Goodbye Code For Something, hello Sonderous

It’s been 10 years (!) since I first started writing a personal blog, and a good 18 since I started warbling on Livejournal ♥️📝

What a trip it’s been. Moving countries, travel, broken hearts and cameras, brilliant gigs, finally getting a dog, and a variety of mouse infested apartments… Lots of glamour, I can tell you. I’ve also scored great jobs, opportunities and wonderful friends out of it.

While I no longer post here – selfies and outfits of the day feel so far away from where I am today – I have started posting on Sonderous.co.uk. It’s a new space for me, reflective, curious and ambitious. How can we be better people? Why are things that way? How can we be radically honest with ourselves? How can we tackle complex problems with great heart? What is the meaning of life? Yep, the easy stuff.

Join me.

Why don’t men* like women in tech?

This morning, I checked LinkedIn as I usually do and amongst the kittens (no seriously, who is putting all these kittens there?) I spotted this:

Zalando

Names have been blurred to protect the douche-y.

Zalando is a huge tech company in Germany where a former colleague of mine, a woman, works as a front end developer. A big well done to them, as they are obviously trying to recruit more diversely and support their employees.

But what is up with the second comment? Here is a clearly talented and interesting woman, representing her employers in a professional capacity. And once again a man is taking the opportunity in a public forum to degrade someone based on their gender/looks.  FYI, an arm tattoo never was, and never will be what the urban dictionary defines as a ‘tramp stamp’. Why don’t some* men like women in tech?

I am new to the development side of digital, having a digital marketing background, but the more time I spend talking to people, the more I realise what a HUGE problem there is in our agencies and our start-ups. Where are the women? Where are the people of colour, different socio-economic backgrounds, and ages? We can’t all be sub-30 white dudes with a potty mouth. Intellectually, I have always known this but I have only recently become witness to the indifference of the technology industry.

I was angry enough to politely ask this chap to think about what he was saying and whether it was the right forum – which for some reason was subsequently deleted. Now I AM VERY ANGRY. If this was a guy holding a dog talking about his love of agile, who happened to have a forearm tattoo, I struggle to think where an insult or ‘assessment’ like the above would come into it.

And from here on in I will make it my mission to champion women/diversity in tech at every opportunity. Starting with my own team, support of 23 Code Street and beyond…!

* Of course not every man is an ass-hat and are very valued allies. It’s a broad generalisation, but yeah, its getting a bit awkward.

PS. Kittens. Perfect for blogs, not so much LinkedIn in my opinion.

Some things… June 2016

Lion ring

Sharla-La jewellery. I love my lion head door knocker ring. Sharla told me she loves casting things from miniatures, and this wee beastie is from a doll’s house.

Orange is the New Black. Colour me obsessed. I am smitten with this show. Belatedly as usual. But just in time to binge watch three series of prison life and be fresh and ready for season four.

23 Code Street.  Teaching women to code through short evening courses, 23 Code Street is a social enterprise that enables a disadvantaged woman in India to learn how to code for every paying student. I am starting a course on Monday night, and I am so pumped! I never use that word, so yeah, immeasurable excitement.

Vermicomposting. I have approximately 1600 to 2000 composting worms in my backyard eagerly devouring kitchen waste – coffee grounds, teabags, vegetable peelings… Good work guys!  It’s been a little tough setting up – referring to Google often with questions like do worms like  tomatoes – but we are getting there with all of the household food waste being split between a 330L compost bin and the wormery.

The Art of Dim Sum. Who doesn’t love a food documentary? I recently really enjoyed The Art of Dim Sum, a short documentary about a Hong Kong dim sum eatery, Sam Hai Yat (Pokfulam Road), and the craft of making delicious ‘little bundles of joy’.

My resolve

Hope you are all having wonderful evenings. I have prebooked my Thai delivery, have a movie lined up (Wild, the story of Cheryl Strayed) and a hot water bottle. Tomorrow at 6.30am I’ll be helping with breakfast at my homeless shelter I volunteer at, then a yoga workshop! A virtuous start to the year? Perhaps. Or peaking early…

Anyway, I wanted to share my single resolve this year. Nothing about losing weight, being kind or making a truckload of money. That would be nice though. All I’m going to do is pick up one piece of litter a day. Start small, lowball. If things tally up, great.

If everyone in London picked up one crumpled water bottle a day, or an empty crisp packet, imagine how clean it would be… Clean canals, empty green fields, sparkling high streets. Wishful thinking but you’ve got to start somewhere.

One thing a day.
That’s all.
Be the change you want to see.
Make good in 2016.

The clocks fall forward

Autumnal Duchess

Another autumn, the second with Duchess. She loves crunching on leaves… Always so inquisitive. Time for me to make my yearly pilgrimage to Uniqlo and buy all of the warm things! Thom and I are going to Iceland in just over a week, so I need something along the lines of a sleeping-bag with feet.

Ten days of pigeons

Baby pigeons - ten days

Have you ever wondered where all the baby pigeons are? You’re not alone – a quick Google search for this yields approximately 3,090,000 results.

My boss recently found an anonymous fledgling, and after an extended adventure, dropped the poor chick off at a wildlife rescue centre. It turned out it was a (very exotic) baby pigeon, approximately aged 6-7 days old. They promised to rehabilitate it as much as possible… but it might have been too early.

The above is an amazing illustration of just how fast these little dudes grow – from egg to woah in just ten days! Plus, they’re complete homebodies, staying in their nests until they reach maturity. No wonder we never see them – they’ve barely taken their first breath before they’re feathered and ready to go.  Human infants could learn something from them…

[Via Pinterest]

Good, better, best Friday

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Good Friday brought a touristy morning, heading west to Notting Hill and Portobello Rd Market. Thom and I had breakfast at the Electric Diner, a chromed little retro cavern with good coffee and even better gruyere omelettes.

Then back to good old East London with its lizard streets and cult fiction I’ve been meaning to read for an age…

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Photo of the day: Morse

Prototype and test of one of my jewellery designs. This cuff has been drawn by me, refined using CAD (in Poland), 3D printed in a flexible white plastic (in France) and is now being put through its paces (in the England). It looks likely that this will be cast in bronze and finished in Scotland. It’s turning into a global effort!

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