Friday, 22 July 2016

Our mini-break to Wells, Somerset

If you know me at all, then you'll know that I have had a long love affair with the West Country. Bath has to be my all time favourite British city (London doesn't count, that's home). I love Jane Austen country, I love the architecture and I love the romance and history of it. I can totally imagine all these Austen-type characters, parasoles in hand, parading round the Royal Crescent. Love it!

However, just outside of Bath there is a small city (the smallest in England, in fact) called Wells. Famed for it's beautiful cathedral and the Bishop's Palace, I think Wells has to be my second-favourite city and we're lucky enough to have some family there!

Recently, a family wedding took us to this part of the country and when I posted up pics on social media of our holiday apartment I had loads of people asking me about it, so I thought I'd do a quick review. Because when you find a gem of a place, in the right location, at an affordable price, it's almost a crime to keep it a secret (almost!).

This was our first foray into self catering holiday lets as our family has grown and can I say it was the best experience? We're used to staying in large, chain hotels which is generally fine when you're on your own. But we're fast learning that with kids it's not ideal. I mean, who actually enjoys retreating to the en suite at 8pm every evening to sit on the toilet and read a book because the kids are tucked up in bed?

We were looking for an affordable apartment that would be a comfortable base for us, our three year old and our newborn baby. In Wells. Which is actually quite an expensive place. And I have high standards, I want a hotel experience for a hostel-price! Not asking for much, no? (We also only definitely decided at the end of April that we were going so a fair few places were fully booked already).

We happened upon 1 Sadler Street on holidaylettings.com and as soon as I saw it, I knew we had to snap it up for our dates, fast.

The living area

I won't go on too much, because really the pictures speak for themselves. But basically, I couldn't have wished for better. The standard of finish on this newly renovated apartment was brilliant. It was perfectly clean and felt really bright and fresh, despite being a compact space. I would hazard a guess that the owner had some kind of design or creative background because on the blank white canvas was plenty of trendy, bright and fun pops of colour - whether it be the wall art, the accessories or the furniture - I mean, how many places have you stayed in with a pinball machine for a coffee table?

So much packed into a tiny space, but it didn't feel cramped at all!

A lot of the accessories and ornaments doubled up as interesting little toys and trinkets for Ruby to be enamoured with (she loved the display of rubber ducks in the bathroom!). And any problems were foreseen and sorted - it's a compact, renovated first floor flat with the potential to get really hot, so they provide a top of the range air conditioning unit. The bunk beds are in the living area, so they provide a TV in the bedroom.

Bishop's Palace

The location was perfect for us. We don't drive so it's a bit of a mission to get to Wells (we had a relative drive us from Bath Spa train station). But once we were there we were able to use this place as a base and be pretty independent. The apartment is right in the centre of the city and looks out onto the beautiful cathedral square. There's plenty of pubs, restaurants (we went to the local Ask!), coffee shops (try Crofters across the street, Ruby enjoyed their ice cream!) and little gift shops too! The apartment is above a pasty shop (smells amazing!) and a fudge shop too tempting for Jon!

The shower room

Anyway, we absolutely loved it and I think once word gets out, this flat is going to book up pretty fast! Here's a summary of the details:

  • First floor apartment (not wheelchair friendly but we managed by taking the buggy up and down the stairs).
  • 1 x double bedroom, inc. TV
  • 1 x shower room
  • Sleeps 4 (bunk beds in lounge area)
  • Open plan kitchen/living room, inc. Sky TV
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Towels provided
  • Fully equipped kitchen
  • 10 minutes walk from Tesco so you can stock up the fridge

Now, I couldn't find a lot of fault in this place but for the sake of balance it's worth pointing out - this is a small apartment. It's a perfect base for a weekend, but if you're bringing children it could very quickly become noisy and claustrophobic on a rainy day. If you're cool with that, and you're planning on going out, not bringing kids, or if you're pretty used to squeezing a family of 4 into a small space then don't be put off! Personally, I probably wouldn't stay longer than a weekend either, but that's because my pre-schooler is not quite au fait with showers yet so the absence of a bath could prove to be a problem (unless we all trooped down the road to Jon's Nana's house!).

The bedroom

The only other thing was we brought a travel cot for our newborn but there wasn't space in the bedroom to set it up so we ended up co-sleeping. We're fine with that, but if you're not comfortable with that then there's space in the lounge - it's just by that point Ruby had clocked the exciting prospect of bunk beds so we couldn't switch.


