Sunday, 13 March 2011

The age of austerity

Mostly I do not like to watch the news, it really is just too depressing for me. I am sensitive to the plight and pain of the rest of the world; the images haunt me and events that change people' lives for ever can't ever be expressed in words.

It does upset me that I hear this time in our lives as being the age of austerity, as it is just not true. People will loose their jobs, many will cut back on luxuries, people will have to spend money in this country on holiday instead of flying abroad, but few people who talk of this age of austerity will never know the hardship that it originally described. Between 1945 - 1951 many people had to try and rebuild lives that had been irreversibly destroyed.

Each day I struggle with my own demons, tragedies that have altered my smile and the very core of my soul, but I am luckier than most. I have more than a huge proportion of the world could ever dream of and I have the ability to recognise my good fortune. I can express myself through words, art, dance, my actions and my enthusiasm to share with those who don't have.

Every year people do remarkable things for Comic Relief and I watch in awe with admiration for the sacrifices that they make. How I should love to be able to swim the channel, climb Kilimanjaro or trek across the desert!

My students, who have kindly agreed that I can call them misfits, however do not see the series of unfortunate events that have prevented them from achieving the qualifications as limiting and are so enthusiastic about doing something for Red Nose Day that I felt I really must set a good example and try to do something inspiring.

The first thing I've done is have a bit of a better go at knitting and not only have I managed to knit an item from a pattern, but it is even of a standard to wear. It's a very beautiful and highly stylish Red Nose Corsage by Juliet Bernard.

This is the one I knitted, not Juliet's!

As if that wasn't ambitious enough ( I had to start again several times and continually count stitches), I thought I might do something even more challenging. When life has been harsh to you, it can really wear on your looks and the camera never lies. Some mornings, I don't even want to look in the mirror and see the shadow of the person I once was; my eyes have that permanent sadness of a mother who has lost her son but I really can change people's lives by raising money for Comic Relief. I have faced my fears and been filmed reading a story. I am hoping to read six books altogether, just as I have challenged my students to read six books as part of the Six Book Challenge. I am going to read six books in a week and read them in different places in different formats.

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