Hello friends. It feels like it has been ages since I wrote last. And even longer since my last challenge. That is how it is sometimes, isn’t it? You plan and organize and think the future is sorted, and then life happens. Children need attention, other projects become priorities, husbands break their knees, the house demands immediate action, the weather changes everything. Hope becomes disappointment, activity turns into frustration, the sun disappears for days……I was supposed to run a race at Highclere Castle this past Sunday. Yes, that is indeed Downton Abbey to you. A beautiful place. Very excited as thought the medal would be a bit of fun. And there was a free t-shirt. A free t-shirt that turned out to be black. Black??? Who runs in a black top? A black top with just a white silhouette of the towers of Highclere. Really?? Of all the clever things you could put on a t-shirt for a race at the world famous Downton Abbey (a particularly sharp quote from Maggie Smith’s character or a pun on one of the story lines, for example), a simple outline isn’t one. Bit disappointing. And then the real disappointment. Two days before, the race is cancelled. The official reason given is that the recent unrelenting rains have made the grounds too wet. Must admit, I’m not sure I really believe that excuse. I wonder if someone just forgot to file the right paperwork or something. Regardless, no drive to West Berkshire for me. So I go to cheer the Moonwalkers on, on Chelsea Bridge, early Sunday morning. No, I am not really counting that as a challenge. Because it isn’t. As lovely as it is to think I was supporting my friends, it is even lovelier to NOT do the Moonwalk this year. A challenge I am simply not up to again. And anyway, Alice and I get to have a good long chat early in the morning. Always a pleasure.
|Battersea Power Station at sunrise, Moonwalk night|
I suppose if I wanted to force the idea of a recent challenge I could tell you about the circus school class I have started doing. Acrobatics. Tuesday nights in Hoxton. So far two weeks of just handstands. Harder and scarier than I remember. And make me ache all over the next day. But the challenge isn’t that so much that as the fact that I am double the age of everyone else in the class. And am not a beautiful young boy seeking another beautiful young boy. But don’t worry. The pity in those shiny, perfect vision eyes each time I collapse in a heap just makes me more determined. And there is a lot of laughing. Most of it at ourselves. Some of it at each other. When the most flamboyant and flexible of us all arrived last week in a wife beater across which were emblazoned the words “Ohio Athletics Dept.” I about wet myself laughing. “No,” I told this six-pack with legs, “Ohio is not a place for you.” He just stared at me blankly…..well blankly with pity. Still, I thought it was funny.
So it would not be a lie to say I have been feeling a little unfocussed and unfulfilled about the library fundraising, of late. Just haven’t been able to pull anything together properly for it. The spirit is certainly willing, but the flesh has been weak, both physically and mentally. I hate asking people for money, and the longer I have put it off the harder it seems to feel.
And just when the heroine of this tragic play seems at a complete loss, enter angel Lucinda stage right. I know, I know. I am throwing all caution to the wind using such language. Lucinda loathes being praised in public. No better way to embarrass her than mark her for special attention. And yet I have gone and done exactly that. Because what she did was just the proverbial kick in the ass I needed. Lucinda sent out an email to all the parents in Joseph’s year asking for donations on my behalf. And last night they started rolling in. And suddenly I really believe I am going to be able to build this library. As the universe seems to respond to kindness by reproducing it, these first donations give me the courage to post the fundraising page on my Facebook page again, and more people donate, and then my lovely friend Catherine sends me a text, out of the blue, saying she is bored at work and could she plan a fundraiser for the library. Hmmm, ok. And Lucinda asks if I would be interested in hosting a party featuring her cabaret friend for the library…..hmmm yes again. And on it goes. Funny old world sometimes. Funny old world. Funny old world with a new library, I hope. The link to donate to the library is: https://annelibrarymexico.squarespace.com