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Archive for March 11th, 2011

marie curie great daffodil appeal

daffodils for Marie Curie

Today dawned bright and early and I heaved a sigh of relief.  I was scheduled to do an hour’s stint for Marie Curie UK in Hampstead in the afternoon as part of the Great Daffodil Appeal, and I was thankful it wasn’t raining.   I have never done something like this before and felt quite excited.

At 12noon I headed off for the bus and in due course arrived at my destination in Belsize Park.  I had intended walking across the Heath to Hampstead and make my way from there, but for some reason I misread the map and thought I would not be able to get there in time. So used the bus instead. Of course once I was on the bus, I had a proper look at the map and realised I could easily have done it. Ah well.

I arrived full of the joys of spring and bounced into the fund-raising office where I made the acquaintance of the lovely Emma with whom I had previously corresponded.  The ladies in the office are lovely.  Then it was time to kit up and before I knew it I looked like a very poor imitation of old Mother Hubbard.

heeheehee!!! dont I look just marvellous!!! not! certainly not going to influence fashion in any way

Hahahaha! what a scream. The hat was way too big for my head and kept slipping down over my face, eventually I had to fold my ears over at the top to hold the rim!!!   Before I even left the offices I had tipped all my daffodils onto the floor.   Amidst gusts of laughter at my clumsiness we picked them up and then I started off; looking scary enough to make babies cry!

In no time at all I was in Hampstead and proceeded to tempt passersby with my wares.  What a great exercise in human observation.

First off I would like to say that people are really generous and lovely and I had some great interactions with folks who came over just to put money into my bucket with no expectation of return.  I was surprised by two young lads of about 13 years or so, who came over and contributed.  I got to chat to young and old alike, making many of them laugh with my exhortations of “can I interest you in a daffodil” or “step on over folks for the latest in spring fashion accessories….buy a daffodil” 🙂

It was great fun.  It was interesting being on the ‘other’ side of the bucket for a change, and I made many observations.  It pleased me greatly that many people came over, sometimes making a journey across the road just so that they could contribute and get their daffodil.  I would say about 70% of people were more than happy to contribute.  Some people just wanted to donate without wanting anything in return. Others were more than generous.  Some people just laughed at me and commented that they were sitting ducks, yet more than happy to make a contribution. One elderly gentleman looking very dapper with a bow-tie and waistcoat came over to chat, and another bloke stopped to show me the scar on his head from a brain op to remove a tumour.  One lady stopped to buy a daffodil and told me how they were fund raising for a friend who had cancer.

On the other side of the coin, so to speak, many people avoided eye contact at any cost. Many just looked right through me as if I had not even spoken, and others brushed me off with annoyance. Lots of folk went by with a ‘I’ll get one on my way back’ and never appeared again. Perhaps they went by after I had gone.  Others did indeed come back with change to buy their daffodil.  On the whole I would say it was a very positive experience and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Definitely something to add to my list of ‘things to do’ for the future.

If you would like to find out more about the Marie Curie Cancer Care organisation click here They do a brilliant job and I recall in 2003 they cared for one of my clients when she was dying. Not only do they support the patient but they support the families too.

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