Hi, my name is Alessia, I’ve been up for the Worst Catholic of the Year Award every year since 1989 and I’m a proud adoptive Croydonian, living in the Tory commuter suburbs of London, but spending a great deal of time in town, which is nothing like a film with Hugh Grant, I’m afraid (although I know someone vaguely resembling him and living in Notting Hill).
I’m perennially single, no children or pets (although there is a rich fauna passing by my back garden). My occupation is complicated, someone once said of me: “I can never quite work out whether you’re a student, an entrepeneur, or a high-level political operative. Seemingly all three… but how do you possibly manage?” The Blond Pond is the semi-serious (but occasionally deep) diary of a life trying to manage (clue in the world perennially single). The same person also called me a Catholic It Girl, although that might be a bit more of a stretch of the imagination.
I’m in my final year of a degree in History and hoping to get a doctorate. I focus mostly on the intersection of religion and politics in early modern England and Scotland (the Stuarts, basically), the early empire and theories of imperialism, as well as historiography itself. I’m writing my dissertation on Dr Henry Sacheverell and the fall of the Whig government in 1710.
My business is Laurel and Yew, a social enterprise focusing on ethical interior design as a means to tackle youth unemployment in south London. I’m determined that ethical should be the industry norm in my lifetime. I always have and still firmly believe in what Eleanor Roosvelt once said, that “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. I also help out at Good Works, a charity that uses creative techniques to help people engage with each other about applying ethics in the workplace.
In my fairly limited spare time, when I am not wandering around the London Oratory, I dedicate my time to politics. I’m active in campaigning both locally and on the national level (who doesn’t love a cheeky road trip for a by-election?), and would love to become a local councillor after I’ve used a scholarship on a leadership in public life course for Christians a couple of years ago. I’m also extremely passionate about engaging young people with Conservative politics and challenging the outdated prejudice that the party only benefits the pale stale and male (sic.)
On this blog you will find musings about life as an entrepreneur, as a single city-dweller, as a One Nation Tory in the 21st century and as a Catholic woman in a world where that’s highly counter-cultural. You will also find reviews of places to go in London and elsewhere, and the odd miscellaneous thing that takes my fancy. I always aim to make you laugh or think (or both).
I’ve also started #EmbraceMessy to encourage everyone to love themselves as they are, and help promote unpolished content that isn’t what’s trendy and popular on social media and the blogosphere, but is real and relatable and can encourage you on those days when you wonder why you just can’t have it all together like everyone else.