About Lesley

I am hoping that anyone who reads my blog will understand my motivations for this. The facts are simple; I am female, 51, fairly happy with myself beyond the normal female considerations that aging is a pain and that I will continue to tilt at those windmills whilst occasionally casting guilty glances at the dust gathering on my Wii Fit. I asked my husband for 3 words to describe me and he said intelligent, confident (really?) and bubbly. He said that any other words were too personal to him and there are certain searches on the Internet that he knows I wouldn’t want to appear in……

Beyond that, I hope that this blog prompts you to donate one unit of currency directly to a children’s charity of your choice and that you then come back to my blog and tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8.  Please note that I don’t want to collect money on this blog, I only want your words. There are 2 reasons for this. Firstly, I love children; I have 3 lovely grown-ups of my own and they have made me smile and occasonally grit my teeth for the last 27 years. They make me very proud as they are  considerate of others and still like to talk to their parents without too much eye rolling. Being a parent can be scary as you try to let them grow up at the same time as wanting to protect them from the world. It is a difficult balance and my husband and I don’t consider ourselves successful, only amateurs who have done their best.

Secondly, I want everyone to understand my love of words. I may not be the greatest wordsmith but words are my hook. My word heroes include Stephen Fry who, you must understand, would be the perfect man if only he played rugby for Ireland. Also on my list are Jane Austen, Michael Connelly and James Lee Burke who gave me my favourite book title of all time – ‘In the Electric Mist with the Confederate Dead’. Most recently arrived to my list is Khaled Hosseini whose prose is so deceptively simple that it would be too easy to underestimate his skill. A voice like that is a true gift.

Lastly, I had the idea for fundraising for children’s charities about 4 years ago. I had wanted to compile a book called ‘When I was Eight I Wanted to be..’ and have even copyrighted the phrase.  The theory was that I would ask celebs, sporting folks and politicos to tell me what they wanted to be when they were 8. The mini-essays would then be compiled into a book and all profits would go to children’s charities. I did have some interest from an agent and had some discussions with a couple of charities. However, it wasn’t going too well so I decided to do some lateral thinking. This is why I came up with the idea of a blog as I think there are so many people in the world who will have interesting stories to tell me and will want to let me know which children’s charity they love. As I will read all the replies and keep totals on the funds raised I will be able to mention all the worthy causes that people out there would like to see more support for.

So, please donate direct to your favourite charity and then write to me……….

Advertisements

32 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen  |  July 25, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Love this idea. I am a reporter in Massachusetts on Cape Cod. My children’s charity of choice is the Jimmy Fund. It raises money for care and treatment of children with cancer at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. I’m 59. The jimmy fund has been around longer than me. It’s named for a boy – now a man – who was treated for cancer in the late 1940s. 89 cents of every dollar raised goes to treatment and research. So far this year I’ve given $25. Hopefully I’ll be able to give more before the year is out.
    At age 8 I had multiple ambitions: to become a Plains Indian (they were good with horses), become a nun and start an order that raised horses, become a writer……

    Reply
    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  July 25, 2012 at 10:20 pm

      Karen,

      Thank you for taking the time to write to me, a wee *happy dance* from me for a new donation.

      Also, thank you so much for a new charity, the Jimmy Fund has not been mentioned here before. I will be delighted to add your donation to the blogtotals this weekend. They have a hard but so worthwhile aim, working to research and cure cancer in children.

      I have to admire your childhood ambitions too – a horse-training nunnery sounds like a cool place to hang out. I am glad that you achieved your writing aim; knowing quite a few journalists I know that writing is both a skill and a craft 🙂

      Take care,

      Lesley xx

      Reply
  • 3. fivereflections  |  May 10, 2012 at 7:20 am

    hello – very nice to meet you.
    David in Maine USA

    Reply
  • 5. How Do We Deal With This? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  March 3, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 6. Good Days, Bad Days…… « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:14 am

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 7. subhanzein  |  February 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Wow, you’re doing something great for a great cause! I want to do the same thing with orphans in my home country. I found the way you organize is inspirational! 🙂 I’d like to do the same thing with the orphanage that my uncle built a decade ago..

