Tag Archives: hope

Raising revolutionaries

Sorry things have been a bit quiet over here lately, but I have some news!

I’ve been thinking for a while that I need to streamline my blog – focus in on a more specific area rather than the scattergun approach I’ve used so far. It’s been fun, and it’s been kinda important for me to work out where my head’s at.

But after more than three years, it’s time for a change…


So I’ve started a new blog. It’s called Raising Revolutionaries, and it focuses in on an area that is becoming increasingly important to me as the world gets more and more difficult to fathom: that is, the ways in which the choices we make as parents and educators can influence a better future. I’ve borrowed from my archives here to chart my growing ideas in these areas since I began this blog back in January 2013, and I’ve finally written my first new post today too if you’d like to have a read.

I’ve been doing lots of reading about parenting and education, building on the masters degree I completed forever ago and thinking seriously about possibly moving towards a PhD. But in the meantime I’m going to play around with some ideas in this new little corner of the internet.

There will be politics, and some strong opinions on parenting (generally of the respectful and progressive variety) and on education (generally with a democratic and child-led air). There will be ongoing reflections on my journey as a mother, and the things that Arthur is teaching me along the way. And hopefully there will be lots of learning – for me, and for you if you’d like to join me.

It feels more than a little bit scary to be starting again from the beginning, so if you’d like to pop over and say hi then I’d really appreciate that. I have a new Facebook page where I’m currently rather lonely, so feel free to link up there too.

I’m going to keep ‘Sophie is…’ online for the foreseeable future but I’m not envisaging any new posts here. So if you’re interested in what I have to say about parenting and education then you know where to find me! And if you’re here for more writerly rambles then watch this space… Hopefully I should have my new writing website up and running very soon!



“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

It has been a strange few days. The EU referendum result has ignited such shock, grief and anger – not just amongst me and my friends, but amongst many millions of people in the UK and beyond.

I have spent hours dwelling on the impact that impending Brexit will have on the life of this little one – the identity shifted, the opportunities missed, the unity unknown.

We had to escape on Saturday morning, taking our van to a campsite not far away but far enough to immerse ourselves in nature for a while. It didn’t entirely drag me away from social media and its outpouring of emotion, analysis and dismay, but it stopped me from going completely mad.

There was something strangely comforting about the fact that most of the weekend was mired in cloud and slow drizzle, belying the forecast of sunshine we had been looking forward to all week. It was as if the universe was grieving with us for all that we have lost.

And then this morning the sun came up, and bathed our campsite in warmth and beauty. We went for a swim in the sea, cool and invigorating, and I began to see things with fresh eyes.

I still believe that something terrible has happened to our country, but I am beginning to see the referendum result as a symptom rather than a cause – and as a call to act, for all of our futures.

Looking at this boy, poised and full of wonder at the heart of an ancient tree budding with new life, gives me hope that we, too, can find a way to bring ourselves back from the winter that has befallen us.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 

Words of hope

Tonight I set myself one of the hardest writing tasks I’ve ever faced. And even just writing that makes me wince at my misconception of hardship.

I like to think I’m pretty good with words. I’d go so far as to say they’re my ‘thing’. But there are times when they are so woefully inadequate that they may as well not even exist.


Tonight I have been writing letters to refugees. Cards, actually. I thought that if I could maybe encapsulate my words in a whole package of hope and solidarity then maybe their inherent flimsiness would be less noticeable.

Because, honestly, what do you say?

What do you say to someone whose roof has been ripped from over them whilst you sit in the warmth and the comfort of your own four walls?

What do you say to someone whose children are struggling to survive when you have spent the evening delighting in filling an advent calendar for your own precious one?

What do you say to give someone hope when you cringe at the state of the world every time you look at the news?

In the end it was only hope that made any sense. Despite the odds stacked against humanity by fear and greed and mistrust, hope is the only thing we have to hang on to.

I fumbled through my words, and then – as I so often do – borrowed those of someone else to say what I really wanted to.

Emily Dickinson always stops me in my tracks, and this stanza is one of my very favourites.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all – “

Tomorrow I will take my cards, and my words, down to the sorting centre in Brixham where volunteers are making sense of the bags and bags of donations ready to send them to Lesvos, where hopefully they might provide some respite for refugees. The plan is that each box on the palette we send will contain a message from someone here, someone who is living in safety and in disbelief that our world can treat other humans as badly as we do.

Each palette, each box, each card, will hardly make a dent in the ocean of need: I wrote ten messages tonight; approximately 400,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Lesvos so far this year.

But they might just bring some hope. And whilst we’re busy working out what else to do, there are worse things to leave in our stead.


I’ve put together some resources to help teachers tackle the refugee crisis in the classroom. Please help yourself if you think you can use them!

If you would like to find out more about how you can help, please visit the Humanity Has No Borders website. Thank you. 


Writing Bubble

Sunday Photo: 15th November 2015


Today saw the beginning of the festive season for us with a Christmas Market organised by Humanity Has No Borders as part of their fundraising efforts to send aid to refugees.

There was something incredibly poignant about watching everybody have fun given the global events of the past few days, but at the same time it felt particularly important to be standing in solidarity with those seeking refuge from precisely the kind of terror that suddenly feels very close to home.

The outpouring of sadness on social media that followed the Paris attacks has, predictably and frustratingly, been accompanied by a fresh wave of fear and hate – calls to ‘close the borders’ by people who are ‘not racist, but…’.

I imagine this is precisely the impact that the perpetrators of such horrific crimes hope to have: to stir up negative emotions, break down natural human bonds and drive wedges between people and nations.

I hope for something different. I hope that my beautiful son might grow up in a world that recognises all humans as equal, wherever they happen to be born. I hope that his future may be filled with compassion and generosity, not with fear and greed.

Our Town Hall was filled with hope today, and the compassion and generosity of our community shone through. Already local people have donated enough aid to fill approximately one thousand boxes with supplies that could make all the difference to people struggling to survive in refugee camps in Greece: now we just need to get it there.

If you would like to help you can find more information at www.humanityhasnoborders.org.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

                                Martin Luther King, Jr.


Linking up today’s post with Darren at One Dad 3 Girls for My Sunday Photo and Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project.