What’s happening to 2020?

From the very beginning, 2020 has been a whirlwind. When we rang in the New Year with our Roaring ’20s themed parties and sophisticated looks, did anyone ever think that World War Three was imminent? Or that bushfires would ravage Australia while we all decidedly didn’t freeze in one of the warmest and wettest winters to date? Did we ever dream that all that would be overshadowed by an even deadlier pandemic?

World-ending events are inevitable. Just as the dinosaurs were wiped out, humans will be too – eventually. And possibly due to events of our own making (global warming really isn’t helping anyone) but this pandemic isn’t something we could have seen coming. Okay, sure – we knew about the novel coronavirus as early as January, but it seems that no government was able to predict how quickly it would spread or how deadly it might be.

And now we’re a quarter of the way into a new year and people around the world are locked in their houses (with some countries placing heavier restrictions than others), many workers now find themselves out of work, and small and big businesses alike find their very existence hanging in the balance.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

But what does that mean for the rest of the year? Well, so far we still don’t really know what the global cost will be, in terms of human life and also to the economy. We know that a worldwide recession is likely, and that many people are going to die. But we don’t know how we will cope with these losses just yet.

But I remain hopeful that we’ll emerge victorious from the quagmire and perhaps go back to a better version of our society. Ideally, one where we truly value our key workers and pay them accordingly – and I don’t just mean health workers, but binmen, supermarket staff and transport officers, too.

READ MORE: Be kind to strangers

Let’s become a society that values the little things, too. Like taking a walk outside to hear the birds sing, or making a short phone call to tell someone you love them. Capitalism has consumed us with the search for money and profit in everything we do – enjoy hobbies again, don’t search for the monetary value in everything. Your mental health and happiness should be value enough.

We might also create a more inclusive society. All those jobs where we were told that working from home was impossible? Turns out it’s possible in times of crisis. So let’s demand more flexible working, for mothers and fathers, for less able-bodied people, for when you’re feeling under the weather and could be contagious, but are well enough to work.

And let’s not forget the environment. With each city’s lockdown, pollution levels have dropped and it appears the Earth might be starting to heal. So let’s give her a helping hand. Walk where possible, run if it’s further. Only take long journeys in the car if they’re absolutely necessary – public transport networks connect us all over the country. And maybe airlines will do their bit to reduce emissions or even flights worldwide.

READ MORE: Cutting down single-use plastic

We have the power to make demands, and this crisis makes you wonder if the rest of 2020 will mark a big societal change, from caring only about capital, to actually caring about workers. And caring for our most vulnerable with decisive actions, not just words.

All I know for sure, though, is that I can’t wait to hug my loved ones again ❀

Thought of the Day: Why Handbags Are a Con

The fashion industry is rigged. You know how I know?

Pockets.

Continue reading Thought of the Day: Why Handbags Are a Con

Thought of the Day: Toxic Advertising

With TV on-demand, streaming sites and the BBC, it’s rare to be sitting around and watching adverts on the television. And a good thing too – I’d forgotten how damaging some adverts can be.

Case in point: Bio-Oil. Now, we all know what Bio-Oil does – the product reduces the appearance of scars and marks on the skin, and makes everything blend in. That’s all they had to say.

And on the whole, Bio-Oil has always been positive – their #ScarStrong initiative last year was refreshing, and body positivity is in fashion, on trend and marketable. So that’s why their latest advertising campaign really shocked me.

Bio-Oil helps improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks

Bio-Oil Advert, 08/04/19

Red flags. Immediately. Now, the average person may find this an overreaction; after all, no one wants their scars and stretch marks on show, right?

Wrong.

This advert is another case of beauty products being marketed at women by making us feel insecure in our own bodies.

My scar shows that I am strong.

My stretch marks tell a story.

It is up to no one but me whether I choose to have them blend in with my skin or keep them visible. I choose to wear them with pride.

Not everyone has to – if you feel prouder to have them blend in with your skin, that’s great. But Bio-Oil, and the beauty industry as a whole, should not be making us feel bad about our marks. They are normal. They are part of us. They do not need to be “improved”. They are perfect the way they are. They are perfect the way you choose to have them or hide them. They are a part of your body, and it is yours to control, and yours to be proud of.

Thought of the Day: International Women’s Day

Women Supporting Women is the definition of Feminism.

In this day and age, it’s really easy to claim that you’re not a feminist. This International Women’s Day, I want to remind you all to support the women in your life this year…

Continue reading Thought of the Day: International Women’s Day

Thought of the Day: Working at Christmas

Christmas: it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or so they say. Spare a thought for those still stuck at work over the holidays.

Now, of course, there are the standard professions that are required (ish) to work over Christmas – hospitals, emergency services, retail – and without them, the country would almost certainly fall apart. But what about those of us who are spending Christmas Eve, New Year’s, and the days in between, in an office. I mean, realistically, what work is happening in an office setting on Christmas Eve?

Continue reading Thought of the Day: Working at Christmas

Thought of the Day: Oh The Irony…

You know those moments that just align perfectly? They feel almost cosmically written, like fate or destiny? I had one of those moments today…


This honestly has to be the most ironic picture on the internet right now. 

