Charlie Gard: Thanks to Great Ormond Hospital

I sent a postcard to Great Ormond Children’s Hospital to thank them for all their hard work, often working very long hours helping all the children at the hospital and keeping their dignity and professionalis in trying months.

It was shocking to hear of protests outside the hospital and of all the abuse they they have been receiving, so much so that the hospital has had to contact the police. Staff are busy and stressed enough as it is, just doing their normal job, without the circus adding to it all. They were not respected at the time, and they are experts in their field. Charlie should die with dignity, but it has been a horrible, media circus and didn’t really go anywhere.


If you would like to donate to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, and support their charity, the link is here

‘The Russians’ are reading My Blog

Many of my comments have been viewed by the ‘The Ruskies’. I’m not sure I should be ‘worried’ but I thought I should let you know should I ‘disappear’.

We have had reports of ‘Russians’ invading Kent Airspace, and, according to UK news reports, the Royal Air Force has been escorting them over Kent and there have been reports of Chinese and Russian ships round Britain.

Now they are reading my blog….and this is giving me ‘goosebumps’.

London: Icecream Van in Southwark Park, a ‘Pollution Hazard’

The engine of the icecream van in Southwark Park, in Bermondsey, has been belching out toxic fumes all throughout the summer.

The van has been emitting fumes for hours on end, very close to an outdoor café, which is popular with young children and families and is right by a children’s playground.

The air is so thick that some café users complained to me of headaches, breathing problems and a ‘bitter taste’ in the mouth. Experts say that toxic black carbon is particularly bad for babies (

The Park is owned by Southwark Council, which is Labour-run. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, is keen to reduce fumes in London.

Southwark Park, is a lovely park, but it is such a shame that the air round part of area is so bad.

The icecream van should be moved to a more suitable location.

Watch this space for Updates on the situation.

Review: Yun Hai Chinese Restaurant, Rotherhithe

I popped in as I was a bit late for making dinner in Bermondsey.

The Restaurant was small but packed along Rotherhithe Street. It has lots of Chinese paintings and there was a nice ‘local feel’ going on, with families having a get together. I didn’t see any fresh flowers on our table, but this could be due to keeping costs down.

The staff were quiet, busy, friendly and ‘not in your face’, and food arrived quickly.

Our food was good, and cutlerly and plates clean and the massive sprig rolls are to DIE FOR! My friend was also happy with his food. They have a good range too. Prices are average. We paid for the meal (didn’t get a freebie)

Would I go again? Yes

Review: 8/10

Kitchen Porter News: Food Waste: ‘Eat up your Greens’

An experienced kitchen porter who has been working in smart restaurants around the South East England said today that he has to clear up a lot of vegetables from the plates of restaurant-goers in this country. This is creating a lot of food waste. He currently works in a gastro pub.

He comes from a family whose parents had to eat grass to survive during WW2 when Hong Kong was under the Japanese Invasion.

He said that restaurant-goers ‘are paying a lot of money for their meals’ but they do not eat everything so every day the kitchen has to waste a lot of good food and the gastro pub does not give any food to the homeless. Sometimes restaurant-goers don’t even touch the vegetables at all, very occasionally there is leftover meat.

When I went to a café recently in West Kent, I also noticed people leaving their salads in posh ‘hipster’ cafes despite the salads being very good. You do wonder about their nutrition and whether they are wasting a lot of vegetables at home too.

It’s very sad that people here don’t appreciate their food. Perhaps more people should eat ‘children’s meals’ to cut down on waste.

UK: Introverts being discriminated by Recruitment Agencies and Employers

Many employers are calling for outgoing people to work for them in some jobs, even though this is not always necessary for some of them.

In some job ads they are calling out for ‘bubbly and outgoing’ people. Introverts, can be Extrovert Introverts and many Introverts can ‘also put it on’ if they have to. It is up to them if they can do the job. Introverts can be friendly, kind and talented but no, some employers want loud people.

Employers, not only want people to have the right experience, and qualifications, but they want ‘the right personality’ too. This makes it very hard in, an already very difficult jobs market.

Employers need to recognise the contribution of quiet and introverted people in the workplace, rather than discriminate against them. In a country that is reknowned, for its reserved introverts, it seems a bit bonkers.

Successful Introverts

Why workplaces need Introverts

Introvert Pride on Facebook

Scandinavian News: Asylum Seeker falls into popular Icelandic Waterfall

The Iceland Monitor reports that a man, reported to be an asylum seeker, has fallen into the freezing waterfall of Gullfoss, a popular tourist hotspot for short day trips from Reykjavik.

Gullfoss, which means Golden Falls in Icelandic, is on the ‘Golden Circle’ of popular tourist destinations.

Reports do not state how he fell in, whether the conditions were windy, or he that got too close to the ravine. No crime had been reported.

Years ago, there was speculation that the beautiful waterfall was going to be used to generate electricity but Sigríður Tómasdóttir, the daughter of Tómas Tómasson, who owned it at the time, was determined to preserve the waterfall and even threatened to throw herself down it. However, Gullfoss was eventually sold to the State of Iceland where is currently protected.

