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Save the Expenses

Sam below makes a good point. This blog does make little sense without reference to previous and in particular my very first blog. To learn how I first started to volunteer at the Save the Children Nottingham shop please read “How I started to help Save the Children”

To volunteer in a shop go to http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/49_79.htm 

The Rainbow Four moves steadily between Sandiacre and Nottingham like a turquoise mammoth marching across some ancient landscape.

It stops only to pick up shoppers, students and those of us who have embarrassingly failed yet to learn how to drive.

But no more will I sit on it faux leather seats, enjoy listening to one of it’s inhabitants loud mobile conversation.

For this week I jogged.

This is partly because I recognise one day in the next decade I will wake up to find ten years of over-eating and no exercise have actually caught up with me. Then in imitation of a terrible Eddie Murphy comedy I shall be suddenly transformed from stick insect into human walrus.

There is one reason though.

For I have a terrible and troubling secret.

You see for years I have now been claiming my £1.50 back for my bus travel to Save The Children.

And in all seriousness I would hate to think how many children’s lives this could have been saved.

So here is me seeking redemption.

I promise no more that will I enjoy the trappings of luxury.

That whatever the weather I’ll take the Spencer Davis Group’s advice and Keep On Running.

Indeed I shall pound down the streets of Nottingham like an NGO worker pounds down the global child mortality rates.

The distance is doable. As our omnipotent overlords at Google clearly state it is but a mere 2.8 miles between my house and Save the Children Nottingham.

If it all goes wrong on route is the Queens Medical Centre, the largest hospital in Europe.

And if I need further inspiration I could just turn to that great Sheard family rumour that my great-grandfather used to cycle 64 miles and back to London just to go to watch the Arsenal match, and he hated football!

I appreciate though that over four years of needless expenses the damage has already been done.

So today i have made a one off donation to the Save the Children Emergency Fund as the start in my redemption process.

It’s about time i gave something back to this organisation that has provided me with a Saturday morning experience which makes Going Live, Live and Kicking seem as stimulating as a European Commission Cutlery Directive.

Anyway enough of my selfish wickednesses, back to life on Derby Road.

The conversations in the shop today moved so quickly it was hard keeping up.

Fortunately I found a magic watch that was able to stop time, so whilst everyone else was in suspended animation I wrote it all down.

T ensured by the end of the day that we’d covered all the key topics such as:

1- Voting in the European elections. T has chosen his party wisely on the basis on them having good pictures on their leaflets. Maybe we should all vote based on the quality of party marketing at the next General Election?

We could replace Sir Alan with the Queen and run it as an ‘The Apprentice’ special. I’d personally love to see David Cameron try and re-brand Nottingham as some sort of Midlands Notting-Hill.

In this part of the country Eton is “summit that you’ve done once your supper is finished’.

2- Ayr United’s vital Scotish Division Two Playoff match against Brechin City (you’ll of course know that Ayr won 5-2 on aggregate and now move into the final against those mighty titans of British football Aidrie United).

3- Who Robert Kilroy Silk was and why? (I could answer the first question but not really the second)

4- Last night’s Eurovision Song contest. He fancied the Greek entry, whether as a winner or as a further addition to his international harem I am not sure, either way he seems to be confused as it appears they didn’t have an entrant in the final.

5- Why Tonka trucks were better than ordinary toy trucks, is there really a debate here?

6- What REALLY happened with him and that donkey on the beach in Skegness. The trial starts on Wednesday.

The customers were yet again pleasently plentiful. The “shop or we’ll make you visit Derby” slogan that Shop Manager Lynn has initiated is doing it’s magic.

My first favourite who Mr £30.50 who brought enough suits to start his own tailors.

It was quite amazing that his surname was also exactly the same as the amount of money he spent.

Equally brilliant was the women who decided to choose the sanctimonious surroundings of a charity shop to admit to possible criminal damage.

The shocking incident occurred on a night out when in removing some decorations she ‘accidentally’ pulled down part of the roof of a Nottingham night-spot, talk about bringing the house down.

She brought a brooch and left, thankfully without causing any structural damage to the shop.

In other Nottingham volunteer news, P alas did not make it to Barcelona. Only managing to get to Castle Donnington. Which is bit like trying to fly to the Seychelles and ending up at Stansted.

The Bookman spent much of the morning creating a quite outstanding collection of biographies. My rebuked attempt to add David Beckham to the mix turned out to be a shocking indictment of my lack of culture.

He forgets that I am from the neo-post-culturalist generation, which makes me unable to respond to any literary form that isn’t a Facebook or Twitter status update.

The more and more I consider the customers, the volunteers and the experiences I’ve had at Save the Children,  the more I think I’m lucky I haven’t been asked to pay to be there.

Is that someone in the retail department I hear shouting “just sign here and it can all be arranged”.

Because our political buddies in the Palaces of Westminster have acted as if representing us is an inconvenience for which they should be subsidised.

And any representative walks on a tightrope when they disrespect those who put them in power.

Volunteering at Save Children is a pleasure not an inconvenience.

It is an honour to represent this organisation.

And if I ever really do let the shop down, I shall do what a few more ladies and gents in the Westminster could have tried this week.

Apologise, step down from the till and let someone else take the honour.

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