Last days in Iraq…


Ok, so after my frenzy of posts about crafty things and recipes, it’s probably time to tell you more about my day-to-day type stuff. Work is going well here, and I’ve met some incredible people. I’ve only got a few days left now, so here are some pics from my work, when I’ve been out and about doing general work-type things!

We did some meetings with community leaders and IDP representatives to tell them more about our work and what we’re doing in their villages.

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Ramadan Kareem!

This week, Facebook has been flooded with news of the UK’s heatwave, and the hot and sweaty plight of my friends and family (us Brits are unused to warm weather as a rule, and are not built to cope with it).

It was extremely tempting to mock them all with the fact that’s it’s 46 degrees here, and has been pretty consistently for the last month, so therefore 2 days of 30 degrees is hardly unbearable. (That’s 46 degree celcius for you non-metric people of the world – about 115 degrees if you’re working in farenheit)

However, then I remembered that it’s also Ramadan, and my amazing Kurdish and Arabic colleagues are not only going out into the 46 degree hear every day to provide much-needed support to people, but they also can’t eat or drink any water for 17 hours straight. And they come in to work every day and do it all over again with a smile on their faces.

Trust me when I tell you that, based on past experience of my own grumpiness factor when my blood sugar level drops too low, if I had to go out into 46 degree heat everyday and stand in the sun distributing emergency kits without a single drop of water or food for 17 hours, I’d either collapse or start World War 3.

So I can express nothing but awe and MASSIVE respect to my incredible colleagues for continuing to come into work everyday and help all those people in need of support.

Here’s to ALL my Muslim colleagues and friends working hard in humanitarian emergencies this Ramadan all over the world.

You are incredible.

Ramadan Kareem!


Imagine this… The Story of Katie and Paul

And now it’s time for something completely different…..

Picture yourself, in the not-too-distant future, or perhaps in an alternate universe, only slightly different from ours.

This is Katie.

She lives in a small flat in the east end of London, . She’s a single mum with 2 kids, Kai (7) and Tommy (3). She works as an office manager in a printing shop down the road, and volunteers at Tommy’s playschool twice a week. Things are going pretty well for Katie, and life is good.

Then the bombing started. Continue reading


Oh deary deary me. It’s been MONTHS since my last post! I keep drafting them and not getting around to finishing them or posting them, which is terrible – I’m such a bad blogger!

So, reviewing the many drafts that I never posted, and attempting to get them into some form that will be suitable for the public domain, I’ll start with this – a post I drafted back in Jan/Feb ish, when I stopped to reflect on last year’s triumphs and pitfalls…. (Shameful to be only just posting my New Year’s reflections in June though! 😛 )

Jan 2015

As I look back at the past year, I must say that 2014 was a year of big achievements for me, and some pretty major milestones too…

2014 was the year I was published in a book for the first time (Chasing Misery – buy your copy now and nudge me towards getting an actual royalty cheque….)

2014 was the year I appeared live on TV for the first time – hosting the show no less! A nerve-wracking but interesting experience. Continue reading