Tag Archives: fundraising

There’s no average day in the life of….

18 Oct

Do you have an average day? I don’t. They’re all a bit different. Often evolving as they progress, rarely planned anything more than by a vague outline, and quite often a little ‘out of the norm’ . Saying I’m not a nine to fiver is a bit of an understatement.

Want to know what my day is doing? Well it’s now 11am and I’m here..

Yep. I’m working whilst in the bath!

So today is like this. I woke up at 8:30 and though ‘i fancy a bath’ so I popped off to the bathroom but there was a spider in the bath and I didn’t want to disturb him so I hopped back into bed. Hubby, as is his wonderful habit, appeared with a cup of tea and we sat in bed catching up on FB and Twitter and discussed our separate ‘plans’ for the day.

We have b&b guests this coming weekend so for me it was ironing bedding. I see ironing as a bit of a waste of time so whilst steaming away I practiced a belly dance routine (and I haven’t even told you before that I go to dance classes.. another day another blog); and did some toe exercises as prescribed by Katie Holland as ‘guaranteed to improve your dancing’… Katie, I’m doubtful that anything will help but I’ll let you know.

Having built up a steam iron sweat I’m now in the bath (fortunately Bernard the Bath  Spider had buggered off) but to make better use of the time I’m both writing this for you lot and sorting out my art catalogue, making sure all my work to date is listed and titled. I have an exhibition pending and I need to make sure I know what’s  where and ensure I have enough pieces in the collection. Plus I’m having half a dozen or so images printed up as cards and my photographer friend and technical whizz needs to have the wording for the backs covers.

Alongside getting this done….

and I’ve added a face pack…may as well spruce up properly.

It’s now noon. Too late for breakfast, so a quick brunch and then off to get some groceries.

Marmite and mushrooms on toast yumyum

May as well pack up my old bras and take them to the bra bank at Tescos whilst I’m at it.

Donating my old bras

It’s a gorgeous day so hoping to get back in time to garden at home. Still have several plants that need to go in the ground before winter sets in.

….it’s now evening. Needless to say the gardening didn’t happen. I had about £60 in my hand from a swishing event I organised at the last-minute to clear out my wardrobe. A swish, for those who don’t know (I didn’t when invited to one last year), is a clothes swap. I’d cleared out my cupboards and had a car boot full of clothes and shoes to get rid of , friends could have them for a donation to a local charity. It raised £58 and I still managed to drop 2 large sacks of goodies at the local community charity shop.

So having done my shopping I went back into Aldi and spent the £58 with a view to dropping it at the local food bank. Sadly the charity was closed so that will involve another trip but look how much I got for my money!!!! Six full bags of none perishables! Aldi really is better value

Just about to head into the garden when I remember we have a fridge freezer to pick up from a friend (I need extra storage for the catering for my 50th).

And then the doorbell rings. The landlords of the flats I manage are here from Spain and I forgot they were popping in. Still they came armed with plenty of wine so I’m not complaining.

By which time it’s supper time. I cook a meal for me and Hubby. Bulk cook a bolognaise to add to the new freezer. Watch a movie. Then suddenly it’s midnight so off to bed.

Guess who’s back?

Bernard the Bath Spider

I wonder how he filled his day?

Lucy At Home

My Random Musings


Simply Pink at Beaulieu

10 Jun


                                                                                                                                                        Fund raising fun with Pinkies…
why not check it all out here

Ffloyd goes Simply Pink at Beaulieu for Breast Cancer Campaign

Ffloyd goes Simply Pink at Beaulieu for Breast Cancer Campaign

Update to the Pink Car Rally Update (!)……

30 Aug

The fund pot is at £994.97 as of this moment in time!!!!

Ffloyd (aged 46) will be driven by me AKA Lady Lily the Pink with co-driver and tame mechanic, John Crompton on hand to deal with the inevitable breakdowns!

Ffloyd (aged 46) will be driven by me AKA Lady Lily the Pink with co-driver and tame mechanic, John Crompton on hand to deal with the inevitable breakdowns!

…..this is due to a  huge HUGE HUGE amount of generosity and support from friends, family and the local community.  I decided to do this over 2 years ago, I can’t believe that this coming weekend is THE weekend. 

me and my alter ego... Lady Lily the Pink

me and my alter ego… Lady Lily the Pink

Having first discussed the idea in May 2013, I somehow managed to engage 2 amazing ladies (June Duncan and Jenny Walsby) who decided to grow their hair for a year with the view to cutting it off for donation this May just gone.  The idea .. to raise money and increase our fund pot for this amazing cause… they were joined by another local lady AureliaTyczka and all 3 donated hair and then had their head shaves – contributing over £750 to the pot. WOW

June, Tina,Aurelia, Jen - amazing local ladies helping The Little Princess Trust

June, Tina,Aurelia, Jen – amazing local ladies helping The Little Princess Trust

This was the start of our fundraiser that ends this Sunday after Ffloyd and I (and our ‘Tame Mechanic”, John ) have completed the 2014 Pink Car Rally.

