sending out a few nice reviews

I really hate the fact that as a human race we love to complain. I, myself, love a good moan every now and then. However, I’m always far more likely to moan than I am to praise, especially since the internet makes it so easy to do it anonymously.

I’m not very good at complaining face to face and I’ve been known to eat cold food and not say a thing just so that I can save myself from the awkwardness. I’ve sometimes marveled at the people who can shout about things that they don’t like. I know that it makes people feel bad, but I sometimes wish that I could yell, just to let it all out.

My strength comes in my ability to write the scathing review on a website. I can feel all of the evilness seeping out through my fingertips and it feels like a relief.

But I never seem to write nice things about people. I can think them, but I very rarely go to the trouble to write out a nice review. So I do want to start being a little bit more proactive in the nice things that I dish out to the world.

I finished reading a book last night and the author had written a letter in the back. I always love to read the acknowledgements in books, so I duly read the letter too. It basically said that the author loves to hear from people who have read her book, that it makes her day.

Normally, I would have read that and thought that an agent would pick up all of the messages and the writer would get given a few of the nicer ones. But as I read the letter, I got the feeling that it was very genuine. I imagined the author opening lovely handwritten letters and keeping them all in her office to read when she feels down.

I know that’s not the way things happen these days, but I wanted to let the writer know that I did enjoy the book so I Tweeted. It only took me a second but I like to imagine that she got a little bit of happiness from reading it. Even if I gave somebody ten seconds of happiness, surely that’s enough?

So I’m going to make a bit more of an effort to send out some nice stuff into the world. I’m going to write a nice review, or an email and if I’m feeling really brave, I might compliment someone face to face.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

laughing at yourself: a great piece of advice that i heard the other day

collage photo of woman
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Always learn to pick at flaws,

Those ugly scabs, or so we think they are,

Until we stop, and see the individual-

Ality, and how it makes us who we are,

The lines that just won’t fit the mould,

But they’re the words remembered long

After poems of our life are read.

I was watching a YouTuber who I really enjoy the other day. She is a book reviewer and that is how I stumbled across her channel. However, this video that I watched was about mental health.

Basically, this woman had been having a bit of a bad time and she was really open about the fact that she had gone to the doctor to get medication and she had also been seeing a therapist for a few weeks.

Her story that just struck a chord with me was about a night when she was starting to feel much better. She had been cooking and whatever it was that she was making had gone horribly wrong. As many of us have probably done in the past, she got angry with it, burst into tears and was about to throw the whole thing in the bin.

Her husband came in just in time and managed to save whatever it was that she had been making. But this lady then started to beat herself up over the fact that she thought she was better and yet she was throwing a tantrum and then wanting to bin the whole thing. She felt like she had just gone right back to square one.

However, she did go and calm herself down and speak to her therapist and the conclusion that she came to was one that really has made a mark on me.

She said that that is just the way she is.

It sounds like the most ridiculous answer, but it was also bloody genius. She said that she is a chronic over-reactor and that is just the way she will always be. And it is also the thing that makes the people around her, love her.

She has just shifted her thinking, so rather than say she has to overreact less, she is now saying that she can have a little meltdown as long as she can see the funny side of it afterwards. If she wants to work on anything then it can be something less personal. She could tell herself that in order to stop the meltdowns she could work on her cooking.

I thought this was such a clever switch in thinking. I always get so upset when I fail and then I beat myself up because I’m upset and then I continue getting even more wound up with myself.

Instead, I can just allow those crappy feelings and get rid of the beating that I give myself afterwards. And when I really think about it, it is quite funny that I can get so wound up about an interview or a car repair bill; I just need to look at everything that has happened in the world over the last years to know that my issues are pretty small fry.

So, I guess what I’m saying is, listen to that lady. Don’t get angry at yourself for feeling all the feelings. Trying to stop feelings with willpower is like trying to stop a leak with toilet paper.

The answer to the problem is to learn to laugh at yourself. Sometimes hard, but always worth it.

Much Love

Rachel xx

it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to change someone’s day…

crop black tourist on coast with foamy ocean water
Photo by Laker on

We let off gentle little ripples

Into an apathetic world, or so we’re led to think.

But really there are points out there

That suck that kindness in.

Souls that need that love, that hot and juicy courage,

And without that gentle push from us,

The greater things in life

Would never come to light.

I am genuinely always fascinated by this idea of passing kindness on. I always wonder whether something I have done has, in some convoluted way, led onto something being achieved that never would have happened if it weren’t for something nice that I have done.

It may be quite a conceited way to look at the world and my place in it, but it actually works to drive me on to do nicer things. Sure, it makes me feel like I may be more important than I actually am in the scheme of things, but it also makes me think twice before I do something a little bit shitty.

What if saying something nice about someone’s shoes makes them feel good and so they pay a fiver towards somebody’s petrol because they forgot their debit card, and then that person sees a homeless person and pays for their lunch and then that person helps out at a soup kitchen and then out of that a charity is born and millions of people are helped.

I know none of what went on after I said something nice about the shoes, and yet I’d have done so much good in the world. And then, what happens if the same process happens in reverse? What if I’m rude to someone in a shop and it ends in a death?

Obviously, you can’t blame yourself for all the bad things that happen in the world (and I have been there and I know how miserable that life becomes), but you have to be mindful of where your actions can lead to.

I think about this even more now that I am training to be a teacher. I have this wonderful opportunity, every day, to shape a future. That sounds really cheesy, I know, but to a certain extent, it’s true.

Let’s all send out those positive ripples today. Pretend you have the power to change the world and it really will make you change the little things you do in life.

