Marmalade and brain injury – why I’m glad to be a trustee of Headway East London

Imagine not being to tell where your arm is without looking. Imagine not being able to judge what it’s appropriate to say out loud and what thoughts you should keep to yourself. Imagine having to reconstruct your life around the fact that your personality has been reshaped. These thoughts are terrifying, and are part ofContinue reading “Marmalade and brain injury – why I’m glad to be a trustee of Headway East London”

Neighbourliness, benefits, the housing crisis and Dot Dot Dot

I wrote this blog post for Participle, a social enterprise set up by Hilary Cottam to reshape the welfare system for the 21st century.  I was really glad to be asked to do it – I’m a huge admirer of Hilary’s work – her thinking on the principles that should underlie a modern benefits systemContinue reading “Neighbourliness, benefits, the housing crisis and Dot Dot Dot”

Rude stuff on Sitex doors…

One of the guardians who lives in a flat managed by Dot Dot Dot just sent us the above photo – a Sitex door on an empty flat near her, graffitied with a massive ejaculating cock. The instinct to draw willies on things is beyond me (though psychoanalyst Philippa Perry has something to say aboutContinue reading “Rude stuff on Sitex doors…”

Why you’re doing something matters

Dot Dot Dot exists to deal with three things that bother me: the lack of affordable housing in London, the swathes of empty homes, and the need to cultivate a sense of community in the city.  I came set it up after spending a couple of years polemicizing about those issues, in print, on theContinue reading “Why you’re doing something matters”

You don’t notice how heavy something is until you put it down

Lots of things about starting Dot Dot Dot have been very difficult.  When you run something mostly on your own, you have to gain a basic understanding of how to do everything that needs doing – from book-keeping to HR, data protection to marketing.  No one would ever have given me a job doing anyContinue reading “You don’t notice how heavy something is until you put it down”

Happy birthday, Dot Dot Dot!

It’s two years to the day since Dot Dot Dot Property Ltd was registered at Companies House.  I’m currently on the longest holiday I’ve taken from it since then – 10 whole days.  So today feels like a good day to write about the two biggest things I wish I’d known on 14th June 2011:Continue reading “Happy birthday, Dot Dot Dot!”

Thumbs up for hitchhiking

Hitchhiking used to be so popular that hitchers in the ’70s would queue up to stick out their thumbs at the most popular spots.  No longer.  It’s very rare to see a hitcher on the road in Britain today.  Strangely enough, though, you still get picked up – my experience of hitching around England, ScotlandContinue reading “Thumbs up for hitchhiking”