Hello there! Whether you’ve followed me from my old blogging home at Freethought Blogs or this is your first time visiting, it’s lovely to see you here. I’m really happy to be part of this project and to work with the fantastic people we’ve got here. I hope that you’re as excited as we are about the Orbit- and I hope you’ll help us to get this site started any way you can.
With a new space comes a new beginning, so let me introduce myself.
Who are you?
I’m Aoife. I’m an Irish blogger, educator and community organiser- although next year I’ll be off on a new adventure around Europe that I would love you all to join me on.
I’ve spent my late twenties and early thirties surviving the recession in Dublin. Working a bunch of jobs, from researcher to call centre monkey to English language teacher, while working on the things I love on the side. Two and a half years ago I founded Bi+ Ireland, the first organisation to provide support, community and advocacy for bi+ people throughout the island of Ireland. We’re pretty great. I also facilitate workshops and talks on bisexuality, relationships and consent. Those are pretty great, too.
When I’m not writing, speaking or working, I’m probably playing roller derby.
What’s going on here, then?
You want feminism? You’ve got it. How about discovering a version of Ireland without a leprechaun in sight, filled with diverse voices? Sorted.
Ilove my country, and I believe that it can be far better than it is. I’ll keep you all up to date on both Irish and international happenings- whether it be our ongoing fight for abortion rights in Ireland, to amplifying the voices of LGBTQ people working for equality, and far more. Ireland is in a desperately important time right now, in the corner of a continent grappling with a choice between openness and fear. I hope that we can learn from one another and understand each others contexts just a little better.
It ain’t all serious, though, and it ain’t all about the big topics. In the past, I’ve shared my struggles with working though mental health difficulties and economic precariousness, grappling with grief back when I was coming to terms with my atheism, and shared how I’ve found support and a rich community. I also share drawings and comics, and I’ll rhapsodise about women’s sports, or share my latest recipes, any chance I get.
What’s this about tea cosies?
When you start blogging you never really expect many people to read it, do you? I sure didn’t. I started my blog way back in 2010, less than a year after graduating with my MA (in sociology, of course). After half a decade in education I wasn’t dealing well with having free time in the evenings. Writing essays was pretty much all I knew how to do back then. So instead of getting myself a real hobby I hopped onto WordPress and set myself up a blog.
The name? Came from a conversation that me and a friend kept having on lazy Sundays, idly dreaming up the café we’d set up when we had all the money in the world. We were going to call it Russell’s TeaShop. One day, it occurred to me that if Russell’s Tea Pot really were a thing, it would make terrible tea. You’d never get water hot enough in a vacuum.
Not without one hell of a tea cosy.
The Tea Cosy started off in its own little corner of WordPress. A couple of years ago, I was invited to join Freethought Blogs. I jumped at the chance to work with a group of people committed to diversity and- yes- social justice in our atheist communities. I had a marvellous time writing at FtB, and I wish them the absolute best as we move on in our new directions.
Enough about me.
I can’t wait to see what the Orbit becomes. We’ve got a mind-bogglingly fantastic bunch of bloggers here, and every one of us has a ton of ideas for collaboration and learning from one another. I hope you’ll support us any way you can- whether that be contributing to or sharing our Kickstarter, following us on Twitter or Facebook, or just giving our feed a follow and jumping into conversations.