Here’s a reminder of the timetable:

Day 1 – Saturday 6th September

9am – meet at Sainsbury’s, Uxbridge Road, Langley, Slough SL1 1SU (Selena Mullen is liaising with them, in the hope that we can make our visit there ‘official’, but if they say ‘no’ then we will simply be a group of very pink customers, in an assortment of pink cars! I, for one, will be having breakfast there around 8am!!! – Thank you, Selena)

10am – leave Sainsbury’s :-

Option 1 – if Wexham Park Hospital (SL2 4HL) gives permission, we will drive there first, before heading for the M25. It’s 5 miles from Sainsbury’s.

Option 2 – head straight for the M25 (directions will be issued)

12noon – arrive South Mimms Service Area on M25

1pm – leave South Mimms

3pm – arrive intu Lakeside – RM20 2ZP http://intu.co.uk/lakeside

NB We have permission to do an ‘all day’ coin collection here! So anyone choosing to join us here is welcome to start collecting if they arrive before us!

7pm – leave intu Lakeside and cross the Dartford Bridge (toll) to the Dartford Travelodge (5 miles away)

Pinkie Dinner!!!!!

Day 2

9.30am Leave Dartford Travelodge, heading for Brands Hatch DA3 8NG (10.6miles)

10am Arrive Brand’s Hatch (we should be able to buy food there… I’m currently checking our location and where the food is etc…)

11am Leave Brand’s Hatch – official start of Day 2 of the rally! Head for M25 S towards Gatwick

Subject to permission….. (currently waiting to hear) we will then go Sutton, Surrey

12.15pm Arrive Royal Marsden Hospital Sutton SM2 5PT

NB If no permission is granted (I’m currently liaising with two hospitals on the site!) then I will find an alternative comfort stop.

1.30pm Leave the Hospital/other venue… and re-join the M25

3.30pm Arrive either at Wexham Park Hospital SL2 4HL (awaiting authorisation) or Sainsbury’s Uxbridge Road, Langley, Slough SL1 1SU

The rally will end at approx. 4.30pm

If you are on the M25 or new any of the scheduled stops PLEASE come along and support us and the host of other PINKIES on the Rally.  If you want to show your support and can spare a few pennies please visit my justgiving page and help make this a record year.   Last year all the Pinkies together raised almost £18,000.  Lets beat it this year.
I think Ffloyd (aged 46) is going to be the oldest car on the Rally with Jane Sutton, driving Bubble (aged 43) a close second.  Her mechanic is coming along too….  should be a fantastic weekend ❤ ❤ ❤

Bubble (aged 43) will be driven by Pinkie, Jane Sutton and codriver/ mechanic hubby will be on hand in case of emergency

Bubble (aged 43) will be driven by Pinkie, Jane Sutton and co-driver/ mechanic hubby will be on hand in case of emergency


Getting ready for The Pink Car Rally 2014…

29 Jun

I blogged about a great fundraiser that I was on the peripheries of in May the blog was “Hair Raising..a good Cause”. 

Now its time for phase 2

The aim of a group of us here in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales was to raise (initially £500) for the Little Princess Trust.  In May 2013 I announced I fancied joining the annual Pink Car Rally organised by Sali Gray and asked some friends if they fancied growing and donating their hair the following May to raise awareness of the cause and get the ball rolling.  Well… June, Jen, Aurelia and Tina raised an astonishing £692 as well as donating their ponytails  during the Music Madness and Mayhem event at the Neuadd Arms Hotel on 4th May 2014.

Ffloyd and I will be on the 2014 Pink Car Rally raising money for The Little Princess Trust

Ffloyd and I will be on the 2014 Pink Car Rally raising money for The Little Princess Trust

SO, the target has risen.  We’re aiming for £1000.  It’s a great cause, we have generous friends and acquaintances and phase 2 will be a fun one to follow.

me as Lady Lily Pink -Loony Party Music Fest Llanwrtyd Wells

me as Lady Lily Pink -Loony Party Music Fest Llanwrtyd Wells

You will probably all know by now of my fabulous 1968 Hillman Husky in its new livery of Magenta pink but just in case you’ve been living in an underground bunker and missed her – here she is.  Ffloyd,  As in Pink Floyd; double “FF” as in Welsh!

