It starts at 6am on Thursday morning when I get up to catch an early, very early, train to Leeds. My friend has to report to the Borders Agency, she is always convinced that this is going to lead to deportation and who am I with a British passport, a bank account and a regular, quite good, income, to imagine how she must feel. It starts off badly with both if us having mobile phone problems, but all goes OK (I can't say well,she gets too upset for that)and we stand in the sun to catch the bus back to the city centre.
Later that morning I help her with her physics homework and I enlist the help of some very confused other asylum seekers to show her my patent method of explaining the particle theory of solids, liquids and gases. (Perfected with excitable 10 year olds). This makes her laugh and several pennies drop about conduction, convection and insulation. So a successful ending as she goes off to college and as she puts it "the good stress of struggling with new topics in maths and science". I meet my gadding friend for a long lunch in the sun by the lake in Roundhay Park.
Friday, another hot and sunny day, the DAY of the Fairtrade Clothes Show; will any one come, will the models, (some one's daughter and her friends, mothers of said friends, colleagues of group members and group members as well) all turn up, will there be enough/too much food? and so more and more questions in my mind. By chance I meet a fellow group member at lunch in the Kingfisher cafe, we probably make each other worse!
At 5pm we start setting up and those of us modelling try on the clothes, the organisation by 2 of the group is wonderful, nothing it seems has been forgotten. Stalls are set up, floats gathered, the raffle sorted and also the refreshments. Chocolate is broken up for the chocolate tasting.
Music starts, we have a rehearsal of how to walk down the catwalk and then the audience starts to arrive. Then we are off, in 2's and 3's we show off the clothes, the audience are wonderfully supportive, smiling and clapping. Amazingly no-one even trips, we even enjoy it!
Afterwards the refreshments seem just right, people seem happy, a good sized audience and a truly successful evening.
The clothes we modelled, all Fairtrade were from
www.namaste-uk.com so many thanks to all of them, and also to Fairer World shop, who donated the chocolate for the chocolate tasting.
Thanks also to the pianist before the show, the arranger of the music during the show and the folk group after the show. (If you want a personal mention in this blog let your FT contact know!)
Finally we should be able to send a donation to Water Aid, who we agreed would benefit if we managed to make a profit.