Happy Thanksgiving!


Most of us are sitting around a table, sharing a festive meal with family and friends, enjoying each others company.

Today, I am welcoming a friend into my home and into my family. For this, I am thankful. Thankful for being able to do this for a woman whom I consider a sister and who has been there for me many a time. Thankful that, while I can help her, she is willing to help me as well. Thankful that she understands my illness and treats me the same as she always has – with love and respect.


Today, I give thanks for all of the understanding, love and support I receive from my family. The road I travel would be a lot more difficult without it.

Today, I give thanks to the people with ME/CFS, who are using the little bit of energy they have, and their supporters, to advocate for this invisible illness. Together we are fighting an uphill battle – one that has been made necessary by neglect and abuse from the medical community. I am thankful that I have enough energy to join the fight.

In fact, everyday I am thankful for all of the above and more.

Thank you for reading this blog!

A Win-Win


This video is a gem – made for Halloween time, but not for scares. The first part is hysterical – a prank  played on store employees reminiscent of “Candid Camera.” The second part is totally unexpected and gives me a surprising warm, fuzzy feeling towards the producers of this video. Surely a win-win.

Hope you feel the same.



My Pick As Top Crowdwish Actioned This Past Week.


There is just too much good stuff going on at Crowdwish, so I will pick the one I felt was “up there” (besides the one that was actioned for my friend*) 



Crowdwish 109 Actioned.

April 24th’s Crowdwish was ‘I could find an online job that actually pays’.

You totally can.

Remote working is a huge industry, easily worth in excess of $150 billion a year. There is a wealth of sites offering online work, but inevitably many of them are slightly dodgy and best avoided.

As a rule of thumb, here are the things that should ring alarm bells if you are looking to make money ‘remote working’ from home:

  1. If it all feels a bit too good to be true. If someone’s offering untold riches for doing comparatively little, then use your abundant common sense. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, if you can forgive the incredibly vacuous cliché.
  2. If the contracting company asks you to pay for their services upfront. If people are demanding an advance payment, don’t ever make it. It undoubtedly signifies an arrangement that is not designed to benefit you.
  3. If they ask you to provide confidential information. Do not disclose bank account details, national insurance or social security details to anybody. Obvs.
  4. If their mails come from a personal account. If an email that you receive doesn’t contain a business email and phone number, it’s worth avoiding. ‘Real’ businesses rarely use hotmail.
  5. If  you get the ‘job’ incredibly easily. Not intended as a diss on your undoubted abilities but be aware of being accepted too readily.

There are however a lot of sites which offer legitimate methods of remote employment, pay reasonable wages and have structured processes in place that ensure nobody gets fleeced.

If you have skills and abilities in almost any area, from copywriting to accountancy, mobile app designing to translating, there are jobs posted on these sites every minute of every day, many of which pay reasonable wages of $30 an hour or more.

From reliable sources that use them frequently, these are the world’s best and most trustworthy remote working sites, which can genuinely be trusted to provide alternative sources of income for anyone with skills to offer. None of these require upfront funds to register:

oDesk. The world’s largest online workplace.

Elance. Members have earned in excess of $1bn to date.

MyCrowd. Ten million freelancers can’t be wrong.

Freelancer.co.uk. Almost 6 million available projects currently.

e4s. Specialise in student or gap yah jobs.

Peopleperhour. Particularly strong on design based jobs.

Guru.com. 800,000 jobs successfully completed to date

Good luck.

*And, just to replay the wonderful video Crowdwish helped put together for my friend:

Please watch this video about my childhood friend and visit http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8 for more information on how to help. Re-blogging is wonderful! Heartfelt thanks. ❤

Replay Sunday and Happy Easter!


First of all, Happy Easter -hope the bunny was good to all out there!

Secondly, I am re-posting this video because I care deeply about my friend. I am asking people to re-blog  this video -on your blog, on facebook, on twitter, etc. Please spread the word, as I am hoping to reach our goal.


