Category Archives: Things that dont fit

Calais Trip

I had written about how my daughter and I wanted to go to Calais to bring donations to the refugees who were in Calais, and on Sunday we made that happen..

I had spoken to my daughters head teacher to see if I could ask on our school Facebook page for donations and she kindly allowed us to do so and made room in the school for parents to drop items off and hold them until we went. So on Friday I went with the van and picked the items up. I was taken aback by the kindness of the children and families and the amount that was donated to this cause.

On Sunday afternoon, my daughter and I with the car only having room for us and no one else, drove to Folkestone from Glasgow after I finished work,  to catch the 01:30am Eurostar train. We arrived around 03:00 am (they are 1hr ahead), booked into our hotel and slept for 5hrs before getting up for breakfast. The hotel was only 5 mins away which was intended as I knew that after 7.5hrs of driving, any more on top of that would have been too much.

I was nervous about driving on the other side of the road only because things like the steering wheel not being on the other side, can be quite confusing and lets face it, when you’re tired , its these little things that can really make a difference!

When we were driving from the Eurostar terminal to our hotel, we were already faced with the reality of the situation.. We could see groups of men walking towards the tunnel with hopes and fears moving them on from where they had come from which for some was as much as a 2 hr walk from their camp. It was cold and I can’t begin to imagine how things will be when the temperature drops even more. My daughter couldn’t understand why people in life have to face these issues and she wants to tell the government that no one is the boss of anyone and everyone should live a happy life no matter what. I wish we could all take the view of 8yr olds.

When we went down for breakfast, we realised that our hotel was the “hub” for police who were called in to police the area, and acted as their accommodation. I think apart from 2/3 other people, we were the only civilians who were staying there. I have to say that I felt a bit uncomfortable and that we needed to keep our reason for being in Calais, a secret. I’m sure this was just a silly thought and I was just intimidated by the whole experience.

We set off to find the “jungle” and a woman that I had made contact with but unfortunately we were unable to make contact and M and I were on our own. We drove about for quite some time and we encountered more people walking as well as other police who were in fields with guns and dogs, making sure that folk weren’t making it through the various fences. I think they were pretty crazy about their barbed wire and putting it up anywhere and everywhere, it was ridiculous.

After driving around for quite some time, we asked a policeman if he would direct us, explaining that we would be going back to the tunnel  terminal , returning to the UK ,and he point blank refused to do so. He said that it wasn’t a place for children and I asked him why he thought this as there were many children in the camp/jungle and he couldn’t answer. I told him that we had made this trip with good intentions and he then gave us some information. Off we set and realised after an hour of trying, that he didn’t give us correct info at all. I don’t think it was entirely out of badness although I was angry after our efforts to come down. On our drive we saw and spoke to three men who were carrying sleeping bags , walking towards a field close to the tracks. We won’t ever know their fate and due to language barrier, have no idea if they were coming from the camp but suspect so.

It was nearing our time to go home and we still had a van full of donations, we were both tired and my daughter was starting to feel sick, had a temp and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to talk to these people in the camps to let them know that we welcome them and what they have been through , it is not right , the conditions that they are living in and what they have had to escape from.. I’m just a woman with a child who if she could take all of them back to Britain – would. naïve, yes. I don’t understand all of the politics behind this that is going on but my daughter and I just wanted to do something to help. No we can’t save the world but we can contribute towards changing conditions and helping them , these incredibly strong individuals.

Deflated, we went back to the tunnel..both silent with our thoughts. The thoughts that I had were about how the media is completely wrong in their reporting of the situation. Imagine, one day you were sitting in your house or school and you were going about your daily life. All of a sudden, your life is at risk and you need to leave, now. You have to gather what little possessions you can which might be your phone in order to keep in touch with family who are also fleeing and the clothes on your back. You might be pregnant or have kids with you. you have to go. They are living lives that we are currently leading. comfortable lives. They have to leave or be killed. That is the reality.

I made contact with a few people via twitter and we managed to secure a place to drop the items off in Preston. The organisation will be going this weekend and I am so glad that they will be reaching the people who need them, to provide comfort and warmth and to know that people care…

I know a few people think that we should have just donated via an organisation here and reading this, you may think the same but that trip sparked a lot of ideas and I have a budding 8yr old activist of a daughter! It won’t be our last trip, not at all. We will be linking up and helping out as much as we can.

As an aside.. we could have easily smuggled 2 people into our car… it would have been difficult to have turned people away..

 

Calais Trip

I don’t know a lot about politics, never had and dropped out of uni as it was one of the courses that was part of a degree that I knew I would never pass. I vote, and I try to educate myself about local politics despute being able to vote in Canada, UK, and France.

However, with what I am proposing to do, I don’t need to know all of the ins and outs as they may come at a later date. I just need to know how to get to Calais and what to bring for these people who need our help. The only thing that is getting me there and hopefully with some lovely friends, is compassion. The want to help , the need to help because no one should have to go through what these people are currently experiencing right now. We are all human, we have emotion and we should all have acess to food, water,shelter and love.

So what I propose to do is to gather up what I can whether it be money or items of clothing and things that can be used for shelter and take it down. I know that Calaid is asking people not to come right now. My though is to go next month because I can plan, gather and look into how to implement the plan of action. I wasn’t completely comfortable with handling money but if i do it via “just Giving”, it means that it all goes through the proper channels and I dont need to have anything to do with it physically.