If you look back through my blogs you’ll find various references to my darling car

It’s all very exciting.  We’re still waiting for the route release and the entry forms but, as Sali confirmed “you’re on the list”.   You can following the organisational progress via the events FB page if you fancy joining the ever-expanding Pink Community they have going

I personally plan to come along mob handed or at least have ‘mob pockets’ along the route.  I’m looking for an entourage of Loonies and Impers to come out and cheer the rally on. But mostly I’m after your dosh!

As the widget upload seems to be beyond me, you can sponsor me using this link to our JustGiving page and add to the £692 total we have because of the brave ladies who had their heads shaved.  It’s a great cause, helping kids with cancer.

June, Tina,Aurelia, Jen - amazing local ladies helping The Little Princess Trust

June, Tina,Aurelia, Jen – amazing local ladies helping The Little Princess Trust

Anyway, looking at previous Pink Car Rally images, I appear to be the only one taking something old and unreliable.  don’t be cheeky,  I’m not referring to my co-driver/partner/mechanic, John Crompton;  but of course, to Ffloyd who, like me will be 46 years old.

Me and John - pink and peaceful and Imp50 last year

Me and John – pink and peaceful and Imp50 last year

The Hillman Imp Club

Official Monster Raving Loony Party



Hair Raising…a great cause…

28 Apr

Instead of writing this postf from scratch,  I’m sharing with you the release I made to the local press on behalf of all those involved…

Ffloyd and I will be on the 2014 Pink Car Rally raising money for The Little Princess Trust

Ffloyd and I will be on the 2014 Pink Car Rally raising money for The Little Princess Trust

It’s May Bank Holiday, and there’s ‘Mayhem’ to be had in Llanwrtyd at the Third Heart of Wales Music Festival on the 3rd and 4th May. In recognition of it eccentric history , pastimes and general obsession with joviality; the events over the weekend include a Fancy Dress Ball ”May the Fourth Be With You” . Free entry to hours and hours of great live music hosted at the Neuadd Arms Hotel with the added entertainment of individuals dressed for Star Wars meets Loony on the Sunday Evening.
A couple of local ladies have taken advantage of this madness to have their heads shaved in order to donate their hair to the Little Princess Trust. June Duncan (62), of New Hall Guest House and Jenny Walsby (50), of Home Stays at Lledgwial decided to grow their hair when Bernice Benton (46) of Cerdyn Villa, suggested raising money and awareness of the charity back in May 2013. The charity sources and gives beautiful real-hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair, primarily through cancer treatment and The Little Princess Trust accepts hair donations (minimum length 7″). So, June and Jenny will have their hair tied in a ponytail which will be snipped off ,to send away, then friend Tina will use hair croppers to tidy what’s left.

The webbed feet made walking to the bog very easy!

The webbed feet made walking to the bog very easy!

In addition they will be passing the collection buckets and sponsorship forms to the party goers at the fancy dress ball and asking them to support their challenge and Berni’s pending involvement in this year’s (the 7th) annual Pink Car Rally which takes place in early September..


June & I dressed for a Midsummer Nights Dream themed party

June & I dressed for a Midsummer Nights Dream themed party

June Duncan has lived in Llanwrtyd for 8 years and embraced its event-led tourism agenda from day one. She told us “ Llanwrtyd has given me the opportunity to celebrate by inner child. It’s a great place for people who love to embrace their individuality. The things I’ve been involved in since moving here have been amazing” . Back in August 2009 June stood on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square to represent the town and its infamous sport of Bog Snorkelling. She spent her hour up there dressed in lime green lycra with a bike helmet based frog head, green tutu and umbrella , beside a toilet (!!) – representing herself as the mascot “Bog Frog”.. and definitely putting the town boldly onto the map.

Jen Walsby taking part in Man v Horse Marathon held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells

Jen Walsby taking part in Man v Horse Marathon held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells

Jenny, who came to Llanwrtyd in 3 years ago is in the process of setting up an eco campsite in the grounds of her B&B. She too couldn’t help but become actively involved in the towns tourism credentials, helping to develop their quarterly Farmers & Crafts Markets, a food fair for this coming summer and taking on the organising of the 2014 Bog Series on behalf of Green Events Ltd as part of the 2014 World Alternative Games.
Jenny told us “As an in-comer to Llanwrtyd you are revitalised by the energy of the many event companies, wacky activity organisers and enthusiasm of the community to engage in voluntary groups to look after and develop the town. It’s such a fun place to live and getting involved certainly keeps us busy!”

