live pictures of foster the people

2

An interview with Laura Johnston Kohl, a survivor of the Jonestown Massacre

Why did you join Peoples Temple?
The United States was going through critical growing pains in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. In the decade of the 1960s, five American heroes were shot and killed by vigilantes - John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers - and many more besides these heroes. Then, we got into the war in Vietnam. I did not want the world run by bullies, nor by vigilantes. I tried as a single, naive woman to change some things - but was pretty powerless, it turned out. When I met Jim Jones, and joined Peoples Temple, I thought Jim would protect me, and stand for issues I felt were important. He had adopted children of many races, had gathered a huge interracial congregation, and stood with other leaders of our times - Angela Davis, Cesar Chavez, Dennis Banks, many in the LGBTQ community in San Francisco, and others. It seemed like a perfect fit, even though I was an atheist. Jim’s efforts were to move people into activism.

What was it about Jim Jones that first attracted you to the Temple?
From the first time I met Jim, in Redwood Valley, I was impressed at his inclusion and affection for all of us. He would hug, smile, congratulate, assist and nurture all of us regardless of age, sex, income, education, and life experience. He would be the one to notice the people cleaning up or working hard, or setting up events. His concern seemed genuine. In his own life, he and his wife had adopted five children of many races, sometimes having to fight a system opposed to household integration. They did it. His wife seemed to be as enchanted with him as the rest of us, which I thought was remarkable. And, he had political allies who were my heroes of the time - Angela Davis, Cesar Chavez, Dennis Banks, and others. In San Francisco, we were supportive of all diverse community members. There was not only a vision of what we could be, we could look around and see that we had already arrived in a small measure. Certainly, we had more work to do, but we were an inclusive interracial community, and determined to continue the fight.

The public persona certainly differed with the reality, even at that time. But, I did not see that part.
Some of the literature on the Peoples Temple paints a picture of abusive practices. Such as catharsis sessions, physical beatings and suicide drills even before the move to Guyana. How apparent were they?

I disagree that the catharsis sessions were always abusive. Jim ran the Temple as if he were the Godfather of a huge family. He was in charge. He took people to task if our work was shoddy, or our behavior was off, if he or others noticed issues. To this day, I have “family meetings” with my husband and foster son to resolve issues and organize our lives. Sometimes that happened in the Peoples Temple Family Meetings. The abuse part was to have Jim making a decision, stating a problem, and then not allowing the person to respond, or to refuse to listen to problems that needed resolution within the church. Jim could never be questioned. Never. That is abuse. A healthy catharsis is not abuse. Catharsis was the wrong word for much of what went on in our Family Meetings. We had dictatorship laying down rules, and not allowing discussion or defense. Because Jim took the role of everyone’s “father” he managed the discipline of the members. The beatings were outrageous, and even created life-long disabilities. The suicide drills were an early clue of Jim’s power-tripping. I wrote them off as just one more of his antics to get us more unified and to work harder. I think that the most relevant thing about the suicide drills was that NO ONE COULD EVER HAVE IMAGINED that Jim, the person who got relatives out of prison, who fought in courts for children and adults, who got people legal and medical help, who adopted his own children and seemed to love all children, and who spoke up for human and civil rights would or could EVER take our lives. Every family had had some relative or close friend helped. Everyone had a story.

Former members have described Jonestown as one of the best things that happened to them. Conversely, it has also been likened to a concentration camp. What was your experience of Jonestown? Did people tell you they wanted to leave?
I was one of the members who loved Jonestown. I always felt that there were many positives of our community, and that the problems would be sorted out and resolved once we did not have to work so hard building everything. If you look at a photo of Jonestown - built in just over 3 years, you will see how amazing it became in that short time. We were humping to make it less primitive and more functional and livable. I did not see things that would not be remedied as soon as our full-out building was done. For people who were not happy in Jonestown, it was a prison. You could not leave. Jim asked people to work hard and that after two years, anyone would be free to go. Many were rightly skeptical. Jim did not ever want anyone to leave. He took it as a personal betrayal and defeat. Even when about 20 people wanted to go with Congressman Ryan, he was overwhelmed. Twenty people out of 1,000. His paranoia and Narcissistic Personality Disorder (even besides his drug addiction) did not allow him to see that in perspective. For those of us in Jonestown, since people did not speak about how they wanted to leave (much as in Hitler’s Germany, where parents were reported by their children or neighbors), I had no idea that people seriously wanted out. I was a zealot so no one would have told me.

As a former member, how do you view the tragic ending of the Peoples Temple?
Jim Jones talked about revolutionary suicide in the death tape, however some scholars view it as mass murder?
The term “Revolutionary Suicide” was coined by Huey Newton, for his book published in the early 1970s. It was the rhetoric of the times, and was used at a time when the disenfranchised poor and people of color were reacting to the abuses of their neighborhoods. Many were saying that if they were to be killed by police or others anyway, they chose to decide the when and where. (That is a rough paraphrase) The deaths in Jonestown were murders. No good came out of the deaths, except that Jim got all the fame and infamy about the community just as he wanted. He never shared leadership.

How was Jim Jones’ behavior?
At the beginning, when I was part of the smaller Redwood Valley Peoples Temple, Jim’s behavior was inclusive, and consistent with the ideas he shared. He did work to get rid of racism within the Temple. Once he moved to San Francisco with many of his members from Redwood Valley, and many new members, I only saw him in public. He was very polished in public. I felt like I knew the “real” Jim Jones and so did not watch him as critically as I should have.

How did you feel inside the community?
The people I met in Peoples Temple were the best, most dedicated and diverse people I have met in my life. Many people made huge sacrifices because we all felt that we could create a safe community for our friends and family, and be a role-model community for the larger world. We worked tirelessly, and felt that each day, we accomplished a lot. I loved the Peoples Temple community, from the communes I lived in and the entire family - which is what it felt like to me.

Was sex an important element?
Jim was married, had a long-time mistress, and continued to have multiple partners over the years. He would justify having sex by telling us why these people “needed” him to show his care or his appreciation for their beauty - really, blaming the victim. And then, he used sex as a further control over that person. I would say that others in the Church were not invited to have multiple partners, and instead earned Jim’s trust be being celibate. He often referred to people as most trustworthy because they were single. He preferred everyone to have a personal connection with him, no room for others or rather, no distraction from others.

When and why did you leave the community?
I did not leave the community. I happened to be working in Georgetown from late October through the deaths in Jonestown on November 18, 1978.

