The Power of the First Hour

breastfeeding in the Philippines

When I started this blog, nearly two years ago, one of my very first posts was titled ‘Breast is Best, but there’s no need to keep shouting about it.’

I stand corrected.

Sometimes, it’s absolutely crucial to shout about it.

Not when you’re talking about the UK – where mothers can make an informed choice, and where babies are likely to grow up healthy and safe whatever choice they make – but in developing countries, where the choice can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Continue reading

Enough Food If…

IF campaign launch Somerset House

There is nothing more powerful than feeling like you are part of a movement

Last night – standing outside Somerset House, with several brilliant bloggers tweeting away beside me, and Bill Nighy on stage in front of me talking passionately about land grabs and tax dodging and poverty as a form of slavery – I started to get that tiny tingle in my toes. It wasn’t just the cold. It was the feeling of excitement, anticipation and empowerment that comes when you start to believe that change is possible.

What IF we were the generation that could put an end to world hunger?

More than 100 charities believe that it is possible, and they’ve joined forces to launch the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign.

Continue reading

We Need to Talk About Gaza

I lost my temper on Twitter the other week.

It had been a long day on a delayed train. I was sat in a hotel room while DorkySon slept and DorkyDad was out at work, and I was whiling away the time online. On one tab, I had the Guardian live feed of events in Gaza, and on another tab I had Twitter, where it seemed like half the people I follow were getting all excited about I’m A Celebrity, and the other half were taking part in a sponsored discussion about Christmas presents.

What I should probably have done is turned the iPad off and gone to sleep, but I couldn’t. The rage had arrived.

Why are you all ignoring this?’ I tweeted.

Why is no-one talking about Gaza? What has to happen before we start paying attention to this? How many children have to be killed before we’re outraged?

I ranted on for a while, before finally giving up and turning the lights out. Perhaps luckily, I then spent ten days offline while we were on holiday.

But the questions have been rumbling around in my mind ever since and I’ve been trying to find a way to write about them in more detail. It is hard. I have started this post several times and deleted it because what I’ve written doesn’t seem adequate. I have a deeply emotional response to the situation without having the extensive background knowledge to make every argument in as perfect and coherent a way as I would like.

Continue reading

A New Direction

Today’s guest post is from Kirsty, who describes herself as a thirty-something wife and mother of one cheeky toddler. She blogs at, and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.  

Restraint does not come easily to me. I have a major character flaw that means I often say aloud things that probably should remain unsaid. Recently I seem to be better at biting my tongue but in all honesty this is due to my post-baby lack of confidence, general exhaustion and a feeling that there are more important things in life, rather than a deliberate mission to behave myself.

In the last few weeks I have started to feel more like the younger, feistier me but my perspective has changed. I’ve found myself in situations where I would previously have got up on my soap box but instead I have consciously decided to take a deep breath and walk away. The younger me would think I’ve gone soft, that I am a push over and that I have no sense of social responsibility but my younger self never stopped to think that her outbursts were actually impetuous outrages which didn’t achieve anything other than making the individuals involved feel under verbal attack (but don’t tell my younger self that, she’d be really pissed off). Continue reading