Monday, 9 December 2013

Destash Time again!

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing about beads!!! Can't resist nice shiny beads, especially handmade ones!

Trouble is, living in a small flat means that space is at a premium so I've had to have a good clear out and sell off a lot of my jewellery making stuff!!

I've set up a new page on Facebook in order to sell off my stash and as with all my sales, proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support. Have managed to sell quite a bit of stuff and have raised about £50 but to be honest you can hardly see where I've been!

Never mind, it's forced me to have a good tidy up and a clear out of some of the stuff  that's been hanging about for a while and I was never likely to get round to using!!

Even found some stuff that I thought I had already got rid of and some more that I had mislaid and been looking for for ages!!

Am also getting ready for a Fayre that I am organising on 21st Dec here on the island. Lots of stalls full of handmade and homemade goodies - knitwear, jewellery, tablet, fudge, candles, soaps, artwork,  home baking and lots of other goodies.

Hopefully it will be a good afternoon and be well attended.

If you are coming along, then pop over and say hello!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Hello Again!

Must really apologise for not writing here for such a long time. Things have been so busy elsewhere and I just haven't thought about writing on this blog to be honest.

Most of my time is taken up with my work for Womb Cancer Support UK, the group I set up to help other women going through womb cancer. It has grown far beyond what I had imagined when I set it up back in April 2011 and takes up a far amount of my time but it's something worthwhile and through doing that I have met some wonderfully inspiring ladies.

You can follow that blog here

If you followed my other blog then you will know that I raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support by making and selling jewellery and other handmade items.
That is still on going and I have raised over £1000 since I started and its something that I will continue to do.

I've decided to resurrect this blog because I am about to start working with Macmillan Cancer Support as a volunteer in a new information and support service that is being launched here on Bute. (For any of you that don't know, I live on a lovely island off the west coast of Scotland called Bute!)
The service is being launched at the end of January and for the past 4 weeks a small group of us have been attending a training session 1 day a week.

I intend to use the blog to chart the progress of the new service and see how it develops over the coming months once it is up and running.

I believe that the service is much needed here on the island as there is very little cancer support and information available. We do have a lovely cancer support group run by Cancer Support Scotland and a wonderful Macmillan nurse called Morag but it was felt (and its something that I have felt for some time aswell) that there needed to be somewhere that people could just come to that was in a neutral setting where they could access information without necessarily having to talk to anyone.
Although there will be the volunteers there 1 day a week for people to talk to if they wish, the service will be available throughout the week whenever the library is open for people to browse through the leaflets.

I'm quite looking forward to the service being launched and hope that it will prove successful and be well used.

As well as all this, I am still raising funds for Macmillan. Last year I started selling my Angels of Hope and sales of these have themselves raised over £300 so far.

My other fundraising activity for Macmillan continues to be and I also sell items on the island at the occasional craft sale. All proceeds go direct to Macmillan and so far the total stands at just over £1,000.

So, I am looking forward to what the New Year brings and I hope that you will join me in my journey.

See you again soon.

Monday, 18 February 2013

One Billion Rising

Well, we did it!

On Thursday 14th Feb a small group of ladies, and a couple of lovely men, gathered in the town square here on Isle of Bute and joined 1 billion other women and men around the world to call for an end to violence and abuse towards women.

One Billion Risng was a global wake up call to the staggering number of women that are raped or are victims of abuse and violence every day on this planet.

Around the world, women came together. Fron Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everywhere inbetween!

Our little gathering took place in the pouring rain; we huddled together near the bus shelter. We didn't dance unfortunately but we joined in spirit with the many other women who did.

Due to the bad weather we cut our event short and myself and a friend who works for the local Rape Crisis Centre went along to our local internet radio station and did an interview.

All in all, it was a successful day. If my health had been better, I would have organised a much bigger event - maybe next year!!!

Here is the link to a short video I made of our event -

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

24 hours to go!

Well, less than 24 hours to go until the world rises as part of One Billion Rising!

I have been watching some amazing video's over the past few weeks from around the world so I thought I'd have a go at making one of my own to let everyone know that Bute is taking part in the global event.

Check it out and please share it, and as many other videos that you come across about OBR. Let the whole world know what is going on!!

Woke up this morning to a good covering of snow - the first we've had this winter! I just hope that its gone by tomorrow!!!

I hope you are rising tomorrow!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Change of plans!

Well, our little outdoor event on Isle of Bute has received some national media attention over the past week or so.
We got a mention in  The Guardian on Monday 28th Jan
We gat a mention on the official One Billion Rising website on 22nd Jan
A mention in The Observer on Sunday 3rd Feb
aswell as a couple of mentions on the V day Facebook page.

Really chuffed that our little event is making it good with the big events that are happening, not only across the UK but the whole planet.

So it comes as a bit of a setback that we have had to change our plans after a visit to the local police station to inform then of what we had intended to do.

We have been told no music or dancing and as long as the gathering is peaceful then we should be ok.

