Archive for August, 2010

Crisis?

Sometimes blogging makes me feel like this!

However, today I feel more like this!

This blog needs readers and commenters to exist, it is that simple. Without people who want to read the blog and then want to tell me about their donations to children’s charities I will exist in a vacuum. So, I occasionally feel insecure about what I am trying to do. Has this idea any merit? Am I able to make any difference at all by typing words? Should I redirect my efforts in more practical ways?

I also have to consider the mechanics of blogging. I know I am way too obsessed with the statistics generated for views on the blog. I know I shouldn’t check them so often but am drawn in with the hope that the blog will be read and resonate enough with the reader that they add a comment about their favourite charity and what they wanted to be at 8. I have to blog often enough and interestingly enough in the hope of gaining and keeping readers to the blog. I am always thinking about what I can blog about next, I need to put the effort in if I am to get readers.

Then there are the ‘icky’ aspects of this blogging life. I do get totally irritated with the spam comments. You should all be glad I moderate comments or you would be shocked by what bots/people attempt to add to this blog.  As someone who has never used the internet for salacious purposes I am appalled by what is sent to me. I am not a prude and try my best not to judge others but really, why would anyone think that the writer of this blog would want to read that? My thanks to WordPress that they catch as many as they do so that I am only left with a few to clear up:)

However, despite all of the moaning above, I do love this blogging life! I am not sure that this blog will ever be hugely popular. I hope it is, not for the words I put out there but for the comments on charities and childhood ambitions:) I have laughed long and hard at some of the responses I have received, I have also been moved to tears as I read about the charities you tell me about on this blog. I can only hope that this blog will make a tiny difference to some children out there. I will continue to blog and I will continue to hope that you write to me. If you read this post then please make the effort to read some of my other posts, I promise they are much cheerier!

As always, I will close with the ‘instructions’:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

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August 31, 2010 at 9:57 pm Leave a comment

What My Kids Said!

I wanted to do a blog on my children. We all know that this blog is created to get you all to write to me about your donations to children’s charities and what you wanted to be when you were 8.

I picked the age of 8 deliberately as children have started to get a wider world view by this age so they start to have ambitions whilst retaining all the innocence of younger childhood.

This leads to ambitions that are small and big at the same time; you see children wanting to be astonauts or tigers!

What Hugh Wanted To Be?

You have to love it, don’t you!

Back to my children. They are all grown-ups now and I am very proud of them. I have had worry and joy bringing up three children, I think that is what we all experience as we try to bring them up with manners, consideration for others and ambition to do the best they can in this world.

However, one thing I have also had aplenty is laughter. My kids have made me smile and laugh over the last twenty-something years. Everyone has stories like this so I wanted to share some of mine with you……

My eldest son was early at everything, talking, walking and doing! He has grown up into a very smart man too. He was also a thinker from a young age and this could be worrisome for him. We had a long period when he was 2 where he worried that I would die while he slept. The problem for me was I didn’t want to lie to him and say this could never happen. Therefore, my compromise was to promise I would do my very best not to pop my clogs overnight. As long as I promised this, sang Postman Pat three times and read many stories he would settle down happily to sleep.

He also loved to spend time with my mother. They would disappear with books to read and chat and I would find them together laughing at Ogden Nash poetry when he was 4. This was also when the philisophical discussions would start. My personal favourite was the time they were discussing God. The question to my mother was ‘Nana, does God wear clothes?’. My mother wasn’t too sure but they discussed robes, trousers etc. Then the follow-up question came – ‘Nana, if God does wear clothes, does he have a washing machine?’ Ever practical that boy:)

On to my younger son. As is the case with many second children you are more relaxed and they are, as a result, more adventurous. My younger son was a climber as soon as he could get around. We had to rearrange the bedroom furniture when we discovered him climbing out the bedroom window after scaling the chest of drawers, he was two!

He was also a messy pup but he hated getting his hands dirty. I remember the day he wanted to play in the back garden on a winters day. We dressed him in the ‘Paddington Bear’ duffel coat and a hat, he wouldn’t wear gloves. Off he toddled but he didn’t stay on the paved area and wandered onto the mucky patch that occasionally masqueraded as grass. Unfortunately he slipped and fell in the muck. He was fine but didn’t want to get his hands dirty to get back up. What followed then was five minutes of rolling around in the mud with no success as he tried to get back on his feet and keep his hands clean. My husband and I were watching the whole time but laughing too hard to help (bad parents!). He did get back up and we had to take him straight to the bath.

