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I can't its Menopause Day

Its now November and Menopause Day and month has passed. I can't help but reflect and consider, if anyone had told me how important Menopause Day and month would become too me on the eve of my 50th birthday, I would've said "Shut up!" in my prolonged estuarial accent. Five years on and the 18th of October (Menopause Day) seems to becoming just as important as any birthday. As the day approaches, I find I have the whole week planned and know exactly what I'm doing. In a post covid life within hospitality, this is completely the opposite of my reactionary existence. Everything seems to be last minute. I've found working in the pub, the majority of customers want to reignite spontaneity. To fight back against the restrictions covid brought to daily life. These days I also find myself shocked at those close to me who don't know its Menopause Day! Throughout October I have my talk to the hand pose on stand by, proclaiming "I can't its Menopause Day" and this year really was no different.

The morning started with a visit from David Emery, an accomplished photographer who is creating a project around Pub Landladies of Britain. I was thrilled to be asked. Pub Landladies are rarely spoken about unless within the context of a soap opera. David's project will be shown next year, he took portrait shots off both Debbie and Dolly. It will be amazing if he includes both! The ego and the alter ego side by side, that's a whole new blog.

The second part of the day was filled with a journey to Kent whilst battling the traffic jams surrounding the Dartford tunnel and the Stop the Oil protestors. Adelle, founder of the Menopause Resilience Club had planned this event since Menopause Day 2021. Having become friends, I agreed to support her event with a visit from Dolly Slatemen. The event was also sponsored by FSB Kent to create awareness and support for female employers and employees. Being a self employed woman with my own business, events like this have an excellent way of diluting menopausal taboos. People come together and discuss the issues and the importance of awareness and support in the work place. Making many feel visible and validated.

How wonderful it was to be in a room full of business women talking about the affects of the Menopause on themselves and their employees. Dolly Slatemen seems to absorb any negative reactions by stimulating laughs with the Menopause, rather than at it.

After the presentation the guest speakers carried out a panel chat where I was Debbie. I asked the room as awareness of the menopause increases what's next? The importance of the affects of menopausal symptoms created through a surgical menopause was discussed and it is assuring to know that people are looking for more answers. Menopause symptoms can be created by many health conditions and of course surgery, with post care including hormonal treatment. From personal experience in my late twenties suffering with severe endometriosis, I was given treatment to create a mini change (Doctors words) I had no warning it would leave me feeling depressed with suicidal thoughts. At the time with a new born baby and running a pub, I found it overwhelming with no one too confide in. Times are changing and we are acknowledging these affects on so many, yet we still need to keep the conversation going. At some point I understand Adelles mum had to be persuaded that I was the same person as Dolly Slatemen.

Part three of Menopause Day included a return visit to Westminster City Council. Although technically this was the next day, it had the same impact as the special day itself. Performing a full show within their brightly lit office and the London Eye in clear view. I performed the show next door to an open plan office. The thought of raised eyebrows whilst tapping away on a keyboard, still makes me smile. The beauty of edutainment is it can be taken anywhere as long as you stay true to the educational facts on offer. After the show, Nadine an employee informed me she had seen the show before on line and was determined to come in and watch it live. As we chatted she also told me that she didn't realise she was experiencing peri menopausal symptoms until she had seen the show the previous year. I can honestly say those comments really inspired me to continue in my work. There are times it is challenging, to run a pub full time and travel around performing under the guise of the Working Wo-man's Pub Landlady Dolly Slatemen. Then I get a little reminder like that to keep me focused and I work on the next gig and remember lets keep the menopause conversation going.

Debbie Baisden with staff from the menopause team at Westminster council
Back at Westminster City Council.

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