Category Archives: NBI ARTICLES

Attitude of #Gratitude: Day 17 of 21


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 17 of 21

Today, I am grateful for…

1. Being able to spend a guilt free day away from work and to not have given it a second thought.

2. The ability, as an adult, to stand up to bigots who make sweeping statements about entire groups when, as a child I was afraid of my own shadow. I’m not going to give today’s specific example but I will say that I was assertive and not aggressive and I stated my point VERY CLEARLY.

3. Sleep. A lot of sleep. Woke at 11am this morning, had breakfast (well, brunch), did a little shopping and then returned home for an old man nap! Must’ve needed it!

Speaking of which, night night 💤 😴 💤

Oh wait, one more thing:

4. All the fatherly figures in my life who’ve changed me for the better.

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Attitude of #Gratitude: Day 16 of 21


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 16 of 21

Today, I am grateful for…

Actually having some semblance of a life, so much so that I’m late posting this. This evening we ventured to E17 to see a benefit concert, Side by Side with Refugees Fundraiser.

Although I knew I was going to see Barb Jungr, Mari Wilson And Tanita Tikaram in one single evening, I had no idea that I would also hear Sophie Ward and Ann Mitchell read, be blissfully entertained by Earl Okin, be mesmerised by Tally Koren, listen to a panel of inspiring frontline speakers, get free Pimm’s and Greek food, lose a raffle and observe the hustly-bustly city of London visiting Walthamstow, Bethnal Green, Stratford, Liverpool Street and to remember that other people actually leave their homes and actually do things. Mad, isn’t it?

Can I just state, for the record, that Ian Shaw is an altruistic, inspirational, musical genius.

I think that’s there’s at least three things in thankful for in all that rambling above, so I’ll make that do for today.

Oh my Lord, is that the time? I should’ve turned into a pumpkin by now (No smart arse comments)

Life is great when you’re grateful.


Attitude of #Gratitude: Day 15 of 21


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 15 of 21

Today, I am grateful for…

1. The Ruvvley Russell. It’s Russell’s adoption day! We should celebrate 🎉 6 years of doggy love and joy and a promise from Russell that he won’t ever die. He’s such a good boy and even those who haven’t met him are madly in love with him. I only wish I had half his charm! 🐶

2. Decent lesson feedback which means I didn’t end the week feeling totally demoralised and angry.

3. Realising that I’ve booked tickets for a show so will actually be doing something fun over the weekend. Event name: Side by Side with Refugees Fundraiser

Event date: Side by Side with Refugees Fundraiser (on Sat 16 June 2018).

6:30 pm – 10:30 pm

Venue: St Mary’s Music Hall, St Mary’s Church, Church End, Walthamstow, London E17 9RL

3 of my favourite female performers

Barb Jungr

Mari Wilson

Tanita Tikaram

And more and all for a great cause!

Oh and, because I can, here’s a fourth!

4. My incredibly talented and supportive mum who has blinged up my old denim jacket with a beautiful Bowie creation.


‪@robbiewilliams ‬in #Russia Rant


I don’t mean to sound bitter but I’m tired of the real heroes of the LGBT+ community being sidelined for minor celebrities who met on “First Dates” or some other “reality” show and supposed straight allies who have no real depth of understanding about the lived experience of those who have sacrificed so much for the benefit of others and for the greater good.

Awards and acknowledgment are due to those who have actually had an impact on social progress and not those who are in it for self-promotion.

Dare I mention Lorraine Kelly, again, who gets awards because she occasionally has someone LGBT on her sofa? That doesn’t make her an activist but it does show these awards for what they are; mostly self-serving, publicity seeking and far removed from anyone actually involved in the struggle for Equality.

And as for Robbie Williams, described by the Guardian as a “campaigner for LGBT rights”…don’t get me started!

As my friend Omar says, “Campaigners for LGBT rights don’t perform for money in homophobic countries where the community is persecuted just for being themselves

He showed his true colours by putting money before his so called ethics.”


Attitude of #Gratitude: Day 14 of 21


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 14 of 21

Today, I am grateful for…

1. Feeling like the Mary Poppins of South East London. What the hell is he talking about, you may be asking? Well, I’ve been teaching for so long that no matter where I go, I run into past students who rather than shout obscenities at me seem to think I’m cool enough to talk to, sometimes at length and sometimes to say the most beautiful things. I won’t quote them for fear of sounding big-headed but let’s just say they make me feel valued and appreciated.

2. Ivy, who lives near my “current” school. We have always said hello and have built up a friendship. This developed quickly, just over a year ago when her husband died suddenly. She told me what had happened and I asked if it would be ok to give her a hug. Since then she’s opened up about her struggle to adjust to her life without him and, with humour and honesty that I can understand, she has said that although they would often sit in different rooms, she mostly missed having him there to nag! Today she spotted me and a colleague and came over to say that it really made a difference to see us and that we brightened her day. I assured her that I felt the same.

3. My students, as with every day, who bring unpredictable moments of joy and inspiration.

Photo by Karen Rawlinson


Attitude of #Gratitude: Day 13 of 21


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 13 of 21

Today, I am grateful for..

1. Food in the fridge

2. Cider in my chiller

3. Both of those things in my belly

I’m grateful for other things too but maybe I’ll put those on tomorrow’s list.

Cheers m’dears


Attitude of #Gratitude: Day 12 of 21


Attitude of Gratitude: Day 12 of 21

Today, I am grateful for..

1. Extra Strong headache pills which eased my migraine enough to get a few hours sleep today

2. Having such a lovely and relatively people-free park close to home where I can walk with Russell and enjoy

3. Nature (50 Shades of Green) and birdsong (or chatter – not sure what they were talking about but they were probably speaking more sense than most people do!)


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