London A to Z


Z is for “Zzzzzzzzs”.
I thought a sunset was an appropriate image to symbolise the end of my PULSE assignment with Save and I can assure you that it is a Zanzibar sunset.  So, as I Zip up the last few documents and spreadsheets, I’m looking forward to catching up on lots of Zzzzzzzzs after some very challenging early mornings getting into London Zone 1, feeling like a Zombie at too early o’clock.

These last six months have positively Zoomed by and I can hardly believe it’s nearly over.  My knowledge of aid and development has increased; starting as it did from a big fat Zero in some of the technical areas.  Impressed and appreciative of the dedication of those working in this area ?  I am.  A rock and a hard place could be a way to describe some of the complexity and challenges of the work, through programmes, research and advocacy, but all tenaciously pursued in order to make real, sustainable changes in the world.

Here’s a question for you, “True or false ?  I’ve been raising money for Save the Children through writing this blog.”  True actually and now it’s confession time.  Choosing a different letter of the alphabet to feature each week made some of the narrative tenuous to say the least; something that’s particularly resonated with me each time I’ve used a Zebra-crossing this week.  But this was only exacerbated when during week 7, I was challenged to include Simon and Garfunkel song titles within the text – the generous benefactor would donate £1 for each one included.  Some have been easier than others.  I always knew that “The big bright green pleasure machine” was never going to be one that would easily drop into the dangling conversation, oh hang on, kerchink, kerchink, kerchink, that’ll be another three pounds just for this paragraph please.  In total, through this song title challenge, sponsored meals and baking, very generous friends, family and colleagues back at GSK have raised over £400 for Save the Children, which will be doubled by GSK.  If anyone still wants to donate, then here’s the link to my fund raising page:

At the risk of sounding like an Oscar winner’s speech, I’d like to express a Zillion thank yous to everyone who has supported me during my assignment: the IIE team and everyone I’ve worked with on the Partnership who have a real Zest and passion for making a real difference in the lives of children.  To those who have given their valuable time to mentor and coach me and of course, everyone back at GSK, in my home team and in the PULSE team.

So in closing, I don’t say goodbye, just Au revoir, Bona vale, Caio, Do widzenia …., Enough !


  1. Brilliant Rachel, that’s a terrific amount!! Will be happy to donate 🙂 Can’t believe you’re nearly Homeward Bound…..and feelin’ groovy?! Have a great Christmas 🙂

  2. I hadn’t realised that you were fundraising too Rache. Well done in all that you have achieved in these 6 months. And enjoy your well earned rest!

  3. Ha Ha ! well done , and I never even noticed (im more of a rocker). Were there any brides over troubled water ? As if the alphabet wasn’t enough of a challenge. Narative kudos to you.

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