How did Jones maintain such a strong control over the members?
First, Jim Jones was extremely smart. He just outsmarted us by knowing what to say to pull us in. He would speak and be sure he covered exactly what each person or group wanted to hear. I was always political, along with many other members. He would be sure to include politics and a political message in each sermon. Many members were religious, and he would be sure to include that as well. He was well-versed in the bible, although I have a strong opinion that it was useful for him, rather than it being his core belief. Religion was a magnet he could use to draw people in. Then, he would teach and model how activism was essential in interacting with the world.
Second, Jim actually helped nearly every family. He could write letters to get people out of jail or on probation, or get leniency. He helped get people off of drugs, into housing, into communes with shared resources so everyone had a safe place to stay, with enough food. He provided free legal help and got medical attention to members when they had been denied help. Really, every family was impacted by the services provided in Peoples Temple. People could not fathom that he would do them harm when he had so tenderly cared for them or their loves ones over the years. He was powerful because of his deeds. He took care of people.
As a consequence, people did not admit to seeing his flaws. His drug addiction and personality disorder, which worsened in Jonestown, were hidden by his closest nurses/mistresses/secretaries. His reputation was protected vigilantly. Most of us had no clue about how he was disintegrating right in front of us. Even people who did see some problems had no idea that he was so mentally ill that he would kill 917 people and himself.
There had been no precedent in US history of a leader killing nearly 1,000 people. No one in Peoples Temple - or very few, because some did see it on the horizon and left - could have imagined that end. We thought any issues in the community could be fixed as we settled into Jonestown and didn’t have to work so hard.


How did you feel the People’s Temple was taking a stand for social justice?
From the first day, I realized that Jim Jones had an adopted family of all races - Black, Native American, Asian, and his “home grown” son. He and his wife were the first white couple in the State of Indiana to adopt a Black child - Jim Jones Jr. His congregation was the same - mixed race, mixed socio-economic levels, mixed education. This was in the 1960s and 1970s, in a country that JUST passed the Civil Rights Act. Even today, that is not the norm.

From there, we moved on to supporting emerging groups - we spoke up for the LGBTQ community in San Francisco, the American Indian Movement, the Farmworkers, really, all of them. They were us and we were them. We wrote letters to Judges to get family members and community members released from prison, and helped be the voice for the voiceless. That was our mission and we did it tirelessly.

In the late 1960s, I think that was Jim at his “purest.” He always had a borderline personality disorder - and power issues - he wanted all the power, over all of us. But, it really started eroding what he was doing in the early 1970s when he was so successful with the powerful in San Francisco and in California.

What did you see was your role in fighting for social justice?
In high school, I had been active in integrating my neighborhood in Maryland, and in the fight for equality and putting an end to segregation. In college in Connecticut, I worked hard on civil and human rights, and demonstrated to end the war in Vietnam, among other things.

After college, and a brief marriage, I went to Woodstock - but wasn’t interested in being immersed in that culture. Then I lived and worked with the Black Panthers for about 6 months. That did not work for me as a naive, and optimistic young girl.

When I moved to California and met Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - I thought of Jim as a protector who would enable me to continue on with my political activism. That was my life-blood.

How do you think the social issues of the time affected the rise of the People’s Temple?
I know that the society going through such upheaval (with the murders of so many leaders in the 1960s (MLK, the Kennedys, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers), with the war in Vietnam being so unpopular, and with Civil Rights and civil abuses so much in all of our minds made Jim’s rise to a political position meteoric. He was at the right place (SF) and at the right time to become a spokesperson for many of the disenfranchised.

What do you see as the impact of Jonestown on society?
Jonestown had the POTENTIAL to show the world that racism and abuse did not have a role in our society and that we should get rid of both in our communities. Those of us who went to Jonestown thought that we could prove to the world that our kind of mixed and fluid society worked. We thought we could keep our kids safe from drugs, give them a community that valued them, and … That is what we thought. What we didn’t know was that jim had so deteriorated in mental health, and had become so drug-addicted, that he stood in the way of that happening.

Could you describe what the transition into life after the People’s Temple was for you?
When I came back from Guyana, I was totally shell-shocked. I moved back into the San Francisco Temple building on Geary and Fillmore for four months until the Conservator assigned to sell off the assets of Peoples Temple kicked us out. Then, I lived in several different communes of Peoples Temple survivors for the next ten months. The government put a lien on my passport, saying I had to reimburse the $500 they spent to bring me back from Guyana, since I was one of those who received a subpoena to appear before the Grand Jury. I went to work, got a job, and went to school at night. I was putting one foot forward at a time - but not yet determined that I wanted to keep going. It was very difficult and we survivors were not much help to each other or to ourselves.

After a year of trying to make my decision about survival, I moved into a community I had been spending time with - Synanon. Synanon was a residential drug treatment program when it started in the 1950s, but it had become a fully-functioning diverse community with both former drug addicts and “squares” - those who did not become drug addicts. Over the years, there were thousands of residents who passed through. When I moved in in 1980, there were roughly 50% squares and 50% former drug addicts. Synanon took good care of me. However, there are some events mostly from before I moved in that were illegal and problematic. Some of my fellow survivors from Peoples Temple were anxious for me, moving into another “cult.” Synanon closed in 1990, when the IRS rescinded tax status because of profits we were making in selling advertising products.

While in Synanon, I married my current husband, Ron, and my son was born.

In 1990, we moved out. I went back to school and got my California Clear Teaching Credential. I started teaching in 1994. I also became a Quaker in 1994.

After 20 years of keeping my head in the sand, I went to the 20th Anniversary Gathering at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, where most of those murdered in Guyana were buried. That was when my healing began - once I realized I would and could never forget. My life in Peoples Temple is part of who I am today. Once I admitted to myself that I am forever changed - somehow, I could work with that and fully move on.

In the early 2000s, I started public speaking. I wrote and published my book JONESTOWN SURVIVOR: An Insider’s Look in 2010. I continue speaking about Peoples Temple and my experiences.

How would you like history to remember the people of Jonestown?
The people of Peoples Temple were wonderfully committed and optimistic people who wanted a better world and who were willing to make great sacrifices to bring it about. We were so determined, we failed to watch Jim enough, especially at the end. In Jonestown, his mental and physical health deteriorated, and he and his secretaries/mistresses/nurses were able to hide the disintegration.

In your opinion, what do you think is the historical significance of Jonestown and the People’s Temple?
There is an enormous historical significance of Jonestown and Peoples Temple. Here are just a FEW:

Leaders can never be given absolute loyalty.

Insanity can be very well hidden.

There is no time and place where critical thinking and observation can be turned off.

There are certain behaviors of cult-leaders that are recognizable:

Wanting to take members away from family and loved ones who are not a part of the group

Moving the group to a remote location

Creating a we/they belief system

Refusing any questioning or corrections of the leaders

Keeping members exhausted and poor

Never assigning anyone as a replacement

Really, it is a very long list.

Are there any misconceptions about the People’s Temple that you would like to correct?
There are many misconceptions. The primary one that I always want to address is the nature of the membership. We were bright, hardworking, and optimistic people. It was unimaginable to us that Jim Jones, who had gotten our family members out of jail, into the hospital, into shared housing where there was enough food, and kids into safer environments - and so much more. It was just not possible that the same person would become so mentally imbalanced that he would murder or assist in murdering 918 people.

