Saturday, 15 October 2016

Soap box…what soap box?
It's going to be a short one this week – I hear you all cheer!! I'm in the middle of working on one of my Masters assignments (Masters as in academic work not the male dominant Donald Trump would want all us women to succumb to). I'm writing about the environmental impact of ICT use in High Schools. It is riveting and I find it really hard to put the literature down. I am a Mum on a Mission - more dangerous, yet more productive than any politician!!

Last week's blog caused another backlash from the very people I expected, who have no understanding of perspectives and outcomes of peoples' deceptions. A word to the wise – you demonstrated the exact traits I have fought against all my life AND it won't stop me from speaking the truth. In the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men "you can't handle the truth." Great film and great actor. On the bright side, while they are slating me, they are leaving some other poor soul alone - maybe I should call that 'public service'.

I have learned to grow a thick skin but not thick enough to have no feelings towards my fellow human beings. In fact, the harshness of how I have been treated has made me the sympathetic, caring soul I am today. As my son commented this week, our lovely home is peaceful and calm – a place of tranquility and love. I must be doing something right.

Wes and I spent Friday working on our University work, bouncing ideas and thoughts off each other, I loved it. 

On top of striving for world domination through education (I think this should be my logo!), I have been continuing to write. I thought it would be impossible to educate myself at this level and work part time on writing. Whilst I'm broke, the end justifies the means. As one of my heroes, Nelson Mandela, said – "It always seems impossible until it is done". I feel more alive when I am inundated with projects. I feel even more alive knowing the example I am setting to my boys is reflecting in the success of their life, both in and outside of education. We can all make a difference in our own unique way.

Anyone else sick of Brexit? I am totally sick of it. I voted to remain in the EU and my reasons for this decision have been well documented. However, I am a democratic socialist and believe in the democratic process even if I don't agree with its outcome – which has been nearly every vote since the 1980s!!! Anyway, Brexit now has become this drama of words with no practical moving forward. It highlights the ineptitude of some of our elected elite but people won’t remember this when it comes to re-election! Brexit will now be used by the Tories as a stick to beat people, like you and me, with. All the damage they have done to the economy will now be "it wasn't us, it was Brexit, which you voted for so it's your fault." I'd say send in the clowns but even they are turning violent!

I had a conversation with someone this week who thought, by Parliament wanting to discuss the triggering of article 50, it was a signal they were trying to stop Brexit from happening. My reply, "So, we let the Tories ride rough shot over all of us and we all end up worse off. What are you truly prepared to forfeit for Brexit? Workers' rights? Jobs? Standard of living? By debating we can ensure some protection." His response – I'd not thought of it like that. Whatever happens in this country, I don't want to be part of an arrogant, xenophobic country where Tories use immigration as a wedge to divide communities when it is their lack of investment that has resulted in poorly paid, insecure jobs, no public services, a collapsing NHS or no social housing. Stop blaming our EU fellow citizens and start blaming the true culprits.

I said I wouldn't get on my soap box this week. LOL. That went well!

Regardless of the world around us, please remember we can ALL make a difference in our own way. Don't give up hope and don't think you have to be stuck in the same, dark place you are in now. I was there and bit by bit I am crawling my way out of the dark hole and creating my own footprints. 

Stay safe, stay strong.

Much love

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Old dogs CAN learn new tricks…

Where to start this week?

I am livid, embarrassed and thoroughly depressed at the state of politics in the UK. Beam me up Scotty!! We have elected MPs purporting to support democratic socialism undermining a democratically elected leader, we have Tory MPs degrading and insulting people and MEP's scrapping in Brussels. What a total shambles!! Thank goodness we have the cool, calm and collected Jeremy Corbyn and his team to steer us away from the depths of nationalism!

And while these people, being paid a bloody good salary are playing their silly, childish and dangerous games, we have children in poverty, students facing tens of thousands of pounds of debt, food banks, a NHS close to collapse and an education system not fit for purpose but then the latter is exactly what this Government wants because uneducated people can't see through their lies and bigotry. Let's face it, this Government has trashed all public services and the economy – the EU referendum was a tool they used to hide their incompetence. Even worse they are scapegoating immigrants to divide communities. It is disgraceful. We need urgent laws to stop politicians from being able to blatantly lie – is there an integrity bucket outside the Houses of Parliament for it to be thrown in once they cross the threshold? Thankfully, Jeremy and his team by-pass that bucket. LISTEN TO HIS TRUTHS.

One thing I love about University is the diversity of people on campus – student and staff. I feel part of the big, wide world, surrounded by amazing people with fascinating lives and backgrounds. I feel I spend my whole life apologizing for the bigotry being peddled by the politicians. The ignorance scares me and repulses me. I do not and will never support segregation and alienation. Prejudice repulses me. I wish people would understand it is Government policies across the world that prevents us all from living in peace and harmony.

