Friends of Friends

My circular walk takes me and Jessie from our back door up to the South Downs Way, along a bit and then down and back round – I have to say that I am just boasting about this as it has no real relevance – neither has this picture of Jessie, not least as it is a summer picture, but please, as they say, live with me on this.

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Today was frosty and bright with lovely sun and it was a delight to be out and walking in such weather and seeing the views. But like all things, you get complacent about your surroundings.

So, instead of just walking and admiring the view, I took to musing what I would do with a significant lottery win. I am not talking a million or two here, I am going for Euro Millions.

Now and then I buy a lottery ticket just so that I can have this fantasy, and it works on a walk, especially useful if it is not cold, lovely and clear, but a drudge of a walk through mud and rain.

After taking care of immediate family, and donations to charities involved in causes I believe in – refugees, clean water, the amazing Medicine San Frontier, education for girls – there is still a lot of Euro Millions left over.

I can’t believe I will ever stop buying my clothes from charity shops or rescuing ‘brown’ furniture from auctions.

So, after we have bought a bigger house and clean, dry barns to be a home to such thing as Georgian dressers (bought at a fraction of the price that some pine number would fetch), there will still, as I say, be a lot leftover.

But thanks to my walk, I have a plan.

I am going to set up a fund called Friends of Friends.

The idea is that anyone we know who wants to do a project which has some benefit to other people gets some money.

It can’t be money just to make someone’s life easier – worthy though that would be – it has to be of interest/use to others.

It doesn’t have to be charitable – it can be a business, and event, an entertainment, a project, but it has to benefit more than just the person getting the money.

It is only available to people with two degrees of separation from us – that, of course dear reader, means someone we know, or someone who knows someone we know.

Already I can think of someone who could make some really interesting art projects in Liverpool and another who could utilise buildings in deepest Herefordshire to run very special courses to help people do better presentations and lots of other things.

I know someone who is trying to change the world through advanced storytelling – or at least he was last time I talked to him.

Someone else would probably have a project up her sleeve for women in Bosnia, another would have an idea or two about what could be really useful in York…..

By the time I was heading back up our lane, I had started to outline the email I would send round everyone I know, with the criteria.

And I was planning how many interesting times we would spend at the opening of these ventures.

So, I got home after my walk (all 11,000 steps of it ) and told the Best Beloved that I was going to the village shop to get a paper, a lottery ticket, and why.

And, he said a long time ago when he had been dealing with big, big sums of money and people competing for it, he had thought then of how good it would be to create the same kind of thing but generously and philanthropically.

Go for it, he said.

So if you have an idea or project that would fit the bill, I would love to hear about it.

But, I have to say, I have not won the lottery – yet.

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