Saturday, April 30, 2005

It really makes you wonder...

At some point in the middle of last night's insomnia, I heard on World Service that in Florida, a court had banned a 13 year old girl from having an abortion because she lacks the emotional maturity to make such a decision.

The girl, referred to as L.G., is living in what seems to be the equivalent of in care in the UK, and you can't help but wonder, if she supposedly lacks the competence to choose to have an abortion, how on earth can this court rule that she has to carry a pregnancy to full term? She's incompetent to make a choice regarding her own body and her own life, but by default competent to give birth to an unwanted baby and either look after it or give it away?

The court heard evidence that with regard to her physical health, an abortion at her age was much safer than completing a pregnancy and giving birth. The girl herself, from what I have read, seems to have argued articulately and convincingly about her reasons for wanting a termination, and yet some judge in some court bans her from going ahead, so she now, presumably, has to complete pregnancy and give birth. By which time she will be 14, still living in care (which she regularly runs away from), having a much huger decision to have to make.

Emotional immaturity?? Get some logic! And L.G., wherever you are, Good luck, and keep fighting. You deserve to have the choices involving what happens to your own body, and your own life, and I hope that despite the ignorance, stupidity and arrogance of the legal system you will get your wishes. And that goes for every other woman on this planet too.

How can you trust me with a baby if you can't trust me with a choice?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Collapses, Competitions, Sculptures, Sayings.

Here is a great video of a high-rise block of flats in the Norfolk Park area of Sheffield being demolished yesterday. There's a quite cool moment where they collapse the instant a bird flies behind them. Who'd have thought they were that powerful!

A few weeks ago, I won a competition on the rather lovely grownupgreen website. It involved writing a Letter from the Future, and I was stunned and so very happy when I got a phonecall saying I'd won :)

You can read the essay here. If you want to.

Anyone who reads hippie blog regularly will know about the death of Andrea Dworkin. On Saturday, the Guardian published the last thing she wrote before she died, entitled Through the Pain Barrier, about her experiences of chronic pain and disability which she endured through the last years of her life. It is powerful and thought-provoking and very poignant, given her death so soon after it was written.

Chinese Watermelon Sculpture (seriously) is really, really impressive. And I never knew it existed til, well, 14 seconds ago...

I leave you with a thought:
Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day....give a man religion and he will starve to death while praying for a fish.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Beware of Sheffield Co-op cat food...! Posted by Hello

A bit of light relief...

01 Pick five songs that most people would know.
02 Select lyrics of up to but not surpassing 150 words from each one.
03 Go to Babelfish
04 Translate the lyrics from English to German to French to Portugeuse to English
05 Post the resultant gobbledigook and ask people to figure out what the songs are.


1. It does not form of the Jehuda, bad they take to it a song sad and they form it - you better. If if it remembers vocês vósdeixa- to it in your heart, can then better start to form it

2. This is the true life? This is a fancy joust? Verfangen in a landslide, is not run awayed - of the reality. If it opens your eyes, it looks at until skies and, they do not see me are a poor youngster, me need affection, parce necessarily that simple I came, simply to go, high a small number, little slightly, each possible way that really does not constitute the impacts of wind to me, to me.

3. A party launched the employee in the arrest of county. The volume of arrest was there and it collected too much jammern above. The volume was jumpin ' and the relation started to balance.' Should ' ve had been considered to sing it hit part jailbirds. If I made us - er to balance, each one, make to balance us. Each one in complete cell the block was dancin ' to the arrest rocking.'

4. Removed in Krippe absolutely no Krippe for a bed, small Lord Jesus has not stipulated its gentle head. The ASTRE in the luminous sky have looked at in lower parts, true and small Lord Jesus has put him that the dormente are on hay.

5. A God to store our pleasant queen, to live ours much time splendid queen, excluded God our queen sends its victorieux, happily and prachtvoll, much time, more on us to govern an excluded God our queen.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Weights and Whacks.

