#itsOkNotToBeOk

livingroom

It’s hard to find a single person who hasn’t been touched by mental health. Whether a family member, partner or personally, the pressures of modern society are taking a toll on our collective mental health.

As part of World Mental Health Awareness day, people have been encouraged to share their experiences of mental health and combat the stigma attached. I hope all the shared experiences reach the people who need it.

Here’s mine.. XxX

In twelve months my whole life changed and crumbled – health, wealth, job, home, relationship – collapsed.

The little that remained of my confidence and identity (after being in a particularly pychologically abusive relationship) finally retreated.

The relentless onslaught of failures, health issues, work issues, battles and abuse kept my body permanently in fight or flight mode. I was overwhelmed and perpetually exhausted.

At times I asked my friends to assess my sanity. After years of abuse and gaslighting, I couldn’t be sure if my perception of reality was working properly.

The thought of depression often conjures pictures of unhappiness or numbness but for me I just felt exhausted. Birds singing made me smile and music could move me, but after so many knock downs the fear of the unknown future fuckery lurking around the next corner kept me living in the future and in a constant state of high anxiety.

To escape my thoughts often turned to suicide, not because I was unhappy, I just wanted to rest. I was too tired and didn’t want to keep battling, being “strong” or “dusting myself off”.

I remember one day feeling particularly trapped and full of self pity. I stared longingly out of a ninth floor hotel window wanting to jump. My responsibilities and beliefs meant that I could never commit suicide and tears streamed down my face at that reality. I saw death as a beautiful peace that I wasn’t allowed to have alive.

But it was also during that dark time that I realised that my friends unconditionally accepted me. Even in such a broken and needy state. They were there for me and I realised that I was worthy enough to receive their love.

Screenshot_20191013_232028.jpg

It was a couple of years before I could start to process and heal from all the trauma but I still feel blessed today knowing that each step of the way my friends were there.

Years later those times seem like another life, but I will never forget the kindness of my friends and the liberating lesson that we all are worthy of such kindness and love.

To all my friends and family that were there for me thank you xxxx

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/

Surrender To The Madness. Joker review

livingroom, review, reviews

The Joker is a master piece needed for this moment in time.

A time when unelected leaders shut down open debates by elected representatives in the name of democracy.

A time when protestors fighting to save our planet are imprisoned or attacked whilst the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity are rewarded by profits and protected by a bias media.

Where a person kills an innocent man in his own home and is given more sympathy than the victim because the killer was a white women and the victim was a black man- but we are told daily that modern society is colour blind.

We live in the age of cognitive dissonance and the mental illness it causes.

Screenshot_20191006_193506

Joker gets this. It is not an comic book action movie. It captures ground zero tipping point of extreme measure. The realisation that whilst living in crazy times carrying on as if everything is normal is the true sign of madness.

Cue manic laugh at the irony…

But in that manic cackle (that Phoenix pulls off so well) is the ghost of everytime you have ever laughed in disbelief or shrugged “Fuck This Shit” at the news or ridiculously shitty, unjust or unfair life moment.

That medicinal laughter that feels so good. Numbs your pain and mollifies your hope. Comic relief from the harsh realities of a fucked up world.

This is perhaps why the Joker is an uncomfortable watch for many. No we are not going to turn into an angry mob of murdering, looting psychopaths or think that Joker is the messiah returned. But Gotham reminds us too much of where we are right now.

But Batman isnt coming and our world is being led by a pack of Jokers.

Joker receives ūüŹÖūüŹÖūüŹÖūüŹÖūüŹÖ

But should come with a trigger warning regarding child/domestic abuse and mental health.

Should I stay or Should I go..

livingroom, london

Every time I’m by the sea, I feel at peace and never want to leave. But something always pulls me back to the big smoke…

I love the diversity, activity and randomness of London. I love my friends and family..

I love the ridiculous selection of weaves, wigs and shea butter at my local hair shop, the plethora of black owned vegan joints popping up everywhere and my beloved Suya stall.

I love attending pop up art exhibitions, crayfish parties, or a shoobs at the back of Jamaican take away all on the same day.

I love walking down the street and seeing people I know, children I’ve taught and my daily commuter friends who I’ll never know their names or where they’re going.

But the sea is still calling me.

