Lucozade – change it back (Aspergers)

For as long as I can recall, Lucozade has been a reliable jolt of energy to either get me functioning or keep me functioning.

I’m having a 330ml can right now and I had to check ingredients before buying.

The issue is that the formula has changed with lower sugar ingredients. 

Which is fine for most people without issues, for me, the hit of energy is necessary and it now contains a substance I know I dislike  (Aspartame),  

I find Aspartame sends me a bit funny and I do make a point of avoiding it, so most ‘low calorie’ or ‘diet’ drinks are off the agenda for me.

So I’m back to a mix of Irn-Bru and coffee and praying that at least some  soft drinks will have a decent sugar content in future.

For people with diabetes the point is more serious. 

Diabetes – Lucozade change

Whilst my need is as an energy lift/boost and I don’t think I’m diabetic, it means a change in habits and in what I’d do. 

Meh!

Doctor Who s10 e3 Thin Ice 

A nice ‘straight into the action’ set up as episode 2 left you with the TARDIS landing on the Thames.

Now, in terms of the episode, my interest was again in terms of the exchanges between Bill and the Doctor.

First, in terms of landing and then relocating the Tardis, the dialogue on driving the TARDIS as ‘it takes you where you need to be’.

I think that’s a line the hardcore fans may dislike, The Doctor and his ship have a relationship, an eccentric one, but it was always clear in the past that he controlled it. 

Often badly or poorly but, never really previously suggesting that it decided the course.

My own opinion is that The Eleventh Doctor and River Song proved that flying the Tardis was possible and although randomness always a factor, they effectively piloted her, especially with the Doctor taking the Tardis to Trenzalore.

Next in terms of Thin Ice, the gentle mocking of Bill’s understanding of the butterfly effect as per events in time and not polluting the time stream. 

In reality,  it’s probably a high moral debate on time travel and almost straying onto the ethics of Star Trek’s Prime Directive.

We sort of know that The Doctor calling himself that is for a reason and the Clara era quotes about ‘never being cruel..’

The discussion that Bill starts over whether The Doctor has killed anyone shows that Bill is twenty first century in thinking, and whilst Capaldi’s ducking and diving around the question is entirely right for his Character, we know The Doctor has depths as well as the obvious lights and goodness.

So far, we’ve had a decent exploration of who and what The Doctor is.

Next, probably a few lines that will have Daily Mail readers spewing their sherry. 

“Regency England’s a bit more black than they show in the movies.” 

“So was Jesus. History’s a whitewash”

Great lines and entirely The Doctor.

Now, the plot of monster, scheming Aristocratic and the cute thieving urchins was absolutely fine with some silliness around the Sonic Screwdriver, use of the Psychic Paper to get answers about the creature’s byproduct and a quite excellent punch of the racist aristocrat by The Doctor.

But again, dialogue is significant in The Doctor’s exchange with Sutcliffe.

The Doctor: Human progress isn’t measured by industry. It’s measured by the value you place on a life. An unimportant life. A life without privilege. The boy who died on the river, that boy’s value is your value. That’s what defines an age, that’s… what defines a species. 

Just wow. The how’s and whys of the resolution of the episode in terms of creature, children and sutcliffe are fine.

But, back in time for ‘tea’ in the Doctor’s office at the university, Nardole plays butler but isn’t happy with The Doctor gallivanting, although Matt gets a great line about putting ‘coffee in your tea for taste’.

We’re drawn to ‘The Oath’ and right at the end ‘The Vault’ and that it’s knocking whilst Nardole bemoans being rebuilt and having to do the work whilst The Doctor adventures.

For me, a solid episode again and 8/10. The exchanges between The Doctor and Bill and his ‘speech’ to the aristocrat, cement his moral authority and whilst we know that there’s an ethical bent to the actions of The Doctor, it builds the relationship between Time Lord and companion.

The Vault will open, we can be sure of that, but not quite four knocks yet and a little doubt still as to not what, but who is inside.

Same Old s**** – why Scottish Election debates needs fresh blood, like those who are actually standing.

STV announced a Scottish Leaders Debate. With invites for Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale and Willie Rennie.

Haud. Me. Back. 

Actually don’t bother.

Yes, I know it’s unfair on the Scottish Greens and Patrick Harvie, but will all due respect to the five individuals named above, I’d rather not see them debate.

I’d like to see those actually standing for election to the Westminster debate. Not those who are safely MSPs and not standing.

I see FMQ’s, I’m not really bothered about Ruth or Willie or Kezia.

By that, I mean Angus Robertson, Ian Murray, David Mundell..

