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The Girl with the Daffodil Tattoo

A Welsh girl let loose in a wild world

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Productivity: Tips for Working at Home

To Done Lists

Sometimes I’m at my computer for an hour and I think, what have I achieved? I’m getting nowhere. This is stupid! I should just go do something else…

Keeping a To Done List is a great way to see what you have done in a certain amount of time. I like to keep mine in a simple Google Drive Spreadsheet. Then I sit back and survey all I’ve achieved in the past hour, before taking a well earned break!

Phone on Flight Mode

Like a lot of people, I depend on my smart phone. Putting it in flight mode when I’m not expecting calls or messages allows me to avoid being distracted by notifications (I can’t bear knowing I have a new WhatsApp and not reading it!).

Stop “multitasking”

I can multitask, but I find it’s a lot more efficient for me energy wise to concentrate intently on one thing for a defined period. Changing from one thing to another means I have to warm up different parts of my brain, and uses my mental energy.

Install a Facebook news feed blocker on your browser

I’m currently trying out Detox. Liking it so far. Do you use one? Comment below.

Unsubscribe from emails

I’ve cleaned (and keep cleaning) my inbox with Rollup. It’s great as it allows you to simply unsubscribe from a bunch of stuff, and puts everything else into one email. Simple!

Fighting Racism on Facebook. Rule No. 1: Be Nice

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So, I’ve noticed a lot of racist things cropping up on my news feed over the past 12 months, and now I’ve read this Guardian article about the rise of racism in the UK. It’s a long article, and if you don’t have time to read it, my favourite quotes from the article are all at the end of this post, in the order they appear in the original article*.

Here’s a corker:

He said the political and media class faced a huge challenge. “Right now we’re in a state of complete denial about why Ukip’s assault on Britain’s elite culture has found an echo, across the political spectrum. This isn’t just a reaction to the financial crisis; and we need to treat people with greater respect than to imply that if only they were better informed and smarter, they would see the error of their ways.”

(Omar Khan, acting director of the Runnymede Trust – Britain’s leading independent race equality thinktank)

If you disagree with racism, with Ukip, with Nigel Farage, then WE NEED YOU. We need YOU to quietly, respectfully say to your Facebook friend who posts something by “Britain First”: “Hey man, actually, the immigrants aren’t stealing your shit. It’s the politicians who are fucking us all over! They are sitting in their mansions laughing their asses off at us all fighting each other!”

So please. Don’t delete people who post anti-immigration/pro Ukip/islamophobic stuff on Facebook. Do the more difficult thing. Let them know that you don’t agree. Quietly, respectfully. But let them know. 

Let them know that the Daily Mail manipulates news stories to play on the anger and frustration we all feel. Let them know that Bah Bah Black Sheep has never, and will never, be banned. Let them know that the people who talk about changing the name of The White House are actually mad right-wingers who say extreme things to make a point and grab headlines. Let them know that if they don’t want to eat Halal meat, they can still go to Subway, just probably not the one that’s closed during Ramadan.

Be kind, and let them know if they have been tricked into believing something that has no basis in fact.

But most of all, be kind.

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First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

*The shadow justice minister, Sadiq Khan, said the findings should come as a wake-up call. “This is clear evidence that we cannot be complacent about racial prejudice. Where it manifests itself, it blights our society. Those in positions of authority must take their responsibilities seriously. It also falls to us to address the underlying causes.”

Trevor Phillips, former chair of the Commission for Racial Equality and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “Integration doesn’t happen by accident – you have to work at it. If we want to avoid a slow descent into mutual bigotry, we need to drop the dogma, stop singing kumbaya to each other, weigh the evidence without sentiment, recognise the reality, and work out a programme – both symbolic and practical – to change the reality.”

Campaigners say the new findings are in part a result of a decade that included 9/11 and the subsequent “war on terror”, rising inequality and increasing hostility towards immigration – especially from eastern Europe.

Omar Khan, acting director of the Runnymede Trust – Britain’s leading independent race equality thinktank – said the data should be noted by all the main parties.

“This nails the lie that the problem of racism has been overcome in Britain or that somehow when Jeremy Clarkson said the things he did it is some sort of anomaly that does not tap into a wider problem.

“Politicians became too relaxed and thought that all they had to do was let things continue unhindered and that generational change would take over. But this should act as a warning shot to politicians and the public about how we see ourselves.”

He said the political and media class faced a huge challenge. “Right now we’re in a state of complete denial about why Ukip’s assault on Britain’s elite culture has found an echo, across the political spectrum. This isn’t just a reaction to the financial crisis; and we need to treat people with greater respect than to imply that if only they were better informed and smarter, they would see the error of their ways.”

Prof Bhikhu Parekh, the Labour peer who in 1998 chaired the groundbreaking Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain, said the data revealed a country increasingly ill at ease with itself. “The last few years have been marked by fear of loss of identity,” he said. “There have been new people coming in and new mores. People feel uncomfortable. They lose their bearings. What should they say or do to not be classed as racist?

“People have a feeling that we are losing control of our own society in terms of the EU and the liberal establishment and that they are not in charge of their destiny. They feel they can’t do anything about it.”

But he also argues that the language around race has changed. “The term racism has undergone a change of meaning. It has lost its moral force. We use it today too freely. After the war if you said someone was racist, you had images of Hitler. A racist was someone who hated people. Now it is applied to someone who might say: ‘I love my people and want to keep others at a distance.’”

She said the makeup of prejudice was complicated. There are tensions between black and Asian communities – highlighted by the riots in 2005 and 2011 – as well as between white and non-white groups. “It is about class and deprivation and also the result of very poor management of an ethnically diverse city and region. What we need to do is get better at creating public spaces where people can mix, at serving really diverse communities and addressing some of the underlying problems of poverty and isolation.”

A Week In Tegucigalpa…Without Internet!

I set off to stay with my friend in Tegucigalpa without my computer for several reasons.

1. It wouldn’t fit in my backpack and carrying in it in it’s little bag is like wearing a sign that says “rob me please”

2. My friend doesn’t have internet in her house so I would need to carry it out of the house to use the internet  (see point 1)

I often turn on my computer with a sinking feeling, knowing that I will inevitably lose an hour of my life to keeping up with email, facebook etc etc, yet when I don’t have access to these things for 10 days, there’s a usually a big surprise awaiting me when I finally go to check. The surprise is as follows:

Absolutely nothing has changed.

 

The world has not exploded, everything is OK, apart from the fact that I now have about 100 email adverts clogging my inbox and about 10 emails from friends asking if I’m free to skype “sometime”, but with full knowledge that we are both so busy that actually catching each other at a good time while being thousands of miles apart is easier said than done.

From now on, I will only spend 60 minutes at a time on my computer, making a “to do” list before I turn it on, sticking to it, and not get caught up in flimflammery.

Yeah right! 😛

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