I Hope, I Wish, I Dream.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I know it has been a long time since I wrote here. I haven’t gone away, life simply took my time for a while.

Today I wanted to talk about hope. From that internet, I tool the following definition:-

Hope is the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or in the world at large. Despair is often regarded as the opposite of hope. Hope is the “feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best” or the act of “looking forward to something with desire and reasonable confidence” or “feeling that something desired may happen.

My hope today is rooted in my beloved rugby, specifically the hope that Ireland can beat the All Blacks. I am watching as I type and am almost hyperventilating with excitement as the score stands at Ireland 22, New Zealand 17. There are 15 minutes of glorious but tortuous remaining in the match. I want to hope, I do believe. Most punters would not have imagined this scoreline based on the performance last week against Australia. They were lacklustre, uninspiring. This week a new team came onto the pitch with grim faces and a new determination. This is the best play I have seen in two years. I am proud but scared, eleven minutes to go and only five points separate us. COME ON IRELAND!

So that is my hope for this one day. A positive hope for the glory of a squad of men in green shorts. However, for so many people hope and despair are cruelly linked. People hope like they breathe, it is a natural state. We all have dreams. For some the hope is for their team to perform well, that perfect dress, a weekend away. For too many alas, their hope is for safety, water, food, shelter. So many victims of hate, war, even weather.

When I look at news stories this week I see people held as slaves in the first world, people struggling to exist in the Philippines as aid is distributed in chaotic conditions. I see news that children are being targeted by snipers in Syria. Over 11,000 children have died in this conflict and it is reported that hundreds have been shot. What mindset do you have to be able to do that? I can’t, don’t want to understand.

As I write now my hopes have been dashed for today. Last minute try and conversion by New Zealand gives a final score of Ireland 22, New Zealand 24. I am so sad for our amazing men, they performed like giants and must now feel despair. I now hope they take hope from their performance today into the Six Nations and play the way they are meant to, they way they did today.

I also hope that you will read my words and think about giving hope to someone who really needs help. One of the things that makes us human is hope that things will be better, people kinder.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

November 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

One Tin a Month?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I have joined a Community Committee in my department at work. You may think it sounds a bit naff but it has good at its core. We did our bake sale for Comic Relief and, with a generous ‘uplift’ from out Management, raised £1,500. And everyone had a great time doing it although I haven’t eaten much sweet stuff since.

We are now looking wider afield and this is where I hope I have had a good idea which I would like to share. I find myself appalled that food-banks are becoming a necessity for many people but am glad that they are there. There have been documentaries covering what they do and how they can help families in need through redundancy, ill-health, poverty. This isn’t just happening in the UK – if you watched the BBC documentary, America’s Poor Kids, you will have seen that the First World has Third World Issues. It baffles me that this can happen but we know it does.

Many may think that people shouldn’t rely on ‘the system’, they should be out looking for work. I agree that those who can work should but life ain’t that simple. There is unemployment, there is poverty, there are parents who don’t eat so that their children can. Yes, there may be parents who spend more on themselves and not enough on their children but that is a small minority, don’t let this colour your thinking.

More cuts are coming, services and jobs will be cut; this problem won’t go away.

So, my idea? It is simple – one tin a month. If you can afford it, why don’t you take one packet or tin, just one non-perishable item to your local food-bank once a month. I have been talking to a local food-bank and am proposing to organise this through my office. I will ask people to bring one tin a month. If 25% of the workforce does this we will have about 400 items a month. That will make a difference. The food-bank I talked to has to spend additional money every week to make enough food parcels. They try to help 300 households every week. If they had an additional 400 packets or tins it would make their work easier.

What do you think? Can you do the same? Will you miss one tin per month from your larder? I will be sending this post out on Twitter and will start a little hashtag – #OneTinAMonth. I am hoping you join my little party and of course you can also donate to a charity and write to me about it:)

Food

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

March 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm 2 comments

It Gets Right on my Wick!

