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Charity, it’s all a load of bollocks!

Of course, I don’t actually believe that, but it would seem that some people mistakenly think I do? Frankly I’m sick and tired of the ripples caused by the Ice Bucket Challenge nonsense. This is an open letter to the troll who left the (unpublished) vitriolic comment on my sheep picture earlier today.


Help save trolls with our new campaign. Douse yourself with petrol, light a match and then nominate 50 friends to do the same. Oh, hang on, that’s not going to work is it?

It’s all getting very boring – to me anyway. If you want to tip a bucket of cold water on your head and donate to an American charity, one that it would seem from recent reports may be turning out to be quite questionable, go ahead and do it. Or, as people have been doing donate to another charity. That’s fine. It’s your choice. Equally, it is my right, and the right of others to have concerns, be cynical, question it – and more importantly to say NO! To say NO without being pilloried and accused of not caring about charity.

Here’s the rub – I don’t like blowing my own trumpet (much) – but I’ve earned my charity stripes. I’ve raised thousands of Euro in recent years for causes I wanted to support. Not multi-national charities with their unfathomable admin, wages and fund raising spending. Small charities where I knew the money would get to the people who needed it. Small charities where the head of the organisation doesn’t get a pay packet (if they get one at all) worthy of a stock market listed company, where they don’t drive around in a company car or fly business class on the back of the efforts of myself and others. I’ve spent our money doing this, I’ve taken time off work, I’ve trained for months, and it resulted in me doing something to the best of my knowledge nobody else has done. I’m quite proud of myself – and so are my family and friends – the only people who’s opinions matter to me. Your opinion is of no consequence whatsoever – quite probably to anyone – if this is the best way you can find to spend your time. What the fcuk have you done? Tipped a bucket on you head? I bet you haven’t even done that!

Don’t bitch about me, and don’t judge others who want no part of it. Don’t assume because someone hasn’t tipped water on themselves they have done or do nothing. We are lucky enough to live in a part of the world where we have a right to free speech and freedom of choice. I say my piece and I make my choice.

The problem is the chain letter nature of these things. Chain letters imply an obligation, a pressure. I won’t pray for anyone on the strength of a chain letter (I’m an atheist), I won’t send money, or send a card to a terminally ill child  – and I’m damn sure I won’t be dead by the end of the week if I don’t pass some stupid thing on to ten of my friends. Nor will I tip a bucket of water on my head!

Chain letters are BAD. Yes, I’m a big – and highly opinionated boy and not shy about voicing my view. But, I can’t help but wonder how many people have felt bullied into this, or as a result of not doing it. Charity is a personal thing. Nobody should donate to a charity they don’t want to – nor should they be obligated via ‘nomination’ to board the next Facebook charity gravy train. If nobody can dare question anything that includes the word ‘charity’ the possibilities for corruption are endless.

If you want to do this stuff, go ahead, whatever your motive. But back the hell off from attacking or criticising people who choose their own path.

..or you could just piss off and peddle your hatred and insecurities anonymously elsewhere. Try Britain First (you’ll fit right in) – they’ve probably already duped you into liking them with their fake charity bullshit!




A Christmas message!

Stop being a jerk on Facebook!

British TV in Spain, the first UK Christmas television since 2005!

Having been in Spain for over six years now I’ve never missed British TV. In Lanzarote, apart from BBC World, we’ve got by with a mix of Spanish, Middle Eastern and American programming. Recently though, due to a move to the mainland we found ourselves with a Sky dish. It’s been quite nice to see a bit of British television again. However, I’m re-thinking that a little having endured the joys of Christmas television.

boxNo, it’s not the bloody awful schedules that have me concerned. It’s Christmas, you know it will be crap! You expect it to be crap! And, you prepare in advance for it to be crap!

What has really wound me up is the advertising. My God what is going on over there…?

I can forgive the stupid slogans like;

“100% of women who tested out product saw results:” (May have actually killed them all, but it is a ‘result’ nonetheless!)

“Our diet pills – when combined with good eating habits and exercise gets results.” (No shit Sherlock!)

We’re all used to ad agencies talking to consumers like they are stupid. In fact we expect it.

