Go Sober- Day One

October 1, 2013

It’s Day One of Go Sober. Go Sober, not Stoptober or any other pretenders: Go Sober! For Macmillan Cancer Support.

I haven’t had a drink since last night, 11.55pm, when I swiftly knocked back a Stone’s Ginger Wine. And ice. Classy like. As an aperitif I had five pints of Amstel. At choir. Normally I only have three, but drastic times call for drastic measures. And you need to have at least three pints before tackling tenor for All That Jazz.

Now look! If I’m nowty it’s because I haven’t had a drink today. Ok? Break me some slack (whatever the hell that means).

I’m livid with Fiona Sturges. She’s written a piece in The Independent today. You can read it here. She’s got a bloody nerve! She says “I want more effort than a moustache before I pay up”.

I did Movember last year. (Shouting, but not doing the upper case thing, just going for polite italics )“Do you know, Fiona, just how hard it is to grow a moustache?”

Let me tell you! It’s quite hard.

It’s easy if you have the follicles; like, say, Magnum. My moustache looked like piss-coloured candy floss.

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can you see it?

Anyway, let’s leave Movember and concentrate on Go Sober. And Fiona.

She wants more effort. She thinks those giving up smoking (in my case, drinking) aren’t doing enough to deserve sponsorship, that they may even be doing it for their own (health) benefit.

“Fiona (I want to shout again)! Not drinking will, possibly, KILL me!”

Here’s some more from Fiona:

In recent years, however, charitable fundraising has become a curiously self-centred affair, in which the focus is frequently more on the fundraiser than those for whom they are raising the funds. The rise of online platforms such as JustGiving have made it easy – too easy, perhaps – for us to work loudly through our  mid-life crises.

You don’t need to go door to door rattling a tin and making a case for a donation. Now you just need a Facebook profile, some willing follicles and, hey presto, you are officially a Good Person.

Easy? Self-centred?… (Oh, ok, you can have that one: of course I’m self-centred, I’ve got a blog.)

Mid-life crisis? Jesus, I’ve had a WHOLE life crisis!

Officially a Good Person? I am officially a Sober Person and that has the power to break me bad!

Anyone can run a Marathon. Anyone can swim the Thames. I’d like to see Walliams lay off the booze for a month! I’d like to see Izzard grow a moustache… no, forget that, he has hasn’t he. I’d like to see Izzard grow a rubbishy moustache like mine!

And Fiona says:

I’m all for a good cause, but if it’s sponsorship you’re after, you’ll have to put some effort in first.

Now I’m furious. I’m upper case and bold: I HAVE BEEN SOBER FOR 16 HOURS FIONA! GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING MONEY!

The polite part:

You can sponsor me, or my wife, or both of us here, here, or here. Thank you.

(Oh, and if The Independent wants to sponsor me £10,000 I will happily wear an orange wig and lederhosen for the month.)

Go sober! What?

September 22, 2013

I’m going sober. For October.

It’s no great shakes. Well, not yet. Ask me towards the end of the month when my nickname may well be Shakin’ Simons. I’m giving up booze. For charity. It beats running a half marathon (though if you fancy sponsoring someone doing a half marathon, why not support my friend Nick who is running on behalf of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity).

We get bombarded for money for charity from all angles, and so I know it is a big ask, particularly on the back of the fantastic effort so many of you made when I carried out my daft Comic Relief challenge earlier this year. But hell, I like to pester, and it passes some time. And something tells me, without a drink for a month, time will pass by slowly.

I’ll write about the challenge here, day by day; listing some drinking tales, some sober stories, some fun, some jokes, some photos. Anything that may be worth a pound or two more for Macmillan Cancer Support.

If you can give, please give.

Oh, and I promise I will not follow Sober October with Movember. I did Movember last year (when many generously gave and my moustache begrudgingly grew). As for December… it’s just too close to Christmas to ask. And so, I sincerely promise I will not ask for any more of your money in 2013.