@fosterthepeople It’s a wild feeling releasing something that’s been living inside the safe corridors of my heart for the last few years. Like releasing a bird that has finally earned its right to fly. I think it’s important for you to know we made this record with joy and musical freedom. Any time the idea of past expectations, pressure to perform, or commerce came into the creative picture, we tried our best to push it out and lock the door.
.
We live in a trying time right now. Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and religious persecution are more rampant than ever. This record was made in defiance against those cancerous ideas. Hopefully it makes you feel as it made us feel when we were working on it - that life is beautiful. And love will always be bigger than politics.
.
With love, 
Mark

Ed’s Parents

In canon Ed has the worst homelife.

Ed’s mom clearly physoclogically, verbally, and possibly physically abuses Ed.

Come on, where did Ed learn this off from?

Ed has references his mother many times and she is clearly a horrible person. She gives more attention to Sarah clearly favoring her more.

Look at their rooms. Ed lives in the dirty basement. His room is always a mess. It’s implied that nobody ever visits him down there. Sarah has a lavish room that is all decorated.

Ed fears his mom.

This was a scene from the nightmare episode. Yes, it turned out to be Jonny in the dream, but before that reveal Ed was falling to his knees begging for his mom to believe that he wasn’t doing anything wrong.

If a child has to do this there is abuse written all over it.

Ed’s mom never takes Ed’s side. In fact she doesn’t want to deal with him. She sends Sarah to yell at him. In an episode where Ed had to clean his room Sarah tells Ed she’ll be back in five minutes because mom said she could.

Keep reading

SPOILERS FOR CAMP CAMP S2E12

so like

everyones guardians were there and stuff 

but yall know i singled out my child Preston, I was so excited to see what his parents are like!

then… we got this:

and like i’m not complaining that grandma was rlly cute and nice 

but I gotta wonder, where are his parents?

Could they not make it like Space kids?

Did they not care enough like Max’s?

or are they not even in the picture? 

Dead perhaps? Or maybe unfit to take care of preston so he’s being fostered by his grandmother?

I’m overthinking this. I know lots of people that live with grandparents, but I still wanna know where Preston’s parents are.

Yo I got headcanons now fuck yeah 

I’m using this fro my Pgoodplay blog yessssssssss

I’ll Never Be Her. (Isaac Lahey/Teen Wolf Imagine)

Request: Hey! I have request. Could u write about Isaac Lahey where he meets y/n in Paris after Allison’s death. And y/n looks like Allison (like Natalie Portman and Kira Knightley) when y/n finds a photo of Allison it hurts her. P.s. I’m in love with your writing! ❤️ P.p.s. Sorry for my English

For those who don’t know, I’ll be taking a two week hiatus after Wednesday July 20th since I am getting teeth extractions then I’ll be getting braces. I hope you guys don’t mind that I won’t be writing imagines for that time. 

Your English is totally fine! Thank you for enjoying my imagines! I also decided to make the reader, (Y/N), a doppelganger of Allison’s. I hope you don’t mind… 

I hope you enjoy!

Originally posted by i-can-see-the-stars-from-america

Originally posted by staliagarbage

You met Isaac while you were searching for a book about werewolves to research and find explanations about the attacks in Beacon Hills. “Anything but Twilight.” You told the storekeeper who kept shoving the saga into your hands. You even said the phrase in French but the woman still didn’t budge. You decided to find a book for yourself and disappeared into the bookshelves. Isaac entered the store after he saw your dark hair dissolve into the abyss of the books. Your body movements told him that you were Allison, a girl he loved deeply but she was taken away from him by the blade of the Oni. 

He followed you inside and found you attempting to reach for a novel that laid on the highest shelf. “Let me get that for you.” He told her as he reached up to achieve the book. You turned and gave him a grateful look. And sure enough, you looked exactly like Allison. He handed the book to you, still in shock, as he introduced himself as, “Isaac… Lahey.”

“(Y/N) (Y/L).” 

It didn’t take long for Isaac to fall in love with you. He didn’t share with you that you looked exactly like the girl he lost. Maybe your looks definitely added to his interest, but it was your personality that sealed the deal for the young werewolf. He kept you a secret from Chris, as he knew that it would hurt Chris to see another girl that looked just like his daughter. 

The two of you found the forest to be place to just hide and get away from the world. “Do you know how to use this?” He asked you, showing her the bow and arrow that used to belong to Allison. 

You gave him a questioning look before answering, “Actually yeah. I don’t think I’m any good, though.” You picked up the weaponry and readied the arrow. “Where would you like me to shoot?” 

“At me.” Isaac replied. 

You put the bow down and gave him a strange look. “Isaac, I don’t want to kill you. My skills are intermediate, I don’t necessarily think it’s a good idea to have me, a novice, shoot at you.”

“Trust me, you won’t hit me.” Isaac thought it was time to tell you he was a werewolf. Your relationship was built on acceptance and love; the first two weeks of you dating, you actually found out about his deceased girlfriend and you told him that you didn’t want to push him into a relationship but he told you he wanted to be with you still. 

You sighed as you readied the bow and arrow once more. “Are you sure?” You questioned and he nodded. You let the arrow go and closed your eyes. Maybe he had some death wish and you just granted him it? How would you explain that to his foster father, whom you have not even met? You didn’t hear a body drop, however. You opened your eyes and saw Isaac holding the arrow firmly with his eyes flashing yellow. 

“Told you.” 

He explained to you that his foster father had left back to their hometown and he invited you over to the apartment they lived at. It was a sweet, homey apartment that was a little messy but then again what home wasn’t messy especially with two men living in it? 

Isaac excused himself to get the both of you refreshments and you found yourself admiring the photographed that were framed and hung. But a picture caught your eye. A girl, who looked exactly like you, was laughing along next to Isaac while they were all surrounded by a group of people, all about the same age as one another. They must’ve been friends back in his hometown but there was no explanation for that girl who bore similar looks to you. 

You kept looking and there she was again, this time next to an older man, who you presumed was her father. Then you looked onto the coffee table and sure enough there was that girl again, but this time it said her name. Allison Argent. 

You picked up the photograph to see that on the back of it was a service. “Hey, I didn’t know-” Isaac’s sentence fell short. “(Y/N)-” 

“Was she your girlfriend that died?” You asked, your voice quivering as the tears threatened to fall. Did he love you because you looked like her? Was it all because you just reminded him of her? “Isaac, why does she look like me?” 

“I don’t know.” He admitted. “But yeah, Allison was my girlfriend that passed away.” 

“Did you kill her?” You questioned. He gave you a hurt look. “You’re a werewolf. Did you kill her?”

“I love her, of course I didn’t kill her!” Isaac exclaimed. 

