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#3000chairs Stand Up for the child refugees of Syria

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Blogizing attempt of an 'empty chair'

Jackie Morris, an artist and writer has started a campaign on twitter #3000chairs based upon this story of a Syrian child refugee: one day a child refugee visited a local school to join in a lesson, the teacher told the child he could not stay as there was no chair for them to sit. The next day the child returned with a broken chair and asked “can I stay now”.

These children have been torn away from their families, whilst having to leave their own country due to war. I feel ashamed that our government voted against taking these child refugees. If they have no parents then who will care for them? It does not matter where these children are from….they are our children. We have one world…and we are all the same. Human beings! STAND UP and join in this awareness raising campaign #3000chairs. Draw or paint your own, or share the story or write a letter to your MP…whatever you choose let’s make a difference to our children’s future.

#3000chairs
The day the war came

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Say no to online dating…

I have tried online dating on and off for two years.  Not because I had trouble meeting anyone, but because the people I were meeting were not necessarily what I was looking for.  At first I was full of excitement….receiving messages left, right and centre…it gave me something to concentrate on after my separation and I liked the attention, if I am honest with myself.  I even met a couple of the guys I had been chatting with online.  Well….I met three actually.  

One was a lovely guy and we met a couple of times, despite messaging for a while before meeting up, it was still a nerve wrecking experience! But we got on fine, though the distance between us made things difficult.  We still send the odd message now and again but there was not a strong enough connection to make either of us feel strongly enough about making a concerted effort to keep things moving in the dating direction.  So I guess this one could be classed as a partial success. 

The other two dates turned out to be strange….and that is putting it lightly.  To be honest….I wish I had never gone.  These were the type of people that had put pictures on the site which must have been photoshopped in some way or another….or taking in a light which was more favourable to their feature 😉 They both we much shorter than they had stated in their stats, and me being 5 ft 10 myself, find nothing less attractive than a man being shorter than me.  I want a man to protect me and look after me, not the other way around!  One suffered from a nervous twitch and despite me giving off signals I was not interested still tried to go in for a kiss which I have to say was quite possibly one of the most embarrassing situations I have been in….having to pull a scarf over my face whilst trying to duck out of the way!!!  The other just kept talking about getting pissed and how he is usually at home by 10pm.  WOW! I thought….I am a night owl.  When I go out with friends….I am lucky to be in by 3am 😉 He had a nervous stutter which made it difficult to understand what he was saying most of the time and I did not find him stimulating in any ways shape or form…so much so I made my excuses and left after half an hour later! 

The problem I have found with online dating is this…..in order to fancy someone you need the whole package.  When you first see someone…you decide within seconds whether or not you are attracted to them.  Its just nature, that is just the way it is.  You dont just look at their face, you take in the whole of them….their height, their body frame, their face and other features, and more importantly their stance…the way they show how confident they are…or not! If you manage to muster up enough confidence to approach them and speak to them, then you listen to their voice.  This is important, you need to find their voice attractive, light it flows through your body as they speak.   You can feel the persons energy (some may call it an aura).  There is no way you can do this through a computer/laptop/tablet/phone.  It is like when on occasion you meet someone and you either really like them or do not for whatever reason, you just cant put your finger on it. 

It does not matter how many photographs they put on the site, they are not a true representation in most cases.  They are always the best of the best and they are not 3d, you cannot get a true representation from a flat photograph!

Maybe it is just the case that I am too much of a ‘feeler’ I am an ENFP (Myers Briggs Test) but I think intuition is a great thing to go by.  If your body is telling you something listen to it, because it is usually right…in my experience anyway. 

My advice would be to get out there, look at people, feel their energy, watch their gestures and movements.  This tells you a lot about a person, more so than what they are selectively telling you at the other end of the internet.  

