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art

Art – Interview with Inspiring City blog

July 4, 2017
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Recently I’ve been interviewed by Stuart from Inspiring City blog – where you can find the best artists and street art from London. So chuffed!
Head on to his blog to check out all the nice pics and the write up. Thank you Stuart for featuring me!

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Watch the interview and a doodle below!


Thank you for looking!

PS: All content on this post is copyright by Inspiring City, who has very nicely allowed me to chare it with you.

art

A day out in Calais with Help 4 Refugee Children

June 27, 2017
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Recently a friend put me in touch with Help 4 Refugee Children and they gave me the opportunity to travel as a volunteer to Calais, to do art workshops with the children.

One might think that there are no more refugees in Calais – mostly because the Jungle has been destroyed and the media’s attention is now somewhere else… but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are still people living in appalling conditions – mainly in tents, in the woods, with no electricity or running water. The police come by regularly to take away the few sleeping bags and clothes they have and there have been reports of police brutality, even against children.

PicMonkey Collage

Of course, what we managed to do in just one day out there in one of the camps is only a drop in the vast ocean, but I’d like to think that at least for a little while we made a bit of a difference in these people’s lives. Our governments have failed them and failed us, by creating the conditions in which people feel the need to run away from poverty and terrorism. If we can’t or are unwilling to pressure our governments to do something about it, at least the few of us that care can roll up our sleeves and do our bit. If we all did that, a huge difference could be made.

I joined the rest of the group in the early hours of Sunday morning and we got driving south, towards Dover where we can cross the Channel. The drive down was uneventful, we had a chat and got to know each other a bit more and got on the train – a new experience as I’ve only travelled via plane or Eurostar when leaving the UK islands.

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Rolling up our sleeves

Soon we arrived in Calais and headed to the supermarket, to buy water and food to distribute at the camp. After filling three carts to the brim with water, biscuits, fruit and dates, we worked on getting them separated into individual parcels in the supermarket’s parking lot. It was great teamwork and the sense of accomplishment after we finished getting all 250 parcels together was great. We then headed to the camp, where we distributed the food in the most respectful way possible. I was also happy to see that there were also other people providing some help – a generator for them to charge their phones, as well as a mobile barber and hot meals, were some of the help I saw being provided by other groups.

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This went well and as soon as the food was gone, we brought out the paint and canvases. Turns out the adults also wanted to join us and I spent more time with the adults painting and helping some of the children do some art. It was a lot of fun and it seemed like the people were happy to have a little respite from the hardship they’re currently enduring.

PicMonkey Collage

Some of the men spoke English and were very nice, so it was possible to communicate, at least with some of them. Most of the people in the camp we visited are from Iraq and are Kurdish. I met an artist – who studied art for five years and showed me his ceramic sculptures on his phone. Another gentleman created a piece by cutting stencils and using them to create a heart motif, which he gifted to me once finished. It was a very sweet gesture and I will treasure this piece for the rest of my life. Proof that even when in distress, people can still be kind.

PicMonkey Collage

When interest in painting was lost (and the wind got worse) we got out the skipping rope and had a laugh with the kids. One of the girls in the camp wanted to show us her family so she took us through the woods to go visit the camp where her sisters were staying. It’s heartbreaking but still, they had a smile for us.

PicMonkey Collage

Coming back home

I returned home feeling happy to have been able to do at least a bit for people in distress but also with a heavy heart, knowing that there is still so much that could be done and it’s beyond my own powers and ability. On the drive back we were all tired and quiet for most of the time, so I had a bit of time to think about what I had just experienced. It made me feel emotional at one point, to think that we had to leave them all behind and just get in the car and go back home because we were lucky to win the nationality lottery. It is sad to think that one day this could be any of us if the world continues to go down its current route. According to Foreign Policy, the levels of human conflict are still at an all time low, but considering what we’ve been experiencing and seeing lately, who knows if it’s going to last?

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As a friend said to me, everyone should do this kind of volunteer work – it helps put the world and our priorities into perspective and most importantly, it makes a difference in other people’s lives. I am now hoping to be able to raise funds to go back again. Winter will come at one point and life will be even harder for them.

If you can’t come to the camps but would like to help the effort, please donate generously here.

