So I'm a sell out bitch - A defense

*** This is an exclusive Announcement to my loyal readers who are getting this news before anyone else ***

I started a job today in a bank and I shall hold my hands up and admit that. It's a temporary job through an agency, and by temporary I mean VERY temporary - I finish tomorrow! I'm hoping that this may open doors to work again, after my little holiday, as I could do with the money to pay back some people.

Financial establishments are peopled by souls so desperately uninspiring within an atmosphere so suffocating, that I couldn't help but count the hours to get out of there. Pure money making just doesn't interest me at all.

So it would appear that I'm a sellout bitch, working in a bank after comprehensively slagging off everyone who works in financial establishments time and again, but I hereby refute any accusations thus...

I pledge to put all my earnings this year, after paying off the people who have lent me stuff and providing myself with subsistence, towards charity. By this I mean that I shall not profit personally from this venture, I am merely a conduit for taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

My charity of choice for this year deals with an issue that I have had an interest in for some years now.

War broke out in Bosnia-Hercegovina, in Eastern Europe in April 1992 when Bosnian Serb snipers opened fire on unarmed civilians demonstrating for peace in Sarajevo, killing a dozen people. The ensuing war was brutal and is notable for devastating Serbian human rights atrocities, including a campaign of ethnic cleansing, in which concentration camps were set up for Muslims and Croats. With what limited knowledge I have of the situation, the US played a vital part in bringing peace to the region with the Dayton Accord, signed in Ohio in November 1995 which spelt the end of the war.

But the agony of war doesn't end when the bombs stop falling, and it is this issue that I will be channeling all my earnings towards this year.

Over one million mines are estimated to be in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and frighteningly only about half of these minefields are in known locations. Unlike a sniper with a gun, mines do not discriminate and with all of Sarajevos suburbs heavily mined we can be sure that there will be young casualties for years to come whose futures will be ruined by something that should be in the past. War is a reality not just something to chat about at the water cooler.

My aim is to raise money for a charity that deals specifically with the dangerous task of clearing mines and saving peoples lives. It is not my intention to interfere with world politics, but what's done is done and where innocent lives can be saved I will bloody well do it. It's all very well acknowledging that there is a problem but words without action is nothing but hot air.

So how do I intend to go about doing this?

I intend to go to Bosnia and see it for myself the devastation brought upon Sarajevo, which was once voted the 5th most beautiful city in the world, then to walk the potentially very dangerous road from Sarajevo to Mostar or Belgrade, a road which is no doubt littered with landmines. And of course this is where you lot come in.

I often hear many of you waxing lyrical about how you are not controlled by your companies and how you give to charity etc, but I never see any evidence and I'm thinkin that many of you are just full of bullshit. So I challenge you to really make a difference and to prove it. All I ask is that you pledge an hour a day for one week to save some lives. I'll do all the hard work, walking from Sarajevo to Mostar a distance of about 70km (of heavily mined road), gettin publicity etc all you have to do is make a pledge to adopt-a-minefield and actually back your words with actions. For as I said, words are but air, so easily lost on the wind.

Unlike with any other appeals for a free holiday, I shall be paying my own fares and fees, so 100% of your pledge goes to charity. But, if I'm paying my own fees what incentive do you have as I'm going anyway?

Firstly, you will get exclusive updates on my online diary. Now any of you who have ever seen my online Mischief diaries and will know that I write a helluva lot so you certainly get your moneys worth.

Secondly you get a postcard from Bosnia, which not many people get these days.

Thirdly, as you don't actually have to pay anything til I get back you get the peace of mind to know that you have secured my return in (hopefully) one piece so I can complete my sponsorship. So in essence you get me for the price of a measly hour a day for a week. What a bargain!

Also, as an extra special incentive to anyone who pledges more than a hundred quid (Cos you can pledge more ya know...), you get a copy of my full travel journal, including drawings from my travelling sketchpad, unseen edits and random thoughts not fit for blog publication. All photocopies and postage paid for by me.

My travelling sketchpad is an idea I began in America, with DrawUSA and is simply a pad I carry everywhere in which pepole draw me stuff and is founded on a belief I have that giving someone your art is to give them your heart. I've had some real crackers. I'm expecting DrawBosnia to blow it out of the water.

If anyone desires any further incentives that I haven't thought of just say and if I can afford it then it shall be.

Thanks for your time.

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