Extracts from my letter to Tim 10 Sep 2013.

Hello Tim – Autumn on the way and it won’t be long before the central heating goes on here. But I can’t complain: after two months in the heat of Italy and then coming back to a small heatwave here, it really feels as though we’ve had a decent summer this year. And another reason I can’t complain, is that the wild blackberry crop this year is fabulous! I love picking blackberries! You have to be very careful not to be pricked by the thorns or stung by the nettles that always seem to grow with blackberries, so you can’t think of anything else – the electricity bill, or the car repairs! When I was picking blackberries last night with Catherine, I wondered whether you have ever picked blackberries: for some reason, I can’t imagine blackberries growing in Dayton!
So much for the weather! My talks, ‘our’ talks, are going really well. I’m tremendously pleased. I’m getting about 30 people at every talk – and I’ve done three so far. And I’m raising a bit of money, so I’ll be able to send you regular money checks as well as paying for things like the website etc. And also saving up to come and visit you in the near future, and, hopefully, give some of my talks in Ohio, as I said before. If this really takes off, and there is any surplus money, I would like to set up some sort of Trust fund for you so that you have some money when you come out. But it’s early days yet – though I do feel very hopeful.
For the two events at the Stroud Theatre Festival, I left a comments page at the back for people to send messages for you: only three, but I hope you find them encouraging.
Here they are: ‘Hang in there, Tim. Swithin is very good at telling your story, and conveying the injustice of the system. I hope that it will bring you cheer and light on dark days. My relatives used to live in Cleveland. I will write and let them know. All the very best.’
And: ‘Have just heard Swithin’s talk about you. Live in hope things will get better. I pray for you.’
And: ‘Power to you. I am so inspired by your positive energy.’ I think this is a reference to what I was saying about how you manage to keep optimistic despite 16 years on Death Row.
I’m thinking that interesting young people in your cause both here and in Ohio might be a very powerful way forward. Have you received the letter from my 10-year-old great-nephew yet? He came to my talk Bridport and was really interested – and the day after we came back home, I had an e-mail from my niece saying he had written to you. I was so pleased.
And in the audience at my last talk was a young girl and her mother. The girl must have been about 15 or 16 – I don’t know, I find it really hard to tell ages of young people! Anyway, after the talk she and her mum came up to me, and the girl said that she thought one of her teachers might be interested in getting me into the school to talk to her class. I only had time to give her my contact details and not to get hers, so time will tell, but it did make me think that approaching schools would be a really good way of spreading the word about your campaign – and if I could link in with schools in Ohio, so that schools here could write to schools there about our campaign, what a great way to increase your publicity.
I told you about the Facebook campaign, I think. One of my slogans is ‘a click as a Friend is a hope of hope for Tim.’ People can click either as a ‘like’ or as a ‘Friend’. A Friend is a stronger click, if you see what I mean! So far you have 62 ‘likes’ and 31 ‘Friends’, and I only started this last week!
Tim, in my heart I feel that you will win the retrial. I pray that this campaign of ours will help achieve that. It is certainly gaining a lot of interest. So, my friend, blessings to you and I hope you can feel the love and goodwill of all these people we’re spreading your message to. Your friend, Swith

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