If this seems pushy, I apologize. Being aware there are many things going on in this world and everyone can do so much, this is one thing I can do to make SG’s life a little easier, and so I am trying. If you would like to donate, even as little as $5.00, please go to http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8

It is much appreciated!

Many thanks again to Bill Griffin and his team at Crowdwish.com.


Crowdwish: Helping Out Again and In The News-(everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask)


First – Bill from Crowdwish has come through once again with a video for “paying it forward” – trying to help a friend in need:


Please watch this video about my childhood friend and visit http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8 for more information on how to help. Heartfelt thanks.


And From the Mail Online:

A virtual genie: The crowdsourcing website that is making real wishes come true

  • Crowdwish lets people make up to 10 wishes for anything they want
  • Users encouraged to ‘like’ their favourite wishes
  • Most popular ones are resolved every 24 hours
  • Site has made donations to charities, lobbied CEOs and retailers
  • Established by entrepreneur Bill Griffin to harness the power of community


But there’s nothing virtual about the wishes. Crowdwish.com offers users the chance to ask for anything they want, be it products, experiences, charity or causes, with the most popular wish being granted each day. Ultimately the Crowdwish team want the wishes and the people power behind them to be used to create a force for good, but that doesn’t stop one asking for a trip to Bali.

So far the start-up has made donations to charities such as the Red Cross, Action against Hunger, Save the Children and The Bill Clinton foundation, surprised NHS staff with gifts, lobbied CEOs for equal pay, and negotiated high street discounts.

Make a wish: A new start-up called Crowdwish has launched where users can make any wish they want - and the most popular one will be resolved

Make a wish: A new start-up called Crowdwish has launched where users can make any wish they want – and the most popular one will be resolved

Established by 43-year-old entrepreneur Bill Griffin, the site encourages users to ‘like’ other people’s wishes through the webpage or via social media.

Bill told MailOnline: ‘I kept seeing evidence for groups of people coming together online to create outcomes for themselves that they wouldn’t have been able to achieve on their own…from Kickstarter to the use of social media during the Arab Spring.

‘I know this sounds completely ridiculous, but I wanted to create a site where people could come and ask for literally anything and get a meaningful and freshly generated response. That was the brief and it took me a while to figure on how it was going to work, a bit longer to design, then about six months to build.’

After six months of building, the former marketing director of Comedy Central unveiled a simple website where users can ask for up to ten wishes for anything ranging from products, experiences, or causes.

  • People who have made wishes can ask people to support them via Facebook and Twitter and the more people that ‘me-too’ them, the more chance they have of being granted.
Brains behind the operation: Bill Griffin, former marketing director of Comedy Central, wants to use the critical mass of the users to help bring their dreams closer to reality

Brains behind the operation: Bill Griffin, former marketing director of Comedy Central, wants to use the critical mass of the users to help bring their dreams closer to reality

‘Whatever you’re hoping for, someone else – somewhere – is going to be wanting the same thing; the majority of our wishes are likely to be shared by other people.

‘The greater the number of people who want something, the more likely that thing is to be delivered,’ reads the site, which is soon to have an accompanying app.

‘So Crowdwish exists to link together people’s hopes, dreams, ambitions and desires. It’s designed to bring people together to create outcomes that are more likely to happen if lots of people are asking for those outcomes, rather than a single individual.

‘Every 24 hours the most popular wish on the site is taken on by our team of expert deal brokers, researchers and negotiators who then use the power of the combined demand to create results on behalf of that newly formed community,’ said Bill.

That isn’t to say that wishes will be miraculously granted; more that the site will work tirelessly to make this aggregated demand as influential as it can be.

This might involve creating discounts on popular products that have been selected, it might involve lobbying people who can help change something unfair, or it might be about creating unique experiences available nowhere else.

‘I think people like it as a notion; wishes have got a childhood iconography that is appealing at quite a deep level, plus they seem to respond well to the way in which the wishes get actioned – which is sometimes quite earnest and serious, then on other occasions is much more light-hearted and irreverent,’ said Bill.

