Tag 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).


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.


A FIRST for team STIX & STONES

It’s official…

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As a challenge to get me fit again after injuries (ankle, back, and recently cellulitis in the elbow – yay me!), me and my physical trainer cousin Wendy are going to be taking part in the Grim Challenge at the very end of November.

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The Woo: Tougher than the Grim Challenge itself.

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The Return of the Black: What doesn’t kill me better be able to outrun me…

Dirt, rocky roads, gravel, mud, man made mounds, obstacles, water holes, more mud, more hills, ditches, more muddy wet holes… 8 miles of tough challenge. She’s not used to the Nordic style which I really enjoy, and I’m not used to straight running… Hopefully we’ll learn the right things from each other…

We’re doing it for Cancer Research UK, and just to make it interesting we thought we’d attempt to do it using Nordic X-country poles.

Like it wasn’t going to be tough enough in the first place…

The thing is, the Grim is technically a run, although some folk do end up walking as it is a very tough course. We didn’t know if actually starting out ‘walking‘ was going to be a problem (albeit Nordic Walking, which is a different ball park to hiking or normal walking – especially how I do it…).

The organiser is not in favour of people who turn up just to walk the route… but in the organiser’s own words when I suggested about us using Nordic X-Country poles: “… I know all about Nordic walking and suspect you guys are not the strolling type!”

Team Stix & Stones

Team Stix & Stones.

Our TEAM PAGE is STIX & STONES – (Stix due to the poles and x-country, and stones, because it’s both off-road, and you need figuratively two of them to do the challenge…). Please visit it to make donations.

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It turns out that we are officially the first people to attempt the Grim Challenge using the Nordic method. I wonder why?

Course (taken from the Grim web page):

This land is used to test Army vehicles so expect it to be interesting!

You will reach a long hill shortly after the start before descending again eventually reaching a water filled ravine.

You will run on over puddle-strewn paths before having to crawl under camouflage netting.

You’ll eventually reach some man-made mounds before arriving at and running through some rather large puddles.

Expect to get very wet!

You’ll run on to the fast vehicle driving circuit where it is rocky underfoot.

This brings you to some more large areas of water and the finish area.

Sounds delightful!


Movember

I’m not growing a moustache for Movember. I suit a moustache as well as my mother, but she is far better at growing one…

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Soooo I’m going to shout out and help a friend who Tweeted me the following:

@LucasBlack As I can’t grow facial hair, can you retweet my #Movember entry? Pretty please? With light fur on top? http://uk.movember.com/mospace/4749937

Why?

Because it’s a good cause and also because he said pretty please.

Oh yeah, and also simply be because it takes very little effort to blog and help…

Very little effort to spread the word. AHEM!!!

Soooo, if you want to help, please either donate or re-blog this page to spread the word.

AAAAaaand whilst you’re at it, why not go two for one…

@LucasBlack *cough* http://mobro.co/SteveW68 *cough* (Pretty pretty please….)

Go on… You know you want to…

MOVEMBER


Rallying to the call

The Help For Heroes 4×4 rally continues – and they are doing great!

Series Team are still powering on through Europe!

Please don’t forget the sponsorship page will remain open for the entire rally, and some time after. https://www.bmycharity.com/V2/S2A

We really want to raise all that we can for Help for Heroes 4×4 European Rally – So please, spread the word and give what you can.

Regardless of whether you think our troops should be out in the places that they are, the facts remain:  – They ARE out there, and they are getting killed and wounded.

Saying they shouldn’t be out there doesn’t help bring back the ones who have been killed, it doesn’t help the wounded…. So please, protest all you like about the politics of what is going on, if that’s how you feel, but don’t forget the men and women who have been sent out to do a job under our country’s flag.

Times may be tough, but these soldiers put their lives on the line for us, so let’s show them that we appreciate what they do.

Thanks! Lucas.


The Lucy Palmer Guest Spot

Once in a while I come across a friend on Twitter who raises awareness in things that often go by unheard of unless people are involved in them (either personally or via a friend/family).