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Most of my posts are positive. I try to encourage people to think about and help others. I have a very optimistic view on people. Most don’t want to hurt others, they want people to be happy. However, that doesn’t mean that most people (ie, everyone!) irritate others. We all have buttons pressed by the smallest incidents, an inner list of Aggghhhhhhhhhhh! These are (some of) mine:-

  • The rug being askew in the living room – yes, I know, how dull. However, even though the living room can look like the bomb has landed, if the rug is straight then I can live with most of the other mess. This is a long-term irritant. I remember my daughter standing with her hands on her hips, saying in baby-speak to her play-fighting brothers, ‘look at the state of that rug’. She was two. I have no shame about the memory, just wish that her adult self was still saying it.
  • Politicians who say they ‘understand’ how people feel, especially with the ‘I am sympathetic’ head-tilt. I seriously doubt many of them understand ‘the common man’ 99% of the time and their faux-sincerity really gets on my nerves. Note I don’t include all of them, just most.
  • Car-thieves/joyriders – Many years ago my car was stolen and torched in Belfast. I knew nothing about it until the police phoned to let me know. I had a four month old baby and was planning to return to work within a couple of weeks. I had everything organised, someone coming to the house to mind three children, a routine to get me kick-started back into work and thought I was sorted. My job was not a one-bus journey away and having no car was going to add another two hours to the time when I wouldn’t be at home. When you are a working mother your day is divided into slices of time and you have tasks allocated to that time (yeah, I do sound anal don’t I?). The thieves took that time away from me. Also, my car, much as I loved it, was old and worth tuppence-hapenny so I had a lot of expense to get a replacement, at a time when I was playing financial catch-up from maternity leave. Every time I thought about it for the next six months I got very angry in my head. If only they hadn’t torched it then it would have been a ‘loaner’ to get them home after a night out.
  • People who swear at their children in public because you know they do it in private too. I understand everyone has sworn about their children and am sure most of us have sworn at them too, we are only human you know. What gets on my goat is this – ‘You get down here, you little b*****d’ or I will skin you alive’. Have heard this when out shopping. I am not a snob but that is so wrong. Children need rules and discipline, what they don’t need is to be belittled from day one. How can they learn manners and consideration when they see none around them.
  • Another domestic one. Don’t make toast and not wipe the workbench. Same for making tea and leaving those stains. I spend too much time with bleach sprays and bottles in my hand. Actually, not true, I don’t spend enough time but I never claimed to be a domestic goddess.
  • People who get too close. I hate my personal space being invaded. Enough said.
  • ‘I done, I seen’ – there is a new style of grammar out there that is completely alien to me. I was taught grammar at school and I, most of the time, know how to use it. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case any more. And my tip of the day – when you are talking about yourself and another person doing something, please use this little tip. If I am going to the shops with Bert and I don’t know whether to say ‘I’ or ‘me’, then remove Bert from the sentence in your head. It isn’t Bert and me are going to the shop, it is Bert and I are going to the shop. Me am going to the shop doesn’t make sense but I am going to the shop does. Honestly, folks, it is that simple.

A very short and random selection from my internal anger buttons. There are many more but I don’t want to foist them all on you at once. Even writing this made my blood start a gentle simmer. You know how to make me feel better, follow the instructions below:)

Cross face

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

February 23, 2013 at 11:43 am 2 comments

First World Problems?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Sometimes life seems overwhelming. Too many items on the ‘to-do’ list, too many people needing your attention, too much chaos surrounds you. I would love to say that my life is in order but that would be a bit of a porker..

People think I am organised, they think I am ‘sorted’. Hoot! My house needs decluttered, decorated and generally put into order. My paperwork sits in a box that I occasionally dig through for the MOT certificate, birth certificate, pension statement. The latter one is the most depressing, I think I may be able to retire at 95….

Are we all the same? Drowning in the everyday when we know we should really be trying to make a difference. I read that sentence and agree but at the same time want to slap myself hard. It sounds so much like the dinner party scenes from Bremner, Bird and Fortune. I feel like a middle-class cliché, beating my breast and crying for the poor of the world while I wonder what colour to paint the living room. Perhaps I am that wonderful twitter hashtag game, #FirstWorldProblems? Maybe I should be shouting from the rooftops because my home-made mayo has curdled?

I am making fun of myself somewhat but it does bring me to my real point. This blog isn’t about me but it comes from my thoughts and hopes. I hope people out there can still afford to help others, have time to think about others. With all the concerns about the economy, job security, horsemeat burgers, can people see beyond the concerns that are beating down their doors? Am I a first-world problem cliché or will you consider donating to a charity that supports children? I do hope the latter…..