In short, though, if you're travelling solo, a couple or a small, young family this is perfect for you. Booking and payment was strightforward, checking in and out was easy and the apartment felt secure and safe. Check it out with all the details and availability here.

And to finish, here's a pic of Mr. D and Ruby at the wedding, just because!

Jon & Ruby
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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Getting off the starting blocks

There are some things in life that seem like they'll never get done - the never-ending laundry pile when people just keep wearing clothes. A totally clutter free and clean house when children are in existence (Does Marie Kondo even have kids?!). A half decent savings account when your wages barely stretch to the end of the month anyway. World peace when people just keep starting wars - you know, just the small stuff like that!

It's the stuff of dreams, the seemingly impossible. The mountains.

And yet, I've been thinking a lot about this lately and I've come to the realisation that we just need to start. A house is built brick by brick. A marathon is run step by step. Savings are built penny by penny. Novels are written word by word, sentence by sentence, chapter by chapter. And sometimes it's taking that first step, writing that first word, saving that first chunk that is the hardest to do.

But as with many things in life, once you've made a start, once you've gotten over that initial first hurdle, once you've got out the starting blocks, the rest builds itself. The subsequent steps seem to become easier, the subsequent words seem to flow better.

See, life is simply a series of steps. But how often do we put off attempting our first steps because the rest seems impossible, too big or too hard? How often do we struggle to get out the starting blocks because we can't see the finish line?

Some relatives of mine were brave enough to run the London marathon this year. And I can imagine as they stood at the starting line, 26 miles from the finish, it probably felt like a bit of a daunting task. The finish line was out of sight. And life's like that, we don't know where the finish line is. We can't see the end goal - whatever it is. But we just have to start. We just have to have faith that by putting one foot in front of the other, we will eventually reach the end goal - whether that be owning a house, publishing a novel, or simply getting to the bottom of the laundry basket!

Image courtesy of Peter Berwick via Canva.com

In the Bible, God had promised Abraham huge things, things beyond Abraham's wildest dreams. Abraham had no idea how or when these things would come to pass. But it says in Hebrews 11:
"God called Abraham to travel to another place that he promised to give him. Abraham did not know where that other place was. But he obeyed God and started travelling because he had faith." ~ Hebrews 11:8 (ERV)
Abraham had no idea where the end goal was. He didn't even know what it was! But he knew he just had to start.

So I've started to start.

I've started to do the laundry, one load at a time.

I've started to save money, one pound at a time.

I've started to write, one word, one sentence, one blog post at a time.

Like Abraham, I don't know what the end goal is. I don't know how far away the finish line is. But I do know that I have dreams. I also know that God has dreams for me, probably beyond my wildest imagination. So, what do I have to do? What's my part in the plan?

Just to start.

And starting seems pretty achievable, right?
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Sunday, 17 July 2016

Where have I been?

If you've been following my Facebook or Instagram (and if you're not, why the hell not?!), it's no secret as to the reason for my long and unintended blogging hiatus.

That's right peeps, I birthed an actual child and some crazy God decided I was worthy and capable of looking after not one, but two children! At. The. Same. Time. Madness, I tell you. 

So, we've been transitioning into this new chapter of parenthood but now that little man is nine weeks old, I'm itching to do something for myself again. I may not be the most successful, consistent or engaged blogger on the Interweb, but I do miss it when I'm away. It does form a part of my identity and it's probably the one thing in my life that I attempt to do just for myself. I don't always achieve what I set out to but if I cease trying then I think I would be really sad about that. 

So anyways, I'm back, for now. And here's a quick photographic update on what the last couple of months have looked like. It's mostly involved being pregnant, giving birth and attempting to look after multiple (ok, two) children. Seriously, I'm like Superwoman right now!

L-R: 32 and 36 weeks

L-R: 38 and 39 weeks

Hello world!

Joel Stanley John Davies arrived perfectly on time, at exactly 40 weeks. The birth was brilliantly straightforward, with us being in hospital less than 12 hours in total. It felt a bit surreal, as if we'd just been on a little day trip and picked up a baby whilst we were out! He was 7lb 13oz and born at 12.24pm (I know you totally don't need to know these minor details, but I write them down for my own benefit!).

Sleepy baby!
He has pretty much slept through the first two months of his life thus far and despite a few issues early on with tongue tie and feeding, he's lovely, cuddly and placid. I thought Ruby was a relatively easy baby but I look back now and realise that I just didn't know any better (she was actually quite colicky and unsettled in the first few weeks!).

