A MOREBATTLE mum came up with an innovative way to encourage her eight-year-old son to practise writing over the summer.
Bridget McGill of Linton Burnfoot helped young Joe set up a blog to raise money for the charity Mary’s Meals.
The mother and son’s seven-week summer holiday in France provided the copy.
But at the end – although Joe has raised more than £110 to help feed schoolchildren meals in poorer countries (www.justgiving.com/JOE-MCGILL) – he still dislikes writing.
As a footnote on her son’s blog (see URL below) Ms McGill said: “Thank you all so much for your generosity, we have been very touched by it. Writing the blog was very hard for Joe, but now it is finished he feels very proud of what he has achieved. Mary’s Meals sent Joe a lovely letter with a booklet and DVD about their work which has really brought home to him what he went through all that anguish for.
“Sadly, in spite of all this, Joe still hates writing!”
The pair set off from the Borders in July with Joe writing in a notebook and Ms McGill typing the work up on the blog.
The schoolboy, who celebrated his eighth birthday on holiday, starts his blog with: “My name is Joe and I am 7 and three quarters.
“I used to live in Edinburgh but now I live in the country on a sheep farm. I like fish fingers, cuddly toys, my Mummy and messing up my room. But I HATE WRITING, especially homework!”
Other contributions include: “We went to the cemetery with soldiers from the First World War. I felt sad because they died. War is stupid and I am not going to be in the war when I am big.”
At the Mediterranean, he had this to say: “It is 40 degrees C here. First the satnav broke then all the writing in my blog notebook disappeared. It was so so hot that we had to stop the van and pour water over each other’s heads. I am at the sea now. I have been playing with a boy from the Czech Republic called Dan. We are at a campsite right next to the sea and it is free, completely free. This wind is called the Mistral. It is very windy. It makes you go bonkers.”
Another time he says: “I went to a Roman aqueduct. It is a water bridge built by slaves 2,000 years ago. I swam in the river and the fish nibbled my fingers. I saved a Welsh baby’s shoe from the river.”
And he notes: “My mum found 20 Euros on the ground at the sunflowers, so we went to a fancy restaurant on an old river boat in Toulouse. I had a big ice-cream.”
He signs off in mid-August, thanking donators, saying the money “will feed 10 children for one whole entire year so they won’t be hungry and can learn things”.
He ends: “We are home now. Our campervan did not even one time break down and we travelled 3,156 miles or 5,079 kilometres. Our campervan is 12 years old. My Mum made it out of an old minibus and it only cost £500. It is cool.”