If we can't offer a helping hand, a safe place to raise children, a refuge from war and terrorism, then I don't believe we are fufillimg our role in this world.

I've refrained from writing anything about refugees coming from Syria and other wartorn countries for a number of reasons. Primarily because of the negative, hateful comments people who have expressed any sort of opinion or compassion have been hit with.

Tonight, I met some members of a refugee family who have moved to the area.

The young boy is at the local high school and spoke impeccable English to say he has only been here for a matter of months. His father also spoke good English. They, along with the rest of their family, have been having English lessons since they arrived.

The young boy is taking part in this weekend's remembrance service, lighting a candle to signify 'peace'. A poignant and fitting choice.

He was chatting away, talking about his love of playing football with his friends at lunchtime as his dad looked on. He will be there, watching his son's big moment, on Sunday along with his three other children and his wife.

The young boy really made the conflict in Syria and the refugee situation hit home. In his school uniform, looking so relaxed and happy, it broke my heart to imagine what he has seen, and experienced, in his young life.

Barely into his teens, he and his siblings will have experienced situations that no person - let alone a child - should ever have to witness or go through.

I couldn't imagine even begin to imagine the horror this gorgeous little boy has lived through in his short years.

Now, however, he's safe, happy, and healthy. As, I'm sure, the other refugees are who have been resettled around the country.

Of course, there are issues in this country - people are struggling, the NHS is at breaking point - but we can help people. There are people in this world who need our help. Who need the safety and security that we can offer. If we can't offer a helping hand, a safe place to raise children, a refuge from war and terrorism, then I don't believe we are fufillimg our role in this world.

There are issues surrounding refugees, I understand there's a limit on resources and that people at home need help and support too, but imagining gorgeous little babies, children and young adults going through the horror that is war and terrorism breaks my heart. As a parent, all you want in life is to protect your child.

Parents shouldn't feel pushed, desperate, to escape their country to save their babies. It says a lot about where they are coming from if they view a dinghy in the sea as a safer option to the land. No parent would risk their child's life crossing oceans on unsuitable transport methods if the water wasn't safer.

Mark Stone's recent report of, literal, life and death in the Med was heartbreaking to watch. It was eye-opening in every sense the risks these people take to seek a better, safer life. Or simply just to preserve their life. If you haven't watched it, I would recommend it. (Not like I'd recommend Shrek or Toy Story, it's a completely harrowing watch, but I think it's an important one.)

There must be some cap on accepting refugees, I accept that. We can't, unfortunately, take them all. If I had my own island, I'd take as many as I could to protect and save the children of this terrible, heart breaking war.

I'm not writing this to open up a debate about refugees, or to say we should take in every refugee out there.  I'm writing it to explain how the whole refugee issue has been humanised for me. I had my own opinions on it before, but they have just been consolidated after meeting this family. I'm sure they, along with the other refugees, would have preferred to stay in their home country. To not have to move to a foreign land, learn a new language, and start a new life. Only, when they felt they had no choice, would that have ever become an option.

These people have lived through hell. I can't stop seeing the gorgeous little boy's smiley face and wonder how long that smile was absent from his face. How long was it replaced with tears for? With fear, anxiety and worry?

You hear everyone else's opinions all the time. We're drip fed information through the media and influential characters. Often, it can be racist and heartless. Not all the time, of course, but a proportion is. This only fuels extremist views, with many using the information gained from media outlets to form their own opinions. That is fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It's the beauty of Britain - freedom of speech.

It's rare I agree with Piers Morgan, generally I think he speaks antagonistic nonsense, but on this I do. Nobody wants Britain to be taken for a ride, or our kindness to be taken advantage of. But I would like to think if ever, god forbid, we needed help and refuge that another country would be kind enough to welcome us; and not leave us to perish.

To those who say 'refugees shouldn't be allowed here, it's not their country' - we shouldn't look at it as an us vs them. We are all part of one huge community, sharing this earth with each other. If we can't lend a hand to those in the most desperate of situations when they need it most, then I am genuinely worried about the future of society.


Canestan cream & lip balm are not two things you want to mix up

I realised I carried too much crap in my handbag when I went to pull what I thought was my lip balm out of a side pocket, only to reveal a tube of Canestan cream to the queue of people behind me at the self-scan in Morrisons.

Rather than quickly shove it back in my bag and dig around for the elusive lip balm, I froze.  Just holding the thrush cream in my hand staring at it for what felt like an eternity.  Also very aware that everyone was staring at me.

Eventually, I found my lip balm.  It was next to my eye drops.

I haven't used said eye drops since I bought them one day when my contact lenses were giving me jip.  I just chucked them in my bag "just incase" I needed them again.  The same with the Canestan cream.  That's been there for months - "just incase".

After realising a pattern was emerging, I decided to look what else I actually carried round with me everyday.