Awfully Unlawfully

livingroom, politics

Last week I was back at Parliament for a class trip to teach the children about democracy..however it was a tad difficult to explain how we
live in a democratic society when we couldn’t watch any elected MPs debate as Parliament had been ūüéČUNLAWFULLYūüéČ prorogued by an unelected Prime Minister, selected by 92,153 people ( 0.002 %of voting population) the majority of which were old, rich white men. #justiceserved #fckboris

However in response to Labour’s plans to scrape private schools… I think it would be more productive to address the issues as to why people choose them for their children. I don’t necessarily believe that private schools automatically means a better academic education (more rounded generally–yes) but they definitely have more money and the opportunity to make connections/establish social status. Private schools are a reflection of the plutocracy in which we live, where how much you have, where you went to school, who you know and not what you know are the keys to success. This mindset has led to our country being governed by a handful of unqualified private school boys. But abolishing private schools won’t change that mentality or break the old boys network which has corrupted our society. Stopping the million pound tax rebates for private schools and reinvesting back into underfunded state schools is a good start though.. #etonmess #brexit #borisjohnson
#criminal #labour #schools #fuckboris #jc4pm

Poets Vs Gender Equality 

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To celebrate my birthday this year I decided to face my fear of public speaking and share a couple of my poems in public.  Quite a bold and surprising move considering that behind the carnival feathers and political rants, I am a very shy and private person. (No really, I am.)

Spurred on by the fantastic cause, my incredible friends and my desire to reclaim my voice and start my next orbit of the Sun as I mean it to continue, I danced onto the stage and tried to deliver my poem with all the gravitas the matter of gender equality deserved…. but settled for managing to get all the words out clearly and ending with a smile.  Although not a perfect performance-it was definitely fun and a learning experience and an absolute honour to take part in such an inspiring and important event.  Thank you @poetversus and UN Women, I am now officially a published poet! 
  
xx TBH xx

 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4QCXr79Rkcw

Poetry and Vulnerability 

livingroom, Poetry, Wednesday writing prompt

I‚Äôve been writing poetry more frequently for about seven years but only recently ¬†taking it more seriously with a couple of poems in publications out later this year. ¬†I found for me, generally poetry isn’t difficult to write, it’s can just sometimes be difficult to share.

Generally poetry is personal. Poems can be so personal that it’s difficult to get objective perspective on them. ¬†Is the last line cheesy and predictable or poignant? Are the verses so swamped in figurative language that the message is lost to sea, unreachable to anyone? Or so literal that it becomes a shopping list that bores people away? ¬†Is it a ‚Äúgood‚ÄĚ poem….

A few years ago I shared a version of the poem below with a couple of friends to try and get some objective opinions. ¬† The feedback was positive (my friends are lovely) but came with the advice that I should only share it when I was ‚ÄúReady to have people all up in your business…‚ÄĚ This was a fair point with everything that was going on at the time. Even though all poems are written with poetic licence, judgements and assumptions of the author are always made and I had no desire to invite people in to spectate and speculate. ¬†I had become so concerned about who might read my poems that I had misunderstood poetry and why people share poems.

But times change. ¬†Since then I‚Äôve shared my poems with friends, family, publishers, editors and on social media. ¬†I‚Äôve realised that with vulnerability comes with freedom. ¬†A freedom of expression and creativity that surpasses any fear or concern of judgement. A freedom and joy that cannot be taken by negative comments or even no comments or likes at all ūüėČ A freedom that is fulled by self love and absolute comfort in my own skin, choices, experience and expression. My poetry is my voice, my poetry is for me.

Thank you to all of my friends who have supported and encouraged me to write Xx

TBH

After the Ashes

The Phoenix gazed at her reflection

the warmth of the blaze felt like an old friend

a familiar embrace.

 

She had known it was time but

She had been afraid to ignite the flame

She knew she had needed to

But she was afraid that she would scorch in the heat

She had forgotten her nature.

 

Time passes

sparks dance in the air

the Phoenix finds her perfect Match

Who poked and kindled her insecurities and fears

With deceit and hope

to the point of combustion

Insatiable, they consumed her

abusive fires rage

Toxic smoke

clouds her brain

strangles her throat

and blinds her eyes

Isolated

The Phoenix cannot see her own reflection

Or light her transformation.

 

The wind changes

Sparks dance in the air

ember wings glimmer

heat fires her heart and clears her head

The Phoenix fights for survival.

She tastes the pain.