Much Love

Rachel xx

LOVe and other drugs

It’s sometimes messy, they say,

When leather’s wrapped round desperate arms

And chemicals can course through veins,

When lovers drop to scraped up knees

And wish on stars that they had never met,

We take a thoughtful step away

Knowing that it’s far too late

To wind that clock back to day dot,

Undoing work of addicts’ hands.

it’s so great that these kids get to talk

photo of girl standing while smiling
Photo by Mitch Kesler on

The bubbles start so small and insignificant,

Inconsequential, like stars in galaxies

Far too far away for me to worry on.

But soon they build and then it’s like

An atom bomb that tears through streets,

Ripping life from hopeful hearts.

So talk, my friends, and let it all out

Just try not to worry and stop crying your heart out…..

The BBC Children In Need programme is on at the moment and I think that we need it more than ever this year. Kids that would be struggling anyway have been hit even harder and I think nights like this bring the nation together to do something positive for the world.

I’m noticing while watching that a lot of the schemes that the money will go towards are talking based therapies and that makes my heart so happy. With everything going on it’s so nice to see kids being given the chance to let it out in a healthy way.

I wish that I had had access to a professional person when I was young. There must be so many kids out there that need the help desperately and the CAMHS waiting lists in this country are just too long. I’ve been told that a child needs to have actually hurt themselves in some way to be added to the list which is shocking.

But, here’s a thought, maybe we should all be a little more skilled at listening. We all love to sit and talk about ourselves but sometimes we just need to let people pour out their emotions without comparing their woes to our own.

I’ve made a bit of a conscious effort to listen to the lids at school a bit more and it’s amazing what people tell you when they know that you are giving them your full attention. That trust that they give you is so easily earned and yet it’s so powerful.

I’d encourage everyone to sit down with a fellow human and just listen some time soon. Don’t interrupt or pass judgement, just nod and show you care. And if you get a chance, check out the Children in Need single, Stop Crying Your Heart Out. It’s one of my all time favourites and I think the stars involved have done a great job.

Much Love

Rachel xx

parents’ evening

woman writing on a whiteboard
Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

Faces pop on PC screens

For just eight minutes at a time,

But speaking to the parent of

That child that sits too quietly,

So far back I sometimes fail to see,

I realise that there’s such a depth,

The things I never knew.

I sat in my first parents’ evening tonight and it was a very strange experience. I have not been on the teacher side of a normal parents’ evening so at least the other teachers were feeling the same level of apprehension as I was (luckily I’m not speaking to the parents until next week).

We sat in a quiet classroom and waited for each eight minute slot, and then a face would appear on the screen. It was weird as we didn’t really know what the person on the other side would be like. There was no queue at the table as you would see at a normal event.

But, for me, as a trainee, it was realising that some of the students I see in tutorial aren’t all that I thought they were. This really applies to the quiet ones that come in, sit down and don’t cause a fuss. I notice them at the back, but they are shy and I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable, so I leave them be.

When you speak to the parents you hear some of the background stuff that you would never hear from the pupil. You get told about the learning difficulties, disabilities, mental health problems and family issues.

It is only then that you see what some of these kids are carrying on their shoulders. Tonight has made me think twice about making assumptions and it’s made me want to reach out to the quiet ones a little more.

We all have our stories and I would hate to think that those that sit at the back of the class are wanting me to make the first move. I would hate for them to think that I don’t care.

Make sure that you spend tomorrow showing that you care because it may well make somebody’s day.

Much Love

Rachel xx

spilling the tea on all of those famous people

classic photo of a woman holding a tea cup
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

The stuff I know could shake the world

And opinions roll from me like marbles from

The hands of grubby playground kids.

I’ll let you in on the secrets that I know

And in the process I will crush some souls,

Doesn’t matter though because

I’ll never meet the people talked about.

I have become painfully aware of this ‘spilling the tea’ movement on platforms like YouTube. It feels like the only way to gain traction on the internet is to be horrible to someone.

The people who make these videos can really attack people that they don’t know at all and it feels like, if you’re famous, you’re fair game for most of these people.

The internet has the power to be so helpful and positive but it has just twisted into something quite nightmarish. I do wonder how some of these famous people cope with some of the attacks they get online? I know for certain that I would need to curl up in a ball and cry. Perhaps we should think how we would feel a little more often?

Much Love

Rachel xx

Piers Morgan

It could go round and round in circles

Forever and a day,

If we shout at him and he shouts back.

But what are we actually achieving?

If I had even an ounce of influence

I’d try to wade right in

Like a teacher in the playground

Pulling apart the rowdy boys.

I don’t want to engage or take sides

I just want it all to stop!

I want to put my fingers in my ears

And shout lalalalalala really loud.

Piers needs to be quiet, put in the corner

To think about things he has said and he’s done

But we need to stop this brawling as well.

And if you refuse after a little time out,

I’ll take away Twitter like that last toy you lost.

So please, play nice Piers

And you play nice too.

I hate to write about specific people because I don’t generally like to throw my opinion of others out there into the world. It’s my opinion and it should probably remain in the confines of my own brain.

However, Piers Morgan is a strange kind of character who thrives on the fight so I’m sure he wouldn’t mind little old me writing a poem. Because reading his Twitter feed is like reading the rantings of a small child in a playground and it just brought out the teacher in me. I felt like I just needed to wade in, not to give my opinion, but to break up the fight.

And I think that this tackles the main problem with the internet and social media. We can blame people like Piers for all the toxic hate, but really the people reacting to him are just fanning the flames and are sometimes being quite vile themselves.

I think that sometimes we need to just drop our weapons and start speaking to people like they are humans that deserve respect. Or, failing that, please don’t say anything at all.

Let’s leave Piers in the corner having a little hissy fit, while all of us go and have some fun being nice and sharing our toys. Who’s with me? Piers, we’re here when you’re ready to calm down and join us….

Much Love

Rachel xx