Saturday, 30 September 2017

LOVE - just one word LOVE

Which bit did you enjoy the most ?


A quote from young Tiler, seen standing next to me in this picture. 

Tiler, yesterday ran our ADOPT A DINOSAUR table. Thanks to his efforts forty-five dinosaur toys who have lived a lonely existence in a box at the back of a cupboard now have loving homes.

He will never get him to touch that snake. The Mayoress of Milton Keynes whispered to me.


People started turning up to yesterday's frog challenge while I was still setting everything up. It is now 2.39am on Sunday and while I am typing this blog messages keep popping into Facebook. Since yesterday afternoon we have over TWO HUNDRED.

Wrigglies Exotic Pets was packed throughout the day.

Packed with people YES but that is not what I am talking about - IT WAS PACKED WITH LOVE.

I began my day driving up to McDonalds. Maureen fancied a pot of porridge to start the day and I am addicted to hash browns. I had to park up while the porridge was cooked - not a problem. The duty manager came out and started to apologise for the delay. No need for that the delay was a maximum of two minutes. He looked at me and paused before saying I know you I think. I'm not sure where from ?

Then he smiled and said: I've seen you  on the Internet.  This lovely young man had found
OurRebekah. He had seen pics of me and recognised my ugly face. For myself that aging ugly face is  blushing, for OurRebekah I am swelling with pride.

Pride ? I was close to tears when this man appeared and introduced himself to me. I saw what you were doing on the net and thought I would come up and say Hello.

One of my former students, Simon.

We had not long been open when Simon appeared and kicked the love factor to a higher level. THANK YOU SIMON.

During the afternoon a car pulled into the car park and the drive gave me a thumbs up.

Another of my former students, Chris and his family, came to supervise my holding the frog.

Chris is seen here on the right of the picture. It has been thirty years since I have seen Chris. To have him there with his wife, daughter and son was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. THANK YOU to all four of you.

By the way, Chris, your lad won our fun game to give No Name a name.

Your children were pestering you all day to buy an exotic pet, I think your resistance was tested but now your family has this little guy to live with you.

Seen here supervising one of several challenges to hold the frog is a very, very dear friend of my family - Daphne. 

Have you noticed Daphne and Chris's son are wearing Sheffield Wednesday colours.

We started a guest book yesterday for people coming along to OurRebekah events to sign. Ahead of the frog challenge I printed and pasted the e-mails received prior to the event.

An extract from one reads: We all wish you every success moving forward and if I can be of any further assistance please let me know. TREVOR - Director Sheffield Wednesday FC.

How many directors of how many football clubs do you know who would take time to send a message like that to a little group like ours ?

One of the display boards we had outside the shop pictured the love Sheffield Wednesday FC is showing to us.

Trevor, just tell the boys to stuff Leeds United this afternoon will you please.

Meet Tony, seen here below with Mayor David and myself.

Tony is a radio presenter on Secklow 105.5. Before yesterday he and I were Facebook friends. Now we are friends in real time and space.

Tony and his wife. seen on the right snapping a quick selfie will be having lunch with me later this week to chat about something special OurRebekah is planning for Trevor and the boys at Sheffield Wednesday.

Guy Mitchell and Singing The Blues are about to be taken to a new level !

Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday.

I heard about what you are doing, we stayed in Ronald McDonald House Southampton so I thought we would pop along.

That was a lady who chatted as she enjoyed the cakes Maureen had baked for the day.

Here's the incredible and loving Mayoress of Milton Keynes, Susan, cuddling a skunk. YES I did say a skunk.

Nobody knew yesterday, I only found out at the end of the event, the skunk still had its scent glands in place.

Ooooppppssss !

Good job OurRebekah has public liability insurance in place !  NAH we did not need to call on it. He he he.

There were times during the day when this little bundle of fur came close to stealing the show.

Here she is again on the shoulder of Ann. Ann is Tiler's Mum and actually started OurRebekah last May.

