For Christmas, I was given four books about running, including Mo Farah’s autobiography, and a calendar with a peel-off witty or motivational aphorism for each day, such as ‘pain is just weakness leaving your body’ or ‘running requires a strong body and a sick mind!’.049

And this for someone whose greatest pleasure is lying in a hot bath with a good book and a gin and tonic! So why would my friends and family, who seem quite fond of me, give me all these books?

Because, dear reader, in just over 5 weeks’ time, I will attempt to run the London Marathon! All 26.2 miles (‘because 26.3 is crazy’ as my calendar says). And it’s very hard, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not at all sure I’m going to be able to do it. So I need all the support and motivation I can get to help me through it.

I’m running for Voluntary Service Overseas, the charity working in some of the poorest parts of the world, sending volunteers to help local people set up and run projects on health, education and business – helping them to support themselves. I hope to be one of their volunteers one day, but for now I’m helping to raise funds to support their work and help to fight poverty and inequality, in a world where half the population put together owns less than 1% of the world’s wealth.

If you feel like sponsoring me, VSO (and I) would be really grateful for anything you can give. You can do this via

I’ll be blogging here regularly, about how the training is going and what it’s doing to me. One of the books my family gave me was Haruki Murakami’s classic ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’. For me, it’s more what I think about and what it has taught me – apart from the thought of that hot bath awaiting me and how nothing else matters except keeping on running when you’re focused on getting to the end.

But our new blog won’t be all about running, or me – there will be news stories that have caught our eye, items about Cintra and our team, and we’re going to invite contributions from our linguists on the art of interpreting and translation, their cultures, linguistics and professional practice.

So check in and have a look regularly, and don’t forget to add your comments if you want to. And wish me luck!

Tess Wright, Chief Executive


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