Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Ruby Wax OBE

This is a blog post I have been BURSTING to share with you. 

I found out 10 weeks ago that I "might have pulled it off"... Whilst sitting in a restaurant in Notting Hill after a fun filled evening in the green room at the recording of Mel & Sue, Ruby Wax told me that she had received "the letter" - it took me approximately 0.5 seconds to put two and two together - at which point, my hand clapped to my mouth and all I could do was stare in wonderment at this newly crowned woman sitting opposite me and contemplate what I had done - 

“Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to award Ruby Wax with an OBE for services to mental health.”

I KNOW !! 

We had to wait just over 8 weeks (without telling anyone) for the powers above to write again with confirmation. I am still apologising profusely to neighbours and colleagues for my extremely loud whooping and cheering when I heard earlier this month that it had been finalised.

To me, she is now known as ROBEY (see what I did there?!) and there is nobody more deserving of this brilliant accolade.  Ruby’s tireless campaigning for a better understanding of mental illness and breaking down stigma has made a phenomenal difference in many people’s lives, both in the UK and throughout the world. 

I wanted to see her appropriately recognised for this work – hence why I nominated her. You are obviously never meant to tell the person that they are being nominated for the Honour, as the chances of them getting it are small - so I never said anything - but lots of incredible people wrote letters of endorsement so word must have got out eventually. 

In fact, exactly a year ago this week, we went to Kensington Palace because I nominated her for a smaller, Depression Alliance award, which she WON – little did we know that a year later we would be celebrating an actual OBE.

I have been a sufferer of mental illness and do my best to tweet, write and talk about it to do whatever it takes to help break down barriers. But Ruby went as far as gaining a Masters degree from Oxford University in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy and has dedicated her entire career and life to this area.

The Press Release went out on Monday and there was a great article amongst others on the BBC News / Entertainment page... Other quotes included:

How can anyone with the surname Wax possibly be given an OBE?! And she's a bloody foreigner. Delighted! Well deserved.” – Sir Richard Branson
Ruby has always been a star in my firmament, and although she can make your ribs ache with laughter she can also wrench your head round to see the darkness in the world, and how to deal with it. No-one deserves to be recognised more. I hope she will have a very large copy of the medal made, and will wear it on her shoulder like a parrot. I adore her.Joanna Lumley

“For the past decade Ruby Wax has laid her own life bear in order to encourage change in our understanding of Mental Health. There is nothing glamorous about being a poster girl for this issue, but she has embraced the role with rigour, intelligence, honesty, wisdom, compassion and determination. I am in awe of her commitment to encouraging debate about the subject by using her own understanding, strength and vulnerability.  She is magnificent.”  - Emma Freud

Ruby might be American but really she’s ours and I feel incredibly proud and excited to have been part of this, and to see that The Queen has recognised her for her efforts – and gone further to help put mental illness on the map.

Stay TUNED for a photo of her when she goes and collects the OBE medal. I am already squirming with excitement. 

I have been given a special mention on the Huffington Post (see here) and this blog post has also been published on the Notting Hill Post. Excuse me while I silently scream with joy. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Buzz and the Dandelions

You may remember that I have blogged about Tom Fletcher before. He did THAT wedding speech and then announced his wife's pregnancy with THOSE pumpkins and then the arrival of Buzz with those daily photos merged into a very clever video....

Well NOW - we are utterly spoilt with clips like this - who knew that Dandelions were so fricken hilarious - beyond adorable:

Tom's sister Carrie has written a wonderful book for young people / teenagers, which was published this week. Its called All I Know Now. I'm not a teenager but would refer to myself as a "young person" so I can't wait to read it - there's a lot be learnt from wise and clever people like Carrie...  So a good week all round in the Fletcher household. 

Lots to be smiling about here too in the Miranda's Murmurs world. All will be revealed soon. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

This number plate is......

This number plate sums up pretty much today, this week, this month and how I feel right now.... Only on Portobello Road, would I find something like that. What a find. 

More news shortly. I am literally bursting with excitement. Bursting.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Natalia Kills and Willy Moon v Katie Hopkins

I have mentioned a number of times how much I love Twitter - its a great place to meet new people, learn new things, keep up to speed with the world..... 

BUT there are times when it can go very wrong and lead to some very hurtful and upsetting outcomes - its as easy to tweet a picture of a delightful looking cupcake / view of a beautiful beach as it is to send death and rape threats or inexplicable insults to someone....

Katie Hopkins is like marmite. You either love her or hate her. I love marmite but I really despise Katie Hopkins. She is paid a lot of money to appear on television and write in newspapers - making some of the most outrageous statements... last weekend she targeted people with mental illness - here are some examples of what she wrote ....

The truth is, she is doing it for attention and she got exactly what she wanted. The best thing the world could do was to completely ignore it but after reading the above, it was very difficult to do that.

Moving onto Natalia Kills and Willy Moon, who you may not have heard of - they are both successful recording artists in the music industry, who until recently were both judges on the X Factor in New Zealand - but last month they made worldwide news after making some harsh remarks to one of the contestants live on air - they were branded as bullies and fired immediately from the show. See here:

Now is not the time to go into whether or not what they did was wrong / scripted / set up or whether they should / shouldn't have said what they did (I believe there was a lot that went on behind the scenes to create good television - not many people will watch the X Factor in NZ so something had to be done to make it headline news).... 

The point is... Katie Hopkins is allowed to be racist, offensive, abusive, outrageous, insulting..... many people love her for it, she is paid to do it and she can carry on..... Natalia Kills and Willy Moon make upsetting comments and are catapulted into the press, named as bullies and have some of the worlds biggest names in the music industry turning against them (Ed Sheeran, Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell...) declaring they will never work again - forcing the rest of the world to turn on them. In return, they get hate mail, death threats and rape threats... EVEN after they have apologised... these are some of the "better" ones....

My question is: what part of what Katie Hopkins is doing is ok and why is she getting away with it ? I can't stand her. I can't even believe I've bothered to write about her. Having said that, as much as I can't stand her, I would never dream of sending her messages of hate like those that Natalia Kills has received above. 

In more wonderful Twitter news - this made me smile this morning and is why I am glad social media, however dangerous, exists.... 

When I met Nigella in person in November, she knew me by name before I'd even had a chance to introduce myself because we'd "met" on Twitter several times before.... She gets lots of questions over twitter, and more often than not will make time to reply meaningfully and positively like above to many of them. 

I hope I see more of that online as time moves on....