Does my vote count?

The short answer is: Yes. The more reasoned answer is: Hopefully. But the crucial part of this question is unspoken. Do you intend to vote? This week has had a lot to process in terms of political shenanigans. I won't even begin to consider discussing the Trump firing of Comey even though it is hardly surprising. He is known for firing people. That's his jam. From fox hunting being put back on the discussion table to leaked manifestos. It can be so easy to become wary of dipping your toe into the political debate. Where do you even begin? Is there any point? I think we all know what I am going to say. There is definitely a point. Democracy feels so much more fragile than I ever thought possible at the moment. Looking at the USA and seeing how checks and balances which are in place to curb the power of the President can be thwarted if those controlling the power prefer having the...
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We aren’t so different

This week has been a momentous one in our household. Our almost two-year old has started going to a local playgroup. Without me. Yup, I leave him there. For 3 hours. Now, this may not seem momentous to you but it is pretty life-changing for all of us. It gives me the gift of time. It gives our rambunctious kid a chance to socialise. And it opens up our lives to a new experience. The settling* in week has been fascinating. {*settling in seems to be terminology for said child causing mayhem for a couple of days and then being fully indoctrinated into the playgroup system and refusing to come home with their parent. That's my experience, at least). One of the best parts for me has been that our boy is the only white British child in the playgroup. Each day, an assortment of children happily arrive who represent the world. All here in Newham. And I love it. I love that he has the...
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#inLENTional: Reflections from Lent 2017 – Holy Week

It has been a while since I fully committed to Lent. I've given up the occasional luxury or tried to develop a more disciplined life. This year, I was feeling compelled to consider giving up social media. It is a wonderful resource but also a drain. I haven't yet learned how to use it without feeling a bit exhausted by it. So, this year, I decided to use social media to help me be more disciplined. To write each day throughout Lent and to look for what God was teaching me. It has been a really helpful process and I felt so much more engaged with the build up to Easter. I'm not suddenly a transformed social media darling but I am definitely feeling more positive about how it can be used for good. Here are my reflections from Holy Week. Hopefully I will collate all of them but for now, these are the days leading up to Easter Sunday. #inLENTional Day Forty: So,...
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Is it time to come out of the closet?

I'm a feminist. I feel like I should back this up by showing you the embers of my burnt out over – the – shoulder -  boulder -  holders but that is both an outdated idea and very impractical. The thought of burning my bras and effectively turning into a hermit is frightening. For everyone. But yes, I am still a feminist. And I'm pretty sure most people are too. They've just not realised it. For me, it was a slow dawning of realisation and then suddenly I was there. A full-blown feminist who was ok with being a feminist. I think I was a closet feminist for a long time. I agreed that women were equal and deserved to be treated so but I was a bit scared by the label of feminist. The way feminists were depicted as shouty, ranty, fairly unkempt women (because feminists don't believe in washing) put me off getting my membership card and a sticker for our...
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Enough

This post is for me. It might be for you too. I will be glad if it is because I won’t feel so lonely. Over the last few weeks (actually months) I’ve been fighting some feelings. Feelings which creep up on me unawares. Sometimes they are the first thing I think about. At other times they grab hold of my heart as I put another load of washing on and sigh at the never ending job of ‘being tidy’. Occasionally the feelings scream in my face like a drill sergeant, regularly (and most often) they are a quiet whispering, Voldemort style, my own form of Parseltongue which grips my gut and squeezes until anxiety builds and I feel myself succumbing to their message. What are you doing with your life? What are you contributing? Why are you here? You are not enough. Recently, I sat around a table with a group of women who I have known since I was 19 (I’m loathe to...
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Let there be lament

It happened after Brexit. It is happening after Trump’s victory. When did lament become being a sore loser? When did lament become a pity party?  When did lament become an expression of doubt in God? Where is the space for lament? I’m one of those people who took to social media to ask, ‘How did that happen?’. ‘Why did that happen?’ And, yes, many of my friends responded in kind. It’s true. I’ve got a lot of university educated lefty friends. But that doesn’t mean I am oblivious to the reasons behind what has happened. I get it. I see the divisions, the fear, the disappointment in our government. But I also hear the hate. The fear mongering. The looking at our neighbours as ‘them’ and not ‘us’. And I see all this and want to wail. To echo the psalms. To cry out, ‘Lord, save us and help us’. To lament. So I do. I am grieving an election which put people in a terrible position. I’m...
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