Yesterday's diary page was a bit of a muddle as the subject I intended to be an on-going featuring during the day just did not happen ! Strange then that the page pulled double mynormal number of readers.
Today's diary page is a bit of a mixed bag - I wonder what kind of readership figures this will achieve.
I finished yesterday's entry saying I was moving backwards in the aging process. Pictured right is yours truly aged twenty-seven. Just look at those trousers ! And below is the picture I use for my writers logo. That was taken when I was seventeen.
What an incredibly handsome and sophisticated young man I was. I can't wait for my personal time machine to wind me back to those days !
In writing The Bridge House I have just brought my maternal grandmother into the story. here she is with her husband - Ethel and Fred Robison.
That is where the Robinson bit of my writer's pen name comes from by the way.
During World War Two, where the story of The Bridge House has just reached, their house was bombed not once, not twice but three times. Not the same house, three different houses !
The third time they were bombed the blast took out the front of the house but the piano in the window saved the family's belongings from extensive damage as it cushioned the bomb blast.
Fred would play the piano when ever he could. One of the tunes he would bash out was The Lambeth Walk which was popular during those dark days of World War Two. I am about to write The Lambeth Walk into the story.
My grandparents, Fred and Ethel, were Lambeth people through and through.
So guess where I am heading today ?
You got it - LAMBETH ! I am going to 216 LAMBETH ROAD, LONDON SE1 7JY I am going there for a meeting with Ronald McDonald House Charities to discuss the OurRebekah fund raising projects. I have to confess to feeling a little nervous about the meeting, so much rests on its success. As I walk out of Lambeth North tube station this song will be ringing in my ears and I think I will be skipping along to its tune.
One of the fund raising projects we will be talking about is DO SOMETHING BONKERS FOR RONALD. The moment I leave home to head South to London I will be facing an enormous and totally bonkers challenge. I am going to get on a bus ! Yes a bus ! Me on a 'bus ! Can you believe that ? It must be twenty-five years since I rode on a 'bus and my knees are shaking. I do not know how to use a 'bus, I mean what do you do ? My wife even offered to take me out for a trial run yesterday. I am only taking the 'bus from near my home to the railway station yet its journey takes as long as the train from Central Milton Keynes to London Euston ! (Parking at the railway station costs more than my ticket to London !)
When I reach Lambeth and my meeting I will be talking about ways I want to challenge people to put money into Ronald's spinner each time they visit a McDonald's restaurant. Here's our local MP, Iain Stewart, doing just that when I took him to McDonald's last Friday.
This is someone I want to take to McDonald's an pop one hundred pounds into the spinner, meet Kermit The Frog.
Almost as big a challenge as riding on a 'bus will be to hold one of Kermit's relatives in my hand.
Since I was a very small child I have had a phobia about frogs. The sight of one makes my stomach churn, I feel sick and become a gibbering mess.
Doing something bonkers for Ronald I am challenging myself to hold a frog in the palm of my hands for thirty seconds. I am looking to friends to sponsor me to the tune of one hundred pounds to do this. (If I am honest I would pay one hundred pounds myself NOT to have to do this challenge !)
Yesterday I found the perfect place to help me with this challenge.
If the Lambeth meeting goes well I will be making contact tomorrow with an amazing shop I found - Wrigglies and asking them to put the frog on my hands.
I would like to get this challenge over as soon as possible !
Back to these pictures of the handsome young man I was in younger days........
I am a proud holder of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. As a teenager my friends and I had an ambition to do The Three Peaks Challenge, to climb Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike all in 24 hours. None of us could drive back then so it never happened.
I have just sponsored one of my former students who successfully completed at the week-husband completed the challenge raising £1213.45 Wessex Cancer Care. During their 24 hours I closely followed them and was oh so envious every minute.
I have an idea to find a group who would like to take on the challenge for Ronald McDonald and to extend something around the challenge which would enhance things.
There is a window of opportunity from about late April to October, weather conditions not allowing participation outside this, so we have probably missed things until 2018 BUT we could start planning now.
My idea is to build a team of 4 to 6 “climbers” – strictly speaking no climbing is involved. They are to be strangers who have not met up ahead of joining the project. Each comes from a different walk of life. I have in mind we should try to have a McDonald’s crew member in the team. I would like to find a medical student, ideally from Oxford University Hospital. A teacher would be good. Recruiting for team members could start as soon as the idea is accepted. Part of the training would be to weld these strangers into a strong team of friends.
Climbing the peaks is hard but so is the task for the driver who has to move the team from location to location quickly, safely and within the legal speed limits. I have in mind to have TWO professional drivers who I will recruit from among my former students.
My own role would be to plan everything, organise the training sessions, build the team into a group of strong friends and run a website/blog/social media programme around the planning/training/challenge. Oh yes, I would be with the team during the challenge - just not actually climbing the peaks myself !
Fingers crossed Ronald McDonald House Charities will think this is a good idea for a challenge.
Now here is a man for whom I have the very highest regard and respect - Doctor Phil Mason, renal consultant at Oxford University Hospital. He was Rebekah's consultant throughout her adult life. Incredible man ! When I met with my MP last Friday I told him about Phil Mason who once said to me I DO NOT TREAT MY PATIENTS, I CARE FOR THEM. Yesterday Phil sent letters to a variety of organisations I am seeking to bring into the OurRebekah project in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ian Stewart is also writing letters of support. Thank you Phil. Thank you Iain.
When my book The Bridge House is finished and published ALL royalties will be given to Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Yesterday I needed to dip into chapter one and put a hook in there to chapter three. OMG the typo's ! Originally I planned to edit chapter by chapter but have decided to wait until everything is finished then edit the entire book. When you read what I have written it is a DRAFT, yes I know the typo's are there. OK ?
My meeting in Lambeth will probably finish round about half past four, my train home is not until ten past eight. I had planned to sit in the Virgin Lounge at Euston Station and stuff myself with Richard Branson's free food. OK, yes - I will be travelling first class - I am not brave enough to fight for a seat, stand around on a station platform etc, etc. It costs only a few pounds more to upgrade and I had my Old Age Pension money come in yesterday so I am feeling a bit flush ! Perhaps I should have said that when I get on that 'bus in a few hours time I will be using FOR THE FIRST TIME my OAP 'bus pass. I guess when my body has finished its transformation back to the way it looked in those pictures above they will take my 'bus pass way from me !
I am rambling !
I was explaining how the meeting will finish more than three hours before I need to be at Euston to catch the train home. I plan to make my way to Berkeley Square, to sit in the park and soak up the atmosphere. I am writing at the moment in The Bridge House with Lily as a fifty year old during World War One. She is reminiscing back to her youth and her childhood sweetheart, Henry Wilton. Henry, in the story is suggesting that when they are married they should buy a house in Berkeley Square as a second home and town house.
On tomorrow's diary I will let you know if I hear any nightingales singing.
Well I think I will leave it there for today. I have rambled on a bit haven't I ? I am nervous. Nervous about my meeting with Ronald McDonald in Lambeth. Wish me luck !