Category Archives: Charity

Cam again?

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I don’t particularly like people who wear camouflage to look cool or tough. I really don’t like those who wear it to pretend they are military or ex-military. Glory seeking bastards.

Heck, I don’t like to wear mine in public if I don’t have a good reason.

I do wear it because you can pick up ex-military and military surplus camo clothes for a fraction of the price of other work clothes, and the military stuff is much tougher. Great for working on the car, gardening, and in my case, hunting rabbits. Let’s face it, DPM camo is designed to make being seen harder… So why wouldn’t I wear it when hunting bunnies?

Anyway… After a morning of rabbiting to help keep the numbers down, stocking my freezer (and stopping the number of cow leg breaking holes being dug in the farmer’s meadow), I like to get a hearty breakfast from the local posh garden centre. A huge breakfast of stacked eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, toast and a cup of tea is just the thing to end a hunt and start a day, and this place does a fantastic breakfast with local fresh meats and eggs.

Often there are old folk there, pottering around the bedding plants, looking at the fish in the ponds, buying boiled sweets, and having tea and cake with their remaining elderly friends. Most of them are quiet lovely, although there is always one bitter, entitled old hag who’s outlived her friends and as she no longer works, she goes to cafes and garden centres to complain loudly at the staff about mundane crap, but that’s another story.

On this day, post hunt, I was in good spirits and in need of a dustbin lid sized breakfast platter. I found a seat in the cafe and ordered the ‘mega-breakfast’. It’s not just a clever name – it really is huge.

As the food was brought over to me and placed on my table, an smart tweed dressed elderly man who was sat with his equally well dressed wife, looked over at me as I sat contemplating where to start on my mountainous meal. I noticed he was looking at me, so I looked up and smiled the smile of a person who was on the brink of gorging themselves on one of the finest breakfasts around.

“That’s a heroes breakfast!” he said and smiled.

I nodded back. He wasn’t wrong after all as this was one hell of a challenge, but I was up for it!

I ate the whole lot, ending with me mopping the juices up with my toast and downing the last of my cup of tea. A quick wipe of my beard to avoid any egg faced embarrassment and I got up to leave. As I walked past the old chap’s table I nodded a ‘goodbye’… and he returned my nod with his own nod, and then said softly;

“I’m proud of you son…”

I looked sheepishly at him and gave a single smiling nod, said thank you, and walked away.

Quite bizzare that he’d said that, but it was a huge breakfast and he probably wouldn’t have managed half of it. Still seemed odd that he was proud of me for doing so!

As I walked to the exit it dawned on me what I’d been oblivious too.

I was in full camo, right down to army kit boots. 

He’d thought I was a serving member of our armed forces.

I felt terrible. I didn’t intend to mislead anyone; I hadn’t even thought about it. He was giving me praise for something I hadn’t done – and whereas some bastards dress in military gear just to get that praise, I am not one of them.

I donated some money to the very next ‘Help For Heroes‘ charity that I saw – if anything, just to pay it forward. I didn’t earn his praise, so I felt I had to make amends somehow.

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I won’t stop wearing camo; Like I said at the start, I have reasons to wear it… but I shall donate if I ever get genuinely mistaken for a member of our armed forces again (or happen to be passing someone collecting for them).

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Gun accident as do-gooders shoot selves in feet.

I do charity stuff. To be honest I don’t have lots of spare change so I go and do things & collect sponsorship. I donate me to help raise money – and yes, I do sponsor people in their endeavours too. I put a percentage of sale profit into charity on auction sites. I always sign that tax waiver for organisations/museums so they get a bit more back.

It’s been over a year & I still have a broken ‘fund raisers leg’ for my efforts – and I’d do it again.

I do it for charities close to my heart.

Here goes…

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I like big BUT(ts)

Too many charity posts are appearing on the ‘social media’ sites.

It’s like the boy who cried wolf… I’m starting to just flick past them. They’re self defeating.

Game invite, game invite, food photo, charity, charity, game invite, charity, selfie, charity, charity, charity.

I just saw a bike ride from London to Paris in aid of Alzheimer’s Research, and rather than think ‘I should donate’, my charity numbed mind just thought ‘I hope they use GPS Tracking’.

These ice bucket challenges are kind of bullying too. People are doing them not because they want to raise the cash, but because the peer pressure is so fucking high. It is internet bullying wrapped up in ribbons – and everyone tries to out do each other.

I’m off to donate to an Alzheimer’s charity to make up for that.

What annoys me are people complaining that Macmillan have ‘hijacked’ the ice bucket challenge. You’ll find some people did the challenge for Macmillan because they have more of a connection in their life with cancer than ALS, and other people followed that idea.

Hell, the ice bucket/ice bath fund raiser idea was around way back when I was at school in the early 1980’s, and way before then to.

What next? You can’t sit in a bath of cold baked beans to raise money for disabled kids, because sitting in beans is only for raising money for the blind?!?

Get some perspective here: IT’S ALL FOR CHARITY.

I think Macmillan have raised 5% of what ALS have taken, so that’s £50 thousand for every £1 MILLION ALS get.

To put that sum into relative values: 5 thousand people die from ALS each year, yet over 14 MILLION die from cancer.

At the end of the day though, as I’ve said before: it is all going to charity. If people want to get bitchy about what charity gets what, then maybe they need to look at the 25,000 people who die DAILY from malnutrition.

