London: “Tube Chat” Badges: My thoughts

When I saw the Evening Standard’s article  today that people  are handing out unofficial Transport for London ‘Tube Chat’ badges to encourage people on the Underground to actually talk to each other, I thought it was an excellent idea. An American called Jonathan Dunne started it.  It has been something I have been thinking about for a while.

Many people in London are quite fun, but when they enter the tube, they suddenly become ‘all serious and boring’. I think it is such an old fashioned, conservative attitude. It does not reflect diversity too. Not all of us are stuffed shirts.

I really hate the sour atmosphere on the tube. It smacks of a time in the 1950s. London is a young, vibrant place  now, why are  Londoners still behaving in weird stuffy way? It is ridiculously outdated.However, yes, in  the rush hour in the morning is a lot harder to talk for a variety of reasons.

I use the bus a lot and people talk to each other so using the tube a big contrast for me.  There is nothing to look at other than all the ‘stone cold’  commuters and corporate adverts, and poor old tourists, on holiday, are thrown in with them. People look like they are miserable every day, even on good days. I think the seating arrangements don’t actually help.

For those of us who are into ‘micro adventures’ which are great, a light chat passes the time. You will never know what will happen.In my own case, I have met some very loyal friends on public transport and I have chatted to people about loom knitting, bull dogs, long distance bike rides and even went on some trips round Australia with them.  New people, new opportunities maybe, who knows? Life is is an adventure, and it can open new horizons. Coming from a tourism background, I can help with a wealth of information. Why have such a narrow life? I suppose  as  a world traveller, I am a little more open-minded than some Londoners. I have also had a few laughs with passing passengers on public transport as well.

I won’t use the badge during the  morning rush hour as I need that time to think, like many others, but outside these times, perhaps  when out sightseeing and not being in such a rush, I have a little more mental capacity for people. I wouldn’t use the badge after 11pm to avoid the drunk men or if there are football fans.  It is good in that you have a choice   with a badge, and you can do it with friends too.

I think it would be good if the badges were made so you could talk to women or men only, or both women or men.   I would probably feel a bit uncomfortable chatting to men on my own on the tube. If I had a ‘women only’ badge I may feel a bit safer, after all,  sexual harassment is a big problem on a crowded tube but then I suppose, I wouldn’t want a chat on a crowded tube, I mean, I can barely breathe anyway.

London can be a lonely place for visitors and newcomers, and I think this idea would help change the way Londoners are and tube journeys, outside rush hour, would be less dull. Not all Londoners want a dull journey. When I worked in the travel industry, tourists would often say how unfriendly we were. Tourists are our bread and butter, we need to encourage them to come here and spend money.

Some older people may not have spoken to anyone all day, and that goes for some of us younger people who live alone, or even alone in relationships. Many of us are away from our family too, who may live at the end of the country.

We need a happier society and a REVOLUTION on the tube!

Well done to those who want to make change.  Shame on those who want the tube to be grouchy and miserable all the time. Why can’t that lot go to the back of the carriage,  with their Candy Crush games and leave us on the other carriages, where we can chat and share wine gums?

One person tweeted this:

It’s ok, Londoners, you can get through this. We do this all the time in the North.

For more info:

Evening Standard article:


Twitter: @tube_chat 

Jonathan Dunne speaks to Newsbeat about his idea:


Hygge, the Danish Art of ‘Cosiness’

 thAt the weekend I stopped trawling the internet, put on very low lighting, listened to calming piano music alongside a crackling fireplace and talked with my friend about deeper things in life (and some light things), and felt the fresh, autumnal wind in the air as the door was slightly ajar.  We had a nice cosy snack in the darkness too.

Every so often we all need a recharge of quiet and cosiness, in our crazy, rushed life. The Danish art of Hygge (pronounced hoo-gar) the art of cosiness, informal socialising, sharing and wellbeing  is particularly nice after a day at work. There is no English equivalent to the word.ey c

Having Viking origins this comes quite naturally to me, and I love the simplicity of it all. Autumn is a perfect time for hygge as nights draw in.  I will be looking for scented candles, picking  flowers , crafting,  making hot rosehip cordials and reading aloud short stories to fill my time for those quiet moments.


 PHOTOLazy Sundays – ‘Britishstyle’ Hygge’ at Hej Coffee, Bermondsey

More information:

The Little Book of Hygge:

The Danes also like to have a Happy Workplace – they have word called ‘Arbejdsglaede’ (pronounded Arbeits-Glay-der). Again, there is no English equivalent.




London Bridge Station users are disrupted by Prince William’s Visit to the Shard

Prince William, who was speaking for Tusk at an event for the Shard today, disrupted several commuters at London Bridge as the Press and Police gathered at the station.  A helicopter was also circling the area.

One passenger on social media who was blind was unable to get any help at the station as staff were too busy watching the royal.

Some businesses were affected as office workers struggled to buy their lunch.  Salaried media invited to the Shard exchanged very positive tweets about the visit.

Update: £6,590 raised to help Katie Cutler pay whopping @clairebarberpr bill

Three fundraisers have set up various accounts to help raise money for Katie Cutler, 23, from Gateshead, Newcastle, England to stop her losing her home with her daughter and having the bailiffs called in.

Danielle Aikin had set up a Just Giving site on which has already raised £3,393 by 22nd September.

