Friday, 21 November 2014

Insert interesting post title here

I'm lacking the inspiration to create a good post title today so this is what you're getting folks!

I hope all is well with everyone. I'm aware that quite often, I pose that question and then write some banal text about how great life is when actually, not everyone is as fortunate, and maybe things aren't that well.

I didn't even know where this post was going until I started writing. But let's discuss homelessness.

You've probably heard of something called Crisis for Christmas, which is a UK based charity that provides shelter for the homeless over the Christmas period. Let's just think about that for one second. The year is 2014, we are living in probably one of the most affluent countries in the world, yet there are people living on the streets. I find that a hard concept to wrap my head around. How many times have you walked past someone on the street, asking for food or money and you've just ignored them, put your head down and kept walking? I'm no saint, I'm guilty of it too, but if I look deeper the reason I do it is probably because I feel uncomfortable at not doing more to help the situation. Think about how much money you earn, or think about the richest people in the country... Having £10m in the bank surely can't feel good when there are people out there trying to find somewhere to sleep while the temperature drops to freezing at night. I sound harsh but sometimes it's important to confront these realities. 

For the past few years, I've volunteered at Crisis and it's a real heart and eye opening thing to do. There are different volunteering roles available at different centres across London (where I'm based) so you can be involved in anything from making tea to manning the drug outreach rooms, to serving dinner to just *being* with the guests. I've met some truly inspirational people. A lady forced to live on the streets after her and her husband divorced and she wasn't able to earn enough to support herself and her children. A man who'd left the army and a) found it hard to re-acclimatise to being a civilian (I can't remember the real term for that) and b) was unsupported by the government and so ended up on the streets. The saddest I will always remember is the chap whose wife and son had died in a car accident 8 years previously and he just couldn't.get.over it. He'd become an alcoholic and was homeless because he couldn't move past his grief and didn't know where to get help.

The thing is, throughout the various struggles, some of the people I've met still find the strength to smile and find happiness despite their situation. How inspiring is that? Makes our day to day stresses and issues seem minute now. I'm not trying to trivialise anything serious that people are going through, it's just important to keep perspective.

Thankfully, Crisis offers help, support and shelter to people in need around Christmas time. Hundreds of volunteers come out around the festive period to get stuck in and help, and so I guess I'm ending this post with a big, fat and totally obvious.. Plea? Suggestion? Please get involved if you can! If you can't spare the time, then please spare some cash as donations go a long way to keeping Crisis going.  The website is 

If you can spare neither time nor cash, then please stop and talk to someone in need next time you're walking down the street. They're human, and all humans need warmth and interaction, even from strangers.

Much love xx

Monday, 6 October 2014

Hello World!

Hi world

This must be some kind of silence record for me, right? Well let's get a cup of chai and have a catch up.

What's new? Lots is new and different in my world. I'm now a resident of Holloway! Yes, that's right, I've moved from the borough of 'ackney and am now a fully fledged Islingtonite. I likes it in Holloway. Holloway isn't pretentious, it's just cool in it's own way, and I'm now the perfect distance to Camden so I can get my weekly fix without getting sick of it. My new place is a gorgeous Victorian house on three levels with a big kitchen and a big bathroom with...wait for it... A HUGE BATH! A little weird mayhaps to get excited about the size of a bath but the tub in the old place was gross and not good for relaxing and soaking your cares away. Interestingly, since being able to have a bath here, the aches and pains I'd been feeling for months in my legs from too much dancing and yoga has completely gone, aided and abetted by this amazing arnica salve from Neal's Yard. My getaway sticks feel transformed! No more limping and no more shin pain. S'nice.

The other new thing is a new job which I started about four weeks ago. I'm enjoying it a lot! It's been good to challenge my brain and feel busy and useful again. It's so easy to fall into the trap of doing something because it's easy or because there's little expectation of you, but I think that's a dangerous path to tread. You end up stagnating, and feeling lethargic and unmotivated. Who wants that? Seriously?! Everyone needs a reason to get up in the morning and to feel as though they've achieved something by the end of the day. It gives life purpose! 

Back-tracking a little to the new house, we have a garden here which Bo loves! He got into a fight the other day with one of the neighbourhood cats but only came off with superficial scratches (phew!) but the vet had to shave his eyebrow to have a closer look. As you can imagine, he was SUPER happy about that.

"I hate you so much right now"

See...SUPER happy. He's been tentatively venturing into the garden again but I think he has his marching orders as he doesn't wander far before coming back home. There's another black and white cat who comes into our garden who could possibly be the scratchy eyebrow  perpetrator, but on a dark night, it's impossible to tell difference between them. I've stood at the door calling Bo when Other Bo has appeared over the wall and then Real Bo follows shortly afterwards...I like to think they're playmates but who knows. One of the other neighbourhood cats has also made herself at home inside the house a few times...Apparently she's popped in and eaten the old housemate's sausage in the past. That's not a euphemism. Time to get a microchip activated cat flap methinks!

I don't want to bore you COMPLETELY to death (though I realise that yes, I've just written about houses, jobs and cats. Soz).

Next post will be about something more interesting...maybe...possibly... Let's just hope!