The simple things: The crowning wish of the day was for free coffee so Bill and his team granted it

The simple things: The crowning wish of the day was for free coffee so Bill and his team granted it

Consider it done! Someone wished that people who worked for the NHS got the respect they deserve; Bill visited a variety of hospitals to take staff some presents
Consider it done! Someone wished that people who worked for the NHS got the respect they deserve; Bill visited a variety of hospitals to take staff some presents

Consider it done! One user wished that people who worked for the NHS got the respect they deserve. The team visited a variety of hospitals to take staff some presents

If the most popular wish of the day is for a physical product – a camera for example – Crowdwish will use that aggregated demand to create a discount on the users’ behalf.

If it is a service needed, they will link wishers to the best supplier, using a trust rating, at the most competitive price.

Maybe it is a cause you feel strongly about, then the site will lobby those who could help directly, organise a meet-up or create a disruptive action to help.

If it is advice that people need, Crowdwish promise to commission an expert or collate the collective experience or wisdom of those who had dealt with similar circumstances or situations.

Perhaps an experience will be the most popular wish of the day, then they would create a bespoke one for that community as a unique one-off at the best possible price or perhaps for free.

All in a day's work: Today, Bill and his team paid for an elderly couple's shopping for them after 'I wish I could help a stranger' was voted the top wish

All in a day’s work: Recently the Crowdwish team paid for an elderly couple’s shopping for them after ‘I wish I could help a stranger’ was voted the top wish

Has Bill ever wanted to resolve a wish he couldn’t? ‘No,’ he says plainly. ‘And we never will because we just stick to achievable actions.

‘We don’t claim to magically fulfill wishes like some Disney fairy-godmother and we stick really clear of those kind of cheesy “Then Peter Andre jumped out of the cake and everyone started crying” style resolutions. We just do something positive each day in line with what people want; we are not claiming any magic powers or miraculous abilities; we just do things that are useful, helpful or funny.

While he promises he will never carry advertising on the site, he imagines three distinct revenue streams: Charging brands to be involved with the fulfillment of wishes as a PR/activation exercise, a constant offering in the style of Upworthy; now the fastest growing media site of all time, and a premium offering where wishes get actioned more rapidly, almost like a concierge vibe.

So where does Bill see Crowdwish in three years time? ‘You’re meant to have an insanely ambitious goal, right?,’ he said.

‘Well, here’s mine; to join together the world’s hopes and ambitions, collate and quantify them, then use their critical mass to help bring those dreams closer to reality. I hope three years from now we’ve made significant progress towards that objective.’

Read all about it: Users can easily track exactly which wishes have already been granted each day and read the personal stories that accompany them

Read all about it: Users can easily track exactly which wishes have already been granted each day and read the personal stories that accompany them


  • Making donations to charities such as the Red Cross, Action against Hunger, Save the Children and The Bill Clinton foundation
  • Surprising NHS staff with various goodies
  • Lobbying CEOs for equal pay
  • Going to Sir David Attenborough’s house to ask for a cup of tea
  • Having people meet with professionals – from photographers to personal assistants – to help them in their career development
  • Providing discounts on Apple products
  • Cheering up friends of users with surprise gifts
  • Finding and allowing users to enjoy the world’s best pie


  • A woman made a wish on behalf of a friend whose husband had died. She has been his carer for years but had been totally floored financially by medical bills once he died. We set up an appeal in the USA for her and raised $1,000 (£595) in 48 hours to pay the most pressing of her bills. That was cool.

(I believe the above was mine! Sorry if I am wrong!)

  • People voted for a gagging order on Katie Hopkins. We managed to dupe her into signing one by posing as obsessive fans (like she has those). That was quite funny.
  • One woman was in a truly desperate situation where she had had to flea a horrendously abusive situation and was living in a half way house with no furniture or toys for her child, whose birthday was the coming weekend. We sorted out things for her that made her cry with happiness.

The Street Store – Official video 2014


Wow – this is very inspirational. What a great way to give dignity and much needed essentials to people who are, all too often, overlooked.

Kindness Blog

We simply love this…

Introducing The Street Store. The world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free ‘pop-up clothing store’ for the homeless, found entirely on the street and curated by you.

