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 This is an open letter to the troll who left the (unpublished) vitriolic comment on my sheep picture earlier today.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!




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

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