Differences

On the whole, this blog is about my writing and connected subjects. However, sometimes things come along that have nothing to do with that but are to do with me and who I am. This is one of those…

Why are so many people around the world scared of others who are in some way “different” to them? I am a white, heterosexual, clinically depressed, fat male atheist and, as such, have been fortunate that in my life the only prejudices I have had aimed at me have been the apparently acceptable ones about my mental health and about weight (like being called ‘a fat cunt’ by a complete stranger on the way into Sainsburys a short while ago) – perhaps surprisingly I have not been attacked over my atheism yet… it may happen. But I do not feel threatened by people whose beliefs are different to mine, or whose skin is a different colour to mine, or who dress or speak differently, or whose sexual preferences are different to mine or, for that matter, who are thin. I do feel threatened by men who look like they’ve just come from the gym because I’m expecting them to comment on my fat (not that there’s any law against that of course), but that’s my problem not theirs (unless they DO say something in which case they are dicks!). My mother was a strong Catholic but I always remember her saying, during the fiasco that was the demonstrations against Life Of Brian when it came out, that if those people’s faith was threatened by a film then their faith must not be very strong (as an aside she did eventually watch Life Of Brian with me and thoroughly enjoyed it, but then my mum was what every religious person should be – strong in their own beliefs and completely tolerant of the belief – or lack – of others. She would also not let her beliefs get in the way of a good laugh!).

Every day, somewhere in the world, there are news stories of people being persecuted, even killed, for simply being different in some way than the person or people persecuting them. Why? It makes no sense to me. Are all these people scared, somehow threatened, by someone not being the same as them? Are they so insecure in themselves that they have to take it out on others? What’s wrong with just saying you disagree with a person’s belief, lifestyle, sexual preference or whatever but then letting them get on with it? And when I say disagree I don’t mean shout or insult or threaten, I mean simply say “I don’t personally agree with you”. Agree to disagree. It’s a cliche but it makes sense. I know that my mother did not agree with my personal lack of belief in god. I know that she would pray each night that I might change and return to the religion she so strongly believed in. But I also know that she never once tried to persuade me to change, or in any way criticised me for my personal belief. She could also never understand the hate directed at gay people or people of another race. I’m not saying she was perfect by any means, and I’m sure she had her own prejudices as we all do inside, but she recognised them for what they were and remained always tolerant of others in her daily dealings with them. I try to be the same myself. I know there are prejudices that lurk inside me and can threaten to surface at times (especially when my depression beats me down) but I also know how unreasonable those thoughts are and try and make sure they never surface, because they are wrong and I know it. They are a problem with me, not with those they might be directed towards. Without wishing to sound conceited, I think that the people who don’t suppress those thoughts are weak and, in the majority of cases, pathetic. But that doesn’t make them any the less dangerous.

So, what does all this rambling mean? Basically I think I’m just saying stop getting hung up on how other people might be different to you in some way, whether it be looks, beliefs, sexual preferences or whatever. People are different. That’s how it should be. The world would be a boring place if we were all clones of one another. Be tolerant, accept others’ differences and, if you can’t do that, at least do the rest of us a favour and shut the fuck up!

Cathy’s Weightloss Diary available NOW

Volume 1 of Cathy’s Weightloss Diary is available NOW from Amazon (links below), covering the years 2001 – 2003.

In the end I decided to do 3 different editions (trying to cover all bases). They are (in increasing price order):

 

  • Kindle edition – full colour if you have a colour kindle/kindle HD Fire
  • Paperback (B&W) – Colour cover (naturally) but black and white interior to keep the cost down.
  • Paperback (Full Colour) – Full colour interior. Very expensive and, in all honesty, done really so we could have a colour copy for the shelves at home. The colour is nice but the cost is terrible!

There’s over 400 pages of my wife’s ramblings, musings and daily battle against weight, kids, me (!) and life in general. I hope you enjoy it. I certainly enjoyed putting it all together and will be working on Volume 2 very shortly 🙂

Links

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

Cathy's Weightloss Diary

Cathysweightlossdiary

ImageFrom 2001 through to 2012 my wife, Cathy, ran a popular website called cathysweightlossdiary. At its simplest it was a blog following her continual battle with food, health and weight, but as she created all the pages herself from scratch (using Dreamweaver) and also created many non-diary pages of everything from holiday pictures to song lyrics it neither looked like a blog, nor was held back by the restrictions placed on most blogs. Eventually the ease of Facebook and WordPress combined with other demands on her time meant the website died. But I have all the pages on my computer!

I am working on translating this website into book form. It will not have the often eccentric layouts and colour schemes of the original, but I hope it will preserve the essence and humour of my wife’s “diary” entries and act, as the website did, as both an interesting look into someone’s life and a help and inspiration to the many men and women struggling day to day with their weight and health issues. It’s at times funny and other times sad but always written with my wife’s simple, casual and readable style. My own editing will be kept to an absolute minimum.

The plan is to make it available in both ebook and paperback format. Even if no one buys it, I’m enjoying putting it together and it will nice to have my wife’s words alongside mine on the bookshelf 🙂

One final note – as I’m working on it, it seems to me that it might require more than one volume in order to prevent the paperback version becoming too large. I don’t think any of us realised at the start of this project just how many words and pictures Cathy put online over the years!

Needless to say, even though I am the one putting this together, Cathy will have final editorial say on whether it works or not.

As with my Dad’s writing a short while ago, it’s nice to bring someone else’s words into publication every now and then as well as my own.

After this… Cathy’s poetry – she wrote a lot of it when she was younger and I think it’s good! 🙂