RIP Jo Cox MP – the death of a beautiful humanitarian & a true politician

I doubt there is anyone who has not felt appalled and sickened by the senseless murder of Jo Cox MP last week on the streets of her constituency.  Much has been written about it and will continue to do so over the coming days and weeks so I’ve been hesitant to write here, to add to the many words of analysis and condolence.

But as one who used to work in the sector Jo did before becoming an MP only 15 months ago, I want to express why I find this so hard, so sad, and yet also share a glimmer of hope.

© BBC images

© BBC images

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First News & The Week Junior – great ways to keep your kids informed


Well, it seems the post I wrote last week ‘How do you tell the children?’ hit the spot.  It got picked up by various websites and blogger communities, most notably Christianity Magazine who put it on their blog. Their sister radio station then chose my  blog post as the topic of discussion on their Drive time show, which I just happened to tune into that afternoon – imagine my surprise when I heard my name read out on the radio as I peeled the carrots for supper! Lets just say the supper was a little delayed that night 😉

Anyway, one of the things I touched on in that post was how it can be hard to introduce our children to national or world news in a sensitive way.  TV news is simply too ‘in your face’ and alarmist in our view, so we prefer not to have it on whilst they’re up (or even after they’re in bed to be honest).

So, I thought I’d tell you about a couple of newspapers written especially for children which share the news in a very age appropriate way which some of you might find helpful. Continue reading

Seeing Red about Turning Blue – election results



They say a week is a long time in politics. Make that 3 days: you know, those 3 days before, during and after the election.

The morning after the night before, we woke up to the surprise of an easy (though narrow) win by the Conservatives; the SNP turned Scotland (and much of Westminster) yellow; voters turned out in unexpected droves; UKIP gained 3.8 million votes yet only 1 seat; and 3 of the top leaders resigned…..the list goes on.

Possibly the biggest surprise for me was the huge wave of what can be called at best ‘debate’ and at worst ‘vitriolic mudslinging’ on social media by those who didn’t vote for the triumphant Conservatives. The latter were remarkably quiet, at least on my twitter account.

All through the election campaign, uncertainty, cynicism and passivity seemed to be the order of the day. The sheer number of parties and policies to chose from and the predicted ‘no clear winner’ lulled us into apathy. But as the clock struck 10pm on Friday night when the exit polls showed a likely Tory win, twitter went mental and people saw red (well, Blue actually). Continue reading

Ladies, let’s vote!


This Thursday in between pick up, drop off, a meeting with clients, hockey, ballet, swimming and cooking the dinner, you have one more job: casting your vote.

I know, I know. We’re all sick of the election campaign, of too many parties to know which to vote for, of white men (mostly) “making it quite clear” about the economy and “balancing the books“, of last-minute manifestos and general lack of ideology.  Continue reading

The Gift of a cup of tea? Putting kindness into Christmas….

141216_153318_4362If you read my post a few weeks back, Ebola, Bombs and Christmas? you’ll know that I’m trying this year to do Christmas a little differently. Nothing majorly radical, like ditching the Christmas tree or stockings (life wouldn’t be worth living!), but trying to keep a limit on that most powerful of Christmas spirits, the spirit of Over Spend and her brother, Ridiculously Over Busy, or Rob for short.

I know. It’s a serious battle to keep them at bay.  The TV, radio, social media are all yelling at us to make everything perfect, home-made, up to the minute, and now!  Suzanne from 3childrenandit told us last week just how much she’s struggling with it all too.

But yesterday I got a chance to silence those loud and rambunctious spirits, and took 15 minutes out of my day, and £4.15 out of my purse to buy four cups of tea for the car wash guys in the Sainsburys car park. Continue reading