Emmabelle Blogs

Emma's thoughts

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Controversial opinion: I disapprove of Orange is the New Black

I’m meant to love Orange is the New Black (OITNB). I’m spot on for the demographic. I should be binge-watching it on Netflix.

I watched the first few episodes and found it engaging, entertaining and moving. But the show makes me really uncomfortable.

Let me try and explain why.

Prisons are a necessary evil in a civilized society where some people will need to be incarcerated - either to protect others or as part of punishment and, hopefully, rehabilitation.

But prisons are horrible. They are often horrendous places to be. American women’s prisons are nasty.

I know some people like to say that OITNB explores these issues but the show’s compassionate treatment of them is my problem.

Essentially, OITNB is a TV show and, by it’s nature, it can never show the true and appalling conditions in women’s prisons. The same goes for other shows like Wentworth, Bad Girls and Porridge. I’m giving Oz a pass as I think that did show how horrifying prisons can be - even if the special Emerald City/M Wing was a bit of a fantasy.

Fans of the show say OITNB does try to show the realities and surely that’s better than nothing. So why does it matter?

Because it’s not bad enough. People see shows like OITNB and think they understand. But they don’t. And if people believe prison is like the sanitised version they see on TV they are less likely to be motivated to campaign for the much needed reform.

Enjoy OITNB. But, if you can, try and educate yourself about what women’s prisons are really like.

And enjoy John Oliver on prisons.

Filed under women oitnb orange is the new black penal reform prison prison reform

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Quitting sugar (again)

My last attempt at totally quitting sugar was foiled by pregnancy. My digestive system didn’t take too kindly to the hormones so I was advised to eat what I could. And thanks to going into ketosis (essentially starvation mode) I was told to eat sugar.

All my hard work quitting sugar went to waste!

But now I really need to get back to being sugar free. As before I’m using Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar as my sugar-free guru. And I’m sticking to gluten free as well.

Although everyone can benefit from cutting down on sugar this is mostly down to my plan to do everything possible to slow down the progress of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.

So, I’m going to be tracking my progress here. Not just the sugar but my bodywork, relaxation and (hopefully) my progress.

Filed under diet Sugarfree iquitsugar ehlers danlos syndrome glutenfree

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Strange experiences and seizures



I wrote this Forum piece for the Fortean Times a while ago. I was reminded of it the other night. Normally, my seizures are very specific. I get confused, have strange taste, a strange feeling then I can’t speak. But about twice a year I get a different type. The heebie jeebies. I feel deep unease, like I’m being watched, an overall “ghosty” feeling, like there’s something in the cupboard or under the bed. Pretty sure it’s a seizure thing!

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I think I’m quitting sugar


I’ve danced around quitting sugar for a long time. I’m convinced by the science, I’ve become more aware but use not yet taken the full 100% plunge into sugar free. But I think I’m ready. I’ll post more about this as I get going but I’m very excited. Sugar is terrible for collagen so I really hope it can help with some if my worsening EDS symptoms.

Filed under sugar sugarfree ehlers danlos syndrome ehlers danlos problems