Saturday, 24 September 2016

Embracing Change

Einstein once said, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In 2015, UK Labour performed poorly (understated for diplomatic reasons) in the UK General Election. Yet, ex-leaders and some MPs will not accept the party needs a seismic shift in order to be remotely electable again. Speaking with ex-Labour voters, their main gripe was "they're all the same now. They're only interested in the money they can make for themselves and claiming expenses." Not once did I hear, "they're too left wing."

Most people, I believe, are not interested in right or left wing. It is terminology used by the media and Westminster elite to bully and scare us. In reality, people want policies that make their lives easier and give them a stable, secure job and viable, accessible services for their family. Love him or loathe him, Jeremy Corbyn offers all this and so much more. Not only has he proven he is honest, principled and incorruptible but he has some great progressive policies to take us into a new technological and economic age. I love his policies – believe me I have studied them – particularly on education, health and the economy. He speaks my language and so does John McDonnell. His critics want you to believe we are going backwards when, in fact, the policies take us forward and strive for equality and prosperity. This is a very popular agenda and that is why opponents don’t like it.

I get really cross and frustrated when some MPs and political analysts complain Jeremy can't speak to the electorate, only members. Who do these people think new members are? In less than twelve months, Jeremy and his team have motivated half a million people – let that sink in for a while. Half a million, disenfranchised people. Imagine what we could achieve with unbiased media coverage and a fully united party. We can and we must win the next General Election. Jeremy WILL be our next Prime Minister and change the agenda from war and corruption to peace and prosperity for everyone in society, not just the privileged few. Very exciting and interesting times indeed. I raise a glass this evening to all my fellow Labour members, to Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and all the young MPs who stepped up and work so hard when others refused to. They challenged themselves for us, pushed themselves out of their comfort zones. Well done and thank you.

One last quote from Einstein, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."

Masters Study

So I did it. I took the plunge and I have honestly been like a kid at Christmas, especially in the library. BOOKS! BOOKS! And more BOOKS!

However, in true Charles household style, the first day did not go according to plan. Lucas had a stomach bug and was off school – thankfully I had a plan B – us Mums do! On top of that I was bitten by an insect on the Friday before and had a really bad reaction. I couldn't get in to see the doctor so I had to treat it myself based on past experience. On the day of registration, we turned up to Uni and I dropped Wes off and tried to get a parking space. I had to park a quarter of a mile away and walk back with a badly swollen foot. Honestly, I just laugh at these hiccups now. I've been through so many – nothing actually is straight forward but at least I can say, it is never boring!

It has been like a military operation this week – syncing Uni timetables, childcare and sporting activities for Lucas including time for writing. It's tough but it is worth it and we can do it. Bless my children. Wes is going to get the bus through to Lucas' school on Thursday afternoons so I can attend a Project Management lecture. We make an amazing team and I am so grateful. Lucas is super excited to have his big brother pick him up and go on a bus! I wonder how long the novelty will last, especially through winter!  I am so grateful for the people I have around me who support my own personal development. Whatever you want to do, it IS possible. Don't underestimate yourself and don't, ever listen to the doubters.

On my 'epic' walk into Uni, I went through the same old shit, "I can't do this," but I did and it was great. I have met some great friends, old and new and I'm incredibly excited with the new challenge. I know I can smash it!

Homemade - bad boy!
I always do more when I have more to do. I'm more organised and motivated.  The house is clean, the boys are still getting homemade food, help with homework goes on, my study plan is drafted, files organized and my writing continues on a part time bases. I am one very happy lady and Mummy. Long may it continue. I hope I feel this relaxed when my assignments are due or when I'm sitting the exams. I suspect not!!

My Portuguese class starts on the 3rd Octobers and I'm so grateful to Grandma Dot for looking after Lucas so I can do this and my studies, although, I suspect, she is as excited as Lucas is.  Wes is away next week on a residential as part of his course. I am jealous, he is going to one of my favourite haunts. I'm so proud of how he has settled into his new student life even if he is a little tired!

Life is not perfect but it's pretty damn close. Do me a favour… go out there this week and do what makes you happy. Your happiness and success is in your hands.

Much love

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Trust your instincts

My blog posts are written from the heart. They are honest, based upon my life experiences, my observations and my instincts. For years, I was deceived into believing my instincts were so wrong that I never trusted myself. I was paranoid I had something wrong with me because I was duped into believing I was totally wrong based on people lying. NOT ANYMORE. Now I know I was right all along. What's more telling is when you write honestly and it provokes an over the top, cynical and silly reaction – only proving my instincts and observations were right all, the comments now serve as a boost to my self-confidence. As I've said on so many occasions, if you cut someone out of your life and they don't leave a gaping hole, they should never have been there in the first place. They do say, however, people are either a blessing or a lesson.

