Day 29: The finale.
So today was the second last day of the experiment, and phew — time has gone both slowly and quickly. I am excited for the end, and for new things to begin but I am also sad to leave this way of life. It may have been precarious, and exhausting but it was also rewarding, unexpected and delightful.
So today’s drama started with Task Rabbit. I have been staying at some friend’s place while they have been hob knobbing with celebrities in New York for the Global Poverty Project. I wanted to do something nice for them, so I thought I would hire in a cleaner, and where else would I turn but Task Rabbit. But in almost expected TaskRabbit style my Tasker pulled out half an hour before the job. To be honest it was annoying but not the end of the world, after all I had a last day to plan.
Being a story-teller I wanted to give you all a great ending. Something dramatic and profound. My thoughts were drawn to the very present refugee crisis. It’s a topic that you cannot escape anywhere in the world, and something that I have talked about in these posts a few times, especially when I was missing home.
I wanted to go to Calais, and see what I could do to help. I didn’t have any contacts yet, but I booked a Blabla Car journey there and started hunting for the right person to meet, talk with and give money to. But then things started to fall apart. My Blabla car ride wouldn’t answer their phone to arrange a pick up location (and there phone also wouldn’t recieve calls which was weird). I couldn’t get in contact with anyone, and the people who I did manage to talk to weren’t there (a lot of people go just for the weekend as they work during the week). I phoned the local church that is being used as a distribution centre but no one spoke English. Finally after deciding that I was just going to brave the 5 hour train and ferry journey each way and make it up when I got there, I got through to Elaine. Elaine is a seasoned volunteer with the Hummingbird Project. One of those people with a heart of gold but also no illusions about the world that we live in. She told me that the Jungle camp in Calais was a dangerous place for a woman alone. People have been through a lot, and it shows sometimes.
So with 10 hours of travel in one day, and no one to meet, and a boyfriend who was not liking the idea at all, I decided that it was simply not meant to be. And in the end maybe it’s for the best. After all this experiment was always meant to be about London, so finishing it in Calais doesn’t seem fitting. Also for everyone who has given me donations, while I know many of you would agree with giving money to help refugees, some of you may not and I don’t want to make that choice for you.
So I am going to be making my own donation through Elaine. She said that what she finds best is taking any money that has been donated and dividing it into smaller amounts. Then she puts these in cards, and writes a message — whatever you want to say to the person who will receive it. Then when she finds a family in need, a person hurt and in need of extra care, or someone who deserves a little bit of kindness she slips them the card. If you would like to donate through Elaine here is the link: https://www.chuffed.org/project/the-hummingbird-project-brighton
So tomorrow will end on a different note, right here in London.
And as for the money that I have left well I want to share it with you guys — the people who shared it with me. So over the next two weeks I’ll be writing a guide entitled “How to make money by sharing.” It will be a quick and easy guide for you (no matter where you are living) to make £100 pounds / or $100 from your couch simply by sharing your stuff. With the money I have left I’ll get to pay people real money (not $5). A talented illustrator (who did the beautiful design for the website), an editor to check it through and a designer to get it type set. And you will all get a copy for free (I’ll post the link tomorrow).
Please note that this is not the book that any of you pre-ordered. That is something quite separate and a bit more involved. For everyone who has ordered the book that will be ready closer to the end of the year, and if anyone wants to order a copy you can here.
And as for the last day, well we’ll see what happens. Who knows the sharing economy may just have one more surprise in store for all of us.