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(Attempting to be) Positive (about) Politics

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It has been hard to be positive about politics; I might say impossible. I had thought about writing about how the invasion of Ukraine has brought nations together in a show of solidarity, but I found it ultimately crude and unhelpful. I imagined that with each word I wrote, Russian forces had crossed another checkpoint, another building toppled by missile, another refugee walks another mile towards a border. The truth is, trying to find positivity from a sedentary position is a very privileged exercise.

I couldn’t help but think about Lorraine Kelly declaring that ‘well, life does go on’ in the bizarrely liminal interim between her programme’s coverage of the war and an interview with Avril Lavigne. Lorraine’s slip-up, however sensationalised, did reveal something quite important about the disconnect between us and the world outside ourselves. Media, news, and even casual conversation in our time can present whip-lashing subject matter without missing a beat. As I write now, I can remember how I had joked during storm Eunice about how the ‘climate apocalypse had begun’, which now sounds like a sober lament. Is the casual cynicism of my generation healthy? I’m not quite sure.

I don’t want to sound like a fogey, waving my fist and announcing to the world that ‘we don’t know how lucky we have it!’ But as many of us sleep soundly in our beds, our dreams will not be invaded by terror, nor disturbed by the sound of gunfire like it will for many Ukrainians. ‘Life does go on,’ but not in the same way for all. But maybe there’s an antidote out there between the all the facetiousness and doom? The way that I am staying optimistic is by reminding myself that I am one of the lucky ones whose life is still going on, and for now, in much the same way. I have also reminded myself of the benevolence of community action and charity where we lucky ones can help. Below, I have included come charitable organisations that are currently working to support those who have been effected in the hopes that we may spread some positivity where there is none.

World Central Kitchen:

The UN Refugee Agency:

The Salvation Army World Service Office:

The Ukrainian Red Cross:


Tue 1 Mar 2022

You Will See The Doctor Now

Star of Social and Mainstream Media, Dr Nighat Arif

When we were brainstorming ground-breaking women to interview for this issue, I knew who was first on my list to approach. Meeting again over Zoom, I start by apologising for the fact that, when we met, I had no idea ‘who she was’ and thankfully, she laughed…  

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Thu 19 May 2022

Local charity, Dementia Oxfordshire, are marking Dementia Action Week by hosting and attending events across the county. They are providing information and advice to people with a dementia diagnosis and their loved ones, encouraging local organisations and businesses to take dementia awareness training and urging individuals to visit the GP if they are concerned they may have dementia.

Mon 2 May 2022

From Seeds to Squirrels

Richard Dawkins’ Flights of Fancy

This year’s instalment of KITE, the Oxford-based festival of music and ideas, will see British evolutionary biologist and prolific author Richard Dawkins take the stage. He will be discussing his latest book, Flights of Fancy, which explores all aspects of flight – human and animal.

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Mon 2 May 2022

Gen Z Frenzy

It’s Not Talking if You’re Laughing

I recently tweeted that I’ve had the kind of year where if you read it in a book, you’d be like ‘Okay, that’s a bit far-fetched.’ and when it got to the stage where my sister’s therapist asked if I was okay, it felt like it might be time to do something about it.