Sunday, 18 December 2016

Inviting A Stranger Over For Christmas Dinner?

Some of you may be very confused and shocked by the title of this post, and if you'd have suggested this to me a couple of years ago I would have probably run away in terror (stranger danger). But last christmas my family and I invited a stranger into out home to share Christmas dinner - and it was quite honestly one of the best Christmases we have ever had. There were last arguments from my grandparents, we were forced to get dressed (and not stay in our pyjamas all day) and made much more effort to chat! 

There is a big emphasis on spending time with family over the festive period, but what does this mean for those who have no family? Well last year Bisto launched a campaign where you give up a spare chair for the elderly and share your Sunday lunch with someone who would otherwise be eating alone. Sunday dinner is the one meal we all look forward to, where we sit down with firiends and family for good food and conversation. Yet for 1 in 7 older people, it is one of the loneliest times of the week, with over one million elderly people going days without communicating with anyone. So you can imagine how loneliness is a massive problem, especially around the festive period. 

I live in the countryside, in a very small and rural village that is probably made up of around 180 people - 90% of which are elderly. We get on with pretty much everyone at our end of the village, but very rarely venture down where the majority of the older residents live. My grandma (who also lives in the village), likes to go to the local coffee morning and regularly chats to a lady who's husband had died several years ago. My grandma being my grandma, instantly invited here over for Christmas dinner as soon as she found out that she usually spends the day alone. She didn't stop to think about the logistics, or the fact that she wasn't even hosting the dinner (my mum always has everyone over to my house and we cook for everyone), she just invited her along!

At first we were all a bit skeptical, we hardly knew this woman, yet she was going to be sharing our special day with us. Eating our food and joining in with our little family traditions. I remember being terrified just before she arrived, I thought she might ruin the day. I thought everyone would feel too awkward to talk, and what if she didn't like the food! What would we do then? But as soon as she arrived the day just seemed to flow. We got her a drink, we gave her a present, we sat down for dinner. Conversation flowed and she loved the food - she even asked for a few of our recipes. She stayed, watched a film with us, we gave her a little doggy bag and she went home! We enjoyed having her over, and she enjoyed being with us! I'm pretty sure she's coming back again this year!

So all I'm saying, is just spare a thought for those who aren't as fortunate as you this Christmas. I'm not saying that you have to scour the streets looking for someone to have over for Christmas dinner, but if someone you know (or even someone you don't) happens to mention that they are spending the day alone, just consider sharing your day with them. 

Would you ever invite a stranger over for Christmas dinner?

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Friday, 2 December 2016

What's Going On: An Update

In all honesty, I haven't written a post since August. Not out of laziness or lack of effort, or anything like that. I've just been too busy. I'd scheduled quite a few posts to go up as I knew that I wouldn't have much time to rave about my latest purchases, or tell you what lipstick I probably haven't worn all that much - but those are fast running out and I am now in my final year of university finding it very difficult to get things done. Finding the time to go do simple things like going to the post office, catching up with friends, or even loading the dishwasher is becoming increasingly difficult. The last three months or so have gone by incredibly fast, and I can tell how long it's been since I last sat and wrote to you as the Blogger platform has had a bit of a makeover whilst I've been absent. So I thought I'd write you a little somethin' to let you know that I'm still alive (barely). 

Since we last spoke properly, I've had an MRI scan. I've been diagnosed with this, that, and the other.  I've cried. I've made some big lifestyle changes. I've had meltdowns. I've paused and resumed physiotherapy. I've started ankle classes to strengthen the muscles around my ankles. I've had interviews. I've applied for teacher training. I've got rejected from teacher training. I've lost a stone. I've driven to remote locations and just sat screaming where no-one could hear me. I've bought more clothes than I should have done. But most importantly, I've found some happiness in the chaos that is my life. 

My chaotic life is being somewhat dominated by assignments at the moment. I'm just starting my equivalent of a dissertation, and almost 99% of my time is spent reading journal articles and textbooks. Listening to podcasts, and watching TED Talks from people that lecturers tell me are important. At the moment one of my main priorities is finding participants to take part in my research study. Which I thought would be a lot easier than it is. So if you're a student willing to fill out a couple of questionnaires for my research study that will take no longer than 15-20 minutes please get in touch by leaving me a comment/email/tweet! Or if you know anyone that would be willing to help me out - send them my way! I BEG YOU. 

What's happened in your life recently?

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