Drinks the humiliation,

and feeds from the silent whispers that had combined into chains to shakle her to the ground.

She releases her feathers of fire

The warmth from the blaze feels like an old flame

a familiar embrace

She is now strong enough to die

be reborn

She is now ready to live

Ready to fly

The Phoenix gazed lovingly at her glow and thanked the Match.

It’s not the deal she seeks, it’s just to REMAIN in power.

livingroom, politics

As awesome as the Reprise of Gollum is #andyserkislegend

…it’s not a second referendum that the UK needs, but a General Election.

Just like the rumours in the Evening Standard yesterday, I also believe May orchestrated the leadership challenge. A defeated challenge now holds off any further challenges for a year and apparently “strengthens” her stance on Brexit. (debatable)

But most importantly (to May) it prevents any further leadership challenges for a further twelve months. ¬†And let’s face it, that’s what this whole Brexit mess is all about- power not whether we leave or stay in the EU.

May is portrayed above as a die hard Brexiter, when really her focus is to get the best deal for the UK out of the unexpected carnage that was left to her by the right honorable David Cameron. Which was created by the unrepentant scapegoating and xenophobia promoted by the right honorable Borris Johnson and chums.

May is all Gollomesque over her precious deal because as a successful Brexit is the onlt hope she had to cling on to Power. ¬†She’s not giving up her shot at the big chair easily, just look at how she magically produced billions to secure DUPs allegiance. ¬†(Whilst schools, NHS, housing etc remain critically underfunded.)

May is so focused on staying in Power, that she is willingly taking on the Brexit shambles. Fighting to keep it hers infact. She is so blinded by her need to stay in Power, that she is oblivious and how it leaves her wide open to attack.

The PMs job is the job that everybody ¬†(well Boris et al) want but just “not right now”. ¬†Apart from May, no one wants to be responsible for negotiating a Brexit deal- the biggest no win situation of the century.

Even Big Mouth Boris, one of the most fervid backseat drivers, desperately trying to derail the deal process to push his own agenda for Power, was uncharacteristically quiet during the leadership vote. ¬†I imagine him lurking the back streets of Westminster with a placard reading “Don’t vote for me- YET” and now shaking his fist dramatically at the sky knowing that another leadership challenge can’t be made until after Brexit.

Which is why we don’t need another referendum, we need another election. ¬†It’s time to get rid of this backstabbing ¬†Tory Government comprised of individuals driven by personal wealth and Power rather than leading Britain into a brighter, fairer and more secure future governing whether that be in or out of the EU.

General Election

Not another referendum

For the many, not the few

TBH xx

 

Was The Hate U Give, given enough love?

demonstrations, livingroom, politics, protests, review, society

****SPOILER ALERT*****.

This post is really for anyone who has seen the film, read the book or is not planning to do either.

The Hate U Give is a powerful film but has the book’s original message been scarificed for commercial backing. For me, it was the incredible performances,¬† rather than the writing and direction of the adaptation that stole the show.

I left the cinema teary eyed but with a distinct Pepsi Max after taste and a thirst to read the book.

APR05_LEE_POST02

After a couple of chapters, it was clear that the plot had been dramatically simplified and the core theme of racial injustice played down making gang influence the predominate malfactor to the storyline.

Poverty, race, family and love are not simply black or white, good vs bad affairs.   Even with a teen audience in mind, the simplistic retelling is a missed opportunity to explore the issues that are killing our society.  Considering the choice of screen writer,  best known for writing George of the Jungle, production and distribution companies- I question how deliberate that choice was.

There are always ommissions and changes in film adaptations, but changes should be made for artistic not political reasons.

In the book for example, Uncle Carlos (A black police detective) concludes that HE WOULDN’T have shot the victim, but in the film, he said he WOULD.

I can’t see how this change, which undermines the #blacklivesmatters cause, could ever be justified. Especially thinking about Thomas’s motivation behind writing the book.

In the story, the officer murdered a 17 year old boy based on his perceived fear of a young black man.  These fears have been deliberately cultivated by society to criminalise black identity and are maintained and reinforced by systematic racism. 

By editing out the uglier side of our boys in blue, it’s not just an injustice to the fictional characters of Garden Heights, but the lives of the thousands of innocent people who have had their life stolen by an officer’s foot, fist or barrel.

