Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How time flies!

I seem to have a time monster with me at the moment. It’s sitting on my shoulder and eating away at all my time! Although, having said that, I do know where all my time has been going…

Firstly, I have recently met lots of fabulous new friends and, whenever possible, we meet up, even if it’s just for a cup of coffee. The problem lies there. The cup of coffee. We arrange to meet at, say, 10am and then we sit over said cup of coffee and chat… and chat… and chat! On Monday, I met my good pal, AW, and I didn’t get home until 4pm!

A week before that, I met up with AW, HJ and SK and again… we just chatted and chatted and chatted and before we knew it, the time had just flown by.

However, I’m not spending all my time just sitting and chatting about everything and anything… I have actually begun doing something a little more meaningful with my Friday mornings. I have started to volunteer at a local children’s home.

Although I am only with a few of the children for a few hours per week (I have been taking them to their weekly swimming class), I do feel as though I am doing something important. With so much for the staff to have to attend to at the Home, I am able to free up a couple of hours for them to do other tasks which may have otherwise been difficult.

There are currently around 30 children at the Home and almost all of them are siblings. The Home is one of the very few in the country that caters for girls and boys, allowing brothers and sisters to remain together. They are all aged between three and 17 years old (younger babies are looked after at other homes throughout the country), allowing this Home to concentrate on older siblings.

All the people I have met at the Home have been absolutely fantastic. They are firm with the children when they need to be, using what would be called ‘tough love’, but you can tell the children are well looked after and loved.

It’s heartbreaking to hear the stories of some of these youngsters, some having lived there almost their entire lives and some no longer having any contact with their parents. Many of them have what are translated as ‘Support Families’, who collect the children perhaps on a Friday, and look after them over the weekend and sometimes during school holidays, giving them some semblance of a family life.

The Home is always open to donations and help of any kind. If you would like any further information, please let me know and I will put you in touch with them.

Over the past few days, my time has been taken over by a book! You know when you get into a great novel and you just can’t put it down? Well… I had that problem. The book, given to me by another friend, is by Barbara Erskine and wow… what a fantastic story. Daughters of Fire is set in present day as well as 2,000 years ago in Britain. I was so engrossed that I have already bought another by the same author. Although I’ll give that style a rest for the time being and my next read will be serious chick lit!