A sob escaped your mouth. Love. He still had feelings for her. Isaac’s brow furrowed as he realized what just came out of his mouth. Yes. He still loves Allison… He never had a proper farewell to her. She was his first love and no one truly stops loving their first love. 

“Is she why you wanted to know if I used a bow and arrow? Are you trying to turn me into her? Isaac, I’ll Never Be Her.” You sobbed and fell into the couch with your head in your hands. 

Without a second thought, Isaac sits by you and puts his arms around you. He tried to soothe you and whispered sweet nothings to you but you just continued to sob. 

“She was my first love.” He explained. “She died saving her best friend. I never got a goodbye. And then I saw you at the bookstore in Paris, I thought you looked just like her. I thought it was fate telling me that I could have a second chance with Allison again and then it turned out you weren’t Allison.” 

“Disappointed?” You questioned, your cries becoming quieter. 

Isaac shook his head. “I didn’t care that you looked like her or you weren’t like her. Yeah, I still love her. Losing someone the way I lost her, you’d still love that person no matter what. But I know she’d want me to move on and find happiness in someone else. And I’ve found happiness again. I found love again. I found myself again because of you.” You peered up at him and his sparkling blue eyes. “I love you, maybe even more than I love Allison.” 

You gave him a small smile. “I love you too, Isaac.” 

I currently have 6 cats at home ! :D

Salem, the black one, and her sister BMO (seen down here attacking a defensless Dalek), are both mine. I rescued them from the street 2 years ago, and had to feed them every 3 hours for a month. It was totally worth it!

Since I live in a pretty big appartment, I decided to give some time and help other cats, because mine love the company of their peers so much. So I foster feral kittens and socialize them until they are adoption material <3
On the picture above you can see Salem taking care of the 3 siamese kittens : Bubblegum, Peppermint and Jelly Bean. All of them came to me in terrible shape and completely feral. They now have found their forever homes!
Last one is also a foster kitten, Trenzalore, this one was not a challenge, she always was sweet but unfortunatly people are not fond of tortoiseshell so her adoption might take a while…

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#3YearsOfTheVamps

In celebration of The Vamps’ 3 year anniversary, I’ve put together a masterpost of some of my favorite songs, music videos, live performances, video diaries and more! 

Music videos:

Can We Dance

Wild Heart

Last Night

Somebody To You ft. Demi Lovato

Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) ft. Shawn Mendes

Hurricane (From “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”)

The Vamps Takeover on AwesomenessTV (2015)

Tristan in Underwear

The Vamps Play Would You Rather

The Vamps Surprise Fans Backstage!

Brad from The Vamps GETS PRANKED!

The Vamps Play Two Truths and A Lie

James McVey plays with KITTENS!!

The Vamps Prank CALL using their Alter Egos!

The Vamps create a RUCKUS on London Streets

The Vamps Introduce The Tide

A Few Twitcams/Livestreams (not in order.)

The Vamps twitcam 25.06.2014 part 1

The Vamps twitcam 25.06.2014 part 2

The Vamps twitcam 25.06,2014 part 3

The Vamps Twitcam 12/03/14

The Vamps Full Twitcam 19/12/2012

The Vamps - Twitcam - 3.10.13 - FULL

The Vamps Twitcam (20/9/13) PART 1

The Vamps Twitcam (20/9/13) PART 2

The Vamps Twitcam (20/9/13) PART 3

The Vamps twitcam - USA EP RELEASED AT MIDNIGHT #THEVAMPSATMIDNIGHT

The Vamps Pyjama Twitcam (28/9/13) PART 1

The Vamps Pyjama Twitcam (28/9/13) PART 2

#BreakfastWithTheVamps

Covers (not in order)

Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen (Cover By Bradley Will Simpson, The Vamps)

Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Cover By The Vamps)

My Chemical Romance - Teenagers (live cover by the Vamps at Birmingham Indoor Arena)

Young Volcanoes - Fall Out Boy (Cover By Connor Ball, The Vamps)

Twist And Shout (Cover By The Vamps)

Life Of The Party - Shawn Mendes (Cover By Brad From The Vamps)

Ed Sheeran - Tenerife Sea (So In Love) Cover by James From The Vamps

Sweater Weather - The Neighbourhood (Cover Teaser By The Vamps)

One Direction - Story of My Life (Cover By The Vamps)

MMM Bop - Hanson (Cover By The Vamps)

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (The Vamps cover Taylor Swift)

Silent Night (Cover By The Vamps)

Conor Maynard - Vegas Girl (Cover by The Vamps)

Austin Mahone - Say You’re Just A Friend (Cover By The Vamps)

Justin Bieber - All Around The World (Mashup Cover By The Vamps)

Taylor Swift - 22 (Cover By The Vamps)

One Way Or Another - One Direction Comic Relief Single (Cover by the Vamps)

Little Things - One Direction (The Vamps Cover)

One Direction - Live While We’re Young (Cover By The Vamps)

Justin Bieber - As Long As You Love Me ft. Big Sean (Cover by The Vamps)

I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift (The Vamps Cover)

Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man (Mashup Cover By The Vamps)

Rockin’ Robin - The Jackson 5 (The Vamps Cover)

Kiss You - One Direction (Cover By The Vamps)

The Wanted - Walks Like Rihanna (Cover By The Vamps)

Passenger - Let Her Go (Cover By The Vamps)

Mcfly - That Girl (Cover by The Vamps) with Dougie Poynter and Carrie Hope Fletcher

Pink - Just Give Me A Reason (Cover By The Vamps)

Teenage Kicks McFly Tour Video (Cover by The Vamps)

Neon Trees - Everybody Talks / Animal Mashup (Cover By The Vamps)

Amy Winehouse - Valerie (Cover by The Vamps feat. A*M*E)

Brokenhearted - Lawson (Cover By The Vamps)

Austin Mahone - What About Love (Cover By The Vamps)

Miley Cyrus - We Can’t Stop (Cover By The Vamps)

One Direction - Best Song Ever (Cover By The Vamps)

Mr Brightside - The Killers (Cover By The Vamps)

Sleighing In The Snow (Live Acoustic by James McVey, The Vamps)

Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People (Live Cable Car Cover By Brad and James, The Vamps)

One Direction - Midnight Memories (Cover By The Vamps)

Other Random Videos

Drum Solo by Tristan Evans, The Vamps - Director’s Cut (UK Tour 2014)

The Vamps - Bloopers 2014

The Vamps - Bloopers 2013!