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The King of Bottle Top Mountain


Proof that if you put your mind into doing a good deed, it will happen!

Kindness Blog

INSPIRING: Boy with special needs collects nearly 50,000 bottle caps for charity

Yuteru Domon, a 15-year-old junior high school student in Japan, has collected 49,512 plastic bottle caps for a charity that gives children in developing countries access to polio vaccines.

the king of bottle top mountain

Some kids are just exceptional. Yuteru Domon, a special needs student at a junior high school in Date City, north of Fukushima, took charity to a whole new level by collecting almost 50,000 bottle caps all by himself to save children from polio. Starting last June, his goal was to get polio vaccines for 50 children in developing countries. With 800 caps equalling one vaccination, his goal was to collect 40,000. By the time winter vacation rolled around, Yuteru achieved that goal, but he kept on going. He asked for help from his schoolmates, and they brought him whatever caps they could find. The 49,512 bottle caps netted him…

View original post 66 more words

Crowdwish #100 Was Actioned Today!



Today’s Crowdwish was ‘I wish for a braver and kinder world, where we can all look forward to a better tomorrow’ – from Ashley Craig (See below for more about her – very inspiring!)

Some encouraging facts – there’s actually a wealth of evidence that the world is a better place than it’s ever been.

  1. There are half as many poor people in the world as there were in 1990.
  2. In the last half century, China’s real income per person has gone up eightfold, India’s has quadrupled, and Brazil’s has almost quintupled.
  3. A baby born in 1960 had a 20% chance of dying before her 5th birthday. For a child born today, it’s under 5%.
  4. Globally, the number of deaths by tuberculosis has diminished by half and the number of deaths from measles has decreased by 70 percent. Even the number of deaths due to HIV and AIDS has dropped by 25 percent.
  5. Around 750 million fewer people live in extreme poverty (defined as $1.25 or less per day) than in 1981 – a decrease from 40% to 14%.
  6. The world is getting more and more peaceful; the number of deaths by civil wars or wars between countries per 100 thousand world citizens has decreased drastically in the past few decades, from almost 300 during World War II, to almost 30 during the Korean War, to less than 10 in the seventies and eighties. In the 21st century, it’s less than 1 death per 100 thousand.
  7. Homicides are in decline. In 2001, 557,000 people worldwide were killed. Seven years later that number was 289,000. And the decline continues, according to the United Nations.
  8. Between 1995 and 2011 there was a 20 percent decline in “observable gender inequalities,” according to the United Nations. IMF figures show a consistent decline in global income inequality between the sexes.
  9. Ten years ago, gay marriage didn’t exist in the United States; now 38 percent of Americans live in a state where marriage between gay men or lesbians is allowed.
  10. We have True Detective now.


The facts are clear; slowly but surely, the world is becoming a better place, it just doesn’t always feel that way; one of the consequences of the negativity bias in the media maybe. But the future depends on what you do today, and over in New Jersey, the person who made today’s wish is doing something brilliant.

Ashley Craig was the victim of bullying during her middle and high school years, but found the courage to stand up; not just for herself, but for others too.

Just 18, her story is here – she has created a brilliant charity that implements anti-bullying programs in schools in America and so far these have been delivered to an incredible 10,000 students! 

In order for us to help Ashley fulfill her own wish of a ‘better and kinder world’ we asked if we could help her charity, or whether she would prefer a gift for herself. Unsurprisingly, she chose her charity and so we are helping to design and produce magnetic bumper stickers to spread the word about what she is trying to achieve. You can see them below; they will be produced and shipped to Ashley in the coming weeks.


And a special THANK YOU to all who have helped out with my Crowdwish that was actioned ( please visit  http://www.gofundme.com/886ae8   to learn more) I appreciate anything you can do  – re-blogging, passing it on and giving from your heart if possible.

Much love….    Fern 🙂




Please don’t skip the Thursday wish!

Last Monday the most popular wish was simple – free coffee. We persuaded a coffee shop to give their customers free coffee whenever it rained on the day, which as it transpired was a lot. We also gave away free coffee pots to those who couldn’t be there.

