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The Princess's Wardrobe

  • Motherhood is weird. It’s like having a little primate, a different species, dependent on you at all times, a foreign stranger who cannot move their bodies or communicate beyond cries and huge smiles. But it’s also knowing every potential packed into that little body: there is a five year old going to school, a sixteen year old making their decisions about college, a thirty year old considering kids of their own, a person older than I am now, someone who is going to see so much of the world and do so much that just thinking about it is overwhelming.

    That is to say that after a fairly traumatic pregnancy and an equally traumatic delivery, my little boy Theodore Finbarr came into the world back on 9th December. He has changed our worlds and I am exhausted but delighted and so very much in love with that he has done already, and everything he will do in the years to come.

    Hope you’re all doing well. 💕


    soundofmind so precious!
    Feb 16, 2023

    Hkumar Congratulations :D He's really adorable. May god bless him <3
    Feb 16, 2023

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  • Hey! This is kind of random, but I just wanted to say - your wall posts are always so articulate and thoughtful, and I really enjoy stumbling across them on the People's Tab :)

    StellaThomas Awww that’s so sweet! Thank you so much 💕💕
    Sep 2, 2022

  • Here’s how I do my job:

    I do my job. I am excellent at my job.

    And then I go home and I stop doing my job.

    When I go back to work, I start thinking about my job again.

    Please note that this is not possible for some people. WFH as standard has made this really, really difficult for some people.

    But it needs to be the ideal. We need to stop normalising “always on”. We need legislation banning out of hours emails (this is meant to be coming in the EU). We need to call people out for answering calls and messages when they’re on leave and make sure they know that this isn’t expected and try to make sure that they know that it isn’t wanted. We need workplaces that work efficiently without needing to call people when they’re meant to be at home, living their lives.

    I hate the term work-life balance. It denotes an assumption that it should be 50/50. It shouldn’t.

    No matter how vocational your work is - and trust me, I know, vocation isn’t constantly weaponised against my profession as a reason to go the extra mile, stay the extra hour, pick up the extra weekend - it’s your work. It’s not your life.

    Normalise switching off.

    Normalise doing your job and then going home and thinking about other things.

    death to capitalism

  • Five and a half-ish months pregnant. Feeling nervous about all that I still have left to do. But feeling good that from Thursday onwards my baby is past the age of viability. The worst can still happen but chances of us both doing okay get higher and higher as the weeks pass. They kick and move a lot now, especially after I eat. This week they’re startling to hear sounds outside of my body, I’m planning on playing Taylor Swift’s All Too Well [10 Minute Version] into my bump at least once a day. Raise this child right.

    Work is good. I’m going to go onto the call rota for a couple of months which is more work but makes significantly more money (for higher risk). I’m working in a practice in the centre of the city and it’s up two flights of stairs. This means that I’m missing out on seeing a lot of older patients which is one of my favourite focuses of the job (note: Boy is literally training to be a geriatrician. He’s rubbed off on me!) I have to do a certain amount of continuous professional development every year as is so I’m planning on signing up for a course in community geriatric medicine to sate my need. It doesn’t start until November and runs until May so it’ll be mostly during my maternity leave, but that’s no bad thing.

    The cost of living crisis is troubling me, living in an old Georgian building with twelve foot ceilings and sash windows is troubling me when I think about having a newborn and how much we’ll have to spend on heating to keep them safe and warm, and how I won’t be earning. But we have savings. I have inherited a lot of financial concerns from my parents. Boy on the other hand, who grew up in extreme privilege (and please note I grew up in relative privilege, but attended a boarding school where I experienced the absolute privilege of others and realised that I was lower on the ladder and internalised that too), is never ever concerned about money. It’s liberating in a way—but we balance each other out. We’ll be okay no matter the gas bill. But the news is still troublesome.

    Reading a lot the past couple of months. Romcoms, contemp, literary and fantasy. Haven’t been writing, even though I should, even though I’m only working three days a week and should be using the other two days for that. The focus hasn’t been there, or the discipline. I hope it comes back.

    Hope you’re all doing okay. 💕💕💕

    Carlito "I’m planning on playing Taylor Swift’s All Too Well [10 Minute Version] into my bump at least once a day. Raise this child right." - Such a strong parenting move.