Whoever is standing for election, get them on.

Bring me something different. Fresh blood for the Bernard or whoever to toy with and paw at.

We need new performing politicians, it gets tedious putting the same ones up time after time.

PIP Mandatory Reconsideration. (Aspergers)

So I’ve been refused PIP after writing for a mandatory reconsideration.

I’m told I ‘have no diagnosed cognitive impairment and no significant low mood or anxiety’.

I’m just gutted. I tried and I want no further part in this system.

I really can’t get it. I really don’t understand it and I really just want to hide away and just rot.

My life is shit. I have nothing good. I am skint and am struggling to figure out what to do.

They think I’m not disabled. So I must ask my GP for reassessment as clearly I can’t have aspergers and I must be misdiagnosed or something. 

I must be normal and okay and fine. I feel like I’m a liar. I feel I’m some sort of cheat.

I just want some help somehow. It’s so frustrating and I’m crying typing this. I just need a break.

——–

Friday 28th April

Here’s my original post on my first time refusal 

March refusal of application

I haven’t got better, my finances are still fucked. I’m feeling more lost and helpless and I’m toiling every single day now.

If someone believed me or cared, that’d be nice. 

Being able to drag myself to work isn’t an indicator that nothing is wrong.

I’m not malnourished, but eating shite isn’t an indicator nothing is wrong.

Being capable of driving isn’t an indicator nothing is wrong.

Having a condition and being treated like crap is horrible. Having people being weird in my face all the time isn’t nice either.

I can’t and won’t say I’m suicidal as I love my kids and couldn’t do that to them. Again that’s no indicator nothing is wrong.

I want to have a happier, less stressed life like I see others with ASD diagnosis do have.

PIP could have meant a bit of financial help when I really really need it. It could have helped me reduce my working hours and have less stress or more time with the kids.

In the short term it’d have helped me sort out a mess of debt and breathe easier.

In the short term I could have afforded a holiday, a few days away.

It could have meant a chance for me to afford a night out once a month.

It could long term have allowed me to afford to do a class or an interest.

My hopes are shot. That’s what I get for believing I could get a little help.

Back to worrying, stressing and feeling crap as I stumble on through each day. 

But how does Vote till you Boak work?

I’ve been asked, so..

Imagine there was a ward with 12,000 electors and 10 candidates standing that will elect 4 council seats.

There’s obviously things like turnout  to consider, so say 60% go out and vote.

That’s 7,200 votes and say that all of them use their 1-10 voting options by voting until they boak.

Now, there’s a bar or a Quota to exceed to get elected. This explainer is from Moray Council’s website and I commend reading it.

STV vote explained

But to the Quota, Bar or Winning Lines:-


Got it? and in my example it’s 1,441 as the Quota.

1,441?

Yup, it’s a formula to get the Quota and that’s the number of valid votes cast divided by the number of seats plus one, then with one added.

So there’s 7,200 votes divided by 4 seats plus 1 and then add 1

7,200 divided by 5 then add 1 

1,440 add 1

1,441.

The higher the number of voters, the higher the Quota will beand there could be fun and games in wards with high turnouts and only 3 seats.

Equally, a low turnout and Quota in a four seat ward could be interesting too.

So to the darkness of what could happen…

It could look like this..

Scenario One.


And it could be a straight enough fight between the two SNP candidates and two Labour. 
The SNP get through in the first round of calculations with both candidates exceeding the Quota and Labour then get their candidates through on the second round by having enough next preference votes. 

That situation reflects both parties fielding two candidates in a ward and recommending their 1 and 2 in different areas of the ward.

Clear enough?

The actual method employed in the count would remove the candidate with least votes and reallocate their next preferences until someone meets the Quota.

I’m oversimplifying things by showing all the rounds of voting and all the votes that each candidate gets through each round, but the process would work out pretty much the same.

The counting process would go through the preferences of the lowest independent, then the next lowest, then the SSP, then the Liberal Democrat and so on and so on. 

The process is electronic and tabulates if you went SNP1, then Green or SNP2 then SSP and all the various permutations of the first and second preferences that are made.

With me this far?

Good, then let’s make it a bit more muddled as obviously SNP message, government and MPs MSPs are visible and people want change in the councils etc.

Scenario Two.


This time, there’s slightly more SNP votes and their candidates get through with a bigger lead. 

Once the two SNP candidates get elected, the votes for them in the subsequent rounds don’t matter. 

Two Councillors are elected at this point.

This is why in some areas SNP and Labour are saying on their electoral materials if you live in Areas A, B and C vote for Indy as 1 and Pendence as 2, and if you live in areas D, E and F vote for Pendence as 1 and Indy as 2. 

