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Former city-loving Mancunian writer and teacher, a motorbike-loving ex-transport officer, a boy and their assorted animals move to une fermette en France. More Info

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October 2012
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See you Manchester, bonjour Charente

Being charitable

October 7, 2012

This morning, I write in joyous agony. I spent last night at the Zumbathon Party in Pink in Confolens to raise money to help find a cure for breast cancer. There were five instructors, including the very lithe and lovely Lynne Stephens, who runs Zumba and Slimmercise classes across the Charente region. I think there must have been a hundred or so ladies, gentlemen and children there, making the most of the good humour in the room. It was decidedly damp outside.

It must be said, I’m getting a bit of a zumba obsession. I love Latin American music anyway, and I miss my old aerobics classes sometimes. I used to almost live in the gym in the UK. I loved it. I’ve swapped the need to be inside out of the cold and the damp for long walks with the dogs and lots of log-chopping and digging. It’s definitely more of a functional fitness now. Last night, the weather wasn’t far removed from Mancunian weather, and it was nice to be in a room of celebration and fun. I’m sure I can’t have been the only uncoordinated person there who didn’t know what she was doing most of the time.

The other charitable event on this weekend is the Hope booksale to raise money for the Hope Association. As you know, this is where I got Tilly (and Saffy) from,  and there’s never a day she doesn’t light up my life. Sure, she poos inside when it’s wet outside, she’s a weird little gannet, she scoffs tomatoes straight from the bush and she does giddy submissive wees, but there’s nothing like seeing her cute little face when I get back home. She sits on the back of the couch and peers out at anything that comes near the gates. When she sees it’s me, her tail goes into hyper-drive.

The book sale is on at the salle des fetes in Clussais la Pommerie and you’ll find hundreds of books for 1€ each. They even put books away for each day, so there’s always a new sale. I’ve seen hundreds of photos on Facebook of happy purchasers, and I’m off there myself to stock up. Never mind that I have several hundred books on my computer stored and ready, I’m still not at the point where digital feels quite as nice as analogue. I love turning pages. Plus, I can’t take my computer to bed so easily. There’s fish-and-chips from Mr T, apparently with curry sauce. Now there’s a thing I never thought I’d miss… And there’s bacon butties. What more could a girl ask for?

So, enjoy your weekend. I’m enjoying mine, and it makes me feel just a little more virtuous knowing that most of the weekend has been spent supporting charities in one way or another. Hopefully, the book sale won’t make me ache as much as the Zumbathon though! Still, my charity is an ongoing thing, what with two rescue dogs and a rescue cat. I never had an animal I didn’t rescue, apart from the chickens. And I even picked the chickens because they looked sad and like they’d enjoy an acre of free-range.

Okay. Now to undo last night’s good work with chips and curry sauce and a bacon buttie or two.

If you’re looking for the book sale yourself, find details at the Hope Association website.

by Emma. Find out more about Emma here.