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Thinking About Homelessness

By ThinkingNo Comments

This time of year when it’s dark and cold makes me feel for people who are homeless. Who’d want to spend a single night sleeping outside in this weather?

No matter the cause of someone’s homelessness; it can be a vicious cycle. A person needs an address to get a bank account, so that state benefits can be paid to them. They often need to be in receipt of benefits to get support in accessing housing and so that housing agencies can contact them. Of course there are ways around this, but people who are homeless people often don’t know how the system works.

People who are homeless also tend to have complex issues (such as substance misuse, relationship breakdowns, bereavements, etc.) that they are trying to deal with at the same time.

So I recently made two donations to The Albert Kennedy Trust and Shelter. The donations were small, but something is better than nothing. Here is some information about the work the charities do and a link for donations:

Albert Kennedy Trust Logo The Albert Kennedy Trust supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. They have offices in London, Manchester and Newcastle.
Donate to The Albert Kennedy Trust
Shelter Logo Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness – and they campaign to prevent it in the first place.
Donate to Shelter

A friend and I were talking recently about what we do when we see a person who is homeless on the street begging. I said that I don’t usually give money as I don’t carry it, but if I’ve got the time, I offer to buy them a hot drink.

My friend said that he collects McDonalds hot drink loyalty cards stickers and saves completed loyalty cards to give to the person who is homeless and on the street begging. I thought this was a great idea and will be doing it as well.

Anyone can become homelessness, it just needs a certain set of circumstances to happen a person. This means that it can happen to you, a member of your family or one of your friends. I once read somewhere that we are only ever two paydays away from being homeless. Considering this, perhaps it’s worth making a small sacrifice (like that cup of coffee from Starbucks/Costa you buy) and using the money to make a donation to one of the charities above? I’ll let you decide.

Foodbank Image Throughout the year, I’ve also donated items of food to a FoodBank run by The Trussell Trust. The UK is one of the richest countries in the world, yet in the last few years the numbers of people who need to use FoodBanks has dramatically increased. This is worrying and is symptomatic of some of the poorest people being forced to make some very difficult choices.

I’d like to share a thought with you: It seems to me that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. I don’t write this to be depressive, simply to express a thought that many people are thinking.

Here’s another thought: This is not the kind of society I want to live in. Food, water and housing are all basic things that everyone should have access to.

So the question becomes: How do we go about changing our society for the better?
Any ideas or opinions, please comment below.

Take care,

Antony

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A Sensational Sunset

By Friends & Family, Happiness & Joy, NatureNo Comments

One of my New Experiences for 2013 was to see the sun rise and set. A few weeks ago I did manage to see a sensational sunset. It was the first time I’d truly observed a sunset. Click on any photo in this post for a full size image.

sunset-2013-1 sunset-2013-2

At 8:30PM Simon & I parked up in a lovely spot overlooking Rivington reservoir. The sun was due to set at 9:30PM and other people were around. The sun still shone bright and I felt the heat on my skin that emanated from the sun. There was a cool breeze that carried noise from the other people: cars, car radios and chatter. I was feeling excited to experience something new and yet frustrated at the distracting noise from the other people.

sunset-2013-3 sunset-2013-4

As the time approached, most people had gone which made it quieter and I was thankful for this. Simon & I sat on a bench and even nature seemed to go quiet. The only sounds were from the rustling of the trees that swayed in the fresh breeze. The breeze it’s self felt colder than before. The daylight had dimmed in the direction opposite to the sunset. The sun released orange ambers and reds that filled the skyline and reflected off strips of clouds. Time seemed to slow down.

I felt a new appreciation for the life giving warmth and light of the sun. I felt totally relaxed and able to be truly in that moment – without any intruding thoughts. I enjoyed the beauty and magic of the sun.

sunset-2013-5 sunset-2013-6

The sun began to make it’s decent over the horizon; I noticed the moon rising on the other side. The moon’s luminescent glow grew stronger as the sunset. The transition from dark to light across the sky was phenomenal. I savoured the final rays of light feeling awe struck and enchanted. I realised that I’d taken for granted that the sun will always rise and set.

The final moments of the sun’s day go quick – it took 5 minutes to completely disappear from sight. I glanced at my watch and noticed that it was precisely on time. I took a deep breath, the transformation from day to night was complete.

sunset-2013-7

sunset-2013-8 It was a magical experience, almost spiritual; that made me fully comprehend why some people did and others still do worship the sun.

The contrast from light to dark, as the day transforms to night is magical. At one point the sun and moon even looked almost in balance.

The sun is currently rising far too early for me, but I’m hoping to see sunrise later in the year.

Take care,

Antony



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The Best of 300

By The WebNo Comments

This is my 300th blog post on this version of the site (see Geeky Post: Website Development). So from previous blog posts here’s 50 good reads for you:

Advice
1. Relaxation
3. What makes a relationship work?
4. All of your tick boxes

Funny
5. You know your getting old(er) when…
6. Funny Cartoons from a friend
7. More funny cartoons from a friend
8. Dear Madonna
9. Scape Goat
10. Addiction to shower gells
11. My First Wet Shave
12. Immitation is the biggest form of flattery…or maybe not?

Gay
13. A man named Alan Turning
14. The blood debate continues
15. The Independent on Sunday Pink List 2010, my thoughts
16. Pride
17. A Sad Truth
18. An interesting AIDS Advert
19. My Pride Costume
20. ‘If I were gay’ Straight Humour

Happy Times
21. Psychic Party & Home Warming
22. Partying – despite the weather
23. Salsa Tuesday’s
24. A Night of Laughter

Inspiration
25. The Story of Rosa Parks
26. A pearl of wisdom from Dame Edna
27. Inspirational Icons

Learning about me
28. Dear Me, A letter to my 16 year old self
29. What influences my IDENTITY?

Love
30. Adventure 2 – Benidorm Part 2
31. A Weekend Away, Up North – Adventure 1
32. An Unsent Letter
33. One Month
34. 18 of my favourite love songs
35. Past time Crushes

Music Gigs
36. Tina was Incredible
37. Pink is Sexy
38. The Feeling were Awesome

Paganism
39. Pagan Festivals
40. Apollo
41. Making a pumpkin latern for Samhain
42. A Magickal Grand Plan
43. Money Magick

People
44. People that inspire me
45. A Lovely Day with Simon

Sad Times
46. My Darling Baby Brother
47. Goodbye M
48. Grief

Writing
49. My Writing Process – for some of my better blog posts
50. Inspired by Stephen Fry

Take Care,

Antony

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