The idea being that if there’s 3000 votes for the SNP, they aren’t piled onto one candidates and both candidates votes are balanced out in terms of first and second preferences.

Going back to our example and The Greens sneak a second round place by just beating the Quota over the first two rounds of preferences.

Again, their votes won’t carry beyond that round. We have three elected councillors at this point.

The Quota calculations keep looking at preferences and in this case, the first and second preferences are enough to get The Greens elected by the Second round after starting at the bottom and working out which votes transfer as each lowest placed candidate is knocked out or wont meet the Quota number.

In the third round, more candidates beat the bar of 1,441, but it’s the Liberal Democrats whose vote over the three rounds was greatest. 

Now, their vote wasn’t higher than anyone else in the first two rounds but they secured enough votes over the three rounds to be elected.

That means all four seats are filled. 

Other candidates also met the Quota in this round but didn’t get as great a number of votes as the Liberal Democrat.

It’s not simple, but it’s fairer as the votes in all three rounds are taken into account.

The preferences are added up until a winner is found from the list and it may be that getting a greater number of votes in later rounds is a fairer reflection once the candidates elected by the first three rounds are totalled.

Scenario Three.


This example is similar to Scenario Two, but the Greens need the third preference votes and it’s a run off between a number of candidates at that point as to who is elected and where the transfers of votes do matter.

I’ve been unrealistic in assuming that the 7,200 votes carry across on each round as some voters will simply express a 1 or express a 1 and 2 as they’ve been instructed on the leaflets they’ve received. 

Not all voters will want to rank the list and there will be a drop off in numbers voting in each round. 

Perhaps, this is a danger for some candidates if the first and second preferences have near level numbers and where others pick up greater transfers of third preferences.

Scenario Four.


In this scenario, I’ve deliberately dropped the number of votes in each voting round. I’ve also made SNP1 and SNP 2  have an easier time too.

But, As I said, there will be a movement in numbers of electors in each voting round.

There’s an importance and logic in voting through the candidates until the end. 

With Ten rounds of voting preferences, there’s likely to be less votes to distribute through each round of preference as voters progressively drop out of the process.

Although the Green and LD candidates still get elected by the third round, the importance of vote transfers remains valid and there can be situations where electors voting just 1 or just 1 and 2 on their ballots drop out and won’t influence the third or fourth elected councillors in their wards.

That can leave a noticeable gap in numbers to those voting in round three and that can ease the way for candidates likely to be a third preference, no matter the combination of the first two votes made.

Therefore, matching your votes to the number of councillors elected in the ward is important.

Voting for 4 candidates if there is four seats or 3 candidates if there is three seats is the theory.

It also leads to question of parties only standing two candidates in a four seat ward. 

A third candidate might be a risk and spread votes, but if on a long list of ten or perhaps more standing, it might be a valid way to ensure that the voters are motivated to vote beyond your 1 and 2.

The opportunity for some of the parties is in gaining third and fourth preferences. That is the focus for the Greens, SSP and Liberal Democrats. 

No party can or will say who to vote for after the 1 and 2 votes, but Tories have been noticeable in saying to vote for union supporting candidates and there has at least been some reference made by writers on the pro-independence side for voting down through the full list.

Conclusion 

I think there’s merit in voting until you boke. 

The mid part of all these spreadsheets at rounds 3 to 5 would be difficult to guess, my assumptions are that the parties likely to get 1 and 2 preferences, the SNP and Labour will not get same amount of third or fourth preferences if they are standing two candidates in a field of ten. 

There may be some danger if younger voters take a vote for green first preference and then go with either SNP or Labour. That brings a different dynamic.

Equally, there may be tactical voting, if there is an encouraged block ‘Unionist’ vote at play, but I think some traditional Labour voters might see voting Tory as going too far and vice versa.

Also a factor in the mix will be that there is some pick up of the second and third preferences by the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

I think there will be a number of examples in wards across Scotland  of multiple parties reaching the Quota by the third and fourth preference stages of counting. 

Although, how straightforward some seats might be for the SNP is open to question and in some wards or areas there could be interesting results if tactical voting or a block ‘Unionist’ or block ‘Nationalist’ voting is at play.

The system and need for at least one vote on the ballot paper may see a drop off by some voters who just wish to treat as first past the post. 

Obviously, with the bar or Quota calculation in play, a high turnout might help in certain situations as it increases the Quota squeezing the pips through the rounds of voting preferences.

