Earlier this week I travelled home from London after a good working day. My train wasn’t at its usual platform, so I walked to the other side of the station. After queueing for a while, the person in front of me couldn’t get their ticket to go through the barrier. I smiled, let them pass and tried my ticket. It wouldn’t work either. Attempting to walk to the open barrier and ticket attendant, I turned to the woman behind me, gave an (admittedly quiet) apology and moved across.
As I passed, she said loudly, “Some people have no class. Oh look, my ticket is working fine”.
I don’t retaliate in such circumstances. In the moment I thought the best thing to do was keep my head down. The woman continued: “She should have been taught some manners”.
July seems to have passed quickly, thanks to travelling, working and packing to move out next month. I’ve been chipping away at larger projects and stepping away from my laptop more often during evenings and weekends. I’m feeling focused and content.
The summer break from MA classes and essays has given me more time for personal reading. I’m enjoying Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & In Life, One Conversation at a Time. If you’re put off by the seemingly corporate title, I recommend giving it a chance. Susan Scott’s book contains reflective exercises for defining what your version of success looks like. It offers useful tools for holding necessary, thoughtful conversations with partners, managers and other key people.
I’m thrilled to be publishing this interview with Natasha Lipman, blogger, podcast host and freelance writer / website designer / social media manager. Natasha suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Histamine Intolerance and ME. She regularly shares insights into life and work with chronic illnesses.
Molly: I started following your blog in 2014/15, when it was still called Nutritiously Natasha. What first led you to writing about your experiences online?
I recently caught up with Corrie Jones, who founded and runs her own social media consultancy business. Corrie and I met at university, where we both volunteered with charity societies. I’ve loved seeing Corrie’s career develop since then, so I thought she would be a great addition to this interview series. Enjoy!
Hello again, lovely readers.
If you’re thinking of applying for a master’s course in the UK, or you know someone who is, you might find my latest piece for Times Higher Education useful. Read it here.
More new posts coming soon!
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah Beckett, Co-Founder of Birdsong, a London-based ethical fashion brand. Birdsong’s mantra of ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’ is one I’m definitely on board with. The team works with a range of women’s groups and young designers to create sustainable, socially impactful pieces. I’ll let Sarah share the rest.
Molly: What led you, Sophie and Ruba to set up Birdsong?
Sarah: We all did the Year Here programme in 2014. Year Here is a postgraduate programme for young people who are interested in social change. It gives you a range of experiences in the social sector and you have to build solutions to problems along the way. We all had different experiences, but shared interests. Sophie had already been involved with lots of women’s activism.
I’m writing this from a chair next to an open window. The sky outside is blue, barely streaked with clouds. The nearby birds are lively and the air is fresh. I spent the long weekend in good company. As May shifts into June, it’s peaceful here.
Elsewhere, though, it’s been a chaotic month. I mentioned in January that it can be hard to reconcile difficult, world-changing events with ordinary life. When the Manchester attack happened, it felt wrong to focus on anything else. But intense observation seemed wrong too. Within minutes and during the hours that followed, tragic losses were turned into content. Circumstances no family would ever wish for were shared over and over again.
This week I spoke to the interesting and admirable Rosie Tressler, CEO of Student Minds. We chatted about work, leadership, mental health and self-care. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Molly: For any readers who aren’t familiar with the organisation, what is Student Minds?
Rosie: Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. We work to empower students and members of the university community to look after their own mental health, support others and create change. In the years to come, we are hoping to create a thriving higher education community.
As you’ll know if you read this post, I’ve now been running this site for a year. I recently spent some time reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned so far. If you’re just starting out or looking to refresh your direction, I hope you find the following advice helpful.
1. Use your skills
My professional background is in planning, writing and editing content for blogs, social media, websites, press and print marketing. As much as I enjoy doing this for organisations, I wanted to develop an online space for myself too.
If you’re considering starting a blog, what are your key skills? What can you do well? How can you interest people within and beyond your immediate network? Will you focus on one area (like reviews or recipes) or cover many topics?