Monday, 18 March 2013

What to do if you're feeling down / alone / worthless....

My last post was a bit of a downer, but today I came across this story.  Quite frankly I think this girl is amazing, inspiring and just reading the news article (caution Daily Mail link, but it's a good story!), reading her own website and chatting to Jodi on twitter... I am smiling like a loon.  Just proof that not everyone is bad.  Bad things happen, but it's how we deal with them that counts- life is not measure by seconds lived, but by the path we tread and the hearts we touch along the way.
Photo from Jodi's Site http://onemillionlovelyletters.com/

If you are feeling down, alone, worthless then dont be.  People can only put you down if you let them.  Jodi's website http://onemillionlovelyletters.com is a portal of loveliness.  She used to leave notes for strangers in library books, bus seats- anywhere- just to let people know that they are important and lovely.  Then, at 23, Jodi was struck down with illness after a tick bit her- a rare reaction but one that lead to her being partially paralysed with a stroke.  Normally a poet, she lost her ability to hold a pen- but has spent hours retraining her body (and brain) to be able to do some of the things she could before her illness.  She still has daily battles BUT has used her time to write letters to strangers who need a boost.  These letters are beautiful in word and design- something to physically and emotionally brighten the days of those who are having a lonely or vulnerable time.

Jodi says "In the UK alone there are 62,641,000 people, in the whole wide world there are 7,038,044,500. The average person has 3 close friends and 19 “mates” so take that off and you are still left with seven billion thirty-eight million forty-four thousand four hundred and seventy eight strangers.  And all of those strangers have at least one day where they could use a little lift."
Letter as featured on http://onemillionlovelyletters.com/letters/


So if you are very down or alone and need one of Jodi's beautiful letters to give you strength though your tough time then visit http://onemillionlovelyletters.com and follow the instructions.  I'm sure Jodi would appreciate donations of stamps but this is just something I thought of as I am sure she is inundated with requests for letters from all over the word.  If she wont accept stamps or money for stamps then why not make a donation of the cost of a stamp to a charity of Jodi's choice as a thank you?  Just a thought!  Let's kill the world kindness one bit at a time :)

                                                                   
  I hope this has brightened up your day!  
                                                                   

What things make you happy?  I love the spring sunshine.  I also saw some beautiful purple and yellow crocuses today which made me smile.  Please share your happy thoughts below!


Sunday, 17 March 2013

What to do if your purse is stolen...

....Sad to say this happened to me this week.  When I (eventually) arrived home I was quick to google and search for advice, and didn't find too much.  I thought I would share my experience and tips in the hope it will help someone else.  It's an awful thing to go though and left me quite shaken.  I also feel quite violated that someone somewhere deems it their right to have my money and things that I have worked very hard for.  It's not your right.  Everyone has to work hard to get money and you Mr. (or Mrs) thief are no different (although your actions clearly show you think you are entitled to what others work hard for).

Through your actions in broad daylight I lost work, was stranded hours from home with no money, no transport, no travel pass, no ID, no store cards- plus the loss of a few special mementos (and work receipts I needed to claim back).  I still had to cancel everything and have got bills worth far much more than the cash you stole from my purse (thankfully there was very little cash in there).  I am also very twitchy about being out on my own.  Not that you'll care about that if you are brazen enough to steal.