I’m sure there are successful relationships which have arisen from online dating but on the whole, it is not for most people. They are probably the lucky small percentage who just fell lucky.  I on the whole found internet dating rather soul destroying on one level…thinking christ is this what I am attracting.  Another point about internet dating sites is…it is a complete minefield.  It really is a place for lots of strange folk to hang out…..

My final point is this….the time I saved checking my account and speaking to people that it was never going to go anywhere with….because suddenly they dropped off the face of the Earth or told me they used to be a woman or are looking for someone to become an escort…(yes this happened)…I used the time to focus on things I actually wanted to do.  Like going out with friends and having a good time…walking my lovely dog and doing other things I really enjoy…like writing this blog 😉 

Good luck with your dating, there will be someone for you just around the corner.  I waited two years to find what I was looking for, but I am so glad I waited….so glad I did nt compromise what I was looking for as now I am the happiest I have ever been. 

 

My Grandma: The biggest impact

I walked into the room, heart pounding and mouth dry.  The bright lights hurting my eyes as I walked down the corridor.  I turned right down another long hallway.  Each step becoming harder than the one before.  My legs felt like jelly.  My head was buzzing and I felt dizzy and sick.  Eventually I saw Ward 9, I turned right and pulled open the heavy wooden door.  I squirted on some antibacterial hand gel and rubbed it into my hands whilst walking towards the nurses desk.  I cleared my throat and asked her where she was.  I was directed down towards the end of the ward into the last room.  There she lay in the bed, looking so tiny.  Much smaller than usual.  Her curly grey hair still looking perfect.  She knew someone was there but she did nt know who it was as her eyes were severely affected by cataracts. I walked over to the bed, took her hand and said “Hello Grandma”.  “Hello love” she managed. She knew who I was.  My grandma and I had a close relationship.  I sat next to her and stroked her hair.  I tried to speak to her without letting her know how upset I was.  The nurse came in and I asked her how she had been over night.  “She has been quite stable” she said.  “She looks much better today” I said, trying to be optimistic.  The nurse smiled at me but said nothing, and then carried about her business.  I kissed my grandma on the cheek and said “I will see you later grandma, I will be back later, I promise.”  “OK” she croaked whilst managing a smile and nodding slowly.

I walked out of the ward with the intention of going to the canteen for a cup of coffee.  I was tired.  I had not had much sleep as I had been worried about my grandma.  I reached a chair in one of the corridors and decided to sit down. I began thinking of all the things we had done together.  The holidays we had been on. The time in Ibiza when she sat on a wall with white trousers on and when she stood up they were red, she was covered in ants!

As a child I often stayed with her on a weekend.  I loved going. I loved walking her dog, Snowy, up and down the cobbled back street. The same street my uncle, (only 9 years older than me, he was the youngest of her children), had taught me to ride a bike on an adult full sized BMX when aged only 8 years old.  I could not even touch the floor and had to balance the bike against the wall to climb on!  In school holidays I remember being looked after by my grandma with my siblings and cousins.  My Grandma’s cooking was the best, macaroni cheese and homemade chips was my favourite.

I used to sit on the sofa in her living room and watch TV, all snuggled up with her woolen Scottish tartan blanket. One time I was laid on the floor in front of the hot fire watching my favourite TV program after school, my grandma downstairs cooking tea.  All of a sudden a little white mouse ran across the front of me from behind her glass cabinet which stored all her trinkets and ornaments bought for her over the years by her children and grandchildren. I remember thinking it was cute, but I screamed anyway. I remember grandma telling me not to be scared and to think how scared the poor little mouse was seeing me on the floor, as I was a lot bigger than the mouse! That made me laugh.

Every Christmas day was spent at grandma’s with all my aunts, uncles and cousins.  One year all 11 grandchildren lined up and we sang “Grandma we love you”.

A more recent memory of 5 or 6 years before floated back, when grandma has made me a royal blue and bottle green tartan pinafore dress.  I remember being stood in her front room whilst trying on my new dress.  Her laughing at me when I said I had ‘boobies’ telling me they were like ‘fried eggs’.  I was only 12, and my grandma was a 40DD bra size.  I can see now why she found it so funny.