Lucy Palmer is one such Twitter friend. Inspirational in her tweets (and amusing, cutting, serious, educational etc…), she is fighting with endometriosis – and also raising money for Endometriosis UK.

This is an excerpt from her charity page:

Some of you are aware that I, Lucy, have endometriosis. For me, it means a LOT of PAIN. So, it hurts, it stops me being able to do normal stuff, like working, driving, having holidays, planning simple things… many things maybe you take for granted and can do without thinking about.

Endometriosis almost completely controls the lives of millions of women and girls and, sadly, they aren’t always listened to by their doctors or family or friends. Luckily, my Ma, Pa and brother have never doubted me, likewise close friends and my GP. It took 14 years to be listened to by consultants, to be diagnosed, during a laparoscopy, and to receive the appropriate treatment for this horrendous disease/condition.

I aim to run or jog my way round the 5k course in Hyde Park on Sunday 5th September this year. The training is already hard for me to do. The treatment I am receiving, called decapeptyl SR injections, causes joint pain, and for me, that’s in my knees. Constant fatigue from endo and its treatment and HRT, plus the medication for depression, does not make this an easy task for me. It is hard work. It hurts me. A lot.

On top of all she does, she also publishes a blog about how she copes with endo. In a rare blogging moment, I am posting an entry from Lucy as a guest blog within my own.

Please read her blog, visit her charity page and follow her on Twitter…. and spread the word.

Is this the endo my pain?

Probably not, no.

I was lying in my hospital bed on Monday 15th March this year, after the laparoscopy, when the consultant I had seen several times since 2008 came to see me. He had been “in clinic”, over the other side of the hospital. He hadn’t been able to perform the surgery; he was meant to on the previous Thursday but various occurrences meant my operation had to be postponed.

The decision was made, by me, to have a laparoscopy to find out, once and for all, “if” there was anything “wrong” relating to my womb, ovaries and/or ladybits. Some of you may be aware that, from the age of 18, I have been continually told there was nothing wrong and my irregular, heavy, prolonged and insanely agonising periods were something I would “grow out of” or that would “settle down” in time. The pain before and after periods and the bleeding between them was also not something I ought to concern myself about.

Not only have I been told that my pain was “psychological”, I was also told that I was “too young for anything to be wrong with (my) ovaries, darling”. And, that the only thing which would cause the sharp, tight, stabbingly-sharp pains in my lower right abdomen was “endometriosis of the ovaries, which you don’t have”, the non-surgery-performing-but-bed-visiting consultant said.

Still in immense pain after the laparoscopy with my awesome Ma beside me, I was told, by the NSPBBV consultant, that during the operation, the Mega-neat surgeon discovered that there “was endometriosis on both ovaries”. We found out later in the patient copy letter from the Mega-neat consultant who performed the surgery, that it was also present on the posterior uterine wall and the left pelvic side wall. In the letter, it states that the larger right side (ovary) had to be drained. This accounts for, not just the pains with periods and between them (every day, in fact) but also the amount of pain after waking from surgery; he used diathermy to remove the endometriosis he found. That essentially means my innermost ladyparts were burned, hence the incredible agony I felt, not to mention the utterly horrendous “wind” pains in my right shoulder and chest. I mentioned it. Oh.

Less than a second after the NSPBBV consultant said those ground-breaking words, I sobbed. My right hand somehow hurled itself to my eyes, which then started leaking, as well as my nose. Messy. I wasn’t crying because I’d finally been told what was wrong with me, or because I knew what it meant from now, onwards. Rather, I cried because I was so disappointed, I had been so terribly let down by people whom I trusted to help me, but instead, they neglected to do their job. They neglected me, allowed me to suffer so much unspeakable agony for so many years. I knew what was wrong with me, I knew, completely, that endometriosis was the cause of my pain. I’d tried to tell “them” so many times what my pain was like, but I was stopped mid-sentence, ignored, patronised and insulted.

What happens now? What do I do? Zoladex injections, every 28 days andPremique. What are they? Well, click the words and find out! Or, I can tell you, not very coherently. It is late as I type this and really need to sleep, but this is the third draft of this post and I just want to get it done. So, Zoladex will halt to ovaries for a few months, inducing a menopause. The break from periods occurring should (hopefully) give me a rest from feeling so tired. All the time. From aching, head to toe, and feeling like my womb is trying to cut its way out of my abdomen. And the Premique is a form of HRT, to try to counteract the menopausal symptoms.

