My family are finally proud of me. After years of putting up with me dressing as a squirrel and travelling round the world getting drunk, I have finally done something worthwhile. I have been made an ambassador – sadly, not the type of ambassador who swans around in a Bentley with the Union Jack flapping proudly in the wind. Not the type who insists everybody calls him "Your Excellency" (although I have insisted that my family call me this from now on, so don't hold back). No, my ambassadorship is from Save the Children and therefore does not come with diplomatic privileges such as allowing me to transport vast amounts of recreational drugs in the diplomatic bag or not having to pay any more parking tickets (the particular perk of being a Saudi diplomat, I believe).
I think that the whole thing has slightly gone to my head. I now carry round a box of Ferrero Rocher and hand them out to anybody that I meet while asking them to come to one of my receptions as I'm "noted in society" for my "exquisite taste". When asked what I hoped to achieve with my ambassadorship, I managed to stay on message and mumble something about "saving the children of the world" and not tell the truth which was that I was looking forward to the Christmas ambassadors' party where I could have a crack at fellow globe saver, Myleene Klass.
I anticipate a rocky road ahead for my ambassadorship. I simply don't have the diplomatic skills needed to keep the show on the road. I'm already in trouble for mentioning that I had a glass of champagne in the airport before heading off on my trip to Jordan.
There was outrage online, as though I'd personally demanded that Save the Children ply me with champagne and caviar before travelling. I should have had a whisky. This would have been less of a class-war bait and would have put across a more media-friendly message of me steeling my nerves before a difficult trip. As it was, I continued my tradition of a (self-paid) glass before I fly as I'm a nervous passenger, and all hell was let loose with every pedant who feels that anybody doing anything for the greater good must wear a hair shirt and self-flagellate daily.
I'm teasing, but it is an interesting point. Save the Children paid for my (economy) flight and hotel in Jordan for the two days that I was working with it. Is this justified? Should a charity be paying for me to travel "on a jolly" to Jordan as some irate man called it online? Although visiting refugee camps is not my idea of a "jolly", it was something that bothered me and I broached it with my charity minder, Bethsheeba. She reassured me that trips like mine really did a lot to raise the profile of an issue and help to raise much-needed funds.
With that in mind, can I ask you to donate whatever you can to the DEC Syria Crisis Appeal? There are currently 3 million displaced persons in and out of Syria and more than 8,000 people leave the country every day. Your money will never be spent on my champagne. That's a promise.Reuse content