An Unbelievable Kindness….

A Tribute to the Amazing Young People in my Life!!

Teenagers and young people generally get a bit of poor deal these days but I guess historically they always have.  Too young to be treated as children but not old enough to have the wisdom to understand that exuberant behaviour can be misconstrued as threatening to some of the older generations.  In my experience they seem to suffer from people automatically believing the worst of them regardless of whether they deserve it or not.

In my own personal contact with huge numbers of teenagers (due to having so many of my own!) they’re actually a great bunch of people with good intentions and this was proven beyond any possible doubt last week.  No-one can possibly have an immaculate house when there are permanently 8 people in residence and regularly up to 15 with all of the children’s miscellaneous boyfriends and friends coming and going.  Added to that, I myself have no desire to live in a replica of an Ideal Home where everyone is scared to so much as move!  I like our ‘lived in’ home.


Anyway, whilst on our trip to London for three days, I’d asked one of the kids friends to stay and look after the dogs whilst we were away.  Inevitably I suppose, before I knew what was going on, all of the girls boyfriends were planning on staying together and ‘chilling’ while we were away.  I had no problem with that, I know them all very well and was certain that mad parties would not be on the agenda during our absence.  I was so right but what they did have planned totally took my breath away…..


I know….I know…it doesn’t quite look like this but in my personal perception…..this is the difference!!


On our return we walked in to find that they had spent the three days totally gutting most of the house, cleaning and painting and even buying two new settees to replace the ones that were so badly broken we could barely sit on them!  They had painstakingly taken every picture, shelf etc…down and repainted every wall in the kitchen, dining room, sitting room, utility room and three of the bedrooms!   They’d even tidied the garden for us. They had also enlisted the help of some of their parents and a few other friends in order to complete the three day makeover on time. 

They’d managed to choose perfect colours for every room and the way they had tied everything in artistically would give Laurence Llewelyn Bowen a run for his money!  They’d done a fantastically good job and achieved what should have been impossible in such a short space of time.  They had even set up a secret Facebook page for the project with numerous people involved in the planning etc….which had been going on for weeks without our knowledge.

These were nearly all people in their teens and early twenties who worked ridiculously hard for three solid days only having eight hours sleep each in 72 hours in order to give us the beautiful gift of a clean and redecorated house.  They know I have no time or money to do it myself and it was their gift to us.  I cried!  I don’t do crying but I was so touched and moved by their generosity of spirit and their kindness that I couldn’t help it.

Of course some young people are misguided and behave badly but don’t anyone ever again generalise about young people being selfish, rude etc… because I personally won’t have it.  They are young people trying to find themselves in a complicated and confusing world and will inevitably make mistakes as we all did when we were young, but their intentions generally are good.

I can never thank the people involved enough so let this be a public testament to how amazing I think they all are and how grateful I am to have them all in my life.  I regard myself as being extremely lucky to be surrounded by such an incredible bunch of thoughtful, unselfish and hard working guys.

With all my heart and all of my love….THANK YOU to everyone involved in the ‘Shanks House Makeover’


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