You can get the details from this Guardian article, but the news is that:
  • Overweight people have a lower risk of early death than those whose weight is regarded as normal

  • the finding has brought an immediate accusation that the serious health consequences of expanding waistlines in developed countries have been overstated.

  • "What is officially deemed overweight these days is actually the optimal weight."

On another positive note, until this entry is referenced by search engines, I have a googlewhack! It is... neuroleptic flump. And yes, I know it breaks one of the mini-mini-mini rules, but wikipedia tells me it's technically called a fubawl. Yes indeed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I got junk mail today from the Royal British Legion. Random. I also got a free sample of Surf washing powder though, and it was dressed in a grass skirt. Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Saturday, April 16, 2005

In Vino Veritas.

I have ranted before about Robert Kilroy Silk, and since all that he has split off from UK Independence Party and started his own party, known as Veritas. It has amused me greatly that after looking through the first 40 pages of google results for Veritas, there is still no direct link to their party on there!

Even on a UK only search they still haven't come up by page 15 of results (and I'm getting bored of clicking).

Anyway, I actually know where their stupid site is, and the gist behind their whole campaign is, allegedly, truth and honesty. The other general theme behind their campaign is one of racism. Kilroy-Silk, when interviewed yesterday, stated that
"no-one voted for britain to become multi-cultural, it was imposed by those liberal fascists in london".

He is basically a hateful man, and I really quite detest him.

As a result of this and other things he has famously said in the past (all along the same racist lines), I got quite an evil grin when I received the following message:
Regardless of your views on Europe, I'm sure most of us can agree that [Kilroy] really is a horrible, horrible man.

His quote of today, "no-one voted for britain to become multi-cultural, it was imposed by those liberal fascists in london"

So wouldn't it be amusing if the opinion poll on his own website about the european constitution showed a yes vote.

Go on, regardless of what you really think, go to and vote YES in the poll.

So, I did just that. And Yeses were rapidly approaching Nos on there. That made me rather gleeful, I have to say.

Then this morning I was sent a link to Veritas-Lies. Oh yessss. Veritas, the party of truth and honesty, seems to have been playing around with the truth and honesty of the poll on their website.
Their poll originally asked 'Do you believe the U.K. should adopt the new European Constitution?' On 14 April 2004, a campaign was started on gay community website, asking people to vote 'yes', in favour of the poll. By the evening of 15 April, the 'yes' votes were rapidly gaining ground on the 'no' votes, as shown in this screenshot, taken at 10pm on 15 April.

The vote narrowed to just 30 votes between 'yes' and 'no' at around 8am on 16 April. But by 9am the 'no' vote had shot up by 500 additional votes, as you can see in this screenshot taken at 11am on 16 April. The unlikeliness of 500 additional no votes genuinely being registered between 8am and 9am on a Saturday morning is reinforced by the fact that only 2,000 votes had been cast in total since the poll began on 2 February 2004.

However, at around 2pm on Saturday, the 500 additional votes suddenly vanished, leaving the 'yes' votes with a marginal lead. However, the wording of the poll had also been subtly changed to introduce a double negative: it now asked 'Do you believe the U.K. should not adopt the new European Constitution?' as you can see in this screenshot taken at 2.10pm on Saturday. This converted all the former pro-Constitution votes into votes against the Constitution.

The party that prides itself on 'truth' has shown quite admirably that it simply can't handle the truth.

Bearing all that in mind, I very much like this song that someone has written. It is a rather catchy theme song that I think Kilroy et al should consider adopting as the party anthem...

And finally, my hamsters seem to have bagged me some search engine referrals today. One person came to me via Pierrot 2005 knitting, and another via "Heidi and Clara" download. And while knitting may actually prove to be a suitable pastime for the rather lazy Pierrot, I'm afraid that Clara, and her unfortunately deceased sister Heidi are not available for download.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Bleaching and Books.

