Wonderful things can come from the darkest of places: OPINION

A youngster plays splat the rat at Marquee for Mind
A youngster plays splat the rat at Marquee for Mind
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Mental health may have become a concept that is currently being covered by the media everywhere and anywhere, but sometimes that actually deflects from the real issues that local folk are facing.

After I had my eldest daughter, I experienced a few days of the Baby Blues.

But these are short-lasting as hormones adjust and I was deeply thankful that I felt far better within the week.

The very concept of those days prolonging and deepening into post natal depression was terrifying, because it is astounding how very low our hormones can cause us to fall.

Local lady, Sjoke Ring, who did suffer the profound low of depression after the birth of her youngest daughter, Nuala, decided last year to tackle mental health head-on and to create something wonderfully positive out of an experience that initially felled her.

With this mission in mind, an auction was born. Sjoke says that it wasn’t until Nuala’s first birthday that she came up with the concept of Marquee for Mind.

She decided to organise a marquee to go up in her garden in order to host an auction to raise as much cash as possible for the charity Mind, thereby helping other people who go through what she experienced.

When Sjoke emailed local businesses, the donations started flooding in thick and fast. Auction items included a meal cooked by top Cornish chef Nik Boyle of Restaurant Nik Boyle.

There was a flight over the Isle of Wight for two people from Lee Flying Association, pieces of collectable artwork, and a year’s supply of ice cream donated by Mark Thistlethwayte.

The day took on a real atmosphere of celebration, with games such as splat the rat, a traditional tug of war and hook a duck.

In total, Sjoke – aided by her sidekicks Anneke and Kirsti – raised more than £3,600.

To take the very toughest time of your life, and to not only rise from those ashes but focus a year’s worth of effort in planning and organising an event to then help others who find themselves in that situation, is nothing short of inspirational.

For a brief time our lives are in boxes out on the open road

And so, moving day has finally arrived for the Lush household. 

By the time this goes to print, we shall be sleeping under a new roof and leaving behind the one that has watched over us as we have slept for the past few years.

The enormity of packing up a life in boxes is surreal. To see it being loaded into a removals truck and transported elsewhere will be even stranger.

Our lives, and all the possessions that represent them, will be on the open road. Out of our control. Ready to be unloaded again at the other end, to begin afresh and start anew.

Until then, I am taking stock and securing memories. A fond farewell to a home much-loved. 

Thank those everyday folk who go above and beyond

I’d like to say a heartfelt thank-you to reader, Jerry Bamforth. 

Jerry wrote an astonishingly complimentary letter about this column and, given the current stresses of moving, it was much appreciated and made my day.

Taking the time to say something kind is not done often enough. We have a tendency to complain in the blink of an eye but there are times when we think to ourselves that somebody has been rather wonderful, yet we don’t remember to say so.

Customer service folk, teachers in school, local GPs, site managers and your daily post-person.

They go above and beyond on a regular basis and we should remember to say a huge thank-you every once in a while.