This article is well worth a read. Click here

Thursday evening was bizarre and surreal, a real light bulb moment. The storyline of Tracey in Emmerdale being made to feel worthless in childhood, affecting her adulthood decisions, really struck a chord. One of those 'stopped in your tracks' moment. Then, I watched BBC Question Time and witnessed the most horrific, despicable bullying and a vicious, sustained attack on a decent man. What made it much worse was, it was orchestrated. The winks, nudges and nods from Dimbleby, Soubry and Campbell reminded me of why our politicians are no longer trusted. The masonic cult within our hierarchy was on display for everyone to see. It was truly appalling and if I'm totally honest, heart breaking. To see a Labour man, claiming to love the party and want to save it, side with a Bullingdon Boy and a Tory MP summarised how far the Labour Party has lost its true values, the values I have instilled in my children – justice, fairness, equality and above all else, tolerance!

No BULLYING or ABUSE can ever be tolerated. We have laws to deal with them – take the accusations to the police and let them investigate them. That is the adult thing to do.
Throwing accusations without physical evidence diminishes the bullying and abuse victims suffer daily. Campbell, in my view, brought the party into disrepute and should be suspended pending a full investigation. He is not even an elected Member of Parliament and therefore only represents his own views, like I do.

Having said all that, judging from the reaction on social media, the stunt has spectacularly backfired. These people really need to stop insulting our intelligence. They need to remember you cannot hide who you really are. Eventually, you show your true colours. Jeremy and John have selflessly worked in public service without corruption!! Let's face it, we knew after a successful PMQs, the smearers were going to up their game. Only this is not a game – people depend on us to help make their lives better. I'm disgusted and demoralised with grown up adults behaving so badly in the public domain. Just ask yourselves:
  1. What must the world think of our lying politicians?
  2. How can we ever think we can have global credibility when our elected members behave worse than children?
  3. How can Owen Smith ever be electable or taken seriously when he will NOT accept a democratic decision unless it provides the result he wants.
  4. Even worse for me, how can Labour ever be taken seriously to fight against the world's evil dictators and advocate democracy, when the party refuses to accept democratic results.
  5. Everyone knows I wanted to stay within the EU and I did try and persuade people the politicians were lying but the democratic result has been delivered. Instead of fighting this decision, how about we pass urgent legislation prevented elected members lying or deceiving the public with disqualification of office if proven correct?
I know Jeremy Corbyn is not the messiah or perfect but he has proven over thirty years, he is incorruptible and that, in itself, is an invaluable and rare commodity in this day and age.  I genuinely believe the majority of people will vote for policies that make their lives easier and not because the policies are right or left wing. The Westminster bubble need bursting with the Corbyn pin. 

Sheffield Eagles

Unfortunately the professional club that gave Wes his chance in rugby league is struggling and may not survive after this month. You can read the full story on their website 

If you can please donate to their survival fund and share the link for the gofundme page amongst your friends. 



We've been venturing out on family walks after school. Well, Lucas has been chasing Pokemon and as he is not allowed unaccompanied, we've been out with the football. It is great family time together and, quite often, Lucas ditches the Pokemon to play football with us.   

This week we went to Roundhay Park instead of our usual haunt, Temple Newsam. It was Eid and the park was buzzing with Muslim families celebrating together. It made me realise how lucky we are to live in a diverse, vibrant and mostly tolerant city. Lucas wanted to gatecrash the barbecues. Instead, he decided to turn his hand to photography. These are his photos and he's definitely uncovered a hidden talent.


Jimmy McGovern is, without doubt, one of my writing heroes. This week I was reading about his own life which inspired me not to give up writing or my principles. His writing is always honest and takes you through a whole range of emotions during one piece. It's remarkable.

I am trialing the software First Draft this month. Previously I have used open source software and devised my own beat sheet and character sheets. These are incorporated into the system. So, far I like it. I'll let you know how I get on.

The Nanny

This is my main project. I toned it down but I've decided not to and stick to my own beliefs which means it's an explosive, hopefully, thought provoking piece. 

Right, I'm off to do some writing while the boys are doing their own thing. Later, we'll be going out to enjoy the last days of the September sun. Have a fabulous weekend. Next week, Wes and I start our University courses – I do hope Leeds Beckett know what they're letting themselves in for.

Much love

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Hope and Unity – Our Greatest Strengths

Sometimes it's important to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. I can assure you it's not for the money in my case – well, maybe a long term incentive. If it was for a short term gain, I would have given up years ago! We do desperately need some money coming in but, since Meniere's, it has been almost impossible to find a sympathetic employer. That's a great shame because I have so much experience and knowledge. I'm also ambitious, creative and continually wanting to improve.