There is something incredibly disturbing about this article, Getting to the bottom of an unwholesome obsession. It seems that the 'latest thing' in beauty salons in Australia is anal / rectal bleaching. It is as horrific as it sounds. One of the beauticians "acknowledges that her long-term clients (many of whom come in for treatments every six weeks) suffer serious skin problems. "I explain that it will give them eczema and so on, but they want it anyway," she says", and the Australian Medical Association say that
"the use of harsh bleaching substances could cause anal burning and scarring. This, in turn, could lead to anal incontinence or an inability to pass stools at all."

It is called Sphincter Bleaching and the article points out a direct link to pornography. We already know how damaging pornography, and the messages sent out by pornography, are to women, and this is clearly spelt out:
"I've got one client who's a divorced woman with a couple of kids. She was looking at a Playboy magazine with her new boyfriend and he was making some comments about how clean and light the women looked. My client started to get a little paranoid."

It seems we need Andrea Dworkin more than ever. It also seems to me that this is the exact reason we need to carry on her work.

There are many people who have never come across Andrea's work, but are reading tributes to her life and politics and are keen to know more. They are asking for recommendations of what to read, and mine are as follows:

Life and Death: Unapologetic writings on the continuing war against women. This is my favourite of Andrea's works. It is a series of writings, essays, speeches, on different subjects around the area of male violence against women. I have read it several times and it never fails to fire me up, inspire me, scare me, and make me go out and act.

Pornography: Men Possessing Women is a seminal work on the effect of pornography on the women used in it, and the effect on how women are treated by men who use pornography. It is vivid and detailed and distressing and absolutely spot-on politically, and is very, very thoughtful and insightful.

Heartbreak: The Political Memoir of a Feminist Militant is Andrea's autobiography which gives fascinating details of her upbringing and life, and the context in which she based her radical feminism. It is an incredible book which frames her other works in a unique way.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Long Words and Lies.

This obituary is of the negative variety, though there are many, many worse. There were several words I had to look up, including:

vituperative - Using, containing, or marked by harshly abusive censure.

solipsist - one who adheres to the belief that self is the only thing that is real, and can be verified.

vituperation - abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will.

invective - Denunciatory or abusive language; vituperation.

Those words give you an idea of the kind of writing it is, and the picture of Andrea which it invokes. Bitter, twisted, unreasonable woman.

They know nothing.

"Pornography is used in rape -- to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act," Andrea Dworkin testified before the U.S. Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in 1986

R.I.P. Andrea Dworkin

We have lost a warrior. Andrea Dworkin.

Ok, so the press and broadcast medias are maybe catching up.

You can listen to a tribute to Andrea here on Woman's Hour this morning, on BBC Radio 4.

The world's newspapers are waking up.

Worth reading is the Independent article.

Nikki Craft has made a Memorial site for Andrea, where women can talk about her, pay tribute to her and her work, and share their most inspiring and favourite quotations.

I wrote,
Andrea spoke about me. She spoke about so many of us. And she spoke for us too.

She had a way of getting right to the crux of the matter instantly. No messing around, no apologising for what she was going to say, no fluffing around. She said it, right out, right there. She hit the spot with every word she wrote.

I have never been as angry, inspired, fired up, as when I read 'Life and Death'. Every time I read it, the same happens. For me, that book hits right between the eyes, and you can't hide any more from the things that sometimes I would like to pretend didn't exist.

The fact that Andrea has been so vilified is proof, to me, that she was dangerous to the heteropatriarchal establishment. If she wasn't, then the malestream media would not have felt the need to humiliate, dismiss and hurt this amazing woman. But she was dangerous to them, she spoke the truth so clearly, and the only way to escape that was to slate her.

I remember reading the Observer article in which she talked about having been drugged and raped. I cried, and nodded at so much of what she said. And cried some more. I remember her saying something about how, afterwards, she couldn't get her head round the fact that people were just getting on with their day-to-day lives. How could they still be shopping, talking, laughing, when this had happened?

