Coffee morning given a lift with rare raffle triumph
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!