Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Corbyn loving dizzy human!

Meniere's scared me today. I went out canvassing for the election and had a drop attack within ten minutes of being out. Honestly… I am not safe to be let out! The hardest parts of it - the embarrassment and frustration. It resulted in cut hands, knees and ankle. I did carry on and finished but this afternoon I’ve been laid up. I feel like I have been in the ring with Anthony Joshua (what a brilliant fight last night, by the way). The blurred vision and sickness has subsided now but the brain fog has not lifted. I can’t move fast so laid up writing this with my eyes shut – yes, I have learned to type with my eyes shut! Quite an achievement.
I have so much to do and know I have pushed myself too far which now means I have at least 24 hours of rest! It’s such a pain… in the you know where!

I am determined I will campaign for a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn but I may have to concede it is not quite safe enough for me to be let loose on the streets! If you follow this blog you will know I have never been shy in sharing my socialist beliefs. I don’t buy into the selfish “I’m alright Jack” attitude and I don’t believe the majority of human beings do either. 
Jeremy Corbyn is a decent, hardworking man full of honesty and integrity. If you want a “normal, rehearsed and groomed” MP he is not your man. I am sick of hearing soundbites and pre- written spin doctor rhetoric. It is time for a change. I want to hear sincerity, from the heart. It is time for a man who is not afraid to stand by his principles and cannot be bought! Equality and justice runs through his veins. Listen to his speeches – it is not “me” or “I” – it is we and us! We can do this people. Please do not stand by and watch people suffer – homelessness, poverty and disability discrimination and harassment. Please do not stand by and watch the national debt rise whilst public services are starved of cash. Have you ever wondered where the money has really gone? Jeremy Corbyn has already changed the course of history. People are now asking questions and engaged in the debate. The Tories thought they could ride rough shot over everyone…they can think again! Personally, I don’t see how anyone with a heart can turn their back on the most vulnerable in our society – helping others and being a community are true British values.
Last night I attended Richard Burgon’s campaign launch with the formidable Dennis Skinner. Thirty-three years ago, during the miner’s strike, I first listened to Dennis speak in Barnsley. He blew me away then and has not changed one single bit. An incredible socialist and thoroughly wonderful human being. It was Richard’s uncle, Colin who took me to that first meeting. I have a lot to thank him for.  

Just remember it is tough standing against the crowd but absolutely necessary to stand by the truth

This week, I’ve been working on a new plan for a screenplay along with trying to finish five… yes five Master’s papers. I can say without doubt the Masters has been the hardest project I have undertaken but strangely I am the happiest I have ever been. I do love a challenge but maybe need to accept I am only a dizzy human.

That is all I can manage today. Have a great bank holiday (UK) and don’t stop following your dreams. HOPE is what we all have and it’s not taxed or banned… yet!

Much love

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Time to be bold…

Bullying builds an artificial wall of isolation

For a long time, I thought I needed someone with me to fix me. I realise what I needed was time to fix myself. When a child asks an adult for help against unfair treatment and injustice, you don’t expect to hear, “this is how all families behave.” I put off having my second child because I was afraid Wes would suffer the way I did.  Being alone and being ganged up on are the worst feelings in the world.

I needed this single time to make sense of my past. I look at how close Wes and Lucas are now and how other families behave and know what I experienced was… just plain… wrong. Going it alone was a hard decision but the right decision. As Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” I’ve stopped blaming myself for other people’s bad behaviour. I gave too much respect to the wrong people and didn’t respect myself enough to stop it until last year. I naively thought if I gave more love, it would make them stop and love me back. Now I see the flaws in my logic!

I want people to understand they don’t have to put up with bad behaviour from ANYONE. Don’t accept what makes you miserable. In the last twelve months, the transformation has been incredible. Yes, I have confidence issues but I’ve forced myself out of the comfort zone – you can’t get much further than comfort than a Masters and writing! I have found an inner peace I never thought existed but most of all, I have forgiven myself for my naivety and misplaced loyalty.