Ryan Walker, set up a Gofundme account  on, which currently stands at £3,145

Wayne Thompson has fundraised £52 for her on

The total raised for Katie, so far, is £6,590 as at 22/09/2016

As a blogger, Beaulieu has raised awareness of these sites and is not charging anyone for any PR, let alone £550 a day.  Over the last day or so, the funding has increased in hundreds.  Thanks to everyone who have helped Katie, and did the right thing. I would add that several of Katie’s supporters  have been blocked on Twitter by Clairebarber PR including myself!

Update: Good news!

Crowdsourcing for Good Samaritan Katie Cutler raises over £5,000 in hours for whopping Claire Barber PR bill

Good Samaritan and beautician from Gateshead, England, dubbed ‘The Angel of the North’, Katie Cutler,  23, raised nearly £330,000 for Alan Barnes, a disabled pensioner who was mugged by thugs. He managed to buy himself a home with the money.

Unfortunately, she faced a massive bill of nearly £7000 from public relations company @Claire BarberPR. She also is having to pay for legal costs as she is now getting a solicitor.

There have been several fundraising pages for her, a Justgiving and a Gofundme account:-

Beaulieu helped raise the fundraising profiles with free social media coverage. Always good to get nice people in the world. Young people can often get a bad rep in the media.

Never mind getting a job on some reality programme, go into politics Katie, you have made more of a difference than many politicians have. You have done a lot to inspire people of all ages.

Thanks to all those who are spreading the word and have chipped in, even if it is a small amount.

 Since this article was posted, my own blog stats has spiked too. I am getting many viewers from overseas, including Japan, Spain, Germany and the United States. Furthermore several of ‘Katie supporters’ have been blocked by ClaireBarberPR on Twitter including myself!


I visited the Dog Show in Victoria Park, London

Hundreds of dogs turned up for the All Dogs Matter dog show in Victoria Park in Hackney on 11 September.

All Dogs Matter is a London based Dog Rescue Charity and rescues dogs from London and surrounding areas. At the moment they have 32 dogs looking for homes, including little Posy  as seen here

Sunday was a baking hot day. The venue at Victoria Park was excellent as there was plenty of shade for the dogs. In the Competition area, it was not shaded  all but staff  and volunteers from All Dogs Matter made sure they all had plenty of water.

Some rescue dogs took part in events and one of them, a blue staffie, had been found dumped only last week on a D6 bus. Although the dog was microchipped, the owner did not want to have it back.

Over 200 dogs have been rescued in Tower Hamlets in one year by

All Dogs Matter.

The London Port Authority told me a few days  ago that they have been finding several dogs being dumped in the River Thames, including those that have been microchipped and that there is a big underground dog fighting problem in Central London. London is reknowned for its history, but it is becoming reknowned for its animal cruelty.

The show had lots of things for dogs to do such as playing in a den of chocolate coloured balls and having a cool bath though of course some smaller dogs got a bit sniffy about these and refused to try them out much to the annoyance of their owners.

It really good to see these rescue dogs having a bit of fun meeting other dogs  at the show.  I  really hope that several dogs were given a  forever home soon after the event.


Photo: Chihwahuas taking part in the Dogs with the Waggiest Tail contest (Sorry about the finger in the photo!). The winner would get a ‘Golden Bone’ award and a rosette.



“There are  no wabbits here, get me out!”


Lourdes Estate Agents who look part in the Dog Fair brought along lots of nonenvironmentally friendly balloons that would be eaten by marine life and other animals. Here is one of several that will be on its way to ruin our environment.

Stylish Pony Tail holders


I came across these gorgeous pony tail holders from Pinzhi, which I bought for just over £2 from Amazon. They are really good value for a stylish twist to a boring pony tail.

It is great for women low on time and gives a little interest and texture to a very simple hair style. I hope to wear them for casual, work, evening wear and special occasions so they are really versatile. I would best recommend that they are worn in good weather. I haven’t seen any of these on the High Street, so they have the added benefit that ‘not everyone is wearing them’.

I bought these myself and haven’t been given any freebies. I am very keen on hair accessories as they can often jazz up your outfits, particularly if you have minimalist wardrobe like mine.  I have quite fine hair so I had to ruffle up my pony tail a bit.

The pink one doesn’t quite go with my hair colour, so I am giving it away to a friend who has blonde hair for Christmas.

Bayeux Tapestry Anniversary: First Ever British Rectangular 50p Coin

To mark the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, the Westminster Collection ( have created a rectangular coin.

The coin is struck from 2.5g of solid 999/1000 Silver. Only 19,500 Silver Coins have ever been made.

Update: 10th October, 2016: There is also another 50p coin to commemorate this: BBC:

New TfL Badge Pilot Trial not available for disabled people who use the tube less than once a week

Transport for London are keen for people to trial a new ‘Please-Offer-me-A-Seat Badge’  scheme for those who need a seat but are unable to obtain one as they have an ‘invisible condition or disability’; and the current Priority Badge system does not allow for those who have invisible conditions, such as some cancers.

Those who wanted to take part in the Pilot Scheme are now  being turned way from taking part if they use the tube less than once a week. Tfl states that they are ineligible‘ after they have completed the Survey.

Many passengers who use the tube less that once a week can be the ones that avoid the Underground because of their condition or for other reasons, such as only going to hospital a few times a month. Others may have to go to hospital every day for a week but not on other days in the month.

Volunteers wanted to take part in the Pilot Scheme as it would help increase their confidence in using the tube and  to provide Tfl with valuable feedback.

To ban them from the Pilot Scheme is unacceptable.