Saturday, November 20, 2010

More Movember Shenanigans

It's moments like these that I love my job. I received a call today from a gentleman asking whether I could temporarily suspend his Movember account until midnight. Naturally, I wanted to know why. His response was that he had accepted a dare from his mates that he would get a tattoo if he reached £1000 in donations by midnight tonight. At the time of accepting the dare, he was nowhere near this target. But thanks to Facebook, he was now mightily close. £972 in fact. According to my new friend, he was even getting donations from strangers - God bless the internet!

At this point, I still hadn't agreed to suspend his account, despite his fears his future wife would leave him if he got the tatt. I asked to have a look at his account and quickly discovered he belonged to a rugby team. Of course. So I asked: Do you get to choose the tattoo? Can you decide where it goes? Surely some tatts are alright. And it's for a great cause.

I then learn that the tatt would be the Movember 'M' logo. It would be 4x4cm and he could choose the location. Well that doesn't sound too bad, and I make my nonchalant attitude known to him. He chuckles *nervously*. I then offer to throw in an extra £10 myself. Silence. But he doesn't hang up on me, that's good. Lastly, I tell him I would send him some Snickers bars (official sponsors of Movember) and that sealed the deal!

As luck would have it, as soon as I got off the phone to him, one lovely person put through a £30 donation, taking him over the line. I get an email from him, with the tattoo design attached, saying he is going through with it (and that I would make a great therapist). So tonight, somewhere in a tattoo parlour in England, one brave man is following through on his dare and getting a permanent Movember stamp on his body. But it's still only the 19th you say? Don't worry, he has another mate on the team who will do the same if he reaches £1000 by the end of the month. To join in on the fun, donate to him here: And might I just add, if you are still considering donating to me, don't. Really. Just donate to him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Heathrow Injection

There's a little bugger called the 'Heathrow Injection' whereby those of us who migrate to London inevitably put on weight. Lots of it! I'd heard rumblings of it when I first moved here; pfft, I said, I eat crap all the time and never put on weight. Famous last words...

They say it's a combination of changed diet and routine, excessive drinking, regular pizza deliveries (on a side note, one housemate recently commented that everytime the doorbell rings now, she expects it to be the pizza man and gets a little jolt), and comfort food cravings in the cold weather. I would add to that list my inability to cook anything other than pasta and potatoes.

I've talked about going to the gym but abandoned that idea pretty quickly. Me? Treadmill? Keep dreaming. I've tried dieting and detoxing but neither lasted very long either.

Then last weekend, I came up with the perfect solution: I bought bigger jeans. Now when I slide into my jeans, I'm no longer reminded EVERY MORNING that I've got a muffin top. Rather than putting all my energy into disciplining myself to not detour into Starbucks for the tall skinny gingerbread latte with an extra shot or refusing myself dessert (insane, right?), my mental energy has been focused instead on accepting my new body. Mind over matter baby, and I get to have cake too!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Run, Mo, Run!

What gets a sane person out of bed at 7:30am on a Saturday to travel to the other side of London on a chilly late autumn winter morning? The 10km Mo Run in Greenwich Park, of course. No, I didn't run myself - don't be silly. I did, instead, marshall while wearing a flattering fluoro yellow vest and cheered on those much fitter and braver than me.

Over a thousand men and women registered to take part I believe. And what a great opportunity to see those 'Mo's in progress,' just under halfway into the month. There were real ones and fake ones, thick ones and bushy ones, pink ones and gaffer tape ones. There were also sumo suits, tiger face masks and bath robes. I have no explanation for those, except perhaps that growing a mo is inducive of creativity. (Hey, another reason to get involved guys!)

It's still not too late to register and be part of Movember. There are already over 101,000 participants registered in the UK who have collectively raised almost £3mil! To put this into perspective, last year, 45,000 participants registered in total in the UK and raised a grand total of £5mil. I think it's safe to say we're well on the way to exceeding that figure in 2010. And in the meantime, I would suggest keeping your eyes peeled while on the train or walking down the street - there are some damn handsome mo's emerging.

PS. A big thanks to those who have donated to my page so far - £145 raised already! Below is a link to donate to me, but remember, you can donate to any Mo Bro or Mo Sista you know (doesn't have to be me). The money's all going to a great cause - The Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK or Prostate Cancer Foundation and Beyond Blue in Australia.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bright Lights and Bonfires

Daylight savings ended last weekend which means that when I leave work at 5pm, the sky is almost completely black. Despite it still being autumn technically.

But London after dark is so pretty, particularly this time of the year.

Last Thursday night, the Christmas lights on Oxford Street were officially switched on.

The big department stores such as Selfridges and Debenhams on Oxford Street have all begun decorating their store fronts.

After leaving the bustle of Oxford Street, we discovered a little fairground set up in Leicester Square.

We went on the Power Surge (below) and managed to keep our dinner down... but only just.

And you really can't beat Piccadilly Circus any time of the day or night. So... electric.

Friday 5th November was Guy Fawkes Day. Fireworks and bonfires to the tune of 'Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.'

We played with sparklers and ate fairy floss in the middle of Ealing Cricket Ground all rugged up in beanies, gloves and scarves. Bring on winter!