Gill’s first blog for The Elma Trust

Here’s the thing……

Life has a funny way of getting in the way of your plans.

Here I was, just getting on with every day, when my oldest and dearest friend Jacquie, suggested I go with her to Cambodia, to visit the school I had been sponsoring, when she next visited. Sounded good to me. Yes, I was sure I wasn’t doing anything in March 2015 and nope, didn’t have anything on that I couldn’t cancel, rearrange, reorganise………..

Long story short, Jacquie was unable to go (another example of life and plans) so I decided to go anyway. Tanya, another friend and sponsor, also decided she might go too –  so we did, accompanied by Ted, our intrepid travelling and multi fashioned Dress a Bear bear, cast aside by maturing children, who opted for a one-way ticket.

The trip was to have a very profound effect/affect? (More on that later) not only on me but my ride through this life.  As the saying goes, ‘If things aren’t going right, turn left.”

Philosophical musings are all very well, but you have to take notice of them and things weren’t going right, not right at all.

I’d lost my beloved husband when he lost his fight with the Big C, lost my adored little rescue dog when he lost his with an angry, gun toting farmer and was beginning to get pretty lost myself.

The thought of returning back to corporate life with the pressures, stress, politics and knowledge that, like everyone else, I was just a number on the pay roll, being managed by 16 year olds, went on the rampage and that’s when I really realised that I had less time ahead than behind me and needed to rethink my life – or what was left of it.

In the meantime, Jacquie, the Elma Trust’s founder’s life was going off like an Exocet missile.

After a catch up and a few beers, Jacquie divulged that her life was being rather a nuisance to her plans too and before you could say Jonny Depp’s still gorgeous, I had turned left – a big, fat u-turn of a left and agreed to take over the Chair of the Elma Trust, become Director of Resources and was planning a four-month soirée back to Cambodia to allow Jacquie a sabbatical to finish her second novel and…. oh yes……write a monthly blog? No problem! Make a short video? Piece of quiche!  Post said video to YouTube and make a fortune for the school? How hard can that be? Find sponsors for every child in the school? Stand aside dear friend ” ‘cos Amma commin’.”

Well, that was the plan.

That was in April and guess what? Was the monthly blog written monthly? Was the video made which was going to go viral and cause YouTube to self combust? Did I manage to find a sponsor for each of the 400 children? You can bet your life I didn’t.

What was I saying about life getting in the way of those plans? Well my life blocked them with concrete and added reinforced steel to boot! You don’t need to know the details although I might divulge them if I were to be plied with enough Bacardi and Cokes………..

So here we are, in July and I’m feeling pretty much red faced at my promises of “I’ll have it ready for next week, I’ve only just got to do this after I’ve finished that and when the other’s done then the video will be finished.  Oh sorry, been tres busy. – the sun was out and the garden needed doing. Look, I’ve a time window next week – It’ll be ready then” …….. (when I’ve found a budding film maker to help me as it’s harder than it looks!). No, really it is! You try it!

Anyway, this life and those pesky plans………

Well, some good news is that I’ve just completed the first part of the TEFL (Teaching English to students of Foreign Languages) course. The bad news is that a lovely girl from Croatia (English is her 2nd language) had to explain to me the perfect continuous tense as I’d never heard of it and worse still, didn’t understand the explanation either!

That came as quite a shock, a very big shock to my over chatty, talk the hind legs off a donkey self.

Yes, Mrs Talk To Anyone and For As Long As They’ll Listen Dennett, didn’t even know how her own language was constructed never mind teach it to eager beaver little Cambodian children. AND not only that, couldn’t get her head round some of the grammar when she fell over it and then had a hot flush and severe memory loss when it came to demonstrating a short teaching session in front of her TEFL classmates on the Little Miss Perfect Continuous tense. And please, no comments about the length of previous sentence either!

I’m already in a darkened room with a cold cloth on my forehead.

I’ll get the first blog and video to you when the headache’s gone.

Gill xx