I felt the significance and meaning of what she said acutely.

And then came the backlash. The criticisms, questionings, and downright accusations directed at her following her discussion of her experience of drug rape stunned me. For *any* woman to be disbelieved, mocked and criticised after discussing their experience of rape, is an appalling indictment of the misogyny in the society we live in. But somehow, for Andrea herself to experience this felt even worse.

It felt like those who had criticised her work for so long, were now criticising her for speaking out about her own experience of it too, as an extension of the criticism of her work.

At first I wanted to say, even if you don't agree with her beliefs, her feminist politics, you must still believe her account of this further annihilation of her as a woman by being drugged and raped.

And then I realised that her work, her politics, her beliefs, are *all* about when women talk about this annihilation of themselves. The two can't be separated.

To dismiss Andrea Dworkin's work, is to dismiss women's experiences of rape and sexual violence against women.

To dismiss women's experiences of rape and sexual violence, is to dismiss Andrea Dworkin's work.

The two are inextricably linked as they lead from one to the other. Andrea talked about women's experiences of rape and sexual violence.

She talked about my experiences of rape and sexual violence, about Linda Marchiano's experiences of rape and sexual violence, about Nicole Brown Simpson's experiences of rape and sexual violence, about prostituted women's experiences of rape and sexual violence, and about her own experiences of rape and sexual violence.

She helped women to frame their own experiences within the context of the misogyny and patriarchal society we live in.

We have lost an outstanding warrior, and the only fitting tribute is to continue what she did. To speak, to challenge, to care, to cry, to shout.

Rest in peace Andrea, my sister.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Andrea, My Sister.

Finally, one of the mainstream media sources has reported Andrea's death. It is in The Guardian, a broadsheet here in the UK. Many people are seeing that as a representation of how Andrea was treated in life as well, where she was in many ways taken much more seriously in Europe and the UK than she ever was in the States, her home country.

The Feminist Daily News Wire says,
4/11/2005 - Andrea Dworkin, a feminist icon and scholar, died on Saturday at the age of 58. Her cause of death was not known, but her agent Elaine Markson told the Guardian that she had become frail in the last week and had a series of falls. Dworkin was the author of over a dozen books, and was known best for her writings on pornography and violence against women, as well as her theories on how these issues contributed to sexual inequality.

“The women’s movement, domestically and globally, has lost one of its most moving, brilliant, and clear voices,” said Robin Morgan, a noted feminist author (her books include Sisterhood Is Powerful and Sisterhood Is Global) and former editor-in-chief and current Global Editor of Ms. magazine. “Andrea Dworkin was a fine writer, had a fierce intellect, and was an uncompromising feminist.”

Dworkin, together with feminist lawyer Catharine MacKinnon, wrote a law defining pornography as a violation of women’s civil rights, enabling women to sue those who produce and distribute pornographic materials. The law was passed in Indianapolis in 1983, but was overturned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals two years later.

The works of Dworkin on sexual inequality and to end pornography have been highly controversial. The Guardian described Dworkin in 2001, saying, “Dworkin is a threat, of course, to exactly the extent that radical feminists have always posed a threat – pointing out unapologetically the degree to which violence against women and children by men remains rampant.”

for Andrea, My Sister. (died April 9th, 2005) by Helen Caddes
'My prayer for the women of the next millennium: have hard hearts; and learn how to kill'- Andrea Dworkin (1999)

you died yesterday
and I never knew
because I was sending
a sister
you would have loved
to see Carmen.

I called a good friend
of yours
without knowing
and bitched about
the minutae of life,
male privilege,
and how I was going to be
myself again
at long last
how you two had inspired me
to that
how i couldn't stand
to live in a world
that wasn't colored by your
collective radiance.

fiery, raging, angrily
I told her the things
I was brave enough
to tell you in person.

