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Tuesday, 7 March 2023

International Women's Day 2023

For many, many years I have written a Blog Post to celebrate International Women's Day which is held every year on the 8th March.



I think it is important for us to celebrate women everywhere, all over the world, and to recognise the progress that has been achieved, and to give thanks for all the courageous women who have fought so hard for equality:  to promote a position of legal and social equality of women with men. 



Celebrating women's achievements and increasing visibility, whilst calling out inequality is key.  IWD is about so many things. It's about celebrating women forging change; it's about elevating the visibility of creative women; it's about building the sort of workplace where women can thrive; it's about improving equality for women in Tech; it's about empowering women's choices in health, and applauding equality for women in sport. These are all the Missions for 2023.



We also need men to be our allies in this quest - both in the workplace and at home. Leadership drives progress, so it goes without saying that if the majority of leaders and those holding top positions, are men, then their activity plays a crucial part in overcoming gender disparity. There are stages of 'allyship' from men - from being apathetic at one end of the scale (having no understanding of the issues) to being an advocate at the other end of the scale (being committed to proactively championing the inclusion of women). Here are a couple of facts!



77% of men report doing everything they can to support gender equality so work. However, only 41% of women agreed with that. 

48% of men felt there had been a positive increase in men's awareness around the discrimination that women face. However, 60% of both men and women agreed that it was rare to see men speak out against discrimination.

I am fortunate that my husband is a true Ally and a proud Feminist. He worked tirelessly promoting anti-domestic violence campaigns in the 80's. Today he works for our local County Council and puts a special emphasis on making our streets safe for women. He believed that sexism was generational, and couldn't believe the stories that my granddaughter tells him of men of her generation. In fact, he gets very upset about it. 



Of course, we are seeing a steady increase in women's  leadership positions across the business world. But when we look at the actual data, women being taken on in leadership positions, are working in Industries where they are highly represented anyway. There is still a significant disparity in the Industries of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 



At this stage, I have to admit that I, personally, now take an even greater interest in this subject, and that is because my amazing Number 1 granddaughter is such a strong advocate for women's equality.


Older readers of my Blog will know that my granddaughter and her best friend (after gaining their Masters at IE University) launched their own Tech based Company three years ago, where they help Companies to prevent, report and resolve workplace misconduct. They also provide a platform whereby employees can report any sort of harassment in the workplace. 



She has a real passion for the Tech Industry and why girls should get into this important and ever growing Industry. In fact, she is already mentoring to get more girls and women involved. 


 This pic was taken last week for a Podcast hosted by Jo Youle @theresetrebel, where Eleanor was interviewed on starting up her own Company, and her career to date. 

I am beyond proud that my granddaughter has chosen to go down this route, and how she is actively empowering women to find their voices in the workplace, the tech place, and to speak up and report incidents of misconduct, abuse, and feelings of inequality. 

My number 2 granddaughter is only 13, but I can see already that she will become another strong advocate for women. 



 Now for the 'proud grandma' moment!  No 1 granddaughter was invited, and will be giving a speech to NATO in Brussels TODAY!  The Conference, in aid of IWD, is entitled "Innovators and Game Changers : Women in Tech Shaping The Future".






Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy Post! I'll close by wishing all you amazing women out there, a very Happy International Women's Day. Be proud of who you are! 














Saturday, 1 October 2022

Autumn is creeping in ....


 
Hallo again lovely peeps.  Here we are on the 1st day of October.  My goodness me, another year is hurtling past. 

We are now approaching the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  I have always loved that expression, and living here in my little corner of heavenly Devon, I actually see it happening, with the blackberries all around and the mists rising over the fields.  



I have a fondness for Oscar Wilde quotes, and I think this one is so lovely.  It describes the change of Seasons so well ....



Life sometimes can appear to be very complicated and often we tend to overthink things.  Perhaps we should try to concentrate on the simple things.   Not always easy I know, but we do need to try to block out our worries sometimes and think about what really matters in our lives. Life really is too short to sweat the small stuff. 

Hold your family close and make time for them ❤️
Take time to live well
Eat ice cream
Pod some peas
Skim a few stones
Go barefoot
Read all afternoon
Tell a story
Find meaning in small things 
Watch clouds
Smell the sea
Be quiet
Feel the wind
Open all the windows
Count your blessings 
Bake bread
Climb a hill
Send postcards
Turn off your phone
Snuggle in
Have an adventure
Drink wine
Ride a bike (unfortunately I am unable to do this.. I have no sense of balance whatsoever!).
Hang twinkly lights
Enjoy being alone
Like sunshine and showers
Make time for the simple things and appreciate the beauty of your surroundings when you’re out on a walk



Decorating for Autumn is very popular over here now. I know how my American friends used to decorate their homes and gardens when I was staying with them.. it certainly helps to brighten up the darker evenings.  My mantelpiece looks very cosy in the evening when I turn on the twinkling lights. 











Talking about gardeners, here are a couple of photos of my Autumn garden. The leaves make a carpet of gold ....





I cannot really end this Post without mentioning the passing of our dear Queen.  Although she was 96, it was still very sudden at the end, and the whole Country was shocked. But what a wonderful send off we gave her. It was a fitting thank you from the Country for her 70 years of devoted service. 



This next photo was taken only a couple of months ago, to celebrate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee. We shall miss that lovely smile. She really was a constant in all our lives. 





Well, I’ll leave you again for now, and this is what I wish for you all as we enter the new Season (I’m talking here about Autumn, but I’m aware that many of my readers will be appreciating the onset of Spring and the promise of longer days to come!).  Oh!  Remember, it is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice ❤️




Friday, 1 April 2022

Here's to April

Well, hard to believe, but here we are at the start of April. I love April - mainly because it's my birthday πŸ₯³ month, but, also, because the days are getting longer and the garden is full of Spring flowers.  Well, here in heavenly Devon anyway!







