Please help me to choose

OK, folks, here’s the story.

I have $25 in my KIVA account to lend to a new entrepreneur, but I don’t know which to choose. It’s hard. These people are all living in the poorest countries in the world, and working so hard to earn so little.

Thanks to the micro-finance system, they are able to benefit from loans made to them by people like us, who are lucky enough to have a little money to help them. They repay these loans over an agreed period, and when you have got back all your money, you can either withdraw it, or re-lend it.

This is my KIVA lender page showing the four people who have benefited from my $25.

Who should be next?

Nouroudine Ouro-saou, who needs a loan to buy more stock for his neat little shop?


Or Atakishi Babayev, a displaced person, who needs a loan to add to his stock of spare parts for his business:


Please cast your vote.



During the last week the dangers of motor racing have been highlighted, with a tragic death and a horrible freak accident.  All good wishes to the modest and gentlemanly Felipe Massa, for a swift and full recovery from his injuries.

Image borrowed from http://chikki.wordpress

Image borrowed from

Forza Felipe, sono con te

F1 has certainly become a great deal more interesting this season, with several drivers in the mix for the title and excellent coverage from BBC –  although without the commercial breaks, there’s no time to wash our hands or make a cup of tea :-).

Great that Jenson Button has been having such a successful run after so many barren years, Mark Webber with his maiden win, and likewise to see Lewis Hamilton back on the top of the podium. Lucky man – he got to hug the gorgeous Martin Whitmarsh, handsomest hunk in the sport. 🙂 I must remember to write to McLaren and ask if they have any pin-up posters of Martin.

Martin Whitmarsh

An unhung hero

From the Mail Online, 23rd July:

Tony Blair says he would consider toppling Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe if he were still in power.

‘If you can do it then you should do it,’ he says in an article in Germany’s Stern Magazine that hits news-stands tomorrow.

‘I think whoever has the possibility should topple Mugabe – the man has destroyed his country, many people have died unnecessarily because of him.

‘My idea of foreign policy is that if you can do something, you should do it. But of course you have to operate carefully within precise boundaries.’

Does anybody else wonder why he didn’t, when he could have? And what about the “precise boundaries” to which he refers? He managed to squeeze the whole of Iraq into them; couldn’t he have fitted in Mugabe too?

And by the way, Tone, congratulations on your recent valiant defence of Gaza. Good to see you fulfilling your current role so heroically.

The End

Two teeny words, six little letters, which have seemed so elusive for so long.

So out into the big, hard world goes “Ghosts – a journey through the Marne valley”, all 83,589 words which I commended, (or should that be condemned?)  into the hands of my lovely agent yesterday, at 17.39 precisely.

Every time I have sent off a manuscript, it has brought back the same feelings I had watching my 18-year-old daughter, divine in her long white dress, walking down the aisle with her husband into an unknown future.

If Ghosts is destined to share the success of my daughter’s marriage, what more could I ask ? And if not, well, so be it. I am philosophical. Writers have to be in the current climate. With three books published I no longer feel the same urgency that once gripped me to see my name printed on a cover. It would be nice, and if it is meant to be, it will.

I have joined the end of the WRITERS WHO WAIT queue. 😀