Race For life 2015

Race For Life race numberFor my last day of #VolunteersWeek, I stepped outside Guiding and WI to participate in Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life in Welwyn.   Like most people, cancer has affected friends and family in my life, so it’s a charity I am happy to support.Race For Life feet upI am not a runner.   I own one pair of trainers but hate running.   I feel self conscious whenever I go running so normally end up cross country which is hard on my poor aching body, especially my dodgy back.   I was planning to do the Couch to 5K programme, but just couldn’t get the weather and my health to align.   I did make sure I upped my activity rate and did extra walking though, and gave myself an extra incentive by including it as an activity for the ‘Myself’ clause of my Trefoil Guild Voyage award (Duke of Edinburgh style award for Trefoil Guild members).Race For Life start inspirational womenLook at all these inspiring women!   A true pink army, raising funds for a great cause.

I tweeted as I power walked round and plugged myself into the music selection.   Unfortunately, most of the music was Christmas music so it was a strange experience listening to I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day on a really warm and sunny day!   I did get a retweet from Santa though!Race For Life finishBecause I was having a great time going round, the finish came sooner than I thought and I earned my medal.Race For Life medalI wasn’t as keen on the freebie milk drink and brioche though, but as they had to close the road, I was stuck for an hour after I finished before I could head home for lunch.Race For Life inspirational messagesAnd this is why we did it.   On the way out, people were pinning their “I race for life for…” messages on this banner.   Going round, it was poignant seeing these pinned to people’s backs listing their loved ones lost or those who were still battling or who survived the struggle.   For some of the time on the way round I was following a mother and her young daughter.   Mum’s message said she was winning but not out of the woods yet.   Her daughter’s message just said she was was racing for life for her mum.   I just hope that neither of my kids ever have to put my name on their backs.

Even though I’ve finished, you can still donate on my Justgiving Page.   Show cancer that hell hath no fury like a woman in pink!

Dear September


Where did our time go September?   30 days and it was all over!

You gave me glorious weather (mostly!) and lots of time in the garden appreciating the wonderful flowers still blooming their socks off.   Considering that from February to April it looked like a muddy mess, now it’s landscaped and lovely.autumn garden 3

My little Leprechaun turned Imp now has her Brownie Gardener badge for the hard work she put in sowing seeds, thinning out, weeding, watering and finally clearing away.   Hopefully she’ll help again next Spring, and her grandparents want to hire her for her skills with a seed packet.

simplicity 2828 finished dressI achieved things, September.   This pretty dress for Rainbow Craftyguidelet, some cards, some bunting, and even a tutorial for the book bags I made for the Craftyguidelets’ music lessons.   Sales have been picking up with Craftyguider following a bit of promo work, and the big push to Christmas starts now.   The Christmas shop is now open.   I just need to fill it up a bit more!christmas tree decsMy Guiding life has started again.   Guides and Rainbows are back, and once again I am juggling admin, trying to get as many girls as possible off the waiting lists and into units where they can join the fun, and trying to encourage more volunteers to come forward and help this to happen.IMG_8261I have also started Trefoil Guild which is like the WI for Guiding types.   It was so lovely just going to a meeting for grown ups, not being asked to do anything, not being responsible for anything, not feeling guilty for not doing more.   I just enjoyed the talk on the fabulous work of Guide Dogs and the puppy walkers.   Finally something just for me to enjoy!Harry Guide Dog 1WI planning has started again for our Handmade Christmas Craft Fair on 16th November.   I need to get a shifty on for my stall!photo (59)

But then just like that it was over September.   30 days of full on busyness and then phwoomp!   October happened.

Autumn is here and I’ll be joining in with Miss Beatrix’s #BashSAD challenge to banish the blues of the shorter days.   I’m also attempting to complete a whole month of the Fat Mum Slim #fmsphotoaday challenge on Instagram.   My house is finally gaining some order after a summer of neglect, the kids are settled at school.   Let’s do this October!

What was that?   Half term at the end of the month?   *sticks fingers in ears and pretends not to hear*

What are you up to this month?

Guide Dogs and Trefoil Guild

Harry Guide Dog 1Meet my new friend Harry.   I’m not a doggy person but he’s kind of cute!   He was the guest of honour (with his puppy walker Sarah) at my first Trefoil Guild meeting to talk about Guide Dogs and the need for funds and more puppy walkers.

Sarah has been a Guide Dog puppy walker for a number of years, and Harry is her 5th puppy.   He is a HUGE retriever/labrador cross and was so well behaved.   He is almost at the end of his puppy walking stage, and will hopefully go to Guide Dog boot camp and graduate to be an essential part of a blind or partially sighted person’s life.  Harry Guide Dog 2She spoke with such a passion about her role as a puppy walker and the urgent need for more.   The call for funds is a common one in an organisation which doesn’t receive any government funding, but I didn’t realise there were other support roles required too.   Each puppy costs Guide Dogs UK around £50,000 from birth to retirement at about 9 or 10, and yet each potential owner only has to pay 50p as a token contractural amount to get their dog.   Puppy walkers take a young puppy and train it over a year to strict guide dog standards to produce a well behaved dog, ready for final training on a harness before it is handed over to someone who really needs one.   Sarah told us a number of stories about people whose lives have been transformed for the better because of their partnership with their pooch.

The Trefoil Guild is Guiding for adults.   Like WI for Guiding types really.   As I’m a Guiding geek and a WI member, I thought I’d give it a go.   I found my local branch and they were really welcoming and helpful.   I did feel incredibly young at the meeting (being at least 20 years younger than everyone else in the room!), but everyone was really lovely and they went out of their way to chat to me.

Like the WI, the Trefoil has gained an ‘older woman’ reputation, despite being open to anyone 18+.   It was so nice being somewhere where I wasn’t organising something or responsible for something.   I just went, moved a few chairs to help out, and left.   Bliss!   I will be back next month for more, and when I join, I will be channelling my Guiding geekiness more and going for the Voyage Awards.   I’m a sucker for a badge!