My family’s time is now. The love and bond we have has strengthened hundred-fold in the last twelve months. We argue, debate, laugh and cry but fundamentally we have each other’s backs. That is priceless and all I ever wanted. The boys have taught me true, unconditional love. A new cycle has started and the future is amazingly exciting.

The hardest thing for me is opening up and telling my story. I simply don’t trust anyone. Why would I? I’ve had a lifetime of people using my “weaknesses” as sticks. Writing this is making me so anxious. However, I don’t want other people to suffer in silence.

Bullying builds an artificial wall of isolation. You don’t know who to trust but worse it has been drilled into you that no one will believe you! A lifetime of ‘you’re too sensitive’ takes its toll. I am teaching myself to build new relationships with genuinely, lovely people. In the words of one of my absolute heroes “it’s just like starting over”.

Pin your colours to the mast

I have had a bit criticism on social media this week over my outspoken political views. I want to make it clear – I AM A VERY PROUD SOCIALIST. NOW is the time to pin your colours to the mast.

This week I was devastated at the images coming from Syria BUT just as devastated with
the response from Trump! There is no independent, verified evidence that Assad used chemical weapons. You can’t possibly verify a horrific event in the space of hours. You can’t! Yet, I knew in my heart that the publicity overdrive in the UK was leading to intervention. You could see it playing out. From my point of view, Trump has made the area even more insecure. If it is found Assad did do it then action is required BUT dropping more bombs is not the answer. However, just think for one moment… what if it was not Assad. What if the perpertrators have more… Trump has just supported their endeavours to stabilise the regime. All they need to do is attack innocent victims with chemical weapons and know the US will come and weaken the regime again. It is time for grown-ups to sit around the table and thrash out a peaceful solution. But more importantly, it is time a universal ban was placed on the sale of chemicals to any war-torn region as well as tracing the financial transactions to stop funding hate and war. This is a grown up, humane response! We and the US certainly cannot take the moral high ground when we are selling bombs to the Saudis for their attacks on the Yemeni people. I am sick of the hypocrisy. A life is a life!

How much better would the world be if we scrapped all labels and referred to everyone as human beings. Every life matters not some more than others!

In terms of the UK, I am totally disgusted with the ongoing attacks on the disabled and people who have found themselves in tough times. I am a single mother and it is tough BUT I am not a scrounger. I am not in this position because I chose it! I am the one that did not desert my children because circumstances changed. People need to stop listening to the divisive crap being peddled and start to think logically for themselves. I have more in common with a Mum in Syria trying to keep her children safe, than I do with an elite politician who votes to take £30 per week off disabled people whilst taking a £76,000 basic salary! It is gross abuse of public office.

Okay… now breathe… LOL.

I am off now to York with Wes and Erin. Have a fabulous weekend.

Much love


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

I’m doing fine now… most of the time.

I have found it really tough this week. Money… or lack of it, Masters work, writing, Meniere’s, keeping the house going and looking after the boys is a tough ask for anyone. I wouldn’t have it any other way but some days I have this overwhelming feeling of the odds being so heavily stacked against me that I can’t continue. It is compounded by the anger I feel towards the people who psychologically abused me. It’s a never-ending battle of no longer wanting them to influence my life whilst trying to come to terms and get over the damage they did to my self-esteem and self-confidence. It is hard to explain how much damage is done by people telling you your gut instincts are ridiculously wrong when it turns out those instincts were perfectly right all along. It is a real art form for someone to lie to your face whilst doing what they categorically deny doing. This has a knock-on effect to all future relationships because you don’t know who you can trust. Manipulation is a terrible human trait. I am on the mend but accept it is going to take a lot longer than I anticipated to get over all of this. I need to give myself a break. My stubbornness and my drive to ensure the boys are proud of their Mum will not allow me to give up.

