When I am Rich, charity won’t be a problem. I won’t have to
think twice about giving to every good cause that tugs on my heartstrings. ‘You
need some money? Of course!’ I’ll say. ‘How much? Would you prefer cash or a
But until then charity is a big problem, especially at this
time of year when there are so many fundraising campaigns all asking for my
money. I really wish I could give something to every Syrian refugee, every
person affected by typhoon Haiyan, all the sick and hungry children of the
world, the homeless and deprived in my own relatively rich country … and, no, I
haven’t forgotten the endangered animals, mistreated pets, and our threatened
Unfortunately my limited resources won’t s - t - r - e - t -
c - h that far.
When I do make a donation I want it to be put to good use,
and that’s the other big problem with charity. Call me an old cynic, but I
can’t help wondering how much – indeed, if any – of my small contribution will
actually trickle down to those who need it most. How much will be used for
admin and publicity? How much will be ‘diverted’ by corrupt officials? Or
simply get lost in a long supply chain?
And that’s why I found myself nodding and smiling when I
discovered Lend With Care. It’s a simple way of helping people who are working
hard to help themselves and their communities. Instead of giving handouts to
anonymous charities you lend a named individual the small amounts (minimum
£15.00) that they need to fund business enterprises.
The transaction is managed
by a microfinance institution that assesses the borrower’s business idea and,
if a loan is approved, agrees a monthly repayment schedule with them. As the
borrower repays their loan it is passed back to you, the lender. You can then withdraw
your money from the scheme, or reinvest it by loaning it to someone else.
If you’re not rich enough to give your money away this is a
brilliant way to make sure it goes round – and round – and round!
One of the things I love best about this time of year is the way so many birds suddenly decide to flock together. Nature switches to party mode as the jostling, chattering crowd swoops excitedly from place to place.
When I am Rich I’ll buy a tractor and offer to help the neighbouring farmers with their autumn ploughing and sowing. I might even resort to offering bribes for the chance to be the centre of such joyful attention!
I’m still following your blog – and would like to comment – but I can’t because I haven’t signed up to Google+. I don’t want to join Google+, or risk linking my blog to it, in case it prevents some of my followers from leaving comments.
(I’m sure Google would like us all to sign up but I just haven’t got the time - or enthusiasm – to get to grips with yet another social network!)
How often do you see something for sale that you'd love to have but, after a little hesitation, you decide not to buy it because
you can't really afford it
you're saving up for something more important
it's a want rather than a need
you'd feel guilty about treating yourself
If you live in the UK you can now take part in this competition that gives you the chance to win a prize you really want. As a bonus, the value of that prize will also be donated to your favourite charity. All you have to do is choose something you'd like from one of the retailers on the Give As You Live website and then spread the news about the competition to your friends.
To date, 2,393 companies have signed up to Give As You Live. They include familiar high street names such as Debenhams, M&S and Argos, as well as a huge range of independent specialist shops and services. So if you'd like to win a beautiful designer dress, the latest kitchen gadget, theatre tickets, some garden furniture, your favourite perfume (or chocolate!) you'll almost certainly be able to find it here.
And if you're not lucky enough to win, you won't have to feel so guilty about buying the item anyway when you remember that a percentage of the price will be donated to any UK charity you nominate.
Actually, my favourite is always whatever happens to be in bloom at the time, but as I haven't tried growing Dutch Irises in a container before I'm very impressed at how strong and healthy they look.
When I am Rich and have my big garden I'll be able to plant great swathes of them (ooh, won'tthey look stunning!) but until then the advantage of only having a few is that I really notice and admire every little detail.
The sun's shining, the birds are singing, and my conscience is telling me it's spring cleaning time. When I am Rich I'll be able to pay someone else to do all the hard work for me, although I'm not sure if that really would be such a good idea.
The room most in need of a thorough clean and tidy is the one I use as my office ...
art studio ...
... and temporary potting shed.
Problem is, if I did allow a cleaner in
there I'd have to watch them the whole time in case they messed up my mess. It might look disorganised but I know exactly where
Are you an enthusiastic or reluctant spring cleaner? Would you welcome or dread some help with this annual chore?
Our poor, old car has reached the stage where it will
probably cost less to replace it than to keep repairing it. So what sort of new
car should we buy? Something small and economical for local trips? Something
comfortable and roomy for longer journeys?
When we are Rich, we’ll have a fleet of vehicles to suit all
occasions (plus a chauffeur/ mechanic to look after them all).
In the meantime …
he's looking longingly at sports cars …
and I’m thinking a little camper van would be nice …
I wonder if there’s a way we could compromise?
If money was no object, what would your ideal vehicle
Now that I’ve got my perfect garden all planned (in my head
at least!), I’m turning my attention to designing the house I want when I am
As I’ll have unlimited money and space, I thought about
including a home cinema: a specially designed room equipped with a huge screen
and the latest audiovisual technology where I’ll be able to watch my favourite
films whenever I want. I could ask my chef to make me some popcorn to add to
the authenticity … but it wouldn’t be the same, would it?
Perhaps I’m showing my age, but for me it’s the going out
that makes watching a film at a cinema so much more enjoyable than watching the
same thing at home. Deciding which film to see, checking where and when it’s
being shown, getting ready to go out, making the journey, buying the ticket,
choosing where to sit … all make a trip to the cinema a special occasion.
I’ve just been to see The Hobbit – and loved it. It also
gave me some new ideas for my ideal home. I want something that looks like
Rivendell but is as cosy as a hobbit hole!