If you find yourself without a purse then I suggest the following;
  1. Keep Calm- you don't want to have other items stolen as you are searching for an item which may or may not be lost.  Carefully double check all bags and pockets just to make sure.  It's easy to panic and not see what is in front of your nose.  Look around to see if anyone is moving away from you holding your possessions.  Log any descriptions of anyone suspicious who is close to you.
  2. Check around you/under tables etc.
  3. Carefully think about the last time you had/used the item and think if it was possible you left it there.
  4. At this point I queried the lost property of the location I was at.
  5. Go to the Police.  They will log your item as missing.  If you have a bit of evidence or witnesses they will log the item as stolen.  If not they will mark it as lost.  They will take a statement and issue you with a crime number/lost property number.
  6. If you have not done this already make a list of all the items in your purse and then cancel all of them.  Banks normally have 24/7 helplines to report lost/stolen cards and will liaise with the police if money has been withdrawn.  Some banks will give you a small amount of money to help tide you over.  Some forms of ID do not require you to notify the issuing body, however you will have to order a new one.
  7. Make a list of the circumstances- where were you?  What were you wearing?  What were you carrying?  Where had you been?  Any suspicious people near you?  Any odd distractions/people bumping into you?  What time was it?
  8. Check with your insurance company as items may be covered by them for replacement costs.
  9. If you are worried about Identity Fraud it's worth having a look at http://www.cifas.org.uk/ I have not used them but several people have mentioned this service to me.
  10. If you are stuck travel wise then don't forget to mention this to the police.  I was very lucky that the train companies were very understanding (and having the crime report/number on me helped).
  11. When you get home, go over the list of items that are missing and the circumstances- double check and write down any additional details.  
  12. Have food- especially something sugary to help combat the shock/loss of adrenaline.  A small glass of wine might help.
Subsequent Days
  1. Go over the list of missing items and circumstances- it's amazing what you remember given a little rest and time.
  2. Ring lost property again- most thieves will grab the purse, go into a toilet, empty the cash/untraceable items and dump the purse in the bin/over a wall etc.  Hopefully someone will hand it in.
  3. Be very wary of any phone calls- especially if your bank cards are stolen.  Any bank calls should be able to identify themselves sufficiently.  However NEVER give out your PIN.  If in doubt hang up and ring your bank directly or pop into the branch.
    Security gadgets: A noisy coloured thief alert bell keyring £1.50 HERE
Prevention Tips
Foldable handbag hook (similar on ebay HERE)
  1. Empty your purse regularly.  Do not carry around lots of cash or sentimental items. 
  2. Make sure your bag does up securely and easily.  Carry it in front of you if possible- especially in crowded areas.
  3. Do not advertise how much cash you have when paying for items.  Do not feel pressured to leave the checkout when paying for items until your purse and bag are both secure.
  4. If you carry ID/important items, make sure you have a photocopy at home in a secure place. (Or better still, carry the photocopy only).
  5. Keep a record of your bank telephone numbers on your phone/in your diary/in your bag.  You never know which one might get mislaid and when you might need to phone them.
  6. Keep a record of your store card/reward point card numbers at home.  You'd be amazed at how many lines I telephoned only to have them tell me I have no account with them... Yes I do.
  7. If possible, split your cash up so it is not all in your purse- perhaps put some in your makeup bag, an inside pocket etc.  Better still, carry very little cash.
  8. Chain your purse to your bag- literally.  Or use a keyring that makes noise if someone picks it up.
  9. Never leave valuable items in outside pockets, on tops of bags, in reach on anyone on tables or under tables.
So there you are, some bits of advice should you every go through the same thing (I really hope you never do) and some tips to help prevent some of you from going through the same thing.

Sorry it's not a particularly cheerful post- but hopefully a useful one.  I have been in two minds whether to share this experience or not but concluded that it might prevent or deal with a theft in the future.

I have to say a huge thank you to so many of you on twitter who were supportive, helpful and calming.  It's great to that twitter as a medium- especially when having a trying day.  If you are on there please say hello to me @computergirl200 !  Also Click HERE to see my last post about importing your blogger dashboard subscriptions into Bloglovin in a few easy clicks for when Goggle pull Google Reader (and potentially GFC) in July

Do you have an personal safety tips or advice for dealing with thefts of this nature?  Have you had anything stolen?  Any thoughts?
Discalimer: This post is not sponsored etc etc!

Friday, 15 March 2013

How to import your blogger dashboard / GFC to Bloglovin

Just a quick post.  Google are discontinuing Google Reader on July 1st (a great way of following blogs/websites)- this is very much connected to GFC (Google friend connect), and I highly suspect there will be some changes to this service too.  A great alternative is Bloglovin, a simple subscription application that is very much like the blogger dashboard.  The BEST bit is that you can IMPORT your Blogger dashboard/Google reader subscriptions with 2-3 clicks of a mouse.  Simply
    Follow on Bloglovin
  1. click this link http://www.bloglovin.com/import
  2. Sign into Bloglovin if you haven't already!
  3. Click 'Google Reader'
  4. Click 'Import from Google Reader'
  5. Click 'Allow Access'
  6. Done!  All your subs are imported in bloglovin which is great if you have spent years building up brilliant blogs on your blogger dashboard and reader!






Bloglovin also have a great app so you can read the blogs on your ipad/iphone/generic computer device.  Hurrah!

There are. of course, other ways to follow blogs- Google + is a start (although I havent quite figured it out), Facebook, Hello Cotton, Twitter, Instagram- Computergirl200, email subscription.... and I'm sure there are other ways!

Google- i'm not sure what you are trying to prove, but my dashboard has never worked properly, and now you delete the reader... I know it is a free service BUT without users you don't exist.  Would it hurt to ask us what we think?

How do you follow blogs?  Share your tips and advice!

 

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