Saturday, 19 July 2014

Musings from York....and some over-due thanks yous!!!!

Sometimes we need to get away from the familar before we can really think and understand. I am in York today. Officially for the York Mystery Plays, tomorrow (theatre, medieval, a siren call). But also to escape the heat of London and a house in the half-way-through-clearing-out stage of utter chaos. And Lizzie went to stay with her friend Alice for the weekend, a trip to Sussex (lucky girl) included. So on that train I got. And here I sit in my hotel room, alone, rain outside, thinking and writing and writing and thinking....

How grateful am I that I have family and friends who are willing to come along on all these crazy schemes in which I get involved. Running a marathon and climbing Kilimanjaro for a UK charity all of SW London adores is one thing, helping me to build a library in a country very far away, a country whose problems are very much NOT that of the British, a country becoming increasingly less-visitable due to violence, and in a community with which, on the surface, we have little in common, is nothing short of incredible. 

When I got the phone call from James, in August 2013, asking if I would take on this project for his charity The World is Just a Book Away (, I said "yes, of course," because I have a very difficult time saying, "no." The word just rarely occurs to me. And I had total faith I would be able to pull it off. Faith that faltered dramatically when 5 months later I realized I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. I have written many times on the catalogue of mishaps that led to that point, and I won't bore you with it again, but fair to say I was a bit stressed, and certainly rather annoying. Then enter-stage left: the great and the glorious of my London life. In particular, Lucinda, Sarah, Milly and Lucy, who said, collectively "we are so tired of listening to you moan 'how am I going to do this...' let's just get it done." And with their tremendous help, I did. Well almost. At time of writing, less than £300 to go....I know we will get there.

What started out as "Anne's Library" quickly turned into "Our Library," as this has been a true community effort. So so many people have become involved, donating money, organizing events, buying art, offering kind words...simply amazing what support and determination can do. 

I know I have so many thank you letters to write and send. Thank you all for your patience in this. I am waiting on photos and details, but my fingers are ready to type away. 

In the meantime, if any of you doubt the impact we are making in Mexico, I attach this video. This isn't my library, but this is the area in which we have built. Sad but inspiring.

Never too late to close that £300 gap:


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