Category Archives: charity

Find your diamonds and hold them tight

I’ve just finished reading “Cows” by Dawn O’Porter.

While very well-written and thought-provoking, I struggled with it. I just couldn’t buy into the main premise. Women aren’t that down on each other in my experience. Granted I don’t live in London and I don’t work in an office environment, but I am pretty media-savvy. The kind of ruthless judgement described in the novel just rang a bit hollow with me.

Two things happened this weekend to prove me right.

The first was Slice in the City.

Now, I love Instagram. I appreciate many of you prefer Twitter or Facebook or, you know, phone calls – but I get SO MUCH out of my insta community. It’s as close as this 11 years-married chick gets to speed dating. Thanks in large part to the advice of Danni @chachipowerproject, I have deliberately designed myself an inspiring and healthy feed. I follow dancers and artists, mums and independents, businesswomen and inventors and experts in all sorts of niche areas.

Slice in the City was where we all met in real life.

Csn you imagine a more interesting crowd to spend your Saturday afternoon with?

When Nic stood up to do her welcome speech (she goes by the name of @weeslice and is the powerhouse who brought us all to the Apex that sunny day) she pointed out about 70% of the 80 or so people there had come alone. And yet, no one was standing by themselves.

i know I approached a woman looking a bit lonely to say hi – and loads of others must have done the same.

I was invited to join a book club (“Oh we don’t actually read books, you ok with that?”) and a brunch club (“I need to escape my kids at least once a month”). I finally found an eyebrow expert who kindly agreed to make my brow sisters into twins and got massive hugs from people I’d never met but felt I knew.

In short, I spent three hours with 80 women and felt nothing but positivity.

The next thing that happened was utterly terrifying.

My 7 yo went missing.

I’ll tell you the short version, in that he was found within the hour and he was fine.

I had to phone the police and I put a message on our local Facebook group. I don’t want to go into it, except to say I was overwhelmed by the reaction of my community.

Everyone was out looking and the support was really quite humbling. When he was found I got so many messages full of love. “You must have been beside yourself” – “We’re so relieved” – “Go and pour yourself a large drink”. I was mortified to have caused such a kerfuffle – but all I was getting was compassion. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

So while I accept that “Cows” is just a novel, and Instagram is often toxic and neighbours can be problematic – I want to stand up for the good guys.

There are fabulous, genuine diamonds all around us if we just open our hearts to them.

They could make your afternoon – or save your child’s life.

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Filed under charity, Edinburgh

Giving to Grampian Women’s Aid

I’ve been struggling a wee bit adjusting to life as a mum of two. Mostly because I’m knackered but also because there are a million hormones making me crazy and I’m living in a city 150 miles away from most of my family. When you’re feeling low and a bit lonely, all you want is for someone to say to you, “It’s OK, I’ll help you.” I find it hard to ask for help, but as soon as I do, I get it, from my husband, my family and friends.

Not everyone is so blessed.

KD is growing so fast that I have a load of beautiful clothes he”s only worn once. I wanted them to go to someone who needed them, so I called Grampian Women’s Aid. The girl on the phone listened to me describe what I had and said: “Well we’re moving offices so we aren’t really accepting donations right now, but I can think of a woman who would really appreciate all that.”

That really got me. I immediately felt a personal connection with this woman and went back to the cupboard to find more to give her. After all, it had turned so cold, she’d need hats, mitts and blankets too.

I dropped off the bags this afternoon. I knew I couldn’t ask for any personal details, but I was told there were actually two babies on their way. “Are the women OK, are you supporting them?” I asked a bit pathetically. “Well obviously the circumstances aren’t ideal, but yes,” I was told. I suggested I could bring more clothes as KD outgrows them and she smiled and said that would be great.

I felt quite teary when I got back in the car. My gorgeous wee boy was asleep in his carseat and I had Christmas with my family to look forward to. Meanwhile one in four women are suffering from domestic abuse. It was too unfair.I wish I could do more. All I can hope is that these two women enjoy having some extra clothes for their beautiful new babies and that they feel like Women’s Aid has said “It’s OK, I’ll help you”.

I also hope that anyone reading this considers donating to their local Women’s Aid this Christmas.

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Filed under Aberdeen, charity