    Wishing you nothing but the best and for a healthy remainder of your pregnancy and a safe and healthy delivery!! 💜💜💜

    Aug 29, 2022

    Snoink Everybody is different, of course, but I temporarily stopped writing when I had my first child because I couldn't focus on storymaking and took a break... and now, in the last two years, I've written close to a million words. So don't worry! Just enjoy yourself. Just because you become a mom doesn't mean you lose yourself -- you only discover a different part of yourself. :)
    Nov 7, 2022

  • Hattable
    Aug 21, 2022

    STELLA i was just catchin up on yewis lore and caught on that you're expecting a BABY?? congratulations!! i realize i'm kind of late here, but wishing you smooth sailing throughout !

    StellaThomas Thank you so much lovely!! Yes I am, coming in December to a delivery ward near you!!
    Aug 22, 2022

  • Went to a wedding of two classmates yesterday. It was in our alma mater’s non-denominational chapel but led by a Catholic/Jesuit priest. The couple aren’t particularly religious as far as I know but the ceremony… was. There was a twenty minute homily which included:

    - a long explanation of how the Protestants didn’t let Catholics use the chapel until the 1970s
    - lots of guilt for everybody in the audience about dwindling church numbers
    - an explanation that because the couple were getting married in the church and not in a civil or non-religious ceremony, their marriage meant more.

    Then there was communion. I moved to let Boy past — I’m not allowed to receive as a Protestant and he looked at me and bump and said, “I just realised: if the rest of my family aren’t allowed to receive, I don’t particularly want to either”.

    Our friends whose beautiful wedding we attended last November were very hurt to hear that this priest considered their marriage less than. As they’re both women, a religious ceremony wasn’t an option.

    Overall, it felt alienating and out of touch. And perhaps worst of all, whatever was at the heart of that wedding, it wasn’t the couple in question. I don’t know how fondly they’ll look back on it.

    Spoke with my mum about it as well. If you have a wedding, and a church full of people who might not routinely attend church, surely if there’s a homily at all it should be something welcoming, thought provoking, or inspirational. This wasn’t quite fire-and-brimstone, but it was certainly something close. For a lot of people in that congregation, it may have been their first contact with organised religion in a long time. And not one person will be going back quickly on the foot of that service.

    We had had a good laugh during the ceremony with one of Boy’s friends from secondary school. We were also at his wedding (with a very nice and friendly Catholic priest) last year but his wife wasn’t in attendance yesterday due to having a prior commitment to a friend visiting from the US and travelling the country with her. At one point he leant across to me and said, “the priest keeps staring at me. I think it’s because I’m wearing a wedding ring but my wife clearly isn’t here. He must think I’m in need of spiritual guidance!” XDD

    Overall the wedding was nice. However the only non-alcoholic beverage available at the drinks reception was tap water. There’s only so much tap water one can drink while trying to stay glamourous and interesting.

    So if anyone is planning a wedding:

    - make sure if there’s a homily or a sermon that it’s less than seven minutes in length
    - get some elderflower cordial or lemonade! Your non-drinking friends will thank you.

    Snoink Come to think of it, I don't think I had any say for what my priest said in his homily at our wedding... O_o Though, I don't really remember, so it probably wasn't controversial, lol.
    Aug 21, 2022

    StellaThomas @Snoink my uncle did mine in a very generically lovely and kind tone. The only controversial thing was that instead of saying “Conor and Miriam” at the end he said “Michael & Miriam” referring to me and my brother! But it was particularly funny because our best man is also called Michael AND his girlfriend at the time was also Miriam, so there were so many possibilities as to whom he was talking about xD
    Aug 22, 2022

  • Books I’ve finished this week:

    - The Night Interns by Austin Duffy - by an Irish doctor, an agonisingly close first person account of a fictional nameless intern across a few weeks of night shifts with their colleagues Stuart and Linda. Made me remember and reflect on the darkness and the joy of intern year. Very fast read.

    - Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas - young adult fantasy - does this series need introduction ten years later? The second book of the Throne of Glass series. Celaena Sardothien, a deadly assassin, is tasked with bringing down a rebellion in the city. The Crown Prince and the captain of his guard are here to help. Very much silly 2012 YA but there’s a meatiness that comes to the end reflective of what I’ve enjoyed so much in her adult series.

    - Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid - adult, contemporary - in the 1980s, the four Riva siblings plan for the party of the year as they reflect on how fame fell into their hands. After utterly adoring The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo this one fell a little flat for me.

    - Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel - adult, literary - four storylines over four centuries from rural Vancouver Island to a colony on the moon known as Night City are intertwined by an anomaly in time. Nicely written and getting high praise, but felt too detached for me to fully engage.

  • Got my anatomy scan and baby had their hand up in front of their face, had their legs crossed and it was so special not just to see the atria and ventricles of the heart and the eye sockets and the skull and the ventricles of the brain but also to see those little human movements of this person that I literally am so excited to meet. Been reflecting on how suddenly, when they leave me, the baby is a baby in the eyes of the law, a birth certificate confirms it, everyone can see them and smell them and touch them and right now they’re like a little secret pounding away on my abdominal wall and the world is kind of amazing like the way that they know how to grow their body and how when they come into the world they’ll know to start breathing and it’s just

    StellaThomas This is also to add: I know I’m not special. I know that every single human being alive was born from the same process. That just makes it even more insane to me.
    Aug 15, 2022

    Snoink Dude. I've had five babies and the anatomy scan still makes so awed by everything. It's amaaaaaazing. Babies are great.
    Aug 15, 2022

  • My baby is kicking 💕 twenty one weeks tomorrow. Feeling good.

    I took my tortoise the the exotic animals vet because he had a wheeze. 💨 🐢 he got two shots of penicillin (0.05ml, because he only weighs 320g!) and the vet has given me three shots to administer at home upon discovering we were both doctors. So add “intramuscular reptile injections” to my repertoire. Today’s appointment was late because they had a CHEETAH from the local wildlife park in the vet for a dental extraction.

    What I’m not good at? Apparently using correct pronouns for said tort. Turns out Darwin is actually… AFAB? Except no tortoise is actually assigned anything at birth because it’s impossible to tell. So… assigned female at four years? So pronouns are all up in the air!

    Hope you’re all well and that these updates have brightened your day. 💕

  • Something I’ve been thinking about recently is how all those “be yourself” narratives in fiction directed at teens is… rubbish.

    Here’s the thing: NO ONE is entirely comfortable as a teenager in themselves and a lot of that is because you’re still in this gorgeous phase of trying to figure yourself out. That process involves trying on different identities like outfits, seeing what you like and don’t like. It’s painful. It leaves you feeling awkward and embarrassed when things don’t work.

    I emerged into adulthood feeling like literally the most awkward weirdest person in the world.

    Recently I was talking to a friend. I met this friend when I was 24 or 25. We were talking about one of the trainers on our scheme and I said how awkward I thought she was. “And I know I’m one to talk, as awkward as I am.”

    My friend frowned and looked at me. “You’re not awkward at all.”

    That part of me is gone.

    That awkwardness is a cocoon that comes off in adulthood. When at 29 I am completely confident about my knitting and my tortoise. How those don’t define me into the “weird kid” category and I still can wear clothes and make up that others covet or compliment almost as if I’m in the “cool kid” category. There are no categories anymore because as adults we lose the need to categorise ourselves.

    And that’s why adults decide to give the age old advice of “just be yourself!”

    And that’s why that advice is rubbish.

    Take your time. Be whoever you want. Try whatever you want. Accept that it might be awkward, painful, embarrassing. Just be confident that, ultimately, it’s all stages. It all passes. You do emerge at the end and you think, wow, maybe I should have been myself the whole time. But you can’t do that until you figure out who you are.

  • Watched and enjoyed Under the Banner of Heaven last week - it’s on Disney + here but not sure about elsewhere. Andrew Garfield tenderly portrays a Mormon detective in Utah investigating a violent murder of a young woman and her 15 month old baby. The investigation storyline is coupled with the history of the Lafferty family that ended with Brenda’s untimely end, and the history of the Mormon church: the violence perpetrated against them as well as the violence perpetrated by them in the early days. It’s a true and devastating story. Garfield is definitely standout, I loved to see his interactions with his family as well as those with his partner portrayed by Gil Bermingham, an indigenous American who is an outsider in the LDS community and a massive skeptic. It’s a slow paced but gripping miniseries. Highly recommend.

