You’ve done it! You’ve donated over £500 for Save the Children

AS you might be aware, we’ve been fundraising for Save the Children via our La Rochelle Challenge. I’m delighted to report that the good ship PRANA has donated the final 40 quid that takes us just over our target of £500! You can read the full story on

To every one of our supporters: there will be many children (I don’t know who or where) who will be extremely grateful for your fantastic generosity. You will have certainly alleviated a lot of suffering and you may even have literally saved some lives. That’s what you have achieved through the spirit of giving from your heart. We’re declaring this year’s challenge over now and I promise I won’t be asking for money again until the next time (maybe next Summer) and this blog will from now on resume it’s role of posting pieces for people who want to live more consciously.

  • Update image

We’re not done yet…


If we want a decent prospect for our children and grandchildren, that can’t happen if more than half of the forthcoming adult generation has been severely traumatised.

OK, we’ve done it. We’ve completed our La Rochelle Challenge. It was what you might call a fundraising holiday really, but we did get lots of support and we’ve raised just over £400 for Save the Children. So far…

But what did we learn from our six weeks of passage making aboard the good ship Prana?

Here’s what was revealed to me: we live such incredibly privileged lives and I am so grateful for that! Not only that, but we can easily use our gifts for the benefit of others. Actually, it’s easy to make a difference and here in this post is the evidence.

So what do I mean when I talk about living a life of privilege? I never went to a public school like Eton or Harrow and I never went to any university, let alone Oxford or Cambridge – that’s not the kind of privilege I’m talking about. I’m talking about the privilege of being able to make conscious choices in our lives.

My biggest stroke of luck was to be born into a decent middle class family with positive values, and parents who actually loved me to bits. My other immensely lucky break was being born in the UK, where the cult of the individual reigns supreme and being a bit eccentric is celebrated. Although it took me many years, I had absolute freedom to discover who I was and to express my creativity, and eventually I found a niche where I actually fit in.img_20160804_183229

This is not to be underestimated. When I was in school I never fitted in. I was always the last to be picked for a cricket or football team and anyway I hated those two sports because I couldn’t run fast enough. There were also many other ways I couldn’t fit in no matter how hard I tried and this caused me great angst until one day, long after leaving school, I realised it was a big advantage to be different from everyone else.

Woah! Freedom! I began to give myself permission to be who I was instead of trying to emulate others, to play to my strengths and develop my natural talents. As Dr. Wayne Dyer so eloquently pointed out, “when you follow the herd, guess what you end up standing in.” Much better to plough your own furrow.

Now let’s look at some of these unfortunate children we’ve been trying to support with our La Rochelle Challenge. The ones who come from war-torn Syria, for example. Many of them have been uprooted from their country, seen their homes destroyed, witnessed friends and members of their family being blown to pieces, tortured, persecuted, abused and cast adrift as refugees, many of them without parents or relatives to protect them. I heard on the news last night that a whopping 50% of refugees are children. This is horrendous and we can’t let it continue.

Many other children suffer malnutrition, ill health, abuse, homelessness and countless other traumas, and now we have the Zika virus to contend with in some parts of the world and heaven knows what suffering that will bring to the affected children and their parents.

If we want a decent prospect for our children and grandchildren, that can’t happen if more than half of the forthcoming adult generation has been severely traumatised.

I came up with the idea of the La Rochelle Challenge as an experiment really, to actually find out if I could make a difference and to see if I could inspire others to respond by supporting this venture. What I realise now is that not only did I make a difference, tiny though it is, but so did those who contributed money and those who supported us by helping to spread the word.

So you see, there are many ways in which we can all make a difference without disrupting our normal daily lives in the least. And I’m only talking about one way of doing so. The internet has made it so easy. It takes maybe three minutes to go online and donate to a good cause, and believe me, the money makes a huge difference.

And in case you think I’m fixated on money, I make no apology for that. Let me quote you a couple of sentences from a thank-you card I received today from someone called Jazmin and the fundraising team at the charity, Save the Children: “The support you have given means we can help children globally when they need us the most… The money you raised could buy 10 boxes of 150 sachets of ready to eat food which is high energy and suitable for the treatment of children with severe malnutrition.”

I do love tangible results! This is an amazing reality check, for that means 1,500 nutritious meals can be provided to children who are actually on the brink of a very unpleasant death. That’s fantastic! If you supported us, that’s what you have achieved!

But we’re not done yet…!

So far we have raised just over £400, but our target is £500. For that reason I’m going to leave our Just Giving page open for one more week so if you have not already done so, you can still make a donation to this worthy cause. I urge you to take this opportunity of actually helping to make a real difference to the lives of these children who are a lot less privileged than we are. Let’s see if we can raise that final £100 this week and save even more children’s lives. This is not an ego trip for me, this is about alleviating unnecessary pain, suffering and death. It’s not just an idealistic gesture, it’s about the cold, hard reality of trying to make this world a better place.

If you haven’t already done so but now you feel you want to, please visit and search for La Rochelle Challenge. Then follow the on-screen instructions to donate.

On behalf of desperate children everywhere, thank you so much.

Yesssss! We’ve done it!

Hey, we’ve done it! Our La Rochelle Challenge is now completed and we are back in a cold and drizzly London.

As you know if you read this blog I’ve spent the last few weeks sailing from Arzal in France, where I keep my boat, to La Rochelle and back and I had the idea of turning our summer holiday into a challenge to raise money for Save the Children. So far we have reached 80% of our target so we decided to keep our page on open for another week or two to see if we can make it 100%. All we need is £100 more.

For those who are interested there follows a list of the places we visited (many of them more than once). If you aren’t interested, please feel free to skip this last bit:

Arzal, La Roche Bernard, La Trinite sur Mer, Crouesty, Pornichet, Ile de Noirmoutier, Ile d’Yeu, St. Gilles Croix de Vie, Bourgenay, Les Sables d’Olone, La Rochelle, Ile de Re, Pornic. Total miles logged was 553.1.