Thursday, 19 January 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

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We've subscribed to The Week Magazine in an attempt to at least vaguely keep up with "current affairs". It's length and style make it effortlessly accessible and I like the cross section of views from a range of UK and international sources.

Despite my best intentions to concentrate on business and finance news, the one the story that has stayed with me this week was this short paragraph below. It was unattributed so I'm not sure which paper/magazine it originally came from, but 'The Week' summed it up like this:

A teacher has set herself the challenge of baking a cake every day for a year, to give away. Cath Webb came up with the idea after reading an article which posed the question: what can each of us do for others? She thought: "Nothing, I've got enough on my plate - a job, a husband, three boys." Then she made a Victoria sponge for a friend with cancer, and was so moved by the friend's response, she decided to make more. Since April, she has delivered cakes to everyone from her mother to staff at the local hospital and homeless people.

It particularly caught my attention because it's easy to feel like acts of kindness are additional extras that no one really has time for. And, to a certain extent that's true. It's not a question of having time, it's a question of whether or not I choose to make time - whether I'm prepared to clear out some clutter and get round to doing the things I would love to be on the receiving end of.

Baking is not my speciality, but an idea that came to mind was sending postcards. It's something that comes naturally enough for me to find it manageable, but at the same time is personal enough to be a nice treat. In addition to being in touch with friends, I used to be quite good at sending monthly cards to people who share my faith but not my religious freedoms via a charity that passes them on, but the habit has fallen by the wayside and could do with being revived.

Once payday comes around, I'm going to buy a box of 100 postcards (at the moment I'm deciding between either Penguin book cover postcards or vintage Lady Bird book cover ones) plus a few that are more appropriate for sending to the unknown friends from other cultures the charity supports, and get going!

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