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TOPIC: I am Lady Sybil
#200587
I am Lady Sybil 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
Watching the wonderful Downton repeats last night - the one where the downstairs maid is revealed to have turned into a successful business woman and thanks Lady Sybil in her prayers every night - reminds me of a day years ago. I was in my tiny little rented car driving through Moulay Idriss in Morocco, unusually without the radio on loud and with my windows down, when I heard a voice shout “Jonathan”. I pulled over and a middle aged man rushed up to the car.
“Jonathan, you don’t remember me”.
It turned out that years earlier I had been there in my Rolls. Stopped at the same cafe for a cold drink on my way to Volubilis, the brilliant ancient Roman ruins. Half a dozen young kids had rushed to my table as usual asking for One Dirham. Having none I went to the boot of the car and pulled out some cheap and colourful Revvolution baseball caps we’d made as a promotion for my ill fated magazine. They were delighted, considering them high chic indeed, and rushed away with glee.
All except one boy who was intrigued by the logo. “What did it mean?”.
I explained - I was then, and indeed still am, very proud of my one attempt at magazine publishing but we only managed four weekly issues before running out of money and having to fold.
“Can I see one?”. I didn’t have a copy but I promised to mail him one; he gave me his address.
“But you won’t understand it”, I said (we were speaking in French as I do most of the time in North Africa, knowing very little Arabic). “It will help me learn. Do you promise?”.
“Yes” I replied. And that was the last I saw of him until 20 years later.
I always try to keep my promises, even silly superficial ones like this, so on returning to London I dug out copies of each issue and mailed him all four, thinking no more of it.
After all we needed all the readers we could get although, by the final issue, we had hit a decent 80,000 sales from our 100,000 print run, by then it was too late (you can still buy them for a fortune on eBay).
But this mail arrival had changed the child’s life. He devoured every page, learning English to perfection. Within weeks he’d got a job at Volubilis showing round Americans and Brits, being the only English speaking guide. He earned a fortune, getting huge tips. Fell in love, got married, had four children and was elected Mayor of Moulay Idriss, now living in the biggest and best house in the town.
“And every night, since your gift arrived, I pray for Jonathan and give thanks to him and so, now, do my wife and children. Every night, without fail. We owe everything to you”.
Since I had by then only recently emerged from prison and having survived 100% I wondered whether his prayers had assisted my life. He was almost tearful with gratitude; his children had all learned English through the - by now well thumbed - copies of Revvolution Magazine.
Amazing how a tiny gesture can change a life. Very little down to me, of course. The boy was intrigued, curious and determined to learn; as I pointed out to him, he was 99.9% responsible for his own happiness. But I was delighted to have contributed that .1%
He gave me an enormous hug as we parted and he promised he and his family would continue to pray for me until the day they died.
I’m not a religious person but you have to wonder, don’t you?
 
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#200597
Honey

Re:I am Lady Sybil 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
How lovely.

In Bob Woffingdon's book (Is that name right? ) about miscarriages of justice, it describes how when you were starting out you were helped along by similar kindnesses.
 
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#200603
Little Sausage

Re:I am Lady Sybil 1 Week, 1 Day ago  
That’s a wonderful story of kindness and generosity.

Gives one hope in humanity.

I never saw Revvolution Magazine.. do you have any digital copies..

I’ll do a google search..
 
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