Many people do hate the police.  But the hate that killed the victim was the hatred and misrepresentation of black people in our society.  A point that I think the film underplayed, particulary with a speech given by the main character.

“…It’s us, we are the ones full of hate!..”

And that’s where the story ends. ¬†The community comes together, “snitching” on the gang leader to see him incarcerated.

Apparently, not wanting to “snitch” is the reason for gangs in communities – ¬†not the lack of employment opportunities, education, access to healthcare or substandard social housing.

The end has no mention of the continued police brutality either.  Another deviation from the book.

This film is being lauded as a bold, policital statement about the Black Lives Matter movement- but that better describes the book than the film.

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Joyfully, the film is a beautiful depiction of a black family and at the very least,  a great starting place for discussion about the more complex issues.

BH xx

 

If you would like to challenge police brutality in the UK, the United Friends and Family Campaign work to challenge, hold to account and end deaths in custody.

http://uffcampaign.org/

 

 

 

THUG LIFE X

 

Why the Government needs PREVENT training.

demonstrations, education, livingroom, london, politics, protests, society, Wednesday writing prompt

Figures released today show that hate crime has risen in the last couple of years.  This comes as no surprise to anyone who has undertaken PREVENT training recently.

PREVENT is part of the Government’s counter terrorism initiatives which aims to prevent people from turning to terrorism.

The hypocracy of the iniative however, is hard to swallow.

Prevent is founded on the idea of protecting “British Values‚ÄĚ. But how can the Government talk of mutual respect and tolerance being British Values? The former Foreign Secretary makes derogatory comments about Muslim women, the Home Office issue hostile immigration policies, and the Brexit campaign was based on scapegoating and falsehoods not dissimilar from¬†Zach Goldsmith’s vile campaign for London mayor.

To be taken seriously, British Values should be heralded as HUMAN values- a way of life that we ALL need to follow especially by¬†NOT except for the Government. ¬†Then we could all work towards ‚Äúprotecting‚ÄĚ them.

If the Government wants to prevent extremism in this country, perhaps it should explore the underlining issues causing the breakdown of our society, which results in the rise of hate crimes and other forms of terrorism.

Could you imagine the change it would make to “global terrorism” if the UK changed foreign policy away from the colonial dominance and resource grab approach, to a perspective that respects the rights and sovereignty of other (non white) countries and territories.

Imagine if the Government chose to invest in education, NHS, housing: restored workers rights, legal aid, scrapped employment tribunal fees and improved work conditions. The Far Right grooming cries of “They’re takin’ all ‘r jobs and hosital beds..” just wouldn’t have the same gravitas.

Imagine if the Government didn’t propagate and pander to media scapegoating and properganda about immigrants.

What a simple way to reduce the isolation and abuse that members of our society face due to their religion, skin colour or immigration status.  A way to build unity and community rather than fraction society.

But that is all very John Lennon. (Imagine)

But scapegoats are always useful.  So rather than irradicating the causes of fear and anger Рwe have PREVENT.

PREVENT with an approximate annual budget of £46 million.

That money partly used to “train” professionals like doctors, nurses, teachers etc to report any ‚Äúvulnerable individuals‚ÄĚ to local Government. ¬†All the training in the world though, still leaves the system highly susceptible to personal bias. ¬†Especially in a scapegoat saturated society.

Ask the average person to describe a “terrorist”. ¬†You could probably accurately guess the description…

brown skin

beard

Very few would describe:

white skin

football shirt

and a pint of beer in hand…

So it is no surprise that in the PREVENT system there is a huge discrepancy between reports of Islamist terrorism concerns compared with Far Right reports. (Please note that every individual deemed requiring support is investigated by the police…)

Which is particularly condemning when you look at the current hate crimes statics which show a 50% increase in the rise hate crimes towards Muslims. Yet Muslim individuals are by far the largest group indentified and investigated under PREVENT. Something just isn’t working.

So yes of course I will continue to safeguard and prevent any harm to the upmost of my ability.  I only hope we elect a new government that will do the same.

If you want to help prevent the rise of The Far Right join the protest Saturday 17th November 2018 in central London.

 

 

 

 

The Mirror Cracked Black Mirror Series 4 Review

livingroom, reviews

I have to set the scene properly for this review.  We have to go back to the age of terrestrial television. No Uber, or swiping left for love, no Netflix n chillin, pre Facebook was your friend, Barack Obama was still POTUS and Trump was just a capitalist thug with power, time and money on his hands.  This was 2011, the year first series of Black Mirror aired and tramatised us all.  After watching the first episode (and then having to wait each week for the next episode- imagine) I remember having that back of the haunting feeling I experienced after first reading 1984.

Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead in 15 Million Merits Episode

Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead in 15 Million Merits Episode

The White Bear episode stalked my thoughts for months.  I was left questioning, society, my behaviour and how on earth Charlie Brooker could see and predict society with such clarity.

black-mirror-twists-white-bear

Jump forward a couple of seasons and a president and I hardly recognise the programme. ¬†The excellent acting and diverse casting are still there but the morality tales have become more like fairy tales. ¬†The brilliance of the previous series was the inability to be judgemental: Black Mirror was in the grey area of morality –

You asked questions that had no clear cut answers.

You wondered how many steps away you were from making the same choices.

You compared your behaviour to that of the characters.

But the most recent series posed none of these questions. ¬†It has become Black Mirror’s insta account- it wanted to be liked. ¬†The series has gone from a thought provoking self reflection of modern society to a piece of entertainment that we can easily distance ourselves as post reaction clips to youtube. #didyouseeblackmirror

San junipero

Gugu Mbatha- Raw and Mackenzie Davis in San Junipero

However, that’s not to say that I haven’t generally enjoyed watching the more recent episodes. ¬†Even excluding season three classics like Nosedive and San Junipero there are still some stand out moments in season 4.

 

The Hang the DJ episode, a spin on online dating, left me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside after watching… Which is probably my point, we should look into the Black Mirror and be unnerved by the reflection.

Maybe we just live in such strange times that our reality really is more terrifying the TV.

I’ve probably risked invites to social gatherings for writing this.. but I dedicate the post to anyway who noticed it too but had no safe spaces to say it..ūüėČ

#WhatDoYouMeanYouDidn’tLike

Breaking Bad

BH xx

 

 

A letter of advice to Letterman

Celebrity, livingroom

I watched the first episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” on Netflix and was delighted and entertained by David Letterman interviewing former POTUS Barack Obama.¬† An incredibly insightful, funny and inspirational 60 minutes of my life well spent.¬† The next episode with George Cloney¬†also brilliant.

The third episode however started to go down hill. ¬†Letterman bumbled his way through an interview with Malala¬†so badly, that it led me to wonder if Letterman’s researchers fully explained who the intelligent, dynamic woman sitting opposite him was? ¬†Malala’s reserved nature seemed to expose Letterman’s lack of confidence and how heavily he had relied on the wit and charm of his former guests to carry the previous episodes.

This was confirmed for me when Brooklyn’s finest took the stage the following episode. ¬†I chose the words “took the stage” deliberately as that’s exactly what Jay Z did.

From the start, rather than try to establish a rapport with his guest, Letterman seemed focused on establishing their differences. ¬†Mr Carter practically interviewed himself. Dave meanwhile busy firing a barrage of questions to “understand” Jay Z: as if he were from another planet and speaking orthodox Klingon.

Letterman even asked about the beef between East coast and West coast¬†¬†, unsuccessfully trying to coax Jay into naming and shaming s***e rappers. ¬† Yes really…in 2018!

I’m not sure whether the insult to Jay- Z’s intellect or the irony of Dave talking about the pointless violence caused by the previous animosity and then trying to instigate a new one, irked me the most.

Actually Рit was that through the whole interview there never seemed to be a point where Letterman was genuinely interested in any of the answers to his own banal questions.  It was all too scripted and focused on set ups for links to bizarre musical interludes.

Letterman just spiralled downwards as he continued to ask more questions related to his own personal life (and failings) than about the multi-platinum artist stroke billionaire entrepreneur in front of him. ¬†And that’s the crux of the failure of the series. ¬†Letterman has never quite recovered from his 2009 transgressions. ¬†The show is a desperate attempt and opportunity for David Letterman to share HIS story and to convince the world that he is sorry for his past behaviour and ask for forgiveness.

So my word of advice to Letterman…

Let it go and move on  Рthe world has.  

 

Latest series of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction now available on Netflix

Black Panther vs Django Black Pain Vs Black Joy

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I remember having to revisit the local cinema three times before being able to purchase Django Unchained tickets. The story of a slave fighting for his freedom in Southern America by white director Quintin Tarantino was sold out for weeks.

