The long road down
This week when I get up for the day I set my chicken shaped egg timer to the 60 minute position and cross my fingers that time will lengthen just for that hour. As I wash my weary face, scrub the sludge from my eyelashes and release the almost tattooed red cheeks I return to normal. By the time I have turned around the kids are upon me. Rushing towards me and kissing me "Mummy, Mummy, it's really you" and I kiss them all over their faces really relieved that they haven't abandoned their old mum to a crazy nightmare. Not being able to kiss the kids or put my face next to theirs has got to be one of the hardest things with this whole challenge. If I hadn't planned for the one hour off I don't think I or they would have coped. They have been brilliant and so supportive. After the initial embarrassment of finding out I was going to public humiliate us all for a week they have slowly taken more and more in, of the reasons why I am doing this and they are proud, positively beaming.
Once the last kisses of the day have happen and I'm starting to put the slap back on I have to get myself into gear for another busy day, busier in fact. I had an idea that during this week I would put my clown self in as many unusual non-clown situations as possible, for photographs. It was a kinda challenge which required me to have guts and ask people for favours. NERVOUS!
After I dropped the kids off in a fit of " Get in the car, we are late" clown driven car speeds towards oncoming traffic (I'm sure some people lost their breakfast on that rush hour) we screeched to a halt outside the school. " Bye kids, bye mum!!!" Lightbulb moment,little photo outside the school gates, behind the gates and then with a stroke of luck with a whole troop of kids, smiley faces, spot the clown moment . This already had made my day when I noticed the coach waiting to pick up my daughters class to go on a school trip to Marwell. Now, something you should know about me ever since I read 'Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!' I have always wanted to drive a bus. I know! You have seen what's coming! The gent of a coach driver ,once I explained my photo idea, said not only could I have picture taken getting on but in the driver's seat. Ok ,so I didn't get to drive it- you need a license for that kind stuff but the drivers seat was awesome. Luckily for the kids I vacated before they came out, finding a clown as your driver would have been a shock. And the rest of the day went by in a whirlwind of photos, photos, photos.
So, today and most of this week really has been building up towards my fundraising evening in TheKeystone Pub, who has been so supportive of me on this challenge. They not only let me put up an exhibition of drawings and photography by Michael Remnant Media they have had a donation pot on the bar for 4 weeks and when I asked to do a little quiz they said "yeh, no worries"
The most important part of a quiz, so I'm told, is in the delivery and I happened to get one of my close friends who is a fine public speaker, unlike me actually funny and looks rather dapper with a microphone. His help made all the difference, all I had to do was deliver quiz sheets and collect money. Which we did! Lots of it
All my friends who made the trip to come down and support, I really am enormously grateful it can be very lonely being the odd one in a room full of strangers, a few friendly faces certainly helped. When you are standing out on a ledge their is nothing more comforting than hearing the voice of a friend.
This challenge has had me evaluate more and more about the types of people I'd like to spend more time with, what I'd like to be like as a friend myself and exactly how I feel about other people's charity endeavours. I have to admit I have often thought "well, I don't know you that well so I won't give any money" or "if I see them then i'll give some" or even "I'll have to wait for payday to come around" and then I forget. We all have to be careful with our pennies these days and actually you can't give to every shaken bucket in the street but you can value the effort. So,to the other souls running, cycling, baking cakes or doing what ever, giving your time and sometimes body to charity for a little or a lot of time I salut you. Next time I will offer my support in monetary or any other way I can because it is important to support your friends.
Refuge has a bank of volunteers who man phones, organise and arrange ,their efforts are the backbone of the organisation, making it possible to channel money to those who need it most. Their current campaign is all about helping friends, a friend who is struggling to come to terms with an abusive relationship, who is trying to get away or just starting to realise that the way they are being treated is not right. You cannot make decisions for others and most people struggling with Domestic Abuse have a long journey out of it so they truly do need their friends to stand by, offer support and be the person on the other end of the phone helping them to safety. With all the shocking things happening to women all around the world it is for us as humans to hold our dearest close and protect what we think is important.