My alter-ego "Lady lily of the Pink"

My alter-ego “Lady lily of the Pink”

This is the 3rd year that the Neuadd Arms has hosted the Heart of Wales Music Festival (Music Madness and MAYhem) supported by Sir Dangerous Dave ex of Screaming Lord Sutch’s “Savages” and performing as lead on Sunday for The Pistol Riders; and Catrin O’Neill, talented folk singer/guitarist from North Wales.
Saturday will be a folk/roots evening featuring George Breakfast, followed by Catrin O’Neill with Mike Lease, and culminating with the Fluid Druids (a trio including a mix of guitar, cittern, pipes, fiddle, flute and voice). Celtic music and song from Ireland , Scotland and Wales.

screaming lord sutch
Sunday (which happens to be May the fourth (be with you)) is the Screamin’ Lord Sutch Memorial Fancy Dress Ball (theme is Loonies meet Star Wars), a night of rocking starting with local band The Hurricanes and finished off in style by The Pistol Riders. And, of course, the brave ladies having their hair shared off, somewhere in the middle!
To enjoy the weekend, simply turn up in Llanwrtyd and join us at the Neuadd Arms Hotel Saturday3rd and Sunday 4th May 2014.   Dressing up is optional.

To donate to the fundraiser go to http://www.justgiving.com/hair4littleprincesses

come on and Do the Ron Run

24 Oct


Last Sunday was the 8th Memorial Half Marathon dedicated to Ron Skilton.To be fair we didn’t know him very well.  we moved in Feb 05 and Ron passed away Dec 05 having battled for 6 months with the degeneration and knowledge of having Motor Neurone Disease.  What we did know was that he was a kind and generous man.  With a gentle demeanor and a good humour.  A lovely neighbour.  What we have come to know is what a strong and caring family  branched out from him.  His lovely widow Irene, his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews.  We also know how well-respected and loved he was within his community . As a young man he was a keen runner and cyclist.  As a professional man he was a well-regarded architect and draftsman.  As a member of his community he was inclusive, proactive and integrated.  He was the co-founder of  Green events, the creator of the ‘Home of Bog Snorkelling’

When Ron died in 2005, the town wanted to remember him.  Because of his history of running and cycling and event led tourism the Ron Skilton Half Marathon was set up.  It has become a very special annual event.

2013 Couse

2013 Course

It more than a fund-raising run.  i refer you to my last blog about the mutual benefits of charitable giving. Every year since the first in October 2006 this challenging fell run has been the perfect excuse and a catalyst to Ron’s family who meet in Llanwrtyd for a reunion.  The number of family members seems to grow year on year.  Whilst here they help with the event by Marshaling the course.  The entire 13 miles (12.58 miles to be exact) are marshaled by the members of one family.  This year there were 26 Skilton’s in town. That has to be unique.

The town looking to Spion Kop  spectacular expance of landscape crumbling old farm house majestic on hill top

The run itself is different from most too and judging by the reviews in Runners World, these differences, together with the warm welcome and challenging course, are much appreciated.

I’ll tell you a little about it.

firstly, its run totally by volunteers – its organised under the Green Events umbrella by Bob Greenough and John Crompton, occasionally with a little help from me.   It is marshaled by the Skilton family and it attracts representatives from MNDA.  Maimei, the SW Wales Rep comes every year with T-shirts, or running vests , a friendly smile and a couple of collection buckets, which she invariably forgets to rattle!!. It’s by no means a ‘hard sell’ fundraiser

The course starts, middles and finishes in the Town Square , outside the Neuadd Arms Hotel.  This allows for a figure of 8 style course and 2 person relay teams with minimal logistical challenge.  The course is predominantly off-road and on mountains.  It spans two local peaks – Spion Kop and The Garn with accents and descents of 2838 ft.  The course has markers every 50 yds if not more.  A very nice man on a bike follows the back marker – clearing the course and offering help to anyone feeling the strain.

At the end the ladies of Merced y Bont ( Our WI) provide complimentary tea, coffee, jam and cheese sarnies and biscuits for runners and marshals.  After the run everyone retires to the lounge bar for food drink and the trophy giving.  We finish with a sing song.  “Do Do the Ron Run” to the tune of the old Crystals song Da Doo Ron Ron.

