I sympathised with Obama as I listened to him express his frustration following the most recent shooting in the U.S. Yet again an issue has presented itself that America and the rest of the world know the answer to, and yet again we react in the same way. That sad truth is that we will probably continue to act in the same way for years to come. This isn’t down to the American people, but the Government. The U.S.A are experiencing the same issue as the U.K. The government are so engrossed in fighting for the success of their own party and personal gain, that they have forgotten about the people they are really supposed to be fighting for.

As Obama said in his speech, Americans have become numb to gun crime. I’ve experienced this first hand, and understand why. American media is just a constant stream of shooting after shooting. It’s no surprise American’s aren’t fazed by it. It only seems to make an impact when there is a massacre. Let me say that again. It’s gotten to a point when a massacre is the only thing that gets Americans talking about gun crime. A massacre. If that doesn’t disgust you, I don’t know what could.

In my opinion there is nothing to discuss. The more time we spent talking about gun crime and how to resolve it, the more gun related deaths we have. The solution doesn’t even have to be the elimination of guns, but just some control. The most recent shooting was by a man who legally owned 15 weapons. Granted, it was in a rural area where weapons might be required to defend yourself against wildlife, but that doesn’t require 15 weapons. Previous incidents have been caused by individuals with mental health issues, someone that shouldn’t own a gun at all. These are events that could have been prevented if control measures were put in place regarding gun ownership.

My message is to simply think about it. Put aside your opinions about the right to own a gun, and think about what it is doing to America. Put aside your opinions on defending yourself, and think if you would actually have to if less people owned guns. Think about recent events, and question if they would have happened if guns were not involved. The answer is simple, and it’s not about you. There is a much bigger picture. We all just need to step back and take a harder look.

Solving Inequality Made to Look Easy : SIMPLE

I’ve been away for a while mostly because I’ve been busy being busy. I’ve been busying writing my Master’s dissertation, busy doing my driving test (and failing), busy moving back home, and busy job hunting. I’ve been busy doing things that I need to do, things that are important for my future.

But my view of what is important has been challenged by recent events. I look at the thousands of people crossing unmanageable barriers to try and make a better life for themselves, a life that I already have, and it angers me how ridiculous it is that not everyone has the privilege to simply live.

I watch the politicians of today as they argue with one another for the sole benefit of their own political  parties’ reputation. I watch politicians impose their prejudices on others with unfortunate success, and it angers me.

These things anger me, because the answers to them are simple. Yet, so many of us prevent them from being solved. Strip away class, race, religion, beliefs, and gender and we are all people. We are all capable of feeling the same emotions and pain, yet for some reason it seems that it is more acceptable for certain people to lead much more difficult lives than others.

Yes, a lot of it has to do with chance. You can’t decide who your parents are or where you are born, but if anything that supports my argument. None of us have made the decision to be the way that we are, we just are. So, to justifiably discriminate against others for the way that they are, you would also have to discriminate against yourself. Because like them, you are a person and you had no choice over who you are.

As someone that has travelled and been exposed to many different cultures, I find it difficult to comprehend how some people could possibly expect everyone in the world to have similar views and beliefs to them. It’s made me realise how immensely important education is, giving me a newfound sense of pride for my profession. I am only just starting to realise the immense amount of responsibility and opportunity I have as a teacher. I have the chance to instil open-mindedness and global perspective in people, during a time when so many people are losing it.

However, my efforts alone are not enough. So, I challenge you to question. If you disagree with another religion, does it make it wrong or simply different? Does it prevent you from believing in your religion? Or is it more that something makes you feel uncomfortable? There’s nothing wrong with feeling insecure, but perhaps educating yourself about another religion could eliminate that insecurity. Don’t simply follow the word of others.

I challenge anyone who reads this to question your prejudices. Are they really yours? Are they really prejudices? What do you actually know? There will always be inequality to a certain extent, but it doesn’t have to come from you. If more people question, more people can have the luxury of being busy like me. Just remember that the solutions are simple. We know what is right and what has to be done. We can no longer wait for others to make those decisions for use, so just do it.

Day 7: Fighting Fit

No, despite having eaten way too many dominoes and having been a full time couch potato, I’m not suffering from the boyfriend 20. Yes, I just made that up. In all seriousness getting fit and healthy has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Like many people I’ve never been completely happy with the way I look. I’m not overweight, in fact I’m probably not far off being in the shape I want to be, I just never found the motivation until now. It’s only been since the beginning of this week that I started to take it seriously. I’ve jogged three days in a row and plan to do so for the rest of the week. The goal is to continue whilst I’m on holiday so that I can lose 4-8 pounds – although how likely that is in America I don’t know. If you’re like me and you’re finding it hard to stay motivated, then here are a few of the things I did to get going:

1. Really feel it – it’s easy to say that you’re going to get fit, but it’s different to feel it. You’ll know it when you do. It’s called determination. It’s that feeling in you’re gut saying “I’ve had enough!” Unfortunately, it might take until you feel terrible for it to happen, but when it does take full advantage and get out there!

2. Do things you enjoy doing – So many people I know follow the herd and join the gym, and then never end up going again (I’ve been one of them). I’m here to say its OK not to like the gym. Gyms can be intimidating places, and if you’re like me you might prefer exercising alone. After all, gyms are expensive! Instead, find things that you enjoy doing. For me its cycling, swimming and then jogging.

