winter solstice raffle

It’s well into winter here in Glasgow and the shortest day of the year is upon us…


The sun rose this morning at 8.44 and will have set by 4 and, even when it’s up, the sky is often heavy with rain, such a contrast to the warmth and light we’ve just been soaking up on a brief trip home to Melbourne! It was SO lovely to be among family and friends and a powerful reminder of how incredibly lucky we are to so be loved and supported, of how much we have in our lives… We said hello to our lovely wee house and the family enjoying living in it, walked our regular routes and some new ones, ate at our favourite places (yet to find any good Middle Eastern or Japanese restaurants here!) and soaked up the birdsong, the golden bright light and the smell of eucalypts.

Back here in Scotland, we are settling into our second winter here and, this time, embracing the slower rhythm of winter with a bit more knowledge of the long, dark months and how to get through them…  I do love the dark and cold but struggled a bit with just how long and dark it was last year! Friends say that exercise, vitamin D, good company, blankets and other warm woollies, candles and lights and just embracing the need to achieve less and sleep more all help to make winter more fun. I’ll let you know how I go and whether I turn into a hibernating bear as much as I did last year ; )

Today is my birthday and, after the year that we’ve all had, my birthday wish was for a little bit of peace and good news in the world. Instead, I was deeply saddened to wake up to news of more violence, this time in Germany and Turkey, knowing that both events have the potential to further fuel racial hatred. More and more, like so many others, I am finding myself reaching out, scrabbling, wishing I could do something, anything, to make a difference. I know what is happening in the world is so much bigger than me, than any of us, but I want to use the resources I have, humble though they are, to do something. So I am holding a small raffle in the hope of raising money for those who are far less fortunate than Scotto and I and most people we know.

How will it work? I’m offering up 3 pouches made from a very understated Harris Tweed but lined with bright, cheerful cotton, an unexpected burst of colour and joy when the zip is opened, something we all need when times are dark!

Pouch in oatmeal/ lichen Harris Tweed

Pouch in oatmeal/ lichen Harris Tweed

Pouch in oatmeal/ lichen Harris Tweed

I’ll draw three winners from a hat on December 28 and send them each a pouch as a post-festive/ end-of-year treat! To go into the draw to win one, I just ask that, in the spirit of humanity and kindness, you make a contribution to a humanitarian aid organisation- I’m suggesting Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres or Oxfam for the incredibly important work they are doing  with Syrian refugees but please let me know if there is another group that you know of who does good work! The raffle is open to all countries and there is no minimum donation but please give as much as you can afford. I’m not going to ask for proof of donation but instead will rely on honesty! All you need to do is leave a comment here or on my Instagram feed to let me know who you decided to donate to and you’ll be in the hat on Dec 28. Good luck and huge thanks for any support you can give!

13 thoughts on “winter solstice raffle

  1. Sarah

    Happy Birthday! And what a lovely way to celebrate in these difficult times. I’m with you in spirt and have just sent a donation to Drs Without Borders (as they’re known in the US). Thank you for inspiring this donation. Post US elections I’ve been focusing on progressive political donations, so your beautiful pouches were the push I needed to help Syria.

  2. Sue

    Happy birthday! Thanks for a great offer, and for such great causes. I donated to MSF, who are doing much-needed work. I wish that weren’t the case, but while it is needed, I’m thankful they are there.

  3. Lotta

    I lived in berlin for over six years, now I’m in Melbourne and it feels so strange.
    I always try to do my present shopping at either Oxfam or one of the many second hand stores and this year I’m giving away goats for a farmer family and children’s education to teacher friends and woman empowering to all females I had to buy for. Thanks to Oxfam! We all have too much stuff anyway! We have Christmas with 36 other adults and I asked for donations instead of presents for my baby too.

  4. Emma

    Happy Birthday
    Such a lovely idea and all three very worthy charities to support, as a Christmas present to me all 3 have my support x

  5. Hetty Bos

    Happy birthday.What a wonderful idea.I donated to SOS kinderdorpen.They help children in need.
    At the moment they do a lot of work in Syrie.

  6. Freyalyn

    What a lovely idea. I shall be buying the new #CookforSyria book on Saturday, and a donation to Unicef will be made too.

  7. Katnipon

    Happy Birthday!! What a wonderful idea, and a nudge to make the donation I’ve been meaning to make. I just donated to The White Helmets, a rescue group which has saved over 78,000 people from attacks in Syria.

  8. Henrike

    Happy Birthday and all the best wishes for your next year!
    I work voluntarily for Viva con Agua for a few years now. They will give the money to projects which will install water wells and sanatary facilities in countries with no secure access to water (like Ethiopia, Uganda and Nepal). Every year I also “gift” an alternative present from oxfam. This year my mom will get a midwife training programme for a woman in Pakistan. As there are many refugees from Afghanistan and Syria in my hometown, I took part in a christmas present gifting. The children were asked to make a wish which was granted by people willing to donate this certain present. So I bought a doll and a skipping rope.
    I really enjoy altruistic gifting as I think that we kind of lost the appreciation of gifting in such a wealthy country we are living in (I live in Germany). My family thinks the same so we rather would gift handmade things than store bought things.
    Have a nice Holiday!

  9. Heidi Johnson

    I support The Heifer project and will continue to do so this Christmas. There are so many animals to chose for sustaining and supporting families around the world. Goats are on our list this year. Happy Birthday!

  10. lucette

    Happy belated birthday to you. What a kind way to celebrate. I support the Salvation Army throughout the year for all their good work with the Syrian refugees who arrived this year. Thank you for your generous gesture.

  11. Jenn Laing

    I donate to MSF, and will continuevto do so particularly after the bombing of a number of their hospitals.

    Thank you for doing this!


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