You can find my Go Sober giving page here. And here’s something I wrote on it today, supposedly giving ‘my story’:

I’m doing this to raise money for Macmillan. That’s my story. To raise as much as I can (though I am setting myself a target of £1664, in honour of one of my favourite beers). My mum and my sister have both had cancer, and are both doing well. In the past I have raised money for other cancer charities… sometimes they can be controversial too (if, say for example, they involve research). But Macmillan, they offer support. So let’s support them back.

Once October is up and running I will write about keeping sober on my blog, Mummified Fox, at https://simonhickson.wordpress.com/ I hope that will entertain along the way, and maybe encourage some of you to give a little bit of money. If all my Twitter followers donated the price of a London pint (rounding it up to a monstrous fiver) I could raise roughly £35,000. Imagine. If everyone gave just 25p I would exceed my target (though knowing how these things work I bet you can’t donate amounts in pence).

Please do give what you can. I know it can be pressurising if every one donates £10 or £20 etc. I know that sometimes the actual sites can also make you feel bad by giving options of what they think you should give (a dreadful policy). If the site allows you to donate £1, donate £1. It all helps, it all adds up.

Go on. Don’t buy me the equivalent of a pint (you’ll only make me thirsty), buy me a bag of nuts.

And thank you all in advance… and those of you who have even had enough faith to donate before the month begins.

Cheers folks. x

fortunate

Big Green Smile

November 30, 2012

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moustache

It’s time to say goodbye to November, goodbye to Movember, and also goodbye to Big Green Smile.

I’ve been writing posts for Big Green Smile for nearly two years now. My speciality? Energy saving, water saving and green cleaning products news.When I started I didn’t know my ‘Big Six’ from my Ecover. Now, I know all about Ecover and Method (and the recent Ecover/Method merger). I’ve become familiar with Bio-D,Alma Win, Faith in Nature, and Earth Friendly Products (take a look at The Earthy Report; a great green blog by the founder of EFP).

I now know that none of us need to stay signed to the greedy ‘Big Six’ energy companies. I’ve urged Big Green Smile readers to swap providers; to go to one of the ones I call the ‘Little Six’; companies such as Ecotricity, Ebico, and Ovo Energy. And have I had the energy to do that myself? Not as yet. And that is both a shame, and shameful.

I’m tying this in with the end of November/Movember because I used my last BGS post to say a cryptic farewell to the site. I jumped from energy saving/water saving/green cleaning news to men’s grooming news, writing about green shaving and saying goodbye (to moustaches, to the month, to the job).

Thank you Big Green Smile, and thank you Sarah and Jenny for teaching me about CMS, hyperlinks, and all that stuff that I know how to do but don’t necessarily understand.

And if anyone reading this works for any of the companies mentioned and wants to give me a job writing for their blog, please do get in touch. Something tells me I won’t be hearing from the ‘Big Six’.

You can find all my Big Green Smile posts here, and you can sponsor me for Movember here.

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Movember- Day 4

November 4, 2012

it’s Day Four of my Movember attempt. I say attempt… it’s just not time to reveal any kind of moustache. It’s not there. I look like a boy trying to grow his first ever moustache, who also happens to have the withered visage of a quinquaginarian (I had to look that up).

Movember. It’s November crossed with moustaches. Or mustaches. (My computer prefers that. Maybe it’s American). I like to write  moustache, but I most definitely pronounce it ‘muss-tash’, none of this ‘moose-tash’ lark.

Anyway, and crucially, it’s for charity. The aim is “to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.” Please find out more here. And please, if you can, donate here. I am currently on £52 and rank 8556th nationally. My aim is to raise the necessary amount to rank somewhere between 237th and 217th.

Over they years I have experimented with fake facial hair. Fake to me; the BBC perhaps got it from the Tirumala Temple. Maybe not. I just don’t know! I hope nobody was harmed in the making of our cheap sketches.

