Doing a good turn as I turn 30

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I sort of announced this yesterday on twitter and facebook.

Six months yesterday I turn 30 and I’m not really one for parties. I usually have to be dragooned into doing something, conforming to social norms, that sort of thing. Maybe it’s because I don’t like drawing attention to myself. Maybe I feel self conscious, socially anxious, maybe I am just stubborn.

A few weeks ago I decided I should find some way to mark my birthday next March.

I’d been reading Miss 29’s blog as she sought 30 blind dates before she turned 30. And I remembered Ally Vesterfelt’s Love Runs challenge to raise $30 000 to build a classroom in Uganda for the same landmark. I was keen to step out of my comfort zone, but I knew which one of the two I’d rather do. So a crazy, ridiculous, insane fundraising drive it is. And with a currency exchange that makes it even harder.

And at about the same time a wave of issues relating to women, gender, and abuse hit the airwaves. Taking Elizabeth Fry off the £5 note raised the question of whether enough was being done to recognise the achievements of women, a petition started, protests launched, and the bank agreed to put Jane Austen on the £10 note when that’s next changed. Alongside this narrative of protest and achievement was a shadow story of insult, objectification and abuse that swept like a tsunami towards those leading the campaign. Most notably on twitter, the abuse levelled was horrific and questions were raised as to whether enough was done to respond to the vile and criminal threats made against many women. Continue reading