"It's not good news I'm afraid, Rachel, I'm sorry to have to tell you, you have cancer." It was exactly 11.30 when my doctor called me through. That sentence is all I remember about the appointment... One year later and I am loving life! I have not let cancer define me and I am finally getting my life back on track!
Walking around London this week, you'd be forgiven for thinking half the capital had been taken over by zombies, with tourists and locals alike standing stock still, gazing upwards with mouths agog. The reason? Not that strange orb of light in the sky we'd half forgotten even existed, but the tiny moving dots making their way up the Shard. On Thursday at 4.30am, six women from Greenpeace set out with a mission to climb London's latest addition to the skyline, with the sole intention of highlighting Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic...
Young people aren't work shy, they just need the experience, training and direction to get the jobs they're fighting for. Use everything at your disposal, nothing is destined or fated - that's naïve thinking - but make sure you stack the deck in your favour. Let employers know exactly what you can do, and grab every opportunity.
It upsets me when I hear statistics about how many young people are out of work - almost a million 16 to 25 year olds if you didn't know. And it's not just moral outrage. Yes, the figure is staggering and unacceptable. But what really bothers me is a nagging feeling that the longer this huge number is tossed around, the more normal it will seem - like part of the landscape.
Last Wednesday, a grotesque large-scale picture of Margaret Thatcher appeared. Coloured purple with blank eyes, skulls for earrings and a thread of drool leaking from the mouth, it stood three metres tall against a background of flames. Next to it, in huge, carefully scripted letters, were the words "ROT IN HELL!! MAGGIE".