So, a lot has been happening. There was the whole #Brexit debacle. I was devastated, I sobbed when I heard the result. I love being a Londoner, British and European. I am not going to write a whole post on my feelings around the result, because, frankly, others do it better here and here. I wasn’t surprised. I am friends on social media with a few people who were voting “Leave” for a variety of reasons, not all of them (praise the Lord) immigration related. I realised that there was a big division in our country and that some people had researched this and come to the conclusion that to leave the EU would, they thought, be better for farmers, the countryside and themselves. I also realised that some people had done precisely no research and were blaming the EU for a whole host of problems, including “immigrants taking our jobs”. Excellent.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I am not going to go into the rights and wrongs (according to me) of these views. What I will say, and what I have already said on my own Facebook page is that we are all entitled to our political opinions and we all need to be kind to others, including on the internet. Calling someone “dumb/thick/lefty idiot” or telling them that they “need to get over it, it’s happened” is oversimplifying the issue and is unfair when we clearly have a very divided country and need to focus on healing some rifts.
I have been horrified that my fears about racism being a large motivator for some people are being confirmed. The BBC reported this week that there has been a 42% rise in hate crime in the UK compared to the same period last year. A lot of racists seem to feel emboldened by the Referendum result and this was a particular fear of mine. This is hugely upsetting and distressing to me. I cannot comprehend people behaving like this to others, it is alien to me.
I have therefore decided to do my bit by being kind. I start up conversations with people who are different to me where I can, I smile at immigrants a lot, I have started frequenting my local corner shop and Polski Sklep more in an effort to show these valued members of our communities that they are welcome. I probably look a bit weird. It feels a bit weird sometimes but, really WHO CARES?! I would encourage everyone to do this. These are small things, but they are done with love and I hope they make a difference.
Further to my last post I am committed to being careful about what I “like”, share and post on social media. I always consider if I need to say anything, or if others more knowledgeable than me can do the talking.
In an effort not to become completely depressed about the state of the world and to make myself feel more centred, I have also been doing other things (alongside praying, obvs):
I bought myself some new books after a self imposed “book buying ban” in November when I realised I had two shelves of unread books and approximately 8 unread kindle books! Whoops! Having read a lot since then I decided that I could treat myself, reading helps keep me sane.
May reads on the left, June reads on the right. Don’t judge me for “Billy and Me”, it was needed after the EU referendum result, and was actually alright! Best read of May? It’s a tie between “Everyday Sexism” and “The day I met Jesus”, both profoundly feminist books, what’s not to love?
Healthy eating and exercise?
Fallen off the wagon a bit here, but I have rediscovered a love for yoga. I need to get back on board with my BBG workouts again, I’ve lost a bit of motivation after my bridesmaid moment passed!
Thoughts about my future and career
Always a lot of thoughts. I attended a wonderful vocations course (the first of its kind) through the church and for the last five weeks Wednesdays have been my favourite night of the week. I am so glad I did it, I feel so much calmer about the future and my calling. It was great to discuss things with a group of strangers (bar one person) and learn from their wisdom and experience. I found it enlightening. That sounds like a big word but I really did. I discovered more about myself, the way I learn and approach things and about how to listen to God. I still don’t really have all of the answers but I definitely have more clarity which is refreshing, particularly in a time when everything else seems so uncertain.
I have been seeing lovely friends for good conversation, wine, food and fun, and I am always grateful for their time, especially those who have babies and whose time is precious.
Re Watching Doctor Who from Series One (the new one with Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor). That’s right.
Finishing off “The Wire” we’re on the final series and it’s past its best.
I love my vegetable patch and my little herb garden. It is so satisfying watching things grow. My lettuces are my particular pride – insane!
I try to be organic and use the companion planting technique to reduce pests – this means planting crops together which assist so nasturtiums in with the runner beans are supposed to prevent aphids. Unfortunately, slug pellets seem to be the only thing working on those particular pests!
Things I am carrying forward into coming weeks:
- I’ve purchased a new Bible Study plan “Open your Bible” from “She Reads Truth” whose App I have used before, and I am looking forward to getting started.
- More Yoga.
- More reading.
- Bullet journaling. I am still not 100% clear on what this is, but I want in!
I hope those of you that are feeling uncertain and a bit unanchored feel less so soon.