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Nowadays I am surrounded by Givers – Time Givers, Skill Givers, Ideas Givers and of course Money Givers!

I’ve also been reading a superb book that had a whole chapter about Giving.  The author talked about a day (in the future) when volunteering was just a natural thing – not something exceptional or noble, where whole families talk about their plans for the weekend and say – What are we going to do this weekend – are we going to see a movie, shop, volunteer?

I see more and more of that thought though – my family think nothing of changing their plans to help me and love being part of Team It’s Good 2 Give. For my own dad, (at nearly 82) volunteering is what he does every second sunday morning – tootles along to St Columba’s Hospice and is the  receptionist for four hours. He has barely missed a day in over 30 years and any absences were only due to serious illness. (and that doesn’t count the hours of ‘volunteering’ both parents did just a few short years ago helping me with house and garden so I could concentrate on fundraising).

I read more and more on social media about folk taking part in this or that challenge, raising funds, supporting charities in many ways.

It makes a huge difference to people in times of stress, grief, struggling economically to know that someone cares – I know first hand how much of a difference small acts of kindness can make – have said often how much it meant to us after my stepson died, to find pots of soup on our doorstep, to open the door to friends holding trays of food to feed not just us but our guests as well, to have our shopping done for us.

That is where our Parent Packs started from – from me wanting to show parents on the ward with their very sick child that someone was thinking of them.  The feedback forms we get show that it does make a difference and we will keep doing it until the day it doesn’t.

Making small gestures of kindness whether to people you know or people you don’t ( more Pay It Forward) may mean a lot to them and to you too.

As I learned last night of yet another young loss of life – another young person not granted the chance to shine as she surely would have, my sadness for her family is tinged with sadness for so many other people who don’t grab the chances that waft past them.  The many children and young people I have known or known of who have lost their fights with cancer seem to have taken every opportunity that came their way in their short lives. Why?  Did they somehow know?

How about we all go do something we love – doesn’t matter if we aren’t great at it – paint, sing, dance, write poetry, – I love It’s Good 2 Give – took me a long time to find something I loved so much (as opposed to people I loved – done that since I was born!) and I will continue with it and always always try to do better. I will spare you my singing or dancing!  Feel free to join in by becoming one of our Givers – Time, Skill, Ideas or Money.

There are areas our charity still needs help with skills wise – anyone with graphic design experience, or who could help us design an e-Xmas card (for 2015), artists, art teachers – we would love to hear from you.

It may be a cliche but it is also true – this isn’t a dress rehearsal – we only get one chance at life. Make as much of it as you can.



Starting the year with gratitude

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The start of the year has now become a personally challenging time for us as a family as we have the anniversary of a family tragedy on 5th (Jan).   It’s hard to even think of the New Year until the 6th.

On Monday 6th after our early morning swim I had a few meetings in Centotre then headed home. I missed my bus but decided to hop on the next bus that came along and change at Tollcross.  That bus was a 16.

I got on , sat down in a window seat and was idly looking out the window.  We stopped at traffic lights and a taxi pulled alongside. I looked at it and thought ‘why is Victoria on that taxi’s window?’ and then suddenly realised that it was the reflection of the side of the bus that I was looking at! I was on ‘our’ bus. Now that made me feel like the New Year was starting in a very special way.


So much so that I called my husband, asked him to find out where the bus ended up (as it turns out it has a terminus nearish our home) and would he pick me up from there?  He entered into the spirit and by checking lothian Buses new app could find out what timeI would get to the terminus.  Meanwhile I thoroughly enjoyed my journey, tweeting and face booking my progress. In fact by time I got off the bus I was feeling queasy- I’ve never been good at reading while travelling.

That then was Monday – our New Year’s Day if you like.

The week just got better and better when on the Thursday the Lothian Bus Geeks did their bus challenge and from early morning till midnight I followed their progress on twitter and encouraged others to do the same.

On Saturday I was having a wee day off- I’d showered and thought I would take out our kitchen rubbish to the green bin in the garden. On my way back to the house I slipped on black ice and ,whack, hit the ground so fast I don’t remember the way down! I do however remember the pain in my arm and I knew I’d broken something.  Ian didn’t know I was outside so I made extra effort to get inside to him. Cutting a long story short, him, me and broken wrist were home with a plaster cast on by lunchtime.IMG_2541

I was told I’d get another cast this week and I don’t mind admitting that having a broken bone is blooming painful. The cast is heavy too! Week one and I felt fed up, sore, tired and itchy.

Today I was told I might have to wait two weeks for an appointment. Oh boy did I have a heartsink moment then.*

Lots of us get fed up from time to time , or have a moan about something – it’s a very rare person who can say otherwise.

But one of my coping mechanisms is to count my blessings

Gratitude moment required!

    • I started with remembering how well I was looked after at the Western General Hospital on Saturday
    • that I broke my right wrist but am left handed
    • that I was in hospital within an hour of accident (unlike a co-Kilimanjaro climber who had a ten hour journey down the mountain on a stretcher)
    • that I’m doing ok with typing – slow but can still do it.  (and I’m learning new shortcuts as I inadvertently hit keys I didn’t mean to! )
    • how fantastic that Ian and I spent hours and hours between christmas and new year doing major tidying, filing , photo sorting and freezer filling
    • I’m getting great use of my much loved bus pass and using the new Lothian Bus App and who knows might get on ‘our’ bus again
    • turns out I can still make bread, do laundry, cook a bit (Ian has taken over as head chef- though yesterday we made a huge batch of chilli con carne and beef casserole together )
    • how incredibly patient my husband is
    • I’ve learned to put my socks on myself one handed, put toothpaste on the brush, and shower one handedly (far too generous with the shampoo- must do better) and the showering is only possible thanks to a lovely friend loaning a Limbo cast cover
    • I’ve got two lovely bunches of flowers in my house now given to me by pals
    • DSC_5682

a dozen offers, no, much more than that of assistance from extra hands on the keyboard to offers of being driven

  • while I can’t use my main computer because of the mouse I can use this, my laptop
  • that I had the most fun on Monday meeting our lovely friends at Lothian Buses, the Lothian Bus Geeks, introduce them to ‘our’ bus, Lothian Buses doubling the money they raised and being on STV news


In addition to all that it has made me think about people more permanently disabled and how they cope and do we do enough to help. And of course, it has made me think of the young cancer patients and all they have to go through.

My wrist will be fine in a few weeks and I plan to take as much as I can from this experience

All I ask of you is to be patient with me!

*The lady we first spoke to today didn’t have all the facts and wonderfully I now have an appointment for tomorrow morning (friday)