Thursday, 22 March 2012

ST Nicholas Church, Beedon

A fandabydozy coffee morning at St NIcolas Church Hall in aid of another St Nicholas where I bought all of these smelly goodies so that I don't stink as much as usual. I also spectacularly failed to make a cake for my friend's visit this afternoon, so bought a lovely chocolate cake that I thought I could pass off as homemade (except I am the worst liar in the world and I knew she wouldn't believe me!).

WHile I was choosing this cake, another regular at the jumble sale came over to me and pointed at the McBaby. "I didn't know you had a baby!" he exclaimed. "Where did this come from?"

"From the table over there near the books," I said. "50p".

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Oxfam -Tag your Bag

I might harp on about this too much, but since the occasion when I donated my wedding dress to Newbury's Oxfam shop and they didn't say thank you, I haven't been able to look at my wedding pictures without them leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

However, I've just had a letter to say that my dress raised £185.63 which is great news. Apparently this is going to "Tanzania to train a school inspector to raise the standards that will keep kids out of poverty". I've asked Oxfam not to write to me again, I'm going to ceremonially burn the letter this evening and then have a glass of wine while looking at my wedding pics for the first time in months. Hopefully I'll be able to remember a lovely day when MrM and I put into words how much we love each other instead of wishing I'd kept my dress for the baby's christening! I promise not to moan about Oxfam again in this blog once that's all done!!

Remember, the words "thank you" cost so little and mean so much....

Sunday, 18 March 2012


Is there any finer way of helping to fundraise than eating cake? While down in Cornwall, my sister took the McBaby and I to a cake sale where indulged so much that it's just as well that I forgot my camera. There was an incredible choice of cupcake, yoghurt cake and chocolate cake that I couldn't decide. So I had everything with tea, tea, tea in return for a donation to the village's Queen's Jubilee party. Anything left over is going to the Cornwall Blind Association.

The head baker's daughter even held the McBaby while we stuffed our faces. I am so moving down here....

We would like to challenge you to become a Visually Impaired Person for a few hours, to help raise awareness of World Sight Day 2012. We have a variety of simulated glasses that you might like to try out and gain an insight into living life in someone elses shoes whilst you raise funds for Cornwall Blind Association.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Rock at the racecourse

A lil plug for a forthcoming event in Newbury....

....and here's a bit of the amazing Dry the River performing "History Book" while you read....

Do you aspire to be a rock star like former Newbury resident and Dry the
River lead singer Peter Liddle?

You still have time to enter Greenham Common Trust’s Rock at the
Racecourse event which gives you the chance to win £500 and a day in a
recording studio and play live in front of hundreds of people.

The Trust, which has teamed up with the Newbury Weekly News, is looking
for local, young and talented bands and singer songwriters to enter its ‘battle
of the bands’ themed competition.

All you have to do to enter is record a video of you playing live on Youtube
and send the link to Julian May at by
Friday April 13th to have a chance to win.

Dry the River is currently riding the crest of a wave having just released their
debut album ‘Shallow Bed’ with RCA Victor label, which was recorded in
Connecticut last summer. The band, which has played high-profile gigs on
both sides of the Atlantic recently, after a summer of festival performances,
will headline the London Electric Ballroom in May as well as having been
shortlisted for the BBC Sound of 2012.

But before their rise to fame the band gained some crucial experience from
gigging around the local music scene.

By the time Peter Liddle returned to Newbury as a teenager, he and the
various members of Dry the River – guitarist Matthew Taylor and violinist Will
Harvey, plus Scott Miller (bass) and Jon Warren (drums) – were crossing
paths in various bands on the DIY scene which concentrated around
Southampton, Reading and Newbury’s Waterside Youth Centre.

“It was this cool, grimy little venue,” says the singer. “You could rehearse
there, and they always put on local bands alongside touring artists, which
really helped cultivate the scene. It meant you could sell out a decent venue
with your 16 year old punk band.”

Seven local acts will be shortlisted by judges and their profiles and videos will
be posted on the Rock at the Racecourse page via the NWN’s website: http://

If you are inspired by Dry the River’s success why not get involved in Rock
at the Racecourse? Don’t forget to send your entries in before April 13th and

include a high resolution photograph of the band or act along with a short
profile about yourselves (150 words maximum).

If you are into photography, music journalism or film making we also want
to hear from you. We need young people to photograph and video the final
Rock at the Racecourse event at Newbury Racecourse on Friday, June 29th.
We also want student to put together the programme for the final. If you are
interested please contact Julian May on 01635 817407. The shortlisted bands
will be announced in May. There you can vote for your favourite act which
will count towards their chance of winning at the final. Look out for details in
the Newbury Weekly News, and on Rock at the
Racecourse Facebook page.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Army Benevolent Fund

My dad got talking to a former army officer who was collecting in town for this charity, so we both put some coins into his tin.

M'dad is something of an expert on military history and as such, always gets mistaken for an ex-soldier.

We are The Soldiers’ Charity. We give lifetime support to serving and retired soldiers and their families. They risk so much for us, but for them, it’s just doing their job.

In return, we provide financial assistance when they are in real need. That’s what we’ve been here to offer for 66 years.

We have seen a 30% rise over the past two years in applications from soldiers who have taken part in previous and current conflicts and we currently raise £7 million a year to meet this need.

As a result of Current Operations it is anticipated that the requests for assistance will rise significantly in the coming years. It is the aim of The Soldiers’ Charity to increase fundraising to £14 million a year by 2015 to be sure that we can help each and every soldier that needs our help.

We depend entirely on your donations and goodwill to do this.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Active Kids 2012

Even if you don't have children, it's worth keeping hold of those supermarket coupons as charities often have collection boxes. Although I pride myself on staying out of supermarkets wherever possible, I have to admit that I have still amassed a pile of these coupons, mostly from diesel purchases (a mere £100 to fill the tank thanks to the new 146per litre price!).

Today I found a box inside St Nic's Church Hall for 5th Nebwury Brownies who are collecting these tokens for cooking equipment.