She, Tiler and her husband Mark worked tirelessly all day to 
make the event a success.

Here's another and special picture of this special friend.

I thought I had a mind that was always full of ideas but those Ann's husband Mark ran past me yesterday were on a higher level all together than anything I have so far come up with.

Mark we are going to make them work ! THANK YOU. What a special guy you are.

OurRebekah has been running since May when Ann set up the fun run which is happening on Sunday 15th October. We do have some projects running and have so far raised in excess of £1,300 for Ronald McDonald House Charities but yesterday was the first actual on the ground event we have had.

A high standard has been set for everything to follow. A VERY high standard. The day was packed with people, the day was packed with fun, THE DAY WAS PACKED WITH LOVE.

Here's our Mayor with that skunk, was there anyone at yesterday's event who she did not give a cuddle to as she put love into what we were doing ?

Over TWO HUNDRED photographs were taken yesterday.  I think I may have to speak to our website hosting company to buy more space on the Net in order to publish them. What you see here are just a few pics. What can you see in each and every one of them ? EASY question to answer - LOVE ! L-O-V-E - Love.

Another picture of our Wonderful Mayor seen presenting shop manager Ro with the OurRebekah smile of the month award for September.

Every time I speak to Ro he inspires me. His knowledge of animals is beyond belief and surpassed only by his love for them. Every minute of the day yesterday was packed with Ro's infectious personality.

Ro you are an incredible guy - THANK YOU.

Within the guestbook is a message from Libby, the Ronald McDonald House Manager in Birmingham.  Libby THANK YOU for that kind e-mail. 

At the beginning of every Sheffield Wednesday game the PA system blasts a song, that PA system is drowned by the crowds as they sing HI HO SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY.  I have nicked the anthem which Sheffield Wednesday nicked from Jeff Beck in the first place to put this together for Libby and her team

I found myself skipping about yesterday singing in my head HI HO HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT ! Actually I think I sang it out aloud once or twice.

I have a plan to rerecord the song - NO not with me singing. Tony has the same idea. Hey once we have have chatted about Sheffield over the main course let's chat about this while we eat desert. Can I play the air guitar ? Can I do that if I promise not to sing ?

3.44am - I've been writing this blog for more than an hour yet I have not mentioned the

Here he is !

When Ro said he was going to get a BIG frog for me to hold as I conquered my phobia I knew he was not joking but just look at the size of this creature.

I could never, ever have believed that I could have held him, not once but many times during the day.  I don't think he liked me very much, he kept kicking at me with his back legs.

Heck he is a beast of a frog isn't he ?

I am going to print this blog and send it to my mother, next week she celebrates her 90th birthday. She remembers so clearly the day sixty years ago when that frog jumped out at me in the garden and started my life-long phobia. She will not believe these pictures. I am not sure that I do.

So how did I manage to hold that wonderful creature ?  

How did my life-long fear fly away on the wind. NO I am not scared of frogs any more. 

How did it happen ?

You can see it in every single picture can't you. That word again LOVE.

The Wave of Love was packed with surfboards yesterday. Our first on the ground OurRebekah event has set a VERY high standard for all to follow

When we take on The Three Peaks Challenge love will be at the top of every mountain.

When we run across The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Love will be cheering us on.

When the doggies walk in The National Trust's Gardens at Stowe there will be love in every blade of grass.

Chatting with former student Simon I asked him what he was now doing for a living.  I'm an account executive he said.

Former student Chris owns and runs his own business. I joked with him that the when the work stops the paperwork begins. The expression on his face said everything.

The accounting skills of my two former students put together could not measure the love from yesterday.  In money terms we made a total of £313.62 for Ronald McDonald House Oxford but the money means nothing compared to the love.

Yesterday 146 read The Wave Of Love. On Friday we had 135 and the day before 175.

How many people will check us out today ?

I guess I had better click the PUBLISH button and find out.

Hi Ho Sheffield Wednesday you will stuff Leeds United this afternoon won't you ?