The word April comes from the Latin verb Aperire, which means 'to open', and it is the first sign of the Zodiac. 



I wish you all a very happy April, which this year will include Easter. May it be a time of new beginnings and renewal for all of you. 



All images from my garden, with the exception of the last one, which is courtesy of Pinterest.com


Tuesday, 8 March 2022

International Women's Day 2022

Today, on the 8th March, we once again celebrate International Women's Day. It is now the year 2022, and no Country in the world has achieved gender equality. My, but it's a slow process! The theme for 2022 is #BreaktheBias.  The Campaign asks you to cross your arms in solidarity to call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping.  Together we can forge women's equality. 




I think it is important to talk about this event each year on my Blog, as we celebrate women everywhere, all over the world, and recognise the progress that has been achieved, and to give thanks for all the courageous women over many, many years, who have fought for women's rights. Rights that promote a position of legal and social equality of women with men. 

 

 Huge strides have been made over the years. Certainly since the 1960's when I was a young woman.  We didn't have a lot of the freedoms or rights that women have these days. Women certainly were not allowed to get credit under their own name. So a mortgage would be out of the question. Women at that time were very much looked on as mothers and homemakers.  Hard to believe, but right up until the late 60's, women were not allowed to wear trousers in the workplace.



 

Of course, if modern mums want to still be stay at home mums and raise their children themselves, there is certainly nothing wrong with that. In fact, in my eyes, that is to be lauded. Many women these days, of course, HAVE to work, purely for financial reasons. 

Personally,  I feel that the #metoo movement has been such a good thing for women, and I applaud women who have had the courage to speak out.  



I suppose my point is, that the younger women now have CHOICE, which was certainly not available before, and that, surely, has to be good for everyone. 

 

 
 

My wish is that my granddaughters will live in a world where they can be anything they want to be.  I also take this opportunity of celebrating all the women that follow my Blog. Remember, you are ALL special and you are ALL important. 

I also honour my two daughters and two granddaughters today.  My eldest granddaughter runs her own Company with her best friend, which tackles sexual harassment  in the workplace. It truly saddens me that, in 2022, this is very much still going on. 

Today I also think of all the poor women in Ukraine, and all that they are suffering at the moment. My prayers go out to each and every one πŸ™πŸ»πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦πŸ’™πŸ’›πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Linchpins of our Lives....

Hi there everyone. Well, here we are in the month of February, and, my goodness, I am so glad to see the back of January. I am well aware that I say this every single year. You would think by now (and at my advanced age!) that I could come up with a way of dealing with that dreaded month .... but, no! Every month I moan about it (and I'm not really one of life's moaners - truly I'm not!!).

Anyway, here we are in the month of February, and the days are gradually getting longer. Oh, deep joy!  For some reason, this month always gives me hope.  I think it's because the garden is very slowly starting to awaken, with the pretty snowdrops everywhere, and daffodils starting to appear once again in the garden. 





I was casually thinking about life the other day, as you do, and thinking just what WAS important in our lives. I think this dreaded Pandemic has really focused our mind on that. Whilst lots of different things bring us joy and give us moments of happiness, I think most of us would agree that the linchpin of our lives are family and friendships.  I think the absence of hugs over the past couple of years, has been a really big thing. Thankfully, I am now getting hugs from the family again, but I've noticed that even very good friends are much more reticent to hug each other at the moment, which is quite sad. 

This next photo shows a nice cosy scene and the image after that is a pic of my Summer garden. 





I hope you are all looking forward to brighter days once again - although many of you, of course, will have Autumn approaching, and the shorter days - and so the Seasons come and go. I am just thankful to be able to enjoy another year of looking forward to Spring, to hear the birdsong and to see the garden bloom once again. 

I wish you all many happy and joyful moments in the year ahead, and I hope you will feel loved. 

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Proud to be a Devon Maid!

My hometown City of Plymouth is known as Britain's Ocean City. It is a vibrant waterfront city which is surrounded by water, and with the hills of Dartmoor close by.  I love living in heavenly Devon, and I'm proud to be a Devon Maid πŸ™‚

 
The magnificent Plymouth Sound with the art-deco lido, where I learnt to swim, over 65 years ago. Seems like only yesterday πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

Today I thought I would take you on a tour of the historic Barbican, with its cobbled streets and Elizabethan buildings. To me, it has always seemed remarkable that these buildings are still standing after the continuous bombing, known as the Plymouth  Blitz, during the Second World War. The city suffered  a series of bombing raids, which flattened many parts of my home city. My parents were involved in one of those  raids. In March 1941, my dad was returning home on a short Leave from the Army.  As darkness fell, he turned the corner of the street where they lived, and the house was gone, reduced to a pile of rubble, and my poor mum was buried underneath. Neighbours were scrabbling at the bricks with their hands,  desperately trying to get to her. Fortunately, she survived,  but her back was badly damaged and she suffered for the rest of her life with severe back problems.  After the Blitz, very little of Plymouth remained, and the whole City had to be rebuilt. During the 59 bombing attacks, 1,172 civilians were killed and 4,448 were injured. King George the sixth is pictured  here visiting the devastated City. 

 
Image courtesy of Daily Mail archives. 

But now it's time to continue with the tour. I hope you will enjoy these photos, which were taken on a glorious Summer's day last year. You can just double click on any of the photos if you want to make them larger. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The quality of the following  photo isn't particularly good (I took it from Plymouth Hoe looking out to the Sound) but I thought the old with the new was pretty cool 😊.

 

I do feel very blessed living in this little corner of heavenly Devon!  On that note, I'll love you and leave you until the next time.