Saturday, June 30, 2012

Holiday Month

This month I was abroad for almost two weeks, so, as promised my rail mileage has proved to be the lowest for quite some time.

As usual, here is the detail split by each Train Operating Company:

Miles Travelled
Chiltern Railways

Heathrow Express

South West Trains

Cross Country
Total for Month

Given that my blogging is being artificially inflated by these Railmiles posts, I'd better root out some holiday snaps in due course.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Never Seconds - Some Thoughts

Martha Payne is a school girl in Scotland. With the support of her father, and a camera, she has been blogging about school meals. Martha's blog had also been raising money for 'Mary's Meals', a local charity that aims to provide school meals in many parts of the world.

I understand that the blog was originally set up as part of a school project.

All was going swimmingly well until a Scottish newspaper wrote an article about the blog "Never Seconds" that said some things in a not nice way about Martha's school meals. It is clear from Martha's writing that she is a bright and very polite young lady. The impression that I get is that her father is also very wise.

As a result of the not-so-nice newspaper article, the local council instructed Martha's school to prevent her from taking any further photographs of her school meals. At that point, Martha's JustGiving page had raised about £2,000 for Mary's Meals.

The photography ban caused a national and international firestorm, which resulted in Argyll & Bute Council rescinding it last Friday.

The publicity has been such that at present the funds raised by Martha's blog have increased to just over £76,500. That is phenomenal and is to be applauded. In just four days!

What I find somewhat charming is that Martha and her family have managed to keep a low profile over the last few days, with a simple blog post on Friday that starts "I think you know why I don't have a picture today....".

The other thing that I note is that Mary's Meals (a Scottish Charity No SC022140 which was rather boringly called 'Scottish International Relief' until the beginning of last month), had gross income of £7,624,426 in the year to 30 November 2010.

Mary's Meals is clearly a reasonably sized charity that seems to do fantastic work. I suspect that they will benefit both financially and publicity wise from Martha Payne's blog and from her fund raising.

However Martha's fund raising is so far about 1% of the charity's annual income (say half a week's worth). It needs to be kept in that perspective.

I hope that charity successfully manages the extra publicity and income. I wish Martha, her blog and her family well. I hope all involved in this story manage to keep themselves firmly grounded and worldly wise.

All power to the interweb!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Somewhere Different

I spent last week in a large, well known, city that is not London.

My expectations of a city holiday were not great, but I have to say that 'A good time was had by all'.

Toodle pip!