Kicking all negativity out of your life, does give you clarity. I don’t think I would have analysed and accepted the pain of my past without putting my foot down and stopping the circle of abuse. I certainly would not have been able to do a Master’s degree and write the way I am now. Nor would I have had the relationship I have with the boys. We are stronger and closer than ever. We all have peace in our lives and we enjoy each other’s company. Everything is natural and calm.

From my boys
I have five Masters papers to write before the 13th May so a meltdown this week was not ideal. I do pick my moments! I am only human… I think I’ll have this printed in huge letters above my bed so I remind myself of it every morning. I do believe the only way you can recover is to hit the problems head on… what I was not prepared for was the realisation of the impact of my past hitting me square in the face, some days more than others. However, to those bullies… up yours!! We are doing fine!
I am so thankful I have Wes and Lucas. Wes is so strong and able to calmly discuss this with me. It is so important to have someone to talk to who understands the pain. Today is much better. I still have brain fog and feel a bit like I’m only just returning to my body. Nevertheless, I have done lots of research and sorted out all the urgent tasks. I will not give up and I will not let my past define me. To anyone struggling now… talk to someone. Don’t suffer in silence and you don’t have to accept a situation that causes you distress. This is your life… yours.

I’ve made mistakes, I’ve trusted the wrong people but I have two fabulous boys, a brain that works… most days and the drive to prove to myself I can succeed. I can and I will one task, one day at a time.

I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to. Spring has sprung!

I’m off to do more research on agile governance and IT. Wish me luck… and thank you, for your support and generosity.

Much love

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Hope, unity, peace & kindness will prevail

Well, it’s Mother’s Day in the UK.  If I’m honest, I just don’t get it. I am lucky enough to feel blessed everyday with the boys. I see this as another day of exploitation. I know… I’m a party pooper! But I do. What is it for... other than to make us feel pressured into spending money on one single day of the year on useless things as cards! Millions of pounds spent on items read once then, either discarded or kept in a cupboard never to see daylight again – not to mention the damage to the environment.

I much prefer the boys to make me feel like a valued Mum every day and they do. There is no need for Mother’s Day here because every day I am a Mum and a very proud one at that. If you do celebrate the day, I hope it is all you expected it to be and more.

Last night, Lucas was head chef and Wes the sous chef. They made me a fabulous meal - Fajitas. It was such a special moment, seeing them both work together and produce gorgeous food. I am truly blessed.
It was an horrendous week last week. The attacks in Westminster brought home the horrors of this world, more so for me was the Mum who had finished work and was going to pick up her children. My boys rely on me and the thought of not being there… BUT we do have to remember all that is
Credit : Unknown
good too. The acts of bravery and selflessness of all the people who helped the victims last Wednesday and every other atrocity. As we celebrated Red Nose Day on Friday, Lucas’ Head made a fabulous speech that summed up exactly how I feel. Whilst these acts of violence are tragic and appalling, there is an awful lot of good in this world. Remember that please. The media go overboard on their analysis and hypotheses of atrocities but very little is said about the wonders of the world and the human race.
Hope, unity, peace and kindness should always prevail – exactly the reason why I back Jeremy Corbyn. We share the same values. I look at every single one of us as human beings trying to survive in a world made tougher by selfish individuals capitalising on peoples’ fears. I include some politicians in this! Let’s not let them…eh? Let’s be the ones who say, “enough is enough”. Not just to terrorism but to State terrorism... to illegal wars and invasions!
On a personal level, I did have a wobble last week. It is tough starting out on a new path but even more so when you have an illness as unpredictable as Meniere’s. I felt like giving up on Friday – why bother? I had a good cry and a moan to Wes… he is a superstar. He reminded me of why I am putting myself through the Masters and the cut throat business of writing.

Today, I feel stronger than ever… maybe hitting rock bottom from time to time, makes us stronger and more willing to continue the fight. I don’t have a choice… I am not the type of person to give up especially when I know the long-term effects of the Masters and my writing will take us much further than giving in and getting “a proper job” which is unattainable with an unpredictable illness. In the words of Chumbawumba "I get knocked down but I get up again... you're never going to keep me down..."

