The third and penultimate instalment of our intrepid gentleman’s entry into the world of slug juggling, top lip topiary and all things moustache-related as he seeks to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer. Could our hero avoid the infamous slasher Rick the Razor? Would environmental officers visit Mr. Moustache for a food safety check? Would he get stuck to any of his relatives as he gave them a goodbye peck on the lips? Read on and find out (or not)……..
Yes – it’s the second instalment of the exciting tale of one man and his moustache! How will our intrepid top lip slug juggler do this week as he continues to try to raise awareness and funds in his battle for all men everywhere against the evil foe prostate cancer? Week one ended with him sporting a pseudo-slug but somehow still having received generous support of £250. Yes, boys and girls, read on for more fantashtic adventures of new superhero Slugman in The Slug That Wouldn’t Die (but wouldn’t really grow very fast either)…….
Until a few weeks ago, Movember was just a badly spelt month of the year. Then I heard rumours about a few of the blokes at work growing moustaches for charity. I consider myself to be quite a charitable sort of guy but I was secretly hoping to get away with sponsoring someone else’s sartorial disaster rather than growing one myself. Then I heard about the link to prostate cancer, a nasty disease which killed my Dad eight years ago, and my hairy hell began. Here’s the story of the first eight days.
Environmentalists don’t get a very good press in general. They are often portrayed as being dull, a bit too earnest and too busy hugging trees to form proper relationships with other humans. More recently they’ve been likened to pseudo-religious fundamentalists who refuse to discuss their dogmatic beliefs. It’s a shame one of these journalists hasn’t come down to a meeting of local Greenpeace activists at the Labour Club in Northampton or, even better, joined us on a protest. They’d find that environmental activism is alive and well, and lots of laughs……..
The world can be a miserable place at times and it’s easy to lose hope when we see people mistreating each other. It needn’t be something huge like a UK citizen being tortured with the permission of his own government. It might be a relatively minor matter like discourtesy on the road or in the street. So it’s always good to spot the positives when they come along and to appreciate them and be grateful for them. That’s why a small incident at a recent gig brought a smile to my face.
This story has some of my favourite ingredients although it does lack any live music or even a sniff of revolution. Good friends, hoppy liquids, a sport played with a round ball involving twenty-two blokes and three visually-impaired gentlemen dressed in black, some spicy food, a great indie band and gigantic amounts of middle-class apoplexy. Gigantic to the extent of – wait for it, wait for it – a letter from.......the Residents’ Association Committee! Yes, it was your average November weekend in Northampton starring North London boys the Holloways......
To be honest, if we hadn’t been to Greenbelt before, the thought of going to a ‘Christian Arts Festival’ might be about as enticing as an offer of a wet weekend spent poking ourselves in the eye with a pointed stick. The reality is very different. This year’s adventures included some cutting edge table surfing, a little bit of mud sliding, listening to a life-shaping talk given through a megaphone, and a few rousing Christmas Carols in a beer tent in August. Whatever shape Greenbelt takes, it never fits neatly into any particular box.
Regular readers will know that I am a hopeless romantic. So few will be surprised to discover that I took my wife for an intimate birthday dinner in one of the UK’s largest outdoor vegan restaurants. OK, we went to Climate Camp 2008 in a field in Kent. But it was outdoors. And the food was vegan. This is the story of a great day when five of our family got stopped by the police in two separate locations. A day that confirmed to us that the world really is upside down.
It’s fashionable to say that the class divide is a thing of the past. Although few people in the UK walk around with top hats, and vacancies for butlers are few and far between, the divide still exists. This was reinforced last week when I went to get my hair cut. Now I’d never connected politics with the scissor arts but that all changed when I went for bit of well overdue stylistic damage limitation. First I read a laminated notice which had been stuck to the counter and then I spoke to the young woman who was doing my hair. Then steam started coming out of my ears.....
