Tag Archives: community

Tuesday Catch Up

Stay well and stay safe.

That is my new catch phrase for communications. It is simple and succinct, and hopefully expounds the depth of my feelings towards those with whom I communicate. How strange it is to watch the world tilt on its unsteady axis, reeling and writhing from the threats and effects of a virus. To see the deprivations of human nature as well as its heights of generosity. Indeed, if I were a writer, I would classify this as a perfect plot line for an apocalyptic tale.

With a family of six and additions that kick the number of humans up to eight very large, hungry adults and children in a household, I am feeling the pull of peer pressure to join those panicked shoppers stripping shelves and aisles of their staple goods. Succumbing to that fear would add me to the ranks of hoarder, the selfish individuals who think of their own survival instead of the good of the whole community. Sitting on the fence though, I see both sides. My hubble is high risk and, knowing that I wouldn’t have to go out for food for a very long time, is appealing. But, looking at it from a community point of view, I couldn’t live with myself if I knew I was taking supplies away from the vulnerable members of our society. Where do you stand in all of this? Should we be questioning our morals at a time when survival seems to be key? My simple answer is: read some history books. Who do we celebrate as being the heroes during the worst of our past – the survivalists or those that sacrificed their safety and supplies for others?

With thoughts of survival in exclusion, keeping our minds and bodies active is the order of the day. I’ve had to think of ways of continuing my Writers’ Club without meeting face to face with my members. Thank goodness for the internet! I am able to offer a subscription to any family who wants something to do during school closures and isolation. Keeping children active, interested in varied, fun projects and motivating them to use their minds will stop cabin fever and stimulate continual growth of their minds and bodies, just in a different setting. Check out my Book Corner on Facebook if you are looking for ideas on how to keep your children entertained or active. Subscribe to the Writers’ Club for interactive sessions, webinars and online classes that will keep them entertained. I will add a form at the end of this post for that purpose.

Community is everything. In our area, we have some unsung heroes organising groups to care for the vulnerable on each street, making sure they have enough food and provisions for their isolation period. Keeping that outlook, no matter how tempting it is to hide away and survive on our own, is very important. For those that watch the Walking Dead, you know what I’m talking about! Community means survival and sacrificing those extra bags of pasta or toilet rolls means a family who can’t afford to bulk buy will get a chance to eat and enjoy comfortable ablutions too.

To close this Tuesday Catch Up, I would like to reiterate my initial message in this communication: stay well and stay safe. Try to limit your media intake to preserve your sanity and though it’s easy for me to say, try not to stress out. If you need help, reach out to friends and family. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, message me. I’ll be happy to chat to you from under my rock, in my cave, sipping on tequila. Feel free to join me for a chat there!


For those interested in subscribing to the Writers’ Club, fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.

Eco Warrior

Culture: the beliefs and traditions we hold and pass down to future generations. Generations that evolve and develop, their beliefs influenced by their environment. That is what Amit Gandhi of Handy DIY Store is using to create a new culture in a beautiful Crowthorne village and its surrounding areas. He has devised a way of drawing residents into the 21st century using 20th century techniques. He has developed an eco-store.

In the wake of another successful protest in the city of Bristol by the well-known eco warrior, Greta Thunberg, objecting against the sluggish response of politicians and large corporations to reducing waste that will impact climate change,  Amit’s response might seem small in comparison to what these oligarchs could achieve, but his revolutionary methods of improving his business whilst reducing the carbon footprint of his customers do not fall short of inspired. As the world plays catch up, he is celebrating a year of selling eco friendly products and offering a refilling station for household cleaning supplies that encourage customers to reuse their old detergent bottles instead of adding them to the overflowing landfills in our towns and villages.118131cf-db39-4c60-8f3d-96b913696926

Speaking to the eco warrior about his decision to supply products that promote environmental change, he told me that over a year ago, he was approached by the organisation, Crowthorne Reduce Our Waste (CROW), which was set up by Georgie Morris in early 2018 after she became frustrated with the amount of single-use plastic from a weekly shop. The organisation has accomplished Plastic Free Community Status for the Crowthorne village, a status established and awarded by the Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to towns and cities who fight to reduce their plastic waste.  The organisation called on local business owners to champion their cause to reduce single use plastics from everyday shopping. Following his own passion for change, Amit decided to research products that had a lesser impact on the environment and began restructuring his local shop to accommodate products with a lower carbon footprint, replacing the everyday detergents and utensils we buy in supermarkets with biodegradable alternatives. ac0f8f5f-137f-4c39-8aec-3904e9a90d45557010e7-195a-4060-a6e9-f7a3c3583bc6-1A year on, he is still on the hunt for more alternatives, never tiring in his search to provide his customers with eco-friendly options.


“I am originally from Kenya where, even today, we go to the shops to get refills on certain products. Bottles are collected and returned to be reused. That is how we have always lived. Some residents here remember doing the same thing.”