I'm not sure if you understood
the high honor
I felt
seeing you speak
at my college
in Tennessee.

nobody could understand
my excitement.
i wanted to kiss everyone.
i was so impressed by anyone
who even showed up
that night
that i continued to give them credit
years later

I want a tape of that speech
from the Holocaust Conference
where you confided to us
that you'd spit on Hitler's grave.

you died after the pope,
which I'm sure pleased you

you died before you got to see
who the new pope was,
but you know,
the world is better without a new pope

hierarchies, lies, unjust courtrooms.
my one chance to see you.

I asked you a question,
and my dear,
I will be eternally glad
that I had the huevos to.

I can talk to you whenever I want to now,
during this,
the week before the sixtieth anniversary
at Ravensbruck.

the pope is dead.

Andrea, you will never die.

your fire will live through me
and our sisters

anyone who misquotes her again
we've got her back.
and we've got it forever.

trust this woman's wisdom,
get a new perspective on
the world you think you know
and watch it change around you

watch the power of love intermingled
with truth
as it is tapped by my tears.

my anguished cries
no one understood
amidst the clutter of moving
screaming into the night
railing against the angels
from taking ours from us
until her next reincarnation.

an honest woman who should have been president
and you lied about her.

America, you should be ashamed.

you loved men for the sacred virtue
of their genitalia alone
and silenced a fucking legend.

I will never forgive you.

read something of hers
and you will never forgive yourself,

shining amidst the stars
in some spiral galaxy
kissing away the pains
of earthly strife
Andrea shimmers
as the sun shines through
my window.

each new day,
i will live for her
and strive to learn the words
she'd have me say.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

R.I.P. Andrea.

Andrea Dworkin died in her sleep early in the morning yesterday.

Information will be posted at nostatusquo, amongst other places, as it arises.

Rain and Thunder have said,
It's been a tough day here for the Rain and Thunder crew since this morning when we got word that Andrea Dworkin had passed away. She died peacefully in her sleep at home Friday night. At this point, there just aren't enough words. Her unwavering committment to women, to naming the violence waged against us, to taking our stories and experiences and the realities of our lives seriously, to challenging our movement to be revolutionary and creative in our resistance to male supremacy, well, it gave life to many of us who struggled as radical feminists in a world hostile to our work, visions, and survival.

I can't say how much she impacted each of us and what she and her work meant. I know when we put together several years ago the tribute issue of Rain and Thunder honoring her and her work, so many women came out of the woodwork to express what she meant. It was the issue that we received the most responses and contributions for -- nothing like it before or since. And that's no surprise since she was a brave visionary uncompromising in her work and an absolute inspiration and a warrior, as one radical feminist put it.

Rest in Peace, Andrea.

'My prayer for the women of the next millennium: have hard hearts; and learn how to kill'- Andrea Dworkin (1999)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Reclaim the Rainbow from the Scary Lesbians.

"A Chronology of Hate": The Pope's words on homosexuality from 1978 to 2005. Nice.

I like t-shirts. Like those from Womenstand and oneangrygirl. But, just as there are feminist and lefty t-shirts, there are also, umm, right(y) t-shirts too. I presume this one is to do with 'taking the rainbow back' from us gay types. And Proud to be a Christian in Texas is just, well, stoopid!

On a somewhat related note, I adore Tom Lehrer. I discovered him through his Elements song, and loved it enough to search for more. Only to discover that he did tonnes of marvellous stuff. A long term favourite of mine is The Vatican Rag which I have finally found online so can link to it. It is most definitely worth a listen, especially to any fellow Recovering Catholics out there.

You know when you are doing something you wouldn't really want to be witnessed, and then you discover that someone is indeed watching. Well, I reckon that's how this Lithuanian right-wing politican felt when he was spotted, well, nuzzling his microphone.

And on a similarly oral note, if you were disappointed at Easter by the hollowness of the chocolate ova, get yourself a solid chocolate egg in a few easy steps! Mmm!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Charity shops in Chesterfield are the best! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Following this mention of some class April Fool gags, snopes have an even better list here.

