When you try to write a post about the joys and challenges of being a single parent on holiday but your creative juices have other plans…
A royalist I am not. In fact, I believe the whole idea of monarchy is an antiquated method of crowd control.
Every time I see a picture of Meghan and Harry it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
I see the ridiculous, barely veiled racism in the typical media outlets. I hear the “concerned” LBC listeners, who fear poor Prince Hazza “Doesn’t really understand what he’s doing”. (Roughly translated as: “That American vixen has cast her spell over our innocent prince!”) But they really can’t take my joy on this one.
As a person of mixed heritage, it’s not even the thought of future mixed race princesses running around Buckingham Palace calling Queen Elizabeth “Great Grandma” that makes me smile.
Ok yes it is a little bit..
..but they wouldn’t be the first black British Royals in history- nods to Queen Charlotte.
And it’s only partly to do with the fact that I still remember Chelsea Davie Harry.. in all his Hitler saluting, safari hunting, tiki cocktail sipping splendour.
It’s just simply that they are so clearly in love and that’s giving me all kinds of feels xx
Merry Christmas Everyone
When my doctor told me that I needed to reduce my stress levels, a day trip to Walthamstow probably wasn’t exactly the remedy she had in mind. But after being lured to the urban suburb with the promise of a mani and invite to the Spa Experience bloggers event- that’s exactly where I headed..
And it turned out to be the perfect tonic!
Hopping off at the “other end” of the Victoria line, the Waltham Forest Centre was a five minute bus ride from Walthamstow Central. Initially deceived by the centre’s outward facade, once I walked through the Spa centre’s double doors I was transported into what I think could possibly be the largest (and most peaceful) spa relaxation area in London 🙂
After mingling with other bloggers (this is of course is code for swapping IG deets and discretely swiping the last pain au chocolate from the hospitality table) I robed up and headed straight for the sauna and steam rooms.
With squeaky clean pores, I then opted for a Vinylux manicure (as I loath the removal process with gels) and an Elemis Superfood facial. Sam, my beautician, was friendly, bubbly and a perfectionist! My nails haven’t looked this ladylike since the bubba started walking and I definitely had that post facial glow..
And what a difference it made to my whole day!
Feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again, I decided to delay my journey home and explore E17 with an impromptu visit to the William Morris Gallery. Which turned out to be the perfect place to show off my new lady nails (it was only fair I pointed to each display and slowly nodded my head in a thoughtful manner) and it was also a perfect opportunity for a spot of quirky Christmas shopping.
And since I was in the area and feeling footloose and fancy free…
I popped into Gods Own Junk Yard– Yup from from 19th century arts and crafts movement to a Neon necropolis in about 10 mins.
So the moral of this post?
1. If you want energy to do more learn how to take some time out to do less…
2. Never judge a postcode by a 90s boyband.
My stats tell me that I haven’t posted for the whole of September… As a teacher, this is no surprise. But it’s not just the new academic year To Do lists that have kept me at bay from my blog. I have also been busy building a brand new website with one of my closest friends and inspirations.
We wanted to build a platform for women to come together and inspire each other to improve our lives and community.. Otherwise known as
I have just posted my first official post (hence the title of this post and it’s linked HERE) Please read and give me some honest feedback! Thank you 🙂
On to lighten the mood a little.. I decided to accept the 3q3d challenge from the lovely Suze. Full rules below X
Once I understood this it changed my life and self perspective in ways I could never have imagined.
You have to be courageous to risk failure. This is something I realised only after failing and realising it wasn’t the end of the world, in fact it was just to the beginning.
Friendships. Relationships. Careers. Whenever. Thank you Nina xx
I nominate Voices Unsilenced
I look forward to reading yours!
What would you do if you had two homeless people living in your gas cupboard?
Stepping outside of my front door this morning, I was greeted by a shiny Maserati sparkling in the early morning light. As I drifted off, wondering which “new Brixton” resident was trying to muscle in on parking this time, the stench of rotting food and sweat dragged me back to reality.
It was the two men in their early twenties who are living in the external gas cupboard infront of our house. It sounds like fiction, but this isn’t Harry Potter.
It’s the daily co-habiting extremes of New Brixton… New Peckham – Wilesdon -Walthamstow. New London.
Many articles talk of the social cleansing of London: but neglect to mention those left behind or over looked. This is what the growing disparities between rich and poor looks and smells like when you live in it.
Ignoring the mice, rotting food, urine filled plastic bottles and beer cans – the stench will tell you that the two men live in squalor. A lifestyle a million miles away from the owner’s of the car worth in the region of £60,000 which is parked less than 1 metre away from the makeshift bed of the homeless men.
