As some of you may already know, I’m not a religious person. I’ve spoken about my beliefs (or lack thereof) in the past, and shared my experience of not being accepted as a result.

I’ve been interested in Humanism for a while now. Humanists believe in morality without the need for religion and, in their own words, aim to “create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail” – Humanists UK.

Doesn’t that mean that all atheists are humanists?

Not necessarily, no. The chances are that many atheists subscribe to a humanist way of life without realising it, but Humanism UK, as a charity, goes further than that. They campaign for a fairer society and for the voices of non-religious people to be valued as much as those who believe in God.

Why does Humanism appeal to me?

In a word, community. One thing I always envied about my church-going friends was that sense of community and support. I loved that they had a place they could go, where they could discuss their beliefs with like-minded people.

I signed up to join the Dorset Humanists when I came across their stand at Bournemouth Pride. I’ve since found out that they hold regular discussion groups, social events and even lectures from historians and scientists about the ways in which religion has impacted the world. It warmed me to see that this was a group of intelligent, curious people, who wanted to broaden their understanding of the world, engage in lively debate, and above all, practice kindness.

What Humanism isn’t:

  • A cult. Believe it or not, this has been suggested to me.
  • A “fingers up to religion”. That’s not the point of it at all. The way I see it, it’s an opportunity to meet people who share my beliefs, and explore the world in a way that’s meaningful to me.
  • Sad, empty or meaningless. I shouldn’t even have to defend this one, but contrary to what some people might think, meaning doesn’t only come from believing in God.

Other things you might not know about Humanism

One of the other things I quite like about Humanism is that it offers ways to celebrate important milestones in a deeply personal and meaningful way.

For example, Humanist celebrants can perform weddings and baby naming ceremonies. If Dave and I were to have children, I quite like the idea of having a little naming ceremony in our back garden. Humanists also have “guide parents” (in place of Godparents), which I think is a lovely idea.

I didn’t grow up with religion, but I was given the guidance I needed to become a good person. As a result, I’m a firm believer that God doesn’t necessarily need to play a part in a person’s “moral education”, so to speak. I like that Humanism nurtures the very best aspects of human nature, and encourages people to seek out happiness and fulfillment.

I’m not trying to throw anything in anyone’s face, or make a statement. All I want to do is explore the world in a way that makes sense to me.

Isn’t that all anyone wants?

 

The Bluewater Spa, part of Bournemouth’s 4-star Connaught Hotel, recently hosted a party to celebrate the launch of its Temple Spa product range.

The Connaught Hotel

Champagne

We were welcomed with a glass of Prosecco, and enjoyed a lovely evening of canapés, live music, and a tour of the gorgeous spa facilities.

Relaxation room

Can I move into this relaxation room please?!

One of the treatment rooms.

We were given samples of some of the Temple Spa products to try, and I’m in love – they feel wonderfully luxurious, and smell gorgeous. The spa itself it beautiful, and I’ve already bookmarked some pages of the brochure, which I’ve left out strategically for Dave to find before Christmas.

Thank you so much to the lovely staff at The Connaught, and Sunny Bird PR for inviting me – I will definitely be back!

I was very lucky to be part of a group of local bloggers, who were invited to a cocktail masterclass at Be At One.

Conveniently located on Richmond Hill just off Bournemouth Square, Be At One is the ideal venue for a night out, or just a cheeky after work drink.

We were welcomed with a lovely Bellini and guided through the rather extensive (and ever so tempting!) cocktail menu. We were also told about the Be At One app, which asks you a few questions about your favourite spirits and flavours, in order to recommend the perfect cocktail to suit you.

Emma having a go at mixing up a cocktail  


I started off with a Banoffee Old Fashioned, a fun take on one of my favourite drinks. I’ve never had a cocktail quite like it, but I loved it. The banoffee foam on top was amazing.

Emma ordered the Petty Filoo which, as you might imagine, tasted exactly like a boozy fromage frais. Delicious – and look how cute it was!

For my next cocktail I chose the White Chocolate Kinder Bueno. OMG. This was one of the most indulgent and absolutely delightful cocktails I’ve ever had. Creamy and rich, this one went down a bit too easily!

  
James was very knowledgeable and friendly, and told us all about his love of cocktails. He shows off his flair skills and his delicious creations over on his Instagram.

Thank you so much to Be At One for a wonderful time, though I totally blame you for the kebab shop cheesy chips I wolfed down at about 8 o’clock in the evening…oops.

It’s beyond frustrating that things like empathy, tolerance, manners and kindness are what get you branded a ‘snowflake’, ‘SJW’, or some other snide description.

How about, instead of laughing at someone, take a minute to understand why they’re offended?

I’m not saying I’m perfect (by any means!), but I’m learning as I go.

While we’re on it, can we also please stop using ‘liberal’ as an insult. Wanting equality, and respecting others, doesn’t make us ‘whiny pussies’. Times are changing and we need to change with them. We need to listen to survivors, victims and minorities, and learn how to be better.

Being open-minded and accepting of others takes nothing away from you. Stop hiding behind your ‘traditional’ values and realise that letting women have rights over their bodies, or accepting other beliefs and sexual orientations WON’T AFFECT YOU IN ANY WAY.

The people who call us snowflakes are always, oddly, the people who get the most butthurt when they think their ‘freedom of speech’ is being taken away. The people who ‘speak their mind’ or ‘tell it like it is’ are usually the people who hate to be challenged.

Listen. Open your mind. Be better.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Spot the Signs along with partnership organisations are commemorating the 16th World Suicide Prevention Day on 10th September by requesting people in Hertfordshire to dedicate their cycle ride miles between 1st -17th September to suicide prevention.

How does the campaign work?

People are encouraged to Sign up, Cycle and Send the miles that they have ridden into Spot the Signs to see how far Hertfordshire can cycle using the hashtag #HertsWSPD. These will all be added up and sent to the international Cycle Around the Globe page.

This awareness raising campaign is free to enter and aims to prevent suicides by inviting people to talk about the importance of mental health and suicide prevention. Prizes are up for grabs for the people that cycle the furthest during the campaign and anyone is able to get involved.

Emma Paisley, Senior Project Coordinator of Spot the Signs and Save a Life campaign said:

“Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a suicide, communities have an important role to play in supporting those who are vulnerable. World Suicide Prevention Day is an invaluable opportunity to highlight the importance of mental health.

Spot the Signs and Save a Life is the Hertfordshire suicide prevention campaign and our vision is to make Hertfordshire a county where no one ever gets to a point where they feel suicide is their only option.”