Sandra Tena Cole
Actress, Model, Writer,
Co-founder of His & Hers Theatre Company,
In Immigrant's Journey Through the Pandemic
A lot of people recently have been incredibly surprised to learn that my lockdown-related stress has had to do with my visa situation, and indeed have been incredibly surprised to learn that my residential safety in the UK was not instantly sorted the moment I married my husband Stephen. The fact is that the visa conditions for non-EU residents have been terrible since Theresa May established the current requirements in July 2012, often described as gargantuan and found to break human rights by the UN a few years ago, their defining quality being that they were intended to create a hostile environment for anyone looking to immigrate into the UK. All of this has been properly reported as such, and I think a lot more people in the UK are blissfully ignorant of said actions delivered by their own government to immigrants (whilst others openly celebrate them and fully included them in their reason to vote Brexit, but more on that later).
What it means to be a woman
What it means to be a woman, even though it varies from country to country and from generation to generation, has the same basis for all of us. Every single one of us, that I personally know, have been told at one time or another that we are not enough of a woman. Some of us have even been told so as recently as today, the international celebration of womanhood!
Top 20 Books of 2020
Back in 2013 I gave myself the challenge of reading one book a week, which I greatly enjoyed and was able to repeat in 2014, but then life got in the way. I moved from London to Glastonbury, got married, and set up a theatre company with my husband Stephen Cole, His & Hers Theatre Company; for years we have been incredibly busy with performances and modelling, amongst other things, but then everything changed, like it did for most people in the performing industries, with the pandemic. Although we have carried on performing and modelling online, and in person during the months when it was possible, I was also able to read a whopping 54 books, most of which had been on my to-read list for ages, some of which came in as gifts, some of them even written by fellow writer friends.
Soddit the Cat
His paws led him on many paths, wondrous and fantastic. Through hillsides and farmlands and a car park or two, and even a river at one point; he’d always known the Great Open Country would be like that, but he’d never imagined that three days into his journey he would already feel free, completely the owner of his own self… If there could only be someone to scratch his belly, then he would be in paradise! Granted, the weather was still quite cold, so he’d found himself daydreaming more than once of a blazing fire or a warm radiator in a lounge; the fuzzy blankets would be a cliché. And the cushion, too. And the plate of mouth-watering sardines or chicken left-overs… Or the bowl of milk – but then he remembered that milk made him gassy and that was why he had been sent away from his own home in the first place, so he pushed the bowl of milk aside in his mind and focused on the cushions and the hearty meals, and maybe a cosy lap. It was so good to have left Pilton and be free now, his own cat in his own land, yes sir!
A letter to Donald Trump
What can I say that probably hasn’t been said before? Well, even the thought of writing to you is making me physically ill, to be honest, but even though I know you will probably never read this, I have to get all of this off my chest somehow, so here I go. I originally tried starting out with a sarcastic comment about your, erm, endeavours during your time in the presidency, given that so many people are still defending you with so much passion, so my first instinct was to say something funny about how in your commitment to showcase all the racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, bigotry, and downright fascism that’s been boiling under the surface in American society, you took method acting a bit too far. See, that’s where the mistake was, in trying to write as if any of this was funny, because you put so many people’s lives in danger since you first began your campaign, that it instantly turned my stomach when I got to the examples of your “method acting”.
New Year's Resolutions
Let’s kick off the year with a quick guide for keeping New Year’s resolutions, shall we? The first thing to remember is that it’s not necessarily about what we want to change, but about why we want to change those things. Not understanding this basic first step is why some people end up in an endless cycle of making the same resolutions year after year, adding a layer of “This year I will really do it” as the calendars turn around.
Love is Love
It has always astounded me that there is such a belief that who a person loves or is attracted to can be seen as dirty or unnatural by someone else who doesn't share their feelings towards said focus of their attraction. Even at four or five years old, I could never understand why such a thing as a man in love with another man was seen as something to fear or ridicule; and I couldn't understand why a woman in love with another woman was only appealing if on screen, only if they were both what society views as sexy, and preferably if it wasn't real love but rather a way to show the audience that they were both fun and wild.
Thoughts on Covid, masks, life and death on this Halloween
Samhain, better known to most people around the world as Halloween, is the time to contemplate life beyond life, to remember the ancestors and to let go of old attachments and things that often hold us back. I won’t go into the details of the various celebrations around the world or the spiritual and psychological aspects of the original celebrations of Samhain, as that is subject enough for an entry of its own, but I will say for many of us it’s a particularly intense Samhain this year. For those who believe that Halloween is a time to venerate death or that it has anything to do with Satanism or the Devil, I will go ahead and say that is a huge misconception, although Satanists also celebrate Samhain and/or Halloween if they want to, just like any other person who either wants to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, or merely enjoy dressing up and have a fun night in costume (the kind of costume is entirely up to each individual taste, just like with any other cultural group). Halloween is normally seeped in bloody imagery, with death-motifs and creepy elements such as spiders and goblins, because it originates from a celebration of the opening of the door into the afterlife, sometimes known as the opening of the veil, through which our dear departed ones could cross over to partake in our celebration of their life, and in some areas it was said in legend and myth that the fae could cross over too, either for good or mischief. A lot of what we know now of Halloween as a gore-fest has more to do with the Christian and Catholic interpretations of the old Celtic, Saxon, Nordic and Greek myths, as well as some Latin American traditions, specifically twisted to make the indigenous people’s traditions seem like malignant beliefs and to facilitate the instalment of their own beliefs in their new settlement.