Here we are in one of our fake (but possibly real) hair get-ups. Not for the BBC though. This was one of our rare outings to a rival TV company. I can’t remember the exact details but we did some Hallow-e’en links for a season of horror films on Sky TV. No beards, no moustaches, just whiskers.

And here is someone trying to be Trev.

Pic courtesy of/pinched from the guardian

Movember

November 2, 2012

I’m growing a moustache throughout November for Movember.

Movember “is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.” That’s what the Movember people say. That’s why were doing it. There’s a lot of us. I don’t know how many. But currently, and with £37 donated, I am ranked 10513.

“It’s not a competition”, my friend Andrea pointed out. She’s right. Except it sort of is. For me. The competitive element is what will lead me to bully and pester you over the next few weeks. I want to raise a massive amount of money for Prostrate Cancer UK.

And I want to do that by growing a moustache.

Some people take the easy way out when it comes to raising money for charity; running marathons, trekking across deserts and mountains, swimming oceans.

That’s not for me. I needed a challenge.

Zoe, my wife, put me up to it. I’m claiming she made me do it, encouraged me, suggested it. Truth is, all she said was “are you doing Movember this year?”

After two seconds thought I came to the conclusion, why not? It’s not like I’ve got anything else on.

And so I’m growing a moustache.

It won’t be easy. I’m 50 and I’ve never been able to grow one yet. I wanted to cheat; to start the month off with the feeble follicles I try to pass off as designer stubble. I’m more Elvis Costello than George Michael. But then I’m more George Dawes than Elvis Costello. I can’t really grow hair anymore. Not even (for the sake of some second rate comedy observation) in my ears or up my nose.

So yes, cheat. Get a few days head start. It is, after all, not a competition.

But cheating’s not allowed. It’s in the rules. (See Andrea! Rules! Rankings! This must be a competition).

And so yesterday I shaved, maybe taking a little less care when it came to the bit under my nose.

I’ve always wanted to have a beard, a moustache, even hair on my head. Once I looked like this (those concerned with the aging process look away now).

Like a happy, hip, Heseltine. Like Tarzan.

Like bloody Havers.

Now, I look more like this.

Trev always was the lucky one. He’s kept his hair. And his looks. And his height.

Trev takes the best of Bradley Wiggins and the best of Paul Weller and cycles around Broadstairs, grinning broadly whilst singing The Boy about Town. That’s the man’s style.

When we played characters on Going Live! and Live and Kicking we’d write the scripts on a Tuesday and a Wednesday. We think up all sort of arrangements of facial hair; moustaches, beards, pony tails… you name it. On Friday I’d go into make-up in the morning to try out a few styles. Trev would stroll in towards the end of the day with a full beard, a moustache, a pony tail… what have you. ALL GROWN! BY HIMSELF! ON THURSDAY. HIS OWN HAIR! A BEARD! A MOUSTACHE! A PONY TAIL! WEEK AFTER WEEK AFTER BLOODY WEEK!

HE’D SHAVE EVERYTHING OFF AFTER THE SHOW. BALD AS A BABY BABOON. AND THEN, COME NEXT SATURDAY, HE’D HAVE GROWN A NEW HAIR ENSEMBLE! BEARD! MOUSTACHE! PONY TAIL! EYEBROWS!

THAT’S WHAT I HAD TO PUT UP WITH. WEEK AFTER WEEK. FOR 10 YEARS!

HE EVEN ONCE GREW HIS OWN DOWNSTAIRS HAIR. NOT FOR A SKETCH; THE BBC BOSSES WOULDN’T ALLOW THAT. NO! HE DID IT JUST TO SHOW OFF. BECAUSE HE COULD. FLOUNCING HIS CURLING LOCKS OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF HIS TROUSERS! SWANNING AROUND THE STUDIO SINGING “SWING YOUR PANTS”.

So.

I don’t take this challenge lightly.

It’s for a good cause.

If you can give, please give. You can do that here.

Here we are in one of my favourite moustache sketches. Mine glued on, Trev’s home grown.