I had an extraordinary day yesterday . Truth be told it was a good one the day before too and also quite funny (if you are amused by things going wrong for me).
Lets start with Tuesday and the plan. I was to head from Starbeck to Wakefield, ultimately this was to give a short presentation at a book launch. I decided to make the most of the day by meeting my pal Stella from my former career as a nurse on the ships.
I arrived in Wakefield around 1300hrs and had a lovely couple of hours with Stella catching up on the last year in which we have failed to meet up. I am ashamed of this but it is sadly not unique. Time passes me by sometimes, I stop for a moment and realise that have drifted from some extraordinary people. I am lucky that I am often forgiven after a relatively minor degree of grovelling.
I spent the rest of the afternoon looking round the centre of Wakefield and quite frankly its tragic. The council / planning department are a total disgrace. They have approved the construction of a shopping mall which has totally destroyed businesses in the city centre. Everywhere I looked were ‘To Let’ signs and shattered dreams.
At 1800hrs I went to the railway station to wait for my lift to the venue of the book launch. By 1815hrs I was worried. I dropped an email to Josie and Terry to let them know I was there , I even sent a photo of me with an inane grin so that they could ID me. Five minutes later I had a message back – I was early – 24 hours early in fact! “I believe the phrase rhymes with clucking bell” (Blackadder).
So, yesterday I tried again, this was much more successful.
I was picked up at the station by Terry & Josie Walsh whose book launches tonight. We then drove to the magnificent St Peter & Paul Church the venue for the launch.
Terry explained that the Suzy Fund based at the church has raised over £900,000 for good causes over the years. They make regular donations to MSF which is why I am here. I have come to represent MSF and to tell people a little about the organisation as well as to thank them for their ongoing generosity.
At 1930hrs Terry gave an brief introduction and then I spoke for about 15 minutes before the true star of the show Josie took to the stage. Her book ‘Breathing Sky’ is a collection of beautiful poems covering topics such as love, loss, joy and belonging. ALL MONEY raised by the book goes to MSF. I read a few of them on the way home and I highly recommend it. If you would like a copy get in touch with me and I’ll liaise with Josie.
Finally, astoundingly, before I left I was handed a cheque from the Suzy fund. A donation to MSF of £3000! Mind blowing. I will be sending that to London today.
The perfect end to a very interesting, fun evening with a welcoming and very kind group of people. Yet again I have to say that working with / for MSF brings me into contact with the most remarkable people. I am very lucky.