Last night (Friday) we had our constituency Labour Party meeting with guest speaker, Angela Rayner, Shadow Education Secretary. I almost had a very embarrassing moment when she talked of her childhood and the lack of support. Honestly, I had to fight back the tears. It hit right at the heart of how I felt. I managed to hold it together until I got home, when I burst into tears telling Wes what had been said. It's tough getting over deeply embedded feelings - it's little reminders that bring them flooding back. 

BUT…and it's a HUGE but… last night I realised how far I have come… ON MY OWN. I know I can achieve my ultimate goals. I have had a brilliant week at University – I am organized and learning things I never imagined I would, including Portuguese. I am proof you can teach an old dog new tricks. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Today (Saturday) the boys are happily doing their own thing so I am going to be reading – ICT and the Environment AND Managing Information in a Digital Economy… it won't float everyone's boat but it does mine.I guess the lesson this week has to be to find something you love and go for it. Don't let people put you off. For me, it is books and reading and writing. I feel reinvigorated even though I am physically exhausted. The exhaustion is from being a Mum of a student who has well and truly found student life!! It was Leeds varsity this week…need I say more.

Sometimes it is really tough and seems impossible, to break a downward cycle. I know from bitter experience BUT it can be done.My advice, for what it is worth:
1.    Pick something you love
2.    Ignore the doubters
3.    Get rid of the doubters – yep! Totally GONE.
4.    Never, ever accept you have to 'fit in' or 'conform' - Some rules are meant to be broken like shackles off slaves!
5.    Get support – surround yourself with people who believe in you.
6.    Work hard
7.    Keep going

Sod what 'society' expects! Nothing ever changes if we all stay the same. For thirty plus years I've been an outcast, daring to use the 's' word – SOCIALISM. Ha…now…I can say…I was right!

Be the exception to the rule. For the first time in my long, bumpy road, I know I want to be a researcher/lecturer and continue to write. Me…from a council estate and a single Mum. How dare I break the mould. How dare I get ideas above my station?
I DARE and I WILL. I hope you will too. Whatever 'it' is – DO IT! FLIPPING DO IT!!

We can all change the world in our own, unique way.
Much love 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Comfort zone...what's that

It’s been a manic week. Honestly, I had a total wobble on Thursday. I was exhausted, the Meniere’s was a real pain and I was in University all day, looking at new subjects I have not done before. Fair to say, I wanted to run away, hide and lock myself in the house. Understated, I was a little overwhelmed with the amount of reading and work I have to do for the Master’s degree, I know… I did expect it but it’s a bit of a brain overload. Needless to say, I will rise to the challenge. For the first time in my entire life, I know exactly what I want to do and where I want to be. That’s very exciting. I am totally out of my comfort zone but with like minded people.

Learning and motivation to learn is infectious and one of the reasons I write this blog. Lucas has taken his reading book to bed with him every night this week, without debate or discussion. I’m so proud of his attitude and that he sees us studying and wants to do it himself.

Wes has been on a week’s residential to the Lake District with his Uni course. We missed him but no one more than Lucas. By the end of the week he was really down and asking how many hours before he returned. That’s what I only ever wanted – a sibling bond between them that is unbreakable. They are truly superstars.

In the last six months our lives have changed by epic proportions but one thing remains – our family unit remains tighter than ever.

Master’s Degree

I am going green. My Master’s is in Information and Technology and I have chosen ICT and
the Environment, Managing Information in the Digital and Global Environment and Project Management. I want to do something to change how IT is taught in High Schools and you know me… when I start with a bee in my bonnet – it buzzes until its free and done!


Beyond the Past

Have you had the chance to read it yet? Would you like to review it for me?

Read the first three chapters FREE on my website
Available from:

Or you can order from your local bookshop. The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-

I have almost finished the ending of Beyond the Lies – well, the new ending that is. I apologise for the delay in publishing this but I’m not rushing it. I promise you it will be worth it…I think.

I am still waiting ever so patiently for anyone to take Streetwise. I won’t give up and really believe my time will come.
The Nanny is coming along…
I can’t put into words how happy I am at the moment. Long may it continue and I suspect it will as long as I do what is best for me and my imperfectly perfect family. Please follow your dreams and don’t give up. For me, the UK Government has announced PhD loans from 2018. Ideally I would like an arts council scholarship but at least now I have a plan b and you know how much us Mums love a plan b and c, d, e, f, g, h, I, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w, x, y, z… then we wing it!

Have a fabulous week and just GO FOR IT. I love autumn. It's my favourite time of year.

Much love…