Now, on top of writing, I know which career direction I am taking. I'm not prepared to be written off by Meniere's. I have a plan and no-one or nothing is going to stop me from pursuing it and achieving my goals. Life is for living and I am damn sure I am going to wring every last drop out of mine.

It's time to cut out all the doubts, the 'I can’t do this' and 'I'm not god enough' and hold my head up high and shout, "I'M ACTUALLY DOING THIS. I'M A PUBLISHED AUTHOR, A GREAT MUM, A MASTER'S STUDENT AND A THOROUGHLY DECENT HUMAN BEING.' How many can actually declare that? I'm perfectly imperfect in every way but I'm a trier and everyone loves a trier…right?

This is my last week before I start my Master's degree. Leeds Beckett University holds a special place in my heart – it is a place that gives me self-confidence and self-belief. I love the vibrant atmosphere and mulling around the library. I've also signed up for lessons in either Portuguese or Italian, one evening a week.

I am continuing my writing at the same time as studying. It is important for my future career progression in the industry of my choice. More importantly, I love what I do. I draw strength from all your positive reviews and a huge sense of achievement at the end of one project and the start of another.


This week's writing has taken me to Lulea in Sweden and Marbella in Spain without even leaving my desk! Two very contrasting settings, chosen for, just that. In the future, I hope I can travel to these places, when my finances allow me, and write whilst there but in the meantime I have my other sources. One of the best parts of writing is the transportation away from the stresses of my own life into imaginary worlds. When I'm writing about Marbella, I can feel the sun on my face and the surrounding tranquility of a sea resort. Lulea offers the crisp snow and a winter chill drawing you into a log cabin with a raging fire. I have a great sense of calm when writing and enter into my own little world. It's very therapeutic.

I also love the flexibility of writing. I write anywhere - bed, kitchen whilst cooking, outside school waiting for Lucas, outside the gym whilst Wes trains (I'm the taxi!), even in the supermarket pushing the trolley when a rush of ideas flow out of my brain! I write everywhere and anywhere. One contract would secure our future – just one. Giving up is NOT in my DNA.


Labour Leadership

It is two weeks until the result will be known. We desperately need Jeremy Corbyn to be re-elected and Labour MPs to accept the decision. I suspect the latter will not happen otherwise we would not be going through this pointless charade. I will be doing all I can to support Jeremy Corbyn as I genuinely believe the ideas he has and John McDonnell's economic policy, will bring greater opportunities for everyone in this country. For me, though, their biggest appeal is their impenetrable stance against corruption. Having lived through Hillsborough, Orgreave, child abuse allegations and the banking crisis, the corruption through the whole system is glaringly obvious, as is the institutional prejudice and elitism and that, sadly, includes within the Labour Party.

Our country is more divided now than ever before, caused by those who want to seek to divide us and make us weak enough not to resist or hallenge their gravy train. It's ironic, though, these very people know our real strength if we all stick together. Strength through unity is the establishments greatest fear. They will use anything to stop us joining together including despicable racism and segregation. Thatcher started the breaking up of our communities, our trade unions and advocating and effectively creating New Labour. In my humble opinion, Thatcher did a bloody good job instilling a sense of inferiority into the Labour Party. Too many Labour MPs, including Owen Smith, believe we have to become like the Tories to beat them. I believe we lost General Elections and credibility by doing just that. 

I totally disagree. I think people want definitive principles. Labour offered no real alternative until now. At last we have a Labour movement again, all working together for the greater good…or we will once the Parliamentary Labour Party realise Jeremy brings hope, unity and strength to the Labour Party. His leadership has also highlight the extraordinary young talent we have in Parliament - Richard Burgon, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner, Kate Osamor and Clive Lewis - to name a few. They recognise the urgent need for change and have worked very well under enormous pressure caused by other MPs withdrawing their service to the shadow cabinet.

Ask yourself – where do our taxes go? We pay tax for public services, the NHS, education, social care… yet, all the taxes we pay are NOT used for these, otherwise they would not be in crisis. Instead, money is diverted to fund bank bailouts, wars, airstrikes and MPs' extortionate expenses. We allow them to manipulate us – make us believe we have to live within our means while forcing our children to accept tens of thousands of pounds of debt so they have a degree from the education system our taxes are supposed to pay for!!  I don’t understand why people fall for it. State pension is not a welfare payment – you have PAID for it all your working life!

Jeremy has woken people up and will continue to do so. Please WAKE UP! We can do this – we can join together and under Jeremy's leadership, we can eradicate the lies, the fat cats and turn around the fortunes of millions instead of the elite few. We do have HOPE – at last! I'll jump off my soap box now.

Well, I'm off to spend some quality time with the boys and sneak in some writing when they retreat to their Xboxes. Have a fabulous weekend. MAKE IT COUNT.

Much love