Friday, 24 October 2014

Miriam Dean Fund

More than 24 hours of travelling home from our hols but I'm still ready for the Thursday coffee morning. This week's was in aid of the Miriam Dean Fund raising money for relief in South India. I picked up this cute crafting magazine (I'll enjoy flicking through this, imagining making things and then never doing so)*

I also got to meet MrT who told me an intriguing story about a vase he bought from a jumble sale for 20p which he then sold at auction for £400+. Which got me wondering......

*Don't worry. Cake was eaten too.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Shower gel

Inspired by my recent visit to the autumn fair at the day centre where I saw a lovely man that I'd not seen for ages, I decided to try to get to my usual Thursday morning coffee morning for the first time since May. My old friend (the one who might be pictured back in the blog somewhere having paid 50p for 50 shades of grey), was there and so astonished to see me that he bought me some shower gel. I won't take that personally!


Will Aid

November is Will Aid month, where you can get your Will drawn up by a local solicitor in return for a voluntary donation to charity - I did this a few years ago. Probably time to take advantage of this offer and update it though!

During Will Aid month participating solicitors won't charge you for writing a basic Will. Instead, they will invite you to make a donation to Will Aid's nine charities. The suggested voluntary donations are £95 for a single Will, or £150 for a pair of 'mirror' Wills.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Swish, swish, swish!

If there's one thing that makes my heart sing out more loudly than a jumble sale, it's a clothes swapping event! All of the joy of getting something new to wear, without having to queue for hours listening to people drone on about X Factor, and being elbowed in the ribs!

After seeing this poster about a clothes swap event in my town in aid of the British Heart Foundation, my mind started ticking through the clothes I have. If you see me in real life, you'll know that I don't own many outfits!

I finally chose a colourful raincoat that I bought but never wore and a French Connection skirt that is a size 10 and was last worn by me at university. I know my mum spent a fortune on it, so I never had the heart to get rid of it. Nor the motivation to lose weight, it seems.

I took the McBaby, who enjoyed hiding in the clothes racks and trying to steal cake from pretty ladies, while I set to work having paid £1 per swap ticket. Eventually, I found two pretty dresses, both quite similar while the McBaby popped balloons everywhere he went.

I (s)wish there were more of these events, but here's a handy website

Sunday, 28 September 2014

ARK Cancer charity

Destination Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle in real life) this afternoon to watch the Classic Car Rally in aid of ARK Cancer Charity! Lots of beautiful classic cars and one not-so-classic car (ours) travelled from the cancer centre in Basingstoke through Hampshire up to Highclere to raise money for the Ark Centre, which provides support to cancer sufferers and their families at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

Even the lovely hosts Lord and Lady Carnarvon pitched up in their Rolls Royce Phantom III!

Cats Protection, Fairclose Day Centre and West Berkshire Mencap

It's been a while thanks to work, work, work, but this weekend, I managed to fit in three overdue jumble sales in two days. Gosh how I've missed being elbowed in the ribs, people stamping on your feet to get in front of you and most importantly, the joy of snagging a bargain!

First up was the Fairclose Day Centre autumn fair to raise money for the older people's day centre and lunches. I didn't buy any of the lovely cakes, preserves or bric-a-brac because on my way in, I saw someone I hadn't seen for ages - a 92-year-old chap who is a delight to talk to and loves to spend time with the McBaby. A while ago at a business networking event I went to, I mentioned that I was passionate about supporting a couple of older people's charities and that I felt that old people got a raw deal in this country. I said I wanted to create a movement where people are nicer to old people; for example, instead of tutting at them when they're chatting to the cashier at the post office (yes, this really happens), perhaps realise that this is their only human interaction of the day and giving them a bit of space.

The person I mentioned this to told me that my idea of being nice to old people was "the most patronising thing I've ever heard". However, speaking to this lovely old man at coffee mornings is a delight and a remarkable link with the past. He told me that his older brother did this week and unbelievably that during the war, his brother and his commanding officer were the first from the Allied Forces to stumble upon Belsen. His description of his brother's first impressions of what he found and the subsequent days were extremely touching. We've learned about concentration camps from our history books but imagine stumbling upon that - the smell, the sight of 4,000 decomposing bodies.

John himself was a prisoner of war in Poland and worked digging coal in the mines. I said I was sorry that his brother had died. He said it was a the circle of life. "I also had a great grandson that week. We all die and make space for new people. I'll die myself soon - it's just the way of the world. I'll be reunited with my wife," he continued. "Mind you, knowing my luck, she'll have taken up with a new boyfriend by the time I get there....."

More cheerfully, I then went to the Cats Protection jumble and bought the hamper, the coat and the dress. Yay!

Then Sunday, a much-needed clear out and a boot sale in the gorgeous sunshine at West Berkshire Mencap. As well as selling lots of things, I also bumped into a couple of friends and made enough money to take MrM out for lunch!

Monday, 15 September 2014


Just received this press release about Stoptober and the timing could not be more poignant. MrM is at his uncle’s funeral today – his uncle died last week at the ridiculously early age of 61 from lung cancer. I don’t smoke but to support this brilliant campaign, I’m going to stop drinking for the month of October. That’s drinking booze obviously, not liquids in general.

If you do smoke, but wish you didn't, then sign up here!