So the plan now is to meet in the town square, say a few words as to why we are there, take some pics and then pop round to the local internet based radio station and do an interview with them.

At least we will still be taking part in this global event.

I am so looking forward to seeing all the videos and photographs, from all the events taking place on Feb 14th.
Spread the word, Rise up and be part of something that will change the world.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Spreading the word about One Billion Rising

Been busy over the past week or so getting some publicity for my event on Isle of Bute that is part of the global event One Billion Rising.

I have been tweeting like crazy and have linked up with lots of other events around the world, both on Twitter and via my Facebook page

On Friday, I did an interview with the islands internet based radio station  about the One Billion Rising global awareness campaign to end violence towards women.

There are 100 registered events in the UK as part of One Billion Rising and I am so proud that Bute is one of them.

We even got a mention in an article in The Guardian on Monday 28th Jan.

We also get a brief mention on the One Billion Rising website

I am determined that come what may, on Feb 14th, we will dance in the town square and make a stand against violence towards women.

Please join us - where ever you are!

Monday, 14 January 2013

The "F" Word!!

The "F" word has been on my mind a lot just lately. You know the one I mean?
No, not that "F" word - the other one!

I've never thought of myself as a feminist, and to be totally honest, I never really knew what it meant to be one!

I remember during the 70's ( I was very young then!!!) watching TV programmes and news reports and feminists were often portrayed as men hating, dungaree wearing, bra-less, slightly hairy extremists!!

During the 80's, feminists seemed to morph into power dressed women with big hair do's and even bigger shoulder pads!

Then came Girl Power in the 90's courtesy of The Spice Girls! Were they the feminists of the day? Who knows, but they certainly seemed like a bunch of young ladies who knew what they wanted.

So we entered the 21st century and the "feminist movement" seemed to have vanished as the stereotypical gender roles became less clear.
So was there a need for feminism anymore? It didn't appear like it!

But if you dug below the shiny surface you'd find that things weren't as rosy as they appeared.
The belief is that our modern day society is now more equal that its ever been.
Despite all the legislation that should protect women from being paid lower wages than men, there is still a huge gender pay gap. It is still incredibly hard for a women to attain positions of power and authority in business. They are under-represented in the media and government and are still expected to be the one that brings up the kids, despite being forced to work aswell.

I now realise what feminism stands for - and I guess I was one all along! 
I have always believed that people should be treated the same regardless of their gender, sexuality, race or religion.
Feminists want an equal society. They believe that men and women are equal. It's really as simple as that!

The reason why feminism has been on my mind lately is "One Billion Rising" - the global event being organised by Eve Ensler's V-Day organisation.
One Billion Rising is a call for women around the world, and the men who love them, to rise up and demand an end to violence and rape.

Over recent weeks, I have read some shocking news reports and blogs about rapes, domestic violence, attacks on women and young girls.
I have also watched some video's of women who have come out and spoken of their ordeal; women who have used what happened to them in  order to help other women and young girls to make a stand.

I have been shocked to the very core of my being. To read and listen to what these women have gone through is shocking and it saddens me to think that in many parts of the world a woman's life is worth so little that she can be repeatedly raped and then left to die.

Even in our so called civilised part of the world, if a woman is raped she'll be blamed for wearing a shirt skirt, or being drunk, or being out late at night! No woman asks to be raped, ever!

I have become angry, very angry. That's why on 14th Feb I shall rise with 1 billion women around the world. I will rise up and dance and I will say enough is enough.
This has to stop. NOW!

So yes, I am proud to say that I am a feminist! 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Hippy Hen is rising!!

A few weeks ago I became aware of a movement called "One Billion Rising" - its an event being held on Thursday Feb 14th 2013.

It is being organised by V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that was started 15 years ago by playwright and activist Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues.

V-Day's mission is simple. It demands that violence against women and girls must end. The concept of the campaign is simple. Statistics say that 1 out of 3 women will experience violence in her lifetime, that means that a staggering 1 billion women on this planet will be impacted by violence. On V-Day's 15th Anniversary, 14th February 2013, women, and the men who love them are being asked  to WALK OUT, RISE UP, DANCE  and DEMAND an end to this violence. V-Day wants the world to see the  collective strength of women, our numbers, our solidarity across borders.

Events are being organised around the world. To date, thousands of activists, over 13,000 organizations around the globe, and over 176 countries have committed to participate and hold events.

I decided that Bute, the island off the west coast of Scotland where I live, should also take part. So, on 14th Feb 2013, we shall gather in the town square and we shall dance. There will be music, colour, lots of  women, and hopefully some men! There will be laughter, probably some tears, but we will dance, we will take up space, we will rise up and we will say enough is enough. There must be no more violence against women.

Please check out the website and see if there is an event near you - and if there isn't then please consider organising one yourself. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - just a bunch of women coming together and dancing.
One Billion Rising is an act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers.
One Billion Rising is a  refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given.
One Billion Rising is a new time and a new way of being.

Please join us.