Friday, 29 September 2017

The Wretched Reptile

150 people checked out The Wave Of Love Blog yesterday and the readership graph showing visitors to the OurRebekah website peaked. 

Today is the last day of the month, across the month of September we have had visitors to the website from 55 different towns and cities in 8 countries of the world.

I am wondering if we have a world of frig lovers ?  How many of those readers of this blog and visitors to the website like the Wretched reptile ?  Will I have an affection for the WRETCHED REPTILE after today ?

I have not set up a Facebook thingy for OurRebekah, we have our own page run by Ann. Instead I have used my own personal area to pass on all that is happening. While I still make the odd personal post the majority is devoted to the project.

If you are reading this blog and are not a friend, PLEASE become a Facebook Friend. Don;t just follow, become a friend.

So all is set for today's event. While we have some projects running this is the first on the ground event we have organised.

It's only four months since OurRebekah started. I don't think we have done a bad job raising almost £1,400 in those four months.

What do you think ?

Our next actual event on the ground is the FUN RUN happening on Sunday 15th October.

Then we have Fire A Rocket For Beck.

This was planned to happen at the beginning of November but I think it would be better held at the end of the year as a New Year celebration rather than at the same time as November 5th firework night.

On Monday I will be getting to grips with the planning for this, changing the web page and inviting friends to take part.

Has anyone ever put a frog into space ? I wonder if we could set up an OurRebekah project
to make the wretched reptile I have to handle all day today the world's first space frog. Does that sound like a good idea ?

When I visited Bristol University's radio telescope to take some background pics for this project I was nervous about standing on the top of a tall building looking at the telescope. As well as a phobia of frogs I do not do tall buildings very well.

There is a metal gantry by the side of the telescope which is used to maintain the dish and receiver. NO, I did not climb up that stricture.

Perhaps I should.

This is the old Express Lift Tower in Northampton, sometimes called The Northampton Lighthouse. The lady who runs the trust caring for this structure, which is the tallest building outside London, is on our newsletter mailing list. Perhaps I should ask her if I could go to the top.

Why ever should I want ti do such a mad thing ?

You know what, IF I were to climb to the top of The Northampton Lighthouse - IF...... I bet when I get there I will find a wretched reptile sitting waiting for me.

So why would I want to risk my live and sanity climbing up there anyway ?

The dust has to settle on today's event and I need to regain my sanity but I want to conquer my second fear. I want to do this in support of Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham.

Climbing up the gantry of Bristol University's radio telescope and shining a torch from the Northampton Lighthouse would be training events - just training events.

In January I then plan to spend a day in Birmingham scaling as many tall buildings as I can within the city in a single day. How about I do this on Friday 12th January ?  Just as well it is not FRIDAY 13th !

As with today's event people can sponsor me to overcome my fear.  The target for today's event was originally set at £100. We have already reached £200. If we do not make a single penny today we have doubled our target.  What ever the final figure is at the end of the Frog Challenge will be the target set for this event.

Do you think there will be a frog at the top of every building ?

Tell you what..... I'll take one with me !

I will buy this mask from Amazon and wear it for a photograph at the top of each and every building.

I will also take this with me to the top of every building and get who ever is supervising me to sign it. Those supervising today's challenge will be asked to sign our new guest book.

We must not forget OurRebekah has an activity tomorrow.

On the first page of this new guest book appears an entry from Trevor, the director at Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.  Tomorrow the boys play Leeds United at Hillsborough. We really have built a strong friendship with the club. You can cheer on the team tomorrow by sponsoring every goal the boys score in support of Ronald McDonald House Birmingham.

Just go to our special Sheffield Wednesday area and start cheering.

Sheffield Wednesday, of course, are known as the OWLS. Leeds United are known as The Peacocks. That's a silly name don't you think.  Trevor, Communications Director at Wednesday, let's introduce a new nick name for Leeds United. 

Let's call them THE FROGS !

Thursday, 28 September 2017

What a day !

