I’m famous!

Not quite. But I am in the September issue of the Meadows Directory! It’s a 3/4 page piece on my trip to Ecuador, directing people to my blog. I’m on the first page of the ‘Community News’ section, on page 36.  It’ll be delivered to doorsteps on the 3rd September. That’s me on the left page below!

Like most things that happen to me, this was quite unexpected. So thanks, Leigh! You can see September’s issue here.

See I was thinking, this publicity is really good (obviously). It’s really nice people coming into the shop saying “I saw your blog, can I buy some pots?” and having totally unexpected people giving me huge amounts of money. For instance, since last week one of my brother’s friends sponsored me £100 and another sponsored me £20!! I appreciate it such a huge amount (I’ve said it hundreds of times but it doesn’t make it less true) and I’ve met both of them only twice in passing…

They have pushed forward my mini-target, because I’ve raised another £200! £120 from two of my brother’s friends plus £60 from other various kind kind people, and £20 from pots. £1236! (The photo below expresses my gratitude).

Seriously, this fundraising has helped restore the lost faith/trust/respect that I have in the humanity and generosity of people – sometime complete strangers. Thank you.  I can’t emphasise it enough.

And I’m back from a 2 day trip to London! My parents and I visited UCL which was really amazing. And I swapped my violin at the Benslow loan scheme in Hitchen. I now have a beautiful 1995 instrument which I can at last busk with! (I would seriously recommend this trust – the Benslow Instrument Loan Scheme is run by the most fantastic lady, and the instruments are all really high quality.)

There was something else I had to write in this post but I can’t remember what it was eurgh. I’ll get back to you later on that one.



Waaa. The weather is perfect and the crowds will be huge and there’ll be money everywhere – the perfect day for busking. But my violin is broken! The pegs are so stiff I can’t even budge them a millimetre, and the strings are a tone flat.

As it happens the Benslow Trust (who I borrowed the violin from) are wanting the instrument back.  I’m going down to their office in Hitchin next week to return it and borrow a new instrument! I’m so excited.

Nonetheless this is probably the biggest fundraising failure I’ve experienced ahahahaha. Especially since I was up until 1am finishing off the posters, and made a special post about the whole thing. Oh well, I’ll busk next week with a new instrument.

Busking and Volcano Warnings

I am so excited about Ecuador and studying next year at UCL aaaaaaah excitement.

So today I’m going busking! I know – me? Playing solo violin?! Crazy. Anyway I made this sign so people know I’m doing it for a cause rather than personal gain:

But then I realised it’s really mushed up and from far away people won’t be able to read it! So I made a boring one:

I think I’ll use both of them to attract extra attention. I’ll be there between 11pm and 2pm on the Meadows walk near the museum, so if anyone’s around you can come and watch. I hope it all goes well!

Finally, it was on the news today that the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador is showing signs of erupting. According to red24:

Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano has shown increasing signs of eruption. On 18 August, authorities increased the eruption warning level to orange (relatively high risk). Some communities near the crater, which are at risk of being affected, have been warned to prepare for evacuation, including the tourist town of Banos. The Banos to Penipe road has also reportedly been closed due to the volcanic activity. The volcano has emitted ash, lava and gas intermittently since its last significant eruption in July 2006, most notably in May and December 2010 and in April and November 2011. During periods of increased seismic activity, evacuation orders are routinely issued.

Eugk it’s so scary. Like, bloomin’ terrifying!


Before I begin, I swear this blog is not going to turn into a diary with reports of my daily life! Only my visit to Germany was so amazing, I have to write about it.

So in Germany, I got an email accepting me into University College London!  This makes my Ecuador trip all the more significant as it will prepare me for the Human Sciences degree. I cannot wait! I’ll be studying Human Sciences which is just the most brilliant course – the study of humans to a biological, social and cultural level. You can have a look here! It is the strangest feeling because I’ve gone through the past year without a clue as to what I’ll be doing after Ecuador – will I do music or university; will I get in to either?! But now I’ve actually been accepted, I realise just how much I want to study at UCL.

I think it is impossible for me to do music when there is just so much more to study. The thought that really gets to me is the ‘hugeness’ of life – yet for most of us, life is totally self centred. But if one sits outside and just thinks, it becomes so clear that we can’t afford to be so self absorbed. This idea just made me want to study so I can help others. Because I, and everyone else with a good life, am in the perfect position to help people and make a difference. I think this is the thought that really puts me off doing music.

Sorry, you’re probably wondering what this has to do with Germany! This all finally dawned one night after the most amazing meal of tapas and star gazing ahahaha. My ‘host family’ were talking about life and our existence, and as they reverted back to German (which I don’t understand!) I was able to just think about everything.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I have never felt so inspired! Thank you, Germany!

In other news, I have raised over £1000! I had one donation while I was away, of £50 from an extremely kind neighbour. So that’s £1036! Thank you so so so so so much.

Nearly 1000

I am literally £14 off £1000 :0

I was completely blown away when two people sponsored me £100 each – so I’ve raised £986. I actually don’t know what to say. I wish there was some way to repay everyone’s kindness. The support has been completely unexpected!

I am speechless. Thank you.

In other news, I’m off to Germany in two days to visit a close friend. I’m so excited! But that means I won’t be actively making money (no work at Doodles D:) So unless I raise over £1000 before I go, there won’t be any more updates until the 20th when I get back to Britain. This’ll be the first proper rest I’ve had in an age!

Over the moon

In the past four days since my last post I have raised a huge amount! Three more people sponsored me, giving me £85; working at Doodles gave me another £72; and I sold five pots at the shop – another £50. So that totals to £207! Considering that’s in only four days I’m totally over the moon.

My total is £786!

So unless something interesting happens or I raise over £200 in a short space of time, I’ll give an update on how much I’ve raised every week.

Thank you everyone, so much.


Great news! Since I began fundraising a couple of months ago, I’ve raised £579! That’s £375 from sponsors, £172 from selling pots (two £1 donations from two unknown nice people), and £32 from working at Doodles.

The money really started coming in since starting this blog: I’ve had some extremely generous donations, and a lot more people are buying pots. It’s really interesting that a lot of the amazing support is coming from places where I’d least expect it – from people who’ve only heard of me through my parents! This unexpected generosity is appreciated so much.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me make it this far!


Okay and more news: one of my dad’s friends has asked if I could hold a private concert at his house in return for a donation! I went round to his today and had a chat. The piano is really nice and the concert looks like a great idea! So everything is looking up 😀

I am absolutely exhausted though. I just want to sleep. I’ve been busy everyday with Spanish lessons, working at Doodles making pots and organising plans for fundraising. But then again, while it’s tiring it’s really rewarding. Because it feels like I’m doing something for funds, rather than expecting people to give me money for nothing!

So on that note, tonight I’m taking a rest (after I do Spanish homework…). I’m going to watch the men’s 100m final and cheer on Bolt and Blake. Then bed, and up at 6am on Monday morning to go to work…

(A quick reminder: if you’ve already sponsored me but not yet given me the money, you can do so through paypal using the email riyokoforecuador@yahoo.co.uk.)