There are no guarantees with this (unfairly-named, to my mind) “disease”. I prefer “condition”. It is not curable, but can be managed. However, “can” does not mean “will”. Some women are lucky, and have no pain, while others have immense pain which can not be controlled. And even hysterectomies and double oophorectomies are not certain to stop the pain. Some women have hormone treatment for some months and are free from pain. But the condition will still be there, it just may not “happen” again.

Since my surgery (with MEGA-neat stitches and wounds, and now scars. Did I mention? Super stuff! Tiny entry sites. Amazing…), I have had a period – on the Wednesday, just 2 days after the operation. It was bloody painful, if you excuse the pun. Less painful than I expected but still enough to wake me at 5am and make me nearly fall down the stairs to get a Keral in my face. Took much longer to work than the 20 minutes the NSPBBV consultant told me but hey, never mind, EH? It actually took around 40 minutes to work.

And now, I await another period. I haven’t had a day or, indeed, hour without pain. Apart from sleep. If there was pain, I haven’t noticed it, so bedrugged am I with anti-depressants and codeine. (I shan’t go into details – although it may be too late, now – but the amount of codeine I had made for a toilet situation vaguely similar to that experienced by Lisa Lynch in her ASTOUNDING blog, AlrightTit. I am also so stupendously proud to call Lisa an actual real life friend of mine, all thanks to the wonder that is Marsha Shandur, via the world of Twitter. (I went to Lisa’s Super Sweet 30th birthday party in London in September last year with the equally AMAZING Amanda, but didn’t get to meet Marsha. Good news for her…)

For 10 days I have had the familiar pre-period pains and heavy, dragging, relentlessness of my womb and parts. It would seem, then, that the surgery to remove the endometriosis was partially successful; bits were taken away/burned, but the pain of it all is still happening. Bugger. Today is day 30 of my “cycle” and I don’t have a clue when it will start. It may be another 2 days, or 2 weeks. I’m not just impatient with my body (even though I know I can do nothing, actively, to stop it hurting); the sooner the period starts, the sooner the Zoladex injections can be started. Must be administered, subcutaneously (in the stomach), within 5 days of a period starting. As the NPSBBV man said, “(my) body needs a rest”. NOW.

So, altogether now… HURRY FUCKING UP!!


Fairytale of New York

Okay, X-Factor was knocked to the number 2 UK chart position for the Christmas number 1 single… beaten by a social networking pushed project – Rage Against The Machine took the number 1 spot as people stood up to the Cowell lead X-Factor machine.

The thing is it needed to be done – but no-one will argue that RATM’s song isn’t exactly “Christmassy”….

As such, just before Christmas I decided to push for a Christmas number 1 that is Christmassy…. and what could be better than “Fairytale of New York”….

FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK XMAS No.1 2010 and @FairytaleNY2010

Fairytale of New York has never been number 1 in the UK, yet is often voted as the best Christmas song out – so I figured it was about time we got it to number 1…

Added to this, it is the 10th anniversary of the sad and tragic death of Kirtsy MacColl, when she was hit by a speed boat in dive restricted waters whilst on holiday. This tragedy has never been properly resolved – and after 9 years of fighting for justice the case has finally run out of anywhere to go as the authorities have closed the door on it.

The day people will need to buy Fairytale of New York to make it count for a Christmas chart release is the day after the 10th anniversary of this untimely passing of Kirsty – so getting Fairytale of New York to number 1 will be a tribute, a return to a Christmassy song for Christmas, and another kick in the teeth to those that set up TV shows to force a manufactured number one.

Fairytale of New York is not a manufactured number one – Sure we will be pushing to get it there, but for over a decade it has been in the Christmas charts and it is a well loved song. It hasn’t just been made up to grab money for Simon Cowell…

This project is still in the initial stages, but much like RATM, we will be making sure Fairytale of New York does good. As such there will be a charity donation system set up. This will all be sorted as the project progresses.