I said that yesterday was going to be a special day didn't I ?

It was another tsunami for the Wave Of Love. I am so excited here as I start to write the blog and tell you all about it.

Yesterday 190 people read the blog. That smashes the previous highest number by seventy-seven friends.  People sent me comments and their thoughts on what I had written.


Christmas is coming you know. CLICK HERE and get into the mood while you read.  Leonite Maggie sent me the picture above. She knits these socks and offered to make some for OurRebekah to sell.

Hey when you have finished listening to Jingle Bells CLICK AGAIN and listen to something slightly different.

Maggie when your beautiful message popped up on Facebook it choked me. THANK YOU - THANK YOU.  I suggest we get some friends to pop their gifts for Secret Santa into your stockings and give them to families. 

Would that be OK ?

Listening to all this Christmas music is making me feel so festive, Let's have another song shall we  - CLICK HERE.

Opening my e-mail this morning a frog jumped out at me !

ANOTHER LEONITE. No not the frog, the woderful friend who sent it.

Chris thank you for that. You have started my day off in an extra special way.  I am so much looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow after all these years and ti meet your family will be an honour for me.  Christ and his family are supervising one of the FROG CHALLENGES.

For those who are no in the know a LEONITE is one of my former students from Leon School. 

Maureen has been very busy making cakes for tomorrow's event.  Here on the left is a cake she has made for The Mayor of Milton Keynes when he supervises the first challenge tomorrow..  

On the right are the cakes my soulmate, special friend and wife of 39 years has made to give to those coming to the challenge.

When I told her that Ro, the manager at Wrigglies Exotic Pets and host for tomorrow, is vegan she found a recipe from the Internet and made Ro a special cake all of his own. Ro, mate, it looks delicious !

This morning I have to finish off the display boards then we are all ready for the big event

I have edited together the various OurRebekah YouTube promos I have made over the past few months and put them into one long video which I will play as part of the display. It runs for an hour !

For a bit of fun I made something new for Ronald McDonald's House in Birmingham.

Libby (House Manager)  thank you for your e-mail yesterday. (I am working on the Hold A Rat Challenge for you !)  You are kind and your team run a fantastic house.  You call Ronald McDonald House Birmingham THE HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT.   I have decided to re brand it to THE MANSION OF LOVE.  

To add music to the presentation I have made for The Mansion Of Love I nicked the theme Sheffield Wednesday fans sing at the start of every game. Trevor (Wednesday's Director of Communications) I hope you don't mind me nicking it !  Well you nicked it from Jeff Beck in the first place !

There is a typo in there. See if you can spot it ! I will do it all again. One day..................

Trevor sent me a lovely e-mail yesterday to add to the tsunami of love. I do not know how many directors there are within England's professional football teams but I bet most live high up in ivory towers. NOT Trevor !  What an incredible man he is and what a FANTASTIC friend of OurRebekah.

Trevor this is for you....................

Tell the boys to STUFF Leeds United tomorrow.  

OurRebekah will be sponsoring the goals Wednesday score. YOU, yes YOU, can cheer on the team and support Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham aka THE MANSION OF LOVE.  Don't just read these words ACT ON THEM.

Are you a friend on Facebook ? If not then CLICK HERE NOW AND BECOME A FRIEND. Don't just follow - become a friend.

This is Tony from Radio Secklow 105.5. He plays my kind of music and over recent weeks
we have become good friends on Facebook.  Tomorrow Tony and his wife are supervising one of the frog challenges and we will get to meet in real time rather than cyber space. Tony, I am so much looking forward to meeting you and your wife. Another special friend, a long-standing friend of my family and a LEONITE - perhaps the most famous LEONITE of all, Daphne Capp - former Head of Music at Leon, will be at the frog challenge.  I do not think that Daphne, who next week will celebrate her 89th birthday, is a football supporter but here she is signing some OurRebekah Sheffield Wednesday cards to send to families in Ronald McDonald Houses.
Somewhere, high up above the Atlantic Ocean, are two packages containing copies of Trevor's extra special Sheffield Wednesday 150th birthday programme and cards signed by Daphne. They are heading to the two Ronald McDonald Houses in San Francisco.

