Without an alarm clock my body clock responds to light - sunrise, sunset. Thus was I awake at silly o'clock on Sunday morning and down in the kitchen filling the kettle at about 0630 (having showered and been out to refill birdfeeders).

Within an hour or two I'd surprised myself with an efficiency that departed me years ago and had made biscotti, humus, pumpkin pie, and a rhubarb & pistachio baklava. There was time to join the community litterpick after all and I spent a relaxed hour pulling cr*p out of hedges and copses of trees round a park on the northeast side of town. It is an unchallenging pastime, sociable, a bit of exercise, and may be doing a bit of community good. Sorting as I went I also got half a rubbish bag of aluminium cans for a local group that raises funds for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) by collecting cans for recycling.

They have raised £17000 since they started doing it. HIOWAA needs £10million per year to stay in operation (it is all funded by charitable donations), which is an awful lot of recycled cans!

Since last Thursday I know at lot more about HIOWAA than I ever expected to when I made my first (cash) donation last year.  Mr B and I were invited to a 'presentation evening'. Of course it is a 'please donate' type of event, but it was also a great opportunity to understand the work they do and meet some of the people whose lives they have saved.

This is no ordinary ambulance (no this is not an M&S ambulance either - apologies to anyone not in UK and unfamiliar with M&S advertising), it is in effect a flying critical care unit. Their doctors (not paramedics) have years of extra training to be helicopter emergency medics, and can perform quite complex procedures at the scene (they have an anaesthetist as part of the team too).

I came away even more mega-impressed with the level of skill, training, and devotion they bring to saving lives.

Back to earth....

Litter pickers
Every Can Counts


  1. They are so vital, yet are still run on charity..many do not realise that.

    Well done on the litter picking..and the energy!

  2. Just reading about your day has made me feel exhausted!

  3. Excellent litterpicking effort. When I worked in an office overlooking Trafalgar Square, our meeting room suite had a birds eye view of air ambulance helicopters landing and scattering the pigeons. (This was 30 years ago.) Visitors from overseas were always transfixed by the sight and the meeting would be paused to they could watch. A friend here in Aberdeen has a daughter-in-law who has just taken a job as digital communications officer for the Scottish Air Ambulance Service, and fundraising is part of her remit. She would be delighted to see this bit of positive PR for a 'sister' charity.
    Cheers, Gail.

  4. What a busy morning you had, and what a marvellous charity to support. I hope people continue to support their good work. Mxx

  5. Hari OM
    What a fabulous team to have in your area... and one does wonder how on earth the likes of it (and the Air Ambo in OZ for eg) ever manage to keep going. Congrats on your pick and contribution to the cause! YAM xx

  6. Silly o'clock! I love it. It reminds me of the birds dawn Prog Rock twenty minutes chorus when camping. The Countess of Chester hospital carboot sale organisers have raised over a million pounds for fund raising for the hospital.

  7. So many of our emergency services are supported by donations and legacies. We may not live on charity, but we are enabled to survive through it.

  8. wow, this super news. and it also keeps our earth clean, recycles what would fill the Earth's dumps and gives money to a worthy cause PLUS Excercise and socializing. add fun if it were me doing it. My friends son was a helicopter critical care for several years. they were based in Atlanta Ga

  9. Wow you were very productive.
    We have flying doctors here in Australia. We need them as the people who live in the outback are hours and hours away from the closest hospitals

  10. I am exactly the same with waking up. No matter what time I go to bed I'm usually up by 7am. grrrr


Post a Comment