To People Who Love People with Eating Disorders…

Not quite curvy; definitely real

We don’t want to make your life hell, even if it is and it feels like we are, I promise you we don’t. Let me say that first. I don’t want to make excuses here. I know that we have to take some responsibility, but I think I’m doing that in a way just by writing this. It’s complex, but I’ll try to explain the best I can.

This week, journalist and presenter Mark Austin ‘bravely admitted’ to the press that he had once told his anorexic daughter to ‘starve herself to death’ whilst she was in the grips of a potentially fatal mental illness. I couldn’t read the full account because the original piece is behind a pay wall, but if you’re able, it’s here. If you’re not able, you can read bits of it here, here, here, here and here (it’s probably in the…

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“Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. “

Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Pullman Philip 2

Wise words from Philip Pullman, who received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2005:

Children need art and stories and poems and music as much as they need love and food and fresh air and play. If you don’t give a child food, the damage quickly becomes visible. If you don’t let a child have fresh air and play, the damage is also visible, but not so quickly. If you don’t give a child love, the damage might not be seen for some years, but it’s permanent.

But if you don’t give a child art and stories and poems and music, the damage is not so easy to see. It’s there, though. Their bodies are healthy enough; they can run and jump and swim and eat hungrily and make lots of noise, as children have always done, but something is missing.

It’s true that some people grow up never encountering…

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A drop in the ocean: Daniel Regan

Wellcome Collection Blog

‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ interrogates the original ideal that the asylum represented – a place of refuge, sanctuary and care – and asks whether and how it could be reclaimed. This blog series intends to showcase as many different voices and perspectives from people with lived experience of mental ill health and explore their ideas of personal asylum.

This post is from Daniel Regan, a photographer who showed work in Bethlem Gallery’s ‘Reclaiming Asylum’ exhibition late last year.

I began feeling that something wasn’t quite right in my early teens. Looking back on it now I remember thinking that my thoughts seemed jumbled, tangled and different from my peers. My emotional experiences were felt so deeply; my responses were not the same as those around me at that age. As I got further into my teens, I withdrew into myself and began to self-harm. I could never quite…

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Getting Better Slowly – A Commissioning Perspective. 


Since we re-opened in 2004 Lincoln Drill Hall has been committed to providing communities across our city with a wide breadth of arts performances to enjoy, entertain and sometimes we hope challenge and provoke debate.

Most of this work has been produced elsewhere and we’ve merely provided the space to present it.  More recently we’ve been involved with a number of other venues in dipping our toes into commissioning work from a number of companies, usually providing small amounts of money to help new pieces of performance develop, with the ambition that these might tour.

As my background is largely in producing theatre, I have been really conscious since I’ve lived and worked in the county though that there has been a relative lack of produced theatre and performance coming out of Lincolnshire.  Companies such as Zest Theatre and Rhubarb Theatre are producing more touring work, there are a number…

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The Loneliness At the End of the Story

The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive

Mark’s piece has made me want to try and put something into words that I’ve long struggled to, and that I probably will struggle to now (edit: reading over this, yeah, I did). I am struggling to write generally at the moment.

I’ve been writing this blog for almost a decade now (which is fairly terrifying). It’s my story, and it’s a probably familiar one, in terms of the trajectory of someone who was diagnosed with a mental health problem (denial, overidentification, rebellion, acceptance, denial again, ambivalence). The reason I started writing this blog was simply because I’d always written blogs and kept diaries, and my diagnosis and hospitalisation was a big event for me I needed to process, and I wanted to process it in a separate space. I have always worked through my feelings by writing things down.

This blog has gotten a lot of attention- more so…

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Candoco Dance Company Challenge The Boundaries Of Dance

The London Love Letter

For those not already aware, Candoco Dance Company is a vastly different dance company to the norm.

Why? Because it is made up of both disabled and non-disabled dancers. Their goal is to show ‘what dance can be and who dance can be’ blurring the conventional line of what a dancer ‘should’ be.

If anybody who went to see their performance at Sadler’s Wells last night had a pre-conceived idea of what a dancer ‘should’ look like, I would bet when they left the theatre their minds were changed.

The two pieces performed by the company, Beheld and Set and Reset/Reset showed off the incredible force of the dancers and how well their unique bodies come together on stage.

Beheld by choreographer Alexander Whitely was like a fierce human jigsaw puzzle – absolutely hypnotic.

beheld-c-hugo-glendinning-3 Photo: Hugo Glendinning

The dancers explored the stage, pushing the boundaries of their abilities to jaw dropping…

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The ‘anorexic voice’ has an answer to everything.

Not quite curvy; definitely real

I don’t hear it as an actual voice in my head and I don’t see it as a little devil on my shoulder. I don’t give it a name and I don’t give it all the attention it cries out for. I know it isn’t always right, but it’s always there.

As with any illness, every person’s experience of it is different, as are the coping mechanisms we adopt to deal with the feelings that surround it, but one thing remains the same – that however it manifests itself, the ‘anorexic voice’ has an answer to everything.

It’s a voice that defies logic. How many illnesses can you think of that somehow make you want to get worse? That make you go to extreme lengths to go against nature? That make you put your illness before everything else? That makes you carry on ravaging your own body despite knowing that…

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