One of our wonderful Trainers (Sarah) reminded me that I hadn't blogged for ages and she's right. But I did warn you. I tend to either go full blast after something (like setting napac up) or I lose interest and forget about it (like blogging!). But now that I've started this lark, and because quite a few people are reading it, then I must make the effort. So, having not blogged for a month.............this could be a long one! Just warning you.
Well I went to Hyde Park to watch the 7in7in7 team complete their epic adventure (7 ultra marathons in 7 days on 7 different continents) but I couldn't find them! I went to Marble Arch but I either got there too early or too late. And because there was about a million people in the park, further exploration seemed pointless. Not that I would have seen our Oli anyway because he was still on a drip in a hospital in Jo'burg recovering from a nasty virus. Strange that, you wouldn't think running all those 50ks in between sleep deprivation and transcontinental economy class flights would affect you very much would you??? I'm sure I would have managed it. It's the younger generation you see. Can't take the pace!! (I'll come back to the younger generation)
Now some bad news. Our Training and Development Manager (Julie) is leaving napac. She has got herself a job in her locality with a slightly better salary (about £10k per year better!) so whilst we are devastated to be loosing her ( SHE HAS DONE A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK FOR NAPAC) we completely understand why she has to take the job and we wish her all the very best. BUT, like most people that napac gets its hooks into, we aren't letting her go entirely because she still wants to help the charity in any way she can..........as a volunteer. Well done Julie and THANK YOU. Having you here this past year has been an amazing, educational and uplifting experience for us. How can anyone say they don't like the Welsh?
Talking of amazing women. We've just had a visit from another one called Martha Jesty. Peruvian born Martha has lived in the UK for over 20 years and has written a book about overcoming her experiences of a traumatic birthing experience. Her book is called 'Real Healing after Caesarean' and it's definately worth the read if that's happened to you......or if you are the partner of that person. To obtain a copy and to read about some of the other stuff this lovely lady does visit her website www.helpwomenandchildren.com. And tell her napac sent you!
What else have I been up to? Despite giving up booze for Lent (over 4 weeks now without so much as a sip of vino!) my memory still needs a kick start..........so a quick peek in the diary. Oh yes. Yesterday I went to a meeting of the Survivors Trust in Newark. Most of the dicussion was around the funding crisis in our charity sector, not sure we can call it a crisis though as I'm not sure we've ever not been in a funding crisis! If you know what I mean? napac has definately seen a drop in donations recently but we are not worried..........yet. When the Big Lottery finally comes to its senses and give us a grant and when Government realise the utter common economic sense in supporting us our worries will be over! Oh yeh!
One of our Support Team members is taking part in the Marie Curie Swimathon and will be swimming 2.5 kilometres at the Arches Leisure Centre in Greenwich on 16th April. Good luck to her. Marie Curie is a great charity, worthy of our support.
I forgot to mention. Our Office Manager Helen was in a pantomime at her church at the end of February. Julie and I went along (out of loyalty to Helen really we weren't that bothered about a panto) BUT it was FANTASTIC! I was singing and dancing in the ailes and we had a thoroughy fabulous evening. And guess who the star of the show was? You guessed it.....me! only joking............it was our Helen! She was brilliant. If she ever tires of napac (if she dare) she won't have any difficulty making it in the West End!
During the first week of March I went to Bognor Regis for the day. No, it wasn't to sit on the beach (it poured down anyway) it was to attend an event at the Butlins Conference centre organised by Littlehampton Community College. And what a great day it turned out to be. The theme was 'Peace One Day' and it was attended by 120 sixth formers and about 15 other charities. The day started with an hour long film about one mans struggle to establish an annual day of world peace. A day when everyone, everywhere put their guns down and gave peace a chance. What a fantastic prospect. One of the things my bitter, twisted and cynical brain was going to say was "until the trillion dollar arms industry gives up it's evil ways there will always be war" And I sadly know that's true. But I didn't! I said peace is in all our hands and we have to vote for people who will insist that the arms trade be turned into an unarms trade. As long as there are people making money out of death then war will be promoted. We live in a world that's lost its way don't we? We wonder why there is so much violence in society because when we don't like what people are doing in other parts of the world..............we bomb them. What's the difference.............. knifing your neighbour or firing a cruise missile at a school? The outcome of both events is highly likely to be the same.............................................more violence.
However, what made me leave the event feeling really good were the dozens of young people I spoke with. How they filled me with hope. I hate the way society always seems to pick on the younger generation. They didn't start the wars, they didn't create the atom bombs and ICBMs, they didn't institute our culture of greed (that was Mrs T wasn't it!!)? But we seem to blame them for everything. The loons who almost run me down on my bike as I cycle home from work tonight are not kids, the chief executives of tobacco and booze companies are not kids and the bankers and estate agents (some now richly rewarded) who have lead our economy to ruin..........are not kids. So let's leave them alone. God forbid I should side with David Cameron and exult us all to 'hug a hoodie' BUT I actually think he has a good point. As a famous song once said "what the world needs now is love, sweet love............not just for some but for everyone". Of course these words were penned by the greatest hero of all time...........about two thousand years ago. I like them. What a world we could have if we all lived by them? As someone else pointed out..............with love capitalism could not exist and communism would not be needed! John Lennon agreed with JC. "All you need is love".
I agree with them both!
Unil the next time!
Love one another.
PS To the lady I nearly ran down in New Cross a couple of weeks ago. Sorry! You called me an idiot and from your perspective you were right. The trouble is, when lights change you can't stop on a bike like you can in a car and whilst I never go through red lights (unlike some cyclists and hundreds of car drivers) had I tried to brake hard in the wet I would have somesaulted and cracked my skull open. As it was I kept going and missed you by about ten feet! In nearly 40 years of cycling I've never hit a pedestrian (or a car for that matter - they've always hit me) so I must be due a bump soon. So, dear friends, if you see a fat git riding towards you along the Old Kent Road and it looks like me..........................stay well clear!