Tim Young – giving power back to the people of Colchester

•June 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

THIS!

The Colcestrian

Labour’s Tim Young is now officially​ recognised as the front runner to dislodge the surprise Tory candidate for MP who snuck in last General Election cycle.

Tim Young, a local lad (rather than a shipped in candidate targeting a marginal) has many years and family invested in our wonderful town and rather than be a mouth piece for big business interests, or parroting his party’s monotonous mantra, Tim is actually interested in working for us – the people of Colchester.

We met up with Tim for a chat and a walkabout to see how passionately he feels about getting things done and becoming our MP.

The Lib Dems used to be in power in Colchester – best part of two decades. Labour voters lent their votes to keep Colchester from joining the sea of blue that is Essex.

Now that Labour have overtaken the Libs, it’s time for their supporters…

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New blog! TheLL!!! 

•August 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Hey! Remember I’m trying to switch over to Medium. But I still want all my WordPress friends to catch my stuff! Here’s the latest on me & The Lemay Leveller. 

New Blog! Please follow! 

•August 3, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Hello all! I’m going to start blogging here – please do follow me and share! 

Soup! Colchester, That is: ColchesterSoup

•July 27, 2016 • 4 Comments

Hello all!! I am writing this blog on my phone, such is my dedication to both blogging and the subject at hand today. Forgive me for any errors, I am used to writing on a keyboard, and to me, part of the writing process is moving about and handling the keyboard much like playing the piano. I have to try a little harder on my phone, as good as it is. 

Yesterday, Karen from ColchesterSoup reminded me that it’s been some time since I’ve blogged. Ever the inspiring friend, she often helps me remember what I’d like to do. And I’d like to explain the dedication at the beginning of The Lemay Leveller to ColchesterSoup. 

First an explanation for those not in the know: Karen brought @ColchesterSoup to our community. It is a concept tried and tested in Detroit. The idea is simple, if my long winded explanation may be slightly less so. 

Three people or groups pitch to win a pot of money. Where does the money come from? From the very people attending that night. (Affordable at every other month) Everyone who attends the evening pays £5. For that, they get endless bowls of delicious handmade soups (two to choose between), rolls, and a vote. They will listen to that evening’s three pitchers and then decide who wins the pot of money (that’s the hardest part of the night!) 

In the meantime, a family friendly, fun evening is had with a fascinating cross section of Colchester’s inhabitants. The evening is worth the £5 simply for the fellowship and networking that it offers, let alone everything else. 

As for the pitchers: they can ask for money for pretty much anything. They each have five minutes to say what they need the money for and how it may benefit Colchester. And be creative! Most things happening locally have some kind of local merit. 

While I was working on the final revision of my book, The Lemay Leveller, I pitched for money to help pay the editing and publishing fees, in the name of hard work, culture and protecting literature from being owned by the elite. On that night I lost, I was up against stiff competition, but I was told the numbers had been close. 

Despite “losing” (or rather, as it feels, simply not winning the pot of money), that night was a huge success for me. One man donated his recent lottery winnings to me on the night. Others donated directly to my gofundme page. Others decided then and there that they would buy the book when it came out.  Best of all, I met people who have become dear friends to me. 

When ColchesterSoup were invited to participate in the council led festival “The Art of the Possible”, a new event was created: meetSOUP, with ColchesterSoup running it.  People from all over Essex were able to pitch, and Karen kindly invited me to try again for The Lemay Leveller.  Well. You know how it went. Of course I was happy to talk about my book again, no matter if I won or not!  So I pitched again. But this time, I won!!! It felt amazing. It was a huge boost to my confidence as a first time, self publishing author. And now, almost a year later, and my book sales are still modest, but they are growing each month as more and more people try it and then recommend it onwards. Who knows? 200 years from now it might be highly valued literature. And it will be known as having been nurtured by a community that values the arts, the uniqueness of the individual, and how, if that uniqueness is nurtured rather than wasted or abused, it can become a success. That, is what ColchesterSoup, means to me. And on a larger scale, it is this spirit of initiative that makes Colchester the wonderful place to live that it is. 

If you need money for yourself. If you know a charity who does. If you have an idea but no money to get started with, visit http://www.colchestersoup.co.uk and fill in their super easy application form. Who knows? It could be you holding that winners frame! But either way – you’re going to win just by going. You’re going to feel welcomed, a part of an active, engaging, lively community, in a town I’ve deeply come to love. 

If you’re reading this outside of Colchester, why not see if you have a local Soup? And if not, why not do what Karen did. She learned of the movement coming from Detroit, and brought it to us, pushing on the trend throughout the UK. It is micro funding, community funding and togetherness, at its best. 

Sexism & Europe: Why I’ve been quiet of late

•June 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment

The Colcestrian

portrait-of-little-girl-crying-and-sobbing_vj8jawaqf__s0000I’ve been very quiet on the Twitter since the recent Colchester elections.  To be honest, they burned me out.  I got so drawn in that I lost focus on actual human thoughts and was found babbling about Greenstead Ward in the lean-to, hovering over litter trays.

My regular life, outside of doing Colcestrian stuff, is quite complicated and of course includes everything that matters more to me than local or national politics.  I have a family who rely upon me and despite being very socially-involved themselves (even the 9yo boy) still suffered politics-itis over the month I was churning out Q&As with the Council Candidates.

It was a very worthwhile event, and though I won’t say it was responsible for changing the face of local politics, it engaged a lot of people and became a topic of conversation in itself.  It surprised me.

But now, I am burnt out.  I’m…

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Terrorism and Toxic Masculinity 

•June 18, 2016 • 2 Comments

The one thing that nearly every terrorist attack has in common, is that for the vast majority, they are committed by males. Males of every colour, religion, nation. We are dealing with many things in our modern “Terror”, but among them is a toxic culture of masculinity. 

Every time a man listens to a woman’s perspective, every time a young boy is taught that violence is not for play time, every time I bring up feminism (again!) we are all trying to combat against the violence that the male identifying psyche has created. The pressure is there on boys from their earliest moments, to be tough, to be stronger than the others in the playground, to be the best at football. Boys are discouraged to play with dolls or soft toys, the very same toys that teach little girls empathy and how to look after other creatures. 

We all bear social responsibility on this issue, by allowing the boys in our lives to be fully human. By teaching them. By teaching our girls the same. Toxic masculinity has defined a millennia. It’s time we changed the direction of the tide. 

Rest in peace Jo Cox, MP. 

A blog within a blog, on PTSD

•June 17, 2016 • 2 Comments

Hello all!

 

I just wanted to stop by and say I’ve blogged on another platform!  Shocking behaviour, I know, cheating like that, but you know us writers, we’ll write anywhere!

 

This time I’m writing on a really awesome site, that covers all things PTSD related.  June is PTSD Awareness month, and I’m doing my bit by writing a few pieces about PTSD and how it affects me, and those I love.  You may find the first one here, which is on the subject of trigger warnings.  Trigger warning: rape. 

 

Stay safe x