Tuesday, 11 November 2014

AIRMAIL CHRISTMAS: 2014!

This is the third year I have ran Airmail Christmas and what fun it has been!!! I really hope you take part this year. One of the most important things for me about Airmail Christmas is that it is ran in honour of a special person. And this year is no exception...



When you send your Christmas card to someone in the world this year. I would love it to be sent in honour of Anna Basso. I think the only person who can sum Anna up is her big sister Patrice. When I started blogging back in 2009 Patrice's blog was one of the first blogs I followed. Patrice is so funny, witty and real! I remember so vividly Patrice documenting how her and Anna would get into their Christmas pyjamas on Christmas eve and open gifts. I was gutted when she announced her little sister had bone cancer. Patrice documented Anna's battle so beautifully and even though Anna is sadly not on this Earth...the legacy she has left behind and the sterling work her family carry out in her memory...is beyond incredible. Here Patrice, Anna's big sister, shares more about her and how sending a card in memory of her is so important!

Anna Basso was a fun loving, free spirited, beautiful girl. She loved to have fun, to make people laugh and she had a huge heart. She cared deeply about other people; in the words of one of her best friends, “Cancer is supposed to crush your spirits and bring you down. Anna never let it get to her like that, she only showed her strength and if she was worried about anything it was her friends and family. “ Anna was diagnosed in the middle of her junior year of high school with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive bone cancer that primarily affects adolescents ages 10-20. She endured a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and then was given the all-clear report. Sadly, 5 months later, it was discovered cancer cells remained in her bone marrow. She had relapsed and had to fight for her life. 18 months after her diagnosis, and less than a month after her high school graduation, Anna passed away.


During her battle with cancer, over 1 million prayers were pledged on her behalf. It seemed right, but also just natural, that Anna’s legacy should carry on through the people she connected. Anna, too, had a dream for what her legacy could be. Rather than pass along burned CDs of music she found significant, or fill journals with her wit and wisdom, Anna wanted to be remembered through a foundation bent on finding ways to defeat this disease and helping those affected by it. With that in mind, we created the 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation in January of 2012.

Christmas was always a special time in our family. It is the holiday that I have the most special memories of growing up, and all of these include my sister, Anna.

Every year on Christmas Eve, we got to open our first present, which was always Christmas pajamas.  These were often matching, too. Then, although we had separate bedrooms, my sister and I always spent the night together. Anna would wake me up early in the morning so we could go downstairs and see what “Santa” brought us. Christmas day was always spent in the laziest, but best possible way; usually in our pajamas all day and enjoying our new presents. Our Dad is one of the best cooks, so we always had a delicious Christmas night dinner.

Our family cherishes the Christmas memories we have with Anna, and we feel strongly about honoring her giving and loving spirit, especially around Christmas time. That’s why AirMail Christmas is the perfect fit! More ways to spread the love that Anna had for each and every person she met. 
As you can see Anna's story has left a mark on so many people. The charity - One Million for Anna - started off with excelling a million prayers for Anna's healing. I would love to be able to send a million Christmas cards off for her too. I know that's asking a little too much...okay a lot...but it would be great to get it started would it not?

If you are willing to take part and extend your Christmas spirit onto other people then all you have to do is this.

1) Email your address (it can be your home, work or anywhere else address that you would like a card to be posted to you at) to the designated email address: forrobin_christmas(at)hotmail.com. Please be rest assured your addresses will be held confidentially and will not be shared with anyone else apart from the person who will be sending you the card. Emails need to be sent by 1st December 2014.

2) I will then email you the address of someone else that you can send a card to this year.

3) Once you have posted your card all you need to do is wait for the card that you will receive from another generous person.

4) Then tweet/instagram/facebook a picture of your card using the hashtag AirmailChristmas (#airmailchristmas).

The only rule is that you need to be willing to post abroad if the person you are paired up with lives in another country.

I really hope you can take part in this years Christmas card exchange. When I asked Patrice if it could be in honour of her baby sister this year- she was so honoured! I wish I had the chance to meet Anna and I hope in a way this helps spread her legacy and spirit around the world a little bit more. 

So the more the merrier! Tell your friends, family and fellow social media families. Anna loved Christmas so lets start wishing everyone 'A Very Airmail Christmas' this year!!!

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Service before self.











This morning I woke up at 10:50 and my immediate thought was the 2 minute silence coming up around the world. I turned on my phone and watched the proceedings at the Cenotaph taking place in London. Each year we remember the two great world wars that have taken place over the last 100 years. We remember the sacrifices made and the lives taken for our country during this and the subsequent wars I have witnessed since. We think of the bereaved families who haven't or won't ever see their loved ones return home. 

I think of how much I would just love to see peace. Just for once there be no fighting, no deaths, no military action and no terrorism. I know that the chance of seeing this in my lifetime are slim but I still hope.