For instance, Black day as EU fools with place names - European bureaucrats will push forward legislation today to force the Scottish Executive to change place-names that offend or discriminate on the grounds of race and gender.

Penises bigger than thought - The average erect male penis size is much larger than previously thought , with 20 cm-long penises being standard for most men, researchers have found.

Buy Your Own Speed Cam Pic! - Speeding motorists are to be given the chance to buy a pictorial memento of their offences.

And finally, the BBC give us a list of 10 stories that could have been pranks - but aren't!

This video is incredibly weird. I followed a link to it from someone who was talking about the huge negative impact of the new(ish) fad for kids to use the word gay to mean rubbish, crap, boring, bad.

I agree this is an appalling use of the word and in particular, gay teens whose peers use this term thoughtlessly must feel dreadful.

So I clicked on the vid and smirked for the first few seconds, then spent most of the rest of it with my mouth dropped open in disbelief. Feel free to watch it, but be prepared for total, disturbing oddity.

Andrew Marr has written an article, What the World Thinks of America. It's a pretty good article actually (even if Andrew Marr himself very annoyingly pronounces the title of one of the radio programmes he presents The Westminster Aaaarrrrr).

Talking about an intense desire to assert a different identity amongst Brits and Americans, he states areas of British life which enphasise the diffrerences most clearly, including
in the mere existence of Radio 4, which is perhaps the most un-American act carried out daily in English.

That's so true, and nicely put.

New word of the day: hagiography: a biography that idealizes or idolizes the person.

No implications of my thoughts about Popes, living or dead, nor what people say about them when they die, influenced my joy to learn and share that great word [cough].

This story, and others like it, make me immensely sad. A man lay dead in his home for 6 years until anyone looked for / found him. I don't know what the solution is to this kind of situation, but if there had been more of a sense of community, and looking out for one's neighbours, or if any of the series of official visitors (a police officer had called, and so had bailiffs for the water company after bills went unpaid. Likewise there were attempted visits by his doctor, the Benefits Agency, and housing officials chasing unpaid rent.) who had tried to contact him had followed it up, Kenneth Mann wouldn't have had to suffer such indignity, if nothing else.

councils [are] encouraged to monitor old people living on their own, but that they had no legal obligation to do so.
Is that good enough? I don't really know, but it clearly wasn't in this case.

And I hate election campaigning already.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Fools and Bombs.

Urgo do a great collection of some of the April Fools jokes which appear on websites both popular and obscure.

I particularly like the Holo-Screen (developed at 'Polo Flair' labs!) and Cradle of Filth duetting with Britney.

G0OG1EB0M8ING: liar / ignorant bigots / opportunist / abortion / fuckwit / empty rhetoric / miserable failure / poodle / Roe v. Wade / social security / Online Poker

Bombing for Choice
Wiki GBombing
If Automated Answer Machines Could Googlebomb
Go0gleb0mbing: The Rules

Toilets and Trying Times.

I am ill. It varies. I have endometriosis and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I have various manifestations of madness, and I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). All of these are long-term conditions.

Endometriosis, PCOS, IBS and insanity all have something in common. They are not especially socially acceptable things to discuss in many circumstances. Talking about girlie bits, poo or emotional dysfunction makes many people uncomfortable. They think you are being too personal, or too revealing, or something, and they often want to run away. My tip for chronic illnesses is to try and acquire one which people don't 'faire un cul de poule' with their lips if you mention it and look at you like you just mooned the Queen.

So, I mentioned IBS among that lot. I was diagnosed with this around 7 years ago. At times it is not a big problem, at other times it is entirely debilitating. I developed it post-virally, but once the virus had gone, the IBS stuck, and is still hanging around (no 'like a bad smell' jokes necessary ;) ).

Lists and explanations of IBS symptoms are all over the internet. My own form of it affects me to varying degrees and intensities on a seemingly random basis. I get extreme pain and diarrhoea. Sometimes the pain is milder, thankfully.