Lifestyle

What would I do if I was Divine? #LicenceToChill

June 14, 2017
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It’s hard to pick just one favourite movie character but when asked, Divine does come to mind. Just who is Divine, anyway? Divine was the stage name of Harris Glenn Milstead, made famous by John Waters’ films, such as “Pink Flamingos” or “Hairspray”, to name but a few.

Why the appeal? Divine is a funny drag queen in killer makeup and totally camp – which are all winners in my book.

Chill Money asked what I would do with an unlimited supply of money for a day if I was my favourite movie character… so here goes!

– I’d buy myself a few pairs of cha cha heels in black because good girls don’t wear cha cha heels!

– Get some figure-hugging leopard print dress to walk down the street in – escandalo!

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– Buy a pink trailer and move to Phoenix, Maryland

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– Fill the front yard with pink flamingos

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– Get a year’s supply of long falsies

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This is what I would do if I was Divine. If you ask me as Sara, I’d probably come up with something different, but not as funny, I guess. What would you do?

PS: Check out the cool infographic after the jump and read some interesting facts on money and cinema.

Continue Reading…

travel

Guest Post – Planning a break: 5 Saving Tips

April 7, 2017
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We all love taking a trip overseas, but sadly they do tend to cost a fair lick. Today, we’re going to provide you with five simple steps to saving when it comes to your break. Follow this advice and you should be able to save a tidy sum when you next head off abroad.

  1. Travel in low season

This technique is a proven winner when it comes to avoiding paying extortionate prices for travel. Certain times of the year result in cheaper prices thanks largely to the lack of demand for holidays during these periods.

When thinking about how to make the most of travelling in low season, you’ll want to weigh up a number of factors in your mind. For starters, are you travelling at a time when kids are likely to be off from school? Think about all sorts of things, from climate to seasonal events which could be happening.

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(image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boedker/)

  1. Don’t opt for commercial services

You’re more likely to save on a holiday if you decide not to stick to the commercial tours which have been set up to make a quick buck. Sure, you’ll learn the odd thing or two you might not have done on your own, but is it really worth what’s likely to be double the price?

You can make your own adventures, and probably have a much better time in the process. Discover at your own leisure and don’t rely on someone who’s charging you a small fortune to lead you round by the hand. Independence is part of what makes a holiday great.

  1. Prepaid currency card

You’re likely to face harsh currency transaction rates if you pay for things with a credit card. Avoid this by investing in a prepaid currency card. These handy devices allow you to top up before heading off, with no interest or conversion rates charged by your bank.

Despite these standing out as a definite advantage for travellers when compared to regular credit or debit cards, you’ll want to also be wary of some of the faults you can find with this type of tool.

  1. International mobile contracts

It’s no secret anymore that travelling abroad is going to take a massive toll on your finances if you leave your data running or make a call on your phone. You can avoid this problem by entering into a contract with a provider who offers international rates.

Vodafone are a good example of this; with one of their contracts seeing you pay 75p for connection and then standard home charges when it comes to a call itself. This flat rate makes things more feasible for users when abroad – and saves a wad of cash.

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(image credit to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yisris/)

  1. Travel about overnight

When you’re on foreign shores, your best bet for money saving would be to travel on overnight journeys. These will cost considerably less, and allow you the chance to sleep through most of the travel itself. Sleep as you travel, for half the price, before waking up in your destination. Does it get any better?

If you’re interested in saving money when you’re next abroad, make sure to pay attention to the helpful tips we’ve laid out for you here.

Lifestyle

A revolutionary idea – #ToastByDrone

March 9, 2017
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Real innovation is hard to achieve – organisations around the world spend millions dynamising innovation programmes. New business ideas are needed and hard to come by and everyone is always looking for the next big thing. But, sometimes there are brilliant lightbulb moments: what if you could have toast, delivered by drone, to your desk? That’s the latest innovation brought to us by toasttv.co.uk with their new start-up venture. Their idea is revolutionary – imagine how many toast breaks you would avoid in the office? Bosses around the world would be overjoyed about this, as it would mean an increase in productivity from their employees, with fewer breaks needed. Next step, reducing toilet breaks! Think about that one…

Move over Amazon, and your drone deliveries, toast by drone is where it’s at!

But seriously, this is only a spoof. Well done Toast TV for a very fun campaign!