Saturday, 26 April 2014

Next trip?

Some time ago I posted a picture of our spare bedroom, showing the bed covered with items people had donated to GOES and which we managed to pack and, thanks again to Thomas Cook's gift of extra baggage, deliver to needy people, clinics and schools in The Gambia. I should have photographer the empty space - it didn't last long! The room is filling up nicely again with donations of clothing for children, medical supplies, books - a neighbour gave a couple of dictionaries - reading glasses: the list goes on!
 Almost decided on the cover design for 'Chasing Freedom Home' - then just one more re-read and commit to Kindle (with fingers crossed). Mussukunda is so far the best seller of the series - it's a happy-ending story - so I'm a bit doubtful about the future of 'CFH' - it's an anti-slavery, dystopian novel.
 Almost ready to post-off (what's the on-line equivalent ?) Gift Aid claim; we need this to set GOES up for the next season.
 Best wishes,

Saturday, 19 April 2014

It's a 24/7 job!

Twenty-odd years ago, when we retired from the day jobs, I wondered how I would fill the rest of my life. J was already settled into her new life as a full-time student and I turned to voluntary work. Voluntary works means you do something you want to but don't get paid for. I enjoyed it immensely. The I lapsed into running GOES. The enjoyment increased by 100%, as did the worry about not being able to do more! J joined in too, having reduced her study a little after the third degree ...
 But there are no office hours - which is brilliant. For example, having finished the latest 'Malinding' series book, we thought we would have a relaxing visit to Gladstone's Library. Great idea; good food, good company and lovely surroundings. Quite true, but GOES was still with us! We left with a car full of beautiful clothing donated by a Library friend who had listened to us talking about The Gambia, and decided to help. Some will find its way to West African villages, some will be sold and the money raised will help to stock medical supplies for clinics.
 Still determined to relax we decided to get a new set of wheels for J. We've both been cyclists from the age of eleven (quite a while ago!) and J decided she might be safer on 3 wheels now. So, we toddled along to another beautiful location, the Juicybike showroom in New Mills. We played with an electric trike in the car park and decided to give it a new home. We also were given a set of panniers and a trunk bag (goes across the top of a set of panniers), all superb quality, to help raise funds for GOES. Many thanks to Bob Wales and Sarah (and all the Juicybike staff) for their support, and for the fact they are excellent people who know their trade and how to look after their customers properly.
 Back to work on Tuesday with the Gift Aid claim, the cover design of the book (Chasing Freedom Home) and selling the donations, probably on eBay, the gifts we've been given. None of the money we raise goes into our pockets - every penny and pound will go so improve the health or education of some one in The Gambia who needs help.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Another Malinding book finished!

Well, almost - it still needs a cover. I'm most attractive by the idea of a picture associated with the original Anti-slavery movement; 'Am I not a brother and a man?" - a chained slave, kneeling. If I can obtain permission to use the image I'd be delighted, because this book is about an 'underground railway' helping refugees escape from a totalitarian dystopian England. I've written to the Wilberforce Museum in Hull which houses the original picture, painted, I think, in 1777. Fingers crossed. Most of the writing was done at Gladstone's Library, in Hawarden, North Wales, not far from Chester. Worth a visit if you've not been there - a Library with 5* bed & breakfast accommodation!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Should a Birthday be a work day?

We're off to Gladstone's Library for a few days to help J celebrate her birthday. It's what sses for riotous living when you reach our age! We will be working for GOES of course while we're there - I'll be trying to complete 'Chasing Freedom Home' and together we'll be adding up all the money the charity has sent to The Gambia during the last financial year. We promise you that any donation you have made has used 100% for the purposes of the charity. We pay our own expenses - fares, accommodation, food and so on. We donate a tithe of our incomes to GOES and we claim gift aid on that amount (Gift Aid is a scheme which returns 25% tax to the Charity). That 25% sets GOES up for the next year. It really is very nice to get money back from the Government!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

To everything there is a season ...

And this was the season to be bone idle for a couple of days! We went to visit my daughter and be waited on hand and foot. It didn't quite work out like that because I decided that it was high time the latest book was finished! Didn't quite happen but the first draft is on paper - only numerous edits and re-writes and the design of the cover to worry about! GOES was presented with a very welcome cheque, which will be paid into the bank on Monday and immediately sent via BAYBA to help a young family in a small fishing village. So, the being bone idle intention didn't quite work but we had a most enjoyable few days together - apart from our host - hope you're better soon!
 The smog, laden with dust from the Sahara, might have been the prompt to finish the book?
Must find out about the copyright laws relating to 18th Century art work - 'Am I not a man and a brother?' It would make a great cover picture.