She was how grandmas are supposed to be.  She made and repaired things, clothes etc, she cooked and she cleaned, she treated us to presents and fed us lots of biscuits and cakes.  My grandma was from Scotland but she was far from the stereotype of being stingy with money,  she was the exact opposite, and in fact the most generous person I knew.

Just then my mobile rang. It was my uncle asking me to go back to the ward as the doctor wanted to speak with me. When I arrived, I was lead into a side room and I sat down on one of the chairs.  My uncle was there, he looked at me and instead of talking he began to cry.  I had never seen my uncle cry before.  It was hard to see, a 6 ft 4 inch stocky man, eyes red from the tears, looking heart broken.  I looked at the floor and said “has she gone?” “No, but she is not well”. Managed my uncle, at that point he broke down again.  “We have tried to give her another blood transfusion but nothing is working for her any more.  I am sorry but it is only a matter of time now.”  I stared at the doctor as the words fell out of his mouth, like lead to the floor.  Each word washing over me, but it did not really sink in. All I could think was ‘that’s it, she is going.’  I dropped to my knees and I cried, harder than I had ever cried before. Even when my mum and dad divorced, I do not remember crying so hard. heart ached, I felt like my world was falling apart around me.  My grandma was like a second mum to me.  In fact I told my grandma things I could not speak to my mum about.  My grandma had looked after my first child, which I had when I was only 17.  My grandma never judged me, she did nothing but support me.  She took me and my son on trips with her Pensioners Club to the seaside.  My son adored her, he used to help her do the gardening and loved hanging the washing out on the line with her, she made it fun. She even played football with him in the garden, despite her having a double hip replacement only a couple of years previously.  She was one person that my son would do absolutely anything for.

I stopped crying and wiped away the tears. “I want to see her.” I said as I walked out of the side room and into hers.  My grandma was laid in bed asleep.  “Hi grandma” I said.  “Hello dear” she managed quietly.  A tear ran down my cheek.  “Are you ok?” I said.  She nodded and smiled.  I sat next to her, perched on the bed and held her hand. “I love you grandma” I said.  “I love you too.” She replied.  I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead and said “I’ll see you again soon grandma.” She looked in my direction, but I know she would nt have been able to see my face because of her cataracts, but she stared in my direction, smiled at me and said “yes”.  The doctor had n’t said anything to her, but I knew she could tell that this was the last time we were to see each other, in this life time.  I hugged her tight and kissed her again on the cheek and with that I let go of her hand, I turned and began to walk away.  Tears streaming down my face I turned to look at her one last time. She had closed her eyes and looked peaceful with a smile on her face.  I smiled back and whispered “love you grandma, I will see you again.” At that moment I thought in my head ‘Please angels take good care of her, she is so precious.’

I turned and walked down the corridor.  As I reached the door I heard the nurses rushing, I turned around and saw them heading towards the end room. I knew that was it, she was gone.  I walked out of the hospital and sat in my car. I held between my palms the little reindeer broach my grandma had given to me, just before she had gone into hospital. That was 6 years ago.  I still speak to her on a daily basis and keep that reindeer close.  To anyone else that reindeer is nt worth anything else, it is nt made from gold or any other precious metal, but it was my grandmother’s. I had bought it for her one Christmas when I was 11 years old with my pocket money from the local market.  She had kept it all those years, until I was 27.  That meant so much to me.  I will always have a bond with my grandma and even though physically she is not here, I know she is around.

My final tribute to grandma was the song I chose for her funeral. “Grandma we love you” by St Winifred’s Choir. That seemed like the only choice for me.

“One day grandma I will see you again, that day will be when the angels are also looking after me. But until then I will keep close to me the only thing I have left, our memories.”