  • back when we were still changing for the better

  • Am in Lisbon at a hen party. Just back from dancing on the street. It was great.

    If you’re ever interested in Europe please understand: we are intrinsically uncool people. ABBA is our cultural heritage.

  • Been reflecting on how one of the worst things about being a woman in medicine is: women who love “being a woman in medicine” so much that they feel the need to tread on other women in medicine.

    That is, women who feel special because they are a woman in a traditionally male dominated profession - though that is quickly changing with 60% grads being female - and feel threatened by the presence of other women in the space.

    It mightn’t sound real but it is. Ask any female doctor if they’ve ever come across a female doctor who hates other female doctors. It’s a very real phenomenon. I knew one who refused to call her intern by her name and instead called her “intern” for three months so that she could learn her place. My first GP practice was a husband and wife duo, and it became increasingly clear with time that the wife did not like a young woman in her space. Some colleagues suggested it was because I spent a lot of time with her husband as his trainee but it wasn’t that. It was a professional dislike: that there was another woman in her space and what’s more, a woman who was traditionally female, bubbly, friendly and warm (and who got a huge share of her patients, multiples of whom told me they found her cold, and other less savoury terms I won’t be repeating).

    Anyway I think my new practice has another. What’s good is that she is an assistant as am I, so I have no hierarchical reason to answer to her. What’s bad is that this is a woman with a highly public presence. She’s an influencer with a massive amount of followers on Instagram. I don’t care, but it bothers me that a female doctor who hates other female doctors is purporting to be a champion of women’s health and women within the profession. But then, really, is it any surprise? If you’ve built a brand off being a female doctor, would you not feel threatened by others encroaching in that title?

    The #girlboss narrative needs to die. The saccharine #womensupportingwomen posts need to be replaced by action. That action can be:

    - mentorship
    - monitoring your own interactions with women - are they supportive, helpful, friendly? How do they compare with your interactions with men?
    - checking in with colleagues who are junior and colleagues in other disciplines: are they doing okay? Are they getting their breaks, leaving on time, getting their holidays?
    - indiscriminately celebrating the successes of your female colleagues, be they professional, academic or personal. And of your male colleagues too!
    - supporting pregnant and post partum colleagues
    - joyfully welcoming new female colleagues into the fold, and remembering that they are allies and not rivals.

    Let’s kill the internalised misogyny. Last year I worked in an all female practice. We regularly took work off one another. We asked each other questions. I as a junior was still given respect for my experience in psychiatry and geriatrics. When I got pregnant, the others wordlessly took covid patients off my hands - and my boss let me have a 10am start on days when I couldn’t leave the bathroom floor to get in for nine. The practice worked on kindness, mutual respect and feminine language. I adored it. I want to go back so badly when I get back to my home city. Women doctors work well together. You just have to agree to let them into your world.

    Snoink The same thing is true for other STEM fields, sadly. :( My sister and sister-in-law both work in stem (geophysics and mechanical engineering, respectively) and while most of the women that they work with are wonderful, some of them totally used that to belittle their woman coworkers, and it was totally not okay.
    Jul 28, 2022

  • Last night I finished, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Spanning three decades from when Sadie, visiting her sister, meets Sam in a children's hospital play room, it charts the course of their lives as their friendship waxes and wanes and they start a video game production company. It is, more than anything, a book about video games, about which I know little. But I still loved this book, loved the worlds that Sadie and Sam created together, their passion for it, how their collaboration and creativity together overcame so many obstacles. It's an adult novel and contains a lot of adult themes, SA and controlling relationships, abortion and pregnancy, mental illness and the realities of disability. But I'd still recommend it, especially for anyone who has a passion for gaming. There are so, so many themes explored through it but one of the biggest is the concept of infinite and alternate lives, what death means in a game vs what death means in reality, how games can help people to cope in the darkest of circumstances. A five star read from me.

The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma.
— Patrick Star