Help Jeremy to help the children of Yemen

Tomorrow, thousands will take to the streets of London to run and watch the London Marathon. This is the biggest city marathon in the world for charitable support with over 75% of the runners putting the effort in for their worthy causes.

Among those heroic athletes will be my friend, Jeremy Barber.

If you haven’t already done so, PLEASE take a look at this and consider donating to Jeremy’s VERY worthy cause. You don’t even have to run 42 km. Jeremy will do that!
Literally every penny counts, so if you are charity-weary just sign in and donate ONE Great British Pound. You won’t miss it, but your donation will make a difference.
Of course, I hope that you will donate more if you are able to. Just sayin’ that every squid counts!

Thank you.

Jeremy’s text and the link to his donation page

Tomorrow is the London Marathon which I am running to raise funds for Oxfam’s work in Yemen. Today I was a pacer for the 5 kilometer Andover parkrun and finished exactly on target in 30 minutes. So far so good but the prospect of running more than 8 times as far tomorrow at the same pace is just a little daunting. These pictures show a bit about why I hope you will support Oxfam by giving using this link. Thank you very much to the friends who have already given.


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Notes from a small dog – Foul baggage

Sue’s dog is just like my Maisie, who always has a toy in her mouth and knows exactly what we’re doing and what extremely saying. Maisie is a Dachshund cross Cocker spaniel.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo


I know the score… I know the signs… there’s no way she’ll decieve me,

She’s running round and packing bags, which means she’s going to leave me.

She wanders way too often for my liking, I must say,

Sometimes she’s hardly here for long before she’s on her way.


“But, girlie, I must go to work, to earn our daily bread.”

I wish that she’d stay home and  just play ball with me instead.

“We cannot,” she will frown and say, “do everything we please.

Unless I go to work, there’ll be no tennis balls or cheese.”


Well, okay then, that part I get…I don’t mind telling you

I’ll let her off for working, ’cause it covers chicken too.

But what about the times she loads the bags into the car?

You don’t need tons of suitcases if you’re not going far…


“I never take more…

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Guest author: Ritu Bhathal – New old friends

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I talk.

A lot.

I’m pretty sure those of you that follow my blog probably can vouch for my incessant ramblings too!

At least you can decide what you want to read and what to skip.

Not so for those that I meet.

And my poor Hubby Dearest and children when they accompany me anywhere!

Working as a teacher means I am exposed to many folk from the community, and a trip to the supermarket, or town is seldom without an encounter with a student or their family, which always means a (short honest!) catch up.

As a rather sociable member of the Sikh community, the one to accompany my mother in law to all manner of functions, not to mention a past member administrator for the local Bhangra group, I know lots of faces too, so there is invariably someone who I end up meeting and exchanging pleasantries with…

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Make the right wish

genie-lampLike Stefania, Valerio and others, I would probably choose good health. However, I may extend that to something else. Allow me to explain.

My grandmother, who was very wise and kind and beautiful (like everyone’s grandmother!) taught me something very early in my life. She asked me one day, “Lance. Do you know what the word ‘wealthy’ means?”

I replied, “Yes. Of course. It means having plenty of money.”

She told me that I was very far from the truth and that the word “wealthy” was an amalgamation of “well-being” and “healthy.” If you are living a happy life and you have good health, you are wealthy.

She told me that she knew of many people who had vast fortunes, yet were extremely unhappy. “They are not wealthy, Lance.”

My grandmother had hardly any money, but she was very wealthy. She was not at all materialistic, but she was very happy with her life.

So, if the genie were to appear before me and would grant just a single wish, I would wish for, in my grandmother’s terms, wealth.

Footnote: a quirky thought occurred to me while I was writing this introduction to Stefania’s blog post. What would be the consequences if one were to make a wish to swap lives with the genie? Interesting!



Wish_List_(Magic_Lamp)If you could rub the Lamp of Aladdin and ask the genius to make one wish to come true, but only one, what would you choose? Love, success, fortune, health or what else? Are you sure you will be able to take the right decision with no regrets afterwards? I actually wouldn’t know what to pick, maybe health, however, I’m going to give you a couple of examples in literature to demonstrate that this is a question that has to be pondered carefully, before giving an answer, otherwise the consequences could be devastating.

cumaeSibyl of Cumae was a prophetess in service to Apollo and a renowned beauty. Apollo wished to take her as his lover and was ready to offer her anything she desired. Unfortunately she didn’t ponder on her answer and instinctively asked to defy death: she wanted to live forever. It was easy for Apollo to grant her wish, he was a powerful god after all…

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Review: Dear Lupin…Letters to a Wayward Son

Dear Lupin...Letters to a Wayward Son
Dear Lupin…Letters to a Wayward Son by Roger Mortimer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read the majority of this book on flights back and forth across the Atlantic, and it proved to be perfect entertainment. I tried to watch the in-flight movies, but this Dear Lupin was much more satisfactory as a source of enjoyable amusement. I was still able to listen to the jazz channel in the background.