    Thank you for sharing.. You are a wonderful person.. 🙂

    Kind regards,

    Subhan Zein

    Reply
  • 10. Bile, Invective, Vitriol. « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  February 5, 2012 at 10:56 am

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 12. Hackneyed! « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 13. Censored? Moi? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 18, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    […] about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 14. Censored? Moi? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 15. Social Media, Angel or Demon? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 16. Mean Girls? Mean Boys? Teenage Kicks… « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 17. Parenting or Punishment? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 18. Life is not Fluffy Bunnies « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  January 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 19. How was it for you? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  December 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 20. Happy Post! « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  December 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 21. Ask the Obvious Question? « Wheniwas8's Blog  |  November 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    […] About Lesley […]

    Reply
  • 22. Susan O'Donnell  |  July 25, 2011 at 6:19 am

    When I was eight, I really, really wanted to be Jane Goodall. Literally. It wasn’t just that I wanted to grow up, travel to Africa, live with the great apes and make award-winning nature documentaries, all while wearing wrinkleproof khaki. Oh, no. I wanted to do all of that, but I also wanted to be Jane. I wanted to have fine straight blonde hair instead of the impossibly thick, unruly red-brown mop I was born with. I wanted the sort of calm centered confidence that would inspire Louis Leakey to take one look at me and declare, “THIS is the chosen champion of the chimpanzee, load the jeep, and phone Oxford, she’ll be after wanting a Ph.D. ” I wanted to sleep in tents, know and name every primate in Gombe, and write down brilliant observations in leatherbound field journals with perfect penmanship, oblivious to the camera crews recording my every move.

    None of that happened. The little arms wrapped around my neck belonged to my children, not orphaned baby chimpanzees. I have never been to Africa. I have never owned a field journal. And even in the morning straight from the ironing board, my khakis are never quite as impeccably crisp as Jane’s were after a long, dry day in the bush.

    But that desire for Jane’s confidence, her determination to be useful, stayed with me. It’s been a long time coming. After working for years in journalism, publishing and public relations, and wonderful days and nights at home when my babies were babies, I left behind the world of desks, offices and computers to train as a massage therapist. That’s right, my field of study is human, the “naked ape”! But I go to work each day determined to learn, to listen, and do everything I humanly can to bring a bit less pain and a bit more peace to every single person I lay my hands on.

    And the book on my nightstand? Vanessa Woods’ “Bonobo Handshake: A memoir of love and adventure in the Congo.” I am still fascinated by fadventure, and courage and kindness in people and in animals. And I am still working on finding and making the most of my own.

    (Lesley, I will make a contribution to Concern to add to your tally, just need to figure out what I can give right now. Wonderful blog and goals, you have REALLY made me think! Susan)

    Reply
    • 23. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  July 25, 2011 at 7:11 am

      Wow Susan,

      You were an eight year-old with ambition:) You sound a lot like me although in my head I wasa modern-day Florence Nightingale, I had great detail in my ambitions too. The one place we differ is that I have the straighest hair and am still longing for an unruly red mop. I have major red hair envy!

      You have done something great with your career too, it has taken a few turns but your vocation has kept with you and I applaud you for your choice.

      I am so glad I made you think as that is one of the things I aim for. We are all busy with lives and work and children and chores etc etc…. I only want everyone to take a minute, their spare change and do something good. Simple but I hope effective.

      From here I christen you Jane of the pressed chinos:)

      Thank you and take care.

      Lesley x

      Reply
      • 24. Richard  |  February 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm

        I work in the same office complex as Jane Goodall. I’ll show her this. It will make her v happy.

      • 25. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  February 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

        That is very kind, thank you so much.

