Just walking

September 30, 2014

On Sunday I did some walking. And I was sort of paid for it. Crazy. You know that sponsoring thing, where people give money to a charity in return for you doing something arduous or stupid (like sitting in a bath full of lobsters or skipping up Ben Nevis)… well, I got away with raising a load of money for Alzheimer’s Society just by walking. Walking. Something I have to do anyway.

If it’s any consolation, I am a reluctant walker; I’m no fan. I look forward to the future when we all wear hover shoes, or have ball bearings for feet. Walking is overrated. Unless there’s a pub at the end of the walk.

So, me walking 10km, around a park! (I think parks are overrated too… well, not all parks. There’s some nice car parks around. Like this one:

Poor old Alf Roberts).

Back to the business. The walk I did was the Memory Walk. 10km around Victoria Park – I give in – it’s a lovely park. It’s about a mile from (appropriately) Mile End Road tube. So that’s another 2 miles I had to walk! Unsponsored too!

Once there, around the park we went. And it was a moving sight, to see all the folk with memory cards pinned to their backs; all the nans and grans and grandpas and mums and dads and friends who had been affected by this awful illness. I walked in memory of my wife’s Nan, May, and my friend Trev’s dad, Tudor.

And a huge thank you to all who supported me and so kindly and generously donated to Alzheimer’s Society. The final total raised, including the donations to the World Cup Tweepstake this July, is an incredible £2016.90. I hope I’ve managed to thank the Tweepstakers throughout the Tweepstake blog posts. And some of you Tweepstakers have been incredibly generous, donating again and again. To those who donated for the Memory Walk thank you thank you thank you. Thank you to:

Andy and Sarah, Beccy, Mel, Kevin, Allison, Louise, Debbie, Ivan, Gillian, Tim, Jason, Mary, Jane, Jenny, Jason, Andrea and Frank, Dave, Stuart, Elspeth, Jaq, Tom, Richard, Paul and Charlotte, Samantha, Tiggy, Rebecca, Angela, Mike, John, Sarah, Pete, Beth, Rachel, Jenny, Cecilia, Darren, Christian, Mo, Sam, Mark, Peter, Glenn, Lisa, James, Sarah, Trev, Dave, Richard, Sophie, and Paul.

A huge thank you. I take back all the cheap ‘jokes’ at the start of this post. x

Before the walk started I met Carrie Dunn, who walked on behalf of her Grandma. You can read her blog post about the event here.

And now, because I have finally found a way of getting the photos from my phone onto my computer, here’s a few snaps from the day.

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The Midwich Cuckoos

dog

the peleton

not sure if I'm at the front or back now

not the peleton

lost

lost

other charities are available

other charities are available

proof

proof

reward

reward

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An exciting day yesterday with some near shockers (and my predictions up the spout). First up:

ARGENTINA 1 IRAN 0

Of course Argentina (@joyfeed) were expected to beat Iran (@Freig). And they did. But only by one goal. And even then it took them until stoppage time. And Iran should have possibly had a penalty. And it took Messi to win it for Argentina. If there is a way of winning by losing then Iran did just that. Hard luck.

GERMANY 2 GHANA 2

Another surprise result (not that the above is a ‘surprise’ result, but you know what I mean). Germany (@DareenK73) were expected to win. Ghana (@fiona_bulter) came from behind to take the lead before Germany drew level. Klose moved closer to being the World Cup’s all-time record scorer (he’s joint all-timer at the mo; him and Ronaldo – the Brazil one not the Portugal one – on 15 goals each). Germany should go through, but all eyes will be on USA v Portugal late tonight; a USA win will put them top of the group! As this World Cup is showing us; anything can happen.

NIGERIA 1 BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA 0

Sorry to say that Bosnia-Hercegovina (@jaq421) are going home. Having no points, even in they win their next and last match, they cannot pass Argentina on 6 and Nigeria (@redorbrownsauce) on 4. And they have a right to feel aggrieved, having a perfectly good goal from Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko disallowed.

Iran, on 1, are still in there (they just have to beat B-H in their last game, rely on Argentina beating Nigeria, and have a greater goal difference than Nigeria, who only have the 1 goal, so it’s perfectly do-able).

Top points go to @jaq421 and Sybil for their headtastic support of Bosnia-Hercegovina:

Jackie

@jaq421

Sybil

Sybil

This should have secured them the victory, but then @redordrownsauce (Nigeria) had a secret weapon. He went and fashioned his own magic headgear. And this, and this alone, secured Nigeria victory.

@redorbrownsauce's winning hat

@redorbrownsauce’s winning hat

And congratulations both of you on your lovely wall things.

The presence of Pjanic in the Bosnia-Hercegovina team led to me making a feeble late night Smiths song pun on Twitter. Just as I was heading off to sleep Twitter was bombarded with #worldcupsmithssongs. The unofficial winner is @jewkesyno4 with “The More You Ignore Me The Klose I Get” (technically Morrissey, but hey, I never even meant to set this all off. You could say I started something I couldn’t finish).

So, on to today’s matches:

BELGIUM  (@hbnm1985) v RUSSIA (@chislehurst)

5pm. BBC. Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janeiro. It’s still early days for this group. Belgium have 3 points, Russia just 1. They remain the favourites to go through from Group H, the other two teams being South Korea and Algeria, who play their second game just after this one. I haven’t got a clue, and so I am going to follow Mark Lawrenson’s prediction of a draw, but I will up the goal numbers. My prediction:

Belgium 4 Russia 4

 

SOUTH KOREA (@anna_borowski) v ALGERIA (@lolers)

8pm. ITV. Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre. South Korea (having drawn with Russia) have a point, and so they will be desperate to win this game. But then, on no points, so will Algeria. It’s going to be the craziest game of football yet. Or the dullest. My prediction:

South Korea 14 Algeria 9 or South Korea 1 Algeria 0

 

USA (@Lindaannbown) v PORTUGAL (@ali_spencer)

11pm. BBC. Arena Amazonia in Manaus. This is the big game of the evening, annoyingly on in the bedtime zone. I’ve checked with Mark Lawrenson and he agrees with me; USA will win. Portugal are relying too much on Ronaldo and he is not in a good head-space, having had his toiletries stolen by a Avon rep). My prediction:

USA 2 Portugal 0

The charity bit. I’m writing all this (well, for fun) but also to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. My ‘goal’ is £1966. So far you have donated an amazing £905, 46% of my target. And many of you have donated more than once. You’re all fantastic, and all of you in the Tweepstake will receive a prize. If you’re not in the Tweepstake you are still welcome to donate; I can’t guarantee a prize, but I can guarantee that you will be helping someone, somewhere (and their family) who is battling this awful illness. And, if I have any prizes spare, I promise you will get one, if you ask. You can donate at my Just Giving page here.

To those who have given so generously, I don’t want to pester you anymore. You’ve done your bit way and above the call of duty of the World Cup Tweepstake. But, if you have a mo, please do spread the word. Should we get to 50% my wife, @Zoleipar, has promised to recreate the John Barnes World In Motion rap. What it will be like? Who knows! That’s the gamble.

Here’s someone else having a go (no relation of mine, by the way).

Dogs, sheep, llama, people

October 21, 2012

A few weeks back we went to the Brockwell Country Show. The choir I’m in, Note-orious, were singing there. After singing (but no dancing from me; I was still on crutches, recovering from a fractured pelvis- convenient indeed) I hobbled around and took a few pics of dogs, sheep, a llama, and some people.

I hope the people featured don’t mind. I still feel a little uncomfortable photographing strangers. Not so much with the animals. They like it.

One man and his dog

January 5, 2010

I went into San Francisco today with my mum and my sister. I took my camera but only took two photos because, well, it’s a little bit faulty. Not SF. My camera. Both pictures were off  a man and his dog.

This pic was taken just after the man and his dog had been moved on by the police in Union Square, San Francisco’s swanky shopping area full of upmarket department stores and just a dog’s stick’s throw away from the Tenderloin area; a part of SF that is just as it sounds. If you’re not sure what that means, join the club. I’m writing things I don’t understand myself. I once wandered into the Tenderloin during daylight hours. I saw desperate people. I saw a man push another man into a bin. Not shove him towards it, but actually stuff him headfirst into a big metal dustbin.

The policeman was kind, the man and his dog no trouble. The policeman took his time and during the conversation held his hand out for the dog to sniff. Once dog and cop were happy, patting took place.

I wanted to get a photo of that, but I was too slow. I think I was too slow on purpose. I’m uneasy taking photos of strangers. I feel unqualified to do it. So, I fumbled, and only got on with snapping once they were walking away. I feel, with a photo like this, that I am not violating the soul of the man or his dog. I may be wrong.

Here’s a touristy pic from a couple of years ago.

Bobbin 1991-2006

Bobbin 1991-2006

Well, when I say the news, I of course mean the Daily Mirror. All of these stories are in today’s Mirror:

“Cat Rosie survives cruel airgun attack”.

“Three teens arrested on deer death”.

“Grandma is savaged by angry gulls”.

“Rider hurt in horse horror”.

“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad buys puppy to show World he is an ok guy.”

Watch it, mum!”– A clumsy duck steps on one of her own ducklings.