The government’s cap of asylum seekers is just 50 asylum seekers a year, according to The Independent recently. A large search and rescue team, of at least 145 people, has been going on for several hours but so far, they have not found him.

Link: free

My Frugal Birthday Experience Idea

People are spending far too much money on gifts, and so much time hunting for them. Also birthday gifts can create even more ‘clutter’ in your house.

We are in the era of families not meeting ‘properly’ and ‘talking’. People can be very isolated now. I find when people meet at birthday dinners people don’t ‘really talk’, and some of them, don’t find birthday dinners fun, perhaps they hate mingling. Some of us feel ‘forced to go’ if relatives are more distant. Also, there is not much to do, and introverts like me, find them uncomfortable. Birthday meals can be very pricey for everyone.

I thought that instead of having a ‘proper’ birthday gift or dinner. I would have an experience, and I am not just talking about an experience that is just for me, ie those Red Letter Days type of experience, which also can be expensive but something everyone will generally enjoy.

I wanted a more frugal and Scandinavian ‘hygge’ experience. So what I thought was for me and a few of my friends and relatives to visit a wildlife rescue centre – that way it would be interesting and educational and it would make a difference to the animals there. It maybe a bit ‘sad’, but I think the fact that all of us will being doing something to help, will really make a ‘mark’ on everyone.

They could make a donation too, and even a small donation, can make a big difference with several people going. There maybe a ‘shop’ there or they could bring in food and bedding for the animals. People with children can also go along, so it would be good for them too. They will also see how much damage cars can cause with our wildlife, that will be an eye opener too. You never know, the trip may mean that the charity will get more donations in the long run, and even new volunteers. The trip could inspire people to do good things. Birthdays can also be ‘serious too’ but I think it is important to have some light bits in it, to balance things out.

Afterwards, we would have an informal picnic somewhere, and people would bring their own things to share. People will be able to talk more ‘normally’ than in a formal, restaurant setting. I am a huge fan of picnics. They remind me of my childhood and I don’t see why we can’t have more ‘picnic birthdays’. My birthday is in July so I’m quite lucky in having reasonably good weather, though we will need a ‘back up’ if it rains, of course!

I was lucky to discover that there is a good dog show nearby as well, and suggested we go there afterwards, if they wanted to. That would give them a bit of flexibility too so they didn’t have to stay if the couldn’t. Most people in my family are animal lovers and I think animals and birthdays are a ‘great frugal mix’. There is something to do too, not just talk.

I already I have had people saying they want to ‘swipe my idea’ which is great. I am not celebrating it until in two week’s time, but if you want to have a ‘frugal birthday’, and one where you can ‘make a difference’, you don’t have to celebrate it on your day, as there may be things that are fun that are around on a different day, perhaps in your own area. My experience can be great for ‘keeping things local’ and reducing air miles, if your friends and relatives are local.

I really like this the animal charity birthday idea as this will make a difference to the animals too, and I hope my relatives and relatives will talking about this ‘birthday experience’ for years to come. Maybe they will do something similar too?

Just for your info, I will be going to Folly Wildlife Rescue, in Tunbridge Wells and keep you posted.

UK: The ‘Pressure’ on Women to be Bleached Blonde

Ok, ok, I was one once. The ‘pressure’ got to me too. It was all in the magazines and on TV, movies etc. It was ‘wrong’ to have your own hair colour.

I tell you what, I didn’t like being bleached blonde after a while, and nor did my hairdresser who moaned about my split ends and thinning hair which became ‘brassy’ over time.

For a time, it was ‘ok’ but as years went by, I recognised that people treated me as ‘less’ and I got patronised and I even had women being ‘jealous of me’. Men definitely changed and treated me as a woman that could be ‘dominated’ or ‘ignored’ my voice. At the time, I didn’t always realise this but over time I did.

It got to stage that I got sick of being ‘someone else’, ignored and patronised, and I didn’t want my hair, already thinning, being destroyed to bits. I now embrace a natural, shiny, healthy and authentic look, and I love it. My hair is mine, unique and it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. And, if I carried on putting this nuclear colouring, I would not have any hair left. When you get older, it is normal to have thinning hair, let’s not make this happen even quicker!

I was at a café today in Kent and I noticed that all the women had ‘bleached blonde’ bobs, like some kind of clones. I have never seen so many in one café. They looked unconfident. Would they go back to being brunette? Probably not. I suppose at the time, they thought the bleached blonde looked nice, it covers their natural hair and grays, but when you see everyone in your cafe friend group looking all the same, it is kind of weird. It is like stepping in some horror film actually.

They were clearly terrified of, dare we say it, looking older. It was weird, you could hardly tell them apart. Maybe they’re only friends with people who look like them? It seemed all of them felt pressure to have this clone bleached colour and hairstyle. Granted that bobs can be convenient, and I do like them. Maybe they wore bobs as their hair was too unhealthy to grow it longer? I know some people who have really, long, healthy silver hair.

