Thursday, May 31, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
In truth, it was a great day out. First off, the weather forecast all week had been promising showers, cloud with occasional sunshine, and what we actually got was a day of near uninterrupted sunshine. A light sea breeze meant that it didn't get too hot, and the walking was pretty easy.
Having met up with a friend at the start, we set up a reasonable pace which meant that we completed the walk in six hours. The organisers had done an amazing job of ensuring that everything was ready and were really pleasant and helpful.
I was particularly impressed and proud of the girls who made it all the way round, and only really complained towards the end - and who could blame them, but they soon perked up when we reached the end, and they got their form stamped.
We managed to raise about £200 for Cancer Research - not a great amount in the general scheme of thing, but a worthwhile contribution non-the-less. I'll be more organised next year!
There is a set of pictures here, and, Jen, as you can see the Red Sox caps are very much in evidence.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Although there is no real compulsion to raise money, I thought it was a good opportunity to be sponsored for a charity, so we will be walking on behalf of Cancer Research UK.
When it came to selecting a charity, I found it very difficult to choose - there are just too many good causes to fund, but better one than none. Having known people who have suffered and succumbed, or have been treated and are in remission, I felt this was the one to go for.
Do click on the picture to get a better view of the route. We are starting around 10:00am and hope to complete the walk by 3:00pm including a stop off for lunch at some stage.
Some of the people I will be walking for are:
Ruth - Grandmother
Frank - Cousin
John - Cousin
Peter - Friend
John - Friend
Elizabeth - Cousin
Richard - Friend and fellow mountain walker when we were young
Grace - Colleague's 4 year-old daughter
Peter - Ex-colleague and friend
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but all these people will be metaphorically walking with me on Sunday, and I hope they enjoy it as much as we will (there are quite a few pubs on the route that will sustain us)!
If there is anyone else that you think might enjoy the walk, please add their name into the comments.
Monday, May 14, 2007
But for one family, that nightmare has become frighteningly and solidly real, and it is playing out across the airwaves on every news bulletin.
Ten days ago, 4 year-old Madeleine McCann was asleep in her bed with her parents, a short distance away, at a restaurant with friends, when someone broke into the holiday apartment and abducted her. Nothing has been seen of her since.
I have absolutely no idea how her parents are feeling at this moment. They must be totally devastated and destroyed inside, but day after day they soldier on, determined to carry the hope until that hope has gone. I'm sure I would be an emotional wreck within a very short space of time, my panic would be almost pathalogical!
How do they stop tearing themselves apart? If only they hadn't left her to go for a meal.... Already the criticism is being raised, and, with only the facts in the news to go on, it is an easy case to make.
However, I can understand, a little, the decision she took. Recently, we were in a holiday complex very similar to the place the McCann's were staying at. These complex's are very much a self-contained world with everything a person would want available on-site: restaurants, swimming pools, bars, entertainment, etc. and it is that inclusiveness that can lead to believing that the place is ultra safe - our complex even had its own security force that patrolled on a regular basis. I certainly didn't bat an eye-lid when my children went off and explored the site (I even encouraged it) with minimal warnings to danger - to me, there just didn't seem to be any danger! I know my children are older, but bad things can also happen to children of their age.
'Maddy's' parents still believe that their daughter is still alive and I'm hoping their faith will be answered. She is a beautiful and precious person (they all are at that age) and deserves to have her natural life back - now.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
However, I came across a set that gave me a jolt. The set is of pictures by Delara Darabi who, at the time of writing this, is a 20 year-old woman sitting on death row in Iran, and who had been 'convicted' of a capital crime at the age of 16 and condemned to death. At the time of witing this, Iran has another 31 young people who had been convicted while still a 'child' of a capital offence.
In Delara's case, she was convinced by her then boyfriend to confess to murder committed during a burglary. He convinced her that she could not be executed because of her age, but this turned out not to be the case. She also was given a three-year jail sentence, 50 lashes for robbery and 20 lashes for an 'illicit relationship'. All of this Delara denies and pleads her innocence.
Not knowing the actual facts of the case for certain, I can't comment, but the UN states that a child is someone who is under the age of 18 at the time of the offence, and as a child, is not expected to fully understand the consequences of their actions and thereby be put to death. Iran (and the US) have signed up to this Covenant, but the executions continue.
Obviously, Delara doesn't have her own page on flickr, but a supporter does, and has loaded some of her pictures, along with a personal statement from Delara, onto his page.
You can see those pictures here.
You can read more about Delara and the others presently sitting on death row in Iraq on the Stop Child Execution website; and on that website, you can sign a petition.
Delara also has, courtesy of Amnesty International, a MySpace page where you can find further information.
Whatever the circumstances and offences, it is, fo me, an offence against civilisation that there are countries and systems that feel comfortable putting children to death.