Monday, December 16, 2013
Have just got home from a long weekend, with 6 hours work on Friday and Sunday nights respectively. Add 6 hours driving time, that gives me lots of TOIL to use up. I'm full of a sludgy cold.
My mother played a blinder on Saturday evening. We were half way through watching Strictly Come Dancing (which I adore), and she just turns the telly over to The Chase. Ok, it's her telly, but there was no warning. Then she promptly fell asleep. Unbelievable. Ah well, age has its privileges.
There's someone coming to look at the house tomorrow. I wish it had been at the weekend, when the house was immaculately tidy, and empty. The EA has the keys. Ah well, it's tidier than its ever been in the 11 years we've lived here.
It won't be long before we'll move back to the north of the UK from the South East, when it will be a 25 minute drive to visit mum, instead of 3 hours there if the M1/M6 traffic is moving steadily. I've got to chase up HR to see if a decision has been made on whether I can work remotely when I move.
The move has (thankfully) been postponed until 1st March (from 1st Feb).
Friday, December 06, 2013
RIP Nelson Mandela, the glue that held peace together in South Africa for decades.
The greatest leader of our age
“Nelson Mandela has been, and will remain, an inspiration for many of us around the world involved in humanitarian work,” says Kevin Jenkins, president of World Vision International.
“Mandela was probably the greatest leader of our age, a tireless, fearless advocate for the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our world, particularly children. He believed in justice, and wasn’t afraid to do what he thought it would take to achieve it.
“Mandela’s death is, of course, most keenly felt in his home country, and we join with South Africans in sending our condolences to his family, and in mourning his loss.
“Many of the children we work with, and our staff, have life-changing stories to tell of meeting Madiba over the years. All talk of his great compassion, and his tireless commitment to seeking justice and change.”
Jenkins recalls a statement by Mandela that “all people are created in the image of God and are his children.” When his time came to lead his nation, he preached tolerance, respect, and forgiveness.
Reflection from a staff member who knew him
Lindokuhle Ngobe, World Vision’s business development adviser in South Africa, had a chance to interact with Madiba, as Mandela is also referred to, at a personal level and through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
“When I first met him at our homestead in KwaZulu Natal (KZN), in 1992, I did not know who he was,” says Lindokuhle. “However, many in the village knew who he was, and they descended on our homestead, where he was visiting my uncles and father.”
The next time Lindokuhle met Mandela, the anti-Apartheid icon was on a peacemaking mission.
“When I conversed with him when he visited our village again, during the political killings in KZN, that is when I got to understand that the words he said made people refrain from the political violence and fight each other in the political space,” remembers Lindokuhle. “That is when things changed (less political violence). After his visit, things became calm, and those of us who had gone to live in Swaziland returned, as it was now safe to stay in the village.”
Added Lindokuhle: “I remember that most of his speeches at that time were about how the community viewed itself, urging the people to stand for each other. He was particularly worried about the future of the children who were not going to school, which would cripple the country in the long term. He emphasized the importance of education, social cohesion, and political tolerance.”
Partnership with World Vision
World Vision has worked with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in projects they collaborate on with . The two organizations share objectives to improve the well-being of children.
Mandela’s love for uplifting children was evident when he launched a scholarship for the best five students from each school to enable them to go to university.
“When I got the scholarship, I remember Mandela said to us: ‘The only thing that I can give you is a ticket to venture into this academic institution, and through that, your life and that of your family will change.’” Lindokuhle says.
Jenkins summarizes the legacy of this visionary leader.
“What he achieved for his nation took determination, hard work, and perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition at times,” says Jenkins. “He knew when to get his hands dirty and when to be diplomatic. He made the world better for countless millions of children. What better legacy is there than that?”
World Vision has worked in South Africa since the mid-1960s. Read more about our work alongside children, families, and communities there.
Join World Vision staff members around the globe in a prayer of thanksgiving for the life and work of Nelson Mandela. Pray, too, for Mandela’s family as they mourn their loss and reflect on his legacy.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Snowy as a puppy
I've had my beloved Snowy, as west highland terrier (westie) since she was 12 weeks old. Today, after 19 lovely years, she has gone to doggy heaven.
God sent me home early from work today (I had a few hours owing), and at 3pm Snowy had a massive fit lasting more than 20 minutes. When she came out of it, she was wandering round in circles, not knowing where she was.
I rang the vet, who said take her to the veterinary hospital (it's about 20 minutes drive away). The vet their very gently said Snowy will have massive brain damage, and it wasn't kind to keep her alive. I had already practiced in my head saying that I didn't want Snowy to suffer, or to be kept alive if she was suffering, so hard as it was, I wasn't surprised. So at just after 4pm, I held her while she slept her last short sleep.
She looked so peaceful afterwards, just like she was asleep. I'm very sad that there's a huge Snowy-shaped hole in my life and in my home.
God bless her, and thank-you Snowy for so many wonderful memories.
Monday, November 18, 2013
23 people signed up for an at desk shoulder massage today, making £110 for the Philippines typhoon appeal fund. It'll take me about 2 weeks to get round everyone.
Thanks to my very generous colleagues, who work super hard to make lives better for children, and then spend their hard earned wages to help even more children.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Our collection today might be around the £1000 mark! Considering that yesterday was Children in Need, which is a BBC-backed appeal that goes on all week and culminates in a night of stars appealing for donations, I am amazed at how generous people are.
With luck, tomorrow's collection will be equally high. We've also got collections next Saturday and Sunday,
But it was cold, and hard on the feet as the mall floors are marble. Glad I had gloves, a very thick sweatshirt (with a t-shirt underneath) and comfy trainers, Next week I'll wear 2 sweatshirts.
My 5k parkrun #34 was slow again, at 38:11, but I didn't feel as breathless as in previous weeks.
The workman didn't turn up to give us a quote, which was annoying.
My talented hairdresser has managed to restore my hairstyle to its former nice shape, after a poor haircut in August, that she described aptly as "lego hair".
DH and I didn't go out to dinner, but got take-out. I was too cold and too tired. We had a lovely meal, with a couple of glasses of wine, whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing.
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