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rwandan flagI’m glad I’ve ended up writing this at the end of today because I feel so much more ‘full’ than I did this morning. And here I mean ‘full’ in a good way. Full to bursting with the honor and joy and beauty and ‘aawww shucks’ –ness of friendship.

Friends who pull out all the stops to get to you on time for an auction they were helping you with, when their expected ride doesn’t turn up, and then still apologise for being five minutes late.

Friends who really wanted you to sit with them and have a chat, but didn’t want to ask as they could see you might’ve preferred to be alone, but when you decide to join them are so happy to have your company and speak with you in silly accents and make you laugh and hug you in a way that lets you know you’re back is well watched, they’ve well and truly got it.

Friends whose generosity was fully a quarter of my fundraising, which included a ludicrously exaggerated bid for a bespoke poem written by me which was enough to make me blush enough for people to warm their chilled hands on my cheeks as they came in from the autumn outside.

Full of the wonder and the beauty of the tenderness of what it means to be a human being on the planet at this time.

What it means to listen to the names of all the countries of the United Nations on this world day of peace and to feel the waves in my own soul system as it registers the names of those places where I know there is current suffering and I consciously offer a prayer for peace.

What it means to be handed a pile of 8 cards with some of the flags from the 54 African countries recognised by the UN, in order to call out the names of those countries, only to find that, ‘by chance’, Rwanda is on the top of my pile and the feeling that gives me of being watched over, held, affirmed by something I can’t see or touch but that I know with every hair that’s now standing on end is real.


What it means to feel yuckily under the weather, tired and blah only to look up from a bag of dirty clothes on the way to the laundry and see the early evening sun catch on the yellowing leaves of a beautiful tree, making smile with genuine abandon because it’s magical and mesmerising and that’s all that matters in that moment.

What it means to know there’s a woman about my age, on another continent, living a life so different from mine, yet we both acknowledge that we are sisters in everything but blood, and that’s why today I did what I had to do for her, and for her sons, and was gifted a total of about 400 pounds to send to her in Rwanda.


So I believe that intro goes some way to acknowledging the Good I’ve received (and that was just today!) but what Good have I done this week?

Good Deeds Done

Rushed back to the bungalow I’m currently staying in when I heard, unexpectedly, that I was to welcome a new housemate for the week. In 15 minutes I hoovered, put away all the washing up I’d left to dry on the counter, took my toothbrush and shampoo etc out of the bathroom, and transferred my mountain of papers, books etc from the living room table into my own room.

Spent another free afternoon offering one on one sessions to my students, several of which turned out to have little to do with language actually, and more to do with just wanting to talk about life in general and the issues the world is currently facing.

Bought a train ticket for a student who couldn’t get her card to work on the necessary website, which she then paid me for in cash and I drove to collect from the machine at the station in town.

Hung up some wash I found in the machine when I went to my Mum’s place to pick up a few things.

Prepared a completely new lesson for the next day following one student’s confession that she was struggling to follow and that she was a kinaesthetic learner, rather than visual or auditory. I enjoyed teaching this more movementy, interactive, drama type lesson, and could see she got a lot more from it.

Washed up a whole tray of mugs when I saw we’d run out in the community centre, instead of just rinsing one out for myself.

Stepped in to make a couple of crepes and do some washing up when I saw that my Mum and her new colleague were busy.

OK folks, my you have a ‘full in a good way’ week:-)