Annie Kirby lives on the south coast of England where she works part-time as a university researcher. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in American Studies. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and broadcast on national radio and she is a winner of the Asham Award for short fiction. Annie is a graduate of the Penguin WriteNow programme.
Annie first appeared on our podcast in episode 2, way back in 2019. In episode 42, she joins us again as The Hollow Sea is released for publication.
If you enjoy our episodes and like the newsletter, we'd appreciate your support. At the moment, we're keeping our Kofi account open. Just £1 goes a long way to securing the future of the Full Stop podcast, and helping us with the hosting costs and growing our podcast to include transcriptions. You can donate to us via Kofi, with the reassurance that all funds go direct to the podcast. Click here if you'd like to
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Securing our future
45:41In this episode, the three of us invite you into our space as we share three pieces of exciting news that will inspire and empower you. They may concern some of you, and you almost certainly will have questions. You're welcome to ask us questions - all queries are welcome, and none are silly - and to be part of this journey with us. Please do get in touch with any of us. What began as an idea on a post-it note after Michael and then Sarah mentioned to Berenice that they loved podcasts has far exceeded what we predicted. To be honest, when we got to 8 episodes, we were amazed. When people wanted to be on our podcast, that was incredible, then we saw others having a go too and thanking us and inviting us to speak with them - wow! Now we're listened to in every continent apart from Antarctica, and we're award-winning! That's some going for a podcast that relies entirely on organic growth, love, and virtual coffee donations. If you've shared a post of ours, then the chances are you've helped someone in need, and that's all we've ever asked for. Not fame nor awards, and your donations have helped us along, so thank you so much for the Kofi too. That said, almost everything we do is our time and expenditure. Growing what we do, sustainably securing our future, and giving you something extra matters. We realise that we have a thing' we may want to pass on one day and to keep our digital legacy secure. More information Read our blog post and access our press release What is a CIC?
Solo Ageing and Inclusion
1:23:59We are delighted to bring you our next episode on solo ageing with Patricia Faulks and Denise Jackson (whom you may recall from our first year of broadcasting). Patricia Faulks set up her blog, Lilley and Me, during Covid lockdowns to share the story of ageing alone with childlessness and the challenges that brings including learning how to use her computer and Zoom calls. Denise Jackson returns to the podcast to talk about bias around money saving having challenged UK money expert Martin Lewis to tackle solo households. You can find her on Twitter. Patricia and Denise cover so much ground here that applies not just to childless people but to those who are creating online environments and apps as we discuss digital exclusion. They also discuss bias and exclusion around power of attorney, the cost of living crisis, human rights and make a call for more support and awareness. Resources to help you: Age UK Carers Trust Centre for Better Ageing Ageing Well Without Children United Nations Ageing resources National Institute of Ageing (USA) Meaningful Ageing in Australia Dr Robin Hadley’s resources Full Stop guest, Ming Ho’s words on Dementia Carers Count. You can get involved too! Please email us with your news, events, and if you'd like to be a guest, you can do that here. You can also tag us on Twitter, and find us on LinkedIn and Facebook. We'd also like to say a huge thank you for the donations on Kofi.
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Childless Step Parenting
1:01:08We’re joining by two guests who you’ve met before. Catch up with Ken and Lisa as we talk about step parenting when childless not by choice. We cover the difficulties of Mother’s Day and daily life. Ken and Lisa talk about society’s perception of being a step parent both within the childless community and outside it. We ask about the problems of language and how that affects the sense of place in a family. Here’s our guest details Lisa Kissane is the owner of Silvertongue Copy & Content Writing, a project born of many years experience in sales, marketing and writing for pleasure. She is particularly keen to work with members of the childless and LGBTQ+ communities and offers a free trial in the form of one piece of content (e.g. a blog post, newsletter, web landing page) to business owners who identify as such. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram Ken Fenton is an founder member of The Childless Men’s Community and role model to his fellow members. He’s been a guest on our men’s episodes. We thank Lisa and Ken for their time and words.
The Childless Menopause
1:18:25We’d like to introduce you to Anastasia MacDonald who many of you may already know from her constant and reassuring presence online. We gather to talk about how the menopause affects us as the childless not by choice community. Is it a relief? A time of mourning and what’s it like on the other side? Like many of our episodes, we connect our community both as listeners but also as guests and we have a feeling that there will be some interesting collaborations to come. We do love seeing our guests meet and share stories! If you’d prefer to read, you’ll find a transcript below.. Here’s our guest details Anastasia can be found on Instagram here and the book she mentioned is What Fresh Hell is This? by Heather Corinna (please do buy from an independent book shop if you can) and the podcasts are The Menstruality, and the Hit Play Not Pause podcast.