Ok, one of them I made up, but five animal stories in one day? What’s going on?

Four of them cancel each other out; terrible abuses by humans on animals (cat and deer)- animals then fight back (horse and gulls). Now this may not be much comfort to Delphine Mutch (yes, that’s Delphine Mutch, Mrs. Mutch, who was attacked by the nesters in Weymouth) but let’s take a Gaia-ian approach to these stories. (No, I haven’t a clue what I’m on about, but what goes around comes around blah blah blah- one day a dog’ll flush a kid down a toilet, that kind of thing).

The odd one out is the duck on duck attack. Thankfully it was an accident. The mother duck was ushering her ducklings away from a swan when she squashed one under her foot. When ducks turn on each other for no apparent reason, that’s when we should worry.

Coming back briefly to the puppy in the pipe story. That was yesterday but it’s still a big deal. Do you know of this tale? A four year old boy flushes his puppy down the loo. Before I carry on, know this; the puppy’s fine. See the amazing rescue attempt here. It made me cry.

Anyways, the four year old said he wanted to wash his puppy. Hmmm. Obviously he should have asked his parents first. They may have suggested a bowl or the sink or the bath (if the puppy even needed washing at all). But he didn’t and instead chose to wash his puppy in the place where he’s just been taught to wee and poo. Would you? Poor little four year old. I suspect he put his puppy in the toilet and flushed it just for fun, to see what happens. That’s what we do when we haven’t quite grasped consequence. And then… then… then… when he realised, when he saw the puppy sucked down the u-bend, wagging his little tail goodbye … then… when the puppy doesn’t come back… then… Oh dear, I bet something kicked in. Then I bet the little fella ran to mummy screaming and crying.

Poor boy. Poor puppy. But all good in the end. Well done, DynoRod Man. And well done for doing it for free.  (Obviously you get all the publicity and so on, but regardless, well done!)

the guardian‘s jumped on the animal bandwagon too. They’re saying cats are daft. Or rather scientists are. You can find out the science here.

Well, that’s not news! Anyone with cats knows they’re daft animals, dafter than dogs. My two cats, (the much missed Bobbin pictured above and his sister Tess- still going strong at the age of 19- that 457 in human years), are and were remarkably stupid. Those who know Tess may object (and quite likely will) but…

Oh, then alright, I acquiesce. Tess is lovely. She’s deaf now. Or just plain rude. She never comes when called, doesn’t look up when you enter a room, and spends all of her day sleeping. Ok, she’s clever.

Tess, Bobbin's sister. 19 now.

Tess, Bobbin's sister. 19 now.

Duckdogs-of-Dulwich

If the above picture looks sinister, well it should. It is. It’s the duckdogs of Dulwich and every year around this time they wheedle their way into the Dulwich Festival and, under the guise of entertaining the kiddies, round up all the local ducks and herd them into baskets. What happens next, no one knows. Some say the ducks are eaten by the dogs, others that the ducks are made to dress up and dance for the dogs as the dogs all chant “who let the ducks out.” One way or another, it needs to be stopped. Just like this post.

art-and-iceland

art-and-iceland-2

argos-dog

The cats and dogs in Broadstairs lead very different lives. The cats do as they please, coming and going; giving strangers like me dirty looks. The dogs don’t have this freedom. When you see them on the streets they are often on the ends of leads, tethered to a human who controls their movements. If they were to go out on their own they’d find themselves severely curtailed (which for a dog can be distressing). They can’t go on the beach throughout the summer. This seems a raw deal. Sure, they get the place to themselves from September until the end of April, but that’s when it tends to be cold and sunless. I guess the cats can go on the beach when they like. Cats though, being contrary animals, are rarely seen on beaches.

The absurdity behind all this is that Thanet District Council thinks dogs can read.

broadstairs-cat1broadstairs-dog-sign1

Surprise dog

March 24, 2009

dog-1

I have had three camping adventures in my life. The first, when I was a student, saw the damp seep into my bones and I ended up at the hospital (the Hospital for Damp Bones in Buxton). By the time of the second, just a few years ago, I’d become more robust, and I weathered the storms of Glastonbury. Sure my tent got flooded, but I had a £5 bed from Argos and I was 5 inches off the ground. The third time the weather shone and I met this dog. A very friendly dog with a lovely nature. I played football with him for a bit. But you may be surprised when he looks at you.

dog-2

Sheep and Dog

February 26, 2009

I’m off out today, to meet up with Trev and trek off to a meeting somewhere or other. And so, rather than waffle on about horror films, or put up polls, or moan, here’s two pictures of a sheep and a dog living in perfect harmony.

sheep-and-dog

sheep-and-dog-2