THE SUNDAY PAPERS

After a hectic week in the big smoke, it’s nice to be back in Bristol, enjoying a lazy weekend. If you’re doing the same as me, i.e. not a lot, catch up on the last 7 days over a hot cup of coffee.

Can we raise kids as gender-neutral?

White supremacists want to remain anonymous

Children are a choice

Racism begins at home

Friends with an ex?

Being a young single mum

Laters, monochrome

Define success

Why bridesmaids should still be a thing

Wake up to racism

The trials and tribulations of tampons

Bring Mount Rushmore down?

Be a Beach Goddess

Hatred in Charlottesville

Love in Barcelona

Have a good week.

THE GOOD FIGHT

Watching events unfold in Charlottesville was one thing, Trump’s press conference yesterday really was quite another.

In the midst of all this regressive madness, Twitter has become my safe space. I find it comforting to curl up and read through reams of hate and disgust in response to that so-called rally and the events that have unfolded since. #impeachtrump is trending over there and everything. It’s fab. You can pretend it was all a clip from an old movie and convince yourself that the rest of the world disagrees with them.

But amidst the sanity and safety of my social media feeds, there are also messages that cause me great concern hidden behind alt-right hashtags. Real life humans, living in 2017, in a supposedly progressive world where we are allowed to be whoever we want to be, echoing the sentiments of the bigot that is currently leading one of the most powerful countries in the world. Celebrating him for what? Being one of the worst leaders the modern world has ever seen? Heralding Klansmen as knights in shining armor and proclaiming to be making America great again. It is, of course, shocking that these thoughts exist, but it’s made even worse when you hear them coming from the mouths of babes.

Last year saw a couple of bad decisions being made both here and abroad. 2017 has continued in much the same vein, what with TM still being in charge over this side of the pond. A woman who felt compelled enough to comment on Big Ben falling silent for a few years, but has remained quiet in regards to he who shall not be named’s actions (or lack thereof) despite a woman being murdered and tens of others being injured on his watch, not to mention the blatant racism being aired, if not supported by him.

Although painful, I think it’s a good thing that Trump’s behavior seems to be getting even worse. Shocking that it could, really, but it very much is. His actions are causing people to feel anger, and many regret. With any luck, if he carries on, it might even kick change into gear. Force people to talk, shout even. Take action. Because sometimes the silence is worse than the prejudice for me. Being complicit is just as bad.

I’m still trying to figure out what I can do about these white supremacists living in our modern world.

There’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to say, yet here I am at midnight on a Wednesday in 2017.

I’m not sure what I can do to evoke change, but I have to try. Because if I, we, don’t, I’m not sure what’s going to happen to this beautiful gift of a planet. After all, if people haven’t learnt from the history that has already come before us, I’m not sure they ever will. Look at the state of it.

Don’t be silent. That’s the worst thing you could do.

As Heather Heyer wrote before she died, ‘If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention’.

Fight the good fight, starting right this second.

THE BEST INDEPENDENT BOOK SHOPS IN LONDON

Because rainy summer days are best spent indoors with a blanket and a good read

There’s nothing quite so romantic as a rainy afternoon spent cosied up on a reading chair, fresh coffee in hand, about to tuck into a good book. But what if you’ve just finished a whopper, keen to dive into the next, and don’t have a new one to hand? Or what if you’re a tourist in the big city and have underestimated how many pages you’d get through of the ones you’d packed?

Instead of solving the problem by opening up that oh so convenient Amazon app, pop down to your local independent bookstore (the city is full of them) and purchase from them instead. The best part about independents is that they tend to have quaint little coffee shops you can hang out in, great events where you don’t have to fight for tickets and they almost always sell semi-pretentious tote bags you can wear as a handy little nod in support of small businesses.

If you’re on the lookout for some cool and quirky little bookshops in London, but don’t know where to start, here are some of my favourites for you to enjoy the next time you’re in need.

Word on the Water

Nestled in the newly renovated King’s Cross, you’ll find Word on the Water, which is basically a big barge that sells second-hand books. Started by a guy called Paddy Screech, who worked with homeless people all his life, he decided to take his own advice and simply do what made him happy – which was clearly to sell literature on the water. Although there’s not much space to sit and enjoy whichever title takes your fancy, you can perch along the canal or take your title home and curl up with it there.

Pages of Hackney

Just along Lower Clapton road lies Pages of Hackney, an independent bookshop that will satisfy all your hipster needs. Its vibrant sky blue exterior is entirely “instagrammable” (if that’s your bag) and they sell a good combination of brand new contemporary and classic fiction and non-fiction, in addition to lots of second-hand numbers. Pages also host lots of really interesting events, so keep your eyes peeled and head down when these are on to meet your neighbours and buy some new books.

Persephone Books

Selling out of print titles by twentieth-century female authors, Persephone Books couldn’t be more up my street if it tried. If you’re keen to delve into the female voices of days gone by and tuck into something that might have long been forgotten, then this one is definitely for you. With shorts, diaries, memoirs and novels, each sold in a gorgeous grey jacket with a bookmark to keep, this is an extra special bookshop and a lesser-known haven for all you feminists out there.

Of course, there are plenty more independent bookshops scattered around the city, but these are just 3 of my favourites. If you have any recommendations, do send them over as I’m always on the lookout for a new favourite haunt. And if you are heading to London for an exciting city break, why not live like a local and make the most of this wonderful city? Rent an apartment or vacation rental from Home From Home and enjoy your book in the comfort of your… sort of… home.

*This is a sponsored post