But at its worst (which it is today), the pain makes me cry. Even if I could move around easily I'd be scared to in case I was too far from a toilet when I get the sudden cramps and need to go now. So when my IBS is this bad, it essentially halts my life. And there is little warning that it is going to be bad.

Like today for instance. I had to cancel meeting two friends for lunch, as about 20 minutes before I was due to leave, I had an 'attack' which lasted until long after I was due to be there. Thank goodness for text messages.

I felt very bad for having to cancel, especially on the last minute, and I worried, as I always do in this situation, that people would think I was making excuses, or at the very least exaggerating what I was going through.

So, I felt very validated and much better, when I read this, a guide explaining IBS to people who don't have it.

You can (and should!) read the whole document and explanations of the points made at the IBS Group site, but points I particularly liked were:







My friends may be smirking about the tardiness statement, and quite rightly. Often I am late because I am unorganised, but sometimes it truly is for IBS reasons.

It is not a socially acceptable condition to discuss, and yet it is important for those of us who live with it, to be able to get some understanding from those who don't. Billy has talked about it, and there are IBS blogs. And so now I am coming out too. It might be related to poo, but I live with it and it really, really hurts and disrupts my life sometimes. There.

I take Colpermin which is prescribed for me by my doctor, to help manage the symptoms. Its active ingredient is peppermint oil and the capsule is designed to only disintegrate once it is in the intestines, so the peppermint is released within the intestines and helps to relieve the spasms. When I was first prescribed it I thought I wasn't being taken seriously ("I'm having diarrhoea 12 times a day and you're giving me aromatherapy??") but decided to give it a go anyway, and was very pleasantly surprised at how much more effective it was than the previous prescription medications I had tried.

It's not a cure, it's not even always an effective reliever, but more often than not it helps, and I'm extremely glad of that.

You can also buy Colpermin over the counter I believe. I do have a few tips though if anyone does decide to try it.

The information explains that
The capsule’s enteric coating ensures that it remains intact as it passes through the stomach acids and the small intestine. Once in the large intestine the active ingredient, peppermint oil, is slowly released for maximum effect and relief.

I agree with that, but I also have to state that the other reason the tablet must not disintegrate before the intestines is because if it disintegrates in the stomach, the heartburn you will get is incomparable to anything you have ever experienced. Seriously.

So, for that reason, when it tells you to not eat for at least half an hour after taking the tablet, it means it. Eating seems to keep the capsule stuck in your stomach a bit too long, and it starts to disintegrate there. Similarly, I would add some perhaps odd advice, but it is always worth smelling the capsule before you swallow it. If you smell a strong odour of peppermint, throw it away and take a different one. The capsule is probably cracked, and this can make the capsule come apart too early, in the stomach, too. I'd imagine it is for these same reasons that the packet advises to not take antacids at the same time as this medication. My theory about that is that the stomach is an acidic environment, and the intestines a more alkaline environment. So presumably the capsules are designed to begin to break up on contact with alkaline substances. So if you take an antacid, which are often made of alkaline substances, to neutralise stomach acid, then you are exposing the tablet to an alkaline environment within the stomach, so it will start to disintegrate, leading to heaaartbuuuuuuurn.

Don't say I didn't warn you ;)

Recommend: IBS explained for people who don't have IBS.

Note to Self.

It feels so 80's
Or early 90's
To be political
Where are my friends?
(Get off the internet!)
I'll meet you in the street
(Get off the internet!)
Destroy the right wing
(Get off the internet!)
I'll meet you in the street
(Get off the internet!)
Destroy the right wing
This is repetitive
But nothing has changed
And I'm crazy
Where are my friends
(Get off the internet!)
I'll meet you in the street
(Get off the internet!)
Destroy the right wing
(Get off the internet!)
I'll meet you in the street
(Get off the internet!)
Destroy the right wing

Get Off the Internet - Le Tigre