I woke up in a slight panic this morning. I love German coffee, and am absolutely in love with my new coffee machine, but I can’t start my day without a cup of tea. I’m not talking about some weedy aromatic teabag on a string, or spoonfuls of loose tea leaves lovingly brewed over a little stove. No! It has to be Yorkshire Tea: throw the teabag in the mug, pour on boiling water, splosh in some milk, stir around, remove bag and that’s it. https://www.yorkshiretea.co.uk/

For the last 100 years I have brought tea back from the UK. But when on earth am I going there again? Shopping in the UK seems to be very difficult at the moment so I don’t want to ask my family to go to the shops, let alone to the Post Office. Fortunately, there’s a British Shop near Minden, which also has an internet shop. So – whilst lying in bed – I logged on and found that, apart from the very most expensive type, all their tea is sold out. I immediately panic-bought three boxes of the precious ‘Yorkshire Gold’, and then decided to add 4 tins of mushy peas. Practically everything else I would normally have bought was listed as ‘Not available’.

That doesn’t matter, though does it? I have shops all around me, selling perfectly good – even delicious – food which I can afford.

A few weeks ago, Laura told me about the plight of stateless families on the east coast of Sabah. I was happy to make a donation in the name of my VHS students to a local Group, Iskul Sama DiLaut Omadal who have founded a school there. This is from their website:

“The Bajau Laut sea nomads have been residing in the Coral Triangle for centuries. Unfortunately, many of them are not recognised in Malaysia. They are undocumented, hence they cannot move around freely. They are subsistence fishermen. Many of them do not know Bahasa Malaysia (BM), the national language of the country they reside in. Hence, this school hopes to provide the children with basic language skill in BM, simple arithmetic and art classes. The classes will be conducted by the Bajau children who are living in the same island.

We have four teachers, aged between 13 – 18 years. The teachers are given a small allowance of RM50 each per month. We also provide meals for our students after the class. Annually, we celebrate Malaysia Day, Iskul Day and Awards Day.”

Find out more here: http://iskul.my/


It became more personal when Laura told me just last week that her brother-in-law has been involved in a further aid effort with the Bajau Laut. He works for TRACC, run by one of Laura’s former colleagues, who had decided to

“give a helping hand to those in need. 2 days ago we distributed 2000 KG of rice over 185 households on the island that all of our staff call home.


TRACC brings rice to families
TRACC photo

One of my absolute best favourite poets ever is John Donne, who lived 100s and 100s of years ago. Seriously ill in the winter of 1623, he wrote:

No man is an island,
entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent,
a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were.
as well as if a manor of thy friend’s
or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.

Take care, everyone!

The Cabin Fever part




One thought on “Stateless in times of Corona

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