Sunday, 30 December 2007


We heard late last night that the boy has received some treatment for his condition, and is due to meet a specialist on the 10th Jan 2008. He is in a little less pain. Phew! (But fingers still firmly crossed ...)

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Nobody said it had to be easy ...

A post-Christmas flurry of emails and 'phone calls between home and The Gambia about the condition of the youngster with osteomyelitis. I've sent money for antibiotics, which are available over the counter there. I only hope the pharmacist has supplied the correct type. Hence the attempts to speak to a doctor there. It underlines the responsibility we have not only to try to help but also to ensure that any help we do offer is appropriate.
The book is on sale again on Ebay - we need to sell quite a few copies to cover the costs of hospital treatment, if indeed we can find such treatment before the boy suffers the loss of his leg.

Monday, 24 December 2007


Nearly Christmas, and Eid just over. A family time, but not free of worries. Adama is depressed. Her eldest daughter, Fatou, has just left home to live in Serrekunda with her husband John and baby Matti. Adama's other daughter, Ami, is doing well at school. Her son Mussa is also at school. Adama feels that she is an old woman (late forties?) and who will look after her? Fatou is miles away and has her own life to live. Mussa must get an education. Traditionally Ami, the second daughter, would take this role ... There is also the care of Adama's mother and her step-father to be considered. Adama has had this caring task but now she feels old and unwell. She has had health problems for years and it's all too much for her now ...

Monday, 17 December 2007

The next hurdle ...

Ousman's kid brother, a boy of about fourteen, is seriously ill. He was diagnosed as suffering with osteomelitis in his upper left leg, which is terribly swollen and ulcerated. His family have been trying to treat him with local herbal cures for twelve months but his leg is worse and causing him great pain. We managed to get him examined at the Medical Research Centre at Bakau but they do not have the facilities to operate - he will probably need a bone graft. A friend at MRC is trying to find a hospital somewhere else in West Africa and it seems likely that an operation may be available in Senegal, at Dakar. We are trying to find out if this is possible, and what the cost will be. Just hope the sales of the book hold up! The boy lives in a village with few mod cons - none I can think of. Again we think of all that we here in England take for granted, and count our blessings.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Time for a very big grin.

Recovering from a really wonderful time at the book launch. People had worked very hard to make it go and it did! Ran like clockwork, smooth as silk and very professional (you might think they did it every week). Greeted at the door, led to the mince pies and mulled wine then escorted to the book room. Wow! At last - "The Cheshire Collection" in the flesh - well in a beautiful binding: a real book we could be proud to be associated with. A dream come true.
What has this to do with G.O.E.S? Those great folk, the Vale Royal Writers Group, have decided to give G.O.E.S. the profits - and already this amounts to £500. I really can't take it in. I've spent today in a dreamworld, thinking of all the good this money can do. Thanks and thanks again. Bless you all.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Eve of the big day

Tomorrow is the book launch of the Vale Royal Writers Group first anthology. Very excited and nervous. So much hard word has gone into this work; poems and stories written, edited, corrected, printers sought, proofs read, a beautiful cover designed, and tomorrow we present it to the public! Tonight mince pies are being baked, wine mulled, glasses and plates collected, readings practised and nerves calmed ... The press have been notified, posters designed and displayed, invitations issued and fingers crossed. Only twenty four hours to go. How does this concern G.O.E.S? Well, the Group has nominated us as recipients of any profits! It's so kind of them. We were surprised and delighted and very moved by this wonderful gesture. There are times when the slog of running a small charity seems too much, then something like this happens. People are so kind. I'll let you know how it goes!