On Tuesday people wanted to ‘play guitar’ – so we asked them to email us their favourite songs, then sent back to them the sheet music for the guitar part and DVDs of ‘Almost Famous’, as we’re unhealthily obsessed with the scene in the back of the RV when they’re singing Tiny Dancer.

On Wednesday the most popular wish was ‘That I could find it easier to talk to people’. We provided a simple technique for overcoming shyness and gave away classic books featuring legendary outsiders, from Eeyore to Holden Caulfield.

They are all great, but this next one is mine! Please check it out, pass it on, re-blog, etc. I really appreciate it! 🙂

On Thursday a woman in Florida had her wish ‘actioned’. She had asked for help on behalf of a friend (and her beloved pets -pictured is Pepita) who was about to lose her house after the death of her husband. The story was a very moving one, so we helped set up a fund to help. So far just shy of  $1,000 has been donated – if you have a spare £5 or dollar, she would be incredibly appreciative.
On Friday the most popular wish was ‘For the media to focus on positive as well as negative stories’. We make a faux-marble sign lampooning The Daily Mail and sent someone to fix it to the side of their building in Kensington. You can see it above; it stayed there for an hour before they clocked it. It has been re-tweeted hundreds and hundreds of times since then.

On Saturday the top wish was ‘I could make my own clothes’. We organised a free clothes-making class featuring expert tuition, white wine, sharp scissors, salty snacks, and an overwhelming sense of personal pride. You can be part of that whole thing; send us an email to book a place.

Yesterday’s wish was ‘That celebrities would endorse small businesses’. The person who made this wish owns a brilliant photography business: so we promised help with marketing and agreed to send out sample photo portfolios to celebrities.

Virtual Tea Party for the Start of ME Awareness Week


reblogged from:

M.E. myself and I

Living life in the slow lane with an invisible, chronic illness.

Friday, 11 April 2014

One month to go

Apologies in advance if this is incoherent. The best way to describe my current state is ‘sloth-like’. I might pop back and edit this later but I wanted to get in touch with you all now.
It’s now a month until the start of M.E. Awareness week which means it’s a month until my charity tea party ‘Blue Sunday’. Some of you may remember last years event, which was the first. (Blue Sunday 2013.) After a couple of years of illness I finally felt well enough to try and do something to raise awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. We decided a marathon was out of the question… because I no longer had a pair of decent trainers. Instead we opted for a cake sale style shindig. So my extended family and closest friends to joined me for Afternoon Tea at home.
The idea for the virtual side of the party came about because lots of my friends lived too far away or were too poorly to travel, or both. This way they could stay in their pjs and even in bed of they wanted to, and follow the tea party updates that I was posting online.
Blue Sunday 2013. Some of the photos sent in via Facebook
Just like last year, I have set up an events page on Facebook but I hope that this year we can expand things to include Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #BlueSunday. That’s the plan anyway! For those who can, or want to, there is a JustGiving page for donations. All I would ask for is the price you’d expect to pay for a pot of tea and a slice of cake in your local coffee shop. 
Blue Sunday 2013. Some of the photos sent in via Facebook
Any donations are so very gratefully received and all those a who donate and attend will be entered into a prize draw. So far I have two prices and am looking for other kind souls who are willing to donate others. Last year I forked out for prizes myself but funds just won’t allow that this year I’m afraid.
Prizes kindly donated by The Pillow Fort team: Subscription to the magazine and a jar of spoons, either on a necklace of key ring
Many of you are asking how a virtual tea party actually works. I have no idea really is the honest answer. This is only my second year of attempting it. I’m still rather poorly so it really isn’t going to be an all singing all dancing extravaganza but it’s an opportunity to meet new friends online, and to eat dangerous amounts of cake. What more could you want for a Sunday afternoon in May? All you need is an Internet connection and cake. Lots of cake.And to those who are coming to my house for Afternoon Tea that day, don’t worry. I won’t be doing any of the baking myself…


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