I’ve not been blogging for a few weeks now. The overriding reason for this is that I’ve been so busy at work recently that I’ve had to give 100% of my time to work and this focus has really been the only thing that I’ve really been able to concentrate on. It’s much to the credit of Cally that she has been understanding of this and has managed to not get too annoyed at my 10 hour days and 6 day weeks and by being so understanding its actually made my life so much easier. After a punishing day at work the last thing anyone needs is to get aggro for putting in a long shift and trying to earn a decent living and I’ve been very lucky to get the understanding and patience that I’ve needed to in order to get my numbers done and targets hit. So with these long days leaving me knackered I’ve been away from this page for a lot longer than I would have wanted to be and although I’ve written three or four half posts I’ve not really had the inclination to finish them off. Having said that the stats are going well. When I post a blog I like to keep track of the readership stats to see how it’s being received and even during the last four weeks of inactivity I’m delighted to see that I’m still getting plenty of daily hits on my web page. Almost certainly by the time you have read this I will have surpassed the 10,000 hits mark which is many more than I expected to get by this stage so before I go any further, this week marks the first anniversary of me starting this and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read it and share it, it really does mean a lot.
Over the last few weeks there has been many topics that I have wanted to find the time to write about,ranging from the situation in Syria and why President Putin has played a masterstroke and out politicked Cameron and Obama and I’ve wanted to write about the determination of a chum of mine to get his face punched in all in the name of charity. I’ve wanted to write about my birthday and the brilliant place that Cally found to spend the evening in and I’ve wanted to write about why I believe that the naming of men being accused of sex crimes should be legislated against so that they can remain anonymous until proven guilty. I’ve wanted to blog about my utter loathing of the professional protesters against fracking who have pitched up in their dozens and danced bizarrely to the tune of whale song to demonstrate their love of Mother Earth. But despite getting half way through some of these posts I’ve not finished them off but may well do so over the next few weeks or so assuming that they are relatively topical. Next week I’m off to see a band I first became aware off about 6 months ago and another band I first got into over 20 years ago so I’m sure there will be a review of those. As well as that we have booked a couple of city breaks that we plan to take in October and December so my 4 week absence from your Sunday morning email/social media is well and truly over. Whether you like it or not!
A few weeks ago I watched a documentary about the late and exceedingly great Freddie Mercury which prompted me to dig out my live aid DVD and watch their 20 minute slot. If you don’t remember it then you should stop reading this and watch it immediately and feel a degree of shame for not having done so before because this is simply a staggeringly awesome moment of musical magnificence that you should watch over and over. Legend has it that it was during Queens performance that Bob Geldof was walking along a gantry inside Wembley on his way to give the BBC an update on the progress of the fund raising when he stopped to watch the performance going on below. It seems that prior to the queen performance the word was that donations weren’t going too well and when he saw Freddie getting the 70,000 adoring fans to eat out of the palm of his hand, he became instantly incensed at the lack of cash, which in turn led him to enter the studio and live on tv issue his now legendary “give us your fucking money” tirade to the millions watching. This instantly led to the now over used strategy we have in place to raise money which is basically represented by the following equation celebrity+publicity x swearing =cash. I mention this because I have a good pal of mine who is trying to raise some money for Charity and I’d like to give his cause some well deserved publicity and ask you to donate a few quid. Each week this blog is now read over 500 times, so the way I see it is that if you each gave just one £/€/$/¥ or groat, then a good cause has received some much needed cash and you can all feel jolly smug and happy about it.
My pal Andy is an ex serviceman who after leaving the British army decided that he would avoid falling on hard times by foolishly taking up a career in the car sales game and although the chances of getting shot at are significantly lower, driving a fiat 500 as a company car was no direct replacement for the thrill of driving a 50 tonne tank across the desert while lobbing depleted uranium at some of the planets most unpleasant despots. And as if being a trained killer wasn’t enough for our Andy, he then decided that being a cage fighter and an exponent of mixed martial arts would be a good way of getting rid of some of the energy he so clearly has. This also means that he comes in really handy if it all kicks off outside the goose and ferret in Lewisham high street on a Saturday night. Like many of his kind he is not only a pretty modest guy but he also wants to avoid the limelight. I contacted him about writing this post a number of weeks ago and wanted to do a whole kind of journalistic piece about his background and military history and what drives him etc etc but he simply said no. He doesn’t want any of that, he simply wants to raise a few quid for his chosen charity.
What he is trying to do is to raise some money for the charity help for heroes, a cause that he and lots of others believe passionately in and one that stirred him greatly after a fellow serviceman was hacked to death in Woolwich a few months ago. What help for heroes does is to offer support for men and women who have fought in the name of our country to keep us safe and help protect folk in other countries far from home. Many of these soldiers leave limbs on the battlefield and discover that when they are finally home safe and sound it turns out that it’s the charities that are expected to help meet the cost of rehabilitating them as opposed to state. As it happens we both think that this isn’t particularly fair or reasonable. In this country we seem happy to give money hand over fist to things like children in need simply because a member of the wanted or one direction sits in a bath of baked beans for a few hours and we allow ourselves to be bombarded by disturbing images on charity adverts on tv where we are guilted into donating £2 a week etc etc. I donated to a well known children’s charity a number of years back and in the space of a year they wrote to me 6 times asking if I would like to increase my donation so after doing so 5 times I eventually cancelled my direct debit as I almost felt under pressure to pay more rather than making a choice about it. I guarantee that you can make a one off payment to Andy’s just giving site without being asked for more.
By the time you read this he will have had his fight and taken part in an MMA bout which is intended to raise money for his charity. He has been in training for weeks to do this and is very focused on his task. He has managed his diet, taken on sparring partners and sought the assistance of experienced coaches and not simply sat in beans or taken on a sponsored silence so he deserves your donations. On the right hand side of my page in the “blogroll” section is a link entitled “sponsor my mate to get punched in the face” and on behalf of Andy please give whatever you can, anything from a pound upwards will do.