Rave reviews and the Guardian ‘comments section’ had packed out my local cinema with white, middle class movie goers – keen to say they’d seen Quentin Tarintino’s latest controversial smash.

Jump forward six years, again I visit my local cinema to watch the latest ‘controversial’ box office smash with rave reviews… Black Panther.

The audience couldn’t have been more identical but their reactions so different.

I sat through Django feeling perplexed, angered and confused. My experience was in stark contrast to the general excitement and buzz in the dimly lit room filled with the predominately white audience.

Laughter came freely at jokes (even at times when there were none .. use of the N word for example). It was easy for the audience to dislike the villian, the dastardely “house slave” and cheer as Django achieved his freedom helped of course of course by the selfless sacrifice of his German ally.

Compare this experience to watching Black Panther.

I sat through Black Panther in a state of utter joy. My heart was full with the imagery and my brain busy noting all the references and nods to African history, culture, archeticture, religion and brilliance. The complete opposite from watching Django with it’s playground like plantations, dogs ripping men to death, fights to the death (with hammers) and the inconceivable idea that someone would want/be able to have sex with someone after spending a day in a “sweatbox“.

Back in Wakanda however, the political relevance beautifully became an irrelevant normality as the plot hooked me in and I simply enjoyed watching an awesome action movie.

I watched elated. Cheering, laughing and gasping as the plot dictated.

But I was very much an island in a cold and awkard sea.

My reactions (similiar to when I watched the “good” Avengers film) were alone.

The discomfort of the audience was palable. I imagine these were the same people cheering, laughing and gasping as the plot dictated during The Avengers (The good one).

Yet, the crowd was uncomfortable.

My guess is that simply: they were not used to seeing blackness in such a positive light and on it’s own terms.

Our society has created a world where some are more comfortable watching POC being abused or violently fighting to the death in “mandingo” fights than watching a black superhero save the world.

And if that isn’t a wake up call for the desperate need for better representation and diversity in the media and arts… I don’t know what is.

And it seems I am not in my opinion…

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/03/young-brixton-activists-recreate-film-posters-with-black-leads?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Shout out to these young people creating a change, not just talking about it. #legallyblackuk

So I ask you, what have you done today to create the change you wish to see?

BH xx

Cheers to the fall

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In March this year, I fell off my bike and completely shattered my forearm and shoulder. ¬†Three hours of surgery, one metal plate, 9 pins and a stay in hospital later, I was discharged home. ¬†Being ‚Äúfairly young‚ÄĚ (surgeons exact words), I was ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†expected to make a full recovery.

Physically, the prognosis seemed likely.  I’m fairly healthy (my exact words) and not shy to exercise.   But I just wasn’t prepared mentally for the initial helplessness I felt after the injury and the impact that had on me psychologically. I had been confronted with the fragility of the human body.  My body.  My fragility. My mortality.

I had gone from being a mother and care giver, to needing someone to help me wash, bath, eat, do my hair and help me to look after my son.

In some ways as time progressed things got harder. ¬† I walked in constant fear and hyper vigilance, permanently¬†petrified that someone would bump into my arm. ¬†With the sling gone, there was no visual clue to say ‚ÄúPlease don‚Äôt barge me I‚Äôm injured‚ÄĚ ¬†(Which should be a general rule for all pedestrians – but like anyone who has walked the Brixton High Street gauntlet from the Tube station, past Iceland until H&M knows, it‚Äôs each person for themselves, buggy or shopping trolley during rush hour.)

Fear and vulnerability become your daily way of life and after a while it’s becomes a tough mindset to get out of.

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by love and support.  Not just from my amazing friends and family, but with small acts of kindness from complete strangers.  People would stop and offer to tie my shoe laces for me, even when insisted I was fine, or hold a doors, bags or the bubba.  Once a Good Samaritan even carried my bags all the way to my door step.  Those acts of kindness made me remember the beauty of humanity and the resilience of the human spirit, inspiring me to find the strength to push past my fears.

So I’m proud to announce that this week was first time since my accident that I got back on a bike.  Physically, I could probably have done it a couple of months ago, but we are all on our own journeys and this time mine took a little bit longer.

So thank you 2017 for showing me the beauty of true friendship, humanity, my inner strength and teaching me that it doesn’t matter how
many times you fall off that bike- GET BACK ON! Xx