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Good jobs!

May 29, 2012

I was sitting here this morning, thinking – goodness me, it’s been a long time since I’ve written a oneredsock post… I miss it. I miss those people and that chat. So I signed in and deleted 4 pages of spam comments – a good percentage of which were asking if I wanted car and/or life insurance (a touch late don’t you think?!) and then tried to work out what I wanted to say.

I was just about to log out when my phone pinged… new email.

And look what was in my inbox:

From: Francoise Ndagijimana
Sent: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 8:51 AM

Subject: Vacancy Notice

Dear All,

Greetings from the AACC Secretariat.

Kindly, find attached two adverts for position in the ACT Alliance. We encourage you to share it with potential candidates.

Kind Regards, 

Françoise Ndagijimana
AACC Relations with the Constituency

General Secretary’s Office,
All Africa Conference of Churches.      

The All Africa Conference of Churches
“The Spiritual Pulse of the African Continent”

Founded in 1963, The All Africa Conference of Churches is an ecumenical fellowship representing more than 120 million Christians in 39 African countries working to make a difference in the lives of the people of Africa through ministries of advocacy and presence on the continental, regional and local levels

So I clicked through to the pdfs and Oh. My! These look like fab jobs… so I’m sharing them here, because while they’re not for me, they will be for someone and I’d love to be able to help with that.

1 Senior policy and advocacy officer for ACT Alliance – based in Geneva

2 Advocacy Officers for ACT Alliance – based in New York

If you decide to apply, good luck! If they’re not for you either, please pass them on.

All together now…

November 30, 2011

United we stand, divided we fall.

It’s an old phrase, well-worn, comfortable in the mouth.

Things are changing. That is to say, if you’re luck enough to be in the ‘west’ (which kind of depends on where in the world your map starts), and able to watch, or even take part in the Occupy movement, things might be changing.

Of course, if you’re in that position you’re lucky. You probably have access to clean water, food, health care, education, a roof over your head (whether you choose to sleep under it or not)… the list goes on. This puts you head and shoulders in front of billions of the world’s poor. Count your blessings.

And then pass them on.

It is your duty to pass your blessings on.

Whether you have billions of dollars, or stale crumbs. If you are reading this blog post, you are blessed. Not because of what I’m writing – because someone taught you to read!

I don’t care if you’re a person of faith or of non. I don’t care if you choose to think of duty as a religious issue, a social contract or a way of giving your selfish genes the best possible chance of reproduction.

Part of doing that is supporting your fellows in whatever way you can.

Today is the Day of Action in the UK – the big bad day of the National Strike. It’s been looming for a while, and all the while it’s been coming, the ‘powers that be’ have been doing their hardest to split ‘us’ (the voting public) into private vs public (as if public sector employees aren’t taxpayers too!). That’s not fostering solidarity – that’s not standing together. That’s dividing us so we fall.

“The government’s plan to ask employees to work longer and pay more is a political choice, not an economic necessity,” says George Eaton in the New Statesman.

We tell our kids all the time, you can’t make yourself bigger by bringing the other person down. Why on earth is it supposed to work differently with this? Making things worse for people in the public sector isn’t going to make them any better for those in the private sector or the third sector or no sector at all.

I can’t go on strike; I’m self-employed. But I am going on a march later this morning. Because I think we need our public sector. Imperfect as it is, it’s better than there not being one. I want people to want to work in the public sector,  to be committed to it, to work hard for it and stay in it, building careers’ worth of experience – because they’re working for me, so that I can have a better life. They’re working for all of us, so we can have libraries and travel on decent roads, and have our rubbish collected, and know that someone will help if our house burns down or gets burgled or we get sick. So that we can have communications with other countries on a governmental level, so that planes don’t crash in the air above us, so we can have public swimming baths and parks, and all the myriad of other things that make life pretty darn amazing in this country.

The Occupy movement and the national strikes have their roots in the same ground. The current way of working is broken and needs a major rethink. We need to work together to come up with a new solution, not get distracted fighting over the scraps the broken system throws us.

"We Are All In This Together" pro union solidarity poster. By Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt

"We Are All In This Together" By Molly Crabapple and John Leavitt. From

What’s in a name?

March 6, 2011

Home for Sale signA while ago I mentioned an initiative to help home owners facing eviction through repossession to stay in their homes. It’s the brain child of Richard Lo, who put it together under the name Grace Solutions. There’s a website where you can learn a little more about it (, but essentially the idea is to form a cooperative Read more…

May you live in interesting times

February 22, 2011
Zimbabwe Million Citizen March, 1st March 2011

Apparently, the title to this post is an ancient Chinese curse.

I’m not sure how true that is, but times sure are interesting at the moment. With revolutions and uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria and Libya,  demonstrations in Iran, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Djibouti, Sudan and even China, not to mention those planned (according to Twitter) in Cameroon, Benin and Morocco, my mind has kept coming back to wondering what will happen in Zimbabwe.

Well today I received two pieces of news. Both worry me enormously. Read more…

All new OneRedSock Cards!

February 2, 2011
Handmade Valentine's Day cards from my new 2011 Valentine's Day Collection.

I’ve been doing crafty things for a long time now and my stash has reached the stage where it’s going to have to start paying for itself.

As part of my quest to start earning a living on my terms, I’m about to start selling cards through The Cat’s Miaou, a sweet little gift boutique here in Edinburgh, crammed full with gorgeous goodies. Then I realised I could also sell them online! So, I’m launching my own little card shop with a special Valentine offer. Read more…

Adventures in Supermarketland

January 28, 2011

I was warned about culture shock before I went out to Botswana. I’ve moved around enough to know what to expect. I was braced and ready for it when I returned to the UK. But for some reason I thought I’d be over it by now.

I spent the first few months of my return safely ensconced on my mum’s sofa, leg in the air, trying not to move too much or do too much. I didn’t go out a great deal, and when I did I was nearly always with some one.

Last week I went to a mega-super-ultra-massive-store, from a big well-known chain. I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a big shop. In fact, I’m fairly sure I’ve been to smaller malls! I went on my own, armed only with my trusty map to get me there and a shopping list to remember why I went.

Boy was that a mistake. Read more…

Make yourself at home

January 26, 2011

Wooo – Happy New Year! Can I still say that? Is it too late? Well, I have done, so there. Hope it’s treating you well. Here’s my first post for 2011 – I aim to provide many more in the coming year 😉


As I walked towards the station on the 30th December, it dawned on me that I didn’t have the faintest idea what she looked like…

In true ‘African’ style (whatever that means), we were about to open our home to someone we’d never met before (the relation of a friend of a relation), for an as yet undetermined period of time. She’s from South Africa, so for some reason it seems less weird, though a little bit of the Britishness in me is creeping through and making me nervous. Read more…