This post has a bit of a split personality, you'll see what I mean...
I have had a gorgeous weekend, largely spent celebrating and then recovering from belated 30th birthday celebrations.
We had lots of friends over to stay, lunch at the farm shop, an unplanned game of quick cricket in the park during a (very) short break from the rain, then an Indian banquet cooked by my lovely husband for everyone in the evening. The wine flowed but it was more the 2am bedtime that has been the killer today (how old does that sound!)
I also received lots of lovely gifts including from G Kisby this beautiful ceramic tile (http://www.leepagehanson.com/) completely unexpected and very much appreciated.
We had a fab time despite it not being quite the day we had planned. The original plan was to do a big picnic in the park with family / friends / a cake baking competition / games etc. However, rain stopped play, which made me grumble.
Which brings me on to the second part of my post. I grumbled about the rain ruining my birthday plans. I was then brought to tears reading about the droughts in Somalia - the irony wasn't lost on me.
I donated tonight, after meaning to do so since it started but being distracted by other things. I didn't read my book as normal whilst feeding Mabel her supper, I couldn't stop thinking about how unbelievably lucky I was to have food, warmth, a safe place to put her to sleep.
I guess we all donate to charities based on what we relate to personally and I find it incredibly hard (on a whole new level from before) to hear of children suffering. There were two stories which I couldn't stop thinking about. The first was of a new mum unable to feed her new baby who then wouldn't stop screaming from hunger, painfully unimaginable. Then tonight I heard of a woman who walked for 5 days to a refugee camp only for her baby to die on the day she arrived. I just can't contemplate it, the thought of the desperation you would feel as a parent, it is just too devastatingly sad. Oh God the tears are starting again now even writing about it.
I'm embarrassed to say that I normally find myself shutting my ears to such stories, I don't know whether it is because I just find them too hard to hear or that I would rather just carry on oblivious in my rich western world, worrying about my far more fickle problems. I hope its the former but either way I'm not 100% sure its right?
I really struggle to comprehend why in todays modern world we still have people dying from a lack of food or water. I know it is probably more complicated but still. And I struggle to know what I should / could / would do about it. How much is enough to give?
Sorry this is a bit of a contemplative post. I started by talking about all my lovely gifts and I really hope that the second part doesn't therefore look distasteful. I thought about doing two separate posts but then thought better of it - it pretty much sums up the paradoxical world we live in!
I live a very lucky life, there is nothing like a story from a huge natural disaster to bring that home and remind me to be grateful. I don't know the answers to some of the questions running round my head but do know that they shouldn't be ignored.
If you, like me, meant to donate something but hadn't got round to it I've popped the link to Unicef below...