I cannot see widespread tactical voting affecting every seat, although I think there’s likely to be reasonable numbers thinking about voting through the list.

This may give interesting statistics in some wards as some voters will be taking seriously the chance to rank certain parties last. This makes a statement.

We know this is council election, but election materials from some parties are making it about having a view on a second independence referendum. 

Clearly the thinking is not just on electing councillors, but in terms of sticking it to the other guy and I think there could be cawing over ‘look how many electors rejected them’. 

Interesting times and an interesting use of the voting system to make positive AND negative statements.

Visible/Invisible (Aspergers)

I get my days where I think I’m part of the crowd, not much different to other people.

Thing is, I don’t see outside of myself and I don’t fully understand how I appear or come across or what I look like, sound like or seem.

It’s difficult as my perception is that I ‘fit in’, maybe I’m more odd than I know.

I have coloured lenses on my glasses and with those, I’m more aware of being different and there are times wearing them is difficult and I’ve had reactions that do upset me. 

I try and not get too focused on them, but if I’m wearing ‘my blues’, I just keep away from people, go around and not be too interactive. 

Before getting my ‘blues’ I used my sunglasses for same purpose, dealing with lights in places and got slightly less of a reaction, but some oddness from people.

I don’t want to be specific but sometimes, just being different is enough to throw people and it’d be lovely not to have a reaction or feel different or odd. 

I think when I became more aware of reactions, it brought my mood lower. I think when I realised my appearance I felt a bit hurt. A bit thrown. Not too many people ask about the lenses on my blues. 

But also, not too many people comment on my ‘otherness’ on a day to day basis. I think of it as an approximation. My masking isn’t always ‘on point’, it’s close to right at times and close to normal at others. 

I have to think eye contact and hand gesture and think slow speech and volume and tone of speech. I need to think rhythm of voice and use of language. 

Dialling it down, if you will. I need sometimes to phase out of things and at other times not to ‘ghost’.

So, I can probably think as I don’t have a stick or a wheelchair that I’m not disabled in that obvious way and that I’m invisible disability or whatever but there again are people with horrible internal conditions that are of course neurotypical. It’s thinking of a scale of issue for me.

I can tick incurable. 

I can tick life long.

I can tick degenerative (a Fixed viewpoint and aging won’t help). 

I can say my quality of life is affected and I can say that it affects my day to day decisions. 

My executive functions are wonky, my communication is wonky and so are my senses in that I hear and see and smell too much. 

My balance is probably a fraction off, it really shows when I ride my bicycle. 

My humour can be off and I can be inappropriate and I can be out of order. 

But, still I don’t qualify as ‘disabled’ as first time around I was refused PIP. (Believe me that hurts)

So, I keep trying and going and hoping something gives me a break. I’m under overwhelming stress from my life and what’s going on. 

I try not to break myself because of it, but my meltdowns this week have thrown me and put me off my usual sort of ‘keep going, don’t break’ mentality.

I know that maybe I don’t look different, or don’t seem disabled. My condition is a difference and if the world was fair, I’d get some adjustments and some thinking space in a lot more situations. I think there’s a chance of better understanding and some amount of leeway for how I am. 

At the same time,I don’t think I should have to feel stigmatised by wearing my blue lenses or to ever feel that I should need a badge or an armband or something to get a seat on the train or be treated normally (nicely or with empathy.)

So I’m Invisible/Visible. Disabled/Able. Problem/Normal. Believed/Doubted.

I didn’t choose to be. Just am.

Meltdowns x 3 (Aspergers)

I’m horribly calm now. I had two meltdowns earlier today.

I didn’t function today. I tried but I’m feeling broken. I’m feeling really broken and lost and confused and hopeless.

I got some help from an unlikely source. Yeah, help.

I’m a bit scared and a bit nervous and have my usual tingle but I wasn’t good earlier I switched off completely, then it all just flowed through me and ran out. 

An emotional and verbal sort of puke out of my system.

I can’t say why and how. I melted down on Saturday and that caused everything to go wrong. I was overwhelmed after being tired and sore and not having what I needed.

I find if I have no means to do things that I get much much more aspergersy and not how I want to be.

Had another conversation about how much better I was before dx. 

I guess to others it seemed that way. I must have been excellent at masking. I was so good at it that I couldn’t do much more aside than it. Masking to function. Functioning to mask. Mask, Function, repeat to fade.

The fade, the constant tiredness, the constant sore head, the constant mood, the constant inability to get to where I needed to be. 

Then I think and I get down and I realise I can’t be the person I’m projecting to others through masking.  And the effort and the time and the stress and strain.

I can’t describe anything better.