Cof­fee morn­ing given a lift with rare raf­fle tri­umph

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

SOUND the gong, bang the drums – I’ve just won a raf­fle. It was at a Macmil­lan cof­fee morn­ing at Eastcote Methodist Church which, even with­out my ma­jor tri­umph, was a lovely event. The only other time I won a raf­fle was about 30 years ago at a quiz. Strangely, both times the prize was a cake.

At Eastcote there were plenty of stalls to spend more money in aid of the char­ity. I’m a sucker for adding stuff to our al­ready over­crowded house so took home a book, wooden neck­lace and a wal­let for business cards.

The last Sun­day in Septem­ber I spent at BigFest, a great an­nual event which Hilling­don Coun­cil can be re­as­sured is great value for money. Any­one who ven­tured into the High Street would have found them­selves sur­rounded by dancers, singers, stilt walk­ers and, most im­por­tantly, a great, buzzing, happy at­mos­phere.

The only en­ter­tain­ment I stum­bled on the pre­vi­ous week was a slang­ing match near the mar­ket place and a sus­pected sho­plifter in Wind­sor Street be­ing held on the ground by a PCSO un­til help ar­rived.

At BigFest I was in a tiny tent next to Uxbridge li­brary read­ing bits of my scrib­blings, along with a group of splen­did Uxbridge writ­ers and some fab­u­lous mu­si­cians singing blues and play­ing tabla.

Un­for­tu­nately I was billed as Bar­bara Joyce Fis­cher, which made me sound about seven years old and Ger­man.

Fisher is the English (and cor­rect) spell­ing of my sur­name and I only use my mid­dle name in a per­sonal email ad­dress.

Af­ter­wards, some­one re­marked that my read­ings made them both laugh and cry in a mat­ter of min­utes. I’m not sure that was a com­pli­ment.

Dur­ing the same week I went back to Brunel Univer­sity to hear my old boss, for­mer Uxbridge Gazette ed­i­tor An­thony Long­den, ad­dress jour­nal­ism stu­dents for an hour-long ses­sion. They were clearly fas­ci­nated by his in­sider view, from ex­pe­ri­ences as a young re­porter to his in­volve­ment with the So­ci­ety of Ed­i­tors and the Press Com­plaints Com­mis­sion.

When asked if he was ever ashamed about any­thing his re­porters had done I held my breath (he didn’t know I was there) un­til I heard a very def­i­nite ‘no’. I then con­fi­dently en­joyed a quick chat with him af­ter­wards!

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