Siblings!

Ruby has adapted really well to being a big sister. I had no idea how she would react. Generally speaking she's a really confident, flexible child, but she has been the centre of our world for three years so who knew! She loves "her baby"!

Cute at six weeks!

All dressed up for a family wedding!

Sleeping through life without a care in the world!

It did occur to me yesterday that Joel was born into an entirely different world to the one we live in today, only nine weeks later. He's lived through an EU referendum, the beginnings of Brexit, a fair amount of political and economic turmoil, some quite significant politicians leaving the stage and then some new ones taking their place, plus plenty of other quite horrific events taking place the world over... and yet here he is anyway, sleeping his way through it, dreaming his way through it. 

The hopes and dreams we had for him nine weeks ago, are no different to the hopes and dreams we have for him today. We smile as we look to the future. 

And if there's one thing I hope I can teach both my kids to do in life, it's that.

To smile at the future.

Whatever it may bring, whatever the world looks like. There is always hope. And I hope they remember that.

I hope we can all remember that.
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Friday, 6 May 2016

Living Life in Limbo

I'm a great believer in the seasons of life. Sometimes life is very much on the up - things are good, the sun is shining, we feel positive. We have seasons of hurt or pain, those winter times, where the old dies away in preparation for the new. And there's seasons of hope, seasons of preparation, seasons of transition.

Seasons don't last forever and, though sometimes painful, there's something to learn through each one. Sometimes we have the power to quicken the season in our own life, sometimes we just have to wait it out and pray that spring is coming soon (it very much felt like that in the natural last week - snow at the end of April??!!).


I'm not sure what the first quarter of 2016 has looked like for us. I wouldn't say it's been a winter season necessarily, but it's definitely been a season of transition - one that will culminate in the birth of our baby boy, heralding a very new season!

I started the year full of hope for new things, things we would achieve, things we would get done, and basically it hasn't happened. Not because of anything huge, but just a combination of everyday stresses which have prevented us from moving forwards. I've battled cold after pregnancy cold, we've had work stresses, financial stresses, household stresses, pregnancy stresses... In fact, we've battled through a fair amount of everyday stress in almost every area of life.

All of this could explain my lack of blogging - I haven't really had the energy, inspiration or inclination to put my fingers to keyboard... And when I have my posts have languished in the drafts folder, never seeing the light of the published Interweb!

However, (because thrillingly life is always punctuated by 'howevers' and 'buts') we are embarking on a new season! Over the last few weeks all of these stresses have begun to melt away, we have been able to look forward to a new day!

Our life in limbo is coming to an end and we are full of new beginnings - a new baby, a new job situation, a new financial situation, a new church situation which brings with it a new season in the spiritual, new relationships and friendships along with a strengthening of important old ones.

But until these things come to pass, we must wait - a bit like the end stages of this pregnancy! We're playing the waiting game. Living in hope that the past can be tied up in a neat little bow and that a new day can dawn with sunshine and flowers!

I hope that with this new day comes a fresh outpouring of creativity and inspiration. I hope that I'll be able to share with you on this journey, but if the blog does become a bit neglected as we adjust to life as parents of two, you can always catch up with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and you can find my monthly guest posts over on the Meet Other Mums blog.

In the mean time, wish me luck! I am coming up for 39 weeks pregnant. Up to now we have settled into a bit of a state of denial that this baby will actually arrive, so this week is the week we will get organised and prepare - we just need to pray he doesn't make an early appearance!
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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Book Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Before I read The Kite Runner I (shamefully?) knew nothing of Afghanistan. I knew about 9/11. I knew there was The Taliban. I knew about The War on Terror.

I didn't know that it snows in the winter. I didn't know that there had been a war there in the '70s. I didn't know that many Afghan refugees fled to the West as a result of that war, before The Taliban ever graced our news bulletins.

I didn't know that Kite Running was a thing. I didn't know you could compete with kites like a sport, and that the glass string was sharp enough to cut your skin, and that you were meant to cut other kits out of the sky. My experiences of kite flying stem from the finale of Mary Poppins and my own feeble attempts on windy days at Camber Sands.

But The Kite Runner changed all that.

And that's the mark of an amazing book. A story that teaches you something. And after reading The Kite Runner I feel I've learnt a lot.

Khaled Hosseini has a knack for story telling that is rarely found in modern literature. And he manages to do it cross culturally in a way that educates you on that foreign culture, its history, its beauty and its flaws, all the while keeping it relatable and somehow, not foreign.