What drives a business owner like Amit Gandhi to make that change? He believes that we all have a part to play in reducing our carbon footprint, but his passion goes further than that. Through conversations with local residents who have lived long enough to see the change in our consumerist culture, he recognises a parallel to his own childhood. “I am originally from Kenya where, even today, we go to the shops to get refills on certain products. Bottles are collected and returned to be reused. That is how we have always lived. Some residents here remember doing the same thing.” Amit’s belief that our older ideals should not be dismissed or thrown own with modernisation highlights the throw away culture that has developed with the excess in supply and demand of goods in our modernised culture. The Department of Environmental Food and Rural Affairs produced a report in February 2019, stating: “The UK recycling rate for Waste from Households (WfH; including IBA metal) was 45.7% in 2017, increasing from 45.2% in 2016. There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.” If communities are to reach that target, more households need to embrace change.

“The UK recycling rate for Waste from Households (WfH; including IBA metal) was 45.7% in 2017, increasing from 45.2% in 2016. There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020.”

So, while the world sluggishly engages with a cultural change that existed before the turn of the century, Amit is spearheading the change needed to encourage shoppers to reuse their plastic bottles and purchase goods that won’t sit in landfills for centuries to come. 5e39744d-ed85-49ae-826b-fbee8f5dbfb4674fbd50-6460-44c6-9c63-6b8339659ef9From biodegradable kitchen foil and dog poo bags, to bees wax food wrappers and bamboo kitchen utensils, as well as eco-friendly cleaning products, his shop is in the forefront of fighting waste. Products such as Ecoleaf Washing up liquid, liquid hand wash, toilet cleaner, fabric conditioner and laundry liquid are available to purchase, and dispensers are in place for convenient refills.

“Just a conversation with him, he tells me he’s on a boat for days and sees plastic straws floating around.”


Amit’s decision to supply products that promote an environmental change is a small step to improving the world and hopefully impacting climate change. Surrounding himself with a belief system to sustain and supply, he might not be as well-known as Greta Thunberg, but he is still an eco-warrior to those that know him. With a friendly, down to earth attitude, he shares a story about his friend who goes diving around the world to explain just how far the impact of waste affects the environment. “Just a conversation with him, he tells me he’s on a boat for days and sees plastic straws floating around.” Amit shakes his head and points out that we must do something to stop this from happening. His attitude and those of societies such as CROW and Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) campaign for a better world for all of us. Maybe it’s time we take a page out of the own of  Handy DIY Store in Crowthorne so that we too can become part of the cultural change.









Save HarsH ReaLiTy!!

There are quite a few bloggers I enjoy reading and following on WordPress. Harsh Reality is one of them. Please read this and follow…

No one likes spam. In internet terms (as opposed to the stuff you find on the grocery store shelf) it’s the bane of our existence. Its sole purpose is to get our attention and once it does, it either begs us to buy something or gives us something we would never pay for – something like a virus.

Then there is the exception to the rule. In fact, there is only one exception that I’ve found in over a decade of browsing the web. It may have seemed like a “spam follow” at the start, but when I followed the cookie-crumb trail that led me back to its source, it ended up benefiting me beyond my wildest dreams: it was HarsH ReaLiTy.

Jason, also known as Opinionated Man, has a huge (over 50,000 blog, twitter, and Facebook combined) following on his blog, HarsH ReaLiTy. His passion for connecting with other…

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The Last Tuesday

The dying rays of a cold Tuesday sun is reflecting off the walls and mirror in my cosy dining room as I send out this message to the bloggosphere. I’m counting down the few hours left before we say farewell to another year that has been incredible to say the least.

When I first started blogging in February this year, I was terrified that no-one would read what I had to say. That awkward embarrassed silence of the world ignoring me!  Instead I met the most interesting, loving, inspirational friends and associates who have been instrumental in pushing me forward as I venture into the world of writing.

The Hubble and I had agreed that if my books did not sell or attract interest by the end of this year I would have to look for a job to help support the family. It was a fair agreement.  Thanks to my blogging friends and community, the books have received reviews and publicity to help them along.  My sales have increased (not enough to make me rich but enough to say I’m not a complete failure!) and there has been interest in my poetry.

Thank you for following my blog, commenting, giving good advice and sharing your lives, work and loves with me. It has been awesome!

Tomorrow is the last #Wensfriesday post for this year!  Get your sweeties and drinks ready and lets have a party!  Wishing you all health, wealth, success or maybe just peace and tranquility for 2015.  I will be looking forward to meeting more of you and following your fantastic blogs.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

The WordPress Community Experiment: The Answers!

Join Suzie as she sends out seven questions and read the interesting responses from our fellow bloggers. You night have been listed too, so check it out!

Suzie Speaks

In August I decided to do a little experiment involving members of the WordPress community. I asked a series of seven questions and invited anyone and everyone to respond, regardless of whether they followed Suzie81 Speaks or not. I had done a similar experiment the year before with great success, and as my community has grown since then I thought it would be an interesting way to get to know fellow bloggers. While I expected some sort of a response, I didn’t expect the enormity of the amount of answers I received, generating HUNDREDS of individual answers to my questions. In order for me to be able to include everyone, I have had to limit it to just one answer per blogger. I haven’t compiled it in order of preference, but I have tried to include an interesting answer from each person, complete with a link to their blog if…

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