Saturday, 23 September 2017

Second hand stories :-)

Just discovered my self on eBay. Well, not me myself, that would be silly. Some of my books have got to that stage. Just out of curiosity I bought a couple. Quite surprisingly they arrived in perfect condition! Of course they made no contribution to the funds of GOES, which was the reason they'd been written in the first place, but they can be passed on to new readers who, hopefully, will be tempted to but others in the Malinding Village series. Or I could take them with me when we venture out to The Gambia early next year. It would be interesting to know how genuine Gambians react to fictional ones! Some, of course, feature in the books. The Mechanical Girl was based on a real village girl, and a young Gambian friend allowed us to use her picture for the cover.
I also found that some of my books were on offer at silly prices. Who in their right mind would be tempted to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a copy of Empty Bananas? Not even the hero, Mr Ed Edwards would be so daft!
The second book about Jodie Sonko, the Girl on Wheels, rolls along. There's an element of Sci-Fi in this book, and it's possible that Jodie may find herself independent of her wheels, at least for a while. At the moment she's living in a post-Brexit England. The population has grown to 80 million and there's about to be a famine ... hope she survives! Hydroponics and underground farms may help. Time to leap into action, mow the lawn, tidy the spare bedroom, and locate my collection of memory sticks. Somewhere there's a collection of short stories and poems I'd forgotten about ... I need coffee and cake!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Busy doing nothing - well, not much!

We keep a picture of a young Gambian girl on top of the fridge in the kitchen. We caught her on a bad hair day, not a happy bunny. She's an elegant and educated young lady now, and we're proud to know her. The picture, it must be fifteen years out of date by now, serves a purpose. It reminds us, every time we go to the fridge, that GOES works. With your help, friends, this little girl was educated. When she was poorly you, through GOES, cared for her. When her mum's house needed repairs after a dreadful rainy season, you provided the cement and corrugated iron sheets to repair it and make it weather proof again.
And it reassures us that it's worth carrying on. Sometimes it's hard, or it seems so. We're ageing, nearly 160 years between us. We're slower than we used to be, we tire easily, we're forgetful. But when we go to the fridge for a bottle of milk or a couple of eggs, we look at that picture and smile. And we determine to carry on, maybe just a little longer, maybe to help and make friends with another generation of wonderful, intelligent, and caring people.
Before I sat down to write this I had a head full of grumbles and worries but this little story demanded to be written instead. Beware of the picture on the fridge! *

*Young lady in the picture - if you read this you'll know who you are, I think. Thank you.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Gift Aid!

Thank you, supporters! Family, friends, kind strangers. Thanks to all of you for your help, donations and encouragement during the past year (and many years before for most of you :-) )
HMRC have paid out again, accepting this time my handwritten and rather tatty claim form, having failed to master the on-line procedure yet again.
As before, money doesn't linger long in the GOES account. Most is already in The Gambia, working away in hospitals, clinics, and schools. A fair proportion has gone directly ti people who needed urgent medical treatment, fees for exams, and other emergency help. Using Smallworld Financial Services, GOES can receive an appeal for help in the early morning, have the case verified by our local representative and have the money ready for collection in a local bank the same day. And we'll check on the result during one of our visits to the country, later this year, all being well.
Again, thanks - and to those of you who can make the journey  (six hours on a plane ...) you'll be made welcome by the people of this lovely, tiny, poor country.

Saturday, 1 July 2017


Free holiday reading!

Hello: while you laze on the beach basking under the warmth and glow of a British holiday sun I offer you four free ebooks set under a hotter, sub-Saharan sun. They will introduce you to the imaginary Gambian village of Malinding, where cultures meet and romance might just possible blossom.
Empty Bananas sets the scene and introduces some of the characters,
Mussukunda explores the strengths and capabilities of a group of women,
Girl on Wheels introduces Jodie, a mixed-race young woman coping with social and physical difficulties,
and Stories for Gambian Children is just that!
Read, then Go - and explore this wonderful tiny country for yourself :-)
Oh, and take some pencils and books for the schools you'll be invited to visit!

The four ebooks mentioned above are on free offer till 04/07/2017, Google Empty Bananas on Amazon.

Fire

DIAPORA—Since last Wednesday, we’ve been learning the stories behind the lives lost in the devastating fire that burned down Grenfell Tower in West London. Among the 79 victims that are dead or presumed dead was Khadija Saye—a 24-year-old British-Gambian photographer whose career was on the cusp of flourishing.
Saye was trapped on the 20th floor, in the apartment she shares with her mother when the fire started. As it progressed, she posted heartbreaking Facebook statuses asking her friends and families for their prayers.
In a cruel twist of fate, the artist died as she was beginning to reap the fruits of her hard work. Her latest collection, Dwelling: in this space we breathe,” a series of photographs exploring traditional Gambian spiritual practices, was on display at the 57th Venice Bienniale.
“In the last few weeks she had been invited to show in all kinds of serious galleries, her dreams were actually beginning to manifest themselves in the most exciting way,” her mentor Nicola Green told the Guardian.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

More peop[le die in London

Sad news again, At least 6 more deaths of people killed indiscriminately as they went about their business. Men, women, regardless of age, belief or ethnicity, mown down, and dozens more, wounded, crippled, lives changed, robbed of happiness and health.
Sad news, which has prompted lots of our Gambian Muslim friends to worry about our safety and the well-being of our friends here in England. They seek to comfort us, to say over and over again that this atrocity is not committed in their name, and not in the name of their religion. They ask the same question as we do - 'Why do these people do this thing?'
We remind them that they are our friends, we know they care for us and that we love them and feel safe in their company. We know they are good people and we do not hold them in any way responsible for such atrocities.
May there be peace, good health, long life, and happiness.