A survey which “investigated the greatest source of frustration for consumers” found that for 42% it is being “compelled to navigate a compulsory sign-up process”

I honestly hope The Times can see the irony of writing an article about the discovery that consumers don’t particularly like to sell their data, only to hide it behind a pay-wall, asking consumers for their data… 

Thought of the Day: Random Act Of Kindness

“Mind the closing doors” is a phrase that commuters are sick to death of hearing. Its also a phrase that most people adhere to, save a few that we immediately roll our eyes and tut at. But that’s because they barge on for themselves, getting their arms or bags caught, just to save an extra few minutes waiting for the next tin can stuffed to the brim. But today, reader, I was that person. Or, rather, someone else was that person for me.

As I approached the platform, through the network of tunnels, I saw the tube waiting, with its doors open. I broke into a half-run, expecting to catch it, but alas, I heard the warning beeps of the closing doors, just as I reached the dreaded yellow line. But then, oh but then. A foot stuck itself out from where the doors slide out, and a kind stranger stopped the door, giving me time to board and promoting the message “please stand clear of the doors”.

Now, I wasn’t too bothered if I missed the train; the bakerloo line runs every couple of minutes so it made no real difference to me. But it was an act of kindness, from a man who owed me nothing, expected nothing in return, and that I would never see again. It’s prompted me to look again at my commute, at every aspect of my life, and think about how I could use small, random acts of kindness, just to keep the cycle of goodwill alive. Giving up my seat without hesitation (come on, you know we all think twice before offering it up); buying a round of coffee in the morning to help the day along for my teammates; smiling at strangers; all small acts that could really go a long way to improving someone’s day.

So, thank you, kind stranger, for keeping that door open for me. Please do mind the closing doors though. The delays can be a real inconvenience…

Thought of the Day: Travelling Terriers and Commuting Corgis

The sky is grey, the rain is threatening, but life is good. Why? Because today I saw a dog on the tube.

Dogs on the tube are the most precious of all dogs. They are well behaved, they are (usually) quite quiet, and all they want is to be friends with everyone. There, on a hot, stuffy tin can jostling through the tube network, was the sweetest creature who just wanted to be petted and loved, and who are we to deny them that?

Of course, not everyone is a dog-person but I’m sure everyone can appreciate how a sweet and fluffy creature can have a calming effect on the road-rage of public transport. The tube network is hot, it’s cramped, it’s loud and uncomfortable, but whenever someone brings a dog on board, I can’t help but smile.

So, an entirely selfish plea to all you dog-owners out there: please bring your dogs on the tube. Take them for walks throughout London’s parks and bring them home on our tube network. Bring a smile to someone’s dull commute.

Thought of the Day: Guilty Pleasures

Why do people care so much about what other people like? Why do we police people’s opinions so much?

Let me clarify – I do not mean that your rascist/homophobic/intolerant opinions are just guilty pleasures that you shouldn’t be ashamed of, because you should be. Feel ashamed. Shame.

What I really mean is who cares if you like Justin Bieber or trashy romcoms or, God forbid, Nickelback? More importantly, why? I can’t imagine anything less dull than telling people that thing they enjoy is terrible and they should be ashamed of it, but so many people seem to think their opinions matter more than everyone else’s.

As I type this, I’m on my way to see Pitch Perfect 3 – the epitome of a guilty pleasure. Singing, dancing, romance, it’s basically a Bollywood film written in English. And I love it. It speaks to me as a woman, as a singer, as a recent graduate. But so many of my colleagues and friends turn their noses up at it. Why? Maybe because it’s a “chick-flick”? Maybe because they all wish they had those angelic voices? Maybe because it’s just something fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously? 

We all seem to make the mistake of taking ourselves too seriously and wanting to portray a certain image to the outside world, but really all that matters is how things make you feel. And if Pitch Perfect makes me feel happy on the inside and let’s me relive my university days, well I’m all ears. Because who’s going to remember how cool you were when you’re 80? No one. But you’ll be the one left with regrets of the things you tossed aside because they were too “cheesy”, “sad” or “dorky”.

Embrace your inner nerd. Embrace your loves. Embrace your self.

Thought of the Day: Resolutions

It’s mid-January and most people will have broken their New Years Resolutions by now. Not because they want to. Not because they’re weak. But because they made unrealistic promises.

So many people decide to eat healthy, go to the gym, or otherwise better themselves, but it’s always on such a huge scale that they’re practically setting themselves up for failure, right?

What if people made resolutions to drink more water, buy more fresh food or walk instead of taking the bus? These goals would be so much more achievable, and people would feel better about themselves at the end of the month.

By this time in January, many people have thrown the baby out with the bathwater and don’t just break their diets, they eat more junk than they did before! Because they feel like they’ve failed. But they haven’t. You haven’t. Keep at it, break it into reasonable chunks, and go for it.

Me? My resolution is to blog twice a month – achievable. One post per 2 weeks? Yeah, I can do that. But a post a day? Well, for me, that’s just inconceivable.