New Year’s Greetings

new-years-day-1086902_1280I don’t do New Year’s Eve very well I’m afraid, as my family can attest to. It’s pretty much the only night of the year when I struggle to stay up past midnight and I’m always quite relieved when all the celebrations are over and life goes back to normal.

For me, the new year really begins in August/September along with the new academic year – that’s usually when I feel a real change, whereas in January life will probably plod along pretty much as it did before Christmas.

Or not. My brief adventure with stand up comedy has left me tempted to have another go at it….sometime, perhaps, maybe.

And I will of course continue to blog each Thursday, using my Born Whole platform to fight outdated yet persistent stereotypes about people with unusual faces.

Better still: let’s make 2016 the year of Face Equality.

Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas!

Today I celebrate Swedish Christmas with my family here in London and tomorrow we have a traditional English Christmas so there’s a lot of buzz in the house. merry-christmas-1083982_1280

Amidst all the excitement and piles of presents awaiting under the Christmas tree, I believe it’s important to make time to pause and reflect on the state of the world; thinking in particular of the thousands of Syrian refugees in desperate need of a safe and warm place for themselves and their families.

When our governments fail to show solidarity with refugees fleeing war and destruction, it is all the more important that we – you and me – do what we can to support the men, women and children who face the winter with neither a home nor country to call their own.

Please give generously, therefore, to the many charities that are supporting Syrian refugees this holiday season. Here are just some suggestions:

The Guardian and Observer Charity Appeal 2015

Unicef UK

Unicef Sweden 

Thank you all for continuing to read my blog and I look forward to posting more stories in the new year!

New (Comedy) Kid on the Block

I did it!

On Sunday night, following weeks of fundraising for Changing Faces‘ Face your Fears Stand-Up Comedy Challenge, I finally walked on stage in front of a room full of strangers and did a five-minute stand-up comedy set.IMG_1678

And guess what? I enjoyed every second of those five minutes. Of course, I was scared, petrified and, battling a stomach bug, my first rehearsal earlier in the morning had been rubbish, so I wasn’t aiming high. All I asked for was to survive the evening and not be sick on stage. Continue reading

What Was I Thinking???

When I first signed up for Changing Faces’ Face Your Fears: Stand-Up Comedy challenge, it seemed a fun way to raise money for a cause I care deeply about.

That was last month. Tomorrow I begin my three-day training in stand-up comedy with Logan Murray and I am scared stiff. What have I got myself into? I don’t know the first thing about stand-up and I’m woefully unprepared for what is to come.

Bookaholic as I am, I purchased a copy of Logan Murray’s book, Get Started in Stand-Up Comedy, but I barely got past the introduction before my anxiety got so bad I had to put the book down to calm my nerves. Continue reading

Be The Change

Our house has been filled with singing voices all week as my daughters are busy practicing for their school’s annual Christmas Carol service.angel-574758_1920

Meanwhile news of yet another mass shooting in the United States reaches me, followed in quick succession by the British parliament’s overwhelming vote in favour of bombing Syria.

I smile feebly at my beautiful daughters’ enthusiastic singing, but inside me I feel afraid and sad for the world that they and their children will inherit. Continue reading