The flippin cheek of it!

I received an outrageous letter from the World Society for the Protection of Animals last week. Each month I give a donation to the charity. I whole heartedly support what they do but that is not what I found incredibly cheeky.

In an effort to raise more funds they were informing me that they were altering my direct debit to take MORE money from me. If I didn’t want to do it I had to contact them and opt out.


Dear WPSA, it is a voluntary donation I give you. It is not your automatic right to take me for every penny I have. As it is a donation it is extremely cheeky to up it and require that I opt out.

If you had asked me to increase the monthly donation I probably would have. As you’re trying to fleece me in an underhand and dishonest way I will most definitely be opting out.

A few years ago they phoned me and asked if I would up my £10 a month to £45! That was rather cheeky as well!

Thing is, charities forget that when we decide to make a regular donation they are receiving money from a finite salary. Donaters giver a lot of thought as to which charities to support on a regular basis. Red Cross last year told me that only 8% of the UK population regularly donate and it is the same people giving to multiple charities. £10 might not seem like a lot but if you multiply it by several charities it does add up.



Blogger’s revenge

I am greatly amused when spammers accidentally tick “notify me of new posts” and then spam me asking how to stop it.


I believe this is known as “blogger’s revenge”.

When acceptance is misused

I’ve heard complaints from colleagues about recommending mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to individuals recovering from stroke, chronic pain, etc. Basically, things were some aspects of life and activities have been affected in a long-term way.

The issue is with the idea of acceptance. They say that they are uncomfortable with the idea of encouraging their patients to “accept” their level of functioning and not to strive to get better.

This is a terrible misunderstanding of acceptance.

The idea of acceptance is to be able to determine, in this context, what you are capable of, what you aren’t capable of, and setting realistic goals of what you could achieve. The alternative that is being suggested by colleagues is that it is appropriate to set unrealistic goals so as not to smash the hopes of their clients.

I don’t even think that this is ethical!

Setting unrealistic goals will only lead to failure and hopelessness and reduce desire in the future to set any goals.

If you have been impacted by such a thing as stroke, you need to be realistic. If a full recovery, in time, is realistic, then fine, but if it is not you need to have the metacognitive awareness to determine what you can and cannot do, and work within these limits. It might not be nice, it might be hard to admit that you will never reach your previous levels of function, but deluding yourself, and allowing your clinicians to delude you, into thinking you can is unrealistic and, quite frankly, unethical.

This is what happens when people “dabble” in an area and attempt to use the tools without understanding the basic theory or rationale for why they are being used. Therapies can have negative effects, especially when they are used inappropriately or by someone without training.

Have you seen Tess?

As someone who prefers dogs over people my heart breaks whenever I hear of a missing dog


You may have heard through the media about Tess, the guide dog who has gone missing.

The six-year-old black curly coated retriever disappeared while walking off-lead with her owner in Nairn, a seaside town about 16 miles east of Inverness. Obviously this is an extremely distressing situation, particularly for the guide dog owner, and we are doing absolutely everything in our power to reunite the partnership.

We have enlisted the help of local organisations and agencies in the effort to find Tess, including the police, dog wardens, veterinary practices and the SSPCA (Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Guide dog Tess

We have been in touch with rail networks, as well as Royal Mail to get word out to postal workers and drivers.

An appeal was launched in local media shortly after Tess’s disappearance on 23 July and thousands of people have now got behind it on Facebook and Twitter.

Guide Dogs volunteers and supporters have been playing a vital role in our appeal to help find Tess and we’d like to ask for your support too.

Although she went missing in Scotland, Tess could now be in any part of the UK, so we really do need everyone’s help to find her. If you see a dog who looks like Tess for sale in your local area, or notice that someone has recently acquired a black curly coated retriever, or if you have any other concrete information which may help us, please get in touch with us immediately on 0800 688 8409. Please do not reply directly to this email.

We are running a poster campaign to widen the appeal. Please download our new official poster and share it on Facebook or Twitter, or print it off and display it in your window (particularly if you live in Scotland).

The more people who support our appeal, the better our chances of finding Tess and reuniting her with her owner.