Monday, 8 March 2010

Mothers Day?

I recently received a message from a company called 'Flying Flowers' urging me to order flowers for Mothers Day. I've used them before (they are very good) but I just sent back an email saying my mum died years ago. Well, blow me down. I got a very courteous and apologetic reply. Now that is what I call "service". And of course, I will use FF again!

A number of weeks ago I did a Radio interview on BBC Radio 5 Live and a couple of days later received a most abusive email from someone saying I was encouraging vigilantism (if there is such a word) and that I shouldn't be unkind to child abusers (yes , right!) Well, I emailed this person back asking them to listen to the Radio broadcast again (because it was on BBC i player) and telling me where I had said these things - because I hadn't -but all I got back was more abuse and a threat that this person was going to have our lottery funding stopped.

Now you know why I constantly say that napac (and survivors and children) has enemies. There are a lot of abusers out there and we have to be on our guard. As some of you may have spotted recently the British False Memory Society (another dangerous group) have written to the Church of England urging them not to recommend a book called The Courage to Heal. Well I've never read this book but I have heard from countless survivors over the years how it has helped them............heal from abuse. Surprise, surprise then, the BFMS want it removed from bookshelves.

But it's not all bad news!! It is March already (you were warned about me and blogs!) and I haven't written anything since the beginning of the year. It's not that there's nothing to report it's just that there is so much going on I just don't get time. But yes, there is huge amounts of good news. Our lottery grant has now kicked in (we love those people!) and we now have five, repeat FIVE full-time members of staff. But just as importanly we have a whole new bunch of volunteers who have come on board as I type. And this is just as well as the Support Line continues to ring. Can you believe that last Monday we had 350 calls to the line - yes 350 in one day. We still haven't figured out why that happened on that Monday but the previous day (Sunday?) we had no fewer than 3 mentions in 3 different Sunday that might have accounted for some of it. Anyway...............we need still more volunteers so if you can spare two hours a week.....give our Dawn a call (Dawn is our Volunteer Coordinator). Or email her: She'll send you an application form. The pay is non-existent but the rewards are huge!!

What else to bore you with? My bike. I haven't ridden to work in 2010. How depressing is that? My wheel collapsed and I bought a new wheel in December then in early January I discovered a crack in the frame. And it's still there. And it's been my excuse for not riding to work. However, recognising that I was starting to ballon into a middle aged slob (again) I decided to try running instead. Yes I know, 8/9 miles is a ridiculous distance for a non runner but I have started doing it. I've started running home from work. The first time I did it, two weeks ago, it took me one hour and 48 minutes. Next outing it took me 1hr 28mins (quite a reduction) and last Friday it took me 1hr 30. So, that would seem to be my average. However, I am going to attempt to reduce that by a few minutes this week then contact the British Olympic selectors to adise them of my availability for 2012!

Talking of Olympic feats. We have two heroes who are fundraising by undertaking quite ridiculous events in the coming months. David Livingstone is running the London Marathon and John Griffiths is riding one of the biggest mountain routes of the Tour de France. Both these men clearly need counselling but as they are doing it to raise money for napac I hope they achieve their goals and raise much needed funds for us..........then perhaps they could get some therapy!!

Thanks men.

Well, as much as I would like to continue writing I must get on with some work. Oh yes. Worth a mention. The Mikhailovsky Ballet Company (yes I hadn't heard of them either!) are coming to London in July (14th) and their opening evening at the Coliseum, Swan Lake, is a potential fundraiser for napac. If you are interested in coming along please get in touch. It's the ballet. It's not cheap BUT it will be a spectacular night out.

I will try not to leave it so long next time. Have a great March. Spring is on the way.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Happy New Year

We are more than a week into the new year so I thought it time to say "HNY" to those I haven't already spoken to. And what a cold one we've got. I haven't ridden the bike for two weeks and see little prospect of getting to work on it anytime soon. Yesterday it took me over two hours to get here by public transport. I don't know. A bit of bad weather and everything falls apart. But not NAPAC. Oh no, it will take a bit more than sub zero temperatures and 3 feet of snow to close us down. Ok! no it won't. But we are all doing our best to keep the service running and I can't thank enough, the amazing volunteers who have been battling the elements to get in. I have to repeat something I said a while ago..........we are truly blessed.

Our Christmas party was a great sucess, the best yet I've been told. We ate, drink and got very merry. Actually I've just remembered one of our voluteers took some group photos. I must try and find out whether they are legal ie can they be shown to the general public?

On Sunday, weather permitting, I am taking part in the The Big Questions on BBC1. It's Nicky Campbell. Good chap. Not sure I'll get to say very much but you know I always try to stick my oar in if possible. If you have nothing better to do then tune in at 10am. I have to say however that a so-called friend of mine suggested I wear something 'slimming' as TV piles on the weight. That wasn't very nice was it? I know I'm overweight but don't need reminding of it. Still, I forgive him! He's probably just envious that I'm getting another 5 minutes of fame! Envy, there's an interesting term. Aren't we all a little envious of others at some point? Come on, be honest. it's part of being human. My favourite Christmas presy is undoudtedly my signed copy of Mark Cavendish's autobiography. When I read of his exploits on the road, of winning stages of the Tour de France, I was a little bit envious. Could that have been me? (of course not) but it was a dream I always had so yes, I am a little envious of Mark. But what to do with envy? Well, turn it into love. I love Mark Cavendish! He is a brilliant cyclist and I wish him all the very best. He is a role model. He is a clean living lad and he has an amazing gift. The other thing I love about him is his selfless praise of his helpers and supporters. I love how he equates winning big races to scoring the winning goals in the Cup Final. The scorer gets the glory, but he couldn't do it without the support of his team Well done Mark. And good luck to all our amazing racing cyclists as they set out to take the roads and tracks of the world by storm. I'm right behind you..................miles behind you!

Finally, please spare a thought for our friend and Patron Sara Payne. Sara was taken very ill just before Christmas. You might have seen it on the news? She remains very unwell and in need of our love, support and prayers. We send her our very warmest wishes and look forward to a full recovery. Likewise, remember our other Patron Shy Keenan. Shy is well, thank God, but she is Sara's best friend and we need to support her to. Come to think of it, we all need to support each other. 2010 is going to be a great year for napac and all who sail in her.
Keep in touch with us and if you haven't visited in the past think about doing so this year. We would love to see you (with cheque book in hand..........only joking!)

Happy New Year.
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