We follow the life of Amir from his childhood in Afghanistan, his own journey to the US as a refugee and then his journey back to Afghanistan in search of redemption, answers and healing - when he gets there he realises he will be going back to the US with so much more than he bargained for.

It really is a deeply moving tale filled with moments of deep joy, swiftly followed by moments of deepest despair and tragedy. But in the end, there is hope. Hope for redemption, resolution, happiness and peace - if not in Afghanistan itself, then it the hearts of its people, wherever they might reside.

Available on Amazon and all good bookshops.
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Thursday, 21 January 2016

...and then there were four


If you follow me on social media, you might have seen our announcement last week.

That's right, we're adding to our little team! 

Right now, I am about mid way through my 24th week of pregnancy. 24?! I know, kept that one quiet, didn't I?!

It wasn't my intention to be so secretive, but the weeks have flown by! Is that normal for a second child? For it to go so quickly? It's not like we haven't known about it - we actually realised that we were expecting around week 3 so no excuses there! After the 12 week mark we obviously then waited until we had told all of our relatives - though that did take an insane amount of time (not through want of trying - we love you all!). I did suffer for quite a while with sickness and tiredness (thankfully we've now seen the back of that!) which meant I wasn't really in the mood for telling people, then it was Christmas and all of a sudden we were over half way through, the countdown has begun and we only just got around to announcing it to the wider world (*waves* hello wider world!).

But you know, apart from when I was heaving over the toilet whilst Ruby rubbed my back and told me that she would keep me safe, I haven't thought that much about this pregnancy. I keep having to remind myself that this is going to happen!

I even contemplated applying for a job that I saw advertised! A quick reality check put paid to that idea!

BUT despite all of that, we are absolutely ecstatic. We had our 20 week scan during Christmas week which is when we found out we were flying the flag for blue (sorry, no Pinterest-style gender reveal over here!), Mr. D. is over the moon - he practically shouted at the sonographer when it was revealed. Our family feels complete (don't hold me to that!) and he hasn't even arrived yet. Ruby is so excited and keeps telling everyone that she's getting a brother, the bump has well and truly made an appearance and is getting lots of hugs from big sister and all the girlie hand-me-downs are finally making their way to younger friends and charity shops to make way for all the cute boy stuff that we're about to stock up on (who thinks boy stuff is so much cuter, anyway?!).

I am so excited to experience parenting both a girl and a boy. Mr. D. is wonderful with his best girlie, but I have always wanted to see him father a son. I'm sure he will be raised a Spurs fan (Ruby is most definitely a Palace fan so we'll allow Mr. D. that pleasure), and that we will throw ourselves into football, mud and glorious boy things. It's going to be fricking awesome. 

So, that is our big 2016 news! I would like to say I've made lots of goals and resolutions for the new year, but really it's just to safely transition from three to four - however that might happen - and to survive the months that follow relatively unscathed. Wish me luck!
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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Why Times Tables Don't Equal Success

I have a confession to make.

I don't know most of my times tables.

I know, shock horror, right?


I know what you're thinking.

I'm probably a bit of a down-and-out, who barely scraped enough GCSEs to get into further education. I probably never went to uni. I have probably worked a minimum wage job my entire life. I've probably never travelled. Never lived away from the town I grew up in. In fact, my life probably reflects the generational cycle that society has stuck me in where my entire family lives off the state and no one in living memory has ever worked a day in their life.

Right?

Because, you know, that's what happens if you don't know your times tables by the age of 11, isn't it?

What if I told you, that actually, I managed to take my GCSE maths a year early and get a B?

What if I told you, I then took the higher paper in year 11, and also got a... B?

In fact, what if I told you that the lowest GCSE grade that I got, out of 11 qualifications, was a... B?

This isn't to brag, I'm merely making a point.

You see, I just can't do mental arithmetic. I can't.

You throw a sum at me, of any kind, and I will just hear a jumble of numbers, my brain freezes, I panic and I can't think of the answer. Under pressurised or timed conditions, the effect is even worse. I've always been this way.

Trigonometry, I can could do.

Pythagoras Theorem, I can could do.

Algebra? Well, once I understood that x was merely a missing number - I could work that out.

Just, you know, give me a couple of hours. And don't ask me to do any of these things 15 years later. I don't remember squat.

