Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: people

30 Seconds

We shuffled into our hotel room with relief, dumping our bags in a corner. I headed for the bathroom to fill the kettle; I’d been looking forward to this cup of tea since London Bridge tube station. Adi stretched out on the bed and was soon dozing.

We’d been up the Shard, enjoying the view over the city. It was perfect: blue sky with fluffy white cotton-wool clouds. Glorious.

It was good to chill in our hotel room.

Oh, nearly forgot. There was something I needed to do. I turfed Adi off the bed and took four photos: two of the whole room from different angles, one of the bathroom, and one of the bed. I uploaded them to TraffickCam. It took 30 seconds. No big deal for me, but it might be for someone else….

Because this hotel room that to me is a friendly, restful, safe haven can mean something entirely different to another woman.

What if I was there against my will? Suppose I’d been lured by false promises and conned by a merciless and skilled manipulator who only wanted to sell me to the highest bidder? Suppose instead of flopping contentedly on the mattress after a fun day sightseeing I was positioned suggestively on the bed and photographed?

I hate trafficking.

I hate that wicked people capture others into slavery and make millions of pounds out of it. This is wrong. This is evil. I want to see human trafficking stopped.

Trafficking takes place in every country of the world. White, black, brown – all races and types of people are affected. White British people are being trafficked by white British people within Britain. The colour of a person’s skin doesn’t make them invulnerable to being trafficked.

And so I took 30 seconds out of my weekend break to take and upload four photos through the TraffickCam app on my smartphone. The police and anti-trafficking organisations can use these photos to trace victims of human trafficking.

If you are reading this post, please go one little step further and download this app to your smartphone and use it whenever you stay in a hotel anywhere in the world. 30 seconds could mean a lifetime to one person.

People shouldn’t be bought and sold. Let’s do our bit to end the horror of human trafficking.



Adi and I spent today in London. As always, there were lots of people around.

A cheerful lady wrapped in a sleeping bag playing solitaire called out that she liked my hair. It brightened my day. I hope my smile and thanks brightened hers – I guess my hair certainly did!

Someone rudely brushed past Adi’s shoulder – the concept of personal space isn’t necessarily the same in London as it is in Nottingham.

A man sat near me in Foyle’s on FaceTime with (what sounded like) his very young daughter. They were having fun together, no idea what language was being spoken.

Nose to nose with strangers on the Piccadilly line. Surely no one else can cram on this train? Yep, there’s another three squeezed in. Thank goodness no one has bad breath. Just a slightly whiffy armpit….

A young server in the Waterstone’s café, think he’s American from his accent (thought I couldn’t guarantee it, I’m not gifted with accents, I once asked a colleague if her consultant was Canadian, he wasn’t, he was Irish). Very efficient, the coffee is taking ages to brew but I’ve never seen a barista move more quickly.

At the end of long day filled with people, it was a relief to get home to a mug of tea and bed.



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