Tuesday, 29 May 2012

'Cause' and Effect!

I am going to have a 'little' rant and just say that I am very proud to be a Torch Bearer (or Future Flame as we are called by our team - Coke Cola) As anyone that has anything to do with ANY type of fund raising - it is a thankless task, but nobody ever (or should) do it for that reason. Thank yous are very few and far between and sometimes never given but it DOESN'T matter.
Fundraisers are a fabulous bunch who most often are volunteers and do it because they enjoy it, believe in it and get that buzz when they have accomplished something. I love doing anything to raise money for a good cause - dressing up and acting silly is my favourite thing and I usually enjoy it more than the kids, but if it brings in a few quid then so much the better! I spent my childhood supporting all the village activities from fates at White Lovington, Maypole dancing at the Old Vicarage to going to every jumble sale, coffee morning and carnival my Mum dragged me to. At 17 I organised my first event with John England - we put on a pet show at the Scout Hut and it was brilliant! I regularly then put on different small fundraisers for different animal charities, as at the time I was working for Margaret Green and full on Animal Action (Yes Jack Straw I was a member of Shac, because I bought a shirt).
I helped occasionally at the Pop In but found it hard for a long time after Tina, my sister died to go there - but I was never a dedicated volunteer like the AMAZING Alison Bennett or FANTASTIC, HILARIOUS Ju Lye, they are both amazing, dedicated and work SO hard for the Pop In.
In 2001 you might remember I sat outside the Londis (as it was then I think) with a placard and a bucket, put collecting tins in the pubs and for 6 days raised money for the Red Cross appeal to help fund the food and supplies for the Emergency services looking for survivors of the September 11th Twin Towers disaster. I was heavily pregnant with Evan and think that with my hormonal situation it affected me terribly (think I would have rowed over to NY to help if I hadn't been expecting) I always remember only 2 complained I was 'helping the yanks' but after I asked who was supposed to look for our hundreds of British Nationals then? They both put in a fiver. It raised £287 I think - not much but I felt as though I had tried to do...something.
I went back and helped with Performers for a while and went on FOBRS when Ev started school and eventually Chaired the committee and I had great fun, I think the kids did to (and the Halloween Disco will be put on somewhere this year!) I loved it but kids move on and so then must we, Sandford is closing so I haven't got on the committee and I am somewhat at a loss as to what I will raise money for next...
Evan and I raise some for Julia's House and really enjoy their events.

I am quite a bubbly, happy person most of the time and even if I am not I pretend I am! I try not to annoy people. I am always late. I dislike people that have NO tact! I sometimes vanish. I get very stressed with my home situation. I think I am friendly. I NEVER EVER am rude or obnoxious to people for no good reason and I am always polite when asking for help. I will do anything I am able to do if asked. I am NOT stupid. I am a full time carer. I am a SINGLE Mother. I LOVE my friends more than anything and appreciate every single one of them more than words can say. I am A TORCH BEARER. I AM PROUD.

*steps of her box (not a soap box, a big box as I am short lol!) *

Monday, 21 May 2012

Torch - To Sell or Not To Sell........

OK, since yesterday and the beginning of the Torch Relay there has been massive controversy surrounding those Torch Bearers that have decided to sell their torch on auction sites across the Internet.

At first I was appalled, as ever since I found out Coke Cola were buying my torch for me I have imagined Ev having it as a Grandfather and showing his Grandchildren!
I waited to read an official statement from LOCOG and finally they responded stating that we can do what we like with our torches once we have completed our leg of the relay.

So numerous discussions have started in forums and on Facebook groups, most against the selling of them. This got me wondering to why is it so awful that some people want to sell it on? Some have advertised that proceeds are for charity or at least a donation is.
I contacted one seller to ask if he thought the bids were real as his torch is going for over £140,000 (Yes, you read that correctly) he replied saying he had no idea, but it was to secure a future for his children.

I am desperate for a car, nothing special, just four wheels and a reliable engine - it would change my life and that of my son and Mother, so why is it so bad and why do I feel guilty even thinking of selling it.
I don't want to sell it, I would love to have it hung in my lounge but when money like that is being offered and it would get me out of debt, on the road and able to do things for my child, why not?

