Pondering Personal Patronage

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, ‘cos I’ve been really busy recently. Work’s been really busy – new clients, new staff, blah blah etcetera. I do have some big, thought-heavy posts brewing, but they could take a long time to percolate into the hot, strong deliciousness you’re used to. (Did I mention, I’ve started drinking coffee lately – mocha to be specific, still too wimpy for the real stuff.).

This is just going to be a quick post, as I’ve been having more thoughts about raising money. As I mentioned before in this post about charity/fundraising I’m really keen on the idea of having a smoothie bike event (cos ya know, making your own smoothies with the power of LEGS!!). The last fundraiser I did was for Cancer Research UK and The Little Princess Trust (when I chopped off all my hair and sent it for them to make wigs outta) to support my Gran when she lost her hair due to cancer & cancer treatment.

This time though, I’d like to support a charity which is important to me in a way which is less personal and emotional, and more relevant to my personality and interests and that kind of thing. There are a lot of worthy causes out there and choosing one has been tricky because I’d really love to donate time and money to loads of them

So, in an effort to combine smoothie bikes and my own interests and fund raising, I think I’m going to do something for Child’s Play. One of the niftiest things about the smoothie bikes is that they have a game system attached where you can compete with each other and stuff, so it ties in quite nicely.

The only thing that’s stopping me diving right in and organising this now is the associated cost – smoothie bikes and ingredients and venues and all that lot don’t come cheap. I’d need to hold a fund raiser for my fund raiser! So I thought I’d see if any of you geniuses have any ideas or suggestions as to how to do it without incurring too much of a cost (which I’d have to pay out of my own pocket as Child’s Play only accept 100% fund raisers).

Answers on a post card (or in a comment) please.


More Money Raising….Eventually

It’s been two months now since I did my charity haircut for cancer research and the little princess trust. My hair is kind of growing back now, all short and spikey and a bit haphazard,¬† and I’m considering more charity event ideas. The one down that link is my favourite idea so far, but not at the moment. It’s winter, and I don’t know about you but I’d rather a hot chocolate than a chilly smoothie at the moment. Anyway, people were very generous when I last raised money, and since it wasn’t that long ago, they need time for their generosity to recover.

Berry Smoothie

Delicious AND charitable!

A really cool plus point of the smoothie bikes as a charity event is that there are a lot of possibilities involved. I could open it up to the public, make more of an actual event out of things and not just me doing something on my own to raise money. I could sell smoothies in Alex square-¬† people donate money and get a hand (foot?) cycled smoothie from me. Or, I could charge people to cycle their own smoothie. As long as I can rope in a friend or two to help it shouldn’t be too much hassle, and if I were to do it in the summer there’s plenty of time left to plan.

There are other things I could do, but I’m so smitten with the smoothie bike idea that I’m almost reluctant to look too hard. Someone suggested that I try the three peaks challenge (climb Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike in 24 hours) but those of you who know me must be in fits of laughter imagining me trying to climb a hill, let alone three mountains!!

I suppose there’s always the ol’ bath fulla beans fall back. It’s not like I’ve got any hair left to shave off.

Malignant Developments

About three years ago, my Nan Jackie (being my dad’s mother) was diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer is the second most common type of diagnosed cancer in the UK after breast cancer, and its instance increases significantly in smokers and ex-smokers. Nan J was a smoker for most of her life, though she gave up some five or six years back.

My Gran couldn’t tell me herself; it was my mum who made the call to me, and my Nan called an hour or so later to talk about it. I didn’t know how I felt about the whole thing, really. It’s only this year that I’ve ever experienced personal loss, when my Dadcu died, so three years ago I was certain that my family were immortal and would continue being old, curmudgeonly, but unfailingly present in my life.

Infinite, infallible, Immortal.

Infinite, infallible, Immortal.

The detection of the cancer was quite early through the cycle, because Nan J had emphysema and was x-rayed for a check up on that. The likelihood of survival in cases of cancer, especially lung cancer, increases the earlier it’s detected, so for that I am eternally grateful.

After a course of chemotherapy, the tumor was announced to be in remission, and we all stopped holding our breath. Some time went by and I stopped thinking about the cancer. Not having learned enough was my downfall here. I thought that ‘in remission’ meant ‘gone forever.’ Not the case.

I can’t think on the timescale. I’ve always found it hard to keep track of dates in my mind and so things are often not concrete for me.

Regardless of when it was, the tumor became active again. This time, it was harder. The chemotherapy alone wasn’t enough, so they put her on radiotherapy, and she lost her hair. Despite being in her sixties, Nan J still had hair like straw, yellow and wispy. There were bits of grey creeping in here and there around her ears and temples, but for the majority, still blonde. The wig she got was sleeker than her natural hair, darker but with honeyed highlights.

Eventually, the tumor faded into remission again. Presumably, her hair began to return, and the horrible effects of the cancer and the treatments faded away. I have spoken to her plenty but not seen her; the distance from Lancaster to Llanelli is substantial.

Unfortunately, cancer subverts reality and resists true elimination from a person’s body. After a few months of phonecalls which were punctuated by harsh coughing fits, it’s been confirmed again; the cancer is back.

Through the whole ordeal, Nan Jackie has been steadfastly ignoring the fact that lung cancer is the most common cause of lethality in cancer sufferers. Only around 30% of people survive for more than a year after initial diagnosis, and less than 10% survive for five years or more.*

When my Nan started losing her hair, I decided that a show of solidarity would be one of the best ways I could support her, and so I began to grow my hair. Nan Jackie might already have her wig, but there are people out there who can’t get them. The Little Princess Trust is a charity who makes real-hair wigs for children who are dealing with hairloss. At the time, the required minimum length was 10″ and by the time my hair was getting close to that, my gran was back in remission. The idea fell by the wayside.

Now though, the minimum length is 7″ which I’m sure I have. Besides, whether or not my gran is recieving treatment, there will always be a need for donations to worth-while charities.

So the long and short of it is that I’d like people to donate money to my hair-cutting effort so I can give my hair to TLPT and some donation to Cancer Research UK. I’ve made a Just Giving page, Alice’s Page, so it’s safe and secure, and I’ll be writing with more details of the actual haircut soon, but basically, here’s the info – Sponsored Hair Cut.


Sorry this post isn’t up to the standard of my usual writing; I was finding it hard to get into writing-mood but wanted to get this up sooner rather than later.


*Stats sourced from Cancer Research UK website.