BUT in the first world, we don’t care so much about malnutrition deaths. We care more about the causes of death closer to our own lives & hearts – and those causes are what people want to give to, and for some damned good reasons.

If my house was on fire & my family was inside, I’d be way more concerned with that than cancer or ALS. It’s what is closest to you that counts – and that doesn’t mean some people dying from AIDS, ALS, Cancer, house fires, for our freedom in conflict zones, from natural disasters, are any less or more important than the others.

So – if you want to raise money & awareness for charities, then you are a true blue died in the wool hero, and I salute you. Just don’t expect everyone to jump on your charity when they have causes closer to their own hearts.

And don’t go bitching about people stealing ideas to raise money to save the lives of *this* bunch of people instead of *this* bunch of people, because that’s fucking weak.

Spock out.


Take a break

As many of you may be aware, I was training to take part in the 2013 Grim Challenge when I managed to injure myself. The injury has so far stopped me running for over 6 months.

Luckily cousin Wendy still managed to do the Grim.

Luckily cousin Wendy still managed to do the Grim.

I was increasing my training pace and distance gradually so as not to injure myself when at the tail end of August 2013 I managed to hurt my leg.

I had a lovely endorphin rush whilst setting my best distance & time out running. There was a bit of a pull on my leg as I was running, but I thought nothing of it for the last two miles. I simply thought it was a slight twist or shin splint.

I got home, happy with my run, then sat down to a cup of tea.

I went to stand up and I couldn’t put any weight on it. Incredibly painful. I couldn’t even stand having it touch the floor without weight on it. In a word: PAIN.

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Lumpy

I went straight to Accident & Emergency where I had the leg looked at. An X-Ray showed nothing to worry about, although this was 2 hours after it happened. I did asked if I should go back in a few days for another X-Ray, as a stress fracture would not show due to swelling so soon after it had happened, but the hospital staff said it was fine.

I was told it was muscular & to try and keep weight off, but keep it moving & stretching lightly during the healing period so that the muscle wouldn’t tighten up. I was given some strong anti-inflammatory pain killers.

3 weeks later I went to the doctor & said it was getting worse. He said that is expected from muscle injuries.

3 more weeks & the doctor decides this isn’t quite right after I show swelling and increased tenderness in a specific point on my tibia.  I finally go for the second X-Ray.

When the results came through there were blatantly obvious fractures. The swelling appeared to be new bone growth that was trying to heal over the fracture, but I kept re-breaking whilst following the original advice of ‘keep it moving‘.

The specialist who saw me at this time said the last thing I should be doing is moving it around or putting weight on it… Yeah, that really didn’t surprise me.

A removable cast was fitted & worn for several months to no avail. It remained very painful.

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Plastic Fantastic

I went back to the specialist who agreed something wasn’t right. I had an MRI scan carried out & a few weeks later when the specialist got the results he became concerned at what could be seen on the MRI scan images.

The specialist immediately sent me for a priority ‘same day‘ CT scan. I was a little concerned as they are usually reserved for serious bone issues or tissue problems such as tumours. I didn’t think it could be a serious bone issue, after all at this point my leg had been broken for close to 6 months… not exactly an urgent life or death break… which left a nagging ‘tumour‘ thought in my mind, which I pushed almost entirely to one side.

I tell you, nothing makes you panic in a hospital like being rushed around for urgent scans by a specialist. Suddenly I longed for the hospital visits that take so long you can finish a couple of good books whilst waiting…

A few hours later and the CT results come through with good news. I was told that the dark tissue areas were nothing to worry about (the fact they hadn’t mentioned these areas before did make me think that they had thought they might be a serious problem – hence the need for a CT scan). The fracture on the other hand showed no signs of healing. It had possibly stopped healing due to initial ‘muscle’ treatment & painkillers masking the injury.

I’m now over 6 months into this broken leg and have a few options left, which aren’t really options…

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Oh Snap!

I have a fixed cast on my leg that covers my foot and comes halfway over my knee. In a few days time I am starting ultrasonic treatment to try and aggravate the fracture to try and kick start the healing process. To do this they will cut a small hatch in my leg cast for me to apply the treatment each day for 20 minutes for 6 weeks.

At the end of that they will scan the leg again and if the ultrasonic treatment is not successful, they will commence with putting a titanium rod down through the top of my tibia just under the kneecap, down to the bottom by the ankle.

Basically… really, really basically… it’s this:

This CGI shows the more technically accurate version, which is oddly less graphically repulsive,

YUMMY…..

So… the challenge is to do the Grim Challenge 2014… Watch this space.


Picking up speed

A new way to donate… AND A VIDEO!

Our attempt on The Grim Challenge for CANCER RESEARCH UK using a more extreme variant Nordic Walking is going pretty well. Sure we’d like to see more sponsors and donations, but it’s early days and we’re both training to make sure we don’t let anyone down.

I’ve added a method to make donating really easy now. You just need to use your mobile phone and text STIX99 and a donation amount (£1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10) to 70070.

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Meanwhile, along with cardio and endurance training, I’ve thrown together a little video to promote our challenge. It’s only a first attempt and I plan to make another (more?) as time goes on.

It is for Cancer Research UK, although they support the worldwide fight against cancer and are simply based in the UK, so to everyone out there, where ever you are, please do donate and share this page. It’s for a very good cause after all.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR ‘JUST GIVING’ CHARITY PAGE


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