The Vamps prove they have Wild Hearts and dump each other in the meanest way EVER

The Vamps play the ‘Somebody to You’ puppet game and talk meeting Demi Lovato

Bradley Will Simpson- Loaded Gun (Original)

The Vamps - Jack (Lyrics and pictures)

Connor Ball - Weightless

The Vamps - Last Night Connor & James Edition

The Vamps - Wild Heart James & Connor Edition

The Vamps - Wild Heart Tristan Animal Edition

Can We Dance - The Vamps ( Tristan’s version )

Last Night (Tristan’s Animal Remix)

The Vamps - Last Night (Live from Birmingham) (VEVO LIFT): Brought To You By McDonald’s

The Vamps Live//Uptown Funk/Shake It Off/We Can’t Stop

The Vamps - Lovestruck (Live in Birmingham)

Risk It All (Live) - The Vamps

The Vamps: James and Brad Demo - Rough Night (Lyric Video)


~Anything else you want me to add, just let me know and i will. :)~

VIETNAM. 1968. American soldiers indulge in humorous portraits. Part of the Vietnam Slide Project, a collaborative photobook including pictures soldiers took themselves while overseas. The Vietnam Slide Project will also incorporate stories told by living veterans. It’s a chance not only for them to be heard after many, many years but also for their families and the people they loved to have a piece of them once they’re gone.

Photograph: Sgt. C.R. Foster, ‘B’ Battery 1st LAAM Marines

Teen Wolf x Reader x Supernatural part 3

Previous Part : Part Two

___

(Y/N) = Your Name
(H/C) = Hair Color
(E/C) = Eye Color
(S/C) = Skin Color
(N/N) = Nick Name

—–

Stiles couldn’t believe his luck. So far yesterday was absolutely freaking fantastic! Beacon High had gotten a new student - a gorgeous new student - and she and him hung out a good amount of yesterday! AND they were going to hang out more today! Plus the pack meeting was pointless since he showed up, was informed something they could have texted, then left.

For once he was actually excited for school, his dad was shocked to see him happily up and dressed by the time he usually barged in and threatened Stiles awake. Yeah, he was that happy. Which was weird. His life went from tv show drama cliché to romance movie cliché. He loved it.

“Woah Stiles,” He looked up, seeing Lydia and Allison walk into the almost empty classroom, he was that early, “I didn’t think you knew how to be on time or early even.”

He rolled his eyes, “I knew, I just never had reason to.”

Lydia just hummed a bit, sitting in her seat with Allison, both turning to discuss the latest whatever about whoever doing whatever with whoever. That’s all he ever understood. Girls were an off specimen.

“Someone looks like they could have used at least ten more hours of sleep.” He looked up, meeting (E/C) eyes, smiling at the sarcastic smirk on (Y/N)’s face. “Is my assumption correct?”

“We’re in high school, (N/N), am I supposed to look bright eyed and bushy tailed?”

She shrugged. “Depends. Ms. Classy over here seems like she’d wake up four hours before anyone else to make sure every hair was where it’s supposed to be.” She nodded at Lydia, and Stiles snorted.

“Knowing her that’s probably true.” She sat down, pulling out her English binder, and he took notice of a few pictures of her and her brothers and some other people. “Who are they? Any secret boyfriends?” Don’t come off as creepy just come off as curious Stilinski. Don’t scare the pretty girl who likes DC away.

She huffed a laugh, a sideways smirk as she pushed her binder closer pointing to the two he saw yesterday. “These two are my older brothers - well, adopted brothers. Sam and Dean.” Why did those names sound vaguely familiar? “This was my old foster family, Collin and Karen, and their son Josh. He had the biggest crush on me when I lived with them,” She held up her left hand, pointing to the ring on her index finger, “Convinced we were going to get married. The old guy in the plaid in my Uncle Bobby, adopted but still.” She smiled, though he could tell she was somewhat embarrassed. “I - uh, sorry, I don’t know why I bored you with that.” She shook her head.

He laughed a bit. “It’s fine. If I had a nickel for everytime I rambled to people I just met or hardly knew…well it’d equal the amount of nickels I would have from the times I rambled to people I did know and I’m positive I’d be a trillionare.” He saw more people file in, Scott one of them, looking confused before his gaze came to rest on Stiles and (Y/N). Stiles wasn’t sure but he could have sworn Scott’s eyes flashed gold, glaring at (Y/N).

“So when I come over today,” His head snapped back to said (H/C) girl, who hadn’t noticed the teen wolf glaring at her as he came to his regular seat, whispering something to Lydia and Allison, “My brothers are dropping me off. I tried easing it making it known you were the sheriff’s kid and - ”

“Why was that important?”

“If they knew you were related to the local law enforcement they would assume you were a good kid. That did not go as planned.” He snorted, she really had no idea.

“How’d you know he was related to the sheriff? Last I heard parents jobs isn’t a fun conversation starter.” Lydia butt in, and both his and (Y/N)’s eyes turned towards the strawberry blonde, Scott and Allison both watching.

“Stiles Stilinski? Sheriff Stilinski? It wasn’t hard to put two and two together.” You replied, sending her a forced smile, there was something about her that rubbed you the wrong way.

“Yeah our last name is pretty uncommon.” Stiles laughed behind you, and sending a quick, barely done eye squint glare at Lydia you turned back to the button nosed teen, unknowingly flashing your eyes a bright purple, which the three saw, sitting straight up, the two girls looking at Scott for answers. But said teen shook his head, mouth parted slightly as he stared at the (H/C)’s back.

“Hey Stiles,” Scott said, quite loudly as a few people in front turned to them, but Scott ignored them, interrupting Stiles before he managed to say anything to (Y/N). He didn’t trust her at first, but seeing her last night and this added to his concern.

Stiles sent Scott a confused look, and (Y/N) just looked between the two, face a mix between confusion, curiosity and amusement. “Um, we still on for the uh, movie marathon tonight?”

Scott could feel Allison send him an amused look but he did nothing about it, he didn’t want Stiles alone with a…whatever (Y/N) was. Stiles’ eyebrows came down in confusion, “We had a movie marathon tonight?”

“Yeah dude, uh we planned it a bit ago. After one of Allison’s and I’s dates um, bro time you know?” He was praying to all that was holy that Stiles bought it. Whoever was up there apparently took pity on the teen because Stiles’ face went from one of confusion to recognition and worry.

“Oh man, right, right.” He looked at (Y/N) who smiled at him.

“If you guys had a bronight planned we can always reschedule Sti.” Scott scowled, only Stiles’ closest friends should be able to give him nicknames. “I don’t break up bromances.”

Stiles nodded, then pondered. His face lit up and he inwardly groaned. He knew that face. He hated that face. That was his, “I have an idea”, face.

“Why don’t both of you guys come over? Allison and Lyds too. We could have a movie marathon! Pack night!” All four teens realized what Stiles said as soon as the words left his lips, “I uh - ”

“Pack night?” You felt your eyebrows come together in confusion, “Uh?”

Scott let out a laugh, which was so painfully fake, but you pitied them, turning to look at the teen with the crooked jaw. “It’s uh, see, we - ”

“It’s an inside joke,” His girlfriend, Allison you think, butt in, sending you a smile. “It’s stupid but it’s a joke. I still don’t fully get it.”

