Poem: Birthday month

The murmur of Radio 4 and the smell of onions.
You at work, moving ingredients and thoughts
In handfuls, in circles.
You taught me to taste and to read,
Wrote lines in my first cookbook,
Sparked my imagination with stories
Over toast and tea.
Soon we will mark fifty years of you,
Twenty three of me.
We will break bread – the kind we can eat –
And I will show you this.
A thank you for holding my hand during my first steps,
For sending words of encouragement during the next ones.
For the books bought and borrowed,
The phone calls during moments of pure panic.
For showing me what doing a little good in this world can do.
I hope that you will be around for a long time yet,
But when you are not, I will reach for
The murmur of Radio 4 and the smell of onions.

Talking periods and purpose with Sarah Hewett, founder of Monthlies

I first met Sarah in early 2013 at a training day for Student HubsSocial Impact Internship Scheme, when she was a recent graduate working on Oxford Hub’s programmes and I was a first year student at Southampton. We were brought together again at the start of 2016 through Worthwhile’s mentoring stream.

Since then, we’ve discussed goals, decisions, wellbeing and challenges – both global and personal. I appreciate our conversations as a place to share current experiences and longer-term plans. I also enjoy hearing about Sarah’s career, including her work on Monthlies, the social enterprise she started in 2015.

For these reasons, I recently asked Sarah if she would be interested in being featured in an interview on this blog. Read on for highlights from our conversation about feminism, social enterprise and life decisions.

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23 things I’ve learned by 23

I turn 23 next month. This post may be slightly early, but the thoughts came to me today. I like reading other people’s annual reflections and decided to bring together some of my own, in addition to this Letter to my Teenage Self. In no particular order, here are 23 things I’ve learned so far:

1) Invest in friendships for support, fun, discussion and honest opinions.

2) A little constructive debate is healthy and can help you to form your own views. Spend time with people who hold different perspectives.

3) Parents, grandparents and other relatives have great stories. Ask to hear them.

4) It’s possible to be an introvert and also quite like public speaking.

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