I’m back! I took a slightly extended break from actualanna, life took over a bit this summer with a lot of travelling and before I knew it it’s October and definitely time to embrace that ‘back to school’ feeling I love so much in autumn and knuckle down to some writing again. I’ve even bought some glasses for the occasion. I’ve always loved that ‘new pencil case, new start’ feeling you get at this time of year. Even though this should be something like my 20th #STOAS (it’s only my 11th – oops!) I am giving up beating myself up for…

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Ah, aren’t holidays GREAT? Espesh those ones where you don’t do anything more strenuous than get through a good book, laze on the beach or walk to the local pub for dinner. I’m savouring the last few hours of my holiday vibes so will keep this intro short. More to follow on where I went and why you should go too coming soon… When I saw this for the first time I wanted to stand up and give Channel Four a round of applause. An incredible ad about disability. We’re The Superhumans | Rio Paralympics 2016 Trailer. When I worked…

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I sit writing this on a balcony in front of the most beautiful view of a Devon beach. I am on holiday and it feels reeeeeally good. I’m spending a week with my family in a couple of tiny hamlets on the border between Devon and Cornwall. I can’t describe how stunning and THERAPEUTIC it is here. After 14 years of coming on family breaks I can firmly say it is one of my top three happy places. I mean, just LOOK AT THE VIEW. I hope this week has been kind to you. Look out for a travel post…

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What a week. So much sadness in the news. I’ve ended today’s #STOAS with a happy story because everything feels pretty heavy at the moment. A week to hold everyone you love that much tighter and to speak up for what you believe in and cooperate, rather than fight with others. Politics has never, ever felt more important and consequential as it does right now. So much has been written about the Orlando shooting and this is a really intelligent attempt to work out the issues at play. Gaby Hinsliff asks some hard questions about what led to the shooting…

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I spent the latter part of this week home home with my family. I whiled away three lovely days mainly in the sunshine in and out of paddling pools (and later giant Mancunian puddles!) with my niece, walking the pooch along the streets I knew as a child and visiting friends, eating tapas and putting the world to rights. My dad hasn’t been well so it was lovely to catch some quality time with him and I had a happy afternoon in Liverpool with my mum, shopping, eating and having a cheeky glass of Sangria. I normally try and do…

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