Is it any different to a soldier putting medals up for sale? We have been given the chance to run because we do things for our communities, raise money for charity, overcome adversity etc so surely those to wish to sell can do so without all this abuse? Some runners have ill children, partners, friends and the money could help with costs of care, operations etc
Everybody's need and situation is different and who is to say they should or should not sell soemthing which could change it for the better?
I think the whole situation was blown up due to the speed that they appeared for sale, the first only hours after the run had been completed.
I am not making a decision until after my run, if then I decide to sell then that is MY choice and nobody else has any right to tell me I'm wrong. If it means I can get my son to sports and my housebound Mother out of the chair she sits in 24x7 then 1 strangers opinion on the net means nothing....

I think I sound really harsh at the end of this piece, my point is that I DO CARE, I would love to keep it but if changes my son's life - do I have the RIGHT to keep it when people obviously are willing to pay for my piece in history? It is a very difficult decision - with one bid my community play park could be built......

The BBC opinion today http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18142358

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Monster Pet Supplies - Kong Cat Products

This review is my own opinion and I am not paid to write it although I did receive the products for free.

I suppose if I did not have my son I would be a 'Crazy Cat Lady' I never intended for my son to be an only child but that is the way that things turned out! So, I have 7 cats, I never intended to have that many cats either! They are all very individual and each and everyone has characteristics that would not be out of place in the local secure unit of a mental health facility.
I love each and everyone of them; even if they drive me insane on a daily basis!

I found  Monster Pet Supplies on Twitter and responded to a call to try some cat treats out for them.
Jack, is my 16yr old Thai Blue Korat - proper name Chandrakan King of Siam Sahm, but known to me as Jack. He was very impressed when informed he would be reviewing treats so when the parcel arrived he was most disgusted with the fact it was toys and NOT food treats, so he passed the review on to Buffy my nearly 5yr old Burmese cross.
Buffy is a very playful, spayed female. I have always found that catnip products are down to the individual cat as to whether they are a fan or not. Most young cats tend to shy away and it is not until they have matured that it becomes popular to play with. I have also found that female cats take longer than male cats to 'come around' to the power of plant!

 The first item is the Kong Kickeroo - Monster Pet prices start from £2.58 for the kitten version. The Cow style we reviewed is priced at £3.58.

KONG Kickeroo Cow
Cats get bored easily, and bored cats are naughty cats. So satisfy your cat's natural hunting instincts with a KONG Kickeroo!

Watch them attack, wrestle, and snuggle up with this soft Tiger striped catnip toy. The Kickeroo's size, shape, and material were specially chosen to promote wrestling and hind paw kicking, while the fluffy tail provides movement for extra excitement!
  • Makes intriguing crinkle sound when squeezed
  • Contains KONG's premium North American catnip
  • Ultra-soft fabrics

So this is Buffy's reaction, please excuse the sound quality!

Build Quality 10/10
Fun 10/10
Size 10/10
Cost 10/10

Overall score 10/10

The second product to try out is the Kong Naturals Catnip Spray priced at £4.32 and you do NOT need much 1 or 2 sprays is sufficient for any item. I used far too much on the towel but it was for the benefit of the video. This bottle will last for months - but keep it put away! I left it out on the side and it was chewed although thankfully not broken in to! 
Make sure you spray the item away from your cats and NEVER be tempted to spray it on them, you will see a glimpse in the video when I am spraying the towel; of Buffy's reaction and all my cats reacted the same way - it is STRONG and affects their eyes if they are to close. Ideal for teaching young cats to use the scratching post etc.

KONG Naturals Catnip Spray
KONG Naturals Catnip Spray is made with concentrated catnip oil for bags of interest and fun. The oil is fancily steam-distilled from the best of North American catnip, making the strongest smelling catnip oil available. For irresistible fun, spray the catnip on toys, teasers, scratchers, or cat condos (anything you want your cat to go crazy for). Your cat will love you it, and you for doing it!
  • Irresistible, highly potent scent
  • Natural, no-mess formula 
  • Spray on toys, teasers, scratchers, and cat condos
KONG Naturals are ecologically responsible cat products. All ingredients and oils come from natural, renewable resources. These products are designed to appeal to the natural instincts of the indoor cat, providing fun with a purpose.

KONG Naturals Catnip Spray comes in a 1 fluid ounce spray bottle.

Buffy and the Kong Catnip Spray:

Cost 8/10
Fun 10/10
Quality 9/10

Overall score 9/10 
Only negative would be maybe too strong so you need to take care with it.

Overall I am thrilled with both items and we have had great fun playing with all the cats with both. I did however have to buy Jack some cat food treats as he would not talk to me!

Monster Pet Supplies can be found

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/monsterpetsupplies