You nodded and smiled, noting to call Sam or Dean during class break. “That’s cute. Pack night.” Stiles let out a nervous chuckle, and you turned back to him, as Scott, Lydia and Allison all shared panicked looks.

Derek was going to kill them. Scott, being most worried, flinched heavily when the bell indicating the start of first period rang.

~~

The ringing of the call going through was starting to get really annoying. You had five minutes between each class, and you were lucky your next class was so close to English. Finally you heard the phone stop ringing as someone answered.

“Hello?”

You made a confused face. “Cas? Hey, why do you have Dean’s phone?”

“Dean is currently cleansing himself and Sam has run out to fetch fuel for both you all and the car.”

You paused. “So Dean’s in the shower and Sam went out to get food and fill Baby. Okay. Anyways, since you’ve been hanging with us for a while - ” You started digging through your bag, pausing when Cas took things by meaning again, chuckling a bit at his awkward yet somehow adorable demeanor.

“I wouldn’t call it ‘hanging’,” You could almost see the hang quotes, making you smile a bit, “More as you and the Winchesters have a tendency to almost die every hunt and it is necessary I am there to heal you all.”

You chucked. “Call it what you will Cas but I consider you family and a friend.” You glanced up at a group of teen girls walking by, almost glaring at the strong scent od perfume and high pitch giggles they were emitting, “Anyways, back to my question,” You glanced around, making sure anyone who was in hearing distance wasn’t in Stiles’ friend group, “What creatures would move in groups they’d call packs?”

Cas didn’t answer and you could just picture the stone look on his face as he thought. “I know the animals who tend to move in packs would be such as wolves, and other predatory animals. Most creatures you hunt, though, work alone.” He paused, “(Y/N) is something wrong with the school you are currently attending?”

You laughed breathily, hiding behind a wall of lockers from a teacher’s view. “I hope not. Uh, some people I know invited me to hang out. One called it ‘pack night’,” You checked how much time you had left. A minutes. You paused, “Cas, werewolves don’t move in packs do they?”

“The ones Dean has told me about, not that I know of. But I do recall those were feral ones. Ones who aren’t as in touch with their savage side may work together in packs, to calm both wolf and human parts of them.” You heard someone behind Cas, and knew Dean had probably gotten out of the shower but didn’t expect Cas to be there, due to the high pitch scream you heard.

“Alright, don’t tell Dean about this. Tell him I just needed to let him know I was going straight to my friend’s house, and others would be joining us. Bye Cas.” You pressed end, making sure Dean didn’t get the phone first. Sighing you leaned against the cool lockers, hearing the shrill bell go off as others scurried out of the hall, rushing to their next class.

Werewolves. Stiles and his friends…are werewolves.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

(((3/10)))

Next Part : Part Four

UPDATED 1/21/2014

Because of the popularity of this post, I went back and proof-read it when I was more alert. I made some minor tweaks from the original piece, but for the most part, it’s the same- just written with more finesse. 

There are two people in the picture above. Callie is on the left. She is a young, straight woman who was born female (also known as “cisgender”). She’s bounced from foster home to foster home with her little brother, always with a protective watch over him. She is currently living with the Fosters, a same-gender couple, and is “in love” with one of her foster brothers. Unless you watch the show, how could you know such personal details? Is it visible? Can you just “sense” it, whatever that means? No? Ok. 

When you look at the individual on the right, what do you see? There’s no wrong answer. Except maybe “kangaroos.” That would be wrong. Again, unless you watch the show, how could you know that he is a transgender man? At first glance, he could be described as a “butch” woman. But, as I stated before, *he is a transman. What does that mean, exactly? Transgender is a word to describe a person whose assigned gender at birth does not match the gender they identify with. For example, the person on the right may have been born with female reproductive organs and was proclaimed a “girl” by the doctor, but later self-identified as a boy and eventually as a man. You with me so far?

Now, let me explain why this is such a big deal; at least, why I feel it to be a milestone in “family” television. This character’s name is Cole, portrayed by Tom Phelan. He is a “juvenile delinquent” living in a group home with other “juvenile delinquents.” Unfortunately, he was placed in a girls’ home. Since that’s not how he identifies, you see the problem, right? The episode brought up this issue, and in my opinion, handled it quite well. Anyway, this character, this possible new beacon of hope for other youth like himself, has introduced an identity that most other “family” programs wouldn’t. To transparently shed light onto this particular minority group is still something that a lot of us in 2014 are shocked by, as it goes against the status quo of underrepresentation. 

Although some may be quick to point out that he’s white, and that there are societal privileges associated with that, his gender identity sometimes overshadows those privileges. By this I mean that although he’s *white, he’s not always acknowledged or recognized as a man- especially by other residents in the group home. If one can overlook the fact that he’s “Another white, queer person,” then cool! If it’s hard to accept when we still don’t see many trans POCs (people of color), then I understand that as well. I say this as a Chinese transman who is still learning about race, privilege, and other intersecting identities.

This young person graced our screens for the first time last night and has brought another dynamic to this show, which as a whole, is a milestone in and of itself. Here is a series where a biracial, lesbian couple adopt children of other races and raise them with love and compassion. Before this program aired, this was the best fairytale untold.  

With the show’s premise somewhat explained, let’s come back to Cole. Look at his body language, what he’s wearing, his hairstyle. This picture is a screen shot from the episode, posted on Maia Mitchell’s Instagram (the actor who plays Callie). The creators of this eye-opening show have taken the time, and risk, to add another personality into their ever-growing cast and intertwining story lines. It’s evident that when you’re working with someone as talented as Tom Phelan clearly is, the character of Cole literally comes to life. While Cole does not represent every trans-identified person, his presence has already grabbed our attention.

The fate of this character is still unknown as last night was his first appearance. However, in his few moments of screen time, we’ve already born witness to several of the struggles some transgender folks may endure: chest binding, incorrect pronouns, blatant disregard for preferred name, and ridicule— all of which I can, unfortunately, empathize with. But, then again, that only adds to the authenticity, doesn’t it?  

Still in its first season, “The Fosters” has proven to be an influential and educational show about family and love. It indeed showcases that “DNA doesn’t make a family; love does.” Every single one of its characters, both main cast and supporting, has their own story to tell- talents and flaws, beliefs and ideals. There is not a single person who’s perfect, but that’s ok; they’re human.  

Whatever happens with the rest of the season, I hope that we’ll be able to watch Cole find his own happiness. We are past due for a positive, transgender persona in television- one who we can take seriously and love at the same time, one who isn’t the butt of everyone’s jokes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the few movies and shows that have previously depicted transgender/gender queer individuals, i.e. “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” On a program like this, though, where acceptance is a major theme, I’m optimistic that Cole will become a role model for other youth who may be fearful and have never seen anyone like themselves on the big/little screen. I know I would have wanted to see someone like Cole when I was 13 years-old and coming to terms with my own identity. 

