That time we accidentally went to see Josie Long and she was awesome

It was my birthday last week, so Naomi took some days off work to do exciting birthday things. One of them was going to Brighton for the afternoon, to visit our favourite shops: Lush, Boho Gelato and Purezza. Brighton is full of vegan cafes and restaurants, but I figure why fix what isn’t broken, so we go to Purezza and Boho Gelato whenever we’re there and I always get a mushroom pizza. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit.

josie-long

Anyway, we parked near Brighton Dome and as we got out of the car I spotted a poster advertising Josie Long’s current tour. I pointed it out to Naomi, because the name Josie Long seemed familiar and I felt that it was in some way linked to Naomi – perhaps she had mentioned liking her, or expressed a wish to see her. Naomi seemed pleased and we headed over to look at the poster. Aha! Josie Long was playing in Brighton Dome this very weekend. We tracked down the ticket office and booked tickets, pleased to find there were still some available.

It wasn’t until we got home and were telling Naomi’s evening PA about our day that it transpired that each of us had thought the other was a big fan of Josie Long and neither actually knew who she was… Concerned that her name might have been familiar to me because she had been slated for being a racist homophobe or something, I checked the blurb for her show. It seemed encouragingly non-racist and non-homophobey, so we laughed at our ridiculously English communication and went along to the show. Continue reading

Share Sunshine

It’s an unseasonally warm day here on the south east coast. I left the house this morning in boots, a hooded jacket and a warm coat, wishing I’d thought to find my woolly hat. By lunchtime I was carrying my coat over my arm, jacket unzipped, and wondering whether I might need to find my sunglasses instead.

I’m more aware of the weather these days, because I’m outside in it every morning, walking the dog. We’ve walked through thick fog, in depressing drizzle, in bright sunshine and on dull grey days. If it’s been raining lately, I make sure I wear boots instead of my thin-soled pumps, and if it’s really hot I carry water for both of us.

Nevertheless, the weather is more of a footnote to my day than a major issue. Even really bad weather isn’t often life-threatening here. A typical British drought means brown lawns and unwashed cars, and most British storms just damage trees and distrupt broadband connections. When it’s really cold outside, I make cups of tea and huddle over them for warmth, or warm myself up with a hot bath. On hot summer days I freeze diluted fruit squash to make home-made ice lollies, and take a lukewarm shower to cool down.

Water is so mundane and everyday, but it’s critically important. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when we can so easily turn on a tap and get clean, safe drinking water. I first began supporting WaterAid at the height of the Ebola crisis, because I suddenly realised how essential it must be to be able to properly wash when you’re caring for someone with such an infectious virus. I couldn’t invent a vaccine or manufacture cheap diagnostic tests, but I could help people to wash their hands. Continue reading