Guest What? Our Time of Gifts: My Year of Sharing

Guest What BadgeWelcome to this week’s ‘Guest What’. This feature gives writers of other blogs the chance to submit a post and put it up on my site. It may be that they write here about something they wouldn’t normally say or put up on their own site, or may be they would like my readers to know more about them…whatever your reason you are very welcome here 🙂

This week’s blogger is Nell from over at The Pigeon Pair and Me. She featured as the first ever Newbie Showcase on Post Comment Love way back in April. I have always enjoyed her blog and am so pleased she has offered to write for Guest What? this week with her innovative experiment.

The Pigeon Pair and Me

For the last eighteen weeks, I’ve been blogging Our Time of Gifts, my experiment in giving away and sharing stuff.

Why did I decide to commit to these weekly posts, for an entire year?

I’ll start at the beginning.

A few years ago, I was discussing the economic crisis of the West with a Greek friend. I suggested that, terrible as the situation was, there may be one or two unexpected benefits. People might be forced, through lack of money, to change the way they live. Perhaps we’d all become more careful about waste, re-using and recycling instead of chucking away perfectly good stuff just for the sake of purchasing something new.

“I don’t buy it.” She retorted. “The only thing that will happen is that a load of poor people are going to fall deeper into poverty, and be even more crushed than they already are.”

I think we were both right.

There’s undeniably more financial desperation these days. But there’s also been a shift in the way people see ostentation and wealth. It’s a lot less acceptable to flash your cash than it was, say, in the 80s. Thrift and frugality are buzzwords for our times, and everywhere you look there are different ways to help us share – our goods, our knowledge, our space.

A new name for this modern take on the age-old practice of helping each other out, is collaborative consumption, or the sharing economy.

I decided to spend a year trying out some new methods that have sprung up recently (as well as the good old-fashioned ways to share). I was hoping that, as well as giving me a rosy glow from all that helping of others, I’d come across some interesting tales to tell, and insights into the human condition.

Four months in to Our Time of Gifts, I’ve already had some remarkable encounters. Giving stuff away has helped save the life of our neighbour; it’s given me a fresh perspective on the life of my elderly grandmother; and it’s taken me into the homes of people whose stories are less happy than mine.

Last week, I wrote about a kindly cabbie, who gave us a free ride when we needed it most. And today I’ll be posting a short round-up of some other inspiring gift-givers I’ve come across recently.

I’m hosting a Britmums Carnival on 17 December, and would love to include any posts you’ve written from the month before. Have you shared anything with neighbours or friends? Given to charity? Or even to a complete stranger? Tweet your posts to @NellHeshram or email

This post was written by Nell Heshram, who blogs at the Pigeon Pair and Me. You can also find her here on facebook.

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  1. November 17, 2013 / 8:13 am

    ‘Our Time of Gifts’ is a fabulous idea and it’s a shame more people aren’t on the same wavelength.

    Have you ever read ‘A Year Of Doing Good’ by Judith O’Reilly? It’s about doing a good deed every day for an entire year and I’m sure you’d enjoy it.
    Izzie Anderton recently posted..The Great Gift DilemmaMy Profile

  2. November 15, 2013 / 10:31 am

    What a lovely idea, I’ve been inspired to get on board with this one especially after reading some of Nell’s stories xx
    Distressed Housewife recently posted..Epic FailMy Profile

  3. November 15, 2013 / 10:31 am

    I just love this initiative from Nell, it brings out the best in our nation and I’m inclined to agree with Nell – sometimes when you reach rock bottom, it’s then that people club together in support.

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