Bottom line: I’M SUPER FREAKING STOKED THAT THERE’S A SUPER LEGIT, TEENAGED TRANSMAN ON TV!

FIN. 

*exhales* All right. If you were able to stay with me during that, I thank you. If you weren’t, I do apologize for the ridiculously long post on your dash. If there is something you disagree with, or something I may have gotten wrong, I sincerely apologize. These are purely my own ramblings, and do not reflect those of all trans-identified people. I do not speak on anyone’s behalf but my own. Get it? Got it? Good.

Royai Alphabet Series: A

I told you all that I was going to do this series. I just didn’t expect to get distracted by writing six other things first. I’m also in the middle of writing the third part of the daemons AU, but I really got some inspiration for this the other day when I figured out what word I wanted to use. As for this, I decided to do something different. They’ll all be stand-alones, as usual, but some of them are going to be connected too. It’ll be in order this time though. So like the first five will be connected and then the next five and so forth. I’ll also be writing characters that I didn’t do much with in the 100 drabble series. And without further ado, let’s begin!


A is for Adventure


The sun was glaringly bright, but it wasn’t nearly as hot as Roy had expected when he stepped off the train. It was nothing like Ishval had been and nowhere near as painful as the desert. Roy honestly wasn’t sure how Ling Yao with his two bodyguards had made it across all those years ago, much less a lone thirteen year-old Princess May Chang. It made him think of Edward and Alphonse Elric, alchemy prodigies at such a young age. And what had he been doing at thirteen?

Oh yeah, that was right: he was stuck studying basic alchemy under a mad man in a decrepit house in the middle of nowhere and trying to convince his daughter to say more than five words to him.

Nonetheless, Roy was more than relieved that things were different now. They’d just managed to establish a railroad track and phone line between the two countries, which had proven to be more difficult than anyone anticipated. It had almost been easier to help rebuild Ishval, and that had taken years. One of the largest reasons that they had been able to accomplish building any sort of bridges between the two countries had been because of Alphonse Elric. He’d taken on his unofficial role as Amestris ambassador in Xing with particular gusto. It had certainly helped that he had a lot of pull with the new Emperor of Xing.

Putting on his military cap helped with the bright sunlight, a decent shade falling over the top half of his face and the front of the cap shielding his eyes. He liked the way it didn’t allow people to look him directly in the eyes and covered his expressions. It closed him off to people when he didn’t feel like talking to them. In this case, he was a newcomer to a foreign land, and while he normally would’ve tried to appear as open and friendly as possible, wanting to put on a good face for Amestris, he felt strangely uncomfortable the moment he stepped off the train.

Maybe it had to do with the looks that he’d caught from a few Xingese natives. All of them wore the same looks on their faces: first recognition, then confusion, and finally disgruntlement. For the first time in many, many years, Roy felt like an alien in his own skin, like he didn’t belong, and he didn’t know what to do. Growing up, he had mostly enjoyed the fact that he looked fairly different from everyone, if only because it made him stand out and somehow it made things easier with people. He wasn’t the picture perfect Amestrian, apparently having inherited his mother’s Xingese looks.

Being in Xing now suddenly reminded him of those first few months after Madam Christmas had adopted him and brought him back to live to Central with her. So many people had looked at him in bewilderment, some even walking up right to them and asking where he had come from, like he was some sort of exotic animal. Kids had bullied him for his different looks, to the point where he had become so defensive and once even cried and begged Christmas to take him back home.

Roy recalled his foster mother’s words now: “You’re different, Roy boy, and you always will be, but don’t ever let it be your weakness. There is only one of you, so make it count. Show them how great it is to be different.”

It hadn’t been very comforting to a six year-old, but her words had sunk into his skin. Whenever he was lying in bed and frustrated with how much he stood out from everyone else, he would think back on those words and he used any hate and ignorance to harden him. They didn’t know he was. They didn’t know his history. They knew nothing about him. So what if he looked like them but a stranger in an Amestrian military uniform? He could use that to his advantage. He knew little of this country except for what he studied and the random bits that he could remember from his mother like a dream.

Keep reading

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Was watching Cage the Elephant perform and guess who was watching, too? Knew those kids had to be related to Foster,which was confirmed when he said his family came from Ohio to watch him preform. Also think he said it was their first time in California. Lucky me at Bottlerock Napa was able to snap these pictures as Foster the People was going to perform next!

anonymous asked:

what happened with that dog bryony was walking and how is it related to dan and phil?

yesterday bryony tweeted that she was gonna “hang out with a real life shibe tomorrow” and about 7 hours ago she posted pictures of her walking the dog with no context whatsoever. the pictures were taken in cuffley which is around 45 minutes away from where dan and phil live so people started speculating that maybe the shibe is the dog dan and phil are going to adopt in the future and bryony is fostering it until they’re ready

anonymous asked:

Hii!! Ahh first of all I LOVE YOUR WEBCOMIC! :D It's so awesome man. Alias is just. *clenches fist* I think about him way too much he's the cutest. But- I wanted to ask you if you had any favorite songs?? Favorite groups/artists anything? Thank you, you're so cool.

quiet blushing… you want to… hear about my fav music….? Oh anon-chan, you’ve made a horrible mistake, I LOVE sharing music… I have like 5,000+ songs and my collection is always growing…

My #1 favorite group of all time is Everything Everything! I don’t dislike any of their songs, and they’ve got GOOD LYRICS which is KEY because I like singing along, haha! Some of my favs from them are Cough Cough, No Reptiles, Distant Past, Duet, Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread, MY KZ, UR BF, Kemosabe, Photoshop Handsome, to name a few! But honestly check out all their albums cuz they are just *thumbs up* Rly good group, I wanna see them live one day…!

My favorite song is The Rifle’s Spiral by the Shins, (funnily enough, not by EE, haha!)

