Saturday, 24 September 2016

Make me a cup of tea before you go-go

Part of the whole philosophy of Go Mum Go is to have adventures and fun. In the last few years I've taken part in some pretty random events to raise money and at this moment I'm totally pooped following a series of challenges that have all coincided.

I took part in the H2Only challenge from 13th-23rd September to raise money for the RNLI. For ten days I could only drink water which meant I had to forgo my morning cuppa and skip the alcohol at the MADS awards, a theatre launch event and a press night. I have to admit it was far more challenging than I expected and the friends who know me best sent me messages today asking if I'd had my first tea yet. Thanks guys - you are truly my people.

Last night I took part in a fundraiser for the Royal Marsden hospital during which a room full of us did Clubbercise for an hour and a half. In a darkened room, bathed in disco lights, most of us in neon clothing, we danced the night away. I woke up in not a little pain and glad I was finally able to drink lovely soothing tea. Oh how I longed for a lazy day on the sofa watching Breaking Bad.

Then today it was the annual Slide-a-thon. I am a trustee of a fantastic inclusive dance charity called SLiDE (South London inclusive Dance Experience). Every year we spend a weekend travelling around parks in Croydon, sliding in fun and amusing ways to raise money to support the inclusive dance work of the charity. Supporters pledge money to SLiDE in return for us filming / photographing ourselves doing their suggested slide challenges. This year mine included doing the Vogue down a slide and having tea and cake on another one. There was one slide that terrified me so much I got to the top only to bottle out and climb back down - I'm not proud of it, but I am determined to do it in the future. I've also discovered a park with a zip wire a short walk from our house. I am so going back there !

Tomorow I'm going for a swim to stretch out all the muscles that have been worked so hard for the last 48 hours. Then on Friday is the Macmillan coffee morning where I get to drink tea and eat cake all in the name of charity. I know, a tough gig right ? I think after that I'm going to hang up my fundraising shoes for a little while.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Busy Beavers and outdoor adventures.

I've been keen for my oldest son to join the scouts since he was small. He's always been active and loves playing with others and since he's been at school he's become good at problem solving and working together. All skills that I think will come in handy as a scout. Well a beaver actually as he's too young for scouts just yet. The timetable for this term looks promising with team games, tree climbing and junk collage. The bit about tent pitching and campfire songs I'm not so sure about.

You see, camping is just not my thing. I love being outdoors and spend a lot of time and energy on making our garden a lovely place to be. It's just the idea of 'roughing it' that makes me pale. Even when people helpfully say, "what about glamping ?" or "they have hot water and proper bathrooms at campsites now." I raise an eyebrow. I love the idea of camping and often mention to Hubbie that I've seen a very reasonably priced family tent. He just looks at me and shakes his head firmly. He has experience of camping and is not keen to do it again.

So you see if my son is going to learn useful outdoor survival skills - and develop a tolerance for sleeping on the ground - he has to be a beaver. His Uncle (Hubbie's brother) was a keen scout and often went away on camping trips. Hubbie wasn't so keen. I feel guilty that we haven't given the boys that authentic 'great outdoors' experience that surely every child has to have. Maybe Uncle Munich* can take them instead of us ?

I might give it a try if he really does want to go and he learns how to do all the practical things. It's far more likely that I'd consider glamping if it really is glamorous - in which case bring it on !

Hubbie is taking Big Boy to his first Beavers class tonight. I'm going to miss seeing how he gets on, but I know he's good at making friends and joining in so I hope he has fun - and that he doesn't suddenly expect us to go camping !

*Subbuteo related family nickname

Monday, 5 September 2016

We do like to be beside the seaside... safely

One of the things that is really important when seeking out adventures is to keep safe when doing them. After all it's no good being a daredevil if you end up out of action preventing any further adventures is it ? In the Summer me and Big Boy tried surfing for the first time and one of things that we were taught in our lesson was the importance of the flags on the beach and knowing where is safe to swim. This has become a big news story recently as strong weather and tides have caused fatalities by the sea.
Polzeath Beach - where we learned to surf this summer

I've always had an affinity with the RNLI as in the past I went scuba diving and divers have a lot of respect for the water and those who protect and keep us safe from potential danger. Did you know that the RNLI is the only dedicated organisation of its kind in the world ? They advise on safety and even provide equipment to other countries too. 

Dead Fred is based in every lifeboat station 

Grandma and Grandpa (my in-laws) live very close to the Solent and we often go to look at boats or take the ferry to the Isle of Wight when we stay with them. Mother-in-law has been keen for the boys to visit the RNLI station at Calshot Beach for a while. She heard a talk by them and wanted to go and see the boats so when we visited last week we took the boys there. 

There is a lot of safety kit 

The lovely chap who showed  us around explained that he is a marine engineer and is based at the station full time. All the others are on call and from call to response they can be in the water as quickly as 17 minutes ! We were shown Willets and Max, the two lifeboats that are kept at Calshot and average 3 callouts a week. 

That is a big hat !

Big Boy wanted to try on the kit so he managed to get the helmet on (not the helmet cam though - that was a bit too pricey to risk with a 5 year old !) and the lifejacket that was pretty weighty to wear. We heard all about the work of the RNLI staff and the risk factors that people don't consider when going out on the water. I'm so glad that my boys got to do this and hope it will help in keeping them safe.
Willets the lifeboat 

The RNLI do amazing work and deserve so much respect for what they do. I cannot praise them highly enough for making us so welcome.