Monday, July 17, 2006

Hazy, crazy and not so lazy days of summer

After a spring hiatus there's been a sudden burst of Kili50 fundraising activity in the early summer....
First up, Wimbledon. Despite a depressing dearth of British tennis talent, and apart from a glorious but ultimately frustrating burst of promise from Andy Murray, I enjoyed it hugely. I was lucky enough to go on the 2nd Tuesday and, even luckier, to be in the Number 1 court amphitheatre. All thanks to a very kind offer from an old Bermuda mate, Stuart McCaffer via Doog Gourlay. Sunshine, banter, pints of Pimms, grunting ladies and strawberries as sweet and fresh as Maria Sharapova's long limbs....what more could anyone want?
Well, England actually winning a penalty shoot-out, obviously - and Stuart making a very generous contribution to the World Vision cause for Kil50. Thanks for a great day, Stuart, and also for your dosh - hugely appreciated.
Next up...Auntie Joyce. Despite her and Uncle Owen suffering very bad health, she donated some money to the Kili50 cause and some great stuff to be sold to raise money for the coffers. Most amazing of all, she offered some teapots from her prized collection. Read on for the epic adventures of the Lymington Boot Fair Virgins...
But first there was Jimbo Illsley, a neighbour, friend and recently promoted official BSD at JPMorgan. Not only did Jimbo give very generously when he took pity on Mrs M and me struggling up Holloway Hill during our epic effort, but he's also recently donated more through the online channel. I suspect that it's partly a bribe to entice me to join him on a local 10k run in October but no matter, he's been surreptitiously checking out this blog and has very kindly helped to kick-start the fundraising momentum. Thanks, Jimbo - ready for the first training session?
Next...yesterday's entertaining, sweltering and rewarding Lymington Boot Fair. Armed with Auntie Joyce's teapots, brother Paul and s-i-l Carol's old books and 1970s games, neighbours Simon & Fi's rustic CD rack and objets d'art, and a whole array of interesting household items from Mum & Dad's generous neighbours, we set off at 06:30. Who? Mrs M & me, Mum & Dad who had the inspiration and rallied the neighbours, and cousin Elaine aka Liz, down on holiday from Leeds. I'm sure getting up at the crack of dawn, standing in a field for 6 hours in 90 degree heat and trying to flog dodgy gear like Del Boy and Rodders wasn't quite what she had in mind...but thanks, Liz, for entering into the spirit of the day for World Vision.
We did amazingly well, considering our lack of experience in the Boot Fair demi-monde, the varied nature and quality of our wares, and the most un-English heat. We grossed about £170 for our sweaty efforts, which has winged its way to World Vision already for the Kisiriri community in Tanzania. Huge thanks again to everyone involved, especially to Mum & Dad for organizing it, Liz for her hard work, Mrs M for giving up her weekend and anyone who contributed The Gear.
Finally, and without denigrating all the other generous contributors above, the most heartwarming and surprising donor rang our doorbell last night as Gill and I lay semi-conscious on the couch, recovering from heat exhaustion and Boot Fairitis. Step forward Jamie Ware. The elder son of aforementioned neighbours Simon & Fi, Jamie had been working most of the day for a client of Mrs M's. He handed over some of his hard-earned cash for the Kili50 charity. As far as I'm aware Simon & Fi hadn't got the thumbscrews how refreshing and humbling that he wanted to do this instead of spending it all on drugs, sweets or DVDs like the majority of teenagers might well do in these jaundiced times. Thanks, Jamie - keep an eye on this blog to see if we get anywhere close to the £25,000 target as February 2007 closes in. And put the rest of your wages in a Motley Fool index-tracking ISA rather than spend it on drugs, sweets or DVDs.
We're almost up to £2,200 already with 6 months to go. Time to get serious on the fundraising, I reckon. If you stumble across this blog please send this link to donate online and help us raise money for the World Vision programme helping the community of Kisiriri in Tanzania.


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