The other thing that typified my younger son was his lovely nature. I went to parents evening at school when he was 8. She told me he was a lovely child and gave a lovely example. All the children were lined up to go into the classroom after break. The teacher was at the door ushering them all in. When it came to my son he wouldn’t go in the door and she was about to chide him for not moving when he said ‘Oh no miss, after you’. I loved that…..

Then came the daughter! I was surprised that I had a girl as I was always convinced that I would only ever have boys so having a daughter was a different experience. Don’t let anyone tell you that they are the same to raise, boys and girls are very different. Daughters want to rule the roost as soon as they are able and she was a bossy-boots as soon as she could talk. Unfortunately, she seemed to pick up many of my mannerisms and there was one hands on hips pose that was apparently very familiar, I have no idea what eveyone was talking about!

As all my children did, my daughter loved to see her Nanas. She loved to spend time with both of them on her own, no mum in sight. I think this is true of all children, they like to be with grandparents as they will be spoilt without the ‘eagle-eye’ of mum on them to slow the supply of sweets and cartoons.

When my daughter was 5 I had to work in England during the week for a few months. I didn’t enjoy being away from my children but they were well cared for by their dad with help from the grandparents. The daughter was spending time with my mum one day and was allowed to watch her favourite shows on television. My mother was knitting a multi-coloured jumper for another of her many grand-daughters at the time. This meant many balls of wool being scattered about with many strands of wool on the needles. My daughter was watching this closely and started to get a little worried by the ‘tangle’ of wool. After some consideration she said to my mother, ‘Nana, you know, my mummy can knit, she can teach you to knit too’. My mother agreed and told the daughter she taught me to knit when I was 4. At this my daughter looked very confused and asked seriously ‘What happened, Nana did you lose your mind?’. My mother, once she had stopped laughing, was able to reassure my daughter that the tangle was proper knitting and not just a mess, the daughter remained unconvinced……

I can and do knit, not as much as I used to but I did complete this last week for my eldest son’s lovely girlfriend!

I now have an order for a multi-coloured scarf for my youngest son’s girl, that is next on the list:)

Thank you for reading this little snippet about my children. I do hope that you donate to a children’s charity and come back here to tell me about your life and childhood ambitions. My thanks to you for reading. I will close with the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

August 28, 2010 at 10:21 am Leave a comment

Publicity?

The thing about this blog is I need more readers to be successful. I can’t just send blogposts into the ether and hope that people will read them ‘accidentally’. I am completely dependant on people coming here to tell me about their donations to children’s charities and what they wanted to be when they were 8.

So, I have been exploring potential ways I can get some publicity for the blog. I did join a ‘increase your site traffic’ site but found it a bit weird? You click through a lot of sites, build points and your site will be displayed for others to click on in turn. Not my thing as it appeared that all the sites I had to trawl through were ‘make money’ sites and this is not what I am about. Yes, I want people to donate direct to charities but I have no wish to profit from my blog so I unsubscribed after one day……

Anyone who has read this blog will know my fondess for Twitter and many people on there have retweeted my posts so that I do get viewers to the blog. They are all kind to me! One person has also volunteered to get me coverage in media news such as newspapers, hard and soft copy. This is only in the early stages so I look forward to seeing this develop.

I do think that this blog is quite like Marmite, you will either love it or think it too twee/goody-goody? Such is life, I don’t want to force anyone to read or like this, I just want people to write to me if they like the blog. This of course, brings me back round to the exposure connundrum, I need people to read and share with the hope that a small percentage of visitors will want to write to me after making a donation.

So, I have thinking about additional ways to promote the blog and have a few theories on what I can do:

Fliers?

Thanks to GNU & Wikipedia

Well, the picture above shows why I won’t go the fliers route. We have enough mess out there without me adding to the mayhem!

Sandwich Board?

Well, hoot! You can see me doing this, can’t you? People think I am bonkers enough without adding fuel to the fire:)

There are other avenues I am exploring but I am going to be ‘Secret Squirrel’ about these for a while; they may become the subject of later posts; I will preserve their mystery to give me a subject to come back to:)

I do hope that you donate to a children’s charity and come back here to tell me about your life and childhood ambitions. My thanks to you for reading. I will close with the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

August 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm 2 comments

When I was 8?

I thought I would talk about my childhood today. I ask everyone out there to donate to children’s charities and then write on this blog about the donation, which charity and what they wanted to be when they were 8 so it is only fair that I talk about me too.

I am from a large family of 9 children. I am the eldest girl and middle child. In order, there were 4 boys, me, 2 more boys and 2 more girls. Ours was a noisy household. As the boys got older it was also a competitive household, all that testesterone in one house? There was always a row going on between a few folks! It was interesting to see how 2 going hammer and tongs in the morning would be best buddies in the afternoon and scrapping with someone else.

