What Does “Charity” Mean To You?

When I was interviewed for the job I started a few months ago, I think one of the questions touched on why I was interested in a part time role and where I see myself in five years. In my reply, I mentioned that since I was sixteen years old, my priority has been the work I have done for registered charities, and that although my activity is unpaid I consider it my career.

By the time I started the job, it seemed as if the whole department had heard I worked for charities. But since that time, I have received so may odd comments about charities. I struggled to make sense of these for a long time, but now I have decided that the word “charity” clearly means different things to different people.

The reality that I work for international organizations who have been active in hundreds of lands and have trained millions of volunteers is hard to get across without oversharing. So I sort of grin and bear the comments I receive and let people carry on in their own rather fanciful or preposterous opinions.

I am going to give you a few examples of the things that have been said to me:

  • So do you do charity stuff to make your CV look good?
  • All charities are corrupt and the money you give never gets to the people who need it.
  • Do you go out in fancy dress with buckets fundraising?
  • Are you one of those people who all wear the same colour T-shirt and try to sign people up to direct debits for a charity?
  • Will you be helping the needy this weekend?
  • You must be a very special person to choose to be a charity worker.
  • It’s so nice you get to help out with charities, that’s what I want to do when I retire.
  • You must be quite well off to be able to afford to only work part-time so you can do your charity work.
  • I would help you with your charity if it is for abandoned kittens – nothing else matters to me.
  • I’d like to do something for charities but I don’t really have the time.

I cannot tell you how weird all these comments sound to me. I guess they just have a very different view of that word “charity” than I do.

Preparing For Another Epic Journey

So, I am very soon going to be heading off on a holiday to see family. Prior to that Jack is heading overseas and he will be away for most of the summer =(

I booked my train ticket almost a month ago. Now I find out that there is going to be a walk out on the day I am supposed to be catching the train across the country.

Relatives have offered to drive down here and pick me up and take me back – but what a crazy solution that is. Jack has posted a message on his WhatsApp groups asking if anyone is driving up north that weekend and could squeeze me and a huge suitcase into their car. But I am not one to leave things to chance. So, I have bought myself a Plan B coach ticket just in case this rail dispute cannot be resolved before my holiday.

Only….my coach ticket departs at midnight and I arrive at six o’clock in the morning at my destination. My goodness…I am dreading this epic journey across the country.

I used to do crazy things like this all the time in my teenies and twenties. But now it is all a bit daunting.

What To Do With Fish Balls?

I have been vegetarian since I was six years old. I do remember fish fingers vaguely, but other than that I have never eaten fish. I have some visitors coming to stay over at the weekend – and although I have other dishes planned (vegetaria dishes), I have a packet of fish balls that Jack left and they need eating before 18th June,

So, I am trying to figure out what to do with them. I had an idea of using them to make fish tacos??? I don’t know if they would work. I just wondered if any of you have any experience with fish balls and perhaps some suggestions for how they could be used to make a meal.

I would love some help with these fish balls!!!

Dad’s Music Collection

Amongst my fondest memories of childhood are those evenings when Dad wanted to share his music collection with me. My Dad’s love of music had a big effect on me. He is a Liverpudlian, and like lots of other men his age, he went along to The Cavern when he was a young man. But my Dad liked a wide range of music, and passed that diverse taste on to me.

He had a record player, but there was something wrong with the speakers…and there was something wrong with the connection that the headphones plugged in to.

In order to allow me to listen to a record, Dad would have to hold the connection in. If he let go, the sound cut. My own personal favourite was Dad’s record of The Sound Of Music soundtrack, Dad would hold that connection in to allow me to sing along to the entire score! Dad loved a Barbara Dickson album and there are two other songs that I distinctively remember, “End Of The World” and “Drift Away”. Oh my!! Loved loved loved the emotion in those songs.

I would sing along to the words and every time I would pack in more emotion and drama – yes, I had all the makings of a Karaoke Queen at a very young age! I guess it perhaps explains why I fell in to the turmoil of an emotional drama too!!! Yes…it is all Dadda’s fault!

Monday Musts

I have a list of tasks that I MUST do before next weekend. I am gong to be out of the house for long hours Tuesday – Friday, which means I only have Monday – today! – to squeeze them in.

I am working from home on Monday, but if I start early, and have a longer lunch break, it should be enough time to run into town and sort out my errands.

Do you ever have the feeling on a Monday morning of “why can’t I just stay in bed and rest and read those books I bought two years ago and have not had time to look at?”

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Finally Lovers Know No Shame

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: DISGUST / EMBARRASMENT / GUILT / REGRET / REMORSE / SHAME

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And I have to admit to my shame – I had a scheduling disaster this morning. I think I must have misread Jim’s list of themes, and I realized that I had the wrong theme for the wrong week. Embarrassing!!! 🙂 I must have seen this theme though, because I found two posts in my drafts folder with songs that fitted it. I am blaming my headaches for the confusion.

I hope you will forgive me. Some of you may have seen or are planning to see the sequel to a film that featured a brilliant sound track, including this song, “Take my Breath Away” from Berlin. The song won an Oscar and a Golden Globe. It also topped the charts around the world. Yet, apparently, differences over this song led to the break up of Berlin – a song that they did not write, and yet brought them worldwide fame….which seems a real shame.

Watching every motion
In my foolish lover's game
On this endless ocean
Finally lovers know no shame

Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn around and say

Take my breath away
Take my breath away

Watching I keep waiting
Still anticipating love
Never hesitating
To become the fated ones
Turning and returning

To some secret place to find
Watching in slow motion
As you turn to me and say
My love

Take my breath away

Through the hourglass I saw you
In time you slipped away
When the mirror crashed I called you
And turned to hear you say
If only for today
I am unafraid

Take my breath away
Take my breath away

Watching every motion
In this foolish lover's game
Haunted by the notion
Somewhere there's a love in flames

Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn my way and say

Take my breath away
My love
Take my breath away
My love
Take my breath away
My love
Take my breath away
My love

Written by: Giorgio Moroder (de 1), and Thomas Ross Whitlock

Much More Than Cotton Wool And Candy Floss

Jack was so funny after I had my CT scan two weeks ago. He kept on staring at my head…and asking me, “What is going on inside of this beauty?”

A lot goes on inside my head…I know this. I do sometimes wonder what it is that these CT scans pick up (and perhaps I do worry a little in case there is something they might be missing).

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The extraordinary thing about the human brain is our level of conscientiousness. Our ability to contemplate and wonder, to imagine and fantasize, to debate and discern.

Yes…whatever the scans show…whatever Jack is curious about…there is something amazing going on inside this head of mine. I just wish we could find away to make sure it didn’t take impromptu breaks when it comes to telling my heart to keep working away.

Posh Baking

So much to do….so little time. Yet I somehow agreed to bake not one but three posh cakes for my landlord.

It had to fit around my other plans…so late last night I was creaming butter and sugar…. and I delivered my cakes just after midnight. My kitchen is covered in a layer of sugar.

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I did enjoy it….I just wish I had more time to enjoy it. Now….I need to make time to give my kitchen a really good clean.

The Krypton Factor

… some of you may remember a television show called “The Krypton Factor”. It was a sort of game show for very clever noggins. There was a variety of tasks, some more practical than others…but most of the show was geared to academic or logic oriented challenges.

“The Krypton Factor” hasn’t been on air for many years, but it is such a big part of my early years that whenever we have an awkward task to carry out, I always find myself saying…”this is just like the Krypton Factor”…at which point everyone under the age of thirty looks blank.


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