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politics

Europe feature politics slowlivingactivism

Can I apply for European citizenship yet?

March 13, 2019

Today we wait to discover how UK MPs will vote on our position in Europe. I can’t believe our political system has descended into this farce. Our van travels are in part a protest against Brexit; travelling and meeting people from all over Europe who are bemused at our current political situation has only cemented my feelings of being utterly depressed over it all. I don’t use this blog to be overly confrontational, preferring instead to let my life speak…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feminism politics

#ibelieveher

December 4, 2018

  Thinking today about how everything we do creates ripples – whether we intend to or not. I read this morning about the rugby rape trial in Ireland and the ripples that has caused, polarising the community across Ireland and beyond. The woman who stood her ground to take them to trial is brave beyond imagining and I genuinely wept to read of her treatment in court and on social media. One of the things that horrified me was the…

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feature India politics travel

the price of tea

November 10, 2018

India and Wales share a love for tea. That golden brown brew is part of the culture flowing through the veins of our nations like rivers. In Wales we have a wealth of herbal teas, but these infusions wouldn’t be called tea in India – tea is from the tea plant, everything else is a hot drink that is ‘not tea’. In north-Wales, English speakers call it a brew and Cymraeg speakers will say it’s a panad. The difference on…

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feature India politics travel

Avoiding fast fashion

November 2, 2018

  Been getting better at shopping. I’m not a fan of fast fashion – especially since visiting countries where you know the workers get paid pennies a day to make clothes. Living in the van means I only have limited space for clothes which is great because instead of buying cheap stuff I try to save up and spend a bit more on things that will last. I have a ‘capsule wardrobe’ (or cupboard to be more precise). I still…

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Europe feature food politics

Refugee community kitchen

September 18, 2018

  Today I’m working in the Refugee Community Kitchen before we hit the road towards Switzerland. Every day the team makes 1500 meals that feed refugees as well as the volunteers. It’s a mammoth task and I have no idea how they manage to do this every day with only volunteers. I’ve never washed and shredded so many lettuce in my life. I’m in absolute awe of the organisations here who knit seamlessly together to support refugees in all aspects…

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Europe poetry politics

Choose Love

September 17, 2018

  It’s been a blast working in Sew Ho today: stitching up split seams, sewing on buttons, and patching up jeans. But it has also got me thinking about the nature of charity, and gratitude, and what those words actually mean. Charity is about giving something to help those in need; gratitude is about being thankful. After two days working in the refugee warehouse I’m beginning to question why some people have donated items? Firstly, there are a lot of…

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dailyconnectionwithnature Europe politics travel

Conflicted

September 16, 2018

Today has been a day of contrasts: of spending half in a warehouse sorting clothes donations for refugees, thinking about the people each piece is destined for and the horrific circumstances that would force a person to leave their homeland in the hope of a future without war or persecution; and this evening walking carefree along a beautiful beach watching ferries trundle past in the bright autumn sun knowing I will wake to this view, and acutely aware that my…

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Europe politics travel vanlife

Shoes needed in Calais

September 3, 2018

  Dear friends – we leave for Europe in less than two weeks and I didn’t feel it possible to drive through Calais again this year without stopping to volunteer at one of the refugee centres for a week. My heart broke to see all the razor wire, twenty-foot-high fences and armed security put there in response to people who are fleeing for their lives and who don’t have the luxury of a van like ours to travel and sleep…

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dailyconnectionwithnature feature nature poetry politics

Tattooing nature into my skin

August 18, 2018

  All of my tattoos hold symbolic meaning. The older tattoo on this arm was inked in about 2010/11. It’s a quote from PB Shelley: poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. The cherry blossom is symbolic of the beauty and transience of life. It was the first tattoo on my arms and I waited so long (I was 35ish), because this was my symbol of freedom. I’d been freelancing for a few years and had got to the…

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Europe politics vanlife

Water scarcity

July 29, 2018

  Every six or seven days we have to find water, which makes us hyper aware of consumption. There’s no leaving the tap on whilst brushing teeth or using three huge bowls of water to do the washing up; the dishes get done once at the end of each day. Finding water is more difficult in England and Wales; Europe (and Scotland) seem to have a more welcoming approach to people travelling through. We have three 25litre tanks so 75L…

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