One thing we were all competitive about? A decent seat in the living room. The cries of ‘that’s my seat’, ‘well, you left it so it’s mine now’ were some strange loop that never stopped, only the voices changed.

As the eldest girl, I often had the job of ‘minding the wee’uns’. You had to watch the last 3, often thought of as triplets as they were all born in an 18 month period. They were good and loved playing together but one was rather adventurous and spent her time either ‘exploring’, in other words, wandering off or dismantling everything with a screwdriver. I was in big trouble the day the prized clock was in pieces.

I also learned to peel potatoes quite young and still find it fun to cook in large quantities when I have guests, I can do a bag of spuds in double quick time. Myself and the third brother became good cooks once my mother started to work as we would ‘get the dinner on’ after school every day…..

I don’t want to make this sound arduous, I had a great childhood. We had fun! I played in goals from a very young age, badly I know, but it was better than an empty space between the jumper goalposts. We also laughed an awful lot as we took car journeys to visit the grandparents on a Sunday, I remember when we there would have been 1 or 2 babies in the front seat with our mother and the rest of us in the back of a Ford Anglia. Health and safety campaigners would no doubt be horrifed today but we played ‘spot the red car’, ‘spot the numberplate starting with S’ and ‘I Spy’ as we tootled along in one of these (thanks to MellY Designs for the image) :-

One thing we were keen on, well most of us, was sport. This definitely came from my father who had been a footballer in his youth and a golfing nut as his family grew. I know it must have been quieter for him on the course than at home so he would have used this time to ‘get his head showered’.

I played hockey and netball, the boys football and rugby. As teenagers we also had mad games of touch rugby in the garden. When all the mates turned up we many times had 20+ people playing rugby and it involved torn clothing and the odd hospital tackle. If you weren’t ready to stand up for yourself, our front garden wasn’t the place to be. After the rugby we would then move onto the water fights. You didn’t need super-soakers then, jugs, washin up liquid bottles and the hose did the business then. My mother lost so many washing up bottles that she took to keeping a stash of empties in the kitchen so that the washing up would still get done.

Having said all that, one thing I loved then and still love is to escape into my own world. This generally involves books and now blogging. I am told that I could read when I was 3 and one of my earliest memories is being asked to read aloud from the newspapers for guests, my party trick:0) I do remember having to work out how to pronounce Parliament but I managed it.

If I had time for me you would find me doing this:

I loved reading then, love it now. It was an escape for me and one that was indulged. I read everywhere and loved Jules Verne, LM Montgomery for the Anne series, Johanna Spyri (who didn’t love Heidi?) and anything else I could borrow from libraries, school, friends. I also enjoyed reading the grown-ups’ books too. I was a great fan of Wilbur Smith and Harold Robbins when I was too young to understand all of the more racy passages, I just liked the plots. Luckily I was always encouraged to read and my parents are still avid readers now as most of us are. Computer games will never have the hold on me that a book could have, I feel sorry for some of our youngsters who won’t get to know this….

I’m not sure if this snippet of my life explains how I can be both so extrovert and introvert at the same time? I know the best lesson I learned as a child was that you protect and care for your children as we were cared for. You set expectations and behaviours, we were always expected to have manners and I have instilled the same in my children. There is no excuse for bad manners and when you treat others with respect you may get some back in return….

This leads me back to my message for this blog. I want everyone to help care and protect as many children as they can. This should be your own first, I don’t dispute that. However, shouldn’t we look out for other children as well? I will restate that children don’t have the control over their circumstances that adults can have. I know that often the adults don’t have that control as well with wars, disasters, famine, disease in this world. Those adults have one message to us, help us help our children. I hope that this blog will prompt you to do just that, help someone else’s child. Make sure your children know you do this too if you have any. It is never too early for children to learn that helping others and kindness are to be encouraged.

I close as always with the ‘instructions’ to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

August 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

Sunny Dunny? Why I love Donegal…….

As always, I will start with a reminder that this blog is here to nudge you all into writing to me about any donations you make to a children’s charity. Please donate direct to a children’s charity and then come back here and write to me.  The full ‘instructions’ will, as ever, be at the bottom of this post.