Some other groups I like off the top of my head are:
The Glitch Mob (Animus Vox, We Can Make The World Stop, Drive It Like You Stole It, Between Two Points)
Muse (Map of the ProblematiqueTake A Bow, Bliss, Butterflies and Hurricanes, Uprising)
Foster the People (Helena Beat, Houdini, Don’t Stop)
Hot Chip (Flutes, Out at the Pictures)
Little Boots (New In Town, Earthquake)
Fever Ray (If I Had A Heart, Concrete Walls, When I Grow Up)
FAKE TYPE (Nightmare Parade, FAKE STYLE, FAKE STYLE II)
deadmau5 (Ghosts n Stuff, 8Bit, I Remember, Right This Second)
Justice (Planisphere, One Minute to Midnight, D.A.N.C.E.)
Virtual Riot (Energy Drink, Sugar Rush (Centron Remix), Idols)

Also why not, here’s my top 25 most played songs:

along with like… a million others, haha. I could list music all day long and if I could just give you my library I would!! I gotta jet rn tho, but I hope this kinda gives an idea of what I listen to?? Thanks for asking ahhh ;;v;;

I had dinner with a friend as we continued planning our campaign against the nonprofits that are attempting to make sex work more scary and unsafe, and she asked The Question, the ultimate question:

If they want to help vulnerable people so much, why doesn’t their org also lobby for a living wage? Why don’t they partner with shelters to funnel some of their funding into shelters? Why don’t they support investigation of abuses in foster and home care–I know of at least one developmentally disabled person who is being commercially sexually exploited although she isn’t the sexy chained trafficking victim one org pictures on its site.
Why don’t they have lobbying for affordable housing in their mission statement? More funding for do shelters so people have a better chance at surviving if they leave abusers? Why don’t they support trauma informed training for police and hospital staff? In schools?
Why don’t they support after school programs and tutoring programs for “at-risk” youth or homeless youth? Why don’t they support or fund non-judgmental no strings attached meals for homeless women and teens?
All of these things would help keep people who don’t want to do sex work out of sex work.

But they don’t support any of that. They are, in fact, explicitly against a lot of it.

The data simply does not support the myth of a child sex trafficking epidemic, or even a sex trafficking epidemic.

And they know this because they go after consensual adult sex workers instead, as a policy. Because the funding is in arrests, not in people actually lifted out of poverty and given options.

huffingtonpost.com
My Teen Daughter Asked for 17,000 Shoes: Why I Said Yes 

This past November, my husband and I adopted our Mackenzie from foster care. She was only 6 months away from her 18th birthday and had spent more than half her life in the care of the state.

“Mom, we need to do something to show people the magnitude of foster care in Arizona. Most people can’t even picture 17,000 kids, much less understand just how many of us there are.” Mackenzie said, one day out of the blue. “Let’s create a video. We can get 17,000 pieces of candy or something and give people a visual.”

Mackenzie knows too much about foster care. She lived in 26 “placements,” which she says is really “just a dressed up way of saying I left everything and everyone behind 26 times in my life.”

She has had so many “homes” that it took her several tries to remember them all.

“When I moved in with you,” Mackenzie confided to me, “I didn’t believe anything you told me. You told me you were buying me a phone so that I could call you in an emergency. I didn’t believe that. You told me that you would buy me decent clothes. I didn’t believe that. You said all these things, and I didn’t believe any of it because that’s just not what it’s like in foster care. I’d never lived anywhere with people like you.”

At this point, our conversation turned to shoes and hoodies. Busted, outgrown shoes and threadbare hoodies. The unofficial uniform of foster care.

When our daughter first came home to us, weeks before her “sweet 16” birthday, she had one pair of shoes. A pair of old, dirty, split-down-the-sides tennis shoes. Her lone pair of shoes were split in all the right places. The growth spots. They were split around the outer edges of the balls of her feet and around the bend of her heel and on the inner edging and on the tops of her big toes. They were a full two and a half sizes too small.

Mackenzie wore this pair of shoes on her first visit to meet her forever family (that’s us) for the first time with a very pretty size-too-small dress. She wore this pair of shoes to church. She wore this pair of shoes to school. She wore this pair of shoes everywhere because it was all she had.

Our daughter did not come to us straight from a home charged with neglect. She came to us after nearly a decade in the care of state-supported foster homes who were responsible for meeting her basic needs. Yet, she had only one pair of shoes that did not fit.

The second time Mackenzie was placed with us, she had no shoes.

After being moved from our home, she lived for several months in a group home where conditions were so bad that she risked life and limb to hitchhike back to us.

Mackenzie appeared on our doorstep with her size 10 feet stuffed into size 7 sandals. It looked incredibly painful, but she swore she just borrowed these sandals because she liked them. Later, we learned that she no longer had any shoes, and the group home had done nothing about it.

She was going to school every day with bare feet. A few times, teachers asked why she was not wearing her shoes, and she told them, “I don’t have shoes.” When they asked why not, she replied, “I live in a group home.” That was always where the conversation ended.

“If I lived with my birth parents and came to school with no shoes every day, they would have called the Hotline to report neglect, but no one calls to report neglect or abuse on a CPS group home,” our daughter explained matter of factly, “They just expect it and ignore it.”

Redhot Prince was, according to all the records, a fairly successful racing greyhound on the dog tracks of south east England until an injury retired him.  His kennel repaired his foot and nursed him back to health but he was never competitive again so they advertised him on the online equivalent of the local FreeAds.

My girlfriend and I were actively looking to adopt a dog at the time and I was pushing for a greyhound because my family had had one called Harry when I was a teenager (very rare to have a greyhound as a pet in those days) who’d been my favourite out of all the dogs I’d known.

We’d done our homework (on top of my experience with Harry) and we knew what we were letting ourselves in for: an adult dog with no social training whatsoever, who’d never been in a house, never met a child, but just been bred and trained to catch that mechanical rabbit.

What we’ve got is a gentle giant who loves his bed, car rides, cuddles and food treats.  A dog who walks perfectly on the lead and (barring a couple of accidents in the first few days) has housetrained himself.  A docile gentleman who, when our house was at risk of flooding, spent the day at work with me without causing the slightest problem.  The first children he ever met were my twin four-year-old nieces who wanted to handle him and hug him in a way that dogs don’t always like: after a couple of hours this old racer was following the girls around in the hope of more cuddles.

Retired greyhounds bely their image of hungry athletes.  They’re docile, friendly (once you’ve earned their trust), generally lazy so they don’t need much exercise, they don’t smell and they’re incredibly loyal once they’ve decided you’re on their side.

He needs a bit more time to settle in but I have high hopes that Prince will become a PAT (Pets As Therapy) dog: he’s shown that he’s got the right temperament.

I don’t know about the situation in other countries, but if you live in the UK there is a greyhound in a shelter near you who will make an amazing pet even if you don’t have much space or time.

There’s a real community aspect to owning a greyhound too - even though Prince came directly from his racing kennel I’ve become involved with the local greyhound rescue centre.  There’s a lively online presence which gives me laughs and cute pictures.  I go out on fundraising days and take Prince with me to act as an ambassador for the breed (which he does terribly well, leaning on people and looking up at them with those big sad eyes) and I go to the centre with him to walk the shelter dogs.  He loves this part - being surrounded by greyhounds is what he’s used to. and I love meeting the kennel hounds…  we haven’t got space for a second one but maybe we’ll do some fostering.

If you feel that you want to rescue a dog but you haven’t got a preference for breed, please consider making contact with your local greyhound shelter - I can almost guarantee there’ll be a gentle, loyal, low-maintenance dog there for you.  Or, if you’re more experienced, there are some dogs who struggle with the concept of retirement but still need someone’s love.