A momentous week.

  1. After three and a half years of faithful attendance at Good Hope every day, Maiko finally achieved his dream. Monday morning saw him attend his first day at secondary school as a privately sponsored day student. Why so long at Good Hope? Maiko has an acute / profound hearing problem and there is little available to him in the Tanzanian systems.
  2. I started gainful employment for an hour a day every week day.
  3. I faced up to the reality of life and recognised that I can no longer selfishly hide away and pretend there is no illness in the world. Working where I do, I have an obligation not to ignore the devastation of lives that is HIV/AIDS.
  4. Good Hope’s main classroom got a paint job. That, and the recent addition of desks (YAY we have real desks) make us a real school.



2013-10-09 13.07.27


Is it a sign of age when things remind you of days long gone into the depths of the annals of the early years? Hmmm don’t answer that!

The summer of 1977 was hot hot hot in England, in more ways than the temperature. I was discontented, restless and trapped in a suburban life that, despite my penchant for escaping to loud music bars on the Fulham Road, London, and underage drinking, didn’t satisfy my need for more. So I ditched my school uniform one day and set off to the train station in search of a big adventure. Where I ended up was in Southend on Sea Essex, by the end of the day I returned home and threw the school uniform in the bin forever. I had lined up a job, a room in a very cheap B and B and an adventure. Gill was leaving home.

At this point in my ramblings I concede to my good friend Anita that yes, I do have a tendency to run away when life gets tough or difficult, well spotted and duly noted my friend.

So why during this momentous week does this memory flood back? Because the job I secured was in a draper’s shop and paid me the princely sum of £15 per week.

Incidentally those of you who knew me at that time and are wondering about the draper’s shop, I lasted less than the week, quickly moving onto more fruitful employment at the famous Bingo Hall at the end of the infamous pier. That was where I donned the nickname BBC (cos she talks posh) and was paid a bonus each week (cos she don’t have her hand in the till like all the others).

I digress. Why is this relevant to this momentous week? Because for the first time since leaving gainful employment in Arroyo de la Miel Malaga Spain, alongside El Don, Dawn, Jennifer, Wendy, John and many others, way back in June 2013 I haven’t earned a sausage! Quaint English speak for “not a penny!” For nigh on two years not one cent has entered my coffers in return for gainful employment. Until this week. This week I started on a new road. This was my first week as an official teacher of English and my lovely student Mary bartered me down to the princely sum of 35,000tzs a week for 5 one hour lessons Mon to Fri.

I have been as chuffed as the proverbial frigging Cheshire cat all week! It has tickled me pink to earn a wage again and I have guarded my earnings zealously, declaring that this money, this princely sum was for ME. Not day-to-day stuff but me, a day by the pool with lunch thrown in was high on the agenda as well as a couple of Kili beers with friends.


It was at said pool when a lovely young lady laughed at my enthusiasm and said “OMG that’s about £15 Gill!”

So you see folks, I think I’ve mooted this within these hallowed walls before, life is a merry-go-round, what goes around does indeed come around, and yep Dad, life can turn on a sixpence.

Well I am here to tell you that my princely 35,000tzs wage still tickles me pink and buys me much more than the draper’s measly £15 did! But I have to also confess that in reality my wage this week didn’t even reach the £13 bar but hey ho. The memory is sweet.

There have been more serious moments to my week, two worthy of the term momentous. One is delightful in its success and one disturbing in its pain. I am not ready to share those yet. One of them or both of them leave me raw, open and full of hurt in two very different ways. I need to process my emotions before sharing here and so today I share a snippet of my wayward past and news of my fruitful employment!

Be grateful for what you have my friends and live life to the full.

Until next time xxx


7 thoughts on “HIV, Desks, Memories of a Drapers shop and Maiko

    1. Well perhaps you are getting to know and understand my weird moods! There is certainly a layer below the words which is full of grief,. It has been a trying week but I thank you for the support and comment. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I follow your posts with stalker-like zeal, Gill. Some people dream of making a difference, some people talk about making a difference while some get on with it and change the world, one step at a time. You my friend are in the third category and I am proud to have met you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. @gill thank you for choosing to follow me. I feel previlaged to have met some great minds in this journey. Whoever said only some drawing on medium is called art. Writing like you do is art too 🙂 literary art. Grt going! All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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