For the past two years I have volunteered as a collector for the Great Daffodil Appeal run by Marie Curie Cancer Care. You would not believe how tiring it is standing for an hour or two with a tray of plastic daffodils round your neck and a collecting tin in your hand - but all in a good cause. Anyway the other week I was asked if I would like to attend a meeting to discuss setting up a local fundraising group for Marie Curie, so last night I duly turned up. The turnout was a bit mingy, but it is the summer holidays so people were otherwise engaged. There was a presentation about how the need for Marie Curie nurses is going to increase with the strain on the NHS caused by the ongoing cuts and how local fundraising groups were needed to help increase donations, either by acting as a focal point for other people raising money or by putting on events themselves.
Well the upshot of it was that there will be another meeting in September when the kids have gone back to school and life is back to normal to set up a fundraising group for my area. Although I am fortunate in that nobody in my family (touch wood, cross fingers) has needed the help of a Marie Curie nurse, it is a very good cause and so I am going to participate and do my bit. Between now and the meeting in September, I am contemplating stitching some cards (Christmas or otherwise) to take with me to see if that sort of contribution would be welcome.
So that's the new venture, now for the shock. I have been at my workplace for over 5 years now and things have changed dramatically since I first went there - departments growing, departments shrinking, new IT packages etc etc. Anyway, another department is about to be merged with ours due to staffing changes. The other department has one full-time and one part-time secretary, both of whom have been there for over 10 years and both of whom travel a long distance to get to work. Yesterday the part-time secretary announced that she had got a new job closer to home and that she would be leaving next month. That was a bit of a surprise but we would have time to get used to the idea before she left, or so we thought.
This morning she was asked to pop up and see the HR person, and came back saying that she would actually be leaving today! Well, that was a shock - we were all completely gobsmacked. And leave she has - there was no time to organise a card or a collection but one of the bosses went out and got her some chocolates and a plant, and we had a little presentation with speech, and that was that! The original plan was that we would all go out for drinks after work on her last day, so she said that she would stick to that date as it would give people time to get their commitments sorted out. It will be very strange and quiet without her - she was quite a loud person - but I wish her well in her new job and hope that she is happy there.
On the stitching front, I have acquired some new stash but this is electronic stash! For the immense sum of 91p (1 Euro), I have downloaded the Castles in the Air SAL from Papillon Creations. Sizewise this will be about the same size as Carnation, but as it is more of a sampler piece, there will be certainly a lot less stitches in it. And then a freebie - Kathy B at Gracewood Stitches kindly sent me a pdf of her currently free chart Flutter On By, which has butterflies and frogs on it. My nieces will love it but it will have to wait until I have a space in my schedule to fit it in. In other news, I have decided that I want to get Poinsettia done and dusted so that I can use my lunch hour to do some stitching for Marie Curie. I think that Fuschia is going to be a Patchwork Group only piece for the time being.