3. Don’t get disheartened – One of the reasons I stopped exercising was because I wasn’t seeing any results. I had lost almost 10 pounds and then nothing. It’s often the case that you plateau after losing a big chunk of weight. Don’t let it put you off though, it only means you have to work that little bit harder!

4. Diet first – It’s important to have a healthy diet and exercise, but I’m a firm believer that you should get your diet sorted before you start exercising. Think about it, you wouldn’t have to worry about having to increase your exercise because you ate a packet of twinkies as a midnight snack.

5. Go with the flow – Weight loss can be pretty unpredictable. I often struggled when I’d given myself a weight goal or a exercise schedule. The truth is your body weight fluctuates all the time anyway, and you aren’t always going to feel up to exercise. I say exercise when you feel like it no matter what time of the day. I usually prefer early mornings, but every now and then I like a lay in, which is OK! Don’t punish yourself for having a break – it could be your bodies’ way of telling you it needs it.


P.S. Sometimes you don’t realise how far you’ve come!


Day 7: A Bit of Window Shopping Never Hurt

Men will never understand why women love to shop in their free time, because for them its not the same experience. For many women it’s a creative output. We get to express our personalities through the way that we dress. During difficult times it can be a welcome distraction. You can browse the shops and ooh and ah at all the things you want to buy, and maybe even buy a few. It’s also a chance to spend some time on yourself. You get to think about how you want to look and the things you like. After a break-up its a great reminder that you no longer have to worry about what someone else thinks about the way you look. A certain weight is almost lifted off your shoulders. It can be addictive though, so don’t go spending all your money. Then you’ll have bigger problems to deal with! I took a picture of the top I bought during my therapeutic shopping trip.


Top: H&M 12.99 (pounds)

Day 6: Having Dreams and Making Plans

When you’re in a serious relationship your dreams and future plans often involve your other half. My mother always drummed into me that I should never let a man change my plans, but I think it’s natural to want to include someone you love in your life. The trouble is your future can become very confusing when a relationship breaks down. What do you do now when your dreams are no longer possible?

The truth is it only seems that way. We all had dreams and plans before we got into relationships. They’re just often overshadowed my new, more emotionally driven dreams. There still there whether the relationship works out or not. If you’re like me and you drew the short straw, the answer is about rediscovering what you want to do.

I had to ask myself that very same question, and it was harder than I thought. Once you make new plans, it’s sets it in stone that your previous ones aren’t going to happen. It’s scary to completely rule out something that is so important to you. It feels like riding a bike without training wheels for the first time: unsafe.

At the same time it’s exciting. My whole world has opened up again and I can pick and choose my adventures. I just had to tell myself, “if I don’t do it now then when?” The answer is probably never. So after a long hard think, here are my dreams:

1. Move to Berlin and get a CELTA (check!)

2. Learn German

3. Move to Spain and learn Spanish

4. Discover what more I can do…

5. Go on a cooking holiday

6. Learn guitar

7. Get fit and healthy (a.k.a feeling HOT)

8. Make friends and keep in touch with old ones

9. Take dancing lessons

10. Be happy to be me!


Day 5: A New Look

When you’re going through a break up you naturally start to doubt yourself. You question your actions, you question your ex’s actions, and you question your beauty. To try and take myself out of that mind set, I felt some pampering was needed. I took a trip to the hair salon and treated myself to a new haircut. Haircuts always make you feel great afterwards and almost give the impression of a new start. Here is my ‘transformation’:

Before:                                                After:

DSC_0145~2 DSC_0183~2

So my next piece of advice to you is to take care of yourself. Spend the time on yourself that you spent before you were in a relationship. It’ll not only make you feel amazing, it will also help you get used to the way things were before.


Day 2: Getting to Know Me

Although my ex taught me a lot about myself, you can often forget to do the things that you enjoy when you’re with someone so often. So today I decided that I am going to reunite with some of my passions, one of which is cooking. Here is a recipe that I tried and tested (a.k.a ate) yesterday:

Pineapple Upside-down Cake



50g butter

50g sugar

1/2 pineapple

100g flour

1sp baking powder

100g sugar

100g butter

1 tbsp pineapple juice/coconut milk

2 eggs


1. Mix together the butter and sugar (50g) and cover the bottom of a 20 inch round tin (make sure its not a loose bottom tin).

2. Chop up the pineapple into chunks and arrange on the bottom of the pan.

3. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together and poor the batter on top of the pineapple.

4. Place in an oven at 160 for 35-40 minutes.

Day 1: Good Friends and Good Food

537895_10152738097140366_261051134_n DSC_0177

“Hard times will always reveal true friends”

Losing someone that I spent all my time with made me feel quite lonely. I had made the rookie error of focussing all my attention on my boyfriend, neglecting my friends. Luckily I found that my friends were still there for me when it all ended. I’m going to make sure that I don’t make that mistake again. So today I spent the day with a good friend of mine. It wasn’t that I needed to talk to someone about it all, it was that I needed sometime to forget about it. It was a welcome distraction to sitting in my room and dwelling on the past. I got to laugh, have good food, and think about what someone else was doing for a change.

So my first piece of advice for any of you out there who are going through a similar thing is to reach out to your friends, even if you made the same mistake as me. Not only are they there for you to vent, but they are there to distract you from your own thoughts.

Food: Club Burrito, Canterbury