… by now you all know that it is “Girls About Town” day - and what a great time we had in the studio this morning.  We were privileged to have as our guest today John Garton, who just happens to be the father of our lovely presenter, Jo, and what an interesting guest he was too.  You can see John, Jo, Clare and me in the extras.  It’s a shame that we can’t upload videos because I have a great one of John doing some “chair-dancing” towards the end of the programme.

John began his working life at 16 as an apprentice reporter and worked his way up the ladder to become a sub-editor working on various newspapers in London, Portsmouth, Leeds and various other places, the latest one before he retired being "The Daily Mirror".  He and his wife now live in Florida and have been visiting Jo, so it was great to be able to welcome him onto the show.

He had met many famous people during his working life, and we enjoyed hearing all about them and about how much the industry has changed since his early days of working as a journalist and sub-editor.  Of course, in the 1950s and 1960s there were no computers, so many of the stories had to be handwritten and were then given to messengers, who were mostly older men, John told us, to take to the various places within the building for the next stage of the work to be done.  

The overriding thing that impressed me was that John said on many occasions that he had had “great fun” and it was obvious just listening to him, that all his working life had been fun - I wonder how many people would be able to say that today?  

After the show, I normally go over to see my Mum, as she lives near the Radio Station, and today was no exception.  However, on my way out, one of the lovely ladies who works on reception gave me a hug and asked me how things were.  I said that Mum was "up and down" - and emotionally it was quite hard, so she gave me a beautiful bunch of roses and said she hoped they would help and make me smile.  I was really touched so wanted to thank her for reaching out to me just when I needed it, so a BIG “Thank you” to the lady concerned - you know who you are - and I know she reads my Blips.  A kind word or gesture at the right time can have such a wonderful effect and she certainly lifted my spirits today.

Under Door 11 of our Advent Calendar for the Hunger Project charity it says, “Today you have contributed towards a micro-finance loan for a woman in Africa, enabling her to support her family by starting a small business.”  

This reminded me that some years ago, when friends of ours who live in Zimbabwe, came over to the UK, many of us donated sewing machines that were then sent over to Zimbabwe so that women in their church could use them to start a small business thus enabling them to feed and educate their children.  It was great to be part of that project and also good to know that our contribution to the Advent of Change Calendar has helped in some small way too.

“Kindness is more than deeds;
     it is an attitude,
          an expression, a look, a touch.
It is anything that lifts
     another person.”

P.S.  Thank you for your kind comments on yesterday’s Blip, all of which are much appreciated - especially the early Birthday wishes.  I am still trying not to do too much typing, as it does make my hand quite sore - but hopefully normal service will be resumed very soon.

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