‘Although the way station you want to reach
Is dangerous and the goal distant,
Do not sink into sadness. All roads have an end.’
– Hafez (14th century Persian poet)
43 days to go. Starting tomorrow, just two full three-week chemotherapy cycles left.
I’m nearly on the home strait. Suddenly January 18, 2011 doesn’t seem that far away. If I can just stumble through December intact I will nearly be there.
The tantalising proximity of the end game has lifted my spirits. So much so that as I write I am partaking of a particularly tasty New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (from Pencarrow in Martinborough, just north of Wellington), a fine understated wine courtesy of a fine understated man in this business, Tim Rycroft of Diageo Global Travel & Middle East.
I had been off my favourite tipple for too long, courtesy of a mix-up in my anti-sickness medicines (which resulted in all sickness and no ‘anti’). With my feeding tube still discreetly in place (goodness knows what Heathrow security would make of it) I have been tempted to go down the intravenous route for my preferred ‘grape and water’ mix but I guess that’s the sort of diet that only a French doctor would order. When you find yourself talking to a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and saying “It’s nice to be back” you know you’re probably not getting out enough…
In related news, I am delighted to reveal details of another fantastic fund-raising effort by the UK’s Travel Retail Consortium, a group of travel retail executives who regularly raise much-needed monies for good causes such as The Smile Train and others.
At the Consortium’s recent annual gathering at Newbury racecourse near London, attended by many members and special guests from the trade, some £1,150 was raised via a tombola, buoyed by a further £1,000 from the Consortium’s funds – a grand total of around £2,150 in all.
The beneficiary? A cause very close to The Moodie Report’s heart – a new children’s and teenager’s cancer unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital, the same hospital that has looked after me so marvellously in recent months.
As a result, The Moodie Report has decided to match the amount, meaning a vital £4,300 pre-Christmas boost to this important fund.
Travel Retail Consortium Chairman Laurence Wright, who is also Sales Manager at C.G. Hibbert Limited, told me: “The day was a great success; we were all winners, as a good time was had by all (even if some nearly lost their shirts). The race day was organised by Peter Ayling with his willing helpers being Sam Haley of Rémy-Cointreau and Lynsey Eades of Mars.”
Thank you to all those individuals and to the Travel Retail Consortium for what they do and what they stand for. A very special unit is taking shape at the Royal Marsden that will save many young lives. Thanks to the Travel Retail Consortium, its fund-raising ambitions just took a significant step forward.
Take it from me, the Marsden is a place of miracles. And the Travel Retail Consortium is the epitome of the sort of values that one finds so often in this great international community of ours.