There is little danger of me being dazzled by white space in my diary. This was yet another events-filled week that saw emotions seesaw from deepest sorrow to utmost joy.
Sorrow, inevitably, at the Srebrenica Memorial event at the Guildhall, to mark the darkest hour of the Bosnian conflict twenty four years ago. I had to gather my composure that evening as Severn Arts was celebrating its first year as a charity, at the Art House in Castle Street. I enjoyed chatting with Sir Julian Lloyd-Webber as if I knew what I was talking about!
Local charities play a huge part in the role of Mayor, and when that involves handing over cash to help local children thrive in an ever more challenging world, my time is even more willingly given. Such was the case on Thursday and Friday at the annual meetings of the Bishop Lloyd Charity and the Hooper Trust, where I handed over grants of between £1,500 and £3,500 to specially gifted children.
Next day I attended another event tinged with sorrow: the Home and Dry Water Safety initiative which was held at the Arena in the wake of an increasing number of river deaths. Once again my spirits were uplifted within hours by the astounding artwork of pupils at St Josephs RC Primary school, on the theme of ‘One World’.
I was also enchanted with an invitation to view a rehearsal of WODYS’ next high-energy production ‘Back To The 80s,’ which runs at the Swan Theatre from 30th July to 3rd August. Brilliant? As ever.
And in a weekend with barely a minute’s ‘me-time’, I opened the Horizon Summer fete at the Midland Road community centre; attended Medway Community Centre’s ‘All Sorts of Performing Arts’ showcase; went to two weddings in Birmingham and the mayor of Redditch’s Magical Midsummer Evening – even though he couldn’t attend as he’d broken his hip. Next up was St Swithun’s Festival at St Martins Church where I cut the cake and was permitted to make a wish… England winning the Cricket World Cup. And guess what? It came true!