My husband? Well, he's a grammar school genius. Give him any sum under the sun (seriously, test him) and he'll throw the answer back at you in seconds. His mental arithmetic is, well, sharp. Did he get a B at GCSE maths? No. You know why? The teacher only entered him in for the intermediate paper, meaning the highest grade he could achieve was a C (why all grammar school pupils are not put in for the higher paper is beyond me!). Is he waaayyy better at maths than I am? Of course he is! Does he know his times tables? Of course he does!

I'm not saying that kids shouldn't learn them, and that maths is a skill no longer required. I'm just saying we shouldn't judge our kids, our teachers or our schools on the basis that all children know their times tables by the age of 11. Should they? Yes. Will all kids meet this standard? No.

Even though my mental maths is atrocious. Even though my understanding of numbers and mathematical principles is astonishingly bad. Even though I only know my five times tables if I count the sequence on my fingers....

...My teacher believed in my limited abilities enough to take a chance on the higher paper and somehow I managed to get a B in the end - a grade which wouldn't have been available to me had I done the intermediate paper. (Whether you think GCSE exams should be harder is a debate for another day!)

And that's what we need. Not more tests. Not more pressure before our kids even enter secondary school. Not more criticism for our teachers who work damn hard to ready every kid for the big wide world. We need teachers who believe in our kids enough to take a chance on them.

And we need them to know that they will not fail at life if they can't recite every times table by heart.

Because I haven't failed. I might not be able to recite my times tables, and I've never been able to do that. But I did get 11 GCSEs (A*-B). I did get three A-Levels (A-C). I did go to university and get a 2:1 degree. I did work in my chosen field for a number of years and was good at what I did.

But you know what my biggest success is?

My daughter.

And at two years old, she doesn't know her times tables either!
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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Well, blogosphere, it's been a while hasn't it? The last quarter of 2015 rung some changes for our little family (all to be revealed) which meant that my small corner of cyber space had to fall by the wayside for a little while, but new year, new start and all that, and I'm back.

And I've missed this.

I've missed writing.
I've missed having a voice.
I've missed sharing my thoughts and my life with people.
I've missed the community.
I've missed the sense of purpose that comes from taking part in something bigger than my little world.
I've missed the creativity.

So, in 2016, I'm ready to fall in love with blogging again.



I've done a lot of soul searching over the past few weeks about whether to carry on, and in what capacity, but now, I'm ready to go.

I'm ready to get planning, writing, tweeting, facebooking and all the jazz that goes along with having a blog.

My life is constantly changing, evolving and adjusting, and there's going to be some huge changes over the next few months - which is why I was unsure about whether to begin again. But I'll never know how it will go, unless I try. So I'm jumping in with abandon and eagerly waiting to see what might happen.

I hope that 2016 holds many blessings and adventures for you all, the best is yet to come!
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Monday, 14 September 2015

The Craft Channel Launch

If you’ve followed me for a few years you’ll know that in my previous life (before kids) my career was very much anchored in the craft industry and I was involved in editing some pretty fab craft magazines which you’ll still find on the newsstand today.

So, always keeping a finger on the crafty pulse, I was pretty excited to be asked to attend the press launch of new, aptly named, craft TV shopping channel, The Craft Channel.


Hidden on an industrial estate in West London you’ll find The Craft Channel studios which have been given a new lease of life, painted hot pink and were decorated with balloons and flowers, ready for the arrival of many craft industry veterans. I got to meet some fab bloggers, editors and journalists as we all gathered to celebrate this launch and it really was a fantastic day out.

Watching a show being filmed!

So interesting to see behind the scenes!

We were given a tour of the studios, watched a show being filmed and got to mingle with the craft industry’s finest. I loved meeting the next generation of craft journalists who have now replaced me in my old job at Aceville Publications, as well as Editor of Mollie Makes – Lara Watson (I’m a long time fan), and editor of Die Cutting Essentials, Becky Higgins.

It was also so lovely to meet Amanda of Ginger Mum fame and Anthea of Zing Zing Tree – bloggers who were there doing what they do best and raising the profile of the blogging industry.

Dawn Bibby & Julian Ballantyne showing off the goodie bags!

The Craft Channel will not only be selling all of your latest craft products – covering papercraft, jewellery making, scrapbooking, chocolate making, baking and food – but it will be providing loads of demonstrations,  informative talks, interviews and magazine style chat shows full of your favourite craft celebrities – including Queen of papercraft, Dawn Bibby, the Crafty Beggars, Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner and if you've ever tuned into a shopping channel you'll probably recognise Debbie Greenwood and Julian Ballantyne!


