duty calling

Ditzy D phoned to tell me she’d made all the arrangements. We were going to a place at a time to do something and she’d be at my house at noon. Grand. I can do that. I’m ok with being organised. (Except when I’m not.)

Things took their first turn for the unexpected when it was decided that I was to be driving Ditzy D’s car. People, I have driven cars out of the showroom which were less immaculate than this 11 year old shiny number. What if I made it grubby?


No car I’ve ever owned has been that perfect once in my possession for longer than a day. Spurs Fan cleans our car, outside and in, regularly, but there’s still always something messy- hair clips, hankies, the overflowing cd box, footballs. Ditzy D’s car contains nothing superfluous- cleaning spray and an emergency bible only.

Once I’d worked out minor details (gears, brakes, you know, the little things) off we went. The freedom of the open road. Me, speeding along like a regular person, just getting in the car and going. Eventually, of course, the open road and the general direction had to become narrower and a bit more specific. Finding the destination should have been straightforward (we had all the directions) but we hadn’t bargained for two sides of the one street being labelled differently. Luckily, we had plenty of time to go round in circles.

The town is smaller than we’d considered- an experimental turn took us off up a country lane, pretty but remote. Where did that town go? We were just there!

It worked out of course- we had lunch and then reported in. It was an onerous task- we had to chat and smile and collect money! Hurrah!

PSP Fund Raisers 002

The staff of a nursing home had climbed NI’s highest mountain, Slieve Donard, in fancy dress to raise money for the PSP Association, and we were honoured to collect it. Especially since I’d struggle to climb the stairs in the nearby hotel… Luckily this time all I had to do was be there and wave a flag (not that flag).

Sometimes I get fraught by the volunteering. Our small group are at full stretch. From time to time I feel that I don’t have the skills, experience or confidence to deal with whatever has just hit the fan. This day out reminded me what it’s all about. Regular folk taking time to do extraordinary things. Making an effort. Looking ridiculous. Raising awareness. Supporting. Taking care of one another. Spreading the love.

Thank you.


9 thoughts on “duty calling

  1. If I am not due somewhere and it is light, I quite enjoy getting lost. You find such interesting places. I have climbed Sawel mountain and Slieve Gallion among others in the Sperrins, but I think they are someway down the league!

  2. When it was said and done, putting others above oneself is what it is all about, the rewards will come. By the way, never admit to being lost, just misplaced is all anyone needs to know.

  3. Fantastic. It must be totally exhausting for you: but the work you are doing will benefit so many. It will make them feel they are not alone any more. Thank you, Fiona, for all the time and energy – and intelligence -you put into this.

  4. I love your description of your own car. Ours is much the same. Even when it’s tidy, it’s never really tidy. I think random junk breeds in there!

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