THESE DAMN GEEKS AT GOOGLE !  Don't you just hate geeks !  This Blogger page will not let me format Daphne's picture and fit it into the text on the right above. Geeks ! Ah - but..... Daphne is such a special lady perhaps I should put her picture below in large format and centre page.

Those same geeks have screwed up YouTube with their downgrading updates. It has made navigating my YouTube Channel difficult.  I have just about sussed it out so no doubt they will change things again.  Anyway to being this blog to its conclusion here's my Friday theme.

Take it with you all day. Let it stay with you and have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY.

I will see you at THE FROG CHALLENGE tomorrow.  Let me say how scared I am about holding the frog. Trevor I would rather play in goal for Leeds United tomorrow as the boys blast ball after ball after ball past me than hold that damn frog !

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Let me introduce you to a pathetic coward


I want you to help me expose his cowardice.

YES, it is me. Am image from my younger days but it is still the image of a SAD, PATHETIC, MISERABLE, SNIVELING LITTLE COWARD who should be expose and despised for his cowardice.

Please read what I am about to write then share the bog on social media to make this coward cringe with embarrassment. He deserves your contempt.

Yesterday was blood donors day. I reached a bit of a milestone -  20 pints donated. PATHETIC !

Wind back the clock to 1973, round about the time this picture was taken. I was a student training to become a teacher. The college matron, a fearsome but loving lady, Mrs Meek received an award for donating fifty pints of blood. She tried to encourage we students to become blood donors.

NO WAY !  No way was I going to let some vampire stick a needle in my arm and drain off a pint of my precious blood !  NOT NEVER NO WAY !

WHY ?  Because I was a coward. A pathetic coward.

Wind the clock on now to 1983, the year Rebekah was born.  If I had not been such a coward I would by then have donated 30 pints of my blood to help doctors save lives.

I did not donate a single tiny drop. Not one tiny drop.

It was not long after her birth that Rebekah was diagnosed with chronic renal failure. I am trying to think how many times she went into surgery, eight I think. Each time she had an operation she received a transfusion of blood from a donor. A pint of blood and a pint of love from anonymous person somewhere in the country.

STILL her father did not sign up as a blood donor. DESPICABLE. I made every excuse but each and every excuse was a lie. What kind of  man does that make me ?

Years later, many years later I finally conquered my fears and donated that first pint.  Between Beck's birth and my finally signing up as a blood donor I could have given one hundred pints. Had I not been such a sad, pathetic coward my donation yesterday would not have been my 20th pint but my 140th !

There are 366 Ronald McDonald Houses world-wide. 366 houses each accommodating families who have children sick in hospital. That means at every minute of every day something like TEN THOUSAND families are being cared for.

Every family has a child sick in hospital. TEN THOUSAND CHILDREN.

How many of those children received a blood transfusion yesterday ?  One in fifty ? That's probably a fair estimate = 200. Ten times the number of the donations I have made. But even if I had been a donor since 1973 I still could not have given enough blood to help the children of families in Ronald McDonald Houses for even a single day.

Oh YEH I am banging on and on and on about my Frog Challenge on Saturday. How I am going to overcome my fear of frogs. How brave I am going to be. What a wonderful person I am !

RUBBISH. I am a coward, a sad pathetic, miserable coward who failed to help doctors save the lives of 120 people. 120 people who included my own daughter. Thank goodness there were people around who were not such cowards.

I am always talking about love - The Wave of Love. Since Beck died on Friday 19th May the wave of love that has washed over myself and my family has been unbelievable. I have met some very special people whose love is beyond measure. I want to tell you about just some of them in a moment but first let me suggest something before I do.

I have just made a Google search for this picture to add here to the blog. While doing that I found another picture here on the right.

