Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Depression Loves Everyone

Here we have The Lost Lectures 2013 - a slightly extended version of the TED talk but a slightly shortened version of Losing It - in a boxing ring in East London (how cool is that!)

"Run Chlamydia, Run!" - gets me every time.

Sane New World is premiering in Cape Town this week and then coming to a theatre near you in the UK in March / April. Watch this space. I was lucky enough to see a preview and then give feedback on the script and its so so good. 

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Joanna Lumley's Garden Bridge in London

I was fortunate enough to meet Joanna Lumley on Monday at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill. Same place that I met Miranda Hart at last year..!

She was speaking as part of 5x15 stories about building a Garden Bridge across the Thames - and this is her talk:

More info about it and another fab short video can be found at: 

As a Londoner who likes to walk everywhere (lets face it - its the cheapest and best way to enjoy our glorious city), I love the idea of a new Bridge and a place for us all to slow down. So am in full support of this incredible project.

Annual Cost of Mental Illness in London

I haven't felt much like blogging in the last couple of weeks - its been quite hard to concentrate on anything since hearing news of Charlotte's death. I think about her all the time. 

I have flicked through newspapers, not really taking in much of the news. However, I did stumble across this article about the annual cost of mental illness in London.

And here is the full report, which is worth looking at if you have a moment.

The bottom line is that mental illness costs London £26 BILLION a year. Thats about £500 million pounds a week. Mind boggling. And the thing is, those figures are only going to increase as more and more people are affected. AND this is just London - what about the rest of England, the UK and the world...?

As someone said to me on Twitter this week: 

"Its time to put some proper, hardcore, frontline help in for people that really need it. Stamping out stigma is no longer enough."

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Charlotte Bevan: an all time hero

This is a blog post that I hoped I would never have to write - but we have known for sometime that Charlotte's cancer was terminal and that her days were numbered. On Monday, her life came to an end. Far too early, far too soon. There really are no words - and certainly not in a blog post like this - that can do her justice and sum up what an extraordinary and unique person she was. It is such a relief that she is now free of pain.

As Laura Collins wrote on Charlotte's blog recently (to update us all) "She announced her terminal cancer diagnosis and then moved forward living each day in its turn."

She's even managed to write a book in the last 6 months, for crying out loud. It is a truly brilliant piece of work and all money spent on purchasing it goes to Charlotte's Helix so I urge you to buy it.

Speaking of her blog, where do you think the inspiration of the title of MY blog came from? Hers of course. I started mine about 6 weeks after her. She wrote some of the funniest, most poignant but also the most informative blogs I have ever come across - constantly humouring us, educating us and being incredible frank and honest about her illness.

Several things link Charlotte / her family and I - for starters: my mum went to school with her and I ended up at school with her daughters. Small world, I know.

We wanted to nominate her for a UK National Honour or the All in the Mind awards but there wasn't enough time. There is no question as to whether or not she deserved it. She dedicated her life to helping other parents and carers who have loved ones with eating disorders - dispelling the myths, standing up to several professionals who got it so wrong and just being there, holding their hands over the internet or on the phone. She spoke to families all over the world. Comforting and reassuring them. Telling them to just breathe and that their child's illness was not their fault. She introduced me to some of the most highly regarded ED professionals in the world including Prof. Bryan Lask and Prof. Janet Treasure OBE and I have met them both.

Charlotte is responsible for getting me the help when I needed it, for getting people to listen when they needed to hear and has taught me more than any book or professional has ever done. She gave me permission to be angry when things were infuriating and upsetting. One of the first emails she ever sent me was so reassuring and she just kept ending her messages with "Love you xx" 

She was also responsible for introducing me to many wonderful people on the FEAST/ATDT forum and these friendships will last a lifetime and are somehow all the more special because we are all connected by Charlotte.

She rewrote my many appalling university lectures on the subject of eating disorders and offered to come and give them herself - she provided me with all the evidence I needed to prove to my tutors that the information we were being taught was wrong. She gave me the confidence to stand up to the lecturers and tell them exactly what was wrong with the information we were given. 

