Loving the things I thought I’d hate…

the window of a cafe in Hong Kong - full of hanging things that can't be identified by me!“I was asked to name a place in the world I would least like to go to. I picked Hong Kong – the tall buildings, the congestion, the sheer number of people, the speed of everything. I went there first in October 2012 to take me out of my comfort zone, and to my complete surprise I fell in love with it. The skyscraping buildings I thought I’d hate, I adored. The bustle of humanity had so much to teach me. The people and the politics bumping along side by side were intriguing and beguiling in equal measure…”

This is the opening for a short blog I wrote for the British Council recently. I wanted to share it here too, as it touches on so many things that are going round and around for me just now. Continue reading

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow: finding pleasure in a change of pace

a home painted green road sign saying stop slow down in white paintYesterday, Sarah Pickthall and I ran an event at Mozilla in London around disability, digital and all things interlinked. It was for a project called ShortCircuit and was fab – packed, inspirational, exciting – and exhausting. And it’s been a pretty flat out process in the lead up too – planning meetings, clarifying briefs, doing research, firing off emails, having skype calls, printing out stuff and then making emergency dashes for bluetac. Continue reading

Deep fun: How to find enjoyment in mundane or unpleasant activities

a shot of my hair blowing madly in the windI’m spending much of my time having fun at the moment

(Please note, I did say ‘much’ of my time, not all of my time. I still have to go to the dentist, have days with too much work, get stressed, shout at the kids and behave unpleasantly.)

But, for much of the time I seem to be having a ball. Continue reading

A is for activism: activism with a variety of typefonts

an abstract image in different 50's style - circles and colours, blue, mustard, red, yellow, pink...I was challenged this week for not being an activist. The idea of ‘difference being different’ was ridiculed:

“Jo Verrent said different is delicious. Excuse me? Vodka and tonic is delicious. Chocolate; oral sex; toothpaste. Different is sheer shit if you’re the one who’s not the same and is constantly reminded of the fact in no uncertain terms.”

They’re not wrong. I don’t disagree with them. But when I say ‘difference is delicious’ it’s part of the struggle to make things better; it’s not a way of accepting the status quo. Continue reading