Fly away by Vicki McLeod
This has been a poignant week. Last Friday the Celebration of Women calendar was revealed. It’s already on sale in a few places: Estudio 3 and Salon B in Portals Nous, and Mood Beach in Costa D’en Blanes, and the Kip McGrath Education Centre in Son Quint Golf, and there will be more places very soon. It’s been the culmination of eight months work for photographer Sam Hemsley and the team of models and volunteers who got behind the idea and made it happen. The idea sprang from a comment made by Barbra Marshall to Sam at the International Women’s Day which I was involved in organising at Mood Beach back in March and it has been exhilarating to see the germ of a thought develop and blossom. The women who are models are all over the age of fifty and have been affected in some way by cancer: some of them are recovering from the illness, some living with it, and one has now succumbed to it. The money from the sales of the calendar will be going to a variety of support groups and organisations on the island that help people who are suffering from cancer and its effects, and the calendar is also very personal to Sam who lost her own mother to cancer two years ago.
One of the models, my friend Diane Foden, passed away last Wednesday. She is Miss December in the calendar. Diane was thrilled to be involved, and loved being photographed by the incomparable Sam who makes women look spectacular in her photographs. I wrote about Diane earlier in the year when she moved back to the UK to be with her family as she knew her illness was terminal, her last months were as she wished them to be: with the people that she most dearly loved. We still have her cat, Mitzi, who is aged and blind and has now taken up a new hobby of summiting our stairs at least twice a day; she seems to enjoy the challenge, which reminds me of Di every single time I see her stubbornly and deliberately go up and down despite not being able to see where she is going. So for my good friend Diane, and for any person that you know and love that has had their life touched by this disease, please buy a calendar and help, it is a beautiful thing and would make a wonderful gift for Christmas.
Now I am trying to find a way to physically get to the UK and back this weekend as I want to attend the celebration of my special person’s life, at the moment I can get there, but can’t get back: the flights just aren’t there (that’s another column on its own). But by hook or by crook I will fly. If you want to stock the calendar in your own shop, to buy online or for any more info then visit the website http://www.celebrationofwomen.org.