Charlotte was unable to come to the FEAST conference in Nottingham in November 2012 and I was responsible for streaming the whole thing live from my laptop so that she could watch it from her sitting room (and Laura and others could watch it from across the pond).  She always reminded me of what Susan Ringwood (CEO of beat) said at that conference "Everyone needs a Miranda". 

My favourite pictures with her...

Picture 1: November 2010 - I spent the weekend with them cooking and laughing. This was literally only a few months after I had been ill and it was Charlotte who put the wheels in motion to make my recovery possible. And the second pic is G, E & I - I wore an apron all of that day, which made me feel very important. The two funniest things about that day was when Trouble their dog threw up on my boots as he was so delighted to meet me (we just had to laugh) and the second funny thing was getting everyone very drunk on the fruit cake I had made the week before, which I had lovingly injected with squirts of alcohol daily..

Picture 2: November 2013 - I was the first person in the UK to donate my DNA to Charlotte's Helix - such an honour and will hopefully inspire more people to register - it was so quick and easy.

Picture 3 - October 2013: The last time I ever saw her and I was able to spend the most heavenly day by the beach with her at their new house in Southwold. I bought the most wonderful Noa Noa dress that day from Collen and Clare, which I just love and will treasure forever:

She leaves behind two of the most beautiful, mature and kind daughters who I am so proud to call friends. And her husband is one of the coolest and funnest dads I know.

I hope I never have to go through what she had to, but if I do, I hope I do it with the same strength, determination and energy that she showed and the courage that the rest of her family are showing.

I am extremely sad that she has gone, in fact I still can't really believe or comprehend it. I am so angry that cancer has taken her from us. Nobody should have to face cancer, but why the hell do the nicest and most precious families in the world have to face it?

I am so grateful to people like OneMoreMum, Laura and the many FEAST mums for their love and support. 

Charlotte said "YOU CAN DO THIS WITHOUT ME".  We can and we will. Maybe not right now, but we will all gather as much strength as we can and do this together. For Charlotte and for the Helix.

When God saw you getting tired

To Charlotte from Emily and Georgie:

When God saw you getting tired
And a cure was not to be
He put his arms around you
And whispered "Come to me."

He didn't like what you went through
And he gave you rest
His garden must be beautiful
He only takes the best

And when we saw you sleeping
So peaceful and free from pain
We wouldn't wish you back
To suffer that again

Today we say goodbye
And as you take your final rest
That garden must be beautiful
Because you are one of the best.

(Not sure who the author is but this is not a university essay so the last thing I care about right now is plagiarism. But it wasn't me or G or E who wrote that)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Charlotte Bevan

Laura has delivered the saddest news on Charlotte's blog.

We can do this without her. We aren't sure we can, but we will.

Charlotte bought many people together. We now have to join forces around the world, remembering what an incredibly special woman Charlotte was. One of a kind.

I am too choked to write anymore for now...

Monday, 6 January 2014

Sane New World: Only 99p on Kindle

Yes, I know! The title of this post is true. I just checked and you can buy (at the time of typing) Sane New World for your Kindle for only 99p! What are you waiting for? Cheaper than going to Poundland! 

Maracattack and Snapchating my way into 2014

One of my favourite birthday presents in November 2013, was the Miranda's Maracattack DVD. Can't remember if I have blogged about it before but if not, see video below. A great fun (or should I say "Such Fun") way to exercise. And its directed by (the one and only) Ed Bye - I know! 

So imagine my squeals of delight when, on Christmas Day, I opened a present (it rattled when Ella gave it to me) and it was some maracas! AND a Miranda Mask AND a Such Fun T shirt (which you can't see in the below picture). Oh how we laughed.

So now I am totes kitted out to do some Maracattacking - that is now a word. 

In other news: term has started and I have essays coming out of my ears. Sigh. But Ella and I love a good Snapchat:

Sunday, 5 January 2014