Ripples

We’ve all heard of the butterfly effect, familiar with the way a single action can ripple through our lives and well beyond. I’ve treated this rather coldly and academically, like something that happens in theory to other people, not me. That comes from big actions, like election results or seismic shifts. But recent experience has me thinking again.

Here’s a long story short of this phenomenon:

  1. Afghanistan falls under Taliban control.
  2. There’s an influx of Afghan refugees to the UK.
  3. This leads to a groundswell of support from the British public, mostly in the form of clothing and goods donations.
  4. A charity I work with is inundated with donations and needs volunteers to help sort through them.
  5. I head to the tube station to pull a shift sorting donations on a random Friday afternoon.
  6. On my way, I spot what seems like a stray dog, and fall in love with her. I am ready to adopt her or at least foster her until I can find her owners, right before finding her owners’ neighbour. I hand her over.
  7. I can’t stop thinking about this dog, until I convince my family to adopt a dog.
  8. Lucy now sleeps in her bed next to me while I write this, happy in a family home after years of racing. She’s sensitive, nervous around other dogs, and very sweet with people. She loves being outside, even just sitting there listening to the birds.

My husband and I sometimes joke about our ‘fall of Afghanistan’ dog, because were it not for that, I wouldn’t have been walking to the tube at that time of day, would not have met that dog, would not have had the desire to add a dog to our family rekindled.

The thing is, it doesn’t take much.

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Somehow, someday, somewhere: a parent’s response to It’s A Sin

Like many people, I’ve been watching Channel 4’s new series, It’s a Sin. And…wow, does it pack a punch. And there’s an added layer of reflection for parents, I feel.

If you haven’t seen it or heard of it, it’s the new series from writer Russell T Davies following the lives of a group of friends in London from 1981 to 1991 as they navigate the torrential waters of the early HIV/AIDS epidemic.

So yeah, if you know anything about that era and the generation that bore the brunt of stigma, discrimination, and misinformation during a public health crisis, you know it will be an emotional viewing.

But watching it, I couldn’t help but see each character not just as myself, as a dear friend, as a brother, but also as a child of mine. And it was so. bloody. hard to see these young people going off into the world set up like lambs for the slaughter, when all they wanted was to be happy.

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