For several weeks I’d had this recurring nightmare. I was stuck halfway up a rock face, hands frozen, fingers unable to function. Each time I tried to move, one of my feet slipped from its tiny foothold. I couldn’t climb higher and I was too scared to descend. I was halfway up a rock in a hard place. Who on earth would rescue me? Down below, on firmer ground, a frail little old lady of 90 shouted out, “come on, Steve, you can do it!” Each time I awoke, it was in a nasty cocktail of fear, sweat and humiliation. My dream almost came true......
A while ago, Cheltenham Racecourse was home to a fleet of army lorries. Being used to dispense clean water to the flood-affected people from the surrounding areas. Remember the pictures of people rowing around Tewkesbury? To me, flooding and camping make strange bedfellows. So it was with some trepidation that we set off to the Greenbelt Festival, half-heartedly joking about packing a small dinghy and a couple of oars. We needn’t have worried. The sun shone relentlessly from a perfect blue sky and we had a weekend we’ll remember for a very long time....
You’d have to be an alien to be unaware of the rash of social networking sites (SNS) like MySpace and Facebook that have broken out all over the internet. Their very existence seems to split people I know into two very distinct groups - those who love ‘em and those who loathe ‘em. TTRP takes a brief look at the pros and cons of two of the biggest social networking sites and asks the question – is it impossible to live without them or are they just a waste of (My) space?
Many of us benefit every day from work carried out by our numerous 'servants'. Often they are people doing mundane jobs for low pay. The bus driver, shop assistant, waitress, office cleaner, supermarket trolley man. They may have been taught that the customer is always right. In real life, however, the customer is often rude, impatient, aggressive and has a spectacularly-inflated opinion of his or her own importance. Read these stories and see if you are suffering from a mild form of RDD – Respect Deficit Disorder – or even Personal Importance Gullibility (PIG)……
I have a very beautiful wife whom I love very much so guess what I’m going to do on Wednesday 14 February, Valentine’s Day. I’m going to give my wife no card, no present, no flowers, no dodgy underwear and I’m definitely not going to take her out for a meal. I may not even kiss her or tell her that I love her. In return she’ll probably do exactly the same for me (especially the bit about the dodgy underwear). So how is it that we would consider ourselves to be a romantic couple? Am I just mean like the Dad who told his kids that Santa was dead?
The last time I went to the Greenbelt Festival was over 20 years ago as a bad drummer in a very average band. All I could remember were: the toilets; a tacky runners-up medal and well-meaning evangelicals warning me about the twin dangers of cannabis and communism. Despite my natural aversion to camping, we were lured to this year’s festival at the Cheltenham Racecourse as the next logical step on our spiritual journey. Two questions remained unanswered – would we progress on our journey and would the toilets be any better?
There's something wonderful about true generosity. In a world where people believe “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”, acts of unconditional generosity give hope that things can indeed change for the better. Add a bit of creativity into the mix and the world suddenly becomes a brighter and more enjoyable place. I was inspired by one of Tony Campolo's stories. It's been said that most Christians “start dying the moment they're ‘born again’!” Tony Campolo bucks that trend relentlessly as a gracious and generous man, bursting with life.
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In the classic mod anthem, Pete Townsend of the Who wrote, “I hope I die before I get old.” I’m 43 now, enjoying life to the full and, with all due respect, have a message for the original modfather. Why don’t you just f-f-f-fade away. As an angry young man, Townsend was merely repeating a recently-created mantra, “young is good, old is bad.” It was an invention of a media and culture which helped create the teenager, a new consumer for the great American Dream.
I realise that it’s taboo for most people to talk about matters relating to death, let alone a forty-something Englishman, but I must have nonconformity in my blood. While I think of it, I could never understand, in a nation which shuns objective discussion of death, why the bookshops have whole sections dedicated to grisly true crime stories. For those readers who fear any emotional turbulence or are not at a good place in life to read such things, please feel free to leave the page but I wish you well nonetheless.