K

See you in the Summer!

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