I can even – almost – forgive Brad Pitt making an arse of himself by doing the Chanel advert. Who is giving that man career advice? He needs to sack his agent over that one!

What I can not forgive having seen a British television Christmas after so long, was the bullshit charity advertising and the prevalence of gambling websites. Continue reading

Day 06. Fuerteventura. Gran Tarajal to Costa Calma

Here is a recap of Alan’s Day Six of his Siete Islas Charity Walk. It is the fourth part of the Fuerteventura section.

If you would like a more “as it happens” update… then go to the official Facebook page HERE and click “like”. Continue reading

Setting off at last…!

I’ve been planning the walk of the seven islands for some time now, and especially for the past few weeks I’ve just wanted to get on with it and be on my way. Well, the time has come now and tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn I´ll be setting off from Orzola.

I’m not sure saying I’m looking forward to the journey is the correct way put it, but I guess I am. Though having driven down Fuerteventura a couple of weeks ago to remind myself just how much of a challenge this would be I am starting with a little bit of trepidation about stepping out into the unknown. It’s all very well planning these things on maps – but maps don’t always tell you the whole story, they can only give an impression. I’m pretty sure I’m likely to encounter one or two problems on the way to disrupt my sketchy plans.

Unlike last year when I was pretty much determined to do the walk on my own, should anyone want to join me for an hour or two, for lunch, or a pit stop I’d be more than happy to meet up with any friendly faces en route. I’ll be posting regular updates and photos on this Facebook page so you’ll be able to see where I am and what I’m doing. If anyone is daft enough to want to get up early to come and see me off I’ll be leaving Orzola at daybreak tomorrow – around 08:00. Continue reading

Wax Bar charity auction – what’s on offer?

Wax bar are staging a charity auction on 10th May, proceeds will go to  Niños del Tercer Mundo and the Rose Road Association.

Here are some of the items you can bid on!

Hopefully we’ll be adding more as the time approaches.

Not wishing to exclude anyone from bidding we’ve decided that you can bid from this page from the UK – or anywhere else for that matter! All you need to do is place a bid for the item using the form below. Simply tell us what you want to bid on and how much – the highest email bid will be treated as a sealed bid on the night of the auction, when the highest bid is achieved at the bar – the bid will be opened and the highest of the two bids will be the winner!

All items will be split between a live auction on the night… and a raffle. If you would like a strip of 5 raffle tickets for €5 (or multiples of course), then please contact me by phone today on 0034 664085499 and we can organise a PayPal transfer or similar, and we will happily open a ticket on your behalf onthe night. Also on the night we have Steve Deards hosting, with Helen Smiler (one of Wax Bar’s owners)… plus LIVE MUSIC from local musicians from around half ten. Karaoke Gaz has offered his body for waxing – €5 a strip!!!

And don’t forget that if we reach 2500, that Alan will release the photo of him in a mankini! (Brave man? Or stupid? You be the judge!!)

It all starts at 8pm… so come along and show your support whilst enjoying a great night in one of the most popular bars in the town!!

