Monday, 24 January 2011
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
I am uncertain of how much coverage this is getting in the press around the Isles but I feel I must give the boys and girls at DecAid a big shout.
DecAid is a national appeal set up to mark the tenth year of conflict in Afghanistan, raise awareness of the work and involvement of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan, remember those men and women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan and to raise as much money for three service charities that help ex-servicemen and their families.
I strongly believe in supporting our forces. I have had a strong connection with them since being in cadets as a youngster and have continued this through various organisations until rather recently. In addition a large percentage of my friends are employed by The Queen, of whom
seven six (get well soon Tel!) are actively deployed on Forward Operating Bases in Afghanistan.
Most people can’t even imagine the hardships the guys out there are going through and every day dangers that they are exposed to. Who here would like to be eating boil and the bags every day for six months, never mind the ambush/IED threat, separation from family/friends, poor living conditions, heat, etc.
It’s an unenviable, unthankful job that should receive far greater attention from the media, for the positive stories as much attention as the negative. However we aren’t living in utopia and no one seems to want to hear about the positive impact the guys are having to work so hard out there to achieve.
Anyways, needless to say I support all the hard work the services charities do and feel DecAid warrants some support, as little as publishing it here will achieve.
Another reason for my interest in the appeal is a friends involvement, Tom O’Connell, who I went to university with. His involvement is enough for a a shout out, however it is the Munro Mission that he is helping lead that really piques my interest.
On 1st August 2011 the team will begin their challenge to summit all 283 Scottish Munros (mountain over 3,000ft) in under 50 days. However, there is more to their challenge than just ‘Munro Bagging’. The team will dedicate every Munro they climb to servicemen and women who have lost their lives in Afghanistan over the past 10 years.
If this task was not already tough enough, the team will complete it without the use of motorised transport. They will cover the 1600 miles using bicycles and kayaks but mainly on foot. This will require them to cover around 36 miles and summit 6 Munros every day for 49 consecutive days.
More than 1600 miles on foot, bike and kayak; over 61 miles of vertical ascent; 283 peaks and all in just 49 days. This is a superhuman endeavour, and on its own will hopefully raise plenty of money and national attention for the appeal.
Its an event I would relish to have the chance to get involved in, however I will settle with wishing Tom and the rest of his team the best of luck on their epic journey.
Please look over the DecAid webpage, think about getting involved and save a thought for the servicemen out in Afghanistan.
Friday, 14 January 2011
The Chap takes a wry look at the modern world through the steamed-up monocle of a more refined age, occasionally getting its sock suspenders into a twist at the unspeakable vulgarity of the twenty-first century.
Since 1999, the Chap has been championing the rights of that increasingly marginalised and discredited species of Englishman - the gentleman. The Chap believes that a society without courteous behaviour and proper headwear is a society on the brink of moral and sartorial collapse, and it seeks to reinstate such outmoded but indispensable gestures as hat doffing, giving up one's seat to a lady and regularly using a trouser press.
The Chap Manifesto
1. THOU SHALT ALWAYS WEAR TWEED. No other fabric says so defiantly: I am a man of panache, savoir-faire and devil-may-care, and I will not be served Continental lager beer under any circumstances.
2 THOU SHALT NEVER NOT SMOKE. Health and Safety "executives" and jobsworth medical practitioners keep trying to convince us that smoking is bad for the lungs/heart/skin/eyebrows, but we all know that smoking a bent apple billiard full of rich Cavendish tobacco raises one's general sense of well-being to levels unimaginable by the aforementioned spoilsports.
3 THOU SHALT ALWAYS BE COURTEOUS TO THE LADIES. A gentleman is never truly seated on an omnibus or railway carriage: he is merely keeping the seat warm for when a lady might need it. Those who take offence at being offered a seat are not really Ladies.
4 THOU SHALT NEVER, EVER, WEAR PANTALOONS DE NIMES. When you have progressed beyond fondling girls in the back seats of cinemas, you can stop wearing jeans. Wear fabrics appropriate to your age, and, who knows, you might even get a quick fumble in your box at the opera.
5 THOU SHALT ALWAYS DOFF ONE'S HAT. Alright, so you own a couple of trilbies. Good for you - but it's hardly going to change the world. Once you start actually lifting them off your head when greeting, departing or simply saluting passers-by, then the revolution will really begin.
6 THOU SHALT NEVER FASTEN THE LOWEST BUTTON ON THY WESKIT. Look, we don't make the rules, we simply try to keep them going. This one dates back to Edward VII, sufficient reason in itself to observe it.
7 THOU SHALT ALWAYS SPEAK PROPERLY. It's quite simple really. Instead of saying "Yo, wassup?", say "How do you do?"
8 THOU SHALT NEVER WEAR PLIMSOLLS WHEN NOT DOING SPORT. Nor even when doing sport. Which you shouldn't be doing anyway. Except cricket.
9 THOU SHALT ALWAYS WORSHIP AT THE TROUSER PRESS. At the end of each day, your trousers should be placed in one of Mr. Corby's magical contraptions, and by the next morning your creases will be so sharp that they will start a riot on the high street.
10 THOU SHALT ALWAYS CULTIVATE INTERESTING FACIAL HAIR. By interesting we mean moustaches, not beards
I feel it may be time to try and grow a moustache, as ludicrous as this will make me look.
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Zoo Kid - Out Getting Ribbs, He's got an EP coming out soonish/already I fink
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Its been over a month and a half since I've blogged anything, and even longer since anything remotely outdoors made it on t'interweb due to my doing! I must do better!
There are things that will pop up in the future for me to share, if there will be anyone on here to read it is another thing.
At the start of last year I hypothesised what I'd like to achieve for the year, and even though very little of it was achieved it seems sensible to make plans for the year that has already begun, if nothing else it will spur me on to achieve them.
I met up with Simon in early November to have a chat over a beer (which was more than pleasant and needs to be repeated.) He mentioned a walk he was planning to undertake and asked for my thoughts, it more than piqued my interest, however I saw it more as an ultra-esque fell run that would maybe compare to something like the Bob Graham Round. "The Mourne 500's" would visit all peaks in the Mournes mountain range that sits above 500 metres. This accounts for 39 peaks, 42 miles, 5,400 m's gain and 5,450 m's loss. Its an epic walk, one that would sit nicely over two or three days, but I see it's potential more as a fell run, and this is my main goal for the year is. Not only will this force me to stick with some sort of training program it will also get me on the hills more often for reconnoitering (I love that word) purposes, whether that involves walking or running or both. Since talking with Simon I have been pointed by a running friend to the Mourne 500 Challenge site (from where I've stolen some of the above stats) and this has just confirmed my desire to give it a bash. The 500's, or 1600's as I want to refer to them, will be my main nemesis for this year.