I have just returned from a week in Rathmullan, a village in Donegal. I love Donegal but Rathmullan most of all. It is a small place but there are views, beach, fishing and of course, pubs and nice places to eat. The best chipshop I have ever frequented is in Rathmullan and they had a restaurant as well! I can recommend Toblerone cheesecake, divine……

I have pondered why it is Rathmullan I crave above all in Donegal? There are some places where I feel at peace and Rathmullan is one of them. There are two other places where I have recognised this feeling, Whitepark Bay on the North Antrim coastline and the Palatine Gardens in Rome. I love all three equally and hope to find more as I travel through life.

Back to Rathmullan and it’s charm for me. To be honest, I’m not sure I know why Rathmullan feels so right to me and I don’t want to overthink it and perhaps damage the feeling. However, this may have something to do with it?

This was on a good day, the sun does not always shine in Donegal! But when the sun does shine it is truly beautiful. For me, it is the combination of water and green hills that makes it tranquil but rugged and just a little wild at the edges. I know my words do not do it justice but perhaps this will help you see what I mean….

Don’t be fooled by the pictures above, the rain and wind is frequent in Donegal, you had best visit with a wardrobe that can cope with all conditions. I wore shorts and t-shirts in the morning and jeans and fleece in the afternoon but that is part of the charm. You also need to have distractions when the weather is too bad to venture out. I give you the evidence of my Sunday evening’s entertainment. We travelled to Rathmullan with our eldest son and his lovely girlfriend, they had come over from London for the week. Son and I then spent Sunday evening working on the Sunday Times crossword and I am very pleased to say that we finished it! I know that this would be a 15 minute diversion for many of you but for us it felt like a real achievement. I then worked on my 2 favourite Sudoku puzzles and finished them too; it really shows what you can do when your brain gets a chance to rest:) This may be very sad of me but I had to take pictures, sorry but I was rather chuffed with myself for a change….

The pictures may not be of the best quality but I promise that all the blanks were filled in!

Another big advantage of holidaying locally is that Buster was allowed to come too. Buster is our dog and will be the subject of a post on his own one day, his miniature schnauzer personality will merit that. Buster really enjoyed his break and was at home on many beaches, here he is with my other half on yet another gorgeous beach:)

I do have one more Donegal picture for you but this one is because I love this pic, it shows all the beauty of my land in one snap. I am proud of this shot, I am not normally so lucky as to get one this good so wanted to share it….

I know I am lucky to be able to spend time with my loved ones and have a restful break. I try not to take my life for granted, it is important to look at your life in a positive way and I do my best to live happily and positively. However, behind all this I know that others struggle. If you have read my blog before you will know that I want the children of this world to enjoy childhood and not face hardships, poverty, illness. I want them all to have the best of childhoods and be able to move into adulthood with happiness and kindess at their core. I know this is too much to ask for everyone but I am hoping that you will want to help reduce the burdens on some children somewhere? So please, read this blog, tell me what you think….

I do hope that you donate to a children’s charity and come back here to tell me about your life. My thanks to you for reading:) I will close with the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

August 22, 2010 at 10:09 pm 2 comments

I am a Grown Woman, honest, I just love tweeting!

I will start this post with a reminder that this blog was created to nudge you all into writing to me about any donations you make to a children’s charity. If you read the About Lesley section of the blog you will know why I do this. I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity and then come back here and write to me. Tell me about the charity, your donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. The full ‘instructions’ will, as always, be at the bottom of this post.

However, I want to blog tonight about my love for Twitter. I joined Twitter nearly 2 years ago and it was initially a very sporadic experience for me. I found it hard to get to grips with, when you start out you feel as if you are typing into a void. I was stupid excited the first time I received a Follow Friday mention. I now realise that some people randomly do this to increase their follower count but most of us, me included, like to Follow Friday my favourite people. There are a lot of them as Twitter has reinforced one of my most strongly held beliefs, people are funny, kind, supportive and more than slightly bonkers:-)

I follow lots of interesting people. This does include a few ‘higher-profile’ folk that I find interesting, why not? However, the people I have fun with, laugh with and occasionally debate with are like me, the Joe Public of this world. They encompass a wide range of opinions and attitudes, mixing it up is a good thing. It does you good to chat to non-like-minded people, they challenge our (smug?) assumptions. I know I am taken outside my comfort zone.

Please do not think that my Twittering is serious, far from it! I have laughed hard and choked on my tea or wine as I read. If you ever have a bad day then go on Twitter and look around, you will find smart and sassy in spades. Your mood will be lifted and you will have any blues banished in a thrice!

I am tempted to name people one by one but that would be unfair, both to those I name as they are eejit enough to follow me and to those I may accidentally omit. I do keep a list of my favourite people so please check out Lesleys- List, they are the folks to give a follow to. You can easily check it out by looking at my Twitter page accessible from here.