In the meantime,  I will continue to distract myself from a house that needs painting and paperwork that needs filing. I will blog, I will tweet twaddle and I will knit. When words fail me, as they sometimes do, then knitting will relax me. The latest offering is six foot long, a scarf  requested by my daughter. Enjoyed doing it but soooo glad it is finished:)

Scarf

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

February 11, 2013 at 10:40 pm Leave a comment

Belfast, from the Sublime to the Flegs

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I promised I would write about my lovely Norn Iron and the ‘Flegs’ protests. You might say flags, you will find that most Norn Iron folks say flegs. To be honest, this is not a post that I will enjoy writing. This is my country and yet again we show ourselves, in your eyes, to be intolerant, divisive, even destroying ourselves from the inside again? Tempting as it is to type, ‘You might say that, I couldn’t possibly comment’, here I go.

The flag dispute has come about because Belfast City Council have voted to only fly the Union Flag on ‘designated’ days. This already happens most other places and to many wasn’t a huge deal. However, certain Unionist politicians took umbrage at this and decried the continuing erosion of Protestant culture and tradition. They shouted and roared, some of them stirred up their supporters talking of protests, ‘get out there and object, show your loyalty to the flag!’. This   has placed the whole country in a maelstrom of protest, riots and endless talking.

So, as I see it, the politicians yet again stir people up. That’s the thing about Norn Iron politics, any and every discussion always seems to start with the divisions across the religious and/or political divide. We have our own political news programmes and they bring together many opinions but, sure as eggs is eggs, the ‘debate’ doesn’t start with Education, health or employment, it starts with a pop at the other side. And they demand that we grow up? I listened to BBC Radio Ulster this morning and had to turn it off when the politicians started talking. I know this is wrong, I know I should be interested and involved in my country. I am aware, I listen and read but when I see so much childish tit-for-tat it makes me mad. I am sure citizens from most places feel like this in some way about the pettiness of politicians but I don’t see my country making real progress until our politicians grow up.

There is also a more insidious effect in all of this. In the 1960s and 1970s there was a strong manufacturing presence in Northern Ireland. For the working class, especially Belfast Protestants, you walked from the school gates through the doors of Harland and Wolff or Shorts, your life was mapped for you and you didn’t have to worry. That certainty had an impact, it reduced the need for ambition. Credit for this certainty was always claimed by the politicians, ‘look how we take care of you’. In the 21st Century that certainty is gone. A lack of prospects and an education system that creaks has left us with one, perhaps two, generations of people who don’t have hope. What does it matter to you when a restaurant or shop closes, further chipping away at the overall economy, when you couldn’t afford to go there anyway?

I have had a bit of a rant haven’t I? And you are perfectly entitled to ask me what I think the solution is.

Simple answer – politics about issues and not beliefs coupled with an integrated education system. While people are divided by words and upbringing they will always be divided. Those other people aren’t monsters, they are your mirror image. Until everyone in Northern Ireland lives this way there will always be that suspicion and separation. Sad, isn’t it? Feel free to tell me your thoughts….

Addition to original post – please don’t think I am an apologist for violence, those who do it are wrong and should be subject to the law.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

January 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm 6 comments

It is the Little Things….

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I haven’t been here for a while. I should perhaps apologise but can only say that I lost my words for a while. Hard to lose your words, you know you should be writing but the letters will only float about in your head, they won’t come together to make anything coherent. Feeling like that I thought it best to be quiet, I write enough nonsense to know when to leave well alone.

But now it is the New Year, all hail 2013. I am feeling better, more refreshed and ready for what is out there. Have you made your resolutions? I have done the usual healthy eating promise to myself. You know the one don’t you? Eat less, move more is the mantra:) I have my low-fat dinner prepared and am enjoying the new exercise regime. When you get to my age walking isn’t enough, you need to get a bit more vigour into your life and so it’s me and Davina. I don’t plug on here but promise that the new Davina workout is good and I am enjoying it even if my stomach muscles are off sobbing in the corner.

