Monday, July 30, 2012

Oh Ghandi.

I found this on the internet today and I rather liked it - O.K. I know that 'be the change you wish to see in the world' has become cliched but it doesn't make it any less true! I'm enjoying some time at the moment just to be free and to listen with my whole heart and I'm pretty thankful that I get the opportunity to do that, to work out what kind of person I want to be, without stress. Most people don't have that privilege - I know that times are hard for many people during this recession but refugees and asylum seekers are affected disproportionately, with cuts to various services, many are not getting the help and support they need. Refugees and asylum seekers need champions for justice. And that's where you come in; support Vluchtelingen Werk Nederland, The Refugee Council or the Scottish Refugee Council in any way you can - you can donate to my efforts to raise money for the Refugee Council through running in the Ladies Damloop here



On Standing By One Another

This is an awesome video from the documentary 'Playing for Change'. Enjoy and remember to stand by one another!

Big love,


Sunday, July 29, 2012

On the definition of a refugee

"A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself to the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it."

The 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees

Some Facts about Asylum in the UK 

  • The Home Office detains around 1000 children seeking asylum with their families each year

(Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, Intercollegiate Briefing, 2009)

  • The U.K. is home to less than 2% of the world's refugees

           (UNHCR 2008 Global Trends Paper)

  • Around 80% of the world's refugees are living in developing countries, often in camps. Africa and Asia host between them, more than three quarters of the world's refugees. Europe looks after just 14%

          (UNHCR Global Trends Paper, 2007)

  • Most asylum seekers in the U.K. are living in poverty and experience poor health and hunger.

          (Independent Asylum Commission citizens' Inquiry, The Independent, 2007)

  • An estimated 30, 000 jobs have been created in Leicester by Ugandan refugees since 1972.

          (The Observer, They fled with nothing but built a new empire, 11 August 2002)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Competitiveness

I've recently started reading 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running' by Haruki Murakami. I've been a Murakami fan for some time but his style and openess in this book are rather astounding. There was one passage which has really stood out to me,

"Don't misunderstand me - I'm not totally uncompetitive. It's just that for some reason I never cared all that much whether I beat others of lost to them. This sentiment remained unchanged after I grew up. It doesn't matter what field you're talking about - beating somebody else just doesn't do it for me. I'm much more interested in whether I reach the goals I set for myself, so in this sense long-distance running is the perfect fit for a mindset like mine."

- Haruki Murakami

I think this sums up my attitude to sport entirely. When I was in High School the competitive aspect was pushed on us to such an extent that it depleted my enjoyment of many organised sports. This is why I'm enjoying running so much at the moment. It's a period in the day where I can be outside and free of thoughts and constraints and there is no pressure. I wonder why we can't encourage more people to participate in sport either for themselves or for others (supporting causes which are important to them) rather than constantly pushing them to beat other people? 

This morning, I bettered my ability to run and it's made me feel really positive about things - I walked home feeling positively light. 

Safe travels wherever you are,



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Migration is not a crime

On seeing lovely people in the Vondelpark

Today's run saw me get up at 9am! 9am - that's fairly revolutionary for me.....  Heading off to the Vondelpark after my muesli. After listening to my Dad's seriously dodgy collection of heavy metal on my music player (I have no idea how to change it). I met with the very lovely Hazza and Andy Mack and their lovely but very excited dog Mooja. After running for half an hour I met the sublime Mrs. Lascelles and her daughter for coffee in Het Melkhuis, which was a lovely break but I was rather sweaty and horrible. Which was the perfect time to bump into a former pupil......

It's still 26C + so I lathered myself in factor 20 and took a big bottle of water out - one poor guy was being picked up by an ambulance in the Vondelpark - so be careful lady and manbros. Slip, slap, slop, glug and all that. 

Take Care and lovelovelove xx

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Brothers and Sisters, Wear Sunscreen!

 I went on my first run for goodness knows how long this morning, and by morning, I mean afternoon. And it's 28C, in Amsterdam. And it's the midday sun. And I have the lowest amount of skin pigmentation in the Western Amsterdam area. 

So I thought - it's hot so I should take water - which I dutifully did. Plus a head scarf - which I also did. Well it seems that sometimes I like to kid myself into thinking I don't possess a naturally goth like pallor but I do. Oh and how. So I went for a nice long run. Sipping away at my water and seeking the shade of the trees. 

And now I have a tomato face to show for it. 

So now I'm bathing in calendula aftersun lotion and kidding myself that the tomato face will 'settle down' into a lovely sun kissed glow. 

The moral of this story is; brothers and sisters - wear sunscreen......

On being back!

OK, so I'm sorry I've neglected to keep you up to date with my running adventures over the past couple of months - but I'm back with a vengeance, shiny new shoes and a fabulous Refugee Council T-shirt. I decided I'd let you see them with some slightly lame photos, posted above.