        Lesley x

    • 26. Susan O'Donnell  |  July 25, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Wow! I really did go on last night! It was so interesting to look back on how ambitious I was as an 8 year old, and I have to admit my various career paths involved a bit more foundering around then I implied last night. But eventually I had to admit I really did like taking care of people. Although obviously there are things I miss about my old job — like TALKING, lol! Thus the monologue.

      But thank you Lesley for your blog and making the world a bit of a warmer place during a week of such sad news from Norway, China and points closer to home. In honour of children and their dreams we’ve donated $50.00 American dollars to a Chicago based charity, Dreams for Kids, that helps handicapped and developmentally delayed children participate in sports — often for the first time — through its Extreme Recess programme, and brings Holiday for Hope to about 1,000 homeless and severely underprivileged children here in Chicago every year since 1989.

      It’s made my heart a bit lighter this week Lesley, to be able to do so — thank you and good luck with your projects!

      Reply
      • 27. Susan O'Donnell  |  July 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm

        Your fondness for Florence has reminded me of another obsession from my 8 to 9 year old self. They were old books even back when I was young, but the Cherry Ames nurse books — Student Nurse, Army Nurse, Flight Nurse — etc. — used to make me swoon.

        Lesley, I have two daughters and one son, and you have reminded me how influential role models — Jane’s dashing documentaries – Cherry administering first aid in a sea plane landing — are to our kids. Must go smash a few Katy Perry cds — “Teenage Dreams” my foot! xo

      • 28. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  July 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm

        Oh Susan,

        Now you have me on one of my greatest loves, books. My own childhood favourites ranged from Jules Verne to L M Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables, I so wanted to be Anne! As you can perhaps tell, words are one of the greatest gifts I think you can give to your children. My kids are all grown now but they still read, sometimes complete nonsense but they still read:)

        I have to thank you for a new charity on the blog, I am so excited by that. I am very familiar with Chicago as I work for a Chicago-based company in Belfast and have visited many times. It is a dlelight to me that you have donated to a local charity and it will be fun to write about them. I update the blogtotals weekly and you will see the updates then.

        Thank you:)

        Lesley xx

  • 29. Mark O'Neill  |  November 30, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    OK, as promised Lesley – what did I want to be aged 8…… Well, apart from the usual thing like being a football star, I wanted to be a solicitor. I was fully engaged in this venture, having a relative in the trade who was able to ‘advise’ me on everything. That was until I decided to break the news to my mum that when I grew up and got to university and got my degree, I wanted to solicit after that!!!!!!! 🙂

    Reply
  • 30. Hattie Watt  |  July 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    and when I was 8 I wanted to be either a butcher lady with a van like the one that visited my granny or else a bus conducturess, i used to wait at the bus terminus near my house and ask for rolls of tickets so that I could pretend to be one…lofty ambitions I had. (i became neither of these btw :D)

    Reply
  • 31. Sam  |  June 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

    So what did I want to be when I was 8? Well, to be honest I must have been a very boring child at this age as all I really wanted to do was play football and pretend to be the Lone Ranger. My friend (Tonto) and I righted many wrongs in the fight for good over evil. So most of my day-dreaming went into having fun in the present rather than looking forward too much. Now that I’ve reached the fine old age of 58 (plus a little bit more) I’m still living and enjoying the present and allowing the future to be a surprise.

    Reply
    • 32. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  June 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Hi Sam,

      Unfortunately, you didn’t mention the charity donation. Fortunately, I know from a separate communication that you donated £10 to the Children’s Hospice, an organisation that helps terminally ill children and their families during what must be very dark times for all.

      I don’t think it was boring to be the Lone Ranger; I remember Saturday morning black and white television and the Lone Ranger! Many boys of the time acted the Lone Ranger and Tonto, I just wonder did your mum allow you the coveted prize of the time, a cap gun?

      My personal favourite was, for good or ill, Champion the Wonder Horse but I know I didn’t want to be a horse when I grew up….

      Thank you and I will update the totals over the weekend.

      Take care,

      Lesley

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


%d bloggers like this: