It is two o'clock in the morning. My mind is racing round like crazy. There is no way I can sleep. So here I am at the laptop writing today's blog.
The Wave Of Love, of course, is part of OurRebekah but today I am writing very much on a personal level, I will be stepping outside the frame of supporting Ronald McDonald Houses to tell you about my day yesterday, a day where kindness after kindness after kindness came my way. So much so that I need to go out and buy for myself a much, much bigger surfboard. There is so much kindness and love in my life that the existing board can not cope any longer.
Yesterday was my birthday - my 67th birthday. All day long I joked that it was really my 17th birthday. 17th birthday + 50 !
There's a picture, tof me on the right, my handsome and youthful self taken in that special year when I turned seventeen.
Beck's husband and my very good friend Gary came round yesterday evening to gave me a birthday gift. He said the tee shirt was perfect for me.
I know that people make fun of me and my Jag, Beck used to say it was an old man's car but like I say LIFE IS A JAGUAR SO DO NOT DRIVE IT LIKE A KNACKERED OLD FORD FOCUS !
I received on my birthday sixty-nine birthday greetings on Facebook. Some came from friends I knew in my early twenties. Some came from friends I have known for but a few weeks. The majority came from those I call my LEONITES, my former students from when I was Head of Year at Leon School. It is more than twenty years since I left that role.
So many, many of the messages mentioned those days. Many brought tears to my eyes with the kindness expressed. I can not include them here, modesty forbids it and many were private but every single one packed with love.
Used properly Facebook is a powerful tool. Each morning when I sit at the laptop I look at the posts my friends have made during the previous day. I just love reading what they have been up to. I love seeing the pictures that my former students have posted of their families. I love seeing the latest news of friends I have only just come to know. My memory has no difficult in going back to my early twenties when friends from those wonderfuk days post what they hve been up to.
I am proud to read what my former students are achieving in their lives. THANK YOU to my LEONITES and to all who sent me messages yesterday. I will set modesty aside, I will allow myself a little boast. How many ex-teachers do you know who receive on a daily basis messages from their former students ? Students who are now approaching the more senior years in their own lives ? How many would receive the vast number I did on my birthday ?
When Beck's friends organised a team to take part in The Big Fun Run I have to confess I was worried about this old man RUNNING. I didn't make it at the speed of a Jaguar but then I was not a tortoise either and I do have my medal for completing the course.
There was something extra special about The Big Fun Run. We were there proudly wearing our Ronald McDonald House tee shirts. We raised in excess of £1,500 which was special.
The thing that struck me about The Big Fun Run was beyond OurRebekah, it was just how many people were there from so many different groups and representing their own special reasons within our community. We OurRebekah runners were there with love, EVERYONE was there with love. This was an incredible community event.
Later this morning will be another birthday for me.
No, not years - hours. Seventy-two hours since I took on the role of Audience Development Manager for Radio Secklow 105.5.
I know there have been smiles. I know there have been words of What on earth is the silly old man up to now ?
In reply I say NEVER UNDERESTIMATE AN OLD MAN WITH A JAGUAR ! I have already increased the station's listener profile.
I will take listener figures for our local radio station to heights way beyond that the station's managing director, Mike, is expecting.
How will I do this ?
Easy ! I intend to reach into all of the community and say bring what you are doing to the station, tell everyone what you are doing. Share your passion, share your kindness, share your love. We live in a society that is packed with love. There are some very special people out there. People like those who were at The Big Fun Run.
With OurRebekah and now with Radio Secklow 105.5 my diary is full. There were three dates in it for next week and the week after. I was going to visit Ronald McDonald Houses in Bristol, Birmingham and Liverpool. The old man and his Jaguar were going to burn up a lotof miles. Yesterday staff from those houses made a plan. a plan of kindness. Kindness beyond kindness. Staff have arranged that we will all meet in Birmingham, some will drive from Alder Hey in Liverpool, some will drive from Bristol. Just one meeting in Birmingham.
I feel guilty that people are prepared to do this. KINDNESS.
So on Monday 20th November we are all meeting in BRUM in the House That Love Built.
Birmingham, Bristol, Alder Hey Liverpool - they are all Houses that Love Built.
There are 366 Ronald McDonald Houses round the world. Each and every one of them a house that love built. But more than that, much more than that - THEY ARE MANSIONS OF LOVE.
When I met with Ronald McDonald House CEO, Jon, I said his team did not do enough to tell people what the houses do. I kindly told him off for this. However, I have now realised itis not his job nor is it the job of the houses to do this. It is the job of people like me to share the love. I must apologise for what I said, I must do more to tell people of the love within each and every Ronald McDonald House.
That is why I have nicked Gerry And The Pacemakers hit record YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE and made it OurRebekah's theme.
I have been there, I speak from experience. When a family has a child sick in hospital, needing specialist treatment in a hospital far away from home it is a hard time, very hard time. At that time Ronald McDonald House puts a loving arm around the shoulders of families and says WALK ON - WE ARE HERE - YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE.
This is ONLY possible because of the love staff working in the houses bring with them every day. It is the enhanced in the houses by the volunteers. Silently, working behind the scenes is Jon's team who make it possible for the houses to be there. Never forget these special people.
Secklow's Managing Director suggested I should present a show on the station. WOW I would love that but I said to wait until I have achieved success in my position of Audience Development Manager. When I do present a show I promise you I will be playing music to celebrate the love to be found in all areas of our community.
So yesterday was the birthday of The Silly Old Man With The Jaguar. Do not underestimate me.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO MADE MY 17th + 50 BIRTHDAY SPECIAL
Now I am going t be cheeky -
never underestimate an old man with a Jaguar.
I am going to ask everyone who yesterday sent me a message on Facebook, I am going to ask everyone who is reading this blog to give me a birthday present.
ACTUALLY I WANT YOU ALL TO GIVE ME TWO BIRTHDAY PRESENTS.
I want you to visit Secklow 105.5 and either listen to what is being broadcast or listen to a show ON DEMAND. CLICK HERE and do that as a birthday present for me will you.
THEN I want you to go to McDonalds, have something to eat and ;pop a few coins into the box.
Here's the silly old man showing you how to do it.
Let me say in advance THANK YOU for your kindness and THANK YOU for my birthday presents.
It is now 3.14am. I'll just check this blog, remove the typos, publish it and then head back to bed and sleep for a bit.
Can't sleep for long. I have a lot to do today. Top of the list is to buy a new and bigger surfboard. The Wave Of Love is now far too big for my existing board !
Now to play out the blog, if I do actually get to present a show on Secklow 105.5 this will be my signature tune.