The women were in their forties to sixties. It frightens me that I was once like them, thinking it was cool to be bleached blonde. Maybe they all bought Sainsburys ‘No 4’ box blonde? There must be so much pressure for these middle aged women to be blonde and ‘young looking’, so that perhaps their man doesn’t run off with a younger woman. Listen, you have chosen THE WRONG MAN! I wonder if they feel they are a ‘loser’ if they don’t colour their hair blonde? Some stay chemically bleached well into their OAP years. Catherine Denerve, seems to get away with it, somehow, but her hair must be completely wrecked. Maybe she has a blonde wig, like Barbara Windsor? As more and more women, get cancer, particularly breast cancer in middle age, and companies are secretive about what they really put in their hair colouring, you would think they would want to try and prevent early cancers?

Now I have decided to be an authentic, confident, woman and not give into chemical Blonde Pressure. It saves me money and time too. Ironically, do I have any bleached blonde friends, ha, no but I have a few independently, minded, chemically-free brunette and ‘other’ friends! I get more respect, people listen to me to more, in general, but I look ‘free thinking, confident and independent’ and not chained to the hairdresser for a bleached, blonde, unnatural, and that is the key, look. I have confidence, and the balls, to be myself.

Maggie Thatcher was bottle blonde, but then she was Tory, and you cannot be a ‘successful woman’, unless you are bleached Marilyn Monroe blonde? I wonder where she should be if she was an authentic, chemically- free, brunette?

My heroine is Boudicca, a feisty and powerful, natural red beauty, proud to be herself.

UK: I caught a backstabber, and how I dealt with her

Because of what I have gone through, I am pretty vigilant for these types of people. They picked the wrong person to backstab.

What I have learned about backstabbers is that they can be very passive aggressive, avoidant and hate exposure. They will also have their own ‘support network’ where they get ‘fuel or supply’ and some of them could be your ‘friends’ too, unknowingly.

This woman came into my life a few months ago, and immediately, just by looking at her, I knew she was going to be a problem. It was weird as I could tell by her clothes and her clothes ‘were the opposite to me’. Well, she was supersmart and phoney and I am pretty casual. Even if she wasn’t supersmart the fact that there is a big personality difference, could be a ‘sign’ in anyone’s books. There is a risk of personalities clashing. I felt that I ‘would be in trouble with her’ at some point. Some people don’t like people who are different. Furthermore, she was polite, however, more of a formal polite, she didn’t appear to be relaxed and herself, it was almost as if she could not be herself and authentic at all. My instincts told me ‘that something wasn’t right’ and I couldn’t quite pin it down.

She also kept quite clear from us right from the beginning, although when we did meet, it was me who started the conversations. She was ‘friendly’ but quite ‘guarded’. We always had this phoney friendliness and I never really ‘knew her’, but she always made me feel ‘uncomfortable’. Yes, if she knew I was a Citizen Journo, quite understandly she would feel like that! She kept very polite so as to ‘act properly’ in public.

A couple of months later, she came into the kitchen but didn’t say anything or smile. Once again, I felt as I didn’t exist.

On the same day, I heard a shouting match and with her backstabbling me to her friend. She didn’t know I had heard it, but I was very upset, as I had hoped she was an nice person, although I felt something uncomfortable about her from the moment I met her. Her words hurt. The fact that she was ‘friendly to me’ but backstabbing me was horrible. However, it confirmed what I had thought! in some ways, I am glad this happened, it was not me imagining things.

Now, this is where I had power! She didn’t know that I had heard her.That was great. The flying monkey she was bitching to, didn’t question things.Nothing was done or a few days.

I had to think about what I going to do. Backstabbers like to look good in front of their friends and they hate exposure. So, we decided to ‘open up things’ in a civil way by organising a grown up ‘team meeting’, including the flying monkey,, to discuss ‘any issues’ within the household, with other flatmates. House meetings are great way to air things in a ‘civil way’ and that probably scared her! The fact that she knew that we may have heard her. Something was up in her books but she didn’t know what.

We never did have the team meeting, due to complications, which was annoying, but we opened up ‘dialogue’ that there was a problem within the household as one of the flatmates, ie was very upset to hear someone from the household screaming about them and someone who had been nice to them too. Quite rightly we had to bring it up. The flying monkey, who was there, was shocked that I had heard their conversation and kept on apologising. The woman has not yet apologied and is keeping out of our way, probably very embarrassed, but now the place where she lives, shows about her behaviour. She has been exposed for what she is! The fact that she has not apologised herself, just makes things worse for everyone, including her!

We also added if there is a problem, for them to speak to us directly or at a meeting. We looked really good in the flying monkey’s eyes and he agreed, however, the damage has been done by both of them.

I am leaving their ‘patch’ for a few weeks so she can sort herself out and think about what she had done and if she cannot cope with the ‘exposure’ any longer, she will probably move! In the meantime, we will ‘wait for an apology’, and the longer we don’t have one, the worse the household tension will be. I think we have this backstabber cornered.

If you have experienced ‘catching backstabbers’, let us know how you dealt with them too?

UPDATE: Managed to get the backstabber to apologise! However, it has created a strained relatonship