05 November, 2014

For richer or poorer...

As a brief introduction I want to mention two absolute dudes I met yesterday outside the airport, the two Robins (no Batman). I was crossing the flyover and spotted them camped out on some grass, shoes off, eating and fiddling about with a trumpet. They were two German jazz musicians who'd been travelling about and busking in New Orleans and are now heading to the Amazon Rainforest! 

They shared their oats with bacon, coffee and whiskey and we merrily swapped stories for an hour, sitting next to the airport terminal with taxis streaming past. It was such a pleasure! We parted with handshakes and grins all round.

Arriving into one of the world's richest nations straight from one of it's poorest yesterday was a shock. I'm couchsurfing with a great guy, Mark, who speaks five languages and is a fascinating man, until Friday. His place is exquisite and he is so generous! Anyway, he asked me what were the differences and yesterday I could n't immediately tell him. Today I've spent my time wandering through some of the wealthiest streets I've ever seen, brimming with lanes of supercars and SUVs and canals of superyachts. 

The money on show is frankly crass and jolly un-British! I find it quite laughable. I've stepped from the land of frugality where even water is rationed because you only have one bucket and using more would mean walking a few miles to collect and carry it on your head. To the land of excess where your drink is refilled relentlessly without question and you better drink it because more is better! 

Everywhere you see status cars and life improvement purchases - this yacht will make you happy, this house is what you need, get a bigger pickup truck than your neighbour. But I've also noticed something... For all this expenditure in the name of fun no one seems to be having any. Since I've been in the US I've heard perhaps a couple of people laugh and share a smile, that's it! 

Haiti, stricken with poverty and in need of aid is a bubbling pot of chiding and bantering and grins. I think happiness is having a smile on your face every day for whatever reasons, silly or childish, and all this 'stuff' isn't working. I don't buy it! 

Maybe it's time that 'rich' society took a lesson in having a laugh from our un-moneyed cousins.

02 November, 2014

What is money?

Now here's a  question- how much of your income do you spend on essentials? By essentials I mean water, food, basic housing requirements, sanitation, education. I am confident it isn't 100% of your earnings, so you have a pot of disposble income to improve the quality of your life? Good for you, you work for it, you deserve a treat or two.

All I ask is that maybe this week, when you treat yourself to a glass of wine, a bar of chocolate, a massage or a manicure, would you donate the equal value of that to a good cause?

£400 per year is all it will take to give Wood one of life's essentials, an education.

Together we have already raised 30% of the amount needed to make this happen.

So, what does money mean to you?

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