  • Voucher worth €20 – Scooters Bar, Punta Limones
  • Sunday Roast Dinner for 2 at Popeye’s Bar, Punta Limones (incl a drink each)
  • Budweiser 66 t-shirts (2 x small, 2 x Ladies small, 2 x Ladies medium, 2 x Ladies large) – Phil Burch / Budweiser
  • Budweiser embroidered bowling shirts x 2. XL – Phil Burch / Budweiser
  • Official Budweiser FA Cup 2012 Football. Guide price £75 – Phil Burch / Budweiser
  • 10 copies of Sheila Crosby’s fab ebook, “The Dodo Dragon and Other Stories”. Fixed price of €3 each – Sheila Crosby
  • 27cm handmade Elvis figure silhouette in black wood. – Leo Woodturner
  • 3 vouchers for Coronas Fish Foot Spa in Costa Teguise. Includes 15 minutes fish foot pedicure, then 15 minutes zen foot massage, and then an aloe vera foot massage – guide price €45
  • Half a day (4 hours) of work on your garden (Lanzarote only) – Matt Hodge
  • A voucher worth €20 to use for food and drinks – Friends Bar, Puerto del Carmen
  •  A goodie bag containing a couple of bottles of top quality Gonzales Byass sherry (or rioja if you prefer) and glasses – from our good friend Louise Bartholdi at Gonzales Byass
  • VIP visit for 2 people around the Gonzalez Byass bodega in Jerez (flights and accommodation not included). This is a fantastic prize, and worth booking a weekend away for!! Gonzales Byass is the home of “Croft”, “Tio Pepe”, and many more quality brands of sherry wines, wines, oils, vinegars, spiritis, liqueurs, and much more.
  • Crate of Desperado – Wax Bar
  • €20 Voucher (x2) – Wax Bar
  • A voucher which is the equivalent of two session with Mitch from ‘Personal Trainer Lanzarote‘ – value €60
  • Box of Organo Gold Gourmet Black Coffee from Jackie Lee – guide value €22
  • Meal for two with desserts at The British Cafe in Costa Teguise – guide value €15
  • Voucher from Brown Deli in Costa Teguise – to the value of €20
  • Framed picture of old Playa Blanca from Panda’s Gallery in CC Papagayo – guide value €40
  • Meal for two (excluding drinks) at Plaice in the Sun, CC Papagayo – guide value €20
  • Voucher from Cafe Aroma, CC Papagayo to the value of €20
  • Three course meal for 4 at La Bocaina Restaurant, Playa Blanca (excluding drinks) – guide value €120-140
  • Voucher from Flowers by Serenity to the value of €35
  • Voucher from Flowers by Serenity to the value of €25
  • Gift voucher for two foot spa treatments and two 15 minute foot massages at Tootsies Foot Spa – guide value €30
  • Sports & Nutrition Pack from Forever Bella – guide value €60
  • A year’s advertising on Canary – guide value €150
  • A year’s advertising on Lanzarote business – guide value €50
  • Voucher against the cost of a new website from Gandy-Draper – €100
  • … plus a number of goodies exclusive to the bar that night!

You can make a bid using this form….

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Which item would you like to make a bid on?

How much would you like to bid? (Euro)

Do you have an item or service you’d like to donate to add to the list? Either in Lanzarote or the UK, it doesn’t matter! If you do please click here.

Continue reading

Charity auction at Wax – can you contribute?

The lovely owners and staff at Wax in Playa Blanca are organising a charity auction to help raise funds for the two charities I’m supporting with the ‘Siete Islas walk’. Thanks guys!

The auction will be held on Thursday 10th May after I (hopefully! :)) have finished the walk and back on the island.


Between Wax and ourselves we’re hoping to have a bunch of goodies from both here, and in the UK. So if you’re  in the UK you will still be able to take part if you see something you fancy. The plan is to accept bids prior to the event on items, bids will be kept secret, and treated as sealed bids to be opened on the night. Anything not bid on will be placed on ebay.

So, at this stage Helen is looking for some items for the auction! She can be contacted via the Wax Bar Facebook page, or if you leave a comment on this post she’ll see it.

Helen is looking for all the usual stuff you see at this events, whether you’re a business or an individual will be grateful if you have any goods, services or talents you might be able to offer for auction, for two very worthy causes. As well as the regular stuff it would be great to see any creative ideas – anyone got any A list celebrities in their address book you can scrounge something from for instance? 🙂 Continue reading

A new challenge…

February 2011

People who read this site regularly will likely be aware of the walk I did from the north to the south of the island. From which I managed to raise a total of £1305.67 (including gift aid) via the Just Giving website, which has since been distributed to Niños del Tercer Mundo and the Rose Road Centre and is now being put to good use in support of both of their great works!

The first question I was asked after completing that walk was what next. At that time I hadn’t even thought about what next, I wasn’t even sure there would be a next time as the walk was just something I had wanted to do for my own reasons. Also at the time I got an email from our friend Geoff Holt who – to paraphrase – said to me “I bet you’ve got the bug now haven’t you”? It seems he was right. Raising the money for these extremely fantastic causes was perhaps one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.

Now I have a new plan. I’m not saying what exactly just yet for a several reasons – clearly I have to top what I did last time… Continue reading