Thursday, 23 June 2016

Comedy much needed on referendum day

Looking for something to do after you cast your vote today? Why not come to SoutWestFest's Comedy night at the Marquis of Westminster? Many thank to SW1.London for having me as a contributor, writing about my dear SouthWestFest.

Fantastic comedy from Paul Revill, Luke Toulson, Jenny Collier and Olaf Falafal in a great, Pimlico pub and in support of SouthWestFest. All for the low price of £7.20 - you can't get that anywhere else!

Plus, we might all need a tipple tonight.

A note on the vote: If you're voting leave because you want to 'control Britain's border', or if you're thinking of voting for Trump because you want to protect America from all those hoards of immigrants taking your jobs, that's me you're talking about. Me.

I was an immigrant to the US and I'm an immigrant to the UK. I work. I pay taxes. I support the NHS. I teach your children. I teach you. And I put hours into SouthWestFest all year round. Volunteer hours to make my adopted community better and stronger. Unpaid hours to foster community spirit, to teach skills to people who live, work and study in South Westminster, to give people access to arts, education and one another that they might not otherwise have.

More Brits live abroad than immigrants live in the UK. So if we're talking about the strain on public services, I promise you, I'm easier on the NHS than the British pensioners on the Costa de Sol are on the Spanish healthcare system. I realise I'm white, have blue eyes and speak English as my native language, but don't let that fool you. I'm still *gasp!* an immigrant.

And I'm proud of it.

I'm proud to be the child of immigrants, too.

So if you're anti-immigrant, ask yourself why? Do you object to a university-educated, English-speaking, white immigrant? Is it actually the immigrant bit you object to? Because if it is, you ought to tell me to go home, too.

Interesting note: I wish I could say that people won't take me up on that, but I've been told 3 times that Irish people aren't welcome in England. Once was a very awkward taxi ride when the driver called all Irish people terrorists. Once I was told to get out of a shop, that my 'kind' wasn't welcome there. And once was just a few weeks ago when the checkout lady at Sainsbury's who knows me and knows I'm from Ireland told me that Irish people specifically were responsible for the breakdown of the NHS.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Blogging Workshop full

I'm excited to announce that the blogging masterclass sold out in a matter of days! You'll have to catch me next year. Or...you could try public speaking or creative writing! There are two creative writing sessions left. This Thursday, we'll be focussing on beginning cracking good short stories.

Last week's session was awesome. We wrote a collaborative poem without writing a word, dove into our memories to write poems about bees, university kitchens and birdseed and pushed one another to write better. It's a great group so join us!

Book your free place on this or next week's workshop at www.southwestfest.org.uk.

Can't wait to see you there!