So, here goes.  A list of the entire contents of my handbag:
  • Ibuprofen
  • Solpadeine
  • Tampons
  • Concealer
  • Car keys
  • House keys
  • Impulse body spray
  • Deodorant
  • A hairbrush
  • A three-way mirror
  • Brow gel
  • Hair grips
  • Tissues
  • Tinted lip balm
  • Boots Advantage card vouchers
  • A pinky/orange lipstick
  • Business cards
  • My purse
  • One plaster
  • An umbrella
  • My press pass
  • Sunglasses
  • A nude lipstick
  • A memory stick
  • Tweezers
  • One glove 
  • My iPod
  • A paper clip
  • An empty box of cold and flu tablets
  • Sweetener tablets
  • A number of hair bobbles
  • Chewing gum
  • Screwed up receipts
  • A pink lipstick
  • And a shit-load of pens
It's no wonder my arms ache at the end of a day lugging all that around with me!  It's lucky I don't have a bigger handbag, I dread to think all the other stuff I could fit in.

More than half of the stuff in there I don't even use.  I didn't even know I had the lipsticks in there - I never wear lipstick on a day-to-day basis.

The Boots vouchers get shoved in my bag every time they come through the door, yet I never end up using them.  

And I don't even know what is on the memory stick. 

It really is no wonder I can never find anything in my handbag.

All the stuff I carry around every single day, moaning I can never fit anything else in my bag and complaining that it won't fasten, and I don't even use half of it.  

I mean, one glove.  For crying out loud.  Apart from attempting a shit wintery cover of Bob Marley's classic, there's very little I could do with one bloody glove.  I couldn't even begin to tell you where the other one is.

I can guarantee, if I 'sort' my bag out tonight and keep in it only the essentials, within a fortnight I'll be back to where I am now.  

I really hope it's not just me that carries unnecessary crap around with them all the time?  I bet, ladies, if you look in your bag you'll find some really obscure things in there.  I'd love to know what the strangest thing is you carry round everyday.  Please make me feel better about myself! 

This weekend I will sort out the contents of my bag.  In the process of getting everything out to inspect what was actually in there, then putting it all back in, I broke the bloody zip.  Now, not only do I have an over-filled bag with a load of crap I never even use, but I can't even fasten the zip to hide said crap from the world.

If ever there was a time to be a man, who only needs a pocket for his wallet and keys, this would be it.  

I'm pretty sure staff at our wedding venue think I am a psychopath

It's true, I'm pretty sure the wedding coordinator at our wedding venue thinks I am an actual psychopath.

After lying awake at 3 o'clock in the morning one Sunday night fretting about the smallest, most insignificant things, I sent a frantic email to our venue asking all my worries. I knew it, I sounded mental.

I actually asked the question if they'd save us a room for our wedding night. Of course they bloody will, I knew they would. But I had the worry in my mind that our excited guests would book all the rooms and we'd be left like Mary and Joseph with no room at the friggin' inn.

Pretty sure I even used that example in my email. Just kill me now. 

It's now just six months until our wedding. SIX MONTHS!!! 

It doesn't seem five minutes since we got engaged, or since we started the one year countdown. Now, it's just six months. This time in six months, we'll be husband and wife. Having our photos taken ahead of our evening reception.

Just 181 days to go. Sounds a long time when you put it like that. But, when I think back over the last six months, it's absolutely flown.

Everyone keeps saying 'once Christmas is out of the way it'll be here before you know it.' Now bonfire night is done and dusted, Christmas will be here in a blink of an eye. Then it's wedding year!!

Wedding planning is pretty much done and taken care of now. Everything is booked, ordered, bought and arranged. Just the small matter of saving and paying for it now...! It has been very stressful at times. When we sent out the save the dates it was difficult as there were controversies over who was /was not invited; that was definitely the hardest part. But we were expecting it.

Everything else, though, has been pretty plain sailing. We've got our gorgeous bridesmaids their dresses and Tom has chosen his suits for him and the boys. We've picked our honeymoon destination and are just waiting for the flights to come out so we can get it booked.

I imagine the next difficulty and stress will be the table plan. It makes me break out in a sweat thinking about it.

But those little stresses are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It's all about me and Tom.

Hopefully I can reign in the psycho/stressy tendencies in the next six months, otherwise he might not be there waiting for me at the top of the altar! I joke (I hope).

Six months to go - there is an end in sight to these annoying blogs banging on about wedding planning! Then it'll just be further excitement about my exciting role in my best friend's wedding. I think I'll be more excited for hers than my own. All the exciting bits, none of the stress ha!

2017 is literally going to be the year of the wedding. I'm so lucky that Tom is so interested in the wedding planning. But I'm also so lucky that I get to do the whole process with my best friend; planning our weddings together.

When we first realised our weddings would be so close, I think we were both a bit worried it would be a bit like the film Bride Wars. I say 'I think', I know we were. Soph messaged me saying she hoped we didn't end up like that ha. But we never have. To say we are so similar and so alike, and both love the same things, we've never been in a situation where we've both wanted the same thing. Even if we were, we are so close we wouldn't get upset or angry or petty about it. We want each other's days to be just as special as our own, so we would never go all Bride Wars on each other.

Wedding planning may have been a nightmare at times, but it's also been amazing. Doing everything with Soph has been so special.

The next six months, and beyond, are going to be so exciting. And I just can't wait to be Mrs Natalie Jane Kershaw.