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Please help, if you can: Helping a family that always helps others

Melanie Greenhalgh and I worked together a couple of years ago, and we also crossed paths professionally for several years before that. She is a warm, funny, generous lady; a wonderful storyteller and fabulous cake-maker. She has dedicated her career to ‘helping’ others: as a youth worker, advocate, sexual health educator, social policy advisor, social researcher, and currently, as a health promotion officer in a women’s health advocacy service. She’s a fellow blogger and passionate about supporting parents to raise their kids.

In addition to being all these things, Mel and her husband Mick are parents to four children, including their two nephews who they have cared for as their own, since Mel’s sister passed away seven years ago. Mel is an incredibly resilient person – they are a resilient family.

A few days ago, the Greenhalgh family home burned down, and they lost everything. Fortunately, no one was physically hurt, but the loss of their family home – one that Mel and Mick had carefully and thoughtfully provided for their four children – is devastating. In true Mel form, she is already reflecting gratefully on the offers of help she has received, and looking toward a way through this dark time.

I know that Mel’s first priority would be to support and care for her kids, to continue to provide them with a sense of safety, stability and love while they grieve and come to terms with everything they have lost. In the meantime, Mel and Mick need help from others.

Some of Mel’s friends have started a Go Fund Me campaign, to help this family get through this time and back on their feet. If you can, please consider donating at the link below.

Click here to visit the Go Fund Me Campaign for Melanie and her family.

 

Recipe: “Golden” Spiced Hot Chocolate

A few days ago I felt like having a coffee, but I didn’t want an actual coffee. You know those times when a cup of watery tea won’t cut it? I wanted the sensation of drinking a warm cup of full-fat, steamed milk, but with more flavour. I was a bit bored with the plain hot cacao or hot cinnamon I usually make, and considered making a ‘golden milk’, but didn’t want something particularly turmeric-y. I didn’t really feel like going through the fuss of brewing and straining chai (although sometimes I do find this process quite relaxing).

I sound like a right fussy brat, don’t I!?

So I made this as a bit of an experiment – a hot chocolate with a little heat and spice, and enjoyed it even more than I guessed I would. The cacao mostly masks the turmeric, so it’s not too in your face, but it has more kick and complexity than a regular plain hot cacao. I feel a bit silly writing it up as a recipe, since it is SO simple and the proportions are really to taste, but thought I would as a few people have asked me lately about the ways I incorporate turmeric into my diet. Continue reading

My 2015 New Year’s Resolutions were… unsuccessful.

A year ago, I wrote about my ‘resolution’ for 2015: to use social media more mindfully. Less, yes, but specifically more deliberately – not in the absent-minded, scattered, trying-to-fill-a-hole-in-time kind of way. Refreshing Facebook in the hope that some interesting article will appear, to occupy my brain momentarily and make me feel like I’ve spent that time in a worthwhile manner.

For the first part of the year, I did alright. I had rules for myself around when I could check in with social media during the day. It was kind of liberating, and useful when I started studying again and needed to focus. Then it started to sneak back in dribs and drabs, until suddenly I’m grazing on social media while lying in bed again. The blurring of lines also came about, I think, due to the connections and friendships I developed with people online – some of whom I have subsequently met in ‘real life’, and some I haven’t. Although I’d like to break the social media addiction, I’m not willing to give up those positive relationships. Continue reading

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