Monday, 25 March 2013

Pilgrim's Hospice

A very sad day for MrM's family who lost their Grandma recently. She was a lovely lady and at her funeral, it was requested that donations should go to the Pilgrim's Hospice in Margate.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Could you run 10K in London for West Berkshire Mencap?

If anybody is interested or you know anybody who would be interested, West Berkshire Mencap needs someone to run the London 10K...

(I can't do it, I can't even get up the stairs at the moment!)

We are looking for individuals who would be willing to run the London 10K for us to help raise funds to maintain and expand our high quality services.

Benefits for You?

Improve your fitness, see the wonderful London sights and raise funds for a fantastic


How we will help:

We will cover your entrance fee and arrange return transport from Newbury to London.

All we ask is that you raise a minimum of £175 for us.

Date: Sunday 14th July 2013

Time: 6.15am

If you would be interested in being involved please contact Gill Leech


Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Soroptimists in aid of the Duchess of Kent Hospice

I found something I hadn't seen for a while - our floor! We're doing pretty well at the decluttering - even MrM has noticed that the house is looking almost zen. But how could I resist this fab handmade card for one of MrM's nieces and also this Spanish CD set when I was at Thursday's jumble sale?


Monday, 11 March 2013

West Berkshire Foster Parents Association/Scope

I went to a very useful blogging conference on Friday where there was a discussion about helping charities and how bloggers chose which ones to help.

"After all, people don't want to read about charity every day - they'll switch off", said one prolific blogger.

So, safe in the knowledge that I'm wittering to myself, I'm going to share my bank account details. I mean share what we did on Saturday.

MrM, the Mcbaby and I sold a good load of our stuff at a boot sale in aid of the West Berkshire Foster Parents Association on Saturday.

MrM is usually terrified of boot sales, but it was fortunate he was there as the McBaby was the ultimate shopper deterrent and had to be kept outside on a swing.

I think the expression on the face of the woman on the left of this pic says it all:

I'm always stunned by what people buy. No one wanted a Cath Kidston-esque shopping bag, but there was plenty of interest in some old candles and old jeans. Our friend MrT, a veteran of local boot sales bought a vase which I then saw him wrestle into his motorbike panier. I wasn't too surprised that Gordon Honeycombe's book on the wedding of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson remained unsold.

We made enough money for a couple of drinks and a contribution towards lunch for friends, and gave the remainder of the stuff to the Scope shop in town.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Newbury's Food Bank

Newbury is a relatively wealthy town - have a look at the house prices which aren't far short of what you'd pay in London.

MrM and I were hoping to buy a modest 3-bedroom house in a decent (not posh) part of town - somewhere where we'd feel safe but something with two double bedrooms and a small third room would cost about £350,000. The more you look at houses, the less this figure actually means, but to us it sounds like a huge sum. After looking at a few houses, we have decided that we cannot keep up the charade and expense of home-ownership - it's unsustainable.

The point is that other people WILL pay these prices for a normal-sized home, so Newbury is clearly not a poor town. Yet, the charity for Thursday's coffee morning was the new Food Bank. It was meant to be, but they didn't show - probably quite busy getting ready for their launch.

It seems quite frightening to me that in this day and age, and in a developed country that we need a food bank.

In fact, to afford our ridiculous mortgage on our tiny house (I'm talking not too far short of a grand a month), I used to work two jobs. I'd do my writing job from 8 until 5.30 and then go to a second job at Waitrose from 6pm to 11pm where the latter hour of my job would be to throw away all of the food that had exceeded its best before date and not been sold. Most of it was pristine and in fact I then spent most of my second job earnings on buying this food because I could not stomach throwing it away. We started to live on the food that was destined for the bin, not needing to do any more shopping.

It used to make me cry. Why was I throwing away perfectly fine veg (who decides the date on veg and how does it know to go 'off' at midnight on the date chosen?) when people were starving?

So I have mixed feelings about the Food Bank, but it's launching this month and is funded by