The channel launched this morning on channels Sky 261 & 660, FreeSat 402 & 815 & FreeView 254. If you’re the type of person whose house is full of scrapbooking paper, unfinished projects and crafty gizmos that your non-crafty friends just don't understand then I think you’ll love this new venture and I hope they fill that gap in the market that takes crafts to the masses and shows people what a fantastic hobby it can be.

Check it out at thecraftchannel.tv.
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Thursday, 3 September 2015

A human problem that deserves a human response

I've had enough.

I've had enough of humans.

Humans that live in their cosy little houses, with their cosy little western life, with their 2.4 children and their parents round the corner who are living on to a ripe old age.

Humans whose main concern for their children is whether they're in the correct catchment area for their preferred school.

Humans who have never lived in a warzone.

Never witnessed a murder, let alone a mass murder. Let alone the mass murder of their own relatives. Friends.

Humans who have never had to leave behind their homes, families, careers, communities and possessions while they flee for their lives, not knowing whether their families or friends made it. Not knowing whether they died amid the chaos, or perished en route.

Humans who have never had to pretend to their children that they were going on an exciting adventure rather than embarking on a perilous journey where only the lucky survive and the only alternative is guaranteed death.

Humans who have never had to face the choice of which child to save from drowning as they float amidst a sea of bodies - their rubber dinghy capsized because they were not alone in deciding it was a safer bet to put their lives into the hands of human traffickers than stay home and hope for survival.

It's these humans who seem to think they're qualified to judge, qualified to pass comment. It's these humans who declare that the migrants are coming here for a comfortable life on benefits, who brandish them a blight upon society, criminals, thugs, a swarm of beasts.

But it's these humans who have never walked a mile in their shoes - let alone trekked across nations to reach an unknown destination.

I fail to believe that ANY mother would put their child's life at risk in the way that we see day after day, unless they were utterly convinced it was the best option. I fail to see how ANY person would attempt to cross the channel under a lorry unless they were in a state of absolute desperation.

I don't care whether you think they should stay in the first 'safe' country they find. I don't care whether you think they use illegal means or violent means. The fact is, they are humans.

I've seen the comments: 'I hope they all drown', 'why not just send them all into the tunnel and then send the trains through.'. Are you serious? The fact that you even think this crap suggests to me that these refugees are more human than you! How dare you place less value upon a fellow human being because of their refugee status?!


People are dying!

People need help!

People are desperate!

This is a complex problem, in complex times. Nothing is black and white. But it is not a political problem. It is not a religious problem. It is not a societal problem. It is not a racial problem.

It is a HUMAN problem.

And for that, it deserves a HUMAN response.

So, may I plead with you, to think before you speak. Think about the fact that these are individual lives. Individual stories. They are somebody's mother, father, brother, nephew, son, daughter. They had lives. They had educations. They had careers, and families, and homes. They were happy until their lives were turned upside down by war, conflict, genocide, terrorism. We cannot begin to fathom how desperate they are, that they honestly thought that they stood a better chance as a refugee than in their homeland (and while we're on that point, please educate yourself on the difference between a migrant and a refugee).

I live in Kent - the gateway to Europe. I see the effects that illegal immigration has on our communities, on our council budgets, on our road system (hello, operation stack!). I have seen videos of immigrants climbing out of lorries just down the road from where I live.

Am I angry? No.

I'm heartbroken. 

My heart hurts for these people. My heart hurts for their grief, their broken and dispersed families, for the fact that they may never find out what became of their relatives and homes. My heart hurts for those who have perished along the way. Europe has a lot to learn, our government has a lot to learn. Nobody has an instant solution or a magic wand to make this go away.

But in the mean time, let's have a bit of compassion.

And if you can, allow that compassion to move you to action.



History will judge us for our inaction.

Here's a great initiative you can support, run by an everyday person who saw the need and decided to do something about it:

www.CalAid.co.uk

You can also email your MP here.

Share this blog post or any other articles you find which highlight the human plight of the refugee crisis.

Read this interview with Dawn O Porter on how you can get involved.

If you want to shift your focus to Greece then check out this page.

Save The Children are running a Crisis Appeal here.

This article in the Telegraph includes a box at the bottom with five ways you can make a difference - including volunteering your home as temporary accommodation.

Know of any other initiatives of note? Let me know and I'll continue to update with links so everyone can find ways to act.
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