I have contacted various people within The Pogues camp, and also to Kirsty MacColl’s mother. I would like them to be involved as this would be very important to the project.

There is a Facebook page set up : FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK XMAS No.1 2010

I won’t be able to do this on my own, so FTONY isn’t an “I” thing… it is a “WE” project – and I am currently being ably assisted by Phil Karn (met thanks to Twitter). There may be more people called in to help – and we’ll be grateful for any help!

I have started this group early as I want to build up the numbers of followers throughout the year. For most of the year the group will be a little quiet – just general chat and news – I don’t want people to burn out too soon!

As the time to buy draws near come November/December 2010 I shall then kick the group into action with group emails to ramp up the drive to get that number one spot.

You can also follow via Twitter with @FairytaleNY2010

If you want to get involved, you can email me at fairytale@sometimespace.com

Please spread the word!

Let’s get a Christmas song to Christmas number one – a song that has not been there before… and we can all remember Kirsty MacColl at the same time!

Thank you!



Children in Need FAIL

Good grief…

BBC news had story about a youth disco/club venue that is being shut down because of the underage drinking & fighting it caused…. and then within 5 minutes they show a clip for Children in Need where they want our money to fund a disco/club venue to keep kids off of the street & away from underage drinking & fighting….

Which one is it you want?

Okay, I think there are some charities that deserve my money -BUT I’m growing to hate the big events that take our charitable donations and give it to unworthy causes.

For charity, my money goes direct to the cause I support. I’m not letting some huge event organisation distribute it for me… and tonight on BBC News my beliefs have been well a truly cemented. I was disgusted – well and truly disgusted…. maybe I’m just getting old, but there is no way Children in Need are getting my money.

So there I was watching the BBC and that Children in Need advert I mentioned at the start came on. This concentrated on funding a disco/club venue for kids not having anything to do apart from go out and cause trouble – “because there’s nuffink else to do, so we, ya know, just get our kicks and cause trouble..”

They aren’t wanting for money as they currently DO go out drinking, smoking, (some do drugs) fighting – all because they supposedly have nothing to do! For God’s bloody sake! Every year there is more and more for people to do! When my Dad was growing up in the 1920’s & 30’s he had more to do than his Dad. When I was growing up there was an even bigger leap of things for me to do than the gap between my Dad and Granddad! Now Alex is growing up…and if he ever says there isn’t anything for him to do I’ll be amazed! There is so much to do!

I wasn’t even into computers so much back when I was a kid. I’d go out and play around with my mates in a local forest. Proper stuff – tree climbing! war games (no paint ball back then though – we had to pretend!)! ride bikes & make jumps! I’d go to the local swimming pool or sports centre. I had plenty of hobbies and things to do…. I had far, far less to do than kids have to do now!

So… there is no way on earth that I’ll give money to keep yobs off of the streets just because they say it is the lack of stuff to do that leads them to cause trouble! There is plenty to do, but the kids can’t be bothered to do them and just use this pathetic excuse to hide behind.

Teenage pregnancy is another thing I really don’t want my cash going on. Once more, compared to “my day” and my Dad’s day, there is so much more information about sex available that I shouldn’t have to fund little miss bored and little miss stupid. Yes – accidents might happen – and I’m sorry for those kids, BUT most of the time these aren’t accidents – they are just lazy, arrogant kids who think they know better. If the kid gets in trouble, then let the parents sort it out – because I put a lot of the blame on them.

This might rub a few people up the wrong way – but we are being to bloody soft nowadays. I’m sorry you had to mug an old lady because you were bored – here… have some money. You have to rob a house to get your drug and beer money because there’s absolutely nothing to do… my heart bleeds for you.

I pay my taxes which goes towards the benefits these people get anyway – and I have no choice where that goes… so there is no way I’m giving more away to them.

Where I can, I’ll place my charity directly where I want it to go. If I want to help real children in need (because I’m not dumb and DO realise there are many that are in genuine need!), then I’ll pay it direct to the supporting group.

Children in Need – you pushed this one out of me – Hope this helps you.


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