Throughout the day I rally the troops, inform, update, joke and generally drone on about all and sundry via the PA system in the Square.  Occasionally (quite often actually)  I confuse the mic and the walkie talkie ,calling over the PA “can you repeat that Bob”or ” how many runners are you waiting for at White Bridge” and  poor Bob gets “and don’t forget to pop your change in the collection bucket. OVER” on the walkie talkie.  Ever the professional.  Do we laugh?!

rainbow  sheep!  wild flowersAnyway, Its got a friendly, family feel, its challenging for the serious runners but not impossible (especially as a relay event) for those less well-trained.  It raises money for a good cause.  It not too big that you won’t get noticed.  The scenery is spectacular.  There are mountains, forests, boggy bits, farm land,fell land,cows, horses, sheep, gates, rainbows, blue skies, happy people.  The weather is (usually but not always) good.  The beer at the Neuadd is home-brewed.  The food is homemade.   The trophies are donated by the time keepers, Pat & Roland Sherwood of On line Race Results.

Everyone leaves smiling.  And I usually leave having lost my voice  (a bonus for family and the community at large!).

If you are a member of a running club or an individual who does a bit of running , or you know someone who is; perhaps you would be so kind as to mention this event to them.   The Ron Skilton Memorial Half Marathon, as seen on the Green Events webite alongside Man v Horse and World Bog Snorkelling.   It also has a FB page and we have a target of 500 like before the next event – help us get there.   Please.

Its difficult, when organising an event for it not to clash with others.   However, for those who have made it to Llanwrtyd for this (slowly) growing, feel good event, its worth making this one the event of choice.  Give it a try you won’t be disappointed and Llanwrtyd will make you very welcome.

scenic  scenic routemushrooms

All for a good cause… the give and take of life

22 Oct

There’s far more to a good cause than raising money for a registered charity.  I’m not belittling fund raising, its vital and a great thing to do.  What I’m saying is its a great thing to do for lots of reasons other than the actual cash result. Perhaps this is something that we are programmed to not admit as charitable fundraising is seen as an altruistic and selfless activity.

However, if I dare suggest that fundraising is also a good thing for the benefits the fundraiser gets.  Its a boost to ones self-esteem, a pat on the shoulder of one’s conscience, an opportunity to make your views and passions public and express a side of your personality.  I suggest that there is nothing wrong with accepting that fundraising is a mutually beneficial  activity.

I’d also suggest that the raising of awareness; the engaging of like-minded people,  the pro-activity, the community engagement are also important benefits of doing something for a good cause.

In fact quite often its the little charitable acts that are more effective in achieving all of the above than big actions for registered charities.  After all, registered charities cost a lot to run , so large proportions of monies raised go into paying staff, websites, literature, mail drops etc etc.  Obviously I’m not advocating we stop giving to the large charities but what I want to do is ‘big’ up the little acts because you don’t need to splash the cash to be able to help a good cause.  Which is handy in these times of austerity.

It takes nothing, for example to check in on the old lady or gentleman living on their own down the road.  even sharing a FB status advertising a fundraising event or gig is helpful.

A couple of weeks ago my son and various friends of his and their joint musical talents and bands performed officially and then unofficially amongst other local musicians in the pubs around Brecon as part ofOxjam.  They ended up jamming until 4am.  It was an awesome day.

Rock n Roll with The Hurricanes at Markets Tavern in Brecon for Oxjam

Rock n Roll with The Hurricanes at Markets Tavern in Brecon for Oxjam

More importantly is the realisation that the benefit is mutual.  money, I’m pleased to say was raised for a very good cause – in a non-pressure way – there were collection buckets on the bar- people gave what they could or wanted.  the music was FREE.  The musicians got exposure, got to perform (their passion), enjoyed the atmosphere, networked, laughed and felt fan-bloody-tastic.  The audience, staff, parents, friends got to be entertained, had the opportunity to help/give, laughed, shared, made new friends….

(Check out this you tube video out – cover of Sympathy for the Devil by young band, The Hurricanes)

When I started writing this blog piece I knew what I wanted to say but not really now to get it out.  Then an opportunity presented itself to me and through blogging and face-booking and the general network of social media communication that I find helpful, soulful and satisfying,  It was enlightening, almost an epiphany!  i chanced upon two things.  The first was author and blogger Alana Munro, and a subsequent comment on her blog lead me to Pulp Literature.  From there I was lead to the most inspirational TED TALK, “The Art of Asking”.  If you only have 13 minutes to spare all day may I humbly suggest you spend it watching this .  This talk just about gets to the heart of everything I feel and wanted to say in this blog.  Give and take, asking for help, reaching out, touching.  Life is bloody marvelous and if you open your mind and heart you let in the best of people and they get the best of you too.