New Beginnings: January 2023
1:20:02We’d like to introduce you to our guests who are rather marvellous company, as you’ll find out in our 47th episode. Mike Sparks restores vintage electrics (yes, we also through he has a great name!) and teaches water skiing, how this two areas of his life come about? Caroline Stafford sells gorgeous biscuits and she talks about how she came to create a baking business. Also joining us is Vicky House who founded Clem’s Garden which we’ve long loved, and she explains her vision and her boundaries. Here’s our guest details Caroline’s The Kitsch Hen bakes gorgeous biscuits which you can order from her website. Mike Sparks restores vintage electrical items and sells them online. Vicky can be found in Clem's Garden which is currently taking a rest but you’ll find lots of gorgeous images and their social media photography is a delight.
A year in review, December 2022
1:13:05In this episode we were joined by your words. We were delighted to receive messages from our community which we’ve shared with you. And it was a chance for the three of us to reveal our themes for 2023, ask if you’d like be a guest and a little on how we’ve grown over 2022.
Hidden childless stories of being single, November 2022
1:19:34In this episode we were joined by Penny Rabarts from The Childless Wanderer and Elaine Ritchie, who works for the NHS; she provided palliative care during the height of Covid. More people are childless due to being single than any other reason but it’s not spoken about. Are we in danger of creating bingos in our childless community and how we support each other? These were all questions we put to Elaine and Penny. Both were keen to share their experiences and be open about the triggers that have affected them. It’s an empowering listen. Here's the link to the transcript.
Hidden childless stories, the unseen grief of invisible illness: October 2022
1:17:22In this episode we were joined by Charlie Bishop, Palo Barker and Steph Penny. Often the wider world can assume that the only reasons we do not have children are failed IVF, failed adoption or didn't try. This narrative excludes many for whom getting pregnant can be life threatening or a hidden illness means one cannot conceive. Charlie, Palo and Steph all spoke about how invisible illnesses can compound and complete the unseen grief of not having children. We also asked them to share the support groups they have founded or are involved with, and resources that have helped them. We thank them all for speaking so honestly and informing us. Show notes: MRKH Connect a registered charity founded in 2014 supporting those with MRKH (Mayer Rokitansky Kuster Hauser) Syndrome which affects 1 in 5000 female births leading to the absence of underdevelopment of the uterus, cervix and shortened vagina. MRKH Connect has been involved in numerous research studies on mental health and the psychological impact of MRKH, runs events and aims to Connect those with MRKH together whilst providing valuable resources for the community and the public. Our Guest, Charlie, is the Director of MRKH Connect and also an advocate for MRKH and for the childless community also being part of the Tutum Journal editorial team, a magazine for, and by, childless women. Find out more by following @mrkhconnect across social media, @tutumjournal or email Charlie. Our guest Palo supports chronic survivors at Chronic Survivors Childless Warriors and myasthenia group Diet and Myasthenia Gravis UK You can also find on the admin teams for Childless Not By Choice-Non-Religious and Childless by Circumstance, Not by Choice Palo has a private group for Asian childless women and (optionally) chronic condition sufferers. This is a secret/private group by invitation, please contact The Full Stop and we’ll connect you with Palo. Steph Penny is the author of Surviving Childlessness: Faith and Furbabies, and composer of Angel At My Keyboard. You can find all of Steph’s work on her website.
Struggle well with Jessica Hepburn, September 2022
1:21:18When we met up with Jessica Hepburn for episode 43, two things came to mind. The first is how we met her, which you’ll discover in the recording which was had a time of new starts for all of us and the importance of 43 which Jessica explains to us, and oddly how this is indeed, episode 43! It’s fair to say that her pursuit of motherhood is just one of many parts of this pond to peak adventurer’s story! Jessica has been on many journeys herself and inspired others; maybe she’ll do that for you as you find out more about struggling well. How to follow and connect with Jessica Jessica’s website, and you can follow her on Facebook, and Instagram. Buy Jessica’s books: In Pursuit of Motherhood or shop B-Corp at World of Books. 21 Miles
The Hollow Sea by Annie Kirby, August 2022
1:29:01Annie Kirby lives on the south coast of England where she works part-time as a university researcher. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and a PhD in American Studies. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and broadcast on national radio and she is a winner of the Asham Award for short fiction. Annie is a graduate of the Penguin WriteNow programme. Annie first appeared on our podcast in episode 2, way back in 2019. In episode 42, she joins us again as The Hollow Sea is released for publication. If you enjoy our episodes and like the newsletter, we'd appreciate your support. At the moment, we're keeping our Kofi account open. Just £1 goes a long way to securing the future of the Full Stop podcast, and helping us with the hosting costs and growing our podcast to include transcriptions. You can donate to us via Kofi, with the reassurance that all funds go direct to the podcast. Click here if you'd like to