This weekend, the Formula one season started and I am feeling the effects of the 5am starts! I am so excited Ferrari won the first race but I'll reserve my full celebrations until later in the season. Still, it was great to hear the Italian national anthem on a Sunday morning. #ForzaFerrari
The fight goes on…
Much love

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Writing is right for me…

I've been struggling with The Nanny. The elements were not working well. I did what I learned from a great writer… I walked away from it. About an hour ago… it came to me. I had just sat down after making cookies with Lucas when a new character popped into my head. It was the missing link in the story. One extra sinister character and my cast is complete. Sometimes, walking away produces the best results.

I'm in need of the day being extended to forty-eight hours! Okay I exaggerate but you get the picture. I am absolutely loving what I am doing – being Mumsy; writing; studying; research and being me. I don't think I have ever been this motivated or enjoyed my life as much as I do right now. I may not be perfect but I am trying… hehe… some would probably say "very trying!"

I've been doing a lot of reflective thinking recently.  Thank you to the narcissists who plagued my life – they've given me some incredible material. Writing is most definitely, the best therapy.

The Nanny

Now I have the final piece of the jigsaw, I am editing the Treatment and the Beatsheet. Then, the script writing can begin... again.

Hidden Torment

The outline is completed, as is the character list. For me, the hardest part is naming the characters. The next step is to write the beat sheet including a rough outline of the scenes.

Logline: Dirty secrets damage innocent lives.

Master's Degree

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, my Master's degree is in Information Technology. I don't like to admit it… I'm a geek! My undergraduate degree was in Business Information Systems including strategic management of IT, systems analysis and programming – javascript, PHP, Mysql, etc. The shock on peoples' faces when I tell them is quite extraordinary and a little annoying! People love to stereotype, especially single mothers!

The Master's degree has reignited my passion for research and discovery. My dissertation is investigating ways to deliver a modern and flexible ICT curriculum in secondary schools to engage more young people in ICT. 

I admit, it is very tough… much tougher than I expected.  I love the challenge. I am determined I can work my way out of the mess Meniere's put me in. NO PAIN…NO GAIN! This is a personal fight, one I WILL WIN! 

I am blooming loving every bit of it! It is even easier knowing I have the boy's full support. I won't lie… it is exhausting and some days I think "why am I doing this?" Those moments are becoming less and less and disappear when I look at the boys. They motivate me. I must be doing something right… distinctions across all modules so far. 

The more I have to do, the more I get done, yet I still have time to enjoy being a Mum and relax. No idle hands here nor time to worry what other people think. The self- doubt has even subsided. I am on a roll… in the right direction and totally in control.

Right, I'm off to do some more creating… one more week until the start of the F1 season. Forza Ferrari!!! It's been a long, not so lonely winter! 

Have a productive week… most of all HAVE FUN… the world needs more smiles.
Much love

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day – WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Whether it be teaching our children equality and tolerance or taking direct action to change our and others' lives, all of us CAN change the world in our own way.

I never had much encouragement to follow my dreams as a child. I gave up on them because I believed my peers! It is hard to stay motivated and swim against the tide. But… what I didn't understand then… I certainly do now. There was a culture back then of "how dare you want to better yourself." I now know so many suffer at the hands of their peers… "you can do well if you don't do better than me…" or "you should know your place…". How many of our children feel this? How many women feel and go through this? I know I am not alone. I didn't have the courage or support to follow my dreams and decided, with peer pressure and ignorance, to skip University and go into work – looking back, it was not a bad mistake…it was a bad choice. Still it turned me into the person I am today. I learned from my bad choices.

On International Women's Day, I want to reach out to women who think, like I did, that their ambitions are just dreams… they are UNTIL you ACT ON THEM! I have learned the hard way and my headstone will say "Here lies Pam Charles… she got there in the end!" I feel I wasted so much of my life… yet also feel that time has brought me to where I am today. We are more resourceful than we give ourselves credit for.