That is something I did not know. So being a coward I failed not 120 people but 360 !

When a pint of blood is donated that is the physical, the mechanical thing. Above that is the love factor. When you give a pint of blood you also give a gallon of love.

This love thing............... I call my daily blog The Wave Of Love. It usually gets between 65 and 99 readers a day. The most it has ever received in a day is 117. I want this blog today to smash all records.

At the beginning of this week I was feeling very stressed. Everything was getting on top of me. I just could not cope with the work I have to do for OurRebekah.

On Tuesday I had a meeting with Scott, The National Trust's Operations Manager at Stowe. He showed me love and all of my stress was washed away by the wave.

Yesterday I popped into Wrigglies Exotic Pets to chat with manager Ro ahead of Saturday's Frog Challenge.  Ro you have absolutely no idea how much you inspire me It will be with pride that I introduce you to everyone who comes along on Saturday.

I had an e-mail yesterday from Libby who is manager of Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. She thanked me for the gifts I had sent to the house from Sheffield Wednesday's game last Sunday. 

Libby and her team may run a physical Ronald McDonald House but in truth they operate a MANSION OF LOVE. It is not a metaphor to say that love oozes out of every wall.

This morning I will e-mail Libby to thank her for thanking me. The Wave Of Love goes
backwards and forwards you know. Of course it does.

When I go to a blood donor session the staff there always thank me for donating. It's not a have nice day empty marketing phrase but words spoken out of love.  Yesterday evening my phone buzzed with a text thanking me for my donation. OK, yes a robot sent it but did so on the orders of a real person. Sometimes even a robot can show love. In a week or so I will receive another  text message to tell me in which hospital my blood was used.  I won't be told the patient of course but the text is a text of love telling me where my blood was used.

When I go to give blood I always turn things round when I am thanked by staff, I always say NO IT IS I WHO SHOULD THANK YOU.  I also make a point of telling the person who actually takes my blood the story of my cowardice. No matter who I am speaking to I always receive a similar reply: DON'T WORRY ABOUT THAT YOU ARE DONATING NOW.

Coming to The Frog Challenge on Saturday are David and Susan Hopkins, Mayor and Mayoress of Milton Keynes. They are extra special people and our town should be proud to have them as our Mayor and Mayoress.

Susan said something to me a few months back, powerful words which have stuck in my mind ever since. She said IT DOES NOT MATTER WHICH CHARITY OR GOOD CAUSE YOU SUPPORT PROVING YOU DO SUPPORT ONE. 

That's love isn't it ?

I am going to tell you something else that was said to me and has stuck firmly in my mind. Let me introduce you to Doctor Phil Mason from Oxford University Hospital and one of the nation's top consultants in his field. He said to me I DO NOT TREAT MY PATIENTS I CARE FOR THEM.      Love !

And this below is Doctor Jarvis. He was my college doctor when cowardice prevented me becoming a blood donor. He went on to become our family doctor until he retired shortly after 
Rebekah was diagnosed as a small child to be suffering from renal failure.

When Rebekah died he wrote to my family, he sent us an incredible and beautiful letter. How many tens of thousands of patients has that man cared for during his career ?  He retired thirty years ago yet still remembered Rebekah and took time to write to us. When I thanked him he shrugged his shoulders and said of course he would write, not to do so would be wrong. L O V E !

If someone had said to me all those years ago it was not a case of donating a pint of blood but giving a gallon of love I think I would not have been such a pathetic coward.

If you are already a blood donor I would ask you to continue but to change the way you donate. Continue to give a pint three times a year but alongside this PLEASE also give a gallon of love.

Do not be a pathetic coward the way I was so so many years, years which are filled for me with deep regret.

Don't look upon the act as giving a pint of your blood. Set it firmly in your mind that you are giving a GALLON of your love.

Twenty pints. It will take another ten years before I emulate the achievement of College Matron Mrs Meek and receive my 50 pints badge. I am determined I will achieve that and when I do perhaps it will take away just some of my cowardice.