Beyond that, what do I want from 2013? World Peace? Unfortunately, I think chances of that are slim. While we have people who know they are right and everyone else is wrong then compromise will never be part of the picture. Watching the news about my own country proves that to be so. (I am considering a blog about what we are going through at the minute but it will take time and effort so will be one you have to wait for, at least for now).

So, should we have an end to hunger? Please Sir, let them have more? Another one on my big list. Alas, again I think we aren’t going to solve this one in 2013. And again, doesn’t it come down to mankind? Politics, power, greed drives so much pain in this world and my feeling is that curing this will cure hunger, disease and poverty. Pity the big pharmaceuticals can’t make a pill to cure that.

What then are we left with? We are left looking at ourselves in the mirror. Take a long hard look folks. Are you happy with what you see? I’ll wager we all struggle with that long hard look, I know I do. How do we make ourselves feel better? I think it is simple. Do something that isn’t for you. Do something to make someone else smile or their life just a little better. I have read reviews of the new book by Lucy Mangan and how she worked through 2012 by doing one good deed a day. Lovely idea and a great book so why don’t we all take a leaf from Lucy’s book. Stick a pound in a collection box, visit an elderly neighbour, volunteer. These can all be done with only a little of your time or money. Perhaps that is what we should all aim for this 2013. Do the little things and hopefully they will start to impact the big…..

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

January 8, 2013 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

For once, I agree with Cameron?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am not as political as many. I know that I don’t like extremes, be they left or right wing. I would define myself as a liberal, not the Liberals in the current Government who have been diluted, their policies corrupted by constant compromise for (what appears to me to be) very little return.

I am not a huge fan of David Cameron. The economic policies of cut, cut, cut will, I feel, snip away at the infrastructure of our society. Before everyone starts howling at me I know there need to be cuts but there is surely a balance? I don’t believe that depending on the rich to generate all the wealth will work. There must be investment to allow small business to keep going, to keep schools thriving to provide us with a future workforce that is educated and motivated.

I will go no further than this. I am not an economist, I am not a politician. I am sure the paragraph above will annoy enough people so I should to move on to the point of this blog….

David Cameron appeared on the This Morning programme yesterday. He was interviewed by Phillip Schofield, someone I normally admire for his integrity. However, it appears Mr Schofield had a rush of blood to the head. He lifted a list of names of politicians/public figures from the Internet; people who had supposedly been embroiled in the abuse of children in previous decades. He presented the list to David Cameron and wanted his comments on it. Cameron sensibly left the paper without looking and talked about what needs to happen. What was Mr Schofield thinking?

My thoughts?

The Internet is a wonderful thing. Full of useful information, opinion and fun. I love doing research, reading blogs and sprouting nonsense on Twitter and Facebook. However, it is also full of opinion being presented as fact; it promotes conspiracy  theory as ‘the real truth’. When you read anything you need to assume that fact-checking will be required, either using your own common sense or actual fact checking.

I assume Philip Schofield considers himself a smart man, a responsible broadcaster, I know I have always thought so. He comes across as caring and sensible. I consider lifting a list from the Internet to be a dumb thing to do. It is a cheap trick. If you want to be considered a serious broadcaster, even in a magazine programme, then don’t resort to tabloid tricks. He may as well have worn a redtop bandana when he tried this. I am quite angry with him for doing this and reckon he knows he messed up. People will believe him to be right because it was Phillip Schofield, I hope he takes the time to put them straight.

With all the furore over the Savile scandal and repercussions rippling through Government and media now is the time for serious investigation. There are so many people out there who are living with the legacy of abuse. Why would we endanger getting to the facts by stirring up public opinion which may impact any future prosecutions? I understand that we need answers, I want them myself. However, I am prepared to be patient to allow the facts to be uncovered and allow the Justice system to work.

What we need now is not cheap sensationalism. I know this may be hard for people to accept but now is the time to be calm and wait. I expect there to be proper and diligent examination of facts and statements. I expect there to be arrests and charges made where the facts support this. I then expect there to be full and frank disclosure. I don’t think this is too much to ask but I know that this may take time. We need to stop the emotional stunts, this will do no favours to those who have suffered abuse. Give this horrendous situation the seriousness it deserves.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

November 9, 2012 at 11:24 am 1 comment

Older Posts


Categories

  • Blogroll

  • Feeds


    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 3,149 other followers