But there was one thing that has been on my mind this Remembrance Sunday. Would the soldiers and people who died fighting for our freedom be proud of the way the world is today? If I am totally honest I am on the fence. I can only hope we are worthy of their sacrifice.

Last week I went and saw the poppies at the Tower of London. I got to witness the 888, 246 poppies that represent the great world war and the people who fought in it. I'd love to hug my great grandfather who fought in the first world war. I'd love to shake hands with my great uncle who died on the Bismark after it was bombed by a torpedo. I cannot even comprehend how thankful I am to them because I am so lucky to feel safe in this country. Despite every bad thing we see or read there are people out there who want to protect us. And for that I will be eternally thankful and forever indebted to their courage.

Thank you. It will never be enough.

I just hope hope remembering them will be.

Lest we forget.


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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Something is coming...

Airmail Christmas...



And it's in honour of someone very special this year. I am excited! Will you be joining this year?



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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Home improvement inspiration.

I have been in my new house since May and things are slowly coming together. I have really settled in and now it's just about tying a few loose ends to make rooms more homely. The most lived in room is the lounge and there's a space in it that just isn't there yet.

Can I have your help?

A few people have sent me photos and I have looked on pinterest. I have an idea of what I might do but I just wanted to see if you guys could help? 


This dresser is quite a prominent feature in the living area. I LOVE the canvas scripture above it and the colour of the room is grey/purple. I just feel it lacks a little something! We have the lantern on it but I'm thinking of moving that to another place in the room as it looks like the sideboard just drowns it.

So do you have any quick thinking and price savvy ideas?

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Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Petrol Light

Earlier this year something happened that I never thought would happen. This is where you stop and think 'Oh my what could this be? Did she miss a big birthday? Did she quit work on the spot?'

Nope.

I nearly ran out of petrol.

I can just imagine all your arched eyebrows and going PEERLEASE!

But seriously I am one of, many people I hope, who refuses for my petrol to get low. As soon as it is about to get on the 1/4 full line I am in the petrol garage filling up.

It has always been in my nature to ensure things never run out. When I hear people who have had to call the AA out, because they thought their petrol would last the journey, I just think how silly?

I guess I have something chronic about me in that I have to prevent disasters from happening. When I was having counselling earlier this year I quickly acknowledged that I worry about the small details. I like to get to work on the small things, the niggly things that people don't want to do. I trust the big things get sorted out but the small things - they bother me.

Such as the petrol light.

I was driving to my friends in Kent. He lives about an hour away and I had over 1/4 full of petrol in my tank. I knew I would need to get petrol at some point but I genuinely thought I would have enough.

I had this covered. It was a small thing and it had been dealt with.

About half hour into the journey the light came on and I suddenly felt a little surge of panic. I instantly thought that I needed to get petrol. I had to get rid of this amber light. But the petrol station that was coming up was closed. 'You had to kidding me?' I thought. I was also on a part of the motorway that I had no clue as to where I was. 

So what did I do?

I got a bit of paper and covered the amber light of course. As that would make it go away! I kept looking at my sat nav and the minutes to my destination were getting less. I was acutely aware though that I was passing no petrol stations either!!!



I won't lie I was starting to panic. I was edging closer to the steering wheel as if to make my car move faster on as little petrol as it could. I kept telling myself how silly I was and that OF COURSE I didn't have enough petrol to last the journey.

Then all of a sudden - with 10 minutes left to my destination - the amber light starting flashing. I could see it lighting up every 2 seconds through the paper. 'Just great!' I thought. I was in an area I had no clue about. I was on a stretch of motorway with no lights. And now I was potentially going to be stuck on a stretch of road in the dark.

Whoop!?

So I pulled over so I could fight with myself and then decide what to do. My car was lagging and I was anxious. Do I call my parents and tell them to bring me some petrol? I had no breakdown cover on my insurance then so couldn't call them without paying loads! So what did I do?

I laughed.

I laughed and I laughed and I laughed.

Then all of a sudden I felt no panic. This was not the end of the world. I had learnt in my therapy that when faced with situations that are hard to tackle it's a good idea to make a list. The list could range from absolutely ludicrous ideas to rather sensible ones. So my list included to magic a wand and conjure up a spell to produce petrol to googling for help.

Luckily my friend text me (he doesn't drive so he couldn't help me out) and he saved the day. He used the wonders of the internet to track my location and he emailed me a map of a petrol station that was a 2 minute drive away. He was my saviour and I managed to get my car there in one piece. Despite the pull I had to drive it!

Since then I still do not let the petrol light get too low and I tell this story to almost everyone - poor buggers. But it will always stay with me for one simple reason.


'where there is a will there is a way'

I now tend to think that situations could be worse off whereas before my therapy I would always - without fail - think I'd be in the worst situation possible.

I was just amazed at how differently I handled it. On reflection the situation was not funny. If it wasn't for my friend I'd had probably had to fork out hundreds of pounds to get a person to fill up my tank. But I was okay. I was more than okay.

Sometimes you just have to let the petrol light hit empty before you realise that.

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