There is a space between what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know and it is these spaces that I believe are the most challenging for us individually and as a society. If we look at this on a global level and think about the things in the world that might trouble us, such as the unequal distribution of food/wealth, the damage we’re potentially doing to the environment and war, we can start to observe how we react to that. How do we make sense of that. Do we ignore it? Pretend it’s not happening?Continue reading
Yesterday I spoke on BBC Radio Oxford about The Brightness of Stars and today I find myself paying the emotional price. I have an extensive emotional threshold but today I’m sat on its edge.
Kat was a superb interviewer and probably had as much knowledge on the subject of being in care as anyone would without direct or professional experience. So I was delighted that she wanted to hear more and had invited me to come and speak about my book, my experiences and my views, particularly in reference to vulnerable young people in care and the recent case of the Oxford Sex Ring.
Yesterday I was invited to speak at the BASW Annual Conference “Giving Mental Health Prominence in Social Work”. It’s not a field I’ve worked in but I was asked to talk specifically about mental health and children in care, something I felt able to do having worked in Leaving Care Teams for a number of years in the early part of my career and also in relation to my own personal experiences.
One of the areas around having been in care that has always been of great fascination to me is the matter of food and children in care. My placements as a teenager are remembered through the lens of being able to centrally locate the experience via food. Each placement offers up images, tastes and meal time routines that will never leave me.Continue reading
I wasn’t going to do this. I genuinely wasn’t going to add to the huge traffic on Maggie that will ensue for the weeks ahead. But that would be wrong. I am passionate about politics and have been since I was a very young teen so a missing contribution to the death of Margaret Thatcher would be unjust especially as it was she who gave me many of the gifts that I hold dear.
She only took her last breath less than 24 hours ago yet many of us will feel that since she did, her ability to do what she did best continued for all day. It was “gruelling” said one of my friends as we sat in the middle of the pit of a divided nation. Socialists fighting with other socialists, right fighting with left, Tories fighting with Labour. All of it in full swing.Continue reading
The current dialogues around ‘choice’ have been frustrating me for some time. So being someone who likes to think about what might be pushing my buttons I thought that I it was time to explore the subject in a way that made sense to me. Sure enough, the first thing that I discovered in sitting down to write about ‘choice’ is that it is complex and difficult to unravel, the button being that this is contrary to much of the ‘pop’ psychology and personal development rhetoric often found when exploring this which often glibly states that life is making choices. First button identified!Continue reading
As my second book is complete and the process of it is coming to a close, I have been exploring why I write or rather, why I feel that I must collate information and knowledge and ask the world to listen to what it is I am saying. I understand that I am passionate about exploring our emotional worlds and how the experiences that we have form and shape what we choose to do and who we choose to surround ourselves with. The emotion of life is what interests me; how it feels.Continue reading
The news of high profile retail companies going into Administration this month, Jessops and HMV followed hot on their heels by Blockbuster, has opened up further discussions about the High Street and its apparent demise.
The generally aired view is that the High Street is dying and we need to stop shopping on-line with corporate (non-tax paying) giants such as Amazon, and stop going to out of town superstores run by vicious land owning local farmer haters, Tesco, or we will never see the shops returning and our High Streets will never be the same again.Continue reading
The news this week has been telling us in its shocked and horrified media voice what those of us who have been in care have always known; children in care are vulnerable and will be, and have always systematically been, targeted precisely for being so.
It’s been distressing listening to the horrors ‘revealed’ over the last few months and if you wanted to feel shocked and upset then this week has delivered well as we learned of the organised paedophile ring in Oxford and the new Police investigation into the Conservative MPs who had a party or two supplied with children from the local children’s home for their pleasure.Continue reading