We could tell that it was going to be a very hot day today, and as Mr. HCB shouldn’t really be out in the full sun, we decided to miss Church this morning and go out for a drive instead especially as we hadn’t been out together for sometime.

One decision made, the second should have been easy - where to go - but Mr. HCB was being particularly annoying his usual self and said I could choose as I was driving - he’s not driving yet until he has seen the consultant about his eyes next week.  We needed petrol for the car - the first for quite a few months, so having got that, I decided that we would go out on the Aldbourne road, which we duly did.

We meandered along once we were away from all the traffic and ended up quite near Lambourn, where I managed to find a "No Through Road", so we left the car and walked along a path dappled with sunlight - but there was plenty of shade, which was good.

I have put a collage in as an extra showing a derelict tree, some tree trunks, which we were asked by a "Polite Notice" not to climb on, some fantastic yellow fungus, a view on our way back through Baydon and a selfie, because I haven’t done one for sometime.  We had a wonderful time;  it was great to be out together and we will certainly be going back there, because it was so quiet and peaceful, away from all the traffic, with only the sound of the breeze rustling the leaves of the trees and the song of birds to be heard.

However, my Blip is not of our outing this morning, but a shot I took of my glass when I brought it downstairs first thing, with the light playing on it through the landing window as I opened the blind.  Of course, I did a little fartnarkling and this is the result - Number 60 in my 100 Abstracts Challenge for the Mamie Martin Fund, which supports girls in their secondary education in North Malawi.

Mpatuleni is an orphan living with an aunt who is a single mother of five, so it was impossible for her school fees to be paid during her time at Bandawe Girls Secondary School, which she attended from 2011 to 2015.  

She received a bursary from the Mamie Martin Fund so was able to complete her studies at school and was then selected for further studies, pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Malawi.  She was helped during her university studies by the SOKO Fund.  Mpatuleni says she is extremely grateful for all the help she has received during her education, which enabled her to work very hard because she was determined she would not disappoint her teachers or her family. 

She says that without this financial help she would never have achieved the results she has and in particular, the Mamie Martin Fund “took away my academic stress and made  my life complete.”  She believes that she can help girls fight for equal rights in a male dominated world through her education.  What a wonderful role model!

I found this quote and as we saw a contorted tree, which was indeed bent, thought it fitted well with my collage.

"In nature, nothing is perfect 
     and everything is perfect;  
          trees can be contorted, 
               bent in weird ways, 
                    and they're still beautiful."
Alice Walker


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