Although I’ve never been inside the cupboard, I know that it mirrors that of the one inside our home. Maximum, 150cm wide possibly 300cm long. Not big enough for the discarded mattress that they managed to fit in there, let alone two grown men. One person’s closet is another person’s home. Literally. Again the disparities of London.
But if only it was just a financial disparity. When researching how to help the two men, I stumbled across a homeless forum. Battling opinions greeted me. A homeless person was either seen as a victim or villian.
“I’d just call the police and your building management company. The doorway is almost certainly private property.”
“I wouldn’t even feel bad. If he is sleeping in a doorway (of all places) he is knowingly antagonising the building’s occupants. My guess is that he is hoping for someone to give him a big bag of charity beddings and food (like has been suggested in this thread many times now), in exchange for leaving. DO NOT GIVE HIM ANYTHING. He will just move to another building. Contact a charity for him if you feel bad – but don’t enable what he is doing either.”
The lack of empathy was astounding. It seemed to contradict the public outcry condemning poor doors, homeless spikes and other designs aiming to segregate poor and wealthy residents in new housing developments across London. I remember reading articles heralding “hipsters”* turning anti homeless spikes into libraries with comfy seating.
Hoorah for Hipsters!
But where did the “hipsters” involved actually live? Would they have made such a stand on their own door step?
Have you ever walked into a “hipster” bar as a non-hipster? The inconvenience your presence causes stabs at your dignity almost as deeply as the bill for buzz word bar food hits your wallet. But why does the presence of some make others feel so uncomfortable? Because it is a reminder of the other side of London.
The side of London that is replaced every time a new luxury apartment development is built on hardcore made of the social housing which once stood on the same spot. If you have purchased a new “luxury apartment” in inner London recently, it is very likely that your new pad displaced a low income family. It is an uncomfortable truth. A truth which taints the aspirational image sold with the luxury apartment purchase. A truth preferably ignored and forgotten by wealthy residents and developers alike.
How would you feel if a homeless person slept in your door way?
It’s that time of year.
But I don’t believe in new year resolutions.
I believe in
It’s that time of year.
I am reliving the times of frustration, sadness, overwhelming happiness and achievement over the past 345 days.
I start to plan the future and digest the life lessons that I have received.
My mind jumps back to November.
Heart pounding, I crash into the spin studio at the gym. I’m late. By this I mean I have arrived five minutes early for the class, but a minute too late to procure my trusty spin bike. Nestling quietly in the corner in the back row, my trusty companion now had a new owner. My chance of back row, dimly lit anonymity had vanished.
The 90s House and Garage starts to pumps as the situation gets worse. The only bike left is at the front of class. The bikes reserved for the ‘Gym Fit ‘ Girls (GFGs). The type that run to the gym in Dry Fit outfits that colour co-ordinate with their Free Runners: gym hair (high messy pony) and perfect face of nude make up complete the uniform.
I am not her.
Nor do I want to be.
But the pressure and fear of sitting on that bike was real. As I mounted the pedestal bike, I could hear myself doling out the obligatory compliments, apologies and excuses for my presence and upcoming performance. Gripped with fear, I hear the pace of the music picking up. I approach effort level 11 worried about what I must look like compared to my GFG neighbours.
Rationally you can tell yourself “Nobody has the energy to waste looking at you!” And it’s true. But then we get to the Solo Sprints. The part of the class where everyone has to stop spinning and watch you, as your row sprint as fast as they can for 60 seconds. Even safe on old faithful, in my dimly lit corner, I’d fear this part of the class. And now, being in the front row, I had the honour of going last.
As I wait for our turn to “..show the class how it’s done!” my anxiety mounts. The Mexican wave of sprinting spinners descends on the front row like a tsunami. The buzzer sounded and instinctively I just closed my eyes. And then the most liberating thing happened.
I was alone.
I stopped worrying about what I looked like to others. Stopped worrying that I didn’t belong there. All I cared about was cycling as fast as I could.
I had stopped worrying about how I was perceived by others.
I remember the anxiety I first felt when starting to write my blog. The feeling of vulnerability and exposure and judgment. The concern of what my family and friends would think of my writing. My parenting skills. My questionable gym wear choices.
But the less I worry about other people’s perceptions – the happier I am.
Whether I fail or succeed, I am happier. I am free.
And that is my life lesson for 2015.
So I have finally opened an Instagram account. For copious pictures of babies, Brixton and random hashtags, please follow me.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the talented ladies at Nude Jewellery for my early Mother’s Day present. I absolutely love my stunning necklace! For more of their gorgeous bespoke and collection pieces visit www.nudejewellery.co.uk or their Mayfair Store if you’re in town.
Oh and of course…. Happy Mother’s Day everyone 😄