I will be asking for items for donating and if you wish to contact me, please do so by email or text. My telephone number is 07834485868 and email address is angelinebrunel@hotmail.com

Please feel free to share, come along or donate.

Pallets and Pinterest:Creating for the creatively challenged

Ok, so its no secret amongst my friends and family that I am a pinterest fail despite trying hard and pinning so much that I think my head will explode and burst. I love the idea of trying to create these projects and often when I think i’ve nailed it, I just get a look of sympathy , a shake of the head or just someone laughing out loud at what I have “achieved”…

Until recently… until the day that I discovered what one can do with Pallets.. cue song, ” I love pallets , any kind of pallets , as long as their wooden .. my mind and hands are a groovin’! ” Ok, I’m taking this maybe a wee bit too far but I am so impressed with my first pallet project and subsequent ones that it has led to new ideas a new hobby and even my husband bringing home gifts such as a power drill, new claw hammer and some nails. What more could a girl want?

This is a picture of what I made a few weeks back but due to the recent weather, I haven’t had a chance to paint it- it will be white and I think I might change the cushions to blue if I can find any suitable ones.. I think I might try Ikea and I want to add tables and possibly a footrest before I ccomplete and I need to close the gaps at the front.

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I haven’t got a lot of time to do much before we leave for Canada next month but a bar and pergola would be ideal to complete this summer project.

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Maybe next year we can think about building a deck but as the garden is so uneven, it will take a bit of time to complete and my husband will need to help me. In building this I have gained a lot of confidence adn I would love to do a wood working course in the future as I enjoy working with my hands to create adn my kids also love helping out.

Have you built anything out of old pallets?

 

Lazy Girl – Staying in

After having a week of intense exercise whilst attending boot camp, I have had little energy as I was back in the lions den so to speak, with work that same day and family life which means that motivation is currently zilch, nada, non existent.

I was supposed to be going out with some friends the night that I was back but instead I cancelled and opted to stay in. I thought that I would devise a healthy eating  and exercise plan to look forward to in hope that I would continue on my weight loss journey that I had achieved when I was away. I had an idea of what I wanted to eat after being educated by the nutritionalist, but trying to do a shopping list when the kids are awake and distracting me, really isn’t a good idea. So I left it until later on that night, armed with a cup of herbal tea in my hand and pen and paper to help and I intended to have a very productive evening.

Instead, I found myself planning a mini break away with the girls but wondering how I would come up with the cash! So I did something that I had never done before and went on to an online casino to chance my luck and see if I could win some money towards a 3 day weekend with my friends.  I told myself that I would only spend £10 and I came away with £45! not bad at all , for my first attempt! I know that it was probably beginners luck but it put a smile on my face and I was glad that I had tried as I was always a bit wary of trying these on line sites.

So next weekend, the girls and I are off up north to a nice bed and breakfast, for some R&R and beautiful views with the odd glass of prosecco 😉

*This is a featured post

 

Bringing colour into your interiors to create an upbeat living space

 A home is much more than just a collection of walls and ceilings; it’s where you can let your personality have full rein through the way you decorate it. When you think about decorating, whether it’s because you’ve just bought an exciting new home or it’s time to give your long-term abode a fresh makeover, you’re spoilt for choice with the range of colours you can bring in to it. 

Plan before you start

 

It’s always worth taking some time to think about how you want to decorate your living spaces rather than just jumping in and hoping things will work. Plan how you want your walls and ceilings to be in different rooms. Colours for your living spaces should be different to the rooms you use for rest and relaxation, as should the colours for a work area where you want to focus and concentrate.

 

Try testing out a few colour ideas before you start. If you have some favourites, then paint a good-sized piece of cardboard and set it up to a wall. If you think it works, then go for it.

 

Cool or warm?

 

Before beginning, it’s best to learn a little about colour attributes. Cool colours are generally considered to be greens, blues and greys. You can mix these with creams and whites to create restful spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms or a study for work. You’re looking to create a space where you are comfortable to relax or concentrate on certain tasks.

 

Using blues and greens on walls and ceilings evokes the outside world of nature, and adding some splashes of yellow, evoking sunshine, can help add to that aura of peacefulness and calm.

 

Yellow is part of the warm colour palette that includes oranges and reds as well as beige and creamy colours. There’s no problem with some careful mixing of warm and cool, but you need to think about what type of environment you want to create.

 

Warm colours are ideal for your living areas – your dining room and living room in particular, but also your kitchen. You can use dashes of purple if you want to set off a particular wall or feature – lilac can work very well rather than a deeper purple – and you can use black as well, but be sparing with that. It’s classed as a warm colour and can be overpowering.

 

Furniture and ornaments

 

Rooms can look at their best when there are contrasts between the paintwork and the furniture and ornaments you have in them. You can brighten things with beautiful flowers from the garden in an engraved vase or by choosing furniture that doesn’t just mirror the room colours, but rather adds a little difference whilst still making your living spaces feel warm and inviting.

 

The addition of artworks can also make a real difference to how your rooms feel, so choose carefully, and only settle on pictures or ornaments that you wouldn’t mind looking at every day.

 

It’s your home

 

Colour lifts the interiors in your home – you can make it as upbeat as you like. After completing your interior designs, you can just sit back and enjoy what you have achieved.
*This is a featured post

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