The Royal Finger


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If you’ve ever been to Southend on Sea, you may well have strolled past the imposing statue of Queen Victoria sitting high atop a plinth in Clifftown Terrace. The statue was donated to Southend in 1897 by the Mayor, Bernard Wiltshire Tolhurst, in commemoration of the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Initially, the statue was placed on Grove Terrace, outside the Grand Pier Hotel but was moved in 1962 to it’s current position.  This glorious stone Victoria, declared part of English Heritage in 1974, has sat regally pointing out to sea for 117 years.

You would think she would be safe up there wouldn’t you? But no, our Empress of India (a title she used herself) has had her hand stolen several times and at one time, was left completely handless.

In 2008, local sculptors Bedini & Sons were contracted to carve the queen a brand new hand, especially made from Italian Carrara marble (posh!)

This popular lady was also actively pursued by the City of Victoria, in British Columbian Canada who tried to buy her (how very dare they!)

In 2011, there was a proposal to relocate her to Victoria Circus. This was also refused.

Today I passed this thought provoking queen and was terribly saddened to see that some absolute imbecile has actually gone to all the trouble of climbing up the plinth, to snap her finger off.  What’s the point eh? (no pun intended).  Seriously, whoever you are, it’s not big and it’s not clever; you’re just an idiot.

Stealing a queen’s finger, hmmmm is that high treason? Whatever it is, she will not be defeated by the mere stealing of her finger. In fact, if she were alive today, she would have told you that herself. To you vandal, she would have said:

“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.”

And then, I suspect she would have given you the finger………



You’re so vain? NO! You’re Amazing


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Bronwyn Oldham Photography

Bronwyn Oldham Photography

Last weekend, I spoke at the E.D.E.N Conference at the Cliffs Pavilion. I was the first speaker and therefore, “the warm up man” as it were and at 9:45am on a Sunday morning, I knew I had to help fire the audience up and try and set the mood for the day. If you have ever been to a full day conference, you will know, it can take an hour or so for things to get warmed up and it’s so important to start off on the right foot, or it can all go downhill very quickly…..The pressure was on!

The day was all about empowerment, and it was this we owed the women in the audience, all of whom had given up their Sunday to come along and share the day with us.

Since attending the Power to Achieve, I’m far more “here” and I have no qualms about speaking my truth. Nor do I shrink on the stage, because I know now, I have as much right to be in this world as anyone else and that gives me freedom to do whatever I please.  Realising your own worth is amazingly empowering.

The audience were amazing. They got me, and I got them and I truly hoped that I had helped them realise their worth in this unforgiving world. All throughout the day I found myself in strangers arms – I’m not sure I’ve ever been hugged so much in one day before!

The feedback and response from women in the room was beautiful.  Some said that after my talk, they had pushed themselves to do something they wouldn’t normally do – Some little thing that would seem so ordinary to most people but one that took a lot of courage for these women. It actually brought a lump to my throat, and I cursed a cruel world responsible for such debilitation to the human soul.

In the past week, I have received messages from some of these women, thanking me and telling me how, in some way, my talk had changed their lives. I feel incredibly humbled by all of this so I’m thanking the Universe for allowing me to touch lives – What an honour.

There is a Blog online by a young lady in Southend. She talks about the conference and about part of my talk she says this:

 “That image will always stick with me now for as long as I live, and give me the courage to carry on laughing and living.”

All I have to say about that is WOW!  You can read the rest of what she had to say here: Love Southend

What I didn’t manage to do,was push the record button on my phone, even though I’d set it up – Instead, somehow, I had got caught up with Powerpoint slides for the stage!  I did manage a few hand signals from the stage to the lovely Linda at the back and she did capture some of it on her phone.  She get’s quite vocal toward the end and yes, that’s really how she talks – a bit of a Lovie our Linda, all grease paint and props. She is currently involved in “Get Got” for anyone interested.

I’ve managed to put bits of it together, so if you have a spare 6 or so minutes, you can play it at the end.

I personally was inspired by so many people that day. The rest of the speakers: Anna Heim, Jamillah Yoozooph and Jil Poet. Our Workshop leaders, Dusty Bottoms & Rachel Black. Our Poet Susan Giles. Our MC Julia Hantig. Our Photographer Bronwyn Oldham and ladies in the audience that included, Bernie Bentley, Hildah Mulenga and Ria. Not forgetting of course, the whole SWP team.

I must spare a thought here for the women in my Turkish family. My mother in law, sister in laws and aunts. For all of their subservient ways, I don’t know any of them that suffer from confidence issues or insecurities. Given such a loving and supportive environment to grow in, definitely shows in them.

If you have a woman in your life, be it a mother, sister, aunt, lover or friend, use your voice to lift her up because sometimes, she needs reminding of just how amazing she is.

Peace out X

#nomakeupselfie #nomakeup #cancerawareness


PODThis is my beautiful brave friend Debbie. It’s for people like her that women around the world are taking photos of themselves without make-up, and plastering them all over the internet.

It’s without doubt a good cause and yet, there is negativity surrounding it. How terribly sad that people are slating the effort.

Does it really matter what the motive is? Perhaps some are doing it for a bit of fun, some for gratification and some feel brave themselves for doing it – I do know women that won’t leave the house without their make up.  That may seem pretty shallow in comparison to the person who has lost their hair through chemo, but we can’t all be constantly shining examples of compassion and sensitivity, 24 hours a day every day can we.

This effort that people are moaning about, raised over a million quid in just 24 hours  -  so again I ask, does it really matter what the motive is?

To those that are moaning about the charities not giving 100% of that money to the fund, I would say – does you moaning about it change that? No? Then why not get off your arse and do something to change it then?

To those that have not taken part, not posted a photo of their bare face and are currently slatting the effort – you have actually bared more than you know.

To all of those that have bared their faces and posted their pics on the internet – I don’t care what your reasons were – Well done whatever.

To all those fighting this dreadful disease – I salute you

To all those supporting the fight – I salute you too.

Here is my make-up free face and, before you ask, yes I did donate.










Peace Love & Light X


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