As the description says, this is a book of letters from a father to his son. The father despairs for the destiny, or lack of it, of his wayward son. It is unlikely that any of his advice will ever sink in. Nevertheless, he perseveres, and gives it anyway. The interspersion of comments from the recipient make it even clearer that the paternal advice will never have a positive effect.

Lupin believes that his family are middle class, but they are definitely towards the upper end of middle class, straying into upper class. The circles in which they mix are certainly in the upper echelons of English society.

What made this book even more interesting for me was that I have lived, on and off, in the area of most of the events for the past 35 years, so I know all of the places very well.

Without spoiling the read for you, I conclude this review with some amusing tidbits that I highlighted on my way through. I hope that they tempt you into reading the whole book.

(A comment from the son which is tacked to a letter that he received when he was in hospital)
– My mother (sometimes known as the Bureau of Misinformation) is desperately worried and following my liver biopsy calls a distant cousin who is a doctor for advice: ‘I’m most frightfully worried about my son Charles, they’ve just done an autopsy on him.’

– For some reason or other I got on the wrong train at Waterloo but luckily I quite like Bournemouth.

– ‘How eager for fame a man must be To write up his name in a W.C.’

– Mrs Cameron stayed on Thursday night: she and your mother talked incessantly; neither listened to a word the other said which was sensible as neither was saying anything really worth listening to.

– Yesterday I met an old buffer in Newbury who had been at the Gaselee’s party. He tried out a new hearing aid there, switched it on to a maximum volume and has been stone deaf ever since.

– My father’s account of the middle-class existence of a long-suffering, elderly gentleman in Berkshire, together with his self-deprecating humour, continues to prove to be a big hit in Africa.

– Your mother was hoping to have her first day’s cubbing last Friday but it was cancelled as the head groom at the Old Berks stables had peppered a female employee with a humane killer and then blown his own head off. He had worked there for twenty-five years and the girl, whom Nidnod knew well, is thirty years younger than he was! It’s odd the way demon sex keeps on obtruding into fox-hunting!
(Nidnod is the family nickname for Lupin’s mother)

– John’s successor at Ascot is Piers Bengough, a tough but agreeable South African Jew whose sister Mrs Quarry lived near the Thistlethwaytes at Eversley. I hope he will follow the example of Bernard Norfolk and John A. by letting us use the Ascot Authority stand through out the year.
(My (reviewer’s) mother-in-law was housekeeper to the Bengough family)

– 1st lady: My dog did very well. He got a first, a second and was Highly Commended.
2nd lady: Mine did all right too. He had a fight, a fuck and was highly delighted.

– Also dead was my former commanding officer General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones, whom we called Winchester-Smith.
(You have to understand English geography to get this one!)

– Once a judge observed to him, ‘Mr Smith, you are being extremely offensive,’ to which Smith saucily replied: ‘As a matter of fact we both are. The difference is that I’m trying to be and you can’t help it.’

– Two definitions of a Gentleman:
1. He has all the qualities of a saint bar saintliness (Hugh Kingsmill).
2. He always gets out of the bath to do a pee (Anon).

Are you tempted?

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The way we treat others matters

The impact of how people treat people can never be underestimated. We should all treat all of our fellow humans with respect and kindness at all times. An act of kindness which makes somebody happy has its own returns in terms of one’s own level of happiness.

Please refer to my personal motto at the foot of my About Lance page.

Scotties Toy Box

I had someone who I really care about send me the following story.   When I read it I had tears in my eyes.   I know for a fact that the way you are treated during the day can change your mood and how you react and deal with others.  This has happened to me some years ago while dealing with the public.  I would start in a good mood, and then encounter someone who was angry or disagreeable.   Then my own mood would sour.  Often if I was in a sour mood I would encounter someone happy and upbeat and I would catch the mood and adopt it also.   Now I try to be the upbeat happy person.  I want to be the one who helps other people have a good day.   I never want to be a stumbling block that prevents anyone having a…

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From The World Of #Blogging – Edition 5

Hugh's Views & News

Another packed edition of ‘From The World Of Blogging’ which I hope will have something for everyone. Sit back and enjoy some of these blogging gems I’ve discovered.

From The World Of BloggingFeatured Blog Post

Thanks toChuck Jackson for sharing a ‘must read’ post from Scotties Toy Box. ‘The Way We Treat Others Matters’is a beautiful story that will make you think about your actions towards other people. If the ending doesn’t make you take in a deep intake of breath, then you probably are already being kind and considerate to every human being you meet. Click here and get ready for a read you will not forget for a very long time.

Blogging Tips Featured Post

Can you imagine what you would feel like if you found out that a national newspaper, TV or radio station, movie producer, or publisher had been trying to contact you (because they wanted to give you and your…

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