Sunday 15 December 2019

December... #TBCSmiles

The last month has been a bit of a rollercoaster for everyone in the UK. The most divisive election I'll probably ever see in my lifetime took place, and also the most deceitful and untruthful. It's a hard place to be when pretty much all of the people you have to trust to look after you have been guilty of lying and spin. 2019 was the year we saw the end of political integrity.

I don't hide the fact I'm left wing. I've always been a person who feels if you live on an island with 10 people and 10 coconuts, everyone should get 1 each. That's just who I am. The election result has made 43% of those who voted feeling like winners, but it has also left a lot of people deflated, including me and my older children.

The benefit of age is that I've been in that position before, when mortgage interest rates were 15% and I had a small baby to care for. We were broke back then and I had no family to rely on for childcare or to rescue me, and I couldn't see how we could survive, but we did. It wasn't easy, just as it isn't easy for a lot of people now, and it taught me a lot.

I learnt the joy and pride of being able to bake, sew, fix my own van and do my own brickwork. I learnt that if you are prepared to give it a go, there's often someone who is happy to come and help, and you can find lifelong friends. I learnt that the poorer people are, the more likely they are to split what they have with you, and your heart will melt at their offer. I learnt that fair exchange is better than cash, and low paid or unpaid skills are often the most valuable. Most of all I realised that some people are so poor, all they have is money.

"Now we fight. They can't stop us looking after each other, being kind, teaching our kids to do the same." RedRoseMummy.

I'm almost 50 now. I have watched the pendulum rise and fall before, and I know it will again. The generations we are raising are not as arrogant and selfish as mine. They see inequality in far more simple terms, and have no personal financial wealth to protect. They have seen what we did to their Earth, they care more than we did, and they are taking charge of their own future. Whichever way you voted, your turn will come again.

I'm proud that our own grown up children understood the importance of the election and for the efforts they went to in order to vote. (Thanks guys.) They saved Christmas for us last year, and will begin arriving back for Christmas next week. Now that is going to create some great smiles...

No-one sneeze anywhere near me for the next fortnight...

Thank you to everyone who shared their #tbcsmiles photos over the last month - they were awesome! Anyone can join in by using the hashtag on any Instagram photo with a smile! These collective 9 are just a few of the biggest and brightest, with Winter jumpers and cold fingers-a-plenty, and a reminder from The Strawberry Fountain that the world keeps turning... Congratulations on your newest addition!

These smiles were shared by the following Instagrammers:

We made our own smiles here too - we've been busy reviewing some local Christmas shows and events, as well as some of the things you might be looking at choosing as presents, and we had the pleasure of meeting author Sir Michael Morpurgo at a preview screening of Boxing Day's Children's Animation on BBC One...

From all of us here at The Brick Castle, have the best Christmas you can, and make many smiles.


  1. These really are beautiful smiles. They have certainly made me smile x

  2. It has certainly been one heck of a year! We need to keep fighting the good fight though and for one day... Christmas Day... just enjoy. Make sure you enjoy it this year and stay away from anyone with a cold in the run up!!!! Sim xx

  3. I remember when mortgage interest rates were at 15%. I already had two jobs just to pay the mortgage and was so exhausted that I often felt like I could not go on another day. It took about a decade to get through it completely.
    I guess we all have it in us to do so but I sincerely hope that future generations do not have to endure the same.
    Thank you for your posts this year. Wishing you and your family many smiles and much happiness this Christmas and New Year.


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