This is my ten tips for changing your dreams into reality. In no way am I an expert… I'm muddling through life like any of us but if I can help one person, it has been worthwhile.
  1. Start with baby steps. I did it in secret. I didn't tell anyone I was writing until I was ten chapters in. 
  2. Make a list of what you want to achieve – the end goal.
  3. You then need an action plan. Don't expect overnight success. I made the mistake of underestimating how hard it is to break into writing – the cliques, the exploiters, the long drawn out processes and bureaucracy and the opposition!
  4. Seek help from the right people. I received so much support from other writers… people I hadn't met but now are friends of social media along with new friends I have picked up along the way. I am so grateful for their support.
  5. No one is going to come and pick you out… BE SEEN! Announce "YOU ARE HERE"…it is scary at first but it becomes part of your journey. Learn to shrug off the nastiness and don't rise to it – a mistake I initially made.
  6. Stick to your action plan BUT be ready to adapt. You are about to embark on a roller coaster (Ronan Keating was not wrong!) with highs and lows. BE PREPARED BUT DON'T GIVE UP!
  7. Do lots of research – knowledge is power.
  8. Keep a journal of your journey – what works, what doesn't; what made you happy; what gave you total despair. Reflect on both your successes and failures. Embrace the failures as much as the successes – they teach you so much.
  9. This is a loooooonnnnng journey. Unless you get lucky, you must grind out success.
  10. Most importantly… ENJOY IT! Remember why you started and your ultimate goal.
If I can do it with all my insecurities, anxiety and Meniere's, you really can do it – whatever "IT" is. Don't be afraid and don't be part of the "if only I'd tried!" brigade. You are so much stronger, braver and smarter than you give yourself credit for and that will grow on your journey.

I am more inspired everyday by the boys being impressed by what I am trying to achieve. They drive me on especially on days when I am on the brink of giving up. Please, do not settled for what is… if it is not what you want. I wish I'd given myself this advice when I was fifteen but then again… I am a much stronger person and a much better Mum because of those bad experiences.

My boys have my 100% support in whatever they choose to do. Lucas has decided he wants to design and build things… he is ten! I love that he knows at this stage what makes him happy. We will sit down over the next few weeks and go through what he will need to do to meet his goal – it will give him a sense of perspective and how much work is needed. I don't think it does any harm for them to understand to achieve their goals, they will have to work hard.

Masters Study

I had another wobble last week but it's all good. I've learned my wobbles and self-doubt drives me on to continue towards success. I don't allow people to exploit my self-doubt anymore either.  The shame is on them.

The studies are going well. My Masters dissertation is: An agile governance framework for the development of the ICT curricula in secondary schools to ensure future sustainability, adaptability and flexibility.

I'm changing the world… my way.


Hidden Torment

This is a new project which started in the early hours of Monday morning… as a dream. By Monday afternoon, I had the back story, the character list and a full story line with plot.

Logline: dirty secrets damage innocent lives

After the success and enjoyment I had with Streetwise, this will also be a script but for film instead of television. It deals with anxiety and mental health issues stemming from childhood relationships, affecting decisions made in adulthood. It is a really ambitious but I enjoy tackling social issues. It's my passion to tackle difficult issues.

The Nanny

This is progressing well. I've been watching the Northern Ireland Assembly elections with interest. It is incredibly ironic that Brexit from a UK Government referendum could potentially unite and resolve a three hundred year's dispute. Interesting times…

Whilst I am writing this, the Chancellor is delivering the budget and I can feel my blood pressure rising. How on earth after all the austerity cuts and damages to services, has the debt increased? Where has the money gone? It is a travesty how people do not question it and there is no accountability!! 
Right, I'm off to write a Masters paper on Green ICT strategy. Have a fabulous week. 
Go get 'em!
Much love