Twitter has also led me into the Avatar Challenge. This is generally started up by Humphrey Cushion (@HumphreyCushion), one person who must be named because of her dedication to the cause of Avatars. It is for her that I have done this:-

Lesley does Baby Spice

As well as this!

Lesley does Edward G Robinspoon

Yes, I am a grown-up and I know there is no excuse for this but I don’t think it needs one! My family think I have truly lost any marbles I ever had but I am comfortable with that. This is all part of the true fun that is Twitter for me, doing silly things is good for you, no matter how old you are you should still do daft every now and then:-)

I do like the serious stuff as well. I watch with interest when the political debates get going, they can be very rude and forthright but people are passionate about their beliefs and you can pack a lot of ire into 140 characters. I like the back and forth but be warned, if you find ‘bad’ language offensive then you will be shocked. I would ask you to perservere though, it is worth it.

I have mentioned the 140 character limit faced by all on Twitter. There are ways to do longer tweets but I rarely do this, I like the discipline imposed by the limit. I find that it helps me curtail my wordy nature, don’t tell me you didn’t notice, I know you all did! I have been able to trim some of my more verbose prose, especially an over-use of ‘that’. This has been valuable for my blogging life, at least I think so? You may tell me if it has worked by comparing this to some of my earlier posts….

I did originally intend this post to be about my acquired love for Twitter and blogging but as you can see, I have focused on the tweets first. I could have written much more on this topic and may come back to it again in a future post. I will do a separate post on blogging soon, another wonderful world, inextricably linked to my Twitter world but deserving of its own place on this blog.

I do hope that you donate to a children’s charity and come back here to tell me about your life. My thanks to you for reading:) I will close with the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

August 13, 2010 at 10:30 am 4 comments

Football!!!!

Oh goody, the football season is upon us again. I am a Manchester United fan.  There, I said it, I am proud of it. There are many out there who despise non-local United fans but I thought I would give you a little context to my forty-plus years of support. This may seem a strange post for me, being that this blog is about getting you all to tell me about your support for children’s charities. However, there is method in my madness as this post is about things I loved as a child and love still.

There is a very simple explanation to my support for Manchester United, the wonderful but ultimately flawed George Best. What else could it be:)

When I was very little, two of my many brothers shared a bedroom. This was when ‘Shoot’ magazine was one of the most popular weekly publications and the boys read it from cover to cover many times. The two boys at that time supported Manchester City and Manchester United so the room was split between blue and red posters. They met in the middle with week-by-week life-size pull-out posters from the middle pages of Shoot. The figures in the middle were Francis Lee and George Best, it was an awesome wall:)

So, at the tender age of 4, I had to make a choice and it had to be based on my brothers’ choices as that is the way of childhood. I don’t recall whether it was the smile, the fact that he was from my home country or the red strip but my choice had to be George Best and therefore Manchester United. Some of the factors that influenced me? Look below, how could I not choose George?

Look at the smile on his beautiful face when United won the European Cup at the end of the 1966/67 season. I say beautiful because he was.

However, I don’t want to focus on George for his looks as his talent also drew many of us to support Manchester United. He had fast feet and resilience in the face of many ‘sturdy’ tackles. Often his goals didn’t appear to be spectacular like the long-range rockets that would fly from Bobby Charlton’s feet. George’s goals were more often the result of dancing past defenders and practically walking the ball into the net. It was only when you studied them watching Match of the Day that you realised the amount of dexterity and determination that was required. No still-life picture will ever give justice to this but I insert one to try…

Of course, the social frenzy that surrounded him led to the start of his downfall. George was the ‘fifth Beatle’ and we have all seen the iconic scenes of champagne fountains, Miss World girlfriends and that iconic quote from one of many Parkinson interviews ‘Mr Best, where did it all go wrong?’ This is a typical image of the glamourous footballer, added to the bedrooom walls of so many boys and girls; all helping to create and maintain the adulation that followed him:

Of course, we know the story of where it did all go wrong and I don’t want to dwell on this, you don’t need me to tell you. However, I hope that amongst tales of wine, women and song, you will remember the talent one man could bring to such a wonderful game. Everyone has flaws but we are luckier than most in that ours aren’t generally available to all. I choose to remember the skill of George Best and will always be grateful that this child chose to follow such an amazing team as Manchester United based on one bedroom wall.

So, this was a post about one small snippet of my childhood, I do hope